I use to think I know what democracy meant but I am having serious doubts about what has become of Canadian democracy. There was a time when elected officials like MP’s were allowed to speak on behalf of their constituents but there was also a time when ridings were allowed to choose their candidates without interference from the party hierarchy. Just ask Rob Anders, best known for his ability to nap and to denigrate veterans.
Yesterday while going through my daily dose of news I came across the story where the opposition is concerned with an affiliate of the Manning Centre, Chuck Strahl, being appointed the chair of the Security Intelligence Review Committee. Mr. Strahl is also a director for the Manning Centre, a recognized right wing think tank currently embroiled in a new controversial issue in Alberta. When the opposition questioned the legitimacy of Mr. Strahl’s maintaining this affiliation despite the regulations defining external activities for these type of appointment they were met with the following statement:
“Now the NDP is asking the government to interfere directly and instruct the Canada Revenue Agency to do particular investigations. The NDP is trying to ask the government to launch particular witch-hunts against particular organizations.
“That would be unlawful, and it would be inappropriate, and it’s bizarre that the NDP would suggest it,” said Kenney, who represents a Calgary riding. (see Security Intelligence Review Committee highlighted above)
The hypocrisy of that answer really got me going. So now lets put a little bit of this into perspective by looking at that statement in relationship to everything else that has been on the political agenda of late:
- March 18/13 the Globe and Mail report: “Finance Minister Jim Flaherty has pressed Manulife Bank into reversing a mortgage-rate cut” and he did this how, “Mr. Flaherty instructed one of his officials to call Manulife on Monday night and indicate displeasure at its move to lower the rate on a five-year fixed mortgage to 2.89 per cent from 3.09 per cent, saying its new promotion was “unacceptable,”. Should this not be considered inappropriate and unacceptable because it does look like interference to me?
- April 28/13 CBC reports: “A federal cabinet minister rejected a request for a prison interview with former Guantanamo Bay detainee Omar Khadr even though the warden gave it a green light — a move some are denouncing as extraordinary political interference.” Our wonderful Public Safety Minister, Vic Toews, can take possession of that one but then he has a history of making decision based on ideology rather than consistency. It should also be noted that this interview was to be done over the phone and yet somehow Toews tells us this is a matter of national security. Ask yourself how threatening can a guy who has been in jail for over ten years (since he was fifteen) really be and if you buy into this then boy do I have a deal for you. Contact me privately!
- Another jewel from Mr. Toews is the recent distancing of senior RCMP officials and their ability to meet with other politicians. April 25/13 the CBC reported that the RCMP Commissioner Bob Paulson had issued instructions that no senior officer will talk or meet with anyone including Members of Parliament without first being vetted by him and the Ministers office. Just another nail in the coffin of this open and transparent government we had been promised by this group. If you look back on history controlling the flow of information has never been a good thing for democracy so I suggest people start paying attention.
Then today prior to the BC provincial election the BC Conservative Party has fire their fourth candidate in the last week. I don’t believe we have to be rocket scientists to see some patterns here and I could provide dozens of other examples on how this current government is systematically eroding our rights. And they are doing so by slowly shutting down the avenues of democratic process that Canadians had spent almost 150 years establishing.
So from now on don’t just read the headline, turn the page and get the whole story. Then compare that information to the story on the next page because contrary to what this government would like you to believe none of these issues stand alone and every one of them will or is having a ripple affect. When dealing with this government you need to look at actions versus words to truly recognize hypocrisy!
Just one man’s opinion.