Tag Archives: bloggers against stephen harper

Proof that the Conservatives Hate Democracy

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Years ago, the Liberals took the high road and made an important first step in institutionalizing democracy in Canada by creating a public subsidy of $1.95 per vote that every Canadian casts at the ballot box.

This simple move extended a financial life-line to all Federal political parties and has prevented the Conservatives from obtaining a majority in Canadian politics.  It also became a financial gesture and substitute for something more desparately needed:  proportional representation.

Today, Jim Flaherty will likely cut this off.

Today, the Conservatives will show their disdain for democracy and prove that they loathe discussion, dialogue and concessions with the rest of Canada.

Today, we will lose democracy in Canada.

Today, they will prove that they hate Canadians that do not vote Conservative.

Even the possibility or rumour of this threat is hard to stomach.  And yet, it’s there.

Now, if they want to save a mere $30 million, look around at where you’re forking out cash to your buddies.  In the last Federal budget (2007), Jim Flaherty and the Conservatives announced some of the following expenditures:

  • $60 million in wage increases to the Canadian Forces.
  • $300 million in funds to friends as a subsidy for an unproven drug for children (HPV virus).

But that’s just the tip of the iceberg.  Check out these increases:

  • $14.3 billion:  2004 Dept of Defence budget (6.8% of federal spending)
  • $14.6 billion:  2005-06
  • $18.9 billion:  2008-09
  • $15 billion in spending announced by Stephen Harper in June 2006 to be spread over several years, mainly for planes, trucks and other transportation
  • Government pledge to increase spending by 2% every year for the next 20 years

In other words, the annual Department of Defence budget will be tens of billions of dollars, while Canadian voters are getting shafted by not having their preferred politic parties get funding.  Our Defence budget will grow, on a per-capita basis, to one of the largest on the planet, and yet we won’t be able to get a few bucks to the opposition.



Join this group to remind the Conservatives that we ALL do not tolerate this trash:

The Pirates of Parliament

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First, they squandered our budget surpluses and gave them away to corporations, most of which aren’t even Canadian-owned any more.

Then, they said that they would never run a deficit before the election and announced that deficits would become all the rage after the election.  I’m looking for a ‘before/after video clip to post here – if you have one, please let me know.

Now, they’re telling us they’re going to start selling Canadian-owned properties .  Into a soft market.  Killing industrial real estate prices.  Giving buddies and friends a steal of a deal on federally-owned assets in a shitty market.

‘Have we got a deal for you’.

They have now, in my books, earned the title The Pirates of Parliament.  They will loot, pillage and molest any economic situation and will tell us anything in order to get re-elected, using US election-style bullying and political tactics and tearing Canada apart bit by bit until there’s nothing left.

As economists, they’ll tell you that they couldn’t see it coming, especially just before the election.  But I could and I don’t even have a Master’s in Economics, Steve.

And why – if balancing the books is such an issue (and it should be) – don’t you just gut the $500 billion defense spending plan in order to avoid having a massive deficit.  $500 billion would go an AWFULLY long way to making your jobs a lot easier.

Oh yeah … it’s because you don’t really want Canadians to be made aware that you’re initiating the largest military expansion / expenditure in Canada’s history as a free nation.

This video summed things up nicely:

Tories to Flush Canada-led Water Monitoring Program

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Original story here .

I suppose this goes in the ‘if it ain’t oil, we ain’t going to watch it’ file.

Ironically, water will one day be more valuable than oil, but we’ll leave that problem to our kids, I suppose.

All to save a shitty little $1.5 million.  How embarassing.

Tories to flush Canada-led water-monitoring program
Written by Sue Bailey, THE CANADIAN PRESS
Thursday, 13 November 2008

OTTAWA – The Harper government wants out of a Canada-led UN program that monitors freshwater around the world – a move being slammed as the latest Tory abdication of global causes once championed by Ottawa.

Experts say they’re shocked Canada would abandon a database it designed and has managed for 30 years, just as dwindling water supplies emerge as a critical issue. Environment Canada spokesman John Carey says the Global Environment Monitoring System is no longer a priority.

"We would like someone else to take it over," he said of the database that tracks trends from 2,700 water-quality monitoring stations in more than 70 countries.

Twenty-four United Nations agencies rely on those details to assess how increasingly precious freshwater sources are being managed.

Canada has most recently co-ordinated the system from labs at the University of Saskatchewan and in Burlington, Ont.

The previous Liberal government set up a five-year trust fund worth $1.5 million that was allowed to expire last year, Carey said in an interview.

"We considered within the department at our management board last spring whether there was any opportunity to replenish the trust fund. And we could not find one. We began considering looking for a partner then.

"We like the program. It’s just not a priority for Environment Canada."

Funding for three related salaries and "a relatively small amount of operating dollars" for the database will continue "until we find someone else to take it over," Carey said.

Errol Mendes, a University of Ottawa law professor and former adviser to the United Nations, says the timing is baffling.

"What will be the most important commodity in the second half of this century? It will not be gold. It will not be oil. It will be water. Water is not a question of whether or not you have more money in the bank. It’s a question of whether you live or die.

"And the fact is some of the most critical countries in the world are literally running out of potable, drinkable water – which this institution was supposed to monitor."

Mendes said the move away from the water system mirrors Canada’s about-face on the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Canada under the Conservatives was one of a handful of countries that refused to support the landmark document, citing concerns it would conflict with existing laws.

The rebuff was in stark contrast to support for the process under the Liberals.

Canadian Maude Barlow learned of the impending water-program pullout less than a month into her appointment as the UN’s first adviser on water issues.

"That Canada would remove this support from this program is just outrageous and an embarrassment," she said.

"It’s yet another example … that the Harper government is parochial, that it sees its environment commitments really in terms of optics.

"I have people say to me around the world: whatever happened to your country? We used to be able to count on Canada to take stands. And now Canada is in some cases worse than the United States – just absolutely refusing to partake and participate in international programs."

Germany is among countries reportedly interested in picking up Canada’s slack, Barlow said.

"But why should it move from Canada when it was built on Canadian expertise and technology? When it’s been here for 30 years?"

Monique Dube, an associate professor at the University of Saskatchewan’s School of Environment and Sustainability, is a former research scientist at Environment Canada.

"As a scientist, I’ve used the database myself and I understand the significance of (it) in terms of understanding global water trends, water quality – and how absolutely critical it is.

"If this goes after 30 years of investment, I can tell you … it will take a lot longer than 30 years to rebuild."

Dube says federal apathy for the program is especially wrong-headed because it costs so little to give Canada major international profile on a vital issue.

"What this gives us in terms of a contribution to global water sustainability is unmatched. So a million dollars is a drop in the bucket for something that has such impact."

URGENT: Action on Close Ridings

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I post the following with some continued misgivings about strategic voting, but trust all of you to decide what to do with the information:

According to Vote for Environment’s polling info, there are currently 62 ridings in which a conservative is leading WHICH COULD BE WON BY THE PARTY IN SECOND PLACE if a number of those voting for the 3rd to 6th place candidates switched their votes.

The following 7 ridings need 150 – 990 votes to switch so that the party in second place could win:

Richmond – Lib 2nd – needs 150 votes
Ottawa South – Lib 2nd – needs 236 votes
Newton North Delta – Lib 2nd – needs 373 votes
Vancouver Quadra – Lib 2nd – needs 608 votes
Saskatoon/Rosetown/Biggar – NDP 2nd – needs 804 votes
Mississauga Erindale – Lib 2nd – needs 925 votes
Vancouver Island North – NDP 2nd – Catherine Bell needs 990 more votes

The following 17 ridings need 1,000 – 3,500 votes to switch for the candidate in 2nd place to win:

W. Vancouver, Sunshine coast – Lib 2nd – needs 1262 votes
Winnipeg – Lib 2nd – needs 1305 votes
Regina – Quappelle – NDP 2nd – needs 1533 votes
Mississauga South – Lib 2nd – needs 1569 votes
Edmonton Strathcona – NDP 2nd – needs 1823 votes
Oshawa – NDP 2nd – needs 1857 votes
Desnethe Mississippi Churchill River – Lib 2nd – needs 1867 votes
Palliser – NDP 2nd – needs 2125 votes
Saanich – Gulf Islands – Lib 2nd – Briony Penn needs 2150 more votes
Huron Bruce – Lib 2nd – needs 2317 votes
Central Nova – Greens 2nd – Elizabeth May needs 2330 votes
Fleetwood – Port Kells – Lib 2nd – needs 2779 votes
London West – Libs 2nd – needs 3005 votes
Parry Sound- Muskoka – Lib 2nd – needs 3305 votes
St John’s Mt Pearl – Lib 2nd – needs 3318 votes
Regina Lumsden Lake Centre – NDP 2nd – needs 3428 votes
Oakville – Lib 2nd – needs 3496 votes

This would result in 16 additional liberal seats, 7 additional NDP seats, a seat for Elizabeth May and a total of 24 fewer Conservative MPs.

There are 38 additional ridings in which voting for the 2nd place candidate could defeat a conservative with over 3,500 votes shifting. For details see the chart on www.voteforenvironment.ca
The link is: http://www.voteforenvironment.ca/sites/voteforenvironment.ca/files/SplitVoteEffectfinal.pdf


Canadian Election: Best / Worst Moments

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As the election looms, I wanted to take a moment to reflect on the 2008 Canadian election and let you know what I thought were the top best/worst moments for me.  Please post yours below as well – I would appreciate your thoughts.

The best moments for me, in no particular order, were the following:

  1. This rant , which was nominated ‘best rant of the day’.  Thank you.  I think.
  2. Stephen Harper breaking his own law about election timing.  This is a ‘best’ because it shows how low he will stoop to avoid getting caught in an economic meltdown.  Ooops.
  3. The bid to have this election called illegal.  Good luck.
  4. Minority governments.  They prove that democracy does work.  Unless you want a dictatorship.
  5. Economic havoc.  Yes, in a sick sadistic kind of way, because it proved that Harper can flip and flop just like the rest of us.  Stay the course, my ass.  Also, when a recession or depression comes, he will be holding the reins of the worst economic situation in 70 years.  It ruined Bennett and it will ruin Harper.
  6. Elizabeth May being part of the debate (singular – see worst moments below).
  7. Jack Layton’s bid for PM.  I think he might actually have a chance if we wade through the fear-mongering by the Liberals.
  8. Best quote:  "Laissez-faire, I don’t care", which goes to Dion.
  9. The Internet.  However, we have to sooooo much better the next time around to ensure that the Conservatives are humiliated at every term.  I’d do it, but I’m not creative enough.  Special kudos to the Department of Culture .
  10. rabble.ca election coverage :  best on the PLANET.  Good job.  Just a small example of #9.
  11. Lack of (serious) coverage of the judgement related to the Cadman tapes.  Harper broke the law, right?  Where’s the RCMP?  Why are the other parties not jumping all over this?

The worst moments, again in no order:

  1. Defense budgets.  Stephen Harper has made a very silent pledge to spend nearly $500 billion on his cronies in the defense industry, leaving taxpayers footing the bill.  When we won’t even have a war in a little more than two years.  What the hell is all the money for, Steve?
  2. Listeriosis proves that private-sector management of food is not a good idea.  I’m sure the 20-30 families affected by this tragedy have lots to thank you for this weekend, Steve.
  3. Canadian democracy and the mockery that our leaders and media make of it.  I believe that we will have a democracy when you vote for something and not against something.  I also feel that we will not live in a democracy until the progressive parties talk coalition and we have proportional representation as the first bill in the new House of Commons.
  4. Strategic voting.  I have come to have little faith in this tactic.  However, if you really want to support Liberals (that have lied their way to office many, many times), please do so.
  5. Scare mongering.  Not once did Stephen Harper pull out actual numbers that would justify his threats against Dion, at least that I ever heard.  And not once did Dion actually take a moment to describe in layman’s terms that the Green Shift would result in a 3-4 cent increase at the gas pump.
  6. The sweater vest ads.  Truly sickening because they shows utter contempt for the intelligence of the average Canadian.
  7. The pooping puffin.  Harper’s marketing team is going to start selling us the next war (probably Iran) and this is the best stuff they can come up with.  What’s next?  Online boxing with Ahmadinejad?
  8. Last-minute shows of commitment.  Stephen Harper’s shameless bid to shore up votes in Windsor by plopping a few million into an assembly plant.  Way to prop up Ontario, Steve!
  9. Stephen Harper suggesting this is a great time to buy into the market.  With what?  Chairs that I was going to use for firewood?  Rugs that I use for blankets?
  10. Stephen Harper leaking that there would likely be a cut in interest rates.  At least twelve hours before the fact.  Shame.
  11. Election coverage.  Mainstream media sucks and we need a completely different way of doing things when the next election occurs.
  12. Stephen Harper muzzling all of his candidates .  If this is how they treat their candidates during an election, imagine how they’ll treat us with a majority.

Also, as the campaign progressed, I learned a lot about what might happen if Stephen Harper became the leader of a majority Conservative government.  Here are just a few thoughts:

  1. A Stephen Harper majority would mean more financial disaster because banks would have merged or been gobbled up by foreign companies, leaving more toxic crap behind than a bitumen plant in Northern Alberta.
  2. Other Canadian institutions (the CMHC, the CBC, the AECL etc) would all go on the chopping block in order to finance ridiculous tax cut programs for corporations.
  3. Many, many deaths from listeriosis and other food-related outbreaks as inspections are privatized.
  4. A Stephen Harper majority would have been a severe blow to human rights.  Everywhere.  No more same-sex marriages.  No more abortions (you must breed now, whether you like it or not!).  No more rights for under-age criminals with minor transgressions.  Welcome to Guantanamo, folks!
  5. More and more severe slashing of corporate taxes and massive accumulation of debt, generating inflation and an unstable financial environment.
  6. More support for carbon-based industries then ever before.
  7. The complete deletion of any programs related to the environment.
  8. Two-year mandatory work-terms in the Tar Sands!!

OK … so maybe the last one might be a little extreme, so I’ll back off, lest I give Conservatives any ideas.

And yes, several of the last set of comments justify some of the scare-mongering.  Vote with your conscience tomorrow and be proud to be a Canadian!!