Thursday, May 23, 2013

May 23: All hail Robert Goguen!

Yesterday, I received in my mailbox a tabloid sized, eight page newspaper printed on rather expensive paper. It purported to come from Robert Goguen, our Conservative MP. In fact, it was obviously put together for all Conservative MPs by a PR firm, then customized for each riding.

The first page has a picture of Mr. Goguen wearing a smirky smile, obviously pleased at his looks now that he has been stuffed and mounted. The first page praises the government for Canadian prosperity, neatly overlooking our sluggish economy, high rate of unemployment, and the rapidly growing gap between rich and poor.

Inside is a treasury of eighteen pictures of Mr. Goguen who, apparently, owns only one suit, one smirk, and two neckties.

By coincidence, today's editorial in the Times and Transcript says Mr. Goguen is to be commended for announcing the spending of some 5.6 million dollars in Moncton. Commended? For announcing? Isn't that a little over the top? I would have been more impressed to have seen an announcement of how much it cost to send that political advertising to every home in Canada - and who paid for it.
Again, apart from columns by Alec Bruce and Beth Lyons, there's not much in the TandT. So let's talk about Mr. Harper's anger at his aide for giving $90,000 to a senator so the senator could repay false claims he made for housing. Who's to blame for this situation, one which so far has put three senators in the hot seat, dumped the prime minister's chief aide, and sent the PM into a tizzy?

Well, that would be Harper who's to blame. No prime minister in the history of this country has shown the contempt for parliament and democracy - and the contempt for the law - that Mr. Harper has.

To start with an obvious point, when Harper named Duffy to the Senate, he knew the rules for senator - that the senator had to be a resident of the province he or she was to represent. It is impossible to believe that Harper did not know that Duffy had only a summer cottage in PEI. And I'm quite sure that when the PM contacted Duffy, he did not do it with a letter or phone call to PEI.
(He must also have known that in the election campaign before he was appointed, Mr. Duffy had created something of a scandal in the journalism world with a highly biased and dishonest TV interview of a  Liberal candidate.)

When it was  obvious that Brian Mulroney had accepted large sums in graft while he was prime minister, Harper allowed the enquiry to fade. There was never a full investigation of his dealings. There were no criminal charges! If you or I stole $250,000, we'd be looking at jail time. Not only did Mulroney escape criminal charges, he was even allowed to keep most of money. His only penalty was that he had to pay the back taxes on it.

Incidentally, Mulrony never reported that money as income. That's illegal, too.And Mulroney is a lawyer. And so, thanks to Harper, Mulroney goes on living in a huge, stone mansion in the priciest district of Westmount, the priciest suburb of Montreal. Harper's message to other political thieves was clear.

In our last and very close election, there seem to have been a great many irregularities - a nice word for cheating and breaking the law. By far, most of them seem to have been committed by the Conservative party. But Mr. Law and Order Harper has declined to investigate them with any seriousness, and has taken no steps to prevent this from happening in the future.

This is doubly serious because Mr. Harper won only a minority vote. It is quite possible an investigation would show that he did not win enough seats to form a government.

He routinely puts the budget into an omnibus bill - which means a large number of bills, each requiring time for study and debate, are all lumped together into one bill. That, given time limits, means that measures are passed before we know what's in them, and before mps have time to read them and discuss them.

Repect for democracy and for the law has never been so low as it is Canada's government today. And it's Harper who has set the tone that is being followed by his MPs and senators. The Duffy mess was created by Harper.
The office of Governor-General was intended to put a check on people such as Harper. By law, for example, the Governor-General has to the power to refuse to sign an omnibus bill - and the right to refuse the appointment of a Duffy to the Senate. But that power has not been used since the 1920s.

Most scholars, I should think, accept the idea that the power has expired because its last use, in the 1920s, proved a failure, I'm not at all sure that's true. But we'll probably never find out because no Governor-General since the 1920 has had the courage or integrity to refuse to sign a bill. And the limp fish who currently holds that office is most unlikely to try it.

We pay a lot of money for an institution that has not value whatever.
Oh, good news for Canadians that did not appear in the TandT. There is an international board that cares for the environment of the Arctic. It's important because it's a very sensitive environment, highly vulnerable to the warming that is clearly happening up there - with effects that spread all over the earth. It also has oil; and any oil pollution in that region could have disastrous effects for all of us.

A new man will soon take his turn as chair of that international commission.

He is man who has long denied that any climate change is happening at all. More recently, he has allowed in might be happening - but he's sure we'll invent something in time to fix it all. He's a man who is a world leader in refusing to take steps to control climate change, a man who did much to destroy the only worldwide effort that might have helped. He is the man who is touring the world to convince it to buy the world's dirtiest and most polluting oil. He is the man who destroyed almost all legal protection of fesh water and salt water within his country's boundaries.  He is the man pushing for pipelines to carry that dirty oil, whatever the risk.

Ladies and gentleman, welcome the man who is to be the new guardian of the north, Mr. Stephen Harper.

O! Canada.....



  1. Brian Mulroney today has no reputation among thinking Canadians.

    Mulroney as a prime minister was a smug, selfish opportunist, and killed Canada's manufacturing industry when he signed NAFTA.

    The fallout of NAFTA today is severely affecting the ability of Canada's middle class to survive.

    Same as it is doing in the U.S., and has resigned millions of workers around the world to a life of factory slavery (slave wages) without health and safety standards, or environmental concerns.

    All on behalf of the banksters. (Place smiley face here)

    Harper today is worse.

    He should already be aware of the damage NAFTA has visited upon Canada.

    But, being a fascist through and through, and the not-so-informed-economist he is, Harper prefers to keep secret the particulars of the European and Chinese trade deals secret.

    Another treasonous-like action against Canadians.

  2. Richard Hughes advises in his blog Cowichan Conversations that.. "We are being governed by ‘thugs in suits’ and we are going downhill at an alarming rate".

    Per your description of your local MP, Robert Goguen, he is definitely wardrobe poor as he only has "one suit, one smirk, and two neckties".

    In other news there is hysterical media frenzy over the latest terror attack in London, with angry mobs of bloodthirsty screamers calling for a war of extermination of all muslims in online discussions, and one brave Canadian blogger, Karma waded into the Yahoo discussion with comments similar to those made on your blog, only to be trounced upon by a ravenous horde.

    I did comment in his defense as follows:

    Another party inviting Karma to leave - fortunately for Mary, Karma does not have to be removed from US soil, as he not only "sympathises" with another country, but holds citizenship in another country.

    There is nonetheless immense comedic value in some of Mary's exchanges, on subjects ranging from foreign wars to gays to immigration policy, against online rivals such as the sexually undetermined, perhaps gay male Harvester of Souls, whom Mary refers to as a female stripper and hooker, to Obama-friendly Roy, whom Mary refers to as a "Mexican hillbilly".

    Some of Mary's better contributions:

    "Europeans made this country great and well, you know what has happened since all the entitlement programs came to be....when the government has let in every uneducated person slither across this border.."
    "Some guy killed a gay on the street the other day and I almost thought that was kind of mean, but maybe not. ... Satan is using gay people to help bring along the moral destruction of souls. You just don't want to believe it because you want to do unnatural acts. Just admit it."
    "Muslims shouldn't be living in western countries.
    What if we went into communities and butchered their people?"
    "Israel is one of our few allies and in the last days the last great battle over good and evil is there. They win - I read the ending."