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PostPosted: Fri Nov 02, 2007 10:46 am
 


<strong>Written By:</strong> Rural
<strong>Date:</strong> 2007-11-02 10:46:28
<a href="/article/6243116-governments-anti-democratic-actions">Article Link</a>

This then is not about Conservative policies in regard to the direction they are taking us but more about the manner in which they are doing it. I have no real means of knowing if these methods are supported by the majority of Conservative MPs because few, if any have spoken out on the issue, I suspect that it is more a directive from the PMO with the knowledge and support of the few in cabinet and inner circle who have the ear of the PM. In order to illustrate my concerns for our democratic process I will list just some of the things that have come to my attention that show that this government has little regard for said system and is in fact knowingly destroying or subverting the normal checks and balances that customarily separate our system from that of an Oligarchy.

Here is my partial list of this governments anti democratic actions:-

1) Appointed Michael Fortier as Minister of Public Works rather that an elected MP.

2) Encouraged and enabled reelected Liberal Minister, David Emerson to cross the floor and move directly into a key position in the Conservative cabinet.

3) Refusal to talk with the press except in rare, highly controlled and predetermined, government dictated press conferences.

4) Dictating to elected MPs what they can and cannot say to the electorate and to the press. (All parties try and control the message to some extent but this one has gone way beyond the norm)

5) The summary removal from the party of any MPs who do speak out against a particular party policy. (Garth Turner, Bill Casey)

6) Dictating to the local party organizations who they can and cannot propose as their candidate for election. (as above, Mark Warner and others)

7) Actively disrupting the free and open debate of amendments in parliamentary committees by directing the appointed Conservative chairs to obstruct unfavourable comment and testimony.

8) Producing and distributing to said chairs a 200 plus page document to assist them in this disruption. (witness the committee debate on SPP)

9) Deciding to prorogue parliament rather than just the normal summer recess thus unnecessarily effectively killing any pieces of legislation already in progress.

10) Upon return dictating / threatening that ANY legislation proposed by the government shall be a matter of confidence and that NO opposition amendments will be considered.

11) The PMs threat to the Senate that there would be “consequences” if they stalled his big crime bill., (before it has even been voted upon by the MPs). He has also said several times that abolishing the Senate would be an option if it cannot be reformed.

12) Your choice, the list expands with each day this government feels it has “The Right to Govern” without regard to democratic process.


If anyone can explain how any of these things enhance our democracy or increase the “openness and accountability” of our government as promised during the 2006 campaign I would really like to hear the explanation! Please feel free to add to the list if you have a particular concern about the workings of parliament no matter which party (or individual) is subverting our democratic process.

(This article is an original piece by “rural” and may be distributed in whole or in part for the purpose of highlighting the necessity of parliamentary reform and increased vigilance upon our political parties and their leaders. He is a Canadian citizen who believes we must actively protect our country, our sovereignty and our democratic process from those who would steal it from us, whether by public apathy, stealth, purchase or outright manipulation. He is not associated with any political party.)



When you are up to your ass in alligators it is difficult to remember that the initial objective was to drain the swamp


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 02, 2007 10:50 am
 


Further to item 6 see <a href="http://www.garth.ca/weblog/2007/11/02/disgusted/">http://www.garth.ca/weblog/2007/11/02/disgusted/</a><br />
And <a href="http://toronto.ctv.ca/servlet/an/local/CTVNews/20071101/tory_candidate_dumped_071101/20071101?hub=TorontoHome">http://toronto.ctv.ca/servlet/an/local/CTVNews/20071101/tory_candidate_dumped_071101/20071101?hub=TorontoHome</a><br />
<br />
<p>---<br>When you are up to your ass in alligators it is difficult to remember that the initial objective was to drain the swamp



When you are up to your ass in alligators it is difficult to remember that the initial objective was to drain the swamp


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 02, 2007 11:53 am
 


“If anyone can explain how any of these things enhance our democracy or increase the “openness and accountability” of our government as promised during the 2006 campaign I would really like to hear the explanation! Please feel free to add to the list if you have a particular concern about the workings of parliament no matter which party (or individual) is subverting our democratic process.

(This article is an original piece by “rural” and may be distributed in whole or in part for the purpose of highlighting the necessity of parliamentary reform and increased vigilance upon our political parties and their leaders. He is a Canadian citizen who believes we must actively protect our country, our sovereignty and our democratic process from those who would steal it from us, whether by public apathy, stealth, purchase or outright manipulation. He is not associated with any political party.)”


While I can not, and will not even attempt to explain the unexplainable. I do have some thoughts on the approach that might be taken by the citizenry,
as the very foundations of a civil society is based from the power of the citizen transferred to their elected representatives.

In order for a fair and equitable democracy to take hold and actually work power must be taken away from the existing system and replaced with one of integrity
More later if the readers here so indicate or I merely feel the need to comment
Dio

ps
rather than focusing on what is wrong foucus on what is right
(thank CWC for that bit of unasalable wisdom)

---
"When I tell the truth, it is not for the sake of convincing those who do not know it, but for the sake of defending those that do."

William Blake



"When I tell the truth, it is not for the sake of convincing those who do not know it, but for the sake of defending those that do."

William Blake

"To acquire knowledge, one must study;
but to acquire wisdom, one must observe."


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 02, 2007 11:59 am
 


It appears that we are coming to the same conclusion. The difference is that I suspected long before the Conservatives under Harper came to power that democracy as we know it is something quite different from the new Conservative concept of democracy.

My concern about Harper goes back to an interview with him published January 6, 2002. In that interview published on line by the Alberta Report a question was asked about the term "grassroots." To that question he responded:

"That term has been abused. I've never believed that grassroots means anarchy. There are people who use the term to violate any conceivable decision-making process, and the people that do that aren't very democratic in the way they run their own corner of the world."

This does not seem to be unreasonable but it is what he said in continuing that raised a flag with me:

"I think there's two specific issues here. Among the volunteers, the tens of thousands of people who work for the party and contribute to it, they have a FAIR (emphasis added) degree of freedom of speech and action--they're volunteers. But for the professional wing of the party, people in high and elected senior positions, I don't think they can fall back on the term grassroots. They're expected to act as a disciplined, professional, hierarchical organization."

This concept of party is extremely rigid. For the elected and senior members the "One Conservative Voice," which was Harper's campaign motto, destroys any freedom of speech and action. Even the freedom of speech and action of the general membership is subject to controls.

You cannot have a democracy without freedom of speech and action whether in national or party politics.

That is why so many former Conservatives are not comfortable within the new Conservative Party. The Progressive Conservative Party often tore itself apart over differences of opinion but that was far preferable, in my opinion, to what the new Conservative Party demands of its members.

Harper is determined to impose his ideology on the country. Because so few would agree with the direction he really wants to take the country he has to thwart democracy in every conceivable way by eliminating internal debate and manipulating the national discourse.

So far he has been fairly successful but the attempts to maintain a totally disciplined, hierarchical party through intimidation may be difficult to maintain over the long term.


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 02, 2007 11:59 am
 


What a load! The funniest part is the idea that parliamentary democracy is about " Reasonable Debate " since when. As to not sucking up to the media it is one of the most endearing qualites of the PMO in that he doesn't prostitute himself out like a lot of politicians and if you need to be informed of the day to day speeches and actions the cons have even posted all of them on a web site which is one of the most open things I have seen in ages see <a href="http://news.gc.ca/web/view/en/index.jsp">http://news.gc.ca/web/view/en/index.jsp</a><br />
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 02, 2007 12:07 pm
 


fairly successful - hardly. I have a sneaking suspicion he will go down in history as very successful one and all the while in a minority government. The thing here is that it all depends on your mindset. If you believe that human nature is grand and politics should be a civil discourse based upon high ideals and that government is good - then you will always end up being disappointed. Human nature is human nature good, bad and otherwise and if a group decide to choose leaders they will reflect the group good, bad and otherwise. There is no such thing as good or bad governments only effective ones and then the rest


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 02, 2007 1:37 pm
 


it is reasonable to agree with ‘clone and suspicion that sneaks as it it may be in character.

“If you believe that human nature is grand and politics should be a civil discourse based upon high ideals and that government is good - then you will always end up being disappointed.”
While when considering the obverse of ‘clone’s assertion: integrity knows no bounds. It is quite reasonable.

“There is no such thing as good or bad governments only effective ones and then the rest”
And here the mindset of ‘clone is exposed



---
"When I tell the truth, it is not for the sake of convincing those who do not know it, but for the sake of defending those that do."

William Blake



"When I tell the truth, it is not for the sake of convincing those who do not know it, but for the sake of defending those that do."

William Blake

"To acquire knowledge, one must study;
but to acquire wisdom, one must observe."


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 02, 2007 1:46 pm
 


You obviously like the kind of politics practiced by Stephen Harper.

There are other forms of politics. I belong to the riding association of a political party. We do discuss the issues, generally we can come to a consensus, when we cannot, we vote and accept the majority will. No one tries to intimidate others into following their position.

That kind of civil environment disappeared in the PC Party during the merger campaign. The promoters of the merger controlled the membership lists and all the party finances so democracy was replaced by autocracy. The party constitution was set aside. They even apparently supplied lists of PC members to the Canadian Alliance leaders with telephone numbers and e-mail addresses prior to the merger.

Whether you like it or not there is a far better way than autocratic control and intimidation in order to achieve political power.

There is no doubt that Stephen Harper and new Conservatives have decided how their party and this country will be run. That does not mean that there are no other options and that we should not strive to do better to achieve real democratic government rather than autocratic rule.


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 02, 2007 2:24 pm
 


to 'clone

Critical reason’s task is to peer through the cultural web in which we are enmeshed to perceive clearly the reality that actually exists, including the man-made reality of the social order, whose terms give our lives meaning. We have to question our culturally created assumptions to clear away attitudinizing or propaganda or superstitious prejudice.
not "my words" and I concur

---
"When I tell the truth, it is not for the sake of convincing those who do not know it, but for the sake of defending those that do."

William Blake



"When I tell the truth, it is not for the sake of convincing those who do not know it, but for the sake of defending those that do."

William Blake

"To acquire knowledge, one must study;
but to acquire wisdom, one must observe."


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 02, 2007 2:28 pm
 


Innes - you and I share something in common I too am a member of and give as much support as I can to a political party = and here is something you will not believe - I am (or maybe used to be) a Liberal Federally and NDP Provincially (typical british columbian) however I will get to the point - I agree with lofty ideals and principles like integrity and such however at the end of the day if you wish to change the way things are done you have to achieve power ... it is an old story ... let us examine lofty ideals and principles like say Dion's ... well maybe I should not use him as an example. I admire him and respect his contributions and wish as hard as I can that he could develop better leadership skills but alas ... And while I am on subject it was mentioned in a earlier post that my mindset was revealed - LMAO - yes indeed I am a relativist for I tend to think that principles and such are abstract concepts and what is more important is not what you belive but what your actions are concerning that belief. And to finish yes I do admire the way Harper is leading it sort of reminds me of Trudeau but without the need to suck up to the press every opportunity that presents itself.


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 02, 2007 10:00 pm
 


From Mulroney to Chretien to Martin to Harper, we`ve been undemocratic for quite some time now. Things like NAFTA and SPP created without input from the Canadian people, behind closed doors. These despots can`t even face protesters- they have to put up barriers kilometres away! They prevent the Council of Canadians from renting a hall near the Montebello summit! I mean, if its all legit, why go and hide in such sleazy fashion? Tax cuts for the rich and the corporations means less revenue for public health care and education. Loss of good paying jobs resulting in more poverty and working poor. Holding the coattails of the USA and repeating the mantras of fascist Bush and co!I could go on and on, but I`ll top it off by saying that surely, their last deed is to loot the country! Nope, our government for a long time has not cared about this country! So sad! Just continue to aid and abett the consolidation of banker-corporate power and tyranny!

---
Dave Ruston



Dave Ruston


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 02, 2007 10:34 pm
 


<blockquote> There is no such thing as good or bad governments only effective ones and then the rest </blockquote>Ol' Joe Stalin was effective. What's yer point? <p>---<br>"When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change." <br />
-Max Planck<br />
<br />



You're just jealous because the voices only talk to me


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 03, 2007 6:08 am
 


“And to finish yes I do admire the way Harper is leading it sort of reminds me of Trudeau but without the need to suck up to the press every opportunity that presents itself.”

Well thank you for your opinion, coming from someone who considers a government (look what we did) press release web site a balanced and reliable source of news I am truly impressed with your views. Unfortunately they seem to have missed the announcement where they proudly published their guide to being a chair of a parliamentary committee, as well as their guide to candidates on how to spout the party line (and thus remain a candidate)! As you think so little of the ability to debate issues within out parliamentary system you would not really miss that announcement!
Traditionally, there are checks and balances in place to restrict the government of the day becoming dictatorial between elections. The press (even the partisan press) is one of those checks but we seem to be moving more and more towards an Oligarchy even to the point where the elite few are now selecting our candidates for possible election. This is in my view a dangerous move away from demoracacy.

Just for clarification:-

“Oligarchy”
-Oligarchy is a form of government where political power effectively rests with a small, elite segment of society
-A society or social system ruled by a few people. As societies or organizations become large it is thought that political power becomes concentrated in the hand of a few individuals
-From the Greek for 'rule of the few', this is a form of government in which power is centralised in the hands of an organised elite
-a political system governed by a few people

Careful what you wish for………….


---
When you are up to your ass in alligators it is difficult to remember that the initial objective was to drain the swamp



When you are up to your ass in alligators it is difficult to remember that the initial objective was to drain the swamp


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 03, 2007 6:47 am
 


I can understand why someone would see Harper as similar to Trudeau in how he handles the press. It is an effective partisan political strategy because what it does is actually manipulate the press into providing much more positive spin than is deserved.

By outwardly "snubbing" the press it makes reporters and journalists cater to you in order to become your conduit to the public. Just as Trudeau quickly came to "own" the media by snubbing them, Harper is doing the same thing and now virtually owns networks like CTV.

It works because it plays to the baser instincts of owners, reporters, and pundits. There are only a handful left who are actually unbiased in their reporting.

The question is whether it is a positive response to focus on political strategies, which are often focused on deception, or on the substance of what a political party really stands for.

I don't believe that "the means" should be corrupted in order to achieve the "ends." I know that is not a popular position in partisan politics.


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 03, 2007 7:15 am
 


"I don't believe that "the means" should be corrupted in order to achieve the "ends." I know that is not a popular position in partisan politics."

Exactly!




---
When you are up to your ass in alligators it is difficult to remember that the initial objective was to drain the swamp



When you are up to your ass in alligators it is difficult to remember that the initial objective was to drain the swamp


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