|Electile dysfunction 2008
Voters can end the tyranny of the minority
September 20, 2008
What if the government threw an election and nobody came? Given Stephen Harper’s recent act of hubris, I wouldn’t blame people for voting with their butts—firmly wedged in the couch, that is.
Harper has said he likely won’t do any better than form yet another minority government, and there’s no issue on which the public has to be consulted. (There have been plenty of times when the public should have been consulted, though, but more on that another time).
This election is a $350 million waste of the public’s time and money. If history is any guide—as I hope it is—Harper will end up like John the Baptist. The history in question took place in Ontario in mid-1990. Liberal Premier David Peterson had managed to weather a couple of scandals and found his party still highly popular. Therefore, less than three years into his term he decided to take advantage of his good fortune by calling a snap election.
Since there was no defining issue, Ontario voters rightly viewed the election as an act of pure arrogance, and on Sept. 5 they took their anger out on Peterson. The Liberals fell from 95 to 36 seats, while the NDP won a record 74, forming a majority and defeating many cabinet ministers in the process.
The moral to this prologue is that Harper’s petty tyranny can be overthrown if the national voting public can vent its anger at the ballot box effectively. Harper should not be running our government; he should be running the laundry at a maximum security prison for the terminally treasonous.
Therefore, I argue that voters have to put aside partisan loyalties to vote out the Harper government by choosing the best opposition candidate in each riding. This negative “strategic voting” understandably bothers many people, but since Harper is such a threat to our civil liberties and national sovereignty voting against him is more important than voting for someone else, and this election proves it.
According to Harper, Parliament had to be dissolved because it had become “dysfunctional.” When translated from Harperspeak, that means “insubordinate.” How dare Members of Parliament challenge his government’s policy! How dare they demand the government be accountable! For a micromanaging tyrant unclear on the concept of democratic debate, Harper’s frustration with MPs acting in the name of the public good is understandable.
Unfortunately, a simple translation cannot convey the whole, sordid chicanery behind Harper’s use of “dysfunctional.” Harper would have Canadians believe that Parliament is weak and divided, and that it can only be made strong if Canadians elect a Harper-led majority government.
There are two basic problems with this argument. First, the Bloc Québécois controls 51 of Quebec’s 75 seats, virtually assuring that no party could form a national majority. Second, if Parliament were “dysfunctional,” as we are meant to believe, Harper’s minority would have crumbled long ago. So, it leaves us to wonder when, exactly, the “dysfunctionality” of Parliament revealed itself to Harper.
• When the Liberals refused to vote down his budget?
• When the Liberals refused to force an election after Harper changed Canada’s mission in Afghanistan to one of combat support for Isramerican bloodlust?
• When NDP leader Jack Layton agreed to work with Harper on fast-track approval of the Orwellian-sounding Federal Accountability Act?
“No” to all of the above. Not even Harper’s attempt to bargain away Canada’s political and economic independence in a continentalist union generated enough anger to force an election. If anything, Harper has been blessed by collaborationists. So, what’s behind this talk of “dysfunction?”—a lot of disinformation.
You see, Parliament isn’t dysfunctional, so Harper had to make it dysfunctional. We know this because he issued a 200-page “dirty tricks” manual to his committee chairmen to instruct them how to sabotage Parliament so that Harper could have an excuse to try for a majority before the collapsing U.S. banking system and other economic factors started to have an effect up here, to say nothing of the effects of Canada’s self-defeating military policy.
We know about the manual because it found its way into the hands of Calgary Herald columnist Don Martin. He said the juicy bits are contained in a 30-page slide show portion, but he has not made this or any part of the document public because, he said, the margin notes would give away the name of the committee chairman who gave it to him.
Still, that doesn’t explain why Martin hasn’t made an effort to report its contents for the sake of national security. If the public knew that Harper willfully sabotaged the national legislature for personal political gain, there might actually develop a movement to have him charged with treason.
Harper’s attacks on the Canadian popular will also extend to the electoral level. On Oct. 31, the CBC reported that Harper suddenly dropped two previously accepted candidates to run for the party in Ontario. One of these candidates was Mark Warner, a 43-year-old international trade lawyer set to run in the high-profile riding of Toronto-Centre. It seems he committed the crime of speaking out on issues like education, affordable housing and HIV/AIDS.
“I felt there was a lot of micromanagement … and I don't think it was legitimate,” he told the CBC. “I was going off-message.”
Much worse, though, was Warner’s congenial relationship with the media: “I was told that when a reporter comes up…you say ‘no comment,’” he said. “I am offended by it; I think it’s important to use the modern means of communication to reach people.”
Warner must have forgotten how Harper went out of his way to insult, belittle and ignore the Parliamentary press corps, and became visibly frustrated when he was denied the right to cherry pick questions from right-wing reporters.
He must also have forgotten what happened to then-foreign minister Peter McKay when he went “off message” to say that Canada would maintain some level of aid to the government of Palestine, despite the fact that Harper had, months earlier, made a pact with The Lobby to punish the Palestinians if they voted the wrong way.
Harper doesn’t give a rat’s ass about what Canadian voters think; he just expects them to rubber-stamp his autocracy.
Strange as it may seem, many Canadians might still vote for Harper out of the misguided notion that he’s a Conservative, but he has as much in common with Canadian Conservatism as Paris Hilton has with acting.
Lamentably, neither of the other major national parties deserves to govern, which should make strategic voting seem less painful. Liberal leader Stéphane Dion is intelligent and rational, and would doubtless make a much better prime minister than Harper, but then who wouldn’t?
His revenue-neutral carbon tax proposal to deal with global warming deserves serious consideration, which is doubtless why it is being slimed in Harper’s attack ads. A Dion-led government would also put an end to Harper’s Bible-based buffoonery and neo-con political obstructionism.
Dion’s liability is that he is bland and diffident, and beset by internal dissension from zionists, who have thoroughly colonized the party. Remember the Liberal Parliamentarians for Israel clique, led by Israel’s main man Irwin Cotler, which hijacked foreign policy during Paul Martin’s short-lived government to turn Canada into an apologist for Israeli terrorism?
On balance, the Liberals amount to Harper-lite: subservient to The Lobby, but with a social conscience and a preference for rational government over obscurantism.
New Democratic Party leader Jack Layton is the best of the three because he is the most concerned about the welfare of Canadians, and the most resistent to U.S. imperial adventurism. The problem with Layton is that his party will never win enough seats to form a government.
A big problem is the party’s penchant for moral grandstanding and an unwillingness to evolve. The old labour-management dichotomy is passé, and the party lacks the sophistication and political judgment needed to govern.
Layton opposed Harper’s proposal to withdraw from Afghanistan by 2009 because he wanted an immediate withdrawal. With 2009 is just months away and Harper is now talking about 2011. Also, Layton bears a lot of responsibility for Harper’s imperial stupidity, because he brought down the, admittedly corrupt, Martin Liberals at the most favourable time for Harper.
Finally, a vote for the NDP is not necessarily a vote for Canada, since The Lobby has its hooks in this party as well. Manitoba MPs Pat Martin and Judy Wasylycia-Leis, for example, are zionists who openly support the Jewish National Fund, which has been condemned as racist by Israeli politicians.
The party also disgraced itself by flip-flip-flopping on its support for the UN conference on racism. The party first supported Harper’s refusal to attend, then changed position, then changed back because the date of the conference was unfair to religious Jews.
If the NDP ever expects to be more than a third-place protest party it has to reconstitute itself as the National Party of Canada to appeal to a wider electorate, and purge itself of zionist stooges.
None of these parties really deserves to govern, but one of them certainly doesn’t deserve to govern. Voting for the non-zionist Liberal, NDP or Green candidate that has the best chance of defeating a Harperite should be the task of every voter who cares about this country.
Electile dysfunction 2008—Layton can’t grasp reality of ‘un-election’
To learn how to vote strategically visit: www.voteforenvironment.ca
See also The Georgia Straight's strategic picks for Greater Vancouver