Saturday, June 07, 2014

Stephen Harper's Monstrous Abuse of Power

In two weeks time Parliament is expected to adjourn for the summer. But before it does it will have made this ghastly Harperland an even more sinister place.

For never has this country seen such a collection of reactionary bills. 

And as Andrew Coyne points out, never has there been such an abuse of power.

Time was when we had to wait weeks, even months for each new abuse of power by the Harper government. Now they arrive by the day, sometimes two and three at a time.

A prostitution bill that would endanger the lives of sex workers, and is designed to be used as a weapon in the next federal election.

Not content with leaving the impugned provisions, but for a few cosmetic changes, essentially intact, the government imposed new restrictions, for example banning prostitutes from advertising: not just in violation of the Constitution, it would seem, but in defiance of it. The bill is written as if calculated to provoke another confrontation with the court, ideally in time for the next election.

A so-called cyber-bullying bill which would give the government and the police the powers to spy on us with impunity.

Tacked onto the bill is a number of unrelated measures — among others, one that would make it easier for police and other authorities to obtain customers’ personal data from Internet and telephone providers, without a warrant — easier that is, than it already is, which is plenty.

A digital privacy bill which would allow organizations to share their customer information without a warrant with ANYONE not just the police. Coupled with a new privacy commissioner who is part of the problem.

Of all the people the government might have picked to replace the outgoing commissioner, it chose a top lawyer in the Department of Justice, known for his work on security and public safety issues: exactly the sort of person the privacy commissioner is supposed to keep tabs on.

Bill C-31 that would allow Revenue Canada to handover taxpayer information to police without a warrant or a court order. 

Bill C-24 that would would allow the government to banish and exile its own citizens.

Along with an order that would turn every government department into a spying agency. 

And all of those reactionary bills and orders being issued or passed in rapid succession, like the dictates of some military junta, are just the latest examples of Stephen Harper's total contempt for democracy, and his depraved lust for power...

Several themes run throughout these: a contempt for civil liberties, for due process, for established convention, for consultation, for openness, replaced throughout by a culture of secrecy, control, expedience and partisan advantage. Worse, there is virtually nothing anyone can do about it. All governments have displayed some of these traits. If this government has pushed things rather further, it is because it can: because we have so centralized power in the Prime Minister’s Office, with so few constraints or countervailing powers.

And the good news? His appalling lack of judgment hasn't worked out as he might have hoped.

It is a kind of tribute to the prime minister that so many of his appointees have proved so disruptive of his designs: the Senators who have defied the whip, the Supreme Court judges who have ruled against his legislation; the auditor general and the parliamentary budget officer and the chief electoral officer, whom his people have done their best to smear and demean.

And his contempt for democracy will come back to haunt him in the next election.

Because now it should be clear to most Canadians that Stephen Harper is the problem. A growing cancer in the heart of our democracy.

A threat to our civil liberties, the worst Prime Minister this country has ever seen.

And that none of us will be safe until the day he is defeated...

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  1. Anonymous9:49 PM

    "It can't happen here" by Sinclair Lewis; "They thought they were free" by Milton Mayer

    1. hi anon....yes, that is the story of the Harper years. You know for years I had to endure the condescension of those who thought I was paranoid, when I warned that if Harper got a majority it would be an absolute nightmare. When in fact I have a scientific mind, I studied Harper's background extensively, so I did know what I was talking about, although I admit that things have turned out worse than I imagined.
      But at least it's a really great Canadian story. In a young country with an aging population, in a big country with little people, their greed blinded them, and they didn't recognize the monster, until he consumed them...

  2. e.a.f.5:07 AM

    Harper and his herd must be mentally ill or just plain stupid. They want a law which deems it illegal to advertise sex for sale. Oh, that's going to work really well. In B.C. there aren't enough judges, courts, etc. so on more than several occasions people who have been charged with very serious crimes got a " go free" card, no trial, didn't happen soon enough. Now into that mess they want to start charging and trying people who advertise sex for sale. Don't these harperits know the courts are already clogged.

    With all these new crimes Harper and the herd are planning, where are the cops, judges, juries, jails coming from to take care of all this new business. The country doesn't have enough money to pay for Veterans services--they closed 9 Veterans Affairs offices; they say they don't have money to "investigate" the disappearance/murder of 1,200 aboriginal women; they don't have enough money to provide basic services on First Nations reservations; they don't have enough money to pay provinces what they ought to for medical services. Now harepar and the herd are going to have money to "listen in" on everybody and arrest everyone who advertises sex for sale. Harper and his herd would make the old Stasi proud, when it comes to spying on its citizens. And Harper has the nerve to criticise Putin.

    1. hi e.a.f...the prostitution law is just an attempt to please their rabid base, and sock it to the Supreme Court again. They know the issue won't be resolved until way after the next election, so they figure they have nothing to lose and everything to win. They think that way about everything, even if it makes no sense, even if it kills people....

  3. Anonymous6:25 PM

    Simon, please cover the story where harper tells globalnews that Obama would not be meeting with putin and does. It shows what a light weight irrelevant POS harper is to other world leaders. What an embarrassment he is.

    1. hi anon...I did mention that story in my last post. And it did make me laugh, and wince at the same time. If only Canadians were less provincial and realized what that freak is doing to our image abroad. Fifty years gone down the drain, and another twenty to repair...