Thursday, December 15, 2011

Stephen Harper and Our Broken Parliament

I see that Parliament has adjourned with the Cons gnashing their teeth flapping their wings over what Justin Trudeau said yesterday.

“Bullshit!” he cried, his fury dramatically framed by flowing locks and sharply drawn facial hair.

“You piece of shit!” he added in Mr. Kent’s general direction.

But I thought Justin was quite restrained considering the circumstances. If I was him I would have added this...

Because Peter Kent deserves every stinky word aimed in his general direction. And if we're talking about contempt of Parliament, I thought this was definitely worse: 
“Mr. Speaker,” claimed Mr. Van Loan, “our government is always performing in an open and accountable fashion.”

Emerging as it did from the speaking orifice of the ghastly little Con who has truly debased our democracy.

No mumbling the normal apologies about “overzealous workers, blah, blah, blah, won’t happen again, etc.” Instead, Canadians were told that this kind of grime should be considered vital free speech – and must be protected, not prevented, by our laws. Efforts to rein it in would have worse consequences than letting it continue. This was the sound of a politician who had left home without an ethical or moral compass that morning.

Like all the other Cons in Lord Harper's sinister regime, who are making a mockery out of our broken Parliament.

But having said that, the question for me is, what are we going to do about it? Are we truly prepared to spend the next four years looking on helplessly as our country burns, gnashing our teeth or biting our tongues?

I don't think so. I can't think of anything more pointless and demoralizing. I think both opposition parties have done what they can to stand up to the Cons in Parliament. But in a Parliament so broken it just isn't enough, and it will never be enough, for the Harper regime will never change.

The opposition parties need to do more than just play old politics. They need to take a page from the Occupy movement, mobilize progressive Canadians, and organize new forms of creative democratic protest.

It could be rallies and marches, YouTube campaigns, or whatever. Because anything is better than nothing. We should be outraged.

We Canadians need to learn to be outraged by the outrageous. We need to learn that democracy is now a full contact sport that requires us to repeatedly raise our voices in order to be heard, and not to wait for our turn to quietly mark an X on a ballot once every four years.

And the more we organize, the more we protest, the more we will expose the crimes of the Cons, the more we will force them on the defensive, and the more we will set the stage for defeating them in the next election.

Am I wrong? Are these not the most important questions facing progressives? Are we the REAL majority? Is our country not in terrible trouble? Should we just sit on our asses and bite our tongues?

Or should we do all we can to save it ? 


  1. Anonymous11:43 PM

    It is this type of crap that has kept me from voting at all in the past 2-3 elections.

  2. Anonymous2:35 PM

    It's our current government that makes it even more important than ever to vote in federal elections. Try to vote them out (or at least hold them to a minority) rather than not doing anything and passively allowing them to continue.
    Every vote counts!!!

  3. Anonymous7:26 PM

    I try not to be cynical. I'm wary of simply rewarding someone else and ushering in a new government that in all likelihood will just ignore the electorate all over again. The last election saw the winning candidate here win with more than 4 times the number of votes as the 2nd and 3rd place finishers combined. My vote really wouldn't have made any difference under our current system.

  4. Rev Effect9:58 AM

    To be fair, I can see where WWU is coming from.

    The riding where I live is odd in that in the federal election it overwhelmingly voted Con, while at the recent provincial election it was a Liberal landslide. Neither of those parties are who I vote for, nor do I feel they represent me. I still manage to vote though, maybe it's out of a sense of duty to support my "team" or maybe it's just guilt, but like in WWU's case, I know I'm not making any difference and I'd be lying if I said it wasn't demoralizing.

    I once heard someone say that you're not truly home until you find yourself in a place where you're surrounded by like-minded people.

  5. hi Way Way Up...I understand your reaction, many of my friends feel the same way. But as I tell them, if you don't vote you are just allowing others to determine your destiny. Democracy is our most precious value, and although our system is flawed, it's only as good as we want to make it...

  6. hi anonymous...I agree with you completely. Polls show that many Canadians under 40 don't bother to vote, and that means that older Canadians who favour the Cons, are over represented and allows Harper to get a majority with 39% of the vote.And whatever party people support, in the long run that's bad for our democracy, and bad for our country...

  7. hi Rev I said above I also understand how WWU feels, but if we allowed that feeling to spread we'd all be in real trouble. I personally favour a system of proportional representation, which would better reflect the views of all Canadians. I know people say it would result in more parties, and could prevent any one of them from achieving a majority. But the way I see it it would encourage coalitions and compromise, and I can't think of anything more Canadian...

  8. Anonymous1:48 PM

    Yeah..I overhaul of our current system to one of proportional representation would be the best (& fairest) for all involved (think event the Brits-who we inherited our current system from-are doing it?)
    However, since our current system favours the Cons-I really can't see anything changing while they are still in power...