Thursday, February 19, 2015
Ralph Nader to Stephen Harper: What's Happening to Canada?
In the monstrous darkness of Harperland, and when I read a poll like this one.
There’s rarely been a bill before Parliament that was more popular. The public Conservatives’ new anti-terror legislation is filling a public demand for tough new measures aimed at a terrorism threat that Canadians believe is serious, and close to home, according to a new poll.
More than four in five Canadians – 82 per cent – back the new legislation to expand the powers of intelligence agencies and police, according to the survey of 1,509 Canadians conducted by the Angus Reid Institute. Far from seeing it as too sweeping, they tend to want more: 36 per cent say it does not go far enough.
I wonder what's happening to my country. And how so many could surrender their freedoms so easily.
So I'm glad to see that a person like Ralph Nader is asking the same question in this open letter to Stephen Harper.
Many Americans love Canada and the specific benefits that have come to our country from our northern neighbor’s many achievements (see Canada Firsts by Nader, Conacher and Milleron). Unfortunately, your latest proposed legislation—the new anti-terrorism act—is being described by leading Canadian civil liberties scholars as hazardous to Canadian democracy.
Because of course he's right, Stephen Harper is our Dick Cheney.
Particularly noticeable in your announcement were your exaggerated expressions that exceed the paranoia of Washington’s chief attack dog, former vice-president Dick Cheney. Mr. Cheney periodically surfaces to update his pathological war mongering oblivious to facts—past and present—including his criminal war of aggression which devastated Iraq—a country that never threatened the U.S.
And our George Bush.
You are quoted as saying that “jihadi terrorism is one of the most dangerous enemies our world has ever faced” as a predicate for your gross over-reaction that “violent jihadism seeks to destroy” Canadian “rights.” Really? Pray tell, which rights rooted in Canadian law are “jihadis” fighting in the Middle East to obliterate? You talk like George W. Bush.
And he is leading us to a very dark place...
If passed, this act, piled on already stringent legal authority, will expand your national security bureaucracies and their jurisdictional disputes, further encourage dragnet snooping and roundups, fuel fear and suspicion among law-abiding Canadians, stifle free speech and civic action and drain billions of dollars from being used for the necessities of Canadian society.
But as that poll suggests, fear can make even normally sensible people lose their heads, and Stephen Harper does have that going for him.
And if we are going to defeat him we are going to have to fight him harder and smarter than we ever have before.
And the good news? There is still plenty of time for that fear to fade before the next election. As it always does.
Other issues like the economy will take its place, the desire for change can still trump all others.
And I'm still confident that we can defeat the Cons and their monstrous leader, and get our Canada back...
But right now we must deal with the new and brutal reality of these scary times.
We are in terrible danger.
And there is nothing we must fear more than fear itself...
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My Canada, my Home and native land, is slipping away from me before I ever had the chance to truly enjoy it. I was only 11 when Harper came to power I knew nothing of politics then but now as man of 20 years, I feel nothing but pure unadulterated rage a what I was cheated of. In High School I found my political beliefs as Socialist and Hard Atheist and seeing what the right-wing, the ultra-rich and, the Religious have do around the world. I have only grown more angry and more extreme (drifting further left) in my socialist beliefs. Living in the Capital, I grew up taking trips downtown to the Parliament Hill Looking up at the proud, strong spire that was the Peace Tower crowned by the fluttering Maple leaf,I would crane my head up and look at it was so peace full and majestic, a red and white wave dancing amidst a sea of blue. It pains me to look at it now. The flag still flies as it did then and the Peace Tower Stand as tall as it did but something is different as they know what is happening around it, And Ottawa seems more oppressive and gloomy to me. But these only fuel the fire that burns in me. I want to See The Flag fly as proud as it when I was child. I want my Canada Back, and I will take it back!
As Pogo said " We have met the enemy and he is us. "
Loud and proud! We are not shrieking cowards! Our rights are more important than stephen harper's fears!
I just went to the Angus Reid site to read the questions and methods.
The preamble is a classic " push " and is there to get the answer the reformacons want. It is generally agreed that wording and using a question in this way can swing any poll up to 15 % ( did you notice the two weasel words ? I remember Stats 100 ).
The questions were put to the preregistered Angus Reid panel . This is anything but random selection and gives the same sort of answer as an internet polls on a far right or far left site that often get 95% agreement due to confirmation bias.
My take is that this poll has a margin of +- 30% 19 times out of twenty.
If this poll is correct Every conservative plus every liberal plus every Bloqist plus every independent is scared shitless and only the NDP and Greens oppose the bill. Hardly likely.
You accused me of partisanship, okay, I'll wear that, but you neglect to mention in this blog that your man Justin supports this bill...why is that, Simon?
Simon: We should not add to the confusion that the general public already has in regard to polls.
First and foremost, as I have previously suggested here, the methodology that a poll uses is very important. Believable polls are truly randomized polls that at least attempt to use a probability based approach (i.e. random sampling) to gauge the true public response to an issue. This Angus Reid (AR) poll that claimed 82% support of Harper's Bill C-51 was not one of the truly randomized polls.
If you check the methodology, you will clearly see that AR used an online, pre-selected panel of 1509 (I think)respondents. Their claim that they had selected randomly from their panel does not make it into a truly randomized poll. At best, it only means that they managed to get a truly representative response from their panels. However, the more important question is whether their panel is a true reflection of the population at large. And the answer to the latter question is it almost certainly was not because the recruitment of the panel members was almost certainly not done randomly. Therefore, non truly randomized polls like this should be taken with a very large grain of the proverbial salt. They are what is known as "focus group" polls, usually legitimately used to quickly gauge the feelings of a target audience (e.g. young adults 20-25 yrs old; or smokers versus non smokers, etc.).
In short, these type of non probability based polls are not really suitable for gauging the response of the public at large unless they can guarantee that the composition of their panel members truly represent the Canadian public at large. And no amount of statistical "corrections" will ever make a non randomized group into a truly randomized group.
A last word. Recall that the confusing polls in the last Ontario election that had wrongly claimed that Hudak was going to win big (Ipsos Reid) or that the Cons and Libs were tied (Abacus, Angus Reid) all used the pre selected online panel methodology. In contrast, the three polls (EKOS, Forum, and one Nanos poll) that correctly predicted that the Libs were going to win did not use pre selected panel polling. They actually either called the respondents by phone or contacted them by IVR (interactive voice response). The latter types of polling have their own issues but at least if they are done correctly they have the potential to correctly gauge the true public response. The proof was in the pudding: EKOS, Forum and Nanos correctly called the Libs win in the last election.
Hope this helps to encourage a critical evaluation of the myriad of polls that unfortunately our MSM seem to report uncritically, most likely because they do not have people who are qualified to know the difference. The alternative would be that some in the MSM are for reasons best known to themselves helping to promote dubious polls.
Thanks Simon for posting this and I thank Ralph Nader for writing his open letter.
All Canadians need to read that letter especially the part about "...Billions being sucked out of economy..." so good luck with getting federal aid all you will get is a constant repeat of the Toronto G-20 Summit. Bullied and beat up by cops.
We are hooped if Justin and Steve pass this bill C-51 prior to the election. The reason being if you are a dissenter and attend a political rally you will held in jail untill after the election quite possibly 10,000 of thousand of citizens. This is Harper's game plan.
Wake up Canadians we do not need to spend billions on giving the government more powers to spy on us.
Keep hammering away Simon!
Nader really nails it with this succinct letter. This really should be obvious to any one paying attention - however too many Canadians have been terrorized by The HarperCon propaganda and have been deciieved to support his shadowed agenda.
Again Harper has seized another opportunity (with fear) to continue his trampling of democracy all to further his power and his corporate sponsors with ill-gotten profits. All at great cost to Canada's future.
On the terror sponsored bill, Mulcair may currently be going against the manic tide but he is bravely speaking against the clouded fear Harper gleefully spews. The real truth is out there - I hope with continued reflection more Canadians will see it and in time and take action.
Harper is the worst terrorist Canada has ever had. Harper lied when he said, he was requested for military help by the US. The US said, they did no such thing. Harper was an abysmal failure in Wales and was pretty much ignored. Harper pushed his way into this war with ISIS, to try and redeem himself. Harper is a pariah that no-one wants. Harper has even called Obama a dirty name then, just hung up on him.
Canada was in no danger until Harper and if there is an attack, Harper wears it on his own and will be held responsible.
mizdarlin: If this poll is correct, Trudeau is action on the wishes of his party.
Personally I don`t like the bill, as to the poll, one must read the details, all the details.....Trudeau`s latest bump in the polls, ...This from the poll..
"“It’s across the board,” said Shachi Kurl, senior vice-president with the Angus Reid Institute. “Whenever you’ve got four out of five Canadians agreeing on anything, that’s significant.”
There is one note of caution for the Conservative government as it presses ahead: a large majority, 69 per cent, believe there should be additional oversight so police agencies “do not go overboard with these new powers.”
That’s a concern echoed by intelligence and national-security experts, but the Conservatives insist it is not necessary, and that existing safeguards, plus requirements for judges to issue warrants for some of the new powers, are enough."
Do you see that, 70% of those who responded to the poll have, want Justin Trudeau`s version of the bill, including more oversight, more public protections...Justin Trudeau is bringing forth amendments, they will be rejected, Trudeau also stated that his terror bill amendments will be part of his election platform..
Harper and the Con regime are insisting no more oversight or safety checks and balances are needed, which puts the Conservatives offside from most of those who responded to the poll..
Trudeau has found the balance Canadians want...Mulcair has made a fatal misstep..and yes, the bill should be tossed out completely, but sometimes one must bend to reassure the dumb-asses among us..
Stephen Harper may feel confident with the poll results, I say the poll results are an ominous warning.
Says the former CSIS guy:
“They’re not crossing the line. They’re using the language to appeal to the emotions, which is one of the first stages. Disinformation being the second, which I think they also use. But they’re not fascist. I’m not saying the government’s fascist.”
“Don’t detain me.”
Simon, first time I hear of this poll and frankly, I don't believe it and it doesn't scare me. Wherever I go online to read articles on this new terror law, I always read the comments of the readers and I haven't seen anyone who wants this bill nor who approves of it except for a few trolls. I agree that this bill is dangerous but not that a huge majority of Canadians want it. I am disappointed in Justin Trudeau on a few counts but I am forced to vote for him because of first past the post. Elizabeth May is my first choice and if we had proportional voting, I would vote for her. By the way, Trudeau is against proportional voting. I wonder why?!!! Nevertheless, I prefer Trudeau to Harper any day.
Which speaks to my point, that there is little if any difference between the Libs and the Cons...
Anon 9:00 AM my heart is with you I am 60 years old. Trudeau the senior began the destruction of Canada in 1974 when I was 19. I was not paying attention to politics then I had more fun things to do and see. Pierre Eliot Trudeau or PET he stopped the Government from borrowing from the Bank of Canada where the interest on loans returns to the Government of Canada. Since that dirty deed we now owe foreign and domestic Banksters since 1974 Trillions of dollars in interest we can never ever balance the budget. Here is how one Trillion looks in math symbols: $1,000,000,000,000.00 um you do the math. Trudeau Senior sold us out to debt slavery and each government since has gotten progressively worse. Our rights and freedoms have been eroded so much I don't recognize Canada anymore the arrest of peaceful demonstrators was unheard of when I was growing up and look at G-20 in Toronto. Harper-cons are the worst of all to date they have suspended more freedoms than any other Canadian Government. I can't stand them I hate them for taking away more than they are legally allowed.
Topics for research:
All that Harper-cons offer is pure unadulterated crap. Allot of information that unfortunately few research I am planning on bringing a very large law suit on the Harper-cons for violating 'The Canadian Constitution' 'The Canadian Bill of Rights' and Harper's worst nightmare 'The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms'
Most of what the Harper-cons have done in their trade deals and omnibus bills violate all of these three precious documents that define Canada, care to join me?
The real terror in this country is the dismantling of our democracy and poverty. We are fast approaching the standards of middle east dictatorships. Oh, well Norway is looking good.
When will the journalists in the MSM have the guts to finally mention the F word: fascism.
The Harper government may not be fascist, but we are a lot closer to a fascist state than we were in 2006.
"It’s not dark yet, but it’s getting there" --Bob Dylan
Most Canadians do not follow Parliament and politics closely. At best they might watch the evening news and hear a few seconds from Question Period. Harper has relied on the uniformed voter to win the last 3 elections, and hopes to do it again. If these voters just scan a newspaper headline about the "Fair Elections Act", they say, "Yeah, I'm for that!"
Stephen Harper, cowering coward n chief quivers in timidity again, not a closet, no, this time pleading parliamentary privilege.
Stephaner Harper is really showing his true colours as of late..Those colours being..Yellow-striped.
Alberta Tar sands looking at death spiral.....Say goodbye to the gravytrain for employees and community
The president of one of Canada’s biggest oil and gas producers delivered a stern warning to the oil sands industry, telling a room full of Fort McMurray business people that they need to start cutting costs or the industry will fall into a “death spiral.
The “made in Fort McMurray cost” of doing business has risen too quickly and must end, Steve Laut of Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. told members of the local Chamber of Commerce.
The drop in oil prices is an “opportunity” for every part of the industry to cut costs and eliminate inefficiencies that were allowed to creep in when business was booming.
Mr. Laut also said municipal taxes have become the fastest rising cost for CNRL, and that they must drop – a pointed message to the local government. And he urged the Alberta and federal governments to make the regulatory environment more “effective.”
Mr. Laut said the American fracking industry has become the oil sands’ biggest competitor by developing new technologies to bring down extraction costs. If nothing is done to bring down oil sands costs, he said, the industry could be doomed.
Stephen Harper`s single focus economy is doomed, just like Christy Clark...Countries, Nations, people have gathered up too much unsustainable debt....This blunt warning is the first salvo, those bigtime lucrative wages for menial labour will be first to fall, and fall fast they will, towns and cities are being asked to take less and less money....Tar sands will be asking for royalty relief, tax relief, tar sand companies will be pushing hard for more cheap TFWs...
Norway amassed near $1 trillion dollars during the goodtimes, Alberta amassed near nothing, no nest egg, zipppy doodah day, nada, no rainy day fund....
Stephen Harper can`t even present a federal budget, the self proclaimed great economist`s single focus industry is going the way of the dodo bird...
And it is an election year is it not....Cue the Duffy trial.....
Pleasant dreams Harper
The Straight Goods
hi anon 9:00 am...Nice comment. I understand your pain and your anger. It is the most horrible thing to see what harper and his Cons are doing to Canada. But don't despair, there a millions who feel like you, and we will take our country back....
hi rumleyfips...Pogo may be right, but he could also be wrong, because one thing is clear. Although the Cons may have scared the population into backing that foul bill, their support for the war does not mean they support Harper. For with those numbers if they did his support would be soaring, and it's not. So hope still lives....
hi thwap...I find it hard to believe that Canadians could be so scared that they would so easily give up their freedoms. I think the more they find out about Bill C-51 and the Great War on Terror, the more their resistance will mount...
hi rumleyfips...I didn't have time to examine the methodology, but as I said above there is something about this poll that makes me think it's off and is registering a reaction, but not explaining it properly. And I think that the large number of Canadians who want more oversight will eventually place Harper on the defensive, and undermine his campaign to scare Canadians into voting for him...
hi mizdarlin...I don't hate partisans or I would have no friends. And Justin is not my man. What I do believe is that both him and Mulcair are better than Harper, and that I will not do Harper's work for him by attacking either of them. For all that counts for me is the defeat of the Con regime. So don't be so grumpy... ;)
hi anon...I share your scepticism about all polls these days. And as I said above I can't helping feeling that the poll in question is registering a reaction, but not properly explaining it. Still there is no doubt that the terrorist scare has scared many Canadians and given Harper a boost. The question is how long will it last, and will it really help him in the next election. I still believe that the desire for change will when the time comes, decide the election in our favour...
hi mogs... you're welcome. It's good to see a man like Ralph Nader ask the same question so many of us are asking ourselves. And I still remain confident that harper's record will catch up with him...
hi Bill...I too am confident that Canadians will come to see what a contrived farce Harper's Great War on Terrorism is, and that he is the real terrorist. Many may be frightened, but that will not make them love him. And don't worry his low tactics make me only more determined to hammer him and his scummy Cons....
hi Grant...The way I see it we've now got all angles covered. If the war remains popular Trudeau has inoculated himself against Harper's charges that he is soft on terror. And if the war becomes unpopular Mulcair standing will rise, and we can't lose. For all that counts for me is defeating the Con regime....
hi Hugh...yes I saw that article and linked to it in a recent post. The man knows what he's talking about, and I agree with everything he says. And when it waddles like a fascist, and quacks like a fascist it probably is a fascist...
hi anon...I feel the same way. The poll results don't jive with what I'm seeing and hearing out there. And yes, Justin Trudeau may not be perfect, but both him and Mulcair are infinitely better and more Canadian than Harper, so I won't have any trouble supporting either of them. And I hope see them and Elizabeth May working together in a Grand Progressive Coalition....
hi e.a.f....I agree with you but don't despair. It's always darkest before the dawn, and while the war has complicated things, I doubt it has the force to change the general dynamic, and the Cons will be going down....
hi David....you're right our greatest problem is informing the tuned out population and motivating them to vote. But I have noticed that the word fascism is becoming more common, and that can only be a good thing...
hi Grant...yes I saw that story and isn't it special? The great tough guy turns turtle. And let's hope his legal problems are only beginning. I've always believed that bullies are cowards and Harper fits the pattern perfectly...
There is an evil in the land.
I never in my wildest nightmares ever thought that Canadians would allow this type of government to raise its ugly head.There is an evil in the land and we are not doing near enough to stamp it out before we are consumed by the treachery of this government.,Parliament is the voice of the people and only seen as an obstacle to be overcome.Time after time on Question Period I have watched the opposition parties asking pertinent questions only to be treated to a filibuster on everything but the question.asked.Should be charged with contempt of parliament.
I've read details of polls favouring Conservative Ideology & noticed they're PHONE POLLS conducted during prime-time. Name 3 people you kno who ANSWER the phone, let alone take a political survey ON THE PHONE WHICH THEY USE FOR EIGHTY OHER ACTIVITIES - while they are watching the latest episode of BigBangTheory or HockeyNightInCanada. Only old people w land lines are talking.. Bad Samples = CON GAMES & fearmongering
What is really awful...is watching Canadians just shrug their shoulders and say..oh well! Ahhhhh.Seems to me that what is taking place here in Canada now ,occured in the U.S. during the Bush regime.
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