I have not been particularly interested in politics for quite a while. To me, it all seems to be the same corrupted shit in different piles.
I do want to be righteously outraged about things. I like to torment political candidates when they come to the door. Problem is that when I am faced with a real, live candidate, I can rarely remember what it is that I’m righteously outraged about.
So this time, I am keeping a list of all the examples of thing that show Harper is actually causing damage to our country, and during the next campaign, which can’t come soon enough, I will trot them out and ask for explanations of each.
So here’s my list so far:
The Senate. It is the laughingstock of the free world. The only place you can be appointed for life and even charges of sexual assault only get you suspended with pay. Between the corruption that allows senators to expense out whatever the hell they want, and “resignations” of Duffy and Wallin (nice work, if you can get it – they are still being paid!), it seems like the Senate has accumulated a pile of people who are either bereft of a moral code, or colossally stupid. How many MRIs could we buy, how many clinics could we outfit north of the 56th parallel, with the money the Senate costs us each year?
The whole Mike Duffy situation deserves its own heading. First, how could he and Wright not realize how bad this would look, even if it is all above board. Second, how can he still be getting paid? Third, what did he ever do to earn a Senate appointment, anyway, and why is he still there? A $90,000 “mistake” would get anyone else in the country fired. Why are we still paying him? Even if it is proven that he has not been double dipping, claiming expenses when on vacation in Florida, or refusing to participate in an investigation, there is a stench hanging around him that is certainly infecting Harper. Simply resigning from caucus will not fix it, either. He needs to go, quick, before he’s eligible to collect a pension.
The National Research Council situation. The government has decided that the only research that deserves funding is research that might have a commercial application. If we can’t make money from it, it’s not worth it. Sounds shortsighted. A focus on business and prosperity devalues humanitarian and environmental projects, but it seems they are not worth funding because no one makes money from those. Who needs to worry about human dignity? What difference does palliative care or quality education for Canadian kids make? Well, maybe the “new direction of the NRC” will benefit someone who wants to research road paving materials that can withstand the freeze-thaw cycle of a Winnipeg spring without disintegrating. You can sell that.
The enforced silence on Canadian scientists and researchers. The government’s media access policy has resulted in restrictions on researchers speaking to media. The policy seems to be enforced particularly strenuously when the research results are contrary to the government’s position on various matters. Which means we, the voters, never hear what the scientists are finding out. Good for the government, who probably doesn’t like the data, bad for voters, who never get to make an informed choice.
The CBC. Harper wants to plant a member of the Treasury Board in the bargaining process for the CBC’s collective agreement, eliminating the arms length relationship and forcing the CBC to secure government approval for decisions. While the CBC, like any news outlet, has no particular claim to being objective or even unbiased, this is direct interference by a government that can only affect the news we are dispensed.
Somehow, Canadians re-elected the government with a majority, after the only example in Canadian history where a government was found in contempt of Parliament. Granted, that was the fault of those who voted for him, (and those who didn’t vote at all), so we probably got what we deserved. Hopefully we are smarter next time. I’m not yet sure we have much in the way of options (remember, same shit, different pile?), but at least this time I have a few good reasons to cite when I tell my Conservative MP why I won’t be voting for him.