The most damaging things happening to Canada are the things you cannot see

On Monday, December 3rd, 2012 in Blogs
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I have been increasingly alarmed by what I think is a fundamental re-structuring of the internal workings of government. It is hard to create public awareness of the issue because it requires a very boring dissertation on how things used to be. Certainly, I do not think I will be seeing any newspaper headlines proclaiming “Privy Council Office role now dangerously altered!” The first question will be “what is the Privy Council Office?” And the second, “who cares?”

The basics go back to the line between what is political (elected people) and what is non-partisan (the civil service.) I could go back to discussions of the role of the Prime Minister, who in the early days was a Cabinet member with a portfolio like everyone else (usually Justice Minister and doubling as Prime Minister). The Prime Minister is, in theory, “first among equals.”

There wasn’t such a thing as a powerful Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) until Pierre Trudeau was Prime Minister, but since 1940 there has been an office to coordinate the civil service, the Privy Council Office (PCO).

The role of the Privy Council Office is to provide non-partisan advice, over-see the civil service and provide a sound basis for public policy. It must maintain a complete distance from partisan control. I recall Alex Himelfarb, when he was Clerk of Privy Council (the title for the head of the civil service, essentially Deputy Minister to the Prime Minister’s Office) referring to the critical division between the PMO and PCO as a “Chinese firewall.” Messages could pass in between PMO and PCO, but the Privy Council Office could never be allowed to become a tool of the political arm (PMO).

It is a tricky relationship. Obviously, civil servants must take instructions and implement policy under different political masters. So when a civil service is under Progressive Conservative instructions from Brian Mulroney, for example, (or more accurately, Kim Campbell) one day and then under Liberal Jean Chretien the next, the civil service must pull together the appropriate advice and fulfill the direction based on instructions from the political masters.

What is not acceptable is for the PCO to “cook the books” to help buttress a political argument. The PCO has to stick to the facts, not invent them for the government in power. Which is exactly what I think is now happening.

The firewall between PMO and PCO is down.

Public policy making is now only a shadow of good government. The outward appearance of a functional Cabinet government supported by a non-partisan civil service is being maintained, but the reality is that nothing is normal.

What makes me think this? Some examples come to mind.

  • The Environment Canada report on Greenhouse gas emissions, claiming that we are half-way to our target, is essentially an exercise in public relations. It is out of whack with what the Commissioner for Environment and Sustainable Development calculated, as well as contradicting the National Round Table on Environment and Economy (which has been terminated). It says things like by 2020 our emissions will have declined to 720 MT a year, when 720 MT is higher than levels in 2010.
  • The report from Transport Canada to the Joint Review Panel on the Enbridge Project was proclaimed in a Transport Canada press release as saying that super tankers can safely carry bitumen crude from Kitimat BC to Asia. But the report never mentions any of the navigational risks, or includes the amount of time and distance it takes for a tanker to stop, or comments on any one of a few dozen key considerations. In fact, the report does not say oil can be safely transported. It merely says there are no “regulatory difficulties.” It reads like a report from people told what they must report, not a department that actually did a good faith review.
  • The claim that no one in Statistics Canada objected to elimination of the Long-form Census even when it was very clear the department had pushed back.
  • Recently, a colleague mentioned a friend at Justice Canada who nearly quit. The lawyer was asked for a legal opinion, but was told in advance what the opinion should say.

Other things that make me think the government is not functioning as it should come from many conversations I have had with Ministers in Cabinet. Without betraying personal conversations, it has been clear to me over and over again, that they do not know what is going on in their departments. When I worked for Tom McMillan, Minister of Environment in Mulroney’s government, no branch would have been laid off or key roles re-assigned, that the Minister had not weighed all the options and made a decision after long discussion with his senior civil servants. He would have known what was going on. The current role of Ministers appears to have been reduced to the role of “chief spokesperson” for their portfolio. Hand them the cue cards to deliver the approved message and off they go. But I do not think most Ministers in Mr. Harper’s Cabinet are actually involved in the decision-making. I think the exceptions to the rule make a short list — Rona Ambrose (who is doing a very credible job cleaning up various messes), Jason Kenney, James Moore, and Jim Flaherty, but even they can be over-ruled by the PM. True Cabinet decision-making appears to be a thing of the past.

My sense is that decisions are made by Stephen Harper alone. He dispatches orders directly to the Clerk of Privy Council, who sends instructions to the Deputy Ministers. The Ministers are handed the talking points to explain decisions they didn’t make.

What this means is that the civil service is completely corrupted by political pressure. The first phase of this process was the muzzling of scientists, then the massive lay-offs, ensuring that morale is at an all time low. The next step was to ask for reports that make a certain point, instead of asking for an objective assessment of the evidence. Government reports are no longer non-partisan. If I am right, the situation is very dangerous. And it is even more dangerous because it is invisible – in plain sight.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/dave.reyno.5 Dave Reyno

    I completely agree with you Elizabeth. The worst part is why we as citizens of this country are allowing Harper to continue to destroy it! We are at a crossroads with our planet and not only is Harper destroying all of the government departments and scientists that would question the rate of environmental change. But added to that there are back room deals are being made to destroy the democratic country we call Canada through media and “green washing”. We need to “wake up” and take control back of our country!

  • MikeinBarrie

    The concentration of power in the PMO is frightening. i do not understand why we have sunk to this level of complacency and acceptance. Thank you for what you do Elizabeth.

  • http://www.facebook.com/michael.wolvie.randall Michael Randall

    Spread the truth of the matter, you are doing us all a great service with this so called “boring” information detailed in this manner. I am certain that just like in the US, the Cons are attempting to permanently tailor the civil service to be Con as well and effectively be in charge even when they aren’t the ones with the most seats in Parliament, a situation I am adamantly incensed by, as it goes to the core of how unrepresentative the results of First Past The Post election systems for our ridings are – not only is the system fundamentally broken by disenfranchising voters when they aren’t a part of the largest block of voters in their riding, which can be way below 50%+1 of the vote, its being straight up abused with election fraud like the In-And-Out conviction and the so called ‘Robocalls’ that straight up attempted to deny voters their vote that the Cons gathered information on to most likely vote for another party’s candidate in that riding’s election (And that is the short list of abuses for brevity’s sake). Part of the reason I was glad you are a MP now Honorable May is that you support ridings getting Proportional Representation with a Single Transferable Vote … the other part is your desire to serve with posts like these rather than be served.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=522777201 Barbara Verner

    I have only one question. How do we get rid of him without waiting until the next election?

    • wednesday

      Popular revolution or the dissolution of Canada. There’s no formal procedure in place for impeachment, but the Governor General could theoretically replace him.
      As far as unconventional impeachment goes, there’s a precedent from 1806 in the British house of Parliament, but it requires a majority vote by MPs. It seems unlikely that the Conservatives will break ranks any time soon on a matter of this gravity.

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Christopher-Ray-Miller/527108195 Christopher Ray Miller

        You shouldn’t make the mistake of imagining our system is in any way like the American Presidential-Congressional system. In their system, impeachment and trial of a sitting president are possible because there is a separation of powers between the executive and legislative branches (as well as a third branch, the judiciary).

        Our Parliamentary system is very different. To start with, all powers of the state are (now metaphorically) embodied in the monarch. The monarch acts as the Queen/King-in-Parliament and as the Queen/King in her/his capacity as the executive governor of the state. The judiciary is in principle the Queen/King-on-the-bench, organised according to the dictates of the Queen/King-in-Parliament and in all cases subject to the former’s dictates.

        Impeachment-and-trial is one of the powers of Parliament in the Westminster system. The House of Commons can impeach anyone for trial, upon which the upper house (the Lords or in Canada the Senate) tries the impeached individual. This is reserved for exceptional cases where it would not be appropriate or feasible to try the person before a regular court. The tool is available in that part of our constitution inherited from the principles of the British constitution, but not likely to be used when the House of Commons is controlled by the person who might be subject to impeachment. Another Parliament, after that person loses office, could quite conceivably impeach and try that person for contempt of Parliament or other offences against Parliament or the Crown.

        But otherwise, talking of impeachment as if it works like in the US system is completely meaningless because of the fundamental difference between ours and theirs.

        • CK

          Don’t fool yourself. Not metaphorically at all: the Royals own most of the land, through holding interests and so on, all through the commonwealth; they get involved in decisions (also actively in Britain, as shocking there, but more hidden here). Nice new article about the British control hangthebankers. com / queen-and-prince-charles-must-be-consulted-before-laws-are-passed ).

          • CK

            oops: no ) at end of that link. Typo.

      • CK

        The Governor General in a pinch hands down the wishes of the Royals; not that simple always and sometimes appearances must be maintained. But our system was and is a relic of Imperial relations, maintained for when the time is right. Harper is convenient (so far) to the City of London banks and in different and similar ways, the Royals. Aside but related: Why do you think, in this modern dissent period, there’s so much crap pushing royal this and that?

      • http://www.facebook.com/nadine.lumley Nadine Lumley

        re our GG: While
        David Johnston’s daughter Debbie, a lawyer, was working for the Department of
        Justice Canada… CGI, the company David Johnston was on the board of directors
        of, was awarded a major $14.5 million dollar contract with Department of
        Justice Canada, which added to the more than a million dollars a year
        compensation David Johnston received for his position as a member of the board
        of directors of CGI, which was reported on Forbes website but then was removed
        after he became Governor General, I assume to conceal his connection to CGI as
        this important piece of information was left out of the mainstream media news
        about Harper appointing David Johnston as Canada’s new Governor General…

        http://www.cgi.com/en/department-justice-and-cgi-sign-five-year-deal

        http://newsrelease.uwaterloo.ca/news.php?id=1233

        …Harper and his gang have awarded CGI more than a billion
        in government contracts to date, while it’s reasonable to assume David Johnston
        still owns substantial stock in CGI, or that his family members do.

    • Judith

      How indeed?? And before he makes good on his arrogant claim (“you won’t recognize Canada when I’m through with it”)?

    • Tony Kocurko

      Barbara, the short, truthful answer to your question is “We can’t.” Accept as a given that, as do all of us commenting here, the members and leaders of all of the other parties that are to the left of the Harper Government would agree completely with Elizabeth May’s blog. Moreover, all of those leaders probably would agree with Elizabeth that our very democracy is in peril. Now, though, can you imagine those same leaders sacrificing themselves for the sake of our democracy and making common cause. I didn’t think so. As the Buddha said, all human suffering is caused by attachment, in this case the attachment our non-Conservative leaders have to maintaining their own positions. And all of that puts a thin, mean smile on the face of the Conservative Government and explains my original, short answer to your question.

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jim-Poushinsky/1100229210 Jim Poushinsky

        The Reform and PC parties came together and united the right under Harper. Attachment to their separate parties was overcome by the rewards of forming the government of Canada. The NDP, Liberals, and Greens are capable of doing the same. It’s what the majority of people opposed to Harper want, so let’s get on with it! As for impeaching Harper or any other leader who betrays the trust of the Canadian people, this can be remedied in future by the opposition parties agreeing to pass legislation two years from now when he is soundly defeated and they are elected. The legislation would recognize as binding an internet petition signed by a simple majority of Canadians who are eligible to vote, calling for a leader’s dismissal and a new election. From the moment it becomes law this would guarantee leaders can only hold office by maintaining the trust of those they govern.

        • Judy Lea

          I think this is a viable solution. How do we make this happen?

    • Michael Irwin

      First, the opposition parties have to win a majority. That means Harper is back to leading a minority government.
      Second, the parties have to agree to a coalition. The idea that a coalition is somehow not proper is utter nonsense (see Britain)
      Third, the coallition must agree to introduce MMP, (preferably with single transferable vote)
      Fourth, once the voting change is in place the coalition should call an election to discover what the real political landscape is like.
      Then I would look to vote for the party that would pass legistlation reversing the rise in power of the PMO that has occurred since Trudeau, and wriite into law limits on the powers of the prime minister (too many to list).

      • http://www.facebook.com/nadine.lumley Nadine Lumley

        What good is any of that when Harper Reform Party just outright steals elections now?

        Harper cheated in 2006 with in-and-out fraudulent
        transactions to get around spending limits.

        Harper cheated in 2008 by calling an illegal election.

        Harper cheated in 2011 with misleading and deceptive phone
        calls.

        Stephen Harper is not our Prime Minister. Harper stole all 3 last elections. It’s much worse than we’ll ever know.

        http://www.leadnow.ca/robocall-fraud

      • Ann

        it is illogical and unreasonable that only 39% of the votes can install a majority government in this country!! 39% of the population are holding 61% of us hostage to a dangerous dictator! this needs to be changed in any manner that is possible!

      • LHuron

        There are 2 ways I think opposition could win a majority (currently a hopeless cause):

        1. Party mergers or a new party: e.g. NDP & Greens, or Liberals + Greens, or Liberals + NDP etc.

        2. Change our elections process! This has GOT to happen! Not that I”m saying I’m pro one party or the other, but when the majority of Canadains vote against a person or party, that person or party should not be winning!

        a) Change the mandate of Elections ministries to include “education” and not just “administration” for elections.

        b) Change our voting system from First-Past-The-Post to Representation by Population. (check out Wikipedia for really good explanations)

        d) Recognize that the Baby Boomers and Seniors will have a lot of voting power, but may be set in their ways having voted one way or the other most of their lives.

        Unfortunately, a lot of Canadians can not wrap their head around the language in a) and b). It can be very confusing.

    • elevenone

      Canada’s Charter (of which Harper is understandably not a fan) guarantees us good government, amongst other things. I’m not a lawyer, but would it be possible to make a court case out of the fact that a government this corrupt and irrational and proto-fascistic simply doesn’t qualify as good?

    • Jeff

      He’ll win the next election. Because Canada loves the guy.

      You guys are not in the majority; your a fringe party.
      Umad?

      • this is ridiculous

        u r a moron. need a definition?

        • Jeff

          extremist.

    • http://www.facebook.com/lkolnick Laura Kolnick

      Eight people are suing the “Harper Government” for the robo-calls.

      https://fundrazr.com/campaigns/0OoK3

    • http://www.facebook.com/catherine.currie1 Catherine Currie

      He should be tried for high treason and for violation of the constitution

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1062119391 David Rea

        46. (1) Every one commits high treason who, in Canada,

        ….
        (c) assists
        an enemy at war with Canada, or any armed forces against whom Canadian
        Forces are engaged in hostilities, whether or not a state of war exists
        between Canada and the country whose forces they are.
        (From the Criminal Code of Canada)

        Item: As a member of the United Nations, Canada entered the Korean War, which saw our troops fighting the North Koreans and the Chinese.

        Item: There was never a peace treaty signed to end the Korean War. Technically, a state of war still exists between the Chinese/North Koreans and the UN, including Canada.

        Item: Harper has just sold a significant portion of Canada’s energy resources to China, and proposes to sell even more, via the Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline. This is actively aiding a country with which were are legally still at war.

    • William Burr

      HARPER Can Be Defeated on a Non Confidence Vote in Parliament by a United Opposition supported by 21 PC Dissenters who must Exist by now, given that their Emperor has no Clothes. A Coaliton Government under Thomas Mulcair, supported by Liberal, Green, and PC Patriots would Form the Next Government. I will Be the Attack Pit Bull Dog for the Green Party, and I will not Let Go of My Bull, until He’s Dead. When Harper has been Defeated, I will Make way for Nicer, Kinder, Green Party Members to Serve with the Coalition Government, and Vanish into the Sunset on My Sailboat. GreenmanPA.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Gordon-Chamberlain/748781065 Gordon Chamberlain

      With in the conservative party are individuals who are not in agreement with Stephen Harper’s agenda. They represent an opportunity to cut short Stephen Harper undemocratic,unethical, dictatorial agenda. The F35 fraud that the conservatives tried to put over on Canadians should be subject to an inquiry. When did Stephen Harper know Canada was going to be defrauded of billions

    • http://www.facebook.com/valentinemichael.smith.1 Valentine Michael Smith

      No way, this is democracy. Or should we live under a ”green” dictatorship?

  • Fred Warner

    Thank you for being our government’s conscience, Elizabeth. Harper has gathered far too much power into his own hands. I too have been concerned about his intolerance of independent thought or action by his ministers, and his bullying of government departments to deliver pro-Harper propaganda rather than facts. Canada needs to return to honest, democratic government very badly as soon as possible. We have had far too much of “King Stephen” and his dangerous demagoguery.

    • Deanne

      Ditto. A way must open, as it did through the Red Sea, so that king Stephen is met and deposed as soon as possible.

  • Xylo

    The most frightening thing to me is; he thinks he is king, though his is merely the political party that got more votes than any of the others in the 2011 election. Conservatives got less than 40% of the popular vote, but Harper governs like he got a landslide.

    • benalbanach

      He may act as if he is the King…But I doubt anyone knows what he thinks !

    • Judith

      Harper governed like that when he was a minority – he scared me then!

  • Sharon Danley

    Thank you so much for what you are doing Elizabeth and keeping Canadians informed. You are our national treasurer

  • http://www.facebook.com/geoff.ireland.5264 Geoff Ireland

    There are an awful lot of dead canaries in this coal mine, but if you look closely you’ll notice their necks were wrung.

  • Kimmcdt

    I know scientists at Health Canada. They are counting down the days until they retire. They have never seen a greater control over their work and their results. Muzzling is a tame word for what is really happening. Very sad indeed when a scientist cannot state the facts!

    • Robert Hall

      Perhaps if said scientist had the courage of their convictions they would quit counting and start speaking up. Maybe Mr. Harper won’t publish their findings but we live in a connected world with a plethora of ways to get the word out. Easy for me to say though, I don’t have a Government of Canada certified golden handshake to look out for.

      • http://www.facebook.com/nadine.lumley Nadine Lumley

        The union that represents Harper’s federal government
        scientists has created a website to give a voice to the work of its members.

        http://www.publicscience.ca/

        The move comes weeks after it was revealed new restrictive
        rules have been placed on scientists at the Natural Resources department
        requiring them to clear a number of hoops, including approval from the
        minister’s director of communications, before they may speak with the press
        about their work.

        While Natural Resources was singled out, reporters and
        scientists across a wide range of departments are well aware the government
        frowns upon direct communication between its employees and the media without
        prior approval.

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rH2_ueCeVv4&feature=relmfu

  • http://www.facebook.com/maggieturner.pagebypage Maggie Turner

    I have had two teachers who saw the rise of power in Germany before the Second World War. They shared their observations with their students. What we are seeing now is eerily similar to those descriptions. Greed fed the machine, fear kept it oiled and ignorance and complacency kept it “hidden”.

    • http://www.facebook.com/SHEILAkeepingitREAl Sheila Rea

      Agree, this is the real danger zone. Naomi Wolf has an excellent book “The End of America (?)/Democracy(?), – one of the two, which was inspired in part by an elderly German Woman she knew who also points out the haunting similarities of what has been transpiring in the US.

    • KarenCopeland

      Now I feel vindicated! I have been saying this and being called an alarmist. I do not remember Hitler, I am only (ahem) 67 years old. But I grew up with parents who did, one who was a vet of that war and a houseful of war immigrants who lived in the eye of that storm (often as youngsters themselves). One of the things I remember hearing my Mother say was ‘We laughed at him (Hitler) until it was too late to avoid a war. I sure hope we are not just reliving history but I fear that we are.

      • Urban Nightmare

        Sorry everyone but comparing our current government to the third reich is going just a bit too far I think. Now the US government maybe not so much. I don’t think we’re down that road quite yet but yes we do have to be vigilant.

        I used consider my self a PC (back in the Mulroney days. I admin to getting swept up in the ra-ra machine of the 80′s. It wasn’t soon before I got my eyes opened. Then the Liberals came to power and I saw the decimation they caused to our country.

        After that we spent 12 or so years with a government that couldn’t do anything because nobody could agree. We flopped around and kowtowed to the US and England (and a in some ways the whole UN). We where a country with out a soul.

        Now we’re back with a conservative majority who is hell bent to push through their ideals against the wishes of the people. Well I speculate about that as I don’t think many of us are actually paying attention. True I see a government that seems to only want to make everyone a criminal, if only to make sure they can get leverage over you later. But it’s not just the conservatives that can use this leverage. Do you really think the Liberals or NDP would reverse anything.

        Yes I vote green. I also live in rural Alberta deep in oil country. Honestly I don’t think they have a chance to ever get this seat. If by some miracle they did form a government will they reverse these changes? I’m sorry Elizabeth. I do support you and your lone voice in the House. I would like to believe that things might change but in reality the kind of change we want here is not usually done by voting.

        I in no way want to say I’m for violence.

        What the answer is I don’t exactly know. All I know is what we are leaving the next generation is not what I thought we where. They are losing their privacy and all they can say is “but I have nothing to hide.” They are losing their rights in the veiled guise security. As parents all we tell them is to go to school, be good at that then get a good paying job and spend, spend, spend. Don’t worry your self about saving money because you may not live to spend it.

        We need to teach them to think for themselves. We need to teach them to question authority. We need them to tell our journalists to actually pose a question that worth asking.

        Sorry for sounding like an alarmist but when is it to late to start? Is it already?

        Urban Nightmare
        Living the dream…

        • KarenCopeland

          Read your history, especially of pre WWII European before you call me an extremist. Learn how Hitler got away with what he did in Germany. and you will see the parallels.

        • kevin

          I’ve been saying since last May 2nd that the 4 opposition parties with seats simply need to unify temporarily for the next election,and the 29 % of voters who didn’t vote get off their asses. This “majority” government received 28% of votes of eligible voters. I’d favor Elizabeth to lead the new party.

    • Lance Long

      While I understand simile and metaphor are powerful tools for communicating complex ideas to a broad audience, can we please resist the hyperbole of calling this government something of Nazi German? You will find every government on earth is doing something the Nazis did – from water treatment to garbage collection. But Harper et al are certainly not imperialistically invading countries and committing genocide.

      This, if true, is a made in Canada power grab that requires a made in Canada response. Its a disturbing trend the undermines, not removes, our general values.

      I certainly will be watching this development and adding my voice for accountability and transparency when I can.

      • IsidoroCanones

        Not yet. The fuehrer wasn’t initially invading countries either.

      • Sasha McInnes

        Afghanistan? And I would characterize funneling our tax dollars through CIDA to mining interests and what they are doing in Central and South America to be invasion and genocide. Educate yourself!

        • Lance Long

          The Afghanistan action was not imperialist. Canada has no designs on taking the territory. At this point, we can’t leave fast enough.

          If you are able to define that as genocide then great, Harper is Hitler and this discourse has devolved to simplistic sophomoric name calling that will solve absolutely nothing.

      • logan joseph

        Definition of genocide: By ‘genocide’ we mean the destruction of an ethnic group . . . . Generally speaking, genocide does not necessarily mean the immediate destruction of a nation, except when accomplished by mass killings of all members of a nation. It is intended rather to signify a coordinated plan of different actions aiming at the destruction of essential foundations of the life of national groups, with the aim of annihilating the groups themselves. The objectives of such a plan would be disintegration of the political and social institutions, of culture, language, national feelings, religion, and the economic existence of national groups, and the destruction of the personal security, liberty, health, dignity, and even the lives of the individuals belonging to such groups . . ..

        this has being going on for a long time with First Nations. Harper’s Conservative government has just sped up the process.

        • http://www.facebook.com/nadine.lumley Nadine Lumley

          Truthy Alert: Criticism
          of Israel’s apartheid crimes is ^NOT Anti-Semitism.

          Why is Canada’s right-wing Bush-lite Prime Minister Stephen
          Harper *SO* fanatical about supporting Israel bombing innocent Palestinian
          civilians? What’s the secret agenda at
          work here?

          ‎Surprise! It’s money: Canada does ONE BILLION DOLLARS of trade with
          Israel annually. Most of it military. It’s always about the money eh?

          At the 5:30 mark.

          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oQ2MY58RunM

          • Dave Walmsley

            The Palestinians are Semites too. Israel is anti-Semitic.

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jim-Poushinsky/1100229210 Jim Poushinsky

        Harper et al would have invaded Iraq for bogus reasons alongside America and Britain if he had been in power then, just as he supports our troops being complicit in the invasion of Afghanistan, for what if not for America’s imperalistic aims? He staunchly supports Israel’s use of overwhelming force to slaughter Palestinians. He is preparing to assist Israel in attacking Iran’s nuclear facilities because they might become capable of building a nuclear bomb (never mind that Israel has over 200 such illegal WMDs!) He has made Canada one of the most detested countries in the entire United Nations. He has just announced Canadian forces can use cluster bombs if under the command of foreign forces that use them (read the USA!) despite our signing the treaty banning their use. This follows on his directive that information obtained under torture in foreign countries can be used by our own security services. And his party just overturned a bill that would have enabled Canadian drug companies to provide cheap generic medication to combat the AIDS epidemic in Africa. Harper has made Canada complicit to the continued suffering of Afghans, Africans, Palestinians, and now the Tibetans, by his latest endorsement of unrestricted Chinese investment. He has done nothing to alleviate the hopelessness of Canada’s aboriginal and poor people. It is certainly fair to say that his actions have increased the suffering that is leading to the untimely deaths of millions of people worldwide, all apparently motivated by what’s best for the Canadian economy! At what point does tolerating such actions make us all guilty of aiding and abetting imperialism and genocide?

        • Mike M.

          Certainly seems to me that the anti-Harper crowd has the facts and the PC supporters are in denial over everything from the lack of a strong man-date (the 39% argument, compounded by allegations of voter fraud) to the denial/destruction of serious environmental concerns,(Are the scientists “enemies of the state”?) and also the very real historical parallels. The question is not so much how do we stop this, but more how did we let it happen in the first place? It is only then that we see the real effect of having a poorly educated electorate and a biased media. Those who vote PC because its what their parents did, or because they just don’t know any better are probably not watching alot of news/information programs. Add to that the Greens who don’t bother to vote, the NDP/Liberal stubborness and the massive amount of corporate cash commanded by Harper and his gang and you get what we now have: an electorate that swallows the lies, celebrates the patriotic drivel and almost believes that Stephen Harper himself put all that resource wealth in the ground, just like the Germans who believed the lies they were told, and the international community that refused to believe what they were told by eyewitnesses. Evil men do evil things only when the people allow them to believe their own lies, so even the smallest forms of resistance are 100% valid because they plant the seed for future dissent. We may not have the Black Mariahs or the concentration camps, but the disregard for human suffering, the desire to build more weapons of death and the kowtowing to corporate interests should be all the warning we need. We have seen this movie before, let’s not watch it again.

    • Murray Reiss

      The Nazi/Fascist/Dictator hyperbole really does not help. Our situation is not that of Germany after WWI. Or Italy under Mussolini. Or Chile or Argentina or Brazil under military dictatorships. This, sorry to say, is what parliamentary, representative, first-past-the-post democracy looks like. Or one version, anyway. Nomenclature matters. If you keep waiting for the goose-step at your doorstep you’ll probably be looking in the wrong direction. One useful orientation is Sheldon Wolin’s concept of “managed democracy” and “inverted totalitarianism” –
      a condition in which economic and state powers are conjoined and virtually unbridled.

    • Vancouverois

      Wow.

      I am at a loss to describe just how disappointed and disgusted I am at this comment. It is amazing to me that one of Mr Harper’s political opponents can be so caught up in her own hate-propaganda that you are, with all apparent sincerity, trying to link him with Nazi Germany. This goes far beyond the limits of civil political discourse into outright lunacy.

      This is exactly the kind of outrageous rhetoric that leads gullible people into committing acts of violence against our elected representatives. You should be ashamed of yourself.

      • LHuron

        My take on the parallels being drawn is not that we are going to be Nazi Canada…but that the ruthless, immoral and bullish acquisition of power and demolition of Canada’s cherished democratic process seems to be happening in a way similar to what happened in Germany. What happens next is up to us. But, if by then we’ve lost our legal rights to protest, sue or protect ourselves, we will be in a pseudo-dictatorship and helpless to help ourselves, or the environment.

  • bernard murphy

    elephants are educated by simple but brilliant means

  • http://www.facebook.com/marilou.hall.75 Marilou Hall

    The cutbacks serve a dual purpose: first to acknowledge the contribution of the Canadian wing of the TeaParty movement and reward them with the smaller government they claim to want ( just as long as their pet projects are funded and administered) and secondly, to put fear into the hearts and minds of remaining civil servants so they will toe the mark. BTW, very good intro to the role of Privy Council etc.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000716295408 Arsenal Locker

    It’s not too surprising that Canadians are complacently allowing the Herpaderpian Gov’t to destroy Canada…Seems that turning over like whipped dogs is quickly becoming the national identity.

    • CrikeyMcGregor

      You’re right to cite complacency but whipped dogs we are not! Ask the people of Holland or Haiti. Ask our former enemies of the Axis powers. Ask the people of S. Korea. Peaceful people slow to anger are often mistaken for complacent. Sadly, increased police powers, people jailed on a whim, stifling of free speech often evolve a silence easily mistaken for acceptance of complacency. What Harper has done is only a snowball at this stage, as it cannonades across the whole spectrum of Canada and explodes into the lives of ordinary Canadians then he and his ilk will see the other side of ‘Canadian complacency’

      • http://www.facebook.com/martin.pratt.940 Martin Pratt

        We are whipped dogs in believing the government line that our UN backed troops in Haiti were doing a good thing, while we worked to remove and keep removed their duly elected party, Lavalas.

  • http://twitter.com/jesusjamey Kitsilano J Sterritt

    Dear Ms. May: Barack admits change is not possible within nation-state culture. Haas explains that Western Dem’y self-annihilates while Eastern culture follows the natural best interest of the family unit and supports governments which also follow nature, however West has inveigled into Beijing and that is your real crisis.

    People will respond to Monarchy when all alternatives exhaust.

    Indian Title is Monarchic and natural.

    Jesus Christ is absent from Canadian order nor am I included in any Nation state but the preamble to CCAct 1982 requires that C. open that door.

    Your job if you seriously care is stand in that doorway and call out to me and call in to the rest of Parliament.

    I will do the rest along with my court.

    Jodi Wilson-R. AFNBC is daughter of the Red King of Revelation 6, who is Bill Wilson and there are 3 other Kings and an Imperial Family, all present in the natural history of the World and thereby of Canada. If you don’t believe this or wont apply Section 35.1 to yourself based on this information then you need to review http://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?u=1;seq=194;view=1up;size=100;id=mdp.39015001671794;page=root;orient=0;num=190

    and make a choice between the hell of Democratic sovereignty and the Heaven of the Jesus Christ.

    I am here to respond to your choice and will never abandon you in either case but will promote you or demote you as you choose.

    I need Parliament to consider how to impose taxes on Indians and get them out of the Indian Industry and into helping fix life.

    Mr. Wilson will command that once you and the rest of the new Imperial Quorum passes such Acts and I sign same.

    • benalbanach

      Boy you sure are missing the NHL eh !

  • http://twitter.com/jesusjamey Kitsilano J Sterritt
  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=635023480 Andrew Scott

    Its time to point out that becoming a petrodollar state is very risky especially in a world economic downturn. Much better to invest in renewables and local production of goods as well as services.

  • Dan Easton

    Never retract,never explain,never apologize-get the thing done and let them howl “and we will” Thanks Elizabeth May for sharing

  • Michael Stainton

    Groan – my long comment disappeared when I had to register – anyway – the bottom line was – is it possible to assemble a panel of former senior civil servants and cabinet ministers (of all parties) who can make this a report before the next election- and educate enough conservative MP’s to sow the seeds of doubt about Herr Harper’s leadership and stewardship of Parliament – so other leadership hopefuls may see the chance of doing a Paul Martin on him?

  • Nancyadeane

    Dear Elizabeth, I so agree with you and thank you for sharing this, you are absolutely right. Our government is now a puppet to big industries who stand to win big in a short time and for the rest of us loose big over the long time especially our environment, justice, and democratic system. This government is systematically dismantling all of the safeguards that were put in place to avoid independent interests taking over and this includes the interests and ideologies of the prime minister. Public servants are being muzzled and should they not keep silent they are given their notice of leave (they are allowing knowledge and experience to walk out the door many 25 years + they are then replaced with very young and inexperienced public servants who can be easily be indoctrinated and manipulated to tow the ideologies of the PMO without question. I also find it very strange that people did not recognize that the Harper government agenda is basically the same as what the Harris government was in Ontario especially since he is surrounded by basically the same people. This time it is being applied to the whole country. Please keep educating and speaking the truth, we need this more than ever.

  • http://www.facebook.com/avyn.trace Avyn Trace

    Thanks so much Elizabeth May – what else can we do to support?

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=866605715 Bruce MacDonald

    After Harper fired the female MP and the supreme court told her she has no case against him, every MP knows they can be terminated for virtually no reason, without recourse. This is why no-one is standing up to him from within his party and he is getting away with being the sole proprietor and operator of Canada. As you say democracy is being subverted in so many ways. BC Liberals have spent twice the amount of the annual Parks Ministry budget on advertising is another example of non partisan use of funds

  • http://www.facebook.com/maria.const.5 Maria Const

    You have been our eyes and ears in the places where we can only intuitively sense there is something very very wrong going on. Thank you for spreading the truth and for tirelessly defending our rights. You are one among many, yet you stand taller than all because you search for truth. More and more people are noticing.

  • Sis

    Share, share and share some more. This man has to go!

  • Terry Robinson

    Everyone involved in this needs to take personal responsibility. Losing one’s job is nothing compared to losing our democracy to this madman.

    • http://profiles.google.com/joyrip.r Joyce R

      Sorry, don’t characterize Harper as a madman because that puts a question mark on why he is doing what he is. He is really acting with calculation and full knowledge of exactly what he wants to do while he hopes we all remain ignorant until the end game is reached. Not everyone is an honest broker in a democracy.

    • Vancouverois

      “Losing our democracy to this madman”?

      Looks like my comment to Maggie Turner applies to you too.

  • Melissa Brushett

    I can’t believe how quickly Canada went from a democracy to a dictatorship!

  • http://www.facebook.com/crystal.loyer Crystal Loyer

    Yes, how DO Canadians oust our current dictator and get a proper Prime Minister back?

  • Scott Mills

    Why has he not yet been removed? He is the fraudulent Prime Minister. Which, should mean that we can revert every law that he instituted since his treasonous arrival. And for **** sake why haven’t the green-ndp-liberal joined forces yet. You are all nearly the exact same bloody party and structure of ideals. All you are doing is separating the side of Canada that could oust the Harper government. The conservative mindset, based on peer reviewed fact, make all of their decisions based on fear, so you will never win them over from their mainstream media brainwashing. Our only hope is for all the opposing parties to join forces, unless you plan to hope for all the scared old people to die in an unfortunate epidemic.

    • Blaize

      Scott – very true and the only way to get Harper out of power.

      Now I wonder how willing the NDP and Liberal are to downplay their differences and actually work together. There really is no other way.

      • Stephen

        Neither the NDP or the Liberals are able to do what you say.. They are as much a part of the senseless game of thrones (parties) as is Stephen Harper. It is we, the people who are proud of what our country was, who must coalesce into a voting block and support ONE progressive party for the sole reason of ridding us of ‘the Harper Government’ and only support them if they agree to the reorganization of our electoral system so that this ‘democratic dictatorship’ cannot happen again. It will not be easy…and I don’t claim to know how to bring this about.. What I know is that there must be a fundamental change away from treating our political parties as if they are a sports team to which we must be loyal. They are not loyal to us…they are loyal to their party and are so far lost in their power games that they have forgotten what they are supposed to be…representatives of the people. I am really afraid that it will be business as usual and ‘ we the people’ will huddle together in our apathy until it is too late to change anything. It scares the crap out of me.

        • LHuron

          “What I know is that there must be a fundamental change away from
          treating our political parties as if they are a sports team to which we
          must be loyal.”

          WELL SAID! I’ve often wondered at the massive displays of passion for HOCKEY but not DEMOCRACY. If as many people voted as went to these games, maybe our democracy wouldn’t be in this situation. I’m only part-kidding when I say we should have voting stations right at the hockey games.

          Please know I value and love our Canadian hockey culture, yet I sometimes wonder if it and other similar distractions have become giant soothers that keep us from paying true attention.

    • Vancouverois

      “You are all nearly the exact same bloody party and structure of ideals.”

      Not true. The NDP has been thoroughly infiltrated by Quebec separatists. Their opposition to the Clarity Act and active support for Bill 101 are completely counter to Canadian values and international law – so long as that continues, no cooperation with them is possible.

    • David Walmsley

      After 50 years of observation: Progressive Conservative = Liberal. NDP = old time slightly Liberal. Green = probably old time NDP (too new to tell). Conservative (the reverse of Progressive) = 1933 Nazis (when Hitler was admired by Conservatives around the world, and there was no war in sight). A coalition government could create a short omnibus bill to reverse every act created by Sharper. But in the meantime, is there nobody out there who is willing to spend the rest of his/her life in clink for doing Canada a most useful service?

  • Red Girl

    3 thoughts come to mind.
    (1) Where are the whistle blowers within the civil service????
    (2) As long as the centre-left in this country is divided into multiple parties (Liberal, NDP, Green, and arguably the Bloc), there is no hope of defeating the conservatives. Sorry, Elizabeth, but you have to do your good work from within ONE small-L liberal party. The amalgamation of the conservatives was strategically brilliant.
    (3) Once we have electoral reform, you can go back to being Green.

    • wednesday

      A two-party system will be a net loss for Canadian democracy – it can only lead towards the false-premise system found in the United States. A concerted effort must be made to get the rational conservatives in the House to abandon the conservative party (unlikely as that seems) to preserve Canada’s freedoms.

      • Eric Robbins

        Red Girl is missing the point. The troubling issue is not about who’s in power, but about the increasing centralization of the PMO, the lack of non partisan influence on partisan politics from civil liberties groups, NGO’s, etc, and lack of electoral reform. If we move away from a FPTP system to a more representational electoral map, we can correct a great deal of democratic damage that has been done in Canada over the last 30 years.

        • Robert Hall

          Well said Eric. Mr. Harper is unquestionably a piece of work but we seemed to have forgotten the last years of Mr Chretien’s reign and the arrogance and disdain he gifted us.

        • Antarcticone

          We seem to be missing a huge component; all the people who never vote. Voting should be mandatory, as in Australia.

    • http://profiles.google.com/joyrip.r Joyce R

      Maybe whistleblowers are not protected in Canada. We need a law that protects them from reprisals and, in fact, they should be rewarded with part of the money saved by their information.

      • Cassandra

        read the sad career/life story as 30+ years in Foreign Affairs of Shelley Ann Clarke/NAFTA, possibly the most life-threatened, harassed whistle-blower in Canada.

  • Brian O

    I tell my American friends that Harper is a mixture of Bush ,30% and Chenney 70% & they say OH MY GOD !

    • MAS

      Do you also show them the studies to prove it, or do you tell them that that is just your opinion ?

      Do you also tell your American friends that our housing market did not collapse and our economy is function & they say OH MY GOD !

      • Calgary Jim

        It didn’t collapse because of government regulations in place since long before the Cons came to power. Of course they love to take credit.

        • benalbanach

          Indeed. And it’s somewhat ironic that what Paul Martin did to shield us from abuse has kept Harper in power.

  • http://www.facebook.com/kevin.loring1 Kevin Loring

    What is being described is Fascism.

  • Eric Robbins

    I justed finished reading your book “Losing Confidence……………” which covers Canada’s extraordinary decline in the political system. I was disheartened by what I read but also hopeful that someone as erudite and savvy as yourself was making a case for the repairs that need to be done. I realize that people are going to behave dishonestly no matter what system of government we have. However, it seems to be that a necessary first step is to change our electoral system to MMP from FPTP. I would be interested in learning more about how to make that happen.

    • Alison Kulak

      Fair Vote Canada is a group working to change the electoral system. Unfortunately, no government in power is going to change the electoral system because, if they control the government then they’ve done well by FPTP.

  • http://twitter.com/docleslie docleslie

    can we bring Harper to trail for treason?

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=725392739 Al Wright

      Treason is exactly what this man is guilty of

  • Nancy Chantraine

    So true, Elizabeth. And very frightening. It is like what survivors of WWII have related to me about Hitler’s rise to power. Thank you for your post.

  • http://hemlock-n-ichor.tumblr.com/ hemlock_n_ichor

    Great post.

  • Albert John Saxby

    Thank You Elizabeth for looking out for Canada. What is happening, in Canada, under the dictator Stephen Harper, is deeply disturbing. What is equally disturbing to me, is that the majority of Canadians seem to be sleeping through it. It’s like a slow motion train wreck. Is there anyway he can be removed before he has totaly destroyed this country?

  • geolen

    Harper is no different double agent, spying on the inside, doing little subtle tweaks to the structure so it can all be collapsed at the same time. Beware of the right wing political trash supporters as well. They will do anything, just as Harper would resort to election fraud. Harper is the worst thing to happen to Canada politically since Mulroney! Oh I guess that means since the last Conservatives Government. Kim Campbell does not even count!

  • MAS

    Wow, the commentators on here have to calm down. Go back and read some of your comments.
    - equating the government to the rise of Nazi Germany (any Nazi comparison to anything is nuts)
    - calling this fascism
    - supporting a revolution to overthrow the government (of course, if that happened, would anyone overthrow your new government?)
    - claiming that Harper is not a ‘proper PM’ (how’s that for intellectual and social snobbery, disregard the will of the people because of your bias. How do you define a ‘proper’ PM . . . .and how would others?)
    - somehow a government with under 40% of the votes is illegitimate. Check the parliamentary system that you live under.

    It is because of narrow minded comments like these that will keep the Green Party a fringe party in Canada. Step up your game to one of thoughtful intellect and success may follow.

    • Carol Shetler

      Thanks, MAS for this well-reasoned comment. Canada has a long way to go before it gets anywhere near fascism or Nazism. (It’s unlikely Canada will ever steer that far off the basic path of democracy.) The federal Green Party, as embodied by Elizabeth May at the moment, is however, doing a valiant job to keep us in touch with our democratic roots and constitution. Let’s hope she gets some more party members in the House soon.

    • Jean

      Ok fine, there are a few extreme comments here but you are avoiding the topic entirely and focusing on a few of the comments. The points that Ms. May makes are intelligent, well thought out and valid. Thoughtful intellect is exactly what she is all about and the majority of the comments here are equally so. The reason that people like Harper get elected is voter apathy. He counts on it. And when he doesn’ t think that is enough…he employs attack ads and scare tactics. Works really well with the unthinking masses. That is NOT who support Elizabeth May.

    • Robert Hall

      Hey Jean take a few deep breaths. Mas’s comments are some of the more realist and least naive to be found here. I think he is speaking less to Ms May and more to people that make emotional knee jerk comments such as yours..

  • http://www.facebook.com/SHEILAkeepingitREAl Sheila Rea

    Thank you for speaking out on these very critical issues regarding the workings of our ruling government and that of the Privy Council. I ask Elizabeth if she has read the book “Dispersing the Fog – Inside the secret world of Ottawa and the RCMP” by investigative journalist Paul Palango? If not, I highly advise that she does, and seek consult with him. My only true critisisim here would be Elizabeth’s seeming conclusion that orders come from Harper, implying Harper alone sets the agenda. It is important to follow through with the hierarchy in order that Canadians better understand who are the wizards behind the curtain. But this is an excellent piece that ought to make many more aware, hopefully question, and above all – care. Thanks Elizabeth! xox

  • arby

    Hilarious monologue! She would be a good stand-in for Shelley Berman but he is more intelligent.

  • Mike Bray

    This excellent book offers background and solutions to bring back our democracy from the slippery slope we are on.

    http://www.emp.ca/democratizing-the-constitution-reforming-responsible-government.html

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=735892701 Terence Stone

    Elizabeth, you just stop short of calling Stephen Harper a dictator; and I understand why–so I’ll say it: STEPHEN HARPER IS A DICTATOR!

  • http://www.facebook.com/silicaceous John Foster

    Elizabeth May is a lawyer and knows her stuff, and I appreciate fully what she is stating, thank you Ms. May.

  • David

    Thank you so much for putting into words what we are all thinking; this is a government(of one man) that is totally arrogant and is not serving Canada at all. They are certainly not serving our fragile Earth, only their stockholders. Tatoosh said you cannot eat dollars after the last tree comes down. Keep on truckin’ Elizabeth; we are behind you and respect your respect for the people of Canada!!!

  • Eleanor

    What would make a difference on the hill, how can we get any of the views of people other than the four or five Ministers to be at least HEARD, does letter writing still help?

  • Deborah Hanscom

    You are so right and there is a long list of refusing to comply with the law: the Wheat Board elimination and refusing to enforce the provisions of the gun registry before he eliminated it entirely. This is accompanied by an attitude of ‘stop me if you can’ and so lets stop him if we can. That begins with not splitting our left of center vote in the next election. The Green, Liberal and NDP parties must work together to insure he does not win again.

  • benalbanach

    It’s such a pity that Stephen Harper is not a force for good. He’s so good at what he does. Trouble is he is quickly ,albeit cleverly, dismantling the nation in such a manner as to make it impossible for future generations to restore. He does this without any of us having any idea who he is.

  • http://www.facebook.com/joyce.ellis.90 Joyce Ellis

    I have long thought that Harper is a dictator. Pure and simple. He has managed to ruin Canada’s reputation in the rest of the world, he’s quite happy to sell our country to the highest bidder and cares not a fig for opinions of others. I’m sure he would have been happy if Romney had become president of the US. Harper would fit right in with that lot.

  • http://www.facebook.com/docupeter Peter Biesterfeld

    This is putting an insider’s stamp of confirmation on what is widely suspected and sadly accepted but for some reason not widely investigated or reported. Are you the only public servant left standing? Thanks for shining a light on this Elizabeth May. Let the mobilization against “deep” government, as Peter Dale Scott calls it, begin.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jeremy.nasmith Jeremy Nasmith

    Sounds like Fascism to me. Let’s call for an election!

  • CrikeyMcGregor

    Liberal Democracies look to Rule of Law for protection and to hold accountable those behaving in an anti-social way. The current behaviour of our rogue emperor must be an embarrassment even to the few who voted for him. If indeed we are stuck with this element to the end of their mandate, (bearing in mind re-election is unlikely and the behavior is going to get worse) we should make them aware criminal proceedings are an option. While protected to a degree by the rules and privileges of Parliament much of what they are doing constitutes breach of trust, treason, abuse of privilege, lies of omission within and without Parliament, multiple breaches of the Charter of Rights and Freedom,deliberate and cynical behaviour to mislead the people of Canada They should be encouraged to consider when we re-establish a legal government of whatever stripe there may well be charges.

    I vote against living in a wholly foreign owned, denuded, open sewer, those accountable for this should be jailed.

  • marilyn

    I think it’s functioning pretty much the same at the political level.

  • http://www.facebook.com/pwad1 Peter Davison

    I concur. This government is systematically destroying democratic institutions that took over a thousand years to evolve. I don’t think ‘fascist’ is too strong a word to use for this autocracy.

  • Joyce Hall

    I am hoping that a grassroots movement for cross-party co-operation within ridings can unseat this government in 2015. Then, the first priority has to be to establish a process to move to Proportional Representation by the next election.

    • MANintheMIDDLE

      Judith, you might be interested the two links I posted in my earlier comment. My take is we are suffering from a grievous flaw in our parliamentary system. Our system has been changed for more of its history than it hasn’t. We seem, as a nation, to have hallowed it since Confederation. Needed reform never seems to be a consideration. All democracy is a work in progress, yet, many feel that adjusting our democratic institutions, isn’t democratic!

  • TalkBack101

    So, what can we do?

  • Buwisit

    Thank you for your seemingly tireless work, Elizabeth. I couldn’t agree more with your analysis, and I speak as a retired DFO scientist who retired on election night for two reasons. The first, selfish one, was that I was afraid of what the new government would do to my pension. The second reason was that I couldn’t stomach working for a majority Conservative government, because I knew what was coming. It is not policies that I object to, about which you rightly point out that civil servants are obliged to be neutral. It is the way that government is being done. Just yesterday I was thinking that those who are commenting on the apparent ignorance of the Minister of International Cooperation are operating under the impression that ministers are still acting as ministers used to, that the system hasn’t been fundamentally altered. And then there are the large numbers of civil servants in senior (and middle) management that operate without a clear set of ethics and, thus, abet the “Harper Government”. They are , in essence, corrupt. The Clerk of the PCO has the responsibility to resist the PMO and protect civil servants, but I am not holding my breath.

  • David Wood

    I recently attended a half day seminar put on by the (CNSC) Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission. During a question period I noted to the speaker that recently there have been extensive changes to the environmental assessment act and she agreed. I than asked if the government did any consultation with senior staff at CNSC or other effected ministries before wrting the new policies.
    She was about to answer but than stopped abruptly noting that her boss was motioning to her to not go there.There was a chill in the room as people realized that perhaps event the CNSC is not independent of political threats.

    • http://twitter.com/frothquaffer rob clement

      Uneffingbelievable! Time to take to the streets with pots and pans! the Harpy has to go!

    • http://profiles.google.com/joyrip.r Joyce R

      Why do you think Linda Keen was fired?

  • Linda

    Ms. May, you are absolutely right – and I speak from 30 years experience in the federal civil service. I feel fortunate to have been able to retire in January this year. However, you have exposed only the tip of the iceberg – there is more, much more, that sadly will never see the light of day. The next government has years of work ahead of it to pick up the pieces and repair the damage- if it can be repaired and I have my doubts.

  • http://www.facebook.com/sovereign.citizen.39 Sovereign Citizen

    Harper’s purpose is to do everything he can to stimulate the economy, whatever the social, environmental or human costs. He is doing this because he knows that historically, the party and the leader that appears to the population to be the
    best bet for a strong economy will win the next election.

    His strategy is a mix of patience, disregard for anything or considerations that could distract from this objective, and total control of decision-making. He is rather efficient at the job. Kudos to the man for that.

    This does raise the rather delicate question: how come despite what we know of the man, he was reelected to a second term? It must be because indeed, he is right: people basically vote for a strong economy, and don’t really care for anything else. Self-interest in having a job is paramount to the possibility that some “poor” salmon trying to get up some creek “out there” may not get to spawn because an Enbridge pipeline destroyed that creek.

    So ranting against Harper is a false rant – we have no-one else to blame but ourselves. Let’s look at the real question:

    How is it that we still have a representative system of governance that takes decisions for us, circa 2012, instead of enabling those who are to be affected by a decision to weigh in on it directly?

    Organizations exist first a foremost to preserve their existence. This is true for the PMO, the PCO, all of government, all corporations, even families and communities.
    Nothing surprising there.

    Maybe it is time we asked ourselves “were we to reinvent national governance for the territory commonly referred to as Canada in this 21st Century, what would it look like?

    Is there anyone interested in pursuing this line of thinking?

  • ChristianJustice

    Wow! You should be a regular blogger for HuffPo, or some legit news site… This is so informative and equally disturbing. The worst part about this is that it will require a leader with a serious moral compass to reverse all these partisan changes, rather than just use it to their advantage. I find it hard to believe that there wasn’t a bit of this with previous governments, but the extent to which power has centralized around the PMO can not be understated… Great work, MP May!! Best MP in Ottawa!

  • Ancient Briton

    What the eye cannot see, the heart cannot grieve over!

  • Chris Shirley

    Thank you Elizabeth for exposing what is going on. I have sensed it and yet I feel powerless to do anything about it. What can be done??? It would seem that my Canada is at stake! To me this is treason. Can the Governor General be persuaded to do anything?

  • Ernie Tomlinson

    More sadly yet, in the past two days I have seen an editorial in our local paper pronouncing on what a good job Harper is doing (!) and on the At Issue panel on CBC The National just last night, more than one voice mentioning his popularity and approval rating. Is the propaganda really working that well? Or… I don’t know what – I am both baffled (How can people think that way?) and flabbergasted. (How can people think that way?) !!

    So what to do? Flood the voicemails and inboxes of MPs, in particular Conservative MPs, and sign every petition against Harper’s doings that we can. If it were to happen in the 10s of thousands we might get somewhere – as we have with the China FIPPA. I hope.

  • Linda McCabe

    Thank you for this clear explanation of the privy council and the challenges faced by the public civil service since Harper’s election. One of the things we Canadians are is trustworthy and complacent. We have a great country, one that could be a role model for the world with representation from practically every country in the world and maybe every country. We are learning to not just survive with one another, but also to thrive and appreciate our unique contributions. That is worth buiding a country around. Much as I would like to say that Harper is the enemy, I think we need to seriously look within and see how much we as Canadian citizens have allowed this to happen. We are uninformed about politics, most not even bothering to vote and some of those that do just choose a name or choose who they think will win. By focusing on the acquisition of power by Harper, we inadvertently provide him with even more. Rather we need to focus on the type of country we want and become more informed and more involved. I am directing this at myself as well. I have been that complacent individual and Harper is actually serving to wake me up and I hope he succeeds in waking everyone up. His environmental, social and foreign policy are unsupportable and embarrasing. A colleague of mine confided that he no longer wants to be known as a Canadian when traveling in the Middle East and in other parts of the world. I have had that experience myself. So in this time of great change as 2012 comes to an end, we get to ask ourselves what kind of world do we want to live in, what kind of country do we want to be part of that contributes to the kind of world we want. And what is our contribution going to be. Come from the heart to create a world that works for all. Thank you Ms. May for all that you are doing to contribute to a new order. I hope to see more cooperation between the more like minded parties. I see that benefical for all concerned.

  • Heinz Mayr (PEI)

    I had a discussion with a Provincial Minister a few years ago about our political system. I told her at the time that Canada with the right, or i should say wrong person, could easily become a dictator ship. Was i wrong???….I don’t think so. In my opinion we do have a “hidden dictatorship” right now.

  • Chris Rose

    Over 60 years ago I entered Canada and became a Canadian in
    1957. I was a young child when Hitler started his machinations in the
    Reichstag. Politics were discussed openly during meals between my parents and
    my older siblings but from 1938 onward a total silence on political issues
    covered our table.

    I have lived in many places in Canada with wonderful
    experiences. But now I am troubled by the similarity of the behaviour presented
    by our Prime Minister and that of the former chancellor of Germany in
    1933.

    I’m not a psychiatrist but I feel that the Prime Minister exhibits pathological obsessions with the Oil Sands and the development of old technologies to the detriment of
    alternatives. He seems to want to achieve his goals without regard to basic
    principles of Democracy such as the prorogation of Parliament, Budget Bills C38
    and C45 and now the Canada China Investment Treaty (which I have read). The
    treaty is a violation of our democratic rights and is putting Canada under
    indirect and/or direct foreign domination. The Prime Minister has removed
    nearly all environmental and/or legal obstacles that would prevent him from
    ramming the “Northern Gateway Pipeline” through British Columbia
    regardless of the consequences. I’m afraid there will be an uprising by the
    First Nations People. Further, in spite of a decreasing crime rate he wants to
    build more prisons. Is he planning for such an uprising?

    The Prime Minster has
    exhibited a total disregard for the interrelationships of the various
    ecosystems and the impact they will have on ocean-acidification, plankton
    destruction, ocean temperatures, increase of hurricanes, tornadoes, typhoons
    and more devastations similar to “Sandy”, the ocean levels increase and the
    sinking of low-level cities and the destruction of entire societies
    (Maldives Islands). The Prime Minister does not understand that the environment
    is the determining factor which will govern the economy in 20 years time.

    The Prime Minister does not
    recognize that the future of the world will be based on a “Renewable –
    Direct-Energy Technology” and the ensuing economic benefits where roofs, walls
    of houses-stores-high-rises, parking lots, train-tracks and other surfaces will
    serve as energy generators. The harvesting of more wind, ocean-tides (Discovery
    Passage, BC), geothermal and tidal waves will hold the future. Further,
    the development of technologies to store energy by means of reverse water flows
    to existing dams, under-ground storage of heat, etc should be considered the
    future. The Oil Sands, coal or gas should be rationed and only released to
    those users who are willing to convert to renewable resources. Eventually other
    sources must replace the huge petrol-chemical industries around the world which
    is presently producing the multitude of plastic materials which have become the
    foundation of the world commerce to the detriment of our future. Furthermore,
    the Prime Minister should direct his attention to the minimization of
    transport-systems for energy such as pipes lines, electric transmission lines,
    trucks and/or rails. But he is going totally in the opposite direction – Does
    he wish for Armageddon? Will it come
    soon enough for him!?
    Perhaps the Governor General should be asked to intervene as the representative of her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

    • Cassandra

      well, the GG was recommended by SH! would he bite the hand that fed him???

  • Anti

    I think this is all part of a one world governemtn controlled by the Rothchild fFamily of Banksters, they have wanted and are working for generations to bring about total control of all the worlds resources and control all the worlds finances and banks, so far the Rothchild own ALL the worlds Banks other than the 7 countries in the middle east which miraculously are all being destroyed by Humanitarian concerns by Amerika.. a few of Rothchild’s quotes..

    “Give me control of a nation’s money
    and I care not who makes the laws.”

    “I care not what puppet is placed on the throne of England to rule the
    Empire, …The man that controls Britain’s money supply controls the British
    Empire. And I control the money supply.”

    “We shall have World Government, whether or not we like it. The only
    question is whether World Government will be achieved by conquest or
    consent.”

  • E. Wald

    Thank you so much for your diligence. I have been wondering since the first time I didn’t vote for him how we could get rid of Stephen Harper and get the country back t sustainability. The answer will come with a further increase in the number of aware people. It has to happen a.s.a.p

  • Bonnie T

    Thank you so much for outlining this serious situation.

  • David J Parker

    How can this be stopped? We are losing democracy, and with it freedom, due to the stealth of one man. How can we win back the checks and balances that are built into the US constitution. The Nazi regime came to power by similar devious and slow subversion and we all know how that turned out.
    Harper has revealed his long denied “secret agenda”. Something Laurie Hawn (Edmonton Centre) has vehemently denied in every election he has run in. From prorogation to omnibus bills, this is a government that knows it has 4 more years and a majority of seats (not votes) and is relatively quickly implementing that secret agenda.
    We are less than halfway through their mandate and already the results are devastating, particularly in the area of environmental protection and conservation. Industrial expansion and private profit are all this man is concerned for, damn the consequences. At a time when it is imperative that we decarbonize our atmosphere, preserve what is left of the biota of planet earth and move rapidly towards a sustainable economy we are going entirely the opposite way. As Ronald Wright pointed out in A Short Progress of Civilization, this has happened to civilizations before,most notably the Babylonian and Easter Island. Someone chopped down the last tree, someone took too much from the soil and put nothing back and someone ate the last dodo. This time it’s cod, sharks, polar bears, paving over of farmland, destruction of functioning eco-systems.
    When will we learn that we can’t eat money?

  • Concerned Canadian Scientist

    As a Ph.D. scientist and former public servant, I can say that the public service is lead to believe that they are to answer to the government of the day and not to the public. They are by law to answer to the public and not to the Ministers. So much for the ‘public’ in public service. History shows that in past repressive regimes the first to be silenced were scientists and artists. Steven Harper is repressive. We must speak out.

  • Judith

    Thank you again Elizabeth! I voted for you in the last election and am so glad you were elected. We need strong, independent, HONEST voices at this crucial time in history to keep us Canadian.

  • http://www.facebook.com/cindy.aspden Cindy Aspden

    I have just finished listening to the decisions about CNOOC-NEXEN sell-out to China. I’m in shock. Now I read this. What the frig can we do??? Please!! If you know ANYTHING or ANYWAY that he can be stopped. Why is everyone beating around the bush about the exact nature of what has become of Canada. It was a coup d’etat that has forced in a fascist government. So what the heck are we going to do?? What is our recourse??

  • Kevin Eastwood

    Dear Elizabeth, Thank you for all that you do. It would be a pleasure to help build a better Canada. Based on what I have read regarding recent parliamentary sessions, I almost feel it is time for you and the rest of the opposition, to leave the house and focus on public forums and meetings explaining what is going on. The term “opposition” is unfortunate as it implies a stance on every issues and detracts from the possibility of cooperation. I think it is sadly time for Canadians to experience that their government has failed. It is not fair for us as your constituents to send you or anyone else to a parliament where your presence is taken for granted or disdained. We must not maintain the illusion that parliament is working. The House is no longer the venue for rational thought, compassion or cautious progress. The stage is outside. Best of luck, I will be listening.

  • http://www.facebook.com/sandy.wrightman Sandy Wrightman

    Thank you Elizabeth. You are our Prime Parliamentarian! Many of us recognize that only Stephen speaks, that elected officials are just Charlie MacCarthys, that there are no checks and balances in the system , that Canada has become a poker game, with extremely high stakes and crooked players. The question is “What can we do?” It is clear that it is up to us, the citizens of a remembered Canada of integrity, honesty, and a reputation to be proud of. NO we were not perfect. We did some terrible things. We could learn from them rather than revere disrespect, lawlessness, greed, and a prime minister who is a shill for the oil companies, the wanton destruction of the planet and panders to countries who make very strange, dangerous bedfellows. We appreciate you so much. We are standing up! We are speaking up! We are fed up! Time has run out! Now what!

  • Gwynne

    Thank you for explaining, Elizabeth. To defeat the Harper Conservatives in the next election, we need to insist that the 3 centre party leaders (Green, NDP and Liberal) collaborate, starting as soon as the Liberals have a leader. Elizabeth, has already committed to collaboration. We’re lucky to have her. The 3 centre leaders need to reach consensus (1) on major issues, and (2) on which single candidate will run in each riding to represent the 3 centre parties, in order to defeat the Conservatives. If we 3 centre parties reach consensus on issues in 2013, voters will appreciate the wisdom of the centre positions on issues, and the unity of the 3 centre parties. This mutual support is needed while leading up to the election and for the many years after.

    • Little_Bear

      It is the only hope – the non-conservative vote is split too many ways. I truly believe there would be overwhelming positive public response to this.

  • Ahda

    Is there any way that the elected government officials can be forced to respond to public inquiry as in the form of CBC interviews? a Bill? How many times have I heard that Ministers decline to participate in CBC programs. Perhaps if those individuals were required to communicate with those that elected their party, it might illustrate some of the concerns you have expressed here.

  • Dan

    Hi so I was taken aback today. After reading this, I decided to visit the Conservatives website and see what (if anything) they have to say. Well, I’m shocked at the lack of information and that you can’t even comment on their posts. How can you run a government without allowing feedback on your policies via the web? Elizabeth, please keep informing us of these transgressions and thank you so much for your incredible energy and persistence.

  • JM

    Principles like this we may sense but rarely get to know enough of the details. A blog like this puts the whole decline of the democratic process in focus

  • Kyle Billing

    I would like to move for a vote of no-confidence in Steven(Stephen?) Harper.

  • bernadette slosmanis

    Dear Elizabeth, Canadians are so peaceful I can’t imagine them having a popular revolution! But there should be a legal procedure in place to get rid of/impeach the PM……The US impeached Nixon…and others too. Canadians just have to make up their minds & do what has to be done to protect a Canadian way of life – democratic – before any more damage is done.

  • Shelley C

    Well said Elizabeth May. You are truly one of the best federal MPs this country has ever seen. Thanks for your hard work on behalf of all Cnadians. such a sad, sad, day in light of the Nexen decision. Interesting he did not wait until Monday, but then again, maybe he wanted to beat the decision on Council of Canadians’ case regarding election fraud, which is expected on Monday? Peace and solidarity, Ms. May.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=679887325 Richard Cochrane

    We must end Harper’s reign with a terminating permanence, so that when he is out he stays down. Meantime we must do battle with him in his limited time. You can’t trust the Cons, you can’t trust the Libs, I’m unsure of the remainder, but I trust the Green Party agenda. The Green Party “is the” clean party, I trust them with our economy , enironment and country. It is time for a clean “GREEN” slate.

    • Robert Hall

      “terminating permanence” you must be from Dallas

  • Ruth Reid

    Thanks Elisabeth, very disturbingly enlightening ! Ruth Reid Surrey BC

  • http://www.facebook.com/david.smile.395 David Smile

    I see what your saying when you say “invisible – in plain sight”.

    Harper choose to accept and award from Kissenger and send Bird Brain Baird to the United Nations.

    Harpers standing against non-member status with the U.N. for the people of Palestine is a slap in the face, to sensible Canadians on the world stage.

    Just as disturbing is our nations apathy to the events now on display both domestic and international, is it not obvious, wisdom and diplomacy, dedication to the shared principles of mutual benefit (public service) is long out the window.

    What was once the undercurrent, Corporate De Facto Authority run by the Banksters, is now openly practiced.

    Have you read the Financial Administration Act Elizabeth?
    Section 19.1 should give you a heads up on “invisible – in plain sight”.
    Charges for rights and privileges
    19.1 The Governor in Council may, on the recommendation of the Treasury Board,
    (a) by regulation prescribe the fees or charges to be paid for a right or privilege conferred by or on behalf of Her Majesty in right of Canada, by means of a licence, permit or other authorization, by the persons or classes of persons on whom the right or privilege is conferred.

    is this part of what you mean when you say. “invisible – in plain sight”.

  • Dixon

    So what do we do? Everyone is talking about how Harpers done this and that, how do we stop the madness?

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1475284920 Darren Gregory

    Coalition? Is it, at all, possible in this climate?

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1475284920 Darren Gregory

      Is it possible at all? I know I feel, as do many others, that this gentleman is abusing power? It feels, federally, that we are now under the same mandated dictatorship that Mr. Campbell hung around his neck as a personal agenda when our split-voting elected the Liberal party initially here in BC. Am I off my own mark with this six-sense? My gut? Says NO! But I can only keep pretending to be politically astute: I’m, personally, coming off a very long period in my political participation that was simply, considerably apathetic!

  • Ellen Rainwalker

    We no longer have a functioning democracy. We are basically living in a dictatorship. Not sure what we can do about it though. Our electoral system was designed a couple of hundred years ago when there were only two parties. Since this is no longer the case, it is completely dysfunctional, as the Not-Conservatives vote gets split about five ways.

  • MANitMIDDLE

    Perhaps, Harper isn’t the problem but a consequence. How can we have a representative government built on rational thought and necessary compromise when a minority can elect a power base? Here is how it has happened this time around: http://manitmiddle.blogspot.ca/2012/03/unite-left-recalculating-41st.html

    Kudos, Ms. May. You’ll notice you were elected with more legitimacy than most.

    I have thought a great deal about our political system. I certainly don’t believe I have all the answers, however, I really hope meaningful discussion might occur. Here are some thoughts relating to our government by bad apple: http://manitmiddle.blogspot.ca/2012/03/how-did-we-become-government-by-bad.html

    The real issue is a systemic failure which has allowed power to concentrate in the PMO. Our elected representatives in parliament, far too often, seem to be muzzled weaklings whose purpose is to support the political machine.

  • DemocracyNow!

    Thanks Elizabeth – Warrior Woman. So appreciate you keeping us posted, as you note, the media sure doesn’t. CBC has gone corporate. Anyway, there’s no shortage of things to do from our small corners of life. Spread this news through our various networks, in the real face-to-face world in particular. Tyrants and tyranny can only be confronted by movements, and we have a long way to go to inform and build that movement. But don’t underestimate the rippling effects of small acts of resistance, including bonding secretly with others to resist “following into line”. This is exactly how the pressure is reversed, otherwise it will require an impossible grand intervention.

    Someone commented on conflating Harper with Germany – I’ld worry more about this systematic dismantling of the State, and I beg to differ on “But Harper et al are certainly not imperialistically invading countries and committing genocide”. Not overtly, but covertly finance capitalism through the promotion of neo-liberalisation policies around the globe, to which the Canadian establishment (thinking of our Bank of Canada governor for instance) is leading the way, are INDEED leading to multitudes of people dying (also silent and out of sight) and constitute a genocide of the poor. That’s two billion people in abject poverty today.

    Anyway, it’s about time we start making comparisons with what we don’t want to see, keeping in mind that tyranny in Germany was different, in no way diminishes that tyranny in Canada this is. In time, I hope for a national day of public protest, an all out strike of the civil service, the entire public sector, private sector, and civil society. Harper has to go, but so does the notion that we can’t do anything about this (because that’s an essential feature of tyranny).

  • Bunkie

    Dear Elizabeth,

    Thanks for these important insights which would not read elsewhere. And thanks being ahead of the curve in alerting us to the dubious provisions of the China Free Trade deal.

    And mostly, and most impressively, thanks for your courageous stand on Palestine. Having served the Church in Jerusalem and Gaza, I have since maintained that the litmus test of a politician’s integrity is their comments on the Middle East.

    I look forward to addressing you as Madam Prime Minister.

  • Steve McKinley

    does this make sense to anyone? lately i have been thinking that if all of the ndp supporters demanded that mulcair embrace cooperation or we would pull out our financial support of the ndp it might just be enough to move him towards that. i think there would be a stampede to support the ndp and the liberals might just have to go along. i read and read blogs from people that say how they hate what is going on but i rarely read any ideas for how to stop harper.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Balther-J-Jensen/1259200157 Balther J. Jensen

    Elizabeth May, and ‘spunky’, your spunky little Dog.
    First. Canada is not a ‘democracy’. Canada is a monarchy.
    If we want a true democracy, we must first of all get rid of the monacy, and then make it illegal to have any political parties, and then we must make it very illegal to ‘bribe’ politicians to get the kind of legislation, or, contracts and grants the individuals or corporations want from the government.
    At the time being, the different political parties accept monetary contributions to the different parties, and their candidates, which is the same as taking ‘bribes’
    And then all elected members of Parliament must all be ‘Indepents’, not afiliated with any sort of party, and they must be totally free to wote in the house of commons, in accordance with their own conscience.
    And then we must get rid of the ‘House of Lords’ known as the ‘Senate’
    It is just a joke, and a slap in the face to all Canadian citizens, to have a ‘House of Commons’, when the ‘Senate’ can overrule any decision the elected M.P.’s may make.
    It is just making a fool out of all Canadian citizens, by having a unelected ‘Senate’, which can overrule any de

  • Doug Anderson

    Appreciated this blog on PCO and PMO and loss of autonomy and intimidation of our experienced Civil Servants. This Government makes me very sad, and the surprises just keep coming. Today, PM Harper rejected recommendation of Committee on
    small guns and Assault weapons. Wants to extend Licence period for these
    weapons from five years to ten, over the recommendations of Police Chiefs.
    Am inclined to agree with others that we need a sort of “Progressive
    Canadian” Party to come together for next election, if only on an AD HOC basis, to
    restore Democracy and Parliament. Otherwise, we split the vote again. Just getting
    rid of this Bunch is biggest priority.

    Great Web site!!

    • Robert Hall

      Doug

      I appreciate your insight but I think you might be
      confusing two separate issues. You may or may not agree with
      the broad issues of such things as gun control or the specific tenets of
      such legislation. But gun control like many others, is a bona fide contentious issue for Canadians and there are legitimate arguments on either side.

      Mr. Harper’s heavy handed methods for “getting his way” is what is being discussed here and confusing the argument by blending in your personal opinion on specific points of legislation play right into his hands. If something such as your proposed AD HOC Canadian Party has any hope for success,
      we will all have to be more open minded and tolerant of opinions that differ
      from our own, regardless of how righteous we may think our insights are.

  • MyPetGloat

    Keep up the good work, Elizabeth. I wish the other party leaders were as vocal as you about what is going on.

  • Marc Wieser

    Thank you, thank you for this concise explanation! I was trying to describe this very thing to a friend last night, and now I feel quite justified. As always, your observations seem to be the only sensible voice coming out of Ottawa these days.

  • Anthony Richmond

    My conclusion exactly – but I now have the mechanics explained. Thank you Elizabeth May MP.

  • Douglas Jackson

    Chairman Harper has been spending to much time in China and is not working for the long term good of Canada or the planet. If Chairman Harper thinks he can run roughshod over all us dumb, apathetic Canadian voters, he is greatly underestimating the average Canadians disgust with his tactics. Absolute power corrupts absolutely, and Chairman Harper will find out come 2015 just how opposed Canadians are to wannabe dictators posing as a credible democratic leader.

    Keep up the good honest work Elizabeth, thanks to you some of us have our eyes wide open.

    Disgusted Canadian,
    D Jackson.

  • Robert Hall

    I think Ms May’s article is right on. We are witnessed a systematic gutting of the democratic process along with a corresponding erosion of our hard won rights and freedoms. But getting rid of Heir Harper is but a band aid solution. I agree that he is a dangerous character but the problem goes far beyond just Mr. Harper. Nixing him is tantamount to banning nuclear weapons and assuming we are safe. Even if we destroyed, dismantled or send to Jupiter, every nuke on earth, the technology to build them will exist and unless we revert to a new stone age, the threat of nuclear proliferation will remains just a few months away. As Ms May points out, the insidious and autocratic shift of power to the PM’s office began with Pierre Trudeau (or perhaps even sooner). What we need is a set of elected representatives, from federal to municipal and of all political stripes, who have the foresight and courage to stand up and say enough. Do we want a real democracy or a Stalin-esque arrangement that enables egotistical strongmen such as Mr. Harper. And speaking of courage, we also need the media complete with journalists and rock-star pundits, to have the stones to point out to the great unwashed, the perilous road we are being shepherded down.

  • George Sweeney

    Priority #1 is to defeat Conservatives in the next election. I believe this can only occur to a significant extent if the parties that are not Conservatives agree not to fight each other for votes. This has never happened previously but with one conservative and 3 other parties, without agreement on strategy the outcome is predictable. The majority of Canadians either dont know or dont care what is going on and like Harper’s statesmanlike image..

  • Bananajoe

    Dissent must come from within the pm’s cabinet. Pressure must be put on Harper-the-bully and a group of dedicated, ”honest” (er…) and fed-up ministers must expose and pressure Harper to transparency and majority consensus. I have been disillusioned about politicians for a long, long time but with this government, it has reached a new low. Harper is fooling only himself if he thinks he can keep getting away with his Reich-like ruling.

  • Bruce

    Thank you, Elizabeth, as always. There is one way to stop this: convince the Conservative membership that their plans are radically destructive and that Harper is an autocrat and must be replaced by a saner, more just, member from their ranks. Good luck with that.

    • Bruce

      By membership, I should have written “caucus”.

  • Peter.

    They say… If you can get enough fools to follow, you can get elected to anything. Well Canada, we sure did that, and it took only 35%.

  • A Van der Haeghe

    We must join parties on the left as they orchestrated on the right – combine the Liberals, NDP and Green party – preferably with Elizabeth as leader. It’s time for proportional representation – in lieu of that We cannot split the vote – our slogan ” He doesn’t make the rules – You do – Vote anybody but Harper!”

    • Costal Hiker

      I would support that. But Elizabeth, to date our only voice of reason must be the coalition leader.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Linda-Belanger/704412666 Linda Belanger

    More along this line from Frances Russell. http://www.ipolitics.ca/2012/12/07/how-harper-exploits-canadians-ignorance-of-parliamentary-democracy/

    Quote from article: “the government is forcing committees to meet in secret
    and muzzling opposition MPs from revealing anything that occurred to protect the
    government.” Harper has broken the social contract that made our parliamentary
    democracy function. The opposition parties should have called attention to this
    when it first started to happen by refusing to be muzzled. When one party breaks
    the contract the other party cannot be held to it. Politicians claimed our
    votes by claiming to be leaders, now they have to live up to that. Parliament
    is now a sad joke where the government House leader walks across the floor to
    bully the opposition for doing its job. MPs should walk out and tour the
    country inspire civil disobedience, general strikes and anything else anyone can
    think of.

  • Phyllis

    In light of today’s announcement, one wonders how many corporate boards will be offering Mr. Harper directorships similar to Mr. Mulroney.
    Thanks, Elizabeth, for some eye- openers and some confirmations.

  • Darius

    Thank you, Elizabeth. I have long felt that Harper is dangerous, and I don’t find allusions to Hitler and the Nazis to be over the top. No one is suggesting that the Harperites will actually do anything the Nazis did. But If one asks the question, how can it be that in a so-called democracy one party, and increasingly one man, can come to exert control to the point of being effectively unstoppable, then the creeping acquisition of power by Hitler and the Nazis is a good illustration. Disregard evidence; embrace ideology; distort, lie, propagandize and bully; suppress dissent; change laws and rig processes–acquire power incrementally and wield it to acquire ever more, until no one can stop you.

  • Short form

    Science Fiction Novel Plot: The CEO of a rapture based political vision dispenses directives to the machine he builds and uses his underlings to act as salespersons on a television based shopping channel. Implausible.

  • http://www.facebook.com/Mofichi Marcopolo Costa

    The only reason that Harper Govt is on track to fullfil his Firewall Six Letter agenda is thru the ambivelance of the Judiciary regarding Executive Orders in Council, that has Privy. Council as the only oversight and approval status of. EOICs use of statutory instruments. This affords the Executive Branch exclusive authority to remove Elected Officials from the Democratic process & replacing them with senior bureaucrats. The SCC’s Chief Justice B Mclaghlin has caught on to this loophole that’s been abused by governing parties for more than 3 decades. McLaghlin needs parliamentary support to stop this sabotage of Canada’s Unity. Google Marcopolo Resources Inc for details of abuses.

  • http://www.facebook.com/nadine.lumley Nadine Lumley

    Repost from Chris Hedges (Pulitzer Prize winner and former war
    correspondent for the New York Times) on Canada’s right-wing neocon Prime
    Minister Stephen Harper:

    Harper is a poster child for corporate malfeasance and
    corporate power, just sort of dismantling everything that’s good about Canada. So he’s the kind of species that rises to
    political power and is utterly subservient to corporate interests at the
    expense of the citizenry.

    Yeah, he’s a pretty venal figure.

    http://www.straight.com/article-732826/vancouver/chris-hedges-harper-venal-us-politics-totally-rigged

    .

  • http://www.facebook.com/nadine.lumley Nadine Lumley

    Who Killed Canada

    Media Ownership and the Radical Right in Canada

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d8D67YiLcOM

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fiurWhmOIgk&feature=related

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iRnZ43wxGvY&NR=1

    Part 1, 2 & 3. Note: each video about 10 minutes long

    No time for video?
    Read review instead:

    http://pushedleft.blogspot.com/2009/11/under-stephen-harper-we-are-no-longer.html

    Mr. Hurtig begins by discussing the Canadian media and how
    we now have the greatest concentration of media in the western world. In fact, he states this would simply not be
    allowed in any other western democracy.

    And since these same media outlets control newspaper,
    television and radio news; we are essentially only being given one voice. There are few or no alternative views. As stated in the video, a healthy democracy
    should foster a healthy and independent news media.

    http://pushedleft.blogspot.com/2009/11/under-stephen-harper-we-are-no-longer.html

  • http://www.facebook.com/michael.flaherty.56884 Michael Flaherty

    Harper
    is to Canada what the Biblical Ten Plagues were to Ancient Egypt!!!
    How can we stop this madness, this unrelenting assault on the bedrock
    foundations of our Canada: Adherance to democratic principles, fairness,
    reason, tolerance, honesty, respect for the land and it’s original
    inhabitants, humility, empathy and self-determination. Believers in these fundamental ideals are shell-shocked eye-witnesses to the demolition
    of Canada, as we knew it prior to the Harper Government infestation.

  • gary killeen

    My guess is that you are probably right on and its disgusting and that Chinese deal just got pushed thru on a friday night when nobody was watching.

  • KootenayCoyote

    Thank you. It’s appalling to see Fascism being built in Canada, & today’s (7/12) Nexen &c deals only strengthen that process.

  • http://www.facebook.com/pierrette.tremblay.3511 Pierrette Tremblay

    Il y a longtemps que beaucoup de gens se doutent que ca ne tourne pas rond dans ce gouvernement.. Il faut voir et entendre les deputes et ministres de ce gouv pour se rendre a l’evidesce , ils ne sont que des peroquets.ils disent toujours les memes choses , peu importe leurs interlocuteurs. C’est comme une recitation. C’est evidentt que je suis inquiete. C’est un processus tres dangereux. Comment y faire face?

  • Mark

    STEPHEN HARPER and his GOVERNMENT have opened up the door to our Country and it will soon be a flood gate. He and his puppets are the worst types of criminals, liars and thieves, where is our Justice. Follow the money trail, better still lets offer a “get out of jail free card” and a cash reward for information.

  • Nelly Vidal

    merci pour cette mise au point qui illustre concrètement le malaise ressenti . Je peux enfin nommer ce malaise qui était difficile à justifier aux yeux de nos amis européens en quête du gouvernement ideal.Il n’y a aucun doute dans mon esprit que nous allons prochainement payer le prix de notre propension à ignorer la réalité, endormis que nous sommes dans notre confort Nord Américain. merci de mettre votre intelligence et votre Coeur au service de l’éveil.

  • Nelly Vidal

    J’ai oublié de mentionner mon étonnement de l’absence totale de commentaires en français, dormons nous plus dur que les anglophones??????

  • Gerard Brender à Brandis

    Your description of the trend in the workings of government is bone-chilling indeed. Not that I am surprised, as I felt that the most dangerous thing Canadians could do would be to give Harper a majority in Parliament. But is this more-or-less parallel to the powers assumed by the president of Egypt, except that Harper has had the time to make it at a more leisurely pace?

  • maxwelldm

    The Yanks do have a process which has been used in countless governments over the years – assassination of their leaders. We had a go at it 100 years ago (Darcy McGee) but abandoned it.

    Realistically, I don’t hear *any* practical solution to our situation. Elizabeth is absolutely correct that the control by the PMO has completely subverted democracy. But Harper did not invent this shift – Trudeau did, and every subsequent government has strengthened it. And not one of the parties (except, presumably the Greens, who have absolutely no power to alter anything), has the slightest interest in reversing the slide. Nothing short of a popular revolution will make any difference, and Canadians are not given to mobilising for any cause, let alone something as complex as changing their entire mode of governance. I fear we are damned. And with the signing of the recent deals to give our resources to the Indonsian and Chinese governments, it probably doesn’t matter much anyway – we don’t own our country anyway.

  • Nicole Mallette

    Merci de nous expliquer en détail ce que nous pressentons dans les déclarations publiques des ministres et autres grands personnages de l’Etat.

  • maruggles

    this is scary!!!

  • august Guillaume

    Its then up to the opposition parties to have a real discussion

  • Bertrand Courtois

    Mme May, tout semble indiquer que vous avez raison! Si je ne me trompe, vous décrivez un complot! Si c’était une guerre, on pourrait dire que Harper agit comme un “ennemi de l’intérieur”.

    Alors il ne faut pas cesser de travailler pour s’opposer à ce travail de sape. Je vous encourage donc à continuer votre bon travail et surtout à diffuser vos réflexions.

    Bertrand Courtois, Beloeil, QC.

  • Lo S

    If I had my way, Elizabeth, you would be Prime Minister tomorrow.

  • Ivor Green

    My view is that this country has been a democratically elected dictatorship since the days of Trudeau. However, technology is giving us the opportunity to vote daily. We can write letters, and more letters, and be heard. All published letters are monitored and assigned a multiple – I have heard 500 or more. So 100,000 e-mails pouring into Harper’s office in one day saying the same thing gets attention, even if it is contrary to his plan. They all want to keep their jobs.

    In recent times the letter writers seem to have stalled the signing of FIPA, however the arrogance of Harper looks set to sign it regardless, following the takeover announcements. I predict that FIPA will eventually cost the taxpayer billions.

    I hope the legal minds can help us make inroads into the potential catastrophe.
    Ivor Green, Calgary

  • Lexy

    Great commentary, Ms May. Jim Travers was addressing some of this, just a few months before his untimely and tragic death.

    “Imagine a country where Parliament is padlocked twice in 13 months to
    frustrate the democratic will of the elected majority. That country is
    now this country.

    Imagine a country that slyly relaxes environmental regulations even
    as its neighbour reels from a catastrophic oil leak blamed on slack
    controls. That country is now this country.

    Imagine a country that boasts about prudent financial management
    while blowing through a $13-billion surplus on the way to a $47-billion
    deficit. That country is now this country.

    Imagine a country where a political operative puts fork-tongued
    words in a top general’s mouth. That country is now this country. ”

    http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/steveharper/article/825809–travers-changing-canada-one-backward-step-at-a-time

  • Johane La Rochelle

    Merci Mme May d’avoir abordé une question proprement inconnue de la majorité des citoyens, encore plus des Québécois qui ne connaissent pas comment fonctionne l’administration fédérale ni le politique gouvernemental. Je suggère que vous teniez une «liste d’épicerie» des exemples de la corruption partisane dans le processus décisionnel de même qu’une liste d’épicerie pour les décisions prises par le gouvernement qui minent la démocratie. En fait, selon moi, le Canada est sur la pente d’une dictature ouatée !

  • http://profiles.google.com/joyrip.r Joyce R

    It is almost as if corruption is in the air all over the Western world. The US political, judicial and executive branches have all come under the spell of the financial system which pretty much lobbies and gets its way with regulations and policy decisions to the detriment of the people.

    Here, in Canada, we seem to have a republican-like wanna-be who is trying to inculcate all the worst ideas of conservatism and nel-liberalism:

    “Neoliberalism refers to economic liberalizations, free trade and open markets, privatization, deregulation, and enhancing the role of the private sector in modern society. Today the term is mostly used as a general condemnation of policies that deregulate and enhance the role of the private sector.[1]” (Wikipedia)

    As Harper remakes our country into his own vision, we, the people, are becoming cogs in his machine. I have noticed that more and more control is being exerted over Conservative MPs and less and less transparency is being pursued by the party in power.

    There have been a series of actions that helped increase the power of the executive PM: for example, controlling how committees work; proroguing parliament; avoiding talking to the press; not giving the necessary budget estimates to parliament (very important for democracy!); giving money to certain ridings (Clement) and not others; giving preferential treatment for protection of waterways (to Conservative ridings); getting rid of public servants who try to maintain impartiality (e.g., firing Linda Keen); saying things about departments that are proven false (e.g. the head of Stats Canada); and then there are the foreign affairs policies that are harming Canada’s reputation abroad; and on and on and on.

    Thank you, Elizabeth May, for recognizing what is going on and telling us so forthrightly. One hopes that our country will not be changed beyond belief before we can do something about it. The corruption of democracy is an evil thing.

  • John

    This country needs a revolution….we need people to go to Ottawa and protest this Conservative Government.

  • Françoise Breault

    La démocratie est bafouée par M. Harper. Pourtant seulement 24% des gens ont voté pour lui: 40% des 60% des électeurs = 24%. Souhaitons que les 76% s’unissent contre Harper pour sauver la démocratie.

  • http://www.facebook.com/margaretstewartanderson Margaret Anderson

    I echo other people’s conclusions. How can we do anything to get rid of Steven Harper until the next election??

  • Ol_Buck

    What a bunch of hogwash and how could any person in their right mind publish such a rediculous article?

  • hannora

    What is said by Elizabeth May should now be apparent by Harper approving China takeover of Exxen and the stealth carriers now priced at 45 billion. Where are the backbones of the other Tory MPs?

  • Allan MacRae

    Thank you Elizabeth. Although I have no idea as to how we can combat such a dangerous man! I am appalled that 63% of us are “ruled” by someone who received only 37% support. We do need a a different way of electing our representatives. Some process which ensures truly representative democracy.

    Allan MacRae

  • Thierry

    Keep Up Élizabeth ! All change, but we need to keep up.

  • RonThugnot

    If I were to answer Ms Verner’s question below truthfully, I would likely be arrested this afternoon for inciting violent revolution. As Chairman Mao said – with breathtaking cynicism but the deepest truth – “ALL power grows out of the barrel of a gun”. This is especially true of political and economic power. Elections and MPs and parliaments and all the other sops that are used to try to make us believe that established power is justifiable are revealed for what they are – that is, empty shells – whenever anyone really stands up to them. And what they really are is naked, barely concealed brute force with bows on.

  • http://www.facebook.com/rhonda.barter Rhonda MacLellan Barter

    C.S. Lewis said something about, ‘an executive without judiciary is tyranny.’

  • http://www.facebook.com/david.wollf David Wollf

    I couldn’t agree more with you Elizabeth and I wholeheartedly support you because you are noticing the same and/or similiar, shall we say nuances, that I do.
    Since his emergence there has never been a doubt in my mind that Stephen Harper must be stopped. But how? Neither the police or military have arrested him in spite of his blatant and well publicized disregard and breach of Canadian Laws. The opposition seems unobservant and ineffective to a large degree so what can we do? Who has the power to remove him from Office?
    This past while I’ve been thinking that by now the other PC members must be getting nervous about their loss of support and where “just following orders” may be taking them and Canada.
    Perhaps the solution is for us the public, and may I suggest yourself as the Green Party, to reach out to our Conservative MPs and offer our support and encouragement for them to refresh their leadership and/or walk accross the isle.
    They may be the only people that have the ability to stop this man and when we consider the amount of destruction that has already happened at the behest of Stephen Harper just in the past year alone, can we really afford to have him in Office for the rest of the term?
    I am proposing the we ask our Conservative Members of Parliment to oust their current leader.

  • Don Kerr

    The large PMO budget is symptomatic of a loss of democracy and dimished power of the caucus and the parliament. The PMO budget should be controlled to a maximum percentage of the federal budget (only a minority government could do this). I plan to ask Democracy Watch to look at the growth of the PMO budget since the beginning of the Trudeau era and assess the impact on democracy.

  • http://www.facebook.com/shareawareorg Share Aware Live

    This speaks directly to a curious observation regarding Allison Redford in AB. In the last months has hired 5 more, for a total of 7 PR people. The message is…deliver the message that has been told to you. I agree with you E. I do not know the inner workings but I hope you can maintain trust with both your fellow MPs and the people. Thank you for your support of Chris Turner in Calgary. It was a sad day for many of us.

  • Coastal Hiker.

    Then Elizabeth, its time to print your Blog in every newspaper across the Canada. One of the reasons for indifference that I can see happening in Canada is propaganda overload and its all one sided. Unless you go looking for the wrong all one ever sees are the Action Plan ads. Its time to level the playing field.

  • Pat Nobbs

    Previous to reading this article by Elizabeth May about the power that Mr. Harper wields and the change in the role of our civil service and Privy Council, I read another article that placed Canada 55th out of 93 countries assessed for our access to information.

  • Spgramps

    In the early 70′s I spent some time studying Public Administration at Carleton University. At the time Canada’s public service was held out as a prime example of a non-partisan, professional organization. This proud tradition was traced back to the Civil Service Reform Act of 1912.
    How far we have come and how low we have fallen!
    Yes Elizabeth this matters greatly, thank you for speaking out.

  • MsJustice

    Christopher Ray Miller – your comment was very informative. I was wondering if I could cite it for my FaceBook group “Council of Canadians”?

  • christophe gerische

    Thanks for being there Elizabeth. What you are saying is so true it does not require ‘proof’. You should however been shouldering some of the blame as you served under Mulroney who had clearly orchestrated, through stealth and deceit (bussing in ‘voters’ and such) the downfall of an old pen pal RT. Hon J. Clark, and the seizure of a progressive enlightened Party by a backward thinking liar: Brian Mulroney. Now Harper’s contempt of the people and Parliament have been self-evident since he became our worst PM ever. But he is merely a continuation of Mulroney’s End Game. And that was the wholesale dismantling of Canada one slow and painful step at a time. I wonder though how he has found so many supplicant and submissive fools to pull his wagon along. Are Conservatives so blind that they can not see their own disgrace, can not hear the protests, and can not read the Constitution? I have trouble with a system and a Parliament that can not label Harper as a fascist and corporate dog that lifts his leg to relieve himself whenever civil or human rights become an issue. Is the world Fascist banned from the lexicon? Is it too troubling to think of him as such – and that Canada is being run into the ground by one? Civility in Parliament does not mean withholding fire when fire is demanded and called for: Politeness under these conditions serves Harper as no one seems willing to use such language. And so the truth of our collective political circumstance becomes shrouded in hollow nationalism and cheap rhetoric surrounding a Strong Canada, when we are no such thing any more. WE are a client state within the Anglo-American Empire, And I for one do not like it.

  • PaulaSue

    Anyone who still has any doubts about the wide-rangng destruction of Canada that Harper is busily engaged in should read the new book Stephen Harper, the ugly Canadan. It’s scary and not for the faint-hearted.

  • RLG

    The problem is only to get rid of harper.if harper can corrupt the system then we have to find a way that the system cannot be corrupted..It’s learning from our mistakes..acknowledge it and deal with it..because from now on it’s will abused by others..

  • Lyle Goodin

    Most Canadians (Green, NDP, Liberal, etc) do not like Mr. Harper or the damage he is inflicting on both our Country and its democratic principals, BUT until we can put aside petty differences and unite to get rid of this Conservative scourage, we are doomed to more of the same.

  • Scott Preston

    Comparisons of the Harper government with Nazism are probably overdrawn. Lawrence Martin compared Harper to Mussolini (fascism), and that might be closer to the case. But a more likely comparison is Harper with Egypt’s former president Mubarak or Russia’s Putin.

    Harper is attempting to achieve his economic libertarianism through political authoritarianism. This was, in effect, a model promoted by the neo-cons for global empire (Niall Ferguson, for example) — what was called “illiberal liberalism” by its critics. And it is, indeed, very Jekyll and Hyde stuff. The rhetoric of “transparency and accountability” is an illusionist’s trick to divert attention from the real action. In illusionism it is called “direction by indirection”, and is, of course, the con-man’s and pick-pocket’s trick as well, for these all fall under a broad category called “perception management”.

    Although the rhetoric of “transparency and accountability” was supposed to address the “democratic deficit”, it has done no such thing and was probably never intended to. These two trends are, in fact, going in opposite and contradicting directions — hence the comparison to Jekyll and Hyde.

    What is shocking to me is how the rhetoric of the Harperites does not square with the actual reality of their conduct, and here the rhetoric is used to obscure the reality, obstruct our perception, and confound our reason rather than disclose the truth. This is why the PMO is so anxious to impose a near universal control of “the message”. This is what the Harperites and their followers (the hacks) are so anxious about… that we might actually see through their cunning, and see that economic libertinism cannot indefinitely be reconciled with political authoritarianism, or “transparency and accountability” with the deepening of the democratic deficit. This is the “Pinochet model” (and Margaret Thatcher was a great friend of the dictator Pinochet).

    The present situation was anticipated earlier, in the 80s, by Bertram Gross. In 1980, he wrote a book called Friendly Fascism: The New Face of Power in America. He was anticipated by a couple of years by Arthur Selwyn Miller, a US constitutional lawyer, who also foresaw the trend in his time.The fact that the trends were perceivable four decades ago (and perhaps earlier) indicates that we are in the grips of a fateful logic that pressed for its own fulfillment. This logic of the Zeitgeist is what needs to be brought into the light of day, and to see how Harper is merely its agency.

    • Scott Preston

      I don’t want to monopolise your blog, Elizabeth, for a lengthy dissertation on Harperism, but there’s a couple of things I should probably add to the above comment if we are going to try to articulate an effective cure for the disease of Harperism, for it is the symptom of a much more general malaise that has come to infect the Modern Era.

      Lawrence Martin, in his book Harperland expressed some perplexity that Harper appeared to be a “man of destiny” insofar as a certain impersonal and seemingly unlikely logic of events conspired to smooth his way to power, rather than anything he or his party planned out. This notion of “destiny” pertains to that implicit logic of the present “Zeitgeist” (we can call it) that was already perceived by Gross and Miller earlier. Long before them, too, it was perceived clearly by Nietzsche, as the spirit of nihilism that he saw clearly implicit in the logic of modernity, and that must come to eventually overrule and annihilate the Modern Era itself. “All higher values devalue themselves” was his formula for that nihilism, and liberal democratic institutions would self-destruct.

      This is, I believe, what we are finally seeing in the nihilistic policies of the Harper regime and others. In effect, “new right” reactionay-type conservatism is post-modern conservatism, and its implicit nihilism is disguised in the form of “creative destruction”. “We had to destroy the village in order to save it, sir” — that iconic statement from the Vietnam War — this is that “creative destruction”. Two opposed values, save and destroy, meet like matter and anti-matter, mutually annihilate, leaving a void of meaninglessness. This is that Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde condition of post-modernity that was so brilliantly anticipated in Stevenson’s novella (which came to him whole in a dream), and Stevenson was writing this at the same time Nietzsche was prophesying “two centuries of nihilism” ahead.

      That these current political formations are actually an expression of this implicit nihilism, now ascendent since the First World War (for this event marks the onset of “post-modernity”), is evinced by the fact that we have an “illiberal liberalism” aside a conservatism that “conserves” nothing at all, but has equally become the expression of “creative destruction”.

      Post-modern — that means, post-Enlightenment, post-Democratic, post-Universal, etc.One cannot expect this kind of nihilistic reactionary politics of “creative destruction” to respond to standards and values derived from an earlier age. Truth? nihil!, Reason? nihil!, Principles?nihil!. The great “no” to everything that does not result in the one desirable thing — power. More power is seen as the solution to the present contradictions of the age. And Her Majesty’s “Loyal Opposition” and dissent of all kinds is seen as a great contradiction. A dialectical logic has decayed into a dualistic one, leading to polarisation and eventual mutual annihilation.

      Needless to say, a dualistic mentality that thinks only in absolutist terms of left and right, or good and evil, and which approximates the condition of insanity, is not an ecologically-minded consciousness. You have your work cut out for you as a Parliamentarian in such circumstances, I should think.

      • Robert Hall

        brevity is the soul of wit !!!!

        • Scott Preston

          Only when one is attempting to be witty. Otherwise, a commonplace is the desouling of language.

          • Robert Hall

            metaphors aside, I think you make some salient and valid points but they are obscured by academic-speak !

  • Zeeba

    Thanks Ms May for being alert to the eroding process of democracy in the Parliament and keeping us informed of your findings.

  • Michael Jensen

    jesus.. seems it would take me all vacation to read all the comments left on this post..

    um.. I’d like to help any way I can. However, I don’t think canada will implode in the few weeks it takes me to get done with all my current commitments.

    I would like to take the chance now however to re-iterate a message I delivered to the green party earlier and that I can only presume has been read and properly reflected on. doesn’t hurt to repeat it though:

    if there are any other simultaneous bi-elections, I strongly encourage the party to focus all their efforts on defeating conservatives. these past bi-elections, efforts were split between calgary center and vancouver. with all due respect, the ndp isn’t the enemy. I encourage us to play a leadership role by sending the message that we are ready to work with all the other political parties -except- the conservatives. by all means, run candidates, for those voters who really feel strongly, but always put your eggs in the basket where it really matters.

    hoping for the best, willing to do my part where I can,

    -mike

  • margsview

    It appears that certain politicians no longer respect taxpayers, if the current secret trade agreements and in-camera method of governing is any indication. Fine, I think some actions south of our border are very telling. When corporate owners funded a ideological front man, certain states said fine we will only support independent candidates. The same type of independent actions are being formed to open up primary races to non party candidates and how taxpayers are regrouping to regain their rights on all levels.

  • G.Stevenson

    How does anyone know whether you, Elizabeth, and/or the NDP can formulate any better policies for Canada? So many people enter the government arena with the hope and belief that they and their party can make a difference, only to be absorbed by the power of the government machine already in motion, as well as dictated to by the powers that be in the economic world market. I would hope for a change for the better for Canadians through electing a different government, one that isn’t in it for power and money. G.Stevenson

  • John Anderson

    What you report is very true. As a former civil servant (scientist) working for DFO I was aware of issues similar to those you have raised. These issues precede the existing Harper government but he has taken the process to a whole new level. I am still in touch with colleagues in DFO and they tell me the secrecy surrounding the recent changes to fish habitat is unbelievable. Canadians are in for a rude shock one day when they realize, as you say, that the civil service no longer works for Canadians.

  • Loretta

    This is frightening but I don’t know what we can do as this doesn’t seem to be common knowledge. I am forwarding this to as many people as I can.

  • Raissa Marks

    This is what I like to refer to as “The Harper Effect” — policies that are detrimental to Canada’s environment, civil society, or democracy as a direct or indirect result of Stephen Harper.

  • DN

    Dear Elizabeth, Even though Mr. Harper is the current PM of Canada, surely there are restrictions or safe guards in place that would prohibit the sale of such an important resource without approval by all parties. We need a more recent version of the Magna Carta enacted. Mr. Harper also needs to be reminded that he be the acting CEO for the Country he most certainly does not own it and thus it is not his to sell.

  • Roger Reinhardt

    Le texte de votre message est tout simplement horrible. Il faudrait le réviser si vous voulez qu’il soit compris

  • Gayle

    I don’t know anyone who agrees with any of the actions taken by Harper (as I agree that decisions are made by Harper alone) and I’m worried, outraged, and sickened by them. His focus is supporting big business at the expense of our environment, even our sovereignty. We need action now, some kind, that will remove him from office.

  • Penny

    This would explain how the Ministers lie so well. They aren’t lying! They just don’t have a clue what they’re talking about!! Example, Chris Alexander on Power and Politics saying CONS were never committed to buying the F35′s, while the evidence otherwise was still on Dept of Defense page.

    This is one more indication to me that the moral degradation of Canadians over whom Harper has power isn’t a side-effect of that power, but a part of Harper’s “destroy everything Canadian” plan. Remember the foreign erotic dancers Baird sent home so they wouldn’t be exploited. The bar owners then actively went recruiting university students to exploit with offers to help with their tuition. Keep a eye out for more. Imo, He is evil, and more dangerous than the dictators in other countries. I know of no other dictator who actively destroys their country. They want power and money, a jetset lifestyle and let their countries fall into disrepair, but they can’t be bothered to actively destroy.

    When will the Maistream media realize they are hurting their own children and grandchildren by sitting idly by being “objective”? By that I mean turning a collective blind eye.

  • Observatrice avertie

    Je suis d’accord avec les propos de Mme May. Je suis une retraitée de la fonction publique québécoise qui suivait avec inquiétude le style de gouvernance de M. Charest et M. Harper est pire. Quand la fonction publique devient un instrument du parti au pouvoir, la démocratie en souffre. La première étape implique le contrôle des communications. Au Québec, les liens d’emploi d’environ 350 conseillers en communication affectés aux ministères ont été transférés au Comité exécutif. Donc, c’est le bureau du Premier Ministre qui contrôlait toutes les informations. C’est la situation qui prévaut à Ottawa. Les Ministres ne sont que des porte-paroles du bureau du Premier Ministre. En conséquence, il s’agit d’une dictature et un gouvernement qui devient de plus en plus totalitaire. J’admire beaucoup Mme Micaëlle Jean mais quand elle était Gouverneure-Générale et que M. Harper a abrogé le Parlement, il aurait fallu qu’elle ait le courage de le tasser de là, au nom du peuple canadien. Nous avons un gouvernement fédéral orwellien et le «doublespeak» est à l’honneur.

  • Francine Gallo

    Madame la Députée,

    Vous êtes en bonne position comme parti qui est en opposition de faire valoir vos commentaires sur le gouvernement au pouvoir et de vérifier si ces allégations sont vraies. Je suis certaine qu’en dialoguant avec vos homologues dans tous les partis, une réponse éclairera la situation.

    Je suis d’avis qu’une fonction publique non-partisane est essentielle au bon fonctionnement de la fonction publique. Tous les efforts des ministères pour pondre des codes de valeurs et d’éthique doivent signifier plus que des mots sur une page. Comme celui du Conseil du trésor qui est sur le site web, ce serait bon que les autres ministères les affichent aussi afin d’assurer une transparence envers le public.

  • concerned Canadian

    though the inner workings of the Canadian government have undoubtedly been politically badly damaged and corrupted really by Harper and his inner circle of unelected advisors, ultimately he owes his slim majority to Canadian voters. It is these uninformed, and or misinformed voters who under the time worn cliche/banner “he deserves a chance at a majority” have put Harper at the head of our government. One can not hear these voices any more. It behooves these former “fans” of Harper majority to recall Harper’s own words: if given a majority, in a very short time Canadians will not recognize Canada.

  • Ellie

    Yes we need proportional representation. Let’s kick the cons ‘bums’ out!!!!

    Good book on climate change is “The Weather Makers’ by Tim Flannery; and it’s and easy read too.

    Thanks for all your hard work, Elizabeth. Keep the faith.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Eva-van-Loon/1261267855 Eva van Loon

    This country has cancer. And its name is harperemia.

  • William Burr

    NON CONFIDENCE VOTE in Parliament, Supported by NDP, Liberal, and Green. United Opposition under NDP Leader, supported by Liberal and Green MP’s, can force a Non Confidence Vote. PC’s who Support the Non Confidance Vote Should have a Position in the New Coalition Government. GreenmanPA. Keep Canada Free.

  • Josée Normand

    Why conservative ministers accept such a centralization of power? If, together, they refuse to follow, Stephen Harper won’t be able to govern alone. Is it Harper’s personality that makes it so difficult to confront him?

  • Bernadette

    Thank you Elizabeth for your passion in this matter. I support you in what you are doing!

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_2VTCODI5C5CI7ZZ7VMGFGHIENU thornhillsouthguy

    I am extremely disappointed with the Greens. I have written them countless times about the most pressing problems of the country and all I get is silence. I guess they don’t want my vote.

  • Patti Maurice

    In reading the comments, I wonder if any of the posters have read Marci McDonald’s “The Armageddon Factor: The Rise of Christian Nationalism in Canada”? McDonald exposes Harper’s ties to right-wing evangelical fundamentalists and shows how potentially damaging their beliefs are to democracy, the environment, and the general well-being of all Canadians. I do not mean an attack on religion by this comment, but to show how dangerous it is when extreme factions get into power. This is what happened to Nazi Germany – an extreme faction captured the imaginations and hopes of the population and lead the way to the most horrible of actions – the almost successful obliteration of an ethnic people. The difference I hope is that Canadians, while yearning for a more compassionate, morally based, responsible government, will not be taken in by the rhetoric and lies and thus led to like sheep to behave abominably. However, Canadians must be informed about what is going on in order for that to happen, and sadly that is not happening via the usual vehicles – the media. Otherwise, how could 61% of Canadians stay home on election day?

  • Maureen Loiselle

    I am in complete agreement with what Elizabeth May says. We have a dictator in power and my question is “how do we stop him?’ Is there any way to nullify what he has done, given that it is not being done democratically? How can we organize a massive protest?We cannot simply sit on our hands and wait to lose our jobs and watch the financial bullies grab our natural resources. It is happening very rapidly. We must make a move before it is too late.

  • LHuron

    I just posted to Rex Murphy on the National Post about this blog. There are comments flying everywhere. Add your support – reply to my comment if you are willing. http://fullcomment.nationalpost.com/2012/12/28/rex-murphy-the-award-for-the-worst-politician-of-the-year-goes-to/

  • Nigitstil Norbert

    Thank you so much for writing this article! Thank you to everyone who is reading this article!

  • Can you believe this?

    I am absolutely devastated by this assessment! It is everything I thought was happening because all astute Canadians MUST have alarm bells ringing to some degree. I agree: how on earth are we to get H out. Where is the opposition on this; the clout; the legal suits citing violation of charter and constitutional and democratic processes. This government is a festering cancer!

  • snapgirl

    If our citzenery in general was more engaged and our media did not feel bullied (the CBC no longer asks the hard questions since their funding has been threatened) these issues would be more likely to make it to the world of punditry which is sorely lacking in Canada. As a recently engaged, self admited political junkie I find it extremely challenging to easily access the necessary facts to be fully informed on the impacts on our political system – unlike the very available US pundits. We need more opportunities to speak, to hear and to be educated on our own political system – unable to find any discussion of the impact of Justin’s Liberal leadership win on our overall system immediately following the victory speech online (do not have cable) – just sayin/’

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