Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Harper Democracy vs Putin Democracy

This week in the Netherlands, Stephen Harper loudly decried the actions of the Putin government in Russia.  He said that it was bad that the Russians were blocking a number of MPs from coming into Russia, but that one of the members of that group was denied entry because he was Ukrainian.  He thought that was even worse if I understood his statement correctly.

I have to agree with Steve here.  I think it is wrong to block someone or a group from doing a fact finding mission or even just a visit because of their ethnicity or because they are members of a foreign government that is currently at odds with the Russian government.  If the Russians want to send a group to say oversee one of our elections, I say let ‘em in.  I’d be curious what they’d have to say about how we do things versus how they do things.

But Steve is being a tad hypocritical here.

Let me explain.  In the House of Commons, a Bill to change some of the rules that govern our elections is currently in Committee.  A number of people who want to speak to the Bill are being denied the opportunity, not based on ethnicity, but because of their politics.

Elizabeth May (the Leader of the Green Party), as well as members of the Bloc Quebecois, and Independent Members of the House of Commons are being denied the opportunity to question witnesses or even speak to the matter of the so called Fair Elections Act.  The Opposition Parties, the NDP and the Liberals are willing to hear Elizabeth May’s words, but the Harper Party, the majority on the Committee are not.

Basically the Harper Party is telling Elizabeth May and those other MPs “We don’t like your politics, you can’t speak here.”  How different is that from the Russians telling Canadian MPs that they don’t like our politics, so those MPs should just bugger off?

Not very different at all.

The people who live in the ridings represented by these Democratically elected Members of Parliament are being denied a voice on this Bill.  Not very Democratic at all, is it?

No, it appears that the Harper Party’s view of Democracy is not all that different than that of the Putin Party.  We’ll get on fine as long as you recognize that everything We say is right, and everything You say is wrong.

The Russian backed referendum in Crimea echoes what we see in the House of Commons on a regular basis.  The Crimean referendum was whipped up and voted on in record time.  There was no debate, there was no questioning the referendum, the question put to the Crimean people was ludicrous…

Crimea should join the Russian Federation:___
Crimea should declare independence           :___

What if you wanted Crimea to maintain its ties with the Ukraine? 

Shut up, we don’t like your politics, you can’t vote here.

Back here in Ottawa, the Fair Elections Act was sprung on the House in a similar matter, rushed through to Second Reading and had Time Allocation slapped on it before anyone really had time to take a breath. 

A new record?

No, a tired old record played over and over again by Lord Stephen and his Party of Minions.

The imposition of Time Allocation took away the right of the Members of the Green Party, the Bloc, and the independents to speak to the bill while it was at Second Reading.  Again, Democracy denied to those people who sent the wrong Party to the House.

Oh, but didn’t Elizabeth May give a speech at Second Reading?  Yes she did, but only because the Liberal Party donated the time to her.  The Harper Party doesn’t want to hear what she has to say.

Maybe Steve and Vlad should sit down and have a nice chat.  I’m sure they’d both be surprised by how much they have in common.  Steve likes fishing and Vlad is a hunter, they both adore photo ops and like to be seen in action pictures (with guns--thankfully Steve keeps his shirt on though), and they both like to railroad things through and then look surprised when people challenge their methods.


Now before I sign off, if anyone wants to rant about how evil the West is in terms of the Ukraine and try and make the Russians look good, let me put it this way… both sides have dirty hands in this, you can’t see a White Hat anywhere when it comes to the situation in the Ukraine and Crimea.  The ones that are going to be hurt are the everyday people of those regions, the ones that go to work, pay their taxes, and try to make ends meet.

Kind of like how we’re going to pay the price when the “Fair” Elections Act gets rammed through here.


Sunday, March 16, 2014

Is Péladeau Harper’s man in the PQ?

So, is there a wolf among the sheep in Quebec?

A little over a week ago, Quebec Premier Pauline Marois was please to introduce her new star candidate Pierre Karl Péladeau to the people of Quebec.  This was quite a coup for the Parti Quebecois, bringing in a millionaire businessman as a candidate in the upcoming provincial election.

My question to Pauline is do you really want this guy around?

I really don’t know much about provincial politics in Quebec or any of the other provinces save Ontario where I live.  Let’s face it, Queen’s Park in Toronto provides enough lunacy to keep most of us entertained here and the Ontario media pretty much ignores the elections elsewhere unless something really exciting happens.  

The media decided that Pierre Karl Péladeau (PKP) was news and I guess he is.  As I noted earlier, he’s a millionaire with a media empire that spans the country and suddenly he’s a separatist.

When the Quebec election was called, Pauline Marois was careful not to bring up the R word or the S word.  Her focus, like every other politician in Canada it seems was on jobs and the economy.

Enter star candidate PKP.  Suddenly he’s a Separatist and ready for a Referendum, the two bugaboos that Pauline had been keeping away from.  Well PKP shoved them front and center, and Pauline shoved PKP away from the mics.

In short order PKP has hijacked the campaign, in a direction that Pauline was loathe to go… the question is why?

Well, PKP is was the President and CEO of Quebecor Inc, Quebecor Media, and the Sun Media Corporation, all three rather conservative organizations.  Among his holdings are the National Post and the Sun News Network which are pretty much the official organs of the Harper Party.

So why would a guy whose media empire thinks that the sun rises and sets on Stephen Harper suddenly jump to a separatist party?  To help Steve out maybe?


OK, let’s step back a bit and look at the bigger picture.   

Steve’s been having a pretty rough go of it.  Even the things that he’s done right have turned to poop in his hands, that being the new ships for the Navy that we’ve paid $$$ for and haven’t seen a piece of steel welded yet.  His F-35 fiasco where we look to be buying fighter jets that may never get delivered for a price we may never be able to afford, and lest we forget, the PMO/Senate scandal starring Duffy and Wright, two of his own appointments.  And then there are the other issues in the Senate (Wallin and Brazeau) that he installed and is trying to run from.  I almost forgot the election stuff too… the reform bill, election fraud, campaign financing issues, robocalls…

Steve needs a distraction.  A big one.

So one of his lackeys says, "We need a new distraction? How about a Constitutional Crisis and threatened Referendum on Separatism?  Yep, that fits the bill."  This would give Steve the chance to wrap himself in the flag and go on about saving Canada from the PQ.  He’s the only one that really has something to gain from this.

Pauline Marois certainly didn’t seem interested in the R word and the S word.  I’m guessing she doesn’t think the time is right.  PKP, well his media empire could come under the microscope under the foreign ownership rules we have for media and communications, I doubt he’d like that.

No, I’m more inclined to believe that this could be a political power play to take the focus off of Harper’s missteps and buy him a chance of winning in 2015. 
What do you think?  Am I chasing ghosts or is there something that I don’t see here?