On Robocalls and Democracy
When the Conservative Government fell in 2010 the CBC recorded:
“Only five other non-confidence votes have happened in Canada’s history, according to information on the Library of Parliament website. This is the first time it has occurred because a majority of MPs voted that they believed the government was in contempt of Parliament.”
The Robocall criminals have yet to be identified, but the technique and intent has the fingerprint pattern of the Conservative Reform Alliance Party all over it.
This is a government whose leader, Stephen Harper, has taken on a dictatorial style of control unheralded in Canadian history. With supreme control over the media with his own media and IT centre, no public scrums, and carefully scripted and televised pronouncements, Harper is the real nightmare of Orwell’s fiction.
With a majority of seats (from only 40% of the 60% of Canadians who voted) in the House of Commons in the 2011 election, and the stacking of the Senate with Conservative appointees, Harper now wields an absolute power over Canada. There is no real need for parliamentary debate, for valid discussion of issues, for the Opposition parties. Bills are passed for economic security, and the environment, social justice, and worker’s rights be damned.
Repeat the lie and deny, repeat the lie and deny is a mantra most easily associated with the extreme ring-wing Republicans south of our border. But the Harper regime, well trained by Republican consultants, has taken this to a new height. You are part of a separatist coalition, you are either with us or the child pornographers, you are running a smear campaign, we are not guilty. Repeat and deny until the public is so dumbed down by the inane rhetoric that they tune it out and never become involved in the real issues.
Just as Guy Giorno discovered while guiding the Mike Harris regime’s educational changes in Ontario: It’s not our job to nurture critical thinkers, it’s our job to train productive consumers. Good dog. Be very careful, Canada. We no longer have a legitimate democracy, and the dictator has a very good Ministry of Disinformation.
My father fought in World War II as a fighter pilot before being shot down and spending “three and a half years under the heel of the Nazi jackboot” as he used to describe his time in Stalag Luft III. He made me promise to always exercise my right to vote because of all the men and women who had fought so bravely to give us that privilege. I have never failed to vote since I became eligible. This “Robocall” fiasco has taken that right away from all of us. Consequently, our current election results are illegitimate and so is every piece of legislation since Parliament resumed.
I don’t care what the cost – Canada needs a new election with strict rules on election tampering and suppression. I will let no Conservative media and IT centre, or any other party’s dirty tricks, stand between my father’s sacrifice and my right to an intimidation free vote. This is my Canada and you will not remake it in your image, Mr. Harper.
Skid Crease, Caledon