Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Systematic Abuse. . . .

I am surely not the only one to notice that while every government is bound to fall prey to one kind of scandal or another, our present government is continually involved in scandals that involve some kind of systematic abuse of democracy and parliamentary process. Of course, the sponsorship scandal was not good, but any time you have millions of dollars floating around (whether in the private or public sectors), someone will eventually try to put their hands in the till. But at every turn, this government is systematically attacking, thwarting, and undermining parliament and democracy. From their handbook on how to shutting-down committees, to refusing to obey parliamentary edicts, to silencing government watchdogs, to shutting parliament, to suppressing the vote, to disregarding procurement processes, to labelling all opposition some form of treason, to outright lying to members of the House, this government is not simply scandalous, but is itself treasonous. Harper and his bullies have demonstrated again and again that law doesn't matter, what matters is power and the effort to hold on to it. This is why so many commentators, even ones outside of Canada, have been so ready to compare Harper to Nixon, because they both demonstrated a criminal, and arguably psychotic, will to power and seemed willing to do anything to maintain it. The whole thing would be comical if it weren't so frightening.

One presumes that such systematic illegality would eventually catch up with any government. However, as the Harpercons have demonstrated, if one can manipulate the voting system effectively enough, so-called democracy is no guarantee that you will not be governed by a dictatorship.

9 comments:

doconnor said...

Actually the sponsorship scandal did involve an abuse of democracy. Some of the ill-gotten government money was donated back to the Liberal Party or the advertising agencies give the Liberal Party reduced rates in exchange for government business.

There where rumors the for decades Liberal and Conservative friendly agencies would get plumb government contracts when their party was in power in exchange for charging the party reduced rates for their services.

kirbycairo said...

Your point is taken doconnor. However, it seems to me that there is a significant difference here (and I certainly don't want to be an apologist for the LPC), and that is that those who really benefited from the sponsorship crimes (and were indicted for them) were not involved in a systematic effort to thwart parliament and the law in order to get power. In the final analysis it consisted of people lining their pockets.

Anonymous said...

Hey, don't go comparing Harper to Nixon.

Nixon never had $50 million destined for border security find its way into the construction of gazebos. Nixon never blew over half a billion dollars on a weekend party for world leaders when the same event in other years cost at most $40 million. Nixon didn't lead his party to a conviction of electoral finance fraud. Nixon's party staffers didn't go around making Soviet-esque statements about environmental charities being "Enemies of The People of Canada/The USA".

Owen Gray said...

Any government -- given enough time -- will start to cut corners, Kirby.

What makes the Harper government different is that its mission has been to push the envelope from the very beginning.

It has taken abuse of power to a whole new level.

Beijing York said...

There is a huge difference for sure. AdScam was more like Mulroney's Air Bus scandal. I'm with Owen on this - Harper was intent on corrupting the system from the get go for ideological reasons.

thwap said...

Yeah. harper's utterly despised democracy for a long time.

As a system, we've enabled him.

I honestly think though, that this summer, First Nations, women and everyone appalled by this election fraud are going to bring him down.

Anonymous said...

anonymous: Nixon however, gleefully talked about blowing up dams and killing 200,000 vietnamese people:p

kirbycairo said...

On the other hand, Harper has his roots in a racist political party in Alberta, was frothing at the mouth to join the Americans in an illegal war in Iraq that killed hundreds of thousands of innocents, is at he heart of an immense voter fraud, and who knows what he says in his private moments. The big difference between Nixon and Harper in this regard is that Nixon recorded his bizarre rantings.

Owen Gray said...

Kirby, I missed your last comment on green energy and the environment. It's a little late, but I put it up this afternoon.