As a mildly-entertained observer of politics but a dedicated voter in Canada, a few days ago I was a tad annoyed to hear that the "Government of Canada" was making noises about re-branding itself as "the Harper Government".
My previous post expressed a certain dislike for such egotistical shenanigans by politicians, as older, honest generations might gently label them. Such tricks are also known as "creative embellishments" as the herd of "politically-correct" talking heads in Ottawa might so aptly name them. Not so fast, let's clean out the Rideau Canal, we have new stinkers going down fast.
Let us politely call the latest political tricks what they are; self-serving, opportunistic and distasteful symptoms of a disregard for democracy, and an abuse of power. "Quite natural, it is, since power corrupts; it seems we have quite a lot of that going around, in the world. " That's always added tongue-in-cheek by politicians just in case the next government that may be a different variety with cheek-to-cheek affiliations gets caught with it's fingers in the cookie jar next round.
That does sound like the opposition talking, doesn't it.... but no matter.
Time is of the essence; a major Federal budget is due in the house shortly. Would that be called a "Harper budget" now? A Harper election? An Ignatieff opportunity for a vote of non-confidence and a bold Layton Government agreement to prevent the precipitation of an immediate Harper election? Opinions vary, depending on who is blackmailing who, whether adequate political deals are made to please the "Duceppe Bloc" and other such "branded conditions" are met, shopping lists are filled, etc. etc.
Regardless, to make the question even more visible "in your portfolio", a.k.a. "in your face", now the non-partisan "Speaker of the House" presiding in the House of Commons, always dedicated, suitably generic and non-partisan, has politely ruled against the Conservative Government of Canada (a.k.a. the wannabe Harper Government) on two matters of protocol, which everyone knows is "the standard, supposed-to-be-correct, and generally-accepted " method of doing official Government things by official government people in official public office.
To wit, interpretation of the Speaker's announcement might be: "The dance is over, there shall be no altering of documents or last minute changes of committee recommendations on typed documents even if done by hand in black ballpoint pen or black marker, no misleading the house, and no diddling with electioneering funds via "In-Outs", "up-downs-down-towns" or any other transient transfer of funny-money.
The reaction off-camera to his speech may really have been wink -wink , "where's the money you were diddling with last time, you big tease, you did it too," wink- wink yadda, yadda ".
It really no longer matters what the details are. The real fact of the matter is that both rulings announced by the Honourable Speaker suggest that the "ruling" party may be no longer ruling by the rules of democracy, (to put it politely, as interpreted by the opposition ) but by personal preference, personal style, and personal edict. The spirit of democracy has been offended and sullied.
Here is the question of the day to ponder: Which government is doing those naughty things? How do we even know we have a government since we cannot trust the news? Choose one. Do we have a minority special-interests- big business government? An old -time "Government of Canada" like old Dief used to run? A new-fangled minority "Harper government" ? A minority dictatorship ? --Or is it just an out-of-control minority anarchy, a P.E.T. "fuddle duddle" moment --where each elected Minister does exactly what he or she wishes, once firmly ensconced in an oaken seat of power?
I couldn't resist asking that question.
Now I have to ask another pointed question; Does that announcement and apparent confirmation of a breach of propriety on behalf of your elected representatives mean winter-weary Canadians all are duty-bound to hold another Federal election at a cost of $350Million which is going to come out of the pocket of financially-stressed taxpayers already fed up to the ears with elections first, politics second, and politicians third, regardless of order or lack thereof?
What is this "election" going to prove? That we can't allow crooked stuff (a.k.a. creative finagling, ) to go on in Ottawa? Really? Let us roll on the floor in laughter.
Will an election stop the re-branding of the Government of Canada entirely, and restore stiff-upper-lip dignity to Ottawa, or will it merely provoke a convenient "brand change" , sell tickets to a different circus, which will do little but waste time, money and energy better spent elsewhere?
Will an election result in a majority government? Not likely, especially now with the latest revelations, opposition accusations, and atmosphere of finger-pointing. Clearly the opposition has forgotten previous gaffes such as Ad Scam et al, but Canadians have long memories, and there are many dry skulls in many closets best left undisturbed by opposition types lest they come back to bite.
Maybe it's time to start thinking outside of the political ballot box instead.
With our "new improved " judicial system, how about a nice judicial "slap on the wrist", a resignation of the minister(s) responsible, withdrawal of their fat pensions, an apology by the Official Government of Canada, replacement of all and any missing funds, real jail time in some of those new penitentiaries if criminal activities are involved, and how about a Universal promise by all parties to never prorogue Parliament again, while we're at it, no matter who is found to be G.U. I. C.P. (Governing under the influence of corruption and power) -- and just get on with the business of good governance?
Will "good governance" happen just because we make Stephen sit on the other side of the House of Commons behind between Elizabeth and Jack, one row in front of Gilles, who will continue to whisper sweet nothings in his ear ? No.
Is the election of another batch of new, inexperienced, and equally foolish politicians in power the answer? Clearly not. Is the status quo acceptable? Clearly not. Will an election solve anything? NO.
Clearly, we need to rebuild our political system. It is broken. There can be no productive governance with a constant struggle for television air time to grandstand and a chance to show off, calling down political opponents in "polite language" to avoid offending the decorum of the House. Someone is always in opposition, causing problems, wasting time, and embarrassing whoever happens to be unfortunate enough to be leading or making decisions.
Is it a profitable and logical system of checks and balances? No. The existing system is more like a grade IV class studying earthworms. Dump them on the floor. "Worms, go east! " the leader yells.
The opposition points fingers and says "The Honorable member is incompetent, Mr. Speaker, they're going every which way!"
In other observations, there can be no majority government made up of politicians that do not honestly represent the people of Canada. Canadians have no desire for other forms of government such as a well-coiffed monarchy, fancy wedding-of-the-century coming up or not, and there is absolutely no desire for a branded fascist state, a branded dictatorship or a corrupt ideological American-style Republic, no matter how many banana trees may be promised to bloom.
There is also clearly no room in Canada's Parliament for self-serving political parties clearly bent on the destruction and fragmentation of Canada. The Bloc Quebecois offers NO representation to Canadians outside of the Province of Quebec, so what business do they have in the Federal House of Commons? Run candidates all across Canada like a real political party, or stop whining, and do not show up in Parliament demanding a seat. You are fragmenting the vote, get it? Surprise, surprise, you may even garner a few cross-Canada votes, considering the nature of the existing choices being displayed to date.
What are our ELECTED representatives thinking with? Perhaps the reader can ponder that question. If you come up with the inevitable answer "Not much", you win three more weeks of winter. Welcome to Canada.
The sad fact of the matter is, it is time to dump "Party Politics" entirely in favour of a system of elected representation from ALL Federal ridings, devoted individuals that can be replaced every four years by voters --or at any time if necessary, and fired just as quickly should they decide to misbehave, "alter documents", involve themselves in questionable stupidity, or try to remove parts of the Country known as Canada.
Gone immediately would be individuals attempting to blackmail OR commandeer The Government of Canada. The controlling factor for a representative House could be a similarly elected, non-partisan experienced Senate.
Gone immediately would be loose cannons attempting to gain fame and fortune by re-branding the Government of Canada as "the Argyle Sweater Team", or the "-I- won't-run-a closed Dictatorship " team.
Gone equally, would be behind-the-scenes manipulators, as "Jack's Improved Government, " and " Better Greenies " which would become even less relevant, and would certainly not be allowed to become "brands" of government. No government would be allowed to consume the meager pensions of the growing senior population.
We have a better idea, let's actually DO it. Let's get back to work, forget about childish, ideological political partisan gamesmanship, and for once and for all, be ADULT about the job at hand. We all know governing takes time, intelligence and dedication. Governing takes honesty. Government takes cooperation. How about let's actually try and surprise Canadians with real governing for a change?
If we MUST have an election, Lord, please grant us the wisdom to put MATURE people in Ottawa that actually care more about poverty and families and hard-working seniors than they do about Big Dirty Oil, Big Business, and the overly fat political pensions paid for a couple years of name-calling, disruptive childishness, and pointing fingers across the House floor. Let us not forget ravaging the free perk barrel in Ottawa.
"Only in Canada."