Cornwall ON – The gamesmanship and follies at our Canadian parliament came to a halt last week, as the opposition parties gave the Conservative government their marching orders on a vote of non-confidence, based on a motion of “contempt”. The Opposition parties, leveraged by the Speaker’s ruling believe that the Conservatives have withheld vital information and misled Canadians in many instances.
Even as Prime Minister Harper gave his somber faced farewell speech in the lobby of the House of Commons last Friday, he refused to acknowledge why his government was defeated. By thus refusing, Harper ironically piled on even more contempt for Canadians and their right to know how this government operates. He gave his typical, unimaginative speech attacking the Opposition parties for calling an election, for which the Conservatives have already spent $26 million of taxpayer money in pre-election spending.
I’ll leave it for the journalists and party followers to research the Conservative record, the Liberal and NDP platforms, but after following many elections over the years, I have come to the conclusion that no matter which party wins the election, then that party should be voted out the next time.
Why? All governing parties inevitably end up in a cesspool of broken promises, deceits, lies, and underhanded deal making once they have had a couple of years in power. Look at McGuinty and the provincial Liberals. He gets the award for breaking the most promises in the shortest period of time. Such is the outcome with majority governments. Contempt is rampant.
If you look back at Harper’s 5 years in power, almost always he has tried to govern as if he had a majority. He has kept information secret not just from parliament but also from the media. Look at the Afghan prisoner debacle, the refusal to stick to his fixed election policy, the secret plan to build mega prisons with a failing crime rate. The list goes on.
Harper’s decision to prorogue parliament should give him the title as King of Contempt. To use a parliamentary statute to protect the Conservative party from defeat in the House has to be one of the most cowardly acts of his tenure. Another irony is, of course, that his popularity actually increased while the House was being prorogued and was empty. As the polls concluded at that time, parliament was irrelevant to Canadians. And that’s the way Harper likes it. He does not want to answer to Canadians.
As Lord Acton once said: “Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” In my opinion, we don’t need governments making 100’s of new laws and introducing new legislation to please their corporate masters. We need a government that knows it will fall, if it does not listen to Canadians or respect their values and their beliefs. We also don’t need a government that cozies up to the U.S. every time the Americans want another war somewhere.
Even after one term, governments are compromised. It’s time to vote them out, federally and provincially, and give some other party a chance for a fresh start. It would be nice if we could elect a prime minister with a little imagination and a little charisma, perhaps even a vision for peace and prosperity in this new century.
The Harper minority government fell on a motion of contempt. If Harper wins a majority the contempt will be off the charts. And Canadians will be between a rock and a hard place.
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