A climate of fear

These times must be so confusing for people who don’t particularly follow politics, or like to think about it much. Provincial and federal politics get merged together in a confusion of who’s who and responsible for what. Then add a couple of provincial leadership races and a referendum.

We’re in a federal election now, will have a municipal one in November and will likely have a provincial election this fall. We have a provincial Liberal Party that is not affiliated with the federal Liberal Party and is more like the federal Conservative Party. And there’s the New Democratic Party, which is very much the same party whether it’s federal or provincial.

We’ve reached a new low in Canada. Almost every day since this government was in power I’ve heard MPs and commentators of all stripes, say things like “This is unprecedented” and “In all my years I’ve never seen anything like this.”  And for the first time in our history we have a government that was found in contempt of Parliament. But does Mr. Harper feel the least bit chastised or humbled? No — he accuses the Speaker of the House of being partisan and goes out insolently in search of a majority government.

The climate-change bill is one example of how our Harper government worked. This bill was voted on and passed by the House (consisting of all the MPs that were voted in). When it was passed on to the unelected Senate (37 of them having been appointed by Harper) for some “sober second thought” it was immediately thrown out. They didn’t even attempt to pretend that they had given it any consideration.

For years I’ve been watching the antics of this government. They disrupted committees, attacked individuals to distract from what they were saying, fired anyone who told them things they didn’t want to hear, defended those who changed documents after they were signed, laid several big boxes of paper (are we back in the 40s?) on auditors who had been requesting information for weeks, withheld information on the cost of the military bombers and new jails that the MPs were requesting until it was becoming an embarrassment, then gave the MPs a loose-leaf such as I’ve never seen before as it had to be five or six inches thick and they were given 17 minutes to read it. The Harper government played fast and loose with the House of Commons, while slowly dismantling our safety nets

What does it say for our nation if we vote this government in again? I, for one, lose sleep over it. My grandparents and probably yours would be mortified to see what has become of us.

With fear and trepidation

Donna Stocker