Speaking of cheaters: Please let it be known that the Green Party under Elizabeth May was the ONE PARTY who called for PUBLIC INQUIRY into alleged tax leakage...here
May's book calls Harper 'a cheater'
Green leader says PM had cheat sheet for debate, accuses Layton of sabotaging climate-change talks
Apr 14, 2009
OTTAWA – Elizabeth May felt like a schoolgirl when she glanced over at the powerful man sitting beside her and noticed he had broken the rules.
The Green party leader had fought hard to be included in the national televised debates during the campaign for last October's election, and remembers participants were told they would be provided with blank index cards for taking notes, but they were forbidden to bring their own background material.
"Stephen Harper's staff took care to print out background notes on index cards, but they picked the wrong-sized cards. And no one writes in printer font. Looking over from my seat, I remember the shock of realizing he was cheating," May writes in her new book. "I felt like I was back in grade school. Do you 'tattle' on a cheater? Now, all I can think is 'What were his staff thinking?' It is clear they thought he wouldn't be caught."
May paints a bleak picture in Losing Confidence: Power, Politics and the Crisis in Canadian Democracy, published yesterday, which contains little of the insider gossip often found in books written by politicians, but reads like a primer on the big political stories of the past few years.
Using newspaper archives, academic studies and personal recollections, May gives her take on how cabinet ministers are muzzled; how politicians fear taking on an RCMP that played a role in bringing the Conservatives to power; how the government overrides the decisions of independent watchdogs; and how a "supine media" owned by a handful of conglomerates is asleep at the switch.
May, a former executive director of the Sierra Club of Canada who became Green party leader in 2006, reserves her harshest criticism for Harper, although sparing him the full blame for "this nadir in our parliamentary tradition" by describing him as "merely the most recent and very worst of any Canadian prime minister in terms of his approach."
But May also has strong words for NDP Leader Jack Layton, whom she accuses of conspiring with Harper to bring down the Liberal minority government of Paul Martin on Nov. 28, 2005, just as a UN climate-change meeting opened in Montreal, thereby depriving the government of the chance to "look good on the world stage."
"As he threatened to sabotage the most important global climate negotiations in history, I recall leaving a message on his cellphone: `How will you look at yourself in the mirror if you do this?'" she writes.
The book offers up proportional representation and coalition governments as the best way to counter serious threats to democracy.
"Awareness of the threat to democracy must go far beyond bemoaning the fact that young people don't vote. That is the tip of the iceberg of electoral dysfunction," May writes. "The most effective solution is to approve a change in how we elect members of federal and provincial parliaments. No other single step will have as many salutary impacts."
May, whose party has yet to win a seat in Parliament, argues reforming the current first-past-the-post electoral system to include some form of proportional representation would increase voter participation because it would mean Canadians would be "getting the government we vote for."
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
Posted by Fillibluster at 2:43 PM