Friday, September 11, 2009

Why Harper broke his own fixed election law: It was the economy stupid. was Harper’s self preservation stupid:

Canadians are a gullible lot. None more so than Michaëlle Jean, it seems. But then she is a former journalist, a profession as practiced today that rewards and promotes the gullible along with the compliant.

It was this time last year that we were told by Stephen Harper that he was going to break his own fixed election law and cast Canadians into an unnecessary and costly election, despite the fact that Harper’s own legislation required that an election occur in October 2009 and not October 2008. Now it seems, we will have both.

The reason advanced by Harper for breaking his own law was that Parliament was “dysfunctional”. This despite the fact that four by elections would be terminated at the eleventh hour and the their democratic outcomes tampered with, yet avoiding him the embarrassment of a total by election rout. This despite the fact that Parliament was not even in session and the Harper government had done everything in its power to render Parliament dysfunctional, including writing a 200 page instructional manual for the Conservative caucus members on how to make Parliament dysfunctional;. The release of that document to the public at the time of this “faux argument” would have seriously undermined Harper’s reasons for reneging on his fixed election promise, which explains why Don Martin of the National Post refused to release it to me, as he has the only known copy that is in the public domain. It was given to him by a sitting MP, presumably in order to give it wide public visibility, rather than for Harper safe keeping and out of the hands of inquiring minds like mine.

If it wasn’t obvious to you at the time, as it was to myself and many others, why Harper was calling his 2008 election, it should have become abundantly obvious in the subsequent year, unless of course you were living in a cave the entire time. It was the economy stupid. It was Harper’s self preservation stupid. It had nothing to do with you or what was good for the country. It was all about Harper. Harper had been warned by those in the government who are real economists that the global economy was headed for some significant headwinds and that Canada would be part of the potentially major downdraft that was just around the corner.

These are not retrospective theories of mine, as I was blogging about this very motive of Harper’s at the time that this very nonsense was going down. Meanwhile the main stream media was totally preoccupied by the “Parliament is dysfunctional” ruse.

Harper naturally thought of this pending development he was being warned about go government officials, in strictly political self interested terms. Here he was about to become the victim of his own “righteous” fixed election legislation that enforced upon him an election in October 2009. From his selfish perspective the timing couldn’t be worse. He would be going to the electorate in a difficult economic climate that would have been proceeded by the high likelihood of running large deficits. That would not be good. Harper had to weasel out of his fixed election law and needed a reason to do so. However flimsy or audacious it might be.

This is were the insights of Tom Flanagan are very helpful as he recently described Harper’s thought process in justifying his actions, as one in which: “It doesn't have to be true. It just has to be plausible.”

This is where the press comes in, as the press is often the first to glom onto these “plausible” arguments that are manufactured by Harper to justify his most recent audacious act and then go to great lengths themselves to add meat to Harper’s naked bone of an argument. Just look at how the press glomned onto the fictional nonsense of Harper’s bogus argument that “income trusts cause tax leakage” despite the fact that he had never released his factual proof for such a claim and despite the fact that such a claim has been disproven by every reputable and independent group that looked into the matter. The hard truth is irrelevant to the Canadian press at large, when you’ve got “plausible” to latch onto.....and deadlines to meet.

All of Harper’s actions in government, especially those involving the fate of his government are driven by complete self interest and a pathological desire to limit Canadians’ democratic options. This is corrosive in the extreme and a matter of grave concern to me. Thank goodness we have informed partied like Democracy Watch to pursue these matters in the courts and ensure our system of democracy is not redefined and shaped by the whims of one Stephen Harper.

Faced with a possible defeat of his government he pays a visit to the dutiful Michaëlle Jean to prorogue a Parliament and deny our newly elected politicians the right to hold a vote of non confidence. Then, forestalling defeat for the two month reprieve granted to him by the Governor General he is then faced with the democratic option of a completely legitimate Coalition government replacing his, and so he launches into some public tirade about Socialist and Separatists and how none of them had been elected to form the government, misleading Canadians into thinking our Prime Minister is elected in a manner similar to the President of the United States. Notice the extent to which Harper was able to enjoin the gullible Canadian press on throwing stones at the Coalition, and thereby deny Canadians from this completely legitimate course of action, and in the process effectively rewrite our democratic norms in way that is of mercurial advantage to him. And now we have Harper arguing against the calling of an election, citing all sorts of implausible arguments about the consequences of doing so. Implausible or not, the press is more than happy to accord these arguments with front page headline status.

Harper is someone who is hell bent on retaining the reins of power and will do anything to achieve that end. That alone is reason enough to throw the man from office. The fact that he will so quickly turn his back on his own so called principles, in which fixed election promises become mere artifices when the circumstances suit him or the concept of running massive deficits is something that this anti-deficit crusader of yore attempts to portray as some virtuous thing in the context of today and his own political surivivor, also means that his core supporters should want to throw the man from office, unless of course they are as totally amorphous in their beliefs and power hungry as him? I think we know the answer to that.


hitfan said...

The Governor General saved the liberals from themselves with the "prorogation" of parliament.

If I was Harper's adviser, Id have told him to do the following:

-show up at the House in December of 2008
-make a speech daring the Liberals to install MR 77 SEATS (Dion) as Prime Minister.

I guarantee you 100% that Ignatieff would have called in sick on the day of the vote and convinced many Liberals to do the same as well.

Bruce Benson said...

No one has asked me if I want an election. After reading the following article, every Canadian should want an election and throw Harper out on his ass. I want an election now and I want the Liberals to get off their collective asses and produce policy and attack (truth) ads. Income Trusts would be a great start!

Stephen Harper, Unfit to Govern.

Few are thrilled to have another election, but we must put it to good use.

By: By Murray Dobbin, 10 September 2009,

View full article and comments:

lr said...

the leaked Harper video has pretty much insulted the 62% of Canadians that didn't vote conservative.

why do some folks not get that?

Dr Mike said...

Right on Bruce.

I voted Conservative for 36 years & I even voted once for Mr Harper.

The last 3 years with him in power has been both enlightening & scary.

I , like a lot of other Canadians assumed this was the good remnants of the old PC party.

CRAP was I wrong.

Unfortunately , many still believe this to be true & vote on this basis alone.

This guy is no more a Progressive Conservative than Preston Manning.

This guy must be exposed.

The Liberals must begin now by using his own words--fixed election laws , will not tax income trusts -- there are dozens of them.

This guy is no friend of the Canadian way & cannot be handled with kid gloves or by taking the high road.

You cannot tame a wild lion by petting him on the head & saying nice kitty--you have to show him who is boss & you will not do it by being Mr Nice.

Dr Mike Popovich