Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Lawrence Martin invites questions on his book Harperland

My question for Lawrence Martin is:

US political philosopher Leo Strauss and his neo-con followers (eg George W. Bush, Karl Rove) believe in something known as the Big Lie, in which they believe that society is often too ill-educated to make the right decisions when presented with the true facts. To overcome this supposed impediment, societies have to be lead to making the “right” decision (at least in the minds of those in power) by employing tactics such as the Big Lie. A perfect example of this philosophy in action occurred when George Bush employed the Big Lie argument of Iraq possessing weapons of mass destruction as his rationale for the invasion of Iraq, since without the element of fear mongering that the WMD argument entailed, George Bush would never have garnered the support for this invasion of Iraq. Meanwhile, society remains completely in the dark about the true reasons for the invasion of Iraq, and never had the opportunity to debate their merits or exercise their democratic rights in judgment of the real reasons for the invasion of Iraq.

In your book you reveal that Stephen Harper’s income trust policy and reversal of the basis on which he was voted into office was a perfect example of the Straussian tactic of the “Big Lie”, since in your book you reveal that:

(1) The argument of tax leakage which was the main premise advanced by the Harper government for the income trust tax was in fact not true.

(2) The only proof that the Harper government provided to substantiate their claim of tax leakage was blacked out documents, which contained no such proof.

(3) Stephen Harper’s former Chief of Staff. Tom Flanagan confirms that Stephen Harper’s actions had nothing to do with the argument about tax leakage (that was being knowingly and falsely advanced to the public far and wide, including in your newspaper The Globe and Mail), but rather some other reason that was never revealed to the public and the public therefore had no opportunity to debate on its validity or to opine on its merit. Your book reads:

“In fact, the government's rationale for the flip-flop-the lost tax revenues was not the real reason for it. When the announcement came, Tom Flanagan, still in Harper's good graces at the time, asked him the reason for the reversal. "Well, when I was in opposition," Harper replied, "no one told me that all the big corporations were about to convert to the income trust form of organization." He wasn't as worried about tax leakage, he explained to Flanagan, as he was about corporate governance. The income trust concept was fine, he believed when used in a limited sphere. But when it was beginning to be adopted by big manufacturers and service corporations, he was persuaded that it was the wrong way to go. James Rajotte, who served as chair of the industry committee, was of the same impression. But it was not the case Harper and Flaherty put to the public because corporate governance was too complex an issue.”

Therefore my question to you is:

(1) Do you agree that the income trust tax in Canada is simply an example of Leo Strauss’ Big Lie in action and that Canadians were simply duped with totally false information to garner support for a government policy that if the true intent of the policy were made known, the public would never have supported?

(2) Why are these totally damning revelations of yours concerning the fraudulent nature of tax leakage not made known by you in real time in the Globe and Mail, but rather are only brought to light in a book published by you at a point in time when very little can be done about it and the negative consequences to the Stephen Harper government are minimized? Were you suppressed by the Globe and Mail (and/or its corporate owners. BCE, Teachers. Torstar and Woodbridge) from making these facts known to the public, since it was contrary to your corporate owners interests?

(3) When will you be informing Canadians at large (via the Globe and Mail) about the fraudulent nature of Stephen Harper's tax leakage argument, a fraud that saw over 2 million Canadians lose $35 billion of their retirement savings based on the hoax argument of tax leakage?

1 comment:

Dr Mike said...

Mr Martin

As a mere lowly Canadian who believed our Prime Minister Stephen Harper when he said he would not tax trusts & as a mere lowly Canadian investor who suffered the consequences , I ask you , is it not right that this PM must be held accountable??

If he proclaimed tax leakage to be the reason for the trust tax , then should he not have to prove it??

If the real reason was a "governance issue" , then should he not have to explain the rationale for allowing the CEO`s who most benefitted from the trust tax to dictate to him the outcome??

If stock options & control of bonuses were the real reason don`t we have a right to know??

Mr Martin , hopefully you can enlighten us on these questions by supplying us the answers.

Dr Mike Popovich
Rodney Ont