Sunday, October 5, 2008

Staying the Course is Risky

What will “staying the course” mean for Canadians?

The Bank of Canada will continue to bail out the Canadian banks with no discussion in Parliament about a strategic direction for the voters to evaluate the best choice. Earlier this year two of Canada’s banks needed to be bailed out but the information just came out in the last week. There was no discussion of this in Parliament.

Canadians will be kept in the dark about the actual state of our economy through Harper’s habit of releasing bad news late in the day on Friday so the news media doesn’t have a chance to cover it. I suspect the PMO of a Harper minority would continue to monitor all of the communications from all departments of government, all ministers and all MP’s thereby closing down our access to an open and accountable government.

During this campaign, Stephen Harper has stated outright that he will continue to abuse the Parliamentary process by forcing confidence motions rather than working together with opposition parties in a minority government situation. Nicholson has specifically stated that the crime bill will be a confidence motion within the first six months of a Conservative minority.

The Make Poverty History campaign sent a request to all the leaders to participate in a video explaining their platform on issues related to Global and National poverty. Stephen Harper refused to participate even after all the others had. Make Poverty History proceeded without him after several opportunities were given to change his mind. How can a prime ministerial candidate have such complete disregard for about 10% of our population who are living in poverty or the over 250,000 Canadians who have signed on to the Make Poverty History group. If Harper could be confronted directly on this issue, would he say the same thing he said to Premier Danny Williams indicating he doesn’t need your votes?

As a direct affront to the fairness until now implicit in our electoral system, Conservative candidates across the country are bowing out of All Candidates meetings. An election is an opportunity for Canadians to evaluate the record of the government. If the candidates aren’t showing up for the questioning, then voters cannot effectively evaluate their choices. But more than that it seems unfair and disrespectful of the Canadian voter. Last tally I saw was over 20 individual Conservative candidates have refused to participate in an All Candidates meeting in their own riding. This tally included at least two Cabinet Ministers! Is this a new form of open and accountable activities for government members?

Actions do speak loudly. Are these the actions that an open and accountable person would undertake or are these the actions of a secretive, hyper-controlling person. The only one who is served by secrecy is the one keeping the secrets.

What kind of Canada do you believe in?

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