I will admit that it is a little hard to ask tough questions of a candidate when he stacks the room with only people loyal to him and his political party and refuses to take any questions after his political ramble, but I must say that I am a little surprised at the reaction by the press to Mr. Harper’s tactics, or should I say non reaction. Why are background checks and pre registry necessary to attend a Conservative rally? Is this the Canadian way? The Harper approach to democratic process? Am I missing something here?
I am a little dismayed at what is not being discussed, or asked in this campaign. I was confident that this time around certain key issues would be addressed by the press and the general population in these open question periods with a vigor and a persistence that would force Mr. Harper and the Conservatives to answer the tough questions, or expose them for the non democratic bunch of law breakers and hypocrites that they are. Instead what I see is a press that has allowed the Prime Minister to tell them what questions he will answer and when and then not hit him hard for doing it. I see the opposition parties taking small pot shots at Mr. Harper and shooting cannon balls at each other as though they have given up trying to win the election and are running for 2nd place, or the right to form the official opposition. I also see a population that has forgotten what has made them mad about this man and his party. I see a population that has allowed this leader to keep them out of rallies, continue his non democratic behavior and not protest his actions in any real way. Why is there no organised demonstrations outside of every venue and Conservative of Canada Party rally, drawing attention to his behavior and denouncing this non Canadian behavior? If Harper refuses to answer questions why get on the plane if you are the press and why not just print and report on that fact alone that he is hiding and being as non transparent as usual, if that is what and how he wishes to be? Why print and report only what he wants, unless you the press have another agenda, or feel that his watered down election style of campaigning is better than no story at all? Why have these questions not being answered?
It would seem that the candidates are sticking to the same old tired things telling us what they will do that they won’t after they win and ignoring what up until the campaign seem to be bothering the most Canadians the most according to the polls and reported by the press. Now I can see how this might work for Mr. Harper, but for the life of me I do not understand the opposition parties, the press and the voter for not taking this opportunity to press Mr. Harper and the Conservatives on these points and issues. I have yet to hear one question about the deliberate way the Conservatives have turned one Canadian against another to get votes or pass a bill. Instead I hear how he refuses to take questions. I guess gone are the days when the questions were repeated until you got the answer, or the person was force to end the press conference and that became the story of the day and even the whole campaign. I think those were better days for getting to the truth. All of a sudden reporters are doing what they are told and allowing themselves to be used. Happy with any story on the election rather than the story.
Why is no one asking why Mr. tough on crime, lets build more jails, Harper, how he allowed a convicted criminal and disbarred lawyer,(Bruce Carson) in his inner most circle? Why was he different then any other criminal? Why was he entitled to be forgiven of past indiscretions? they say if you lie down with dogs you get up with fleas. I personally believe that everyone and anyone can change and if they do they are deserving off a second chance to make things right. I was one such person, but we know that this is not the way of Mr. Harper and his Conservative party, so why is no one asking him what gives?
As stated in an article in the Canadian Press, “It appears a total of five criminal convictions — two in 1981, three in 1990 — were no impediment to a savvy and by all accounts highly intelligent policy analyst in a town where who you know is more important than past indiscretions.” I guess it is only the people who Stephen Harper can’t use that are to fall under the tough, unforgiving, long and arm of the law. Here we go again with Harper claiming he did not know everything, but he will look into it.
Where is the talk of the 2 endless wars that Mr. Harper and the Conservative Party of Canada have us embroiled in. Where are all the questions about the bidding process used in the purchasing of the jet fighters and why Canada needs them? Why is no one asking why war seems to be a part of our Canadian future as far as the Harper government is concerned? Where is the talk of our sovereignty in the north that Mr. Harper said was is being threatened by the Americans our supposedly greatest ally and just about every other nation; the threat that prompted the Harper government to buy the helicopters? Where are all of the questions about why we have turned our back on diplomacy and become a warrior nation and why?
Where is the voice of the women in this campaign? I can not hear you, has the cat got your tongues? Is abuse of women , children not an issue for you anymore? Have these problems been resolve sufficiently for you? Canada has long counted on its women to keep our feet firmly planted on the ground when the males in power think that they are above it all. We have long counted on women to remind us of the things that are really important in life such as our families, helping our neighbors, the values of education, the need for the arts and the need to help the less fortunate both at home and abroad. We have always depended on our Canadian women to remind us that money is not everything it is just a tool that should be used to do good. Why is no one talking about unfair laws in divorce and child torture? Is all that you care about the state of the damn economy as well? For five long years we have listened to the opposition parties and the press and the general population bemoan the cutting funding to social programs and forcing these programs that help the homeless, the abused and even our veterans, but now that the Canadian population and the press are faced to face with Mr. Harper and the other candidates these issues seem to be on the back burner.
Where are the questions about Omar Khadr and what is going on with him? Where are the questions about how we treat and will treat child soldiers in the future. Where are the questions about our deporting of our own citizens to be tortured abroad, does none of this matter anymore? We have had our parliament prorogued, around issues concerning our treatment of enemy soilders to avoid answering the tough questions and still when we get the chance to say tell the truth, or else lose my vote we act like it does not matter. We now have the chance to ask this government to explain why it feels that people seeking refugee status in Canada, men, women and children should be locked in prison when the courts at all levels domestic and international say that this is wrong. Do the children constitute a terrorist threat as well or is this some new form of Canadian justice. Some may think that the government is right in their treatment of these refugees, but why are the questions being asked?
Our foreign aid has definitely dropped off and the government seems to think that this should be handled by the public with public donations making up the bulk of the giving. Kind of like if Haiti has a problem then the government will match what the Canadian Haitians raise themselves to aid their families. We saw this in the Pakistani crisis also when the Harper government would only match the amount of money given within a very limited time frame. This is not aid based on what is needed and 10 days or so is not a lot of time to raise money when canvasing the public for donations. Why is nobody asking why we are doing things this way since Mr. Harper took office? This was not the Canadian governments answer to foreign aid before although Canadian people have always been very generous in the past.
Where are the tough questions about this government being found in contempt of parliament and having the distinction of being the 1st government in all of the commonwealth to every be removed from office, because they were found in contempt of the institution it is supposed to honor and uphold. Why is the press, the opposition parties and the Canadian people allowing this to be marginalized like it was just a tactic to bring them down and had no basis or was unjustified? I think that is no laughing matter that the government showed no respect for democracy, no respect for the courts, our institutions, or the people of Canada. They have yet to apologize for their shoddy behavior and they have the nerve to run again with the promise of more of the same behavior if they win. If Canadians, the press and the opposition parties will not even try to hold Harper and his Conservatives to account during an election campaign, pray God tell me when will they?
- Tim Harper: ‘Stability’ message has different meaning for new Canadians (thestar.com)
- Canadian Democracy – R.I.P. (salvagedstars.wordpress.com)