Monday, December 3, 2012

An Odious Servitude

In its ongoing and odious servitude to a reactionary constituency, the Harper regime continues to use the heavy hand of government to target and harass those whose ideology differs from its own.

I have already written several times about Bill C-377, the private members bill designed to flame discontent with unions in this country. Apparently, anyone who seeks to challenge that bill now becomes a victim of one of the favourite tools of the Harperites, name-calling.

As reported by The Star's Tim Harper, this childish and manipulative tactic, a sad substitute for reason (never a strong point with Harper and his ilk), was used to 'answer' what most would deem to be a reasonable question about Bill C-377:

Opponents of the bill wonder why the government is not forcing the same type of financial disclosure upon doctors, lawyers and others who, like union members, pay tax-deductible dues to professional organizations.

The answer was provided by Ottawa-area Conservative Pierre Poilievre after the NDP filibustered the Hiebert bill at committee.

“The NDP’s attempt to block this union transparency bill and block workers’ rights only strengthens our party’s resolve to support that member’s bill and its amendments,” Poilievre said. “The reality is that never before has one party in Parliament been so dominated by a single-interest group.”

He told the Commons that a third of NDP MPs are “past union bureaucrats or union bosses.”

Yet this unwarranted and unprecedented attack on unions is not the only way in which government power is being misused. As also reported by Tim Harper, Conservatives sitting on the natural resources committee have summoned Justin Trudean and David McGuinty to explain their anti-Alberta remarks. How long will it be before we see show trials in Canada?

Finally in his piece, the star columnist points out the egregious hyprocrisy of a government that insists that the principles of accountability and transparency are its sole motivation:

As the Conservatives cast their light of accountability about the halls of Parliament, they have ignored their own lack of accountability — on the true cost of the F-35 fighter jets, on spending on the G20 summit, on the use of a discredited marketing agency to spread lies about Liberal MP Irwin Cotler or on its recent fun-with-figures budget numbers aimed at delivering goodies in the 2015 campaign.

So far, the Canadian public has given no indication that its appetite for the government's reprehensible behaviour is reaching the saturation point. Until it does, expect more of the same.


  1. For those of us who can't wait for this scourge to be gone from Canadian life, just keep telling yourself '3 more years' which is something I say out loud every day.

  2. Let us hope, Anon, the the mantra holds true. A new report says that faith in democracy is at an all-time low, with more people turning away from the ballot box. Unless they return, I fear the Harperites may be continue as an ongoing blight on the political landscape.

  3. The Harperites don't know how to blush, Lorne. Anyone else would be embarrassed by such obvious hypocrisy.

  4. Perhaps their lack of embarrassment is also a barometer of their hubris, Owen.