Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Can Loyalty Oaths Be Far Behind?

In yet another development in the dangerous drift toward autocratic rule, the Harper cabal, under the guise of a private member's bill introduced by Mark Adler, the Conservative MP for York Centre, wants parliamentary watchdogs and their employees to disclose previous political activities.

Bill C-520, which has the full backing of Mr. Harper,

would require every applicant for a job with an agent of Parliament — such as the auditor general, or the chief electoral officer — to disclose if they’ve held a “partisan position” in the previous decade. The legislation would be retroactive, requiring any current employees to publicly disclose past political activity.

Here is a summary of the bill:

This enactment establishes a requirement for every person who applies for a position in the office of an agent of Parliament to make a declaration stating whether, in the 10 years before applying for that position, they occupied specified politically partisan positions. The enactment also requires the persons who work in the office of an agent of Parliament and these agents to make a declaration if they intend to occupy a politically partisan position while continuing to occupy the position as agent of Parliament or work in the office of such an agent. The declarations are to be posted on the website of the office of the relevant agent of Parliament.

As well, the enactment requires an agent of Parliament and the persons who work in his or her office to provide a written undertaking that they will conduct themselves in a non-partisan manner in fulfilling the official duties and responsibilities of their positions.

The bill would also allow MPs and senators to ask Parliamentary watchdogs to investigate an employee’s conduct, should the politician suspect they’re performing their duties in a “partisan manner.” No definition of partisan activities is given in the bill, which, of course, opens the way to what many are calling a witch hunt.

For example, one can only imagine the grief the Harperites would have caused former Parliamentary Budget Officer Kevin Page had they been armed with this bill. No doubt Page's propensity for pointing out this government's myriad lies and examples of ministerial incompetence would have constituted 'partisan activity' in the twisted Tory mind.

So much for Parliamentary officers' independence.

Given the extraordinarily partisan and vindictive nature of the Prime Minister, it is yet another example of the government's contempt for the intelligence of Canadians when Harper's director of communications tells us that the bill reflects the Conservatives’ “principles of transparency and accountability.”

Can loyalty oaths be far behind?


  1. Do you think that the Conservatives just don't have any actual brains or what? Are they just too stupid to think that eventually, short of an actual coup, they will not be in power any more and the next party that takes over will simply use all these policies to suppress the Conservatives? Based upon Conservative precedents in the House and various laws they have passed, the next party in power could keep the Conservative Party out of power for decades. They are so busy setting up an autocracy that they have failed to see that as a party they will be one of the primary victims of that autocracy. Even if the next party to ascend to power is the Liberals, these policies and precedents could be a disaster for the Tories of epic proportions. For one thing, if they were driven from power in a devastating manner, it could very well cause another split in the Conservatives, and if the Liberals used these things to keep them far fro power, that split could be permanent. And even if we agree that the Liberals are, in many ways very much like the Cons in certain policy areas, they are also different in a number of other important ways; and these are ways that drive Conservatives crazy.

    It all reminds me of that guy in the original Battlestar Galactica TV Series who was helping the Cylons kill the human race. He was just too stupid to realize that once they were done with him, he would be their next victim. Eventually, the Cons will be victims of their own autocratic policies. It really is a Bizarro world.

    1. You make a good point here, Kirby. It is almost inevitable that any succeeding government will keep most of the regressive legislation that the Harper cabal has enacted. I guess it would be nemesis for them to thus be hoisted upon their own petard, so to speak.

  2. Lorne, I just cannot believe it. Simply incredible. I am at a loss for words to comment on it. What next?

    I am tweeting it.

    1. Under the Harper regime, LD,.we are truly living in an Orwellian nightmare.

  3. With every passing day, the clarion call of RESIST gets stronger.

    We can only hope that some of the rot will seep down to the masses, so they'll take up the call.

    Anonymous A

  4. Replies
    1. Indeed, Mound. I live for the day our country sees a return to political and social health.

  5. .. the toxic mindless Harper hive .. A Game of Drones ..

    At the risk of offending anyone, nobody.. or everyone.. I'll remind how vulnerable yet extremely dangerous the Harper Rapture Conspiracy has become to Canada and to themselves.. so let's get serious.

    Harper is toast. Will bail suddenly, heroically.. pre 2015 Election

    A majority Government, bloated omnibus bills & he's now done what he wanted to do.. and can seemingly let some hapless idiot(s) take the fall for all Harper has wrought. War with First Nations? Won't be Harper sends in the Canadian Forces & RCMP. Lose to Trudeau or be trashed as a minority government.. no. Blamed for Dysfunctional Parliament? Twisted Foreign Policy? Nope. Procurement Fiascos? Electoral Fraud? Extinct keychain species? Like wild salmon? Deficit? Nope..

    Harper will be shocked and dismayed that junior interns and trusted unelected hacks and wonks 'let him down' & his PMO 'abused his trust' and his Ministers incompetence 'made him sad' .. boo hoo

    Meanwhile we get the shifty sideways backbench scatterlings going after abortion law, partisan fuzzy feeling PBO's and dissident angry Canadians. We also get senior Ministers & their prancing secretaries kissing Harper ass & ideology with flawless precision.. synchronized dogma swimming with high marks for pedantic repetition. If we thought Poilievre and Del Mastro were a fine pair at sucking and blowing.. Paul Calandra and James Moore blew past them at hyperspeed.

    I think the Canadian electorate is 'getting it' slowly but surely.. drip by drip.. prick by prick, and when it truly sinks in.. that the Harper juggernaught is primarily a lot of shameless Poli Sci bully boyz, posing middle aged paunchy white boy MP's, backed by ignorant 20-30 witless thugs, strange female MP's just fine with the Harper power trip, way too clever n sneaky ideologues, robodogs, hacks, wonks n trolls in the PMO and uncharted wasteland rovers like Flanagan.. mentor to the Harper Party tailings ponds creatures..
    well .... the Canadian worm will turn

    Even mainstream media is ready to scalp the Harper legacy.. following hard on the heels of indy bloggers, concerned Canadians, scientists, teachers, artists, First Nations.. and those dangerous tree hugging seniors and elders that dimwit sellout Joe Oliver keeps warning us about..

    1. As always, Salamander, your excoriation of the Harper regime is spot on. I join with you in the hope that Harper's crimes against Canada's peoples and environment are becoming increasingly apparent to more and more of the population.