Unfortunately for all of us, we have to wait a bit longer to heave Steve.
In what can only be termed as a Hail Mary Pass, the Conservatives quickly floated a contingency bill that gave the opposition parties a taste of what they had been begging for since big business started firing everyone who wasn’t an executive – an extension to the employment insurance benefits.
Let’s be completely honest here: I labeled it a ‘contingency bill’ because the bill served zero purpose in the Conservatives over-all political goals other than to keep them afloat for a little bit longer – allowing them to attempt finalizing a slew of legislation that will further screw the average Canadian citizen in whichever way they can dream up.
The Conservatives are big on the ‘scorched earth’ style of politics when their back is against the wall – rapid fire legislation and appointments being a key example.
Last time there was a fear of their life-support plug being pulled, what did they do? A flurry of Senate appointments, sending long-time Conservative friendly people to live in the Canadian Senate for the rest of their natural lives – despite Harper spending years decrying the process and demanding it be changed so that Senators are elected instead of rewarded for toeing the ruling party’s line.
Yeah, that sounds EXACTLY like the people we need in Ottawa.
I really wish WordPress had a sarcastic font – but I digress…
Most of the Conservative’s forthcoming agenda has to do with making large corporations feel better – and to a degree, this is something that DOES need to be done in this post recession climate (yes…. you can come out now: the recession is over for the most part).
But if you look harder, there are a few items that are not related to the recession at all – items that are designed to give breaks and advantages to businesses that make billions of dollars in Canada that have nothing at all to do with calming the accountants of said business in this time of an economy sorting itself out.
Some of these legislative efforts are at the behest of billionaire C.E.O.s who felt they simply weren’t making enough money BEFORE the recession – which is precisely what the Conservatives do best: bend over backwards to make the top 1% of the population (with more money than the bottom 99% put together) happier than they have any godly right to.
Would you like an example?
The current ‘consultation’ with the public over copyright reform is a smokescreen to hide Stephen Harper’s directive that the Heritage Minister, Industry Minister, and the Attorney General are all on the same page about Canada signing onto ACTA.
What is ACTA?
That is a very good question, and you really should write to your local member of parliament to ask what exactly ACTA is and why Canada is a signatory country without doing any public consultation or disclosure.
The ACTA treatise is one of the most classified documents in the business world and has to do with copyright issues – specifically regarding copyrights held by Hollywood studios in the fields of music, movies, and other intellectual properties.
The problem with ACTA is that the text of the document is forever changing – like the sands of your local beach – and is not open to public scrutiny.
One version of ACTA was leaked onto the internet a while ago – but I’ve found out that the document has changed since then, so even with the leaked information, we as consumers are in the dark.
I’m going to borrow some text from Inquisitr.com since they’ve summarized the findings better than I could:
The core of the document details how each party should deal with intellectual property matters, including costs, complaint process and legal standards. Where it goes further is with the introduction of set rate penalties based on types of infringement, and further makes no clear distinction (that I could see) between a commercial piracy outfit, and a kid at home downloading a movie on BitTorrent.
While international co-operation on issues such as these isn’t out of the ordinary, it’s the secrecy around the document that has caused alarm so far; and it turns out that it was justified. The net effect of this treaty is to overrule local laws and to increase the severity of intellectual property/ copyright laws in signatory nations. Maybe not police stat level, but in places like Australia and parts of the EU which don’t have as strict an interpretation of copyright (for example, you can legally rip a DVD in Australia), this document could force local laws to be changed. – Duncan Riley, Inquisitr.com
What should alarm you is that, in effect, Canada’s laws regarding copyright issues will cease to be made by Canadians – and made by an international consortium that includes lawyers from the largest Hollywood studios.
Why should this alarm you?
Why the hell SHOULDN’T this alarm you?!?!
Remember my past blog about copyright issues? If you haven’t read it, please look it up in the topics menu at the top right of your screen.
For all intents and purposes, Hollywood will be making the laws by which you would be prosecuted if you were caught with an MP3 on your computer you didn’t pay someone for the right of having.
If you’re a lawyer or have a head for reading nauseating legalese, you can access a PDF file containing one version of the ACTA document by clicking here.
Yet, this is just ONE of the many legislative efforts that the Conservatives are trying to finalize as quick as their legal teams can type.
There are others that would remove trade barriers that try to keep American and Canadian businesses on an equal footing in Canada.
Some of the proposed legislative items floating around Stephen Harper’s desk involve creating a two-tier health system in Canada in such confusing language that it would seem like quite the opposite – and who do you think a two-tier system would benefit the most?
Yeah… that wealthiest 1% of the population.
Well, okay… to be fair, it will probably benefit the top 30% of money makers in this country.
It will absolutely never benefit little Jacob who has pediatric cancer and two parents that work – one in retail and one in construction.
Have I ever mentioned before that the Conservatives hate the poor, the destitute, and the infirm?
Maybe I have.
Stephen Harper makes me long for the days of Brian Mulroney – who despite his government’s flaws – honestly thought what they were doing would benefit the average Canadian citizen i.e. the people who elected them to office.
Speaking of which, Mr. Mulroney had a party the other night celebrating the anniversary of his 1984 electoral victory – the absolute pinnacle of the federal Conservative movement to this very day – and there were a few amusing tidbits of information that came out of the party.
Stephen Harper did not attend – nor do I think was he invited (but I could be wrong, however remote that could be)… and he was never mentioned by name by Brian Mulroney in that sexy baritone of his.
Mulroney DID however take a swipe at Harper – at least according to people who had attended the gala – by asking if all the attending party-goers had their Conservative Party of Canada membership cards on them… for which Stephen Harper says Brian Mulroney doesn’t have any more.
I’m not privy to whether or not our former Conservative prime minister is an actual card carrying member of the Conservatives in this day and age – or whether or not he has any interest in being one – but I do savor the attempt by Mulroney to show the older statesmen in attendance that Harper and his gang of corporate lackeys (that are all under 50 years old on average) have lost touch with what government used to be about in Canada.
What it used to be before the Conservatives sold their soul to big corporations – sold one paltry $250 dinner plate at a time during speaking engagement by prominent parliamentary contenders and winners.
When it was about ideals that the Progressive Conservatives legitimately thought more than 50% of the population believed in.
Unfortunately, that was a very long time ago.
No, this blogger has never voted Conservative… and never will as long as he’s in control of the hands that are checking off the little boxes on the electoral ballots.
However, I can look back and realize the monumental gap in beliefs between the heyday of Mulroney and the government that we have in Ottawa at the moment that I’m writing this blog.
Which is one of the many reasons we so desperately need to heave Steve.
Now, if only the NDP and the Bloc Quebecois (and the Liberals to a much lesser extent) would stop accepting a reach-around from him…