Thursday, December 30, 2010

Harper's Incremental Destructiveness

Anyone who has been paying attention to Stephen Harper's government since 2006 should be paying attention to two articles that have appeared in the newspaper in the last couple of days.

The real threat to health care reform

This article spends a great deal of time talking about how the Republicans in the US go about undermining things like health care reform. Mostly, it's a matter of going after it by starving the program for resources.

Albertans will be quite familiar with these tactics, having observed the provincial government undertaking the same basic approaches for years.

Which brings me to this article:

The dismantling of Canadian democracy promotion, brick by brick

The Harper government followed with a promise in its Throne Speech in 2008 to create “a new, non-partisan democracy promotion agency … to support the peaceful transition to democracy in repressive countries and help emerging democracies build strong institutions.” Whether or not Canada needs a new agency to do this while many already exist with similar mandates is a topic of much debate. But the idea of making Canada a leader in democratic development abroad was welcome by all in this field.

This noble new foreign policy direction was short-lived. Instead of building up and strengthening Canada’s democracy support architecture, our government has been systematically dismantling it.

The Canadian International Development Agency’s Office of Democratic Governance, which channelled much of Canada’s democracy funding, was disbanded. The Department of Foreign Affairs’ Democracy Unit was folded into the Francophonie and Commonwealth division.


This is but a singular example of how the HarperCon$ have spoken out of one side of their face while singing a very different tune out the other side. Unlike the Roman God Janus which guarded doorways from both sides, the HarperCon$ are "guarding" from one side; and attacking from the other.

As pointed out here, HUMAN RIGHTS – 1, CHRISTIAN RIGHT – 0, Harper is also attacking Canada's institutions which support our democracy:

A Supreme Court of Canada (SCC) decision on Friday reinforced the application of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms just as Stephen Harper is doing his best to erase the whole notion from the political map. His recent assault on the Canadian Human Rights Commission is a case in point. Harper summarily closed CHRC offices in Vancouver, Toronto and Halifax. The three offices accounted for 70 per cent of all federal human rights complaints to the CHRC in 2008.


From this Canadian's perspective, we are living under the rule of the singularly most destructive government we've ever seen. I wish I knew where the opposition parties were hiding.

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