Thursday, August 14, 2014

We Don't Know What We've Lost

Many Canadians don't know. Many Canadians are incapable of processing what's immediately before them. They participate in it. I've done some mean, selfish things in my time. The thing is; I feel bad about it. But harpercon supporters on the other hand they're so stupid that they'll do criminal, anti-democratic things and praise themselves to the sky about it. They'll act as if efforts to uncover their criminality are "witch-hunts" whose soul purpose is to victimize them.

The depths of our national failure were recently reached in Gaza, where our [stolen] government party stood side-by-side with the mass-murderers. For fuck's sake! Significant voices with Israel itself called openly for genocide, and we still stood by their side. The Opposition was little better, with both Trudeau and Mulcair using precious speaking time to simultaneously criticize Hamas for firing its unguided rockets at Israel. The mass slaughter of Israel's latest "operation" was the issue. Hamas and its rockets would more properly be placed within a discussion of Israel's illegal occupation and the violence it inflicts on Palestinians as a result.

When you're the one in the airplane, flying over the houses, firing the missiles and dropping the bombs, it is YOU who are responsible for the deaths those missile and bombs cause.

Canadians used to be opposed to torture and it used to be the case that Canadians could say that they're safe from torture at the hands of their own government. Not anymore. In Afghanistan we knowingly turned people over to torturers. Our officials waded through blood and shit in these interrogation centers and their only statement of concern was that they wanted an extra set of boots for such visits. And, apparently, for right-wing harpercon Canadians, it is fine to torture Canadians if they have any Arab blood in their veins, or Muslim ideas circulating in their brains. Some right-wingers, such as the vile, racist, screeching madman Ezra Levant, invent ludicrous arguments that no such torture occurred, but that's just for show. A show that too many of us non-insane Canadians are tolerating. This right-wing scum will say out of one side of their mouth that those terrorists got everything they deserved while saying that nothing happened in those Syrian or Egyptian or Sudanese prisons in the first place.

Canadians used to believe that every four or five years they were allowed to go to the polls and choose from among the candidates filtered for them by financial and media restrictions. Using an archaic voting system, they had a fairly robust ability to turf-out incompetent, and/or arrogant, and/or corrupt governments. Power would see-saw between two incompetent, arrogant and corrupt political parties, but the power of the people to remove them acted as a check on their ambitions.

No more. The harpercons have corrupted even that. They've taken away our one small power, our one check on arbitrary, corrupt government. They called up people and falsely told them polling stations had moved. They called people up at 2 am and posed as rival parties and insulted them. They've probably all violated election finance laws. But Elections Canada has thrown up its hands in defeat at the conclusion of a phony "investigation" and allowed the harpercon regime to keep its stolen majority. And, earlier, the Supreme Court of Canada actually said that its perfectly fine if we don't know who really won an election. We have to assume undocumented votes were made in good faith. One has to PROVE that a hundred extra ballots with an "X" beside the name of the harpercon candidate was filled-out by a partisan hack, before an election can be nullified.

We used to believe that governments were obliged to provide the legislatures, that is, the people's representatives, with basic information about what they were doing and what they were planning. No more. The fate of prisoners taken in war time is apparently an issue of "national security." The cost estimates of major policies are "secrets" for the eyes of the executive cabinet only. Documents and facts can be forged and presented as genuine to Parliament and the politicians who do that can keep their seats.

We can sign treaties and then unilaterally break them. We can use the Canadian Revenue Agency as a partisan weapon. We can turn Statistics Canada into a fact-invention and suppression machine. We can muzzle the public service. We can arrest hundreds of people all at once for no reason, and hold them in inhuman conditions (because the police who arrested them all became "overwhelmed" at the size of their self-imposed task) and there's no significant public outcry.

This is where we are. This is what we on the left tolerate and what we allow many Canadians to remain ignorant about.


Scotian said...

Not just the left, the center too, which in this country is not a small percentage of the voters after all. Aside from that can't argue with what you wrote, it was after all no small part of why I said leaving Martin in place in 2005 was far less corrosive to Canadian democracy despite all the issues with a tired and corrupt Lib party/government then ever allowing Harper power. I warned that abuse of tax money is far less dangerous a form of corruption than the abuse of power corruption that would walk in with Harper. As bad as the Libs may have seemed from a progressive/left position, anyone that can seriously argue (especially these days) they and the Harper CPC are essentially the same clearly has not been paying attention the past eight years.

Like I've said before, I can understand people if they want to oppose the Libs because of their own electoral views, but if they cannot distinguish that basic a reality/truth and see them as they are (if there is one thing over the past decade which has really pissed me off it is listening to Dippers go on about "Lib Tory same old story", despite the fact that the CPC are not Tories by any actual definition of the word, the Libs at their worst tended towards being center right but the CPC are clearly an extremist far right wing party and government) then I clearly cannot trust their political judgement/perception or honesty now can I. Either they are willing to lie to suit their own political purposes or they really believe it, which is worse in my books,l and little better than those on the Harper/CPC side claiming everyone to their left are socialist commies out to impose the old style Soviet system on us.

This country has lost a lot, and we would have lost even more if Trudeau had not brought back the Constitution in 1982 and put the Charter in place. That is the only thing which has been able to protect us even slightly from the full horrors of what Harper has wanted to bring about, as it is this country will be decades repairing the damage that is repairable (and unfortunately there is a lot that is not), the damage to our reputation and our honour, well that is not repairable. We may be able in the end to convince that we were having a bad period, our GWB insanity period, but it will not change the fact we went from being a country that truly strove to walk the path of the rule of law, the importance of democracy, and most especially the value of human rights into this nightmare you described in your post.

Canadians allowed their complacency to make them think politics/voting does not matter, that we can trust that no one seriously dangerous could ever make it to our top. I really hope that blind spot has been ripped away from people now, because that is the only good I can see coming out of the Harper years. Who we vote for actually matters, and when we stop being involved in our politics those with dangerous agendas and interests are able to take it away from us, democracy is not a right but a privilege, and one we must always remember to work/for. There is a reason why the Americans have this cliche about the price of liberty being eternal vigilance, it is against those like Harper who would pervert and take away what makes us a caring decent open rule of law society.

If we do not remove Harper in the next election after his first majority revealed what he truly was, then we are no better than the Americans in 2004 with GWB.

thwap said...

The time for those recriminations is past. We need proportional representation and we need the opposition parties and the people to recognize who the enemy is.

We need a culture that will unite to defend their democracy and that will produce generations who will recoil in horror when they look back on these years.

Anonymous said...

From your mouths to God's ears, guys.

Mahmoud Steinbergman

The Mound of Sound said...

Thwap, I fear we need 'bigger' opposition parties and courageous leaders who don't accept neoliberalism as an inevitability. We need better than Mulcair and Trudeau, much better. We're on the path to an increasingly illiberal democracy, not just in Canada but throughout much of the developed, supposedly enlightened nations. It is no accident that we are dominated by a collective of petit fonctionaires and gangsters in service to corporatism.

I was so devoutly centrist all my life and now even I am becoming radicalized. That's a hell of a place to wind up at my age.

thwap said...

Anonymous (Mahmoud?)

I don't know if you're quoting Mahmoud Steinbergman or if you're saying you're Mahmoud Steinbergman.

Either way, I don't understand your comment.

thwap said...

Mound of Sound,

We do need better than Mulcair and Trudeau. You're absolutely right. They're both dreadful.

But I don't see how it will be possible to both unite against and destroy the anti-democratic menace that is Harperism (or whatever you want to call it), and remove and improve upon the leadership of the opposition.

Elizabeth May sometimes says good things. But our strategy shouldn't hinge on an instantaneous movement of non-Con voters to the Green Party. (Besides she often says stupid things as well.)

We need proportional representation to allow these various competing strands to show their true level of support in this country and contend with each other without letting a unified party of shameless hacks come up through the middle.

Then we can work on improving the overall political culture in this country.

Askingtherightquestions said...

Thwap it is frustrating but consider that Harper has brought, for the first time, a level of misrepresentation and authoratarianism to Canadian politics. I am not convinced his "base" is enthralled with all his maneuverings!! We are not used to this level level of deviousness but I do believe that many Canadians are finally getting the message (not that we were not warned. It is sobering to see how the opposition leaders have been cowed by the current "pro-Israel" lobby. The real issues are not being debated due to fear of appearing anti-semitic when in fact the issues have to do with international law, occupation and oppression. My heart was broken when I read Elie Weisel's diatribe against Hamas. Do the lessons of the Warsaw ghetto mean nothing? A just and peaceful settlement will NEVER occur through violence and oppression. And why is no one asking Bibi (and the current pro-Israel-anti-Hamas ad buyers) about the Likud charter and its thoughts about Palestinians?? I pray that a non-violent process can begin.