Monday, 20 July 2020

What If... (Liberal "Scandals" May Be CPC Inventions)

So, here's a "what if..." Bear with me. What if the CBC is rife with employees hired during the reign of the Harper appointed board who are in place to pursue character assassination of any PM who is not CPC?

What if the RCMP is rife with conservatives who are reluctant to investigate conservative shenanigans like Jason Kenney's leadership campaign? I mean, yeah, they go through the motions for the optics, but stall and hope public interest fades away...

What if the former ethics commissioner, Mary Dawson, is a Harper loyalist who turned a blind eye on Harper's ethical shortcomings but has suddenly become a vocal critic of PMJT despite the obviously unprofessional and unethical position it puts her in?

What if some civil servants have a side mandate to undermine PMJT and the Liberal government and take advantage of opportunities to plant landmines like the photo of PMJT with Aspar Jatwal in India? Or the photo with Joshua Boyle?

What if the CRA is rife with CPC loyalists who continue to not investigate offshore wealth? What if the legal branch of the civil service is rife with CPC loyalists who keep taking Indigenous children and vets to court to obstruct appropriate funding to make the Liberals look bad?

What if the Saudi arms deal and the secret China deal that Harper signed have kept the current government hogtied despite public sentiment that urges a different response to these governments?

What if Harper loaded the deck so that anyone who succeeded him would face a shitload of problems, even without his puppets, Scheer and Poilievre, and his lackeys in the media, Fife, etc, continually trying to undermine and topple the government? Phoenix, anyone?

I'm just speculating here. But, things Stephen Harper was known for were holding a grudge and planning for contingencies. It seems pretty clear he felt he should have been PM for life.

What would he stop at in efforts to make life as miserable as possible for anyone who defeated him? At least 24 secret orders-in-council. More than any other government, even wartime governments. What did he do?

Harper had a decade to make changes in the civil service. To make it reflect his vision to some degree. Potentially to make it hostile, or at least uncooperative, to his successor. I am just encouraging people to look beyond the narrow view we are getting from MSM and the CPC.

And if you can totally embrace all the conspiracy tales that have been coming at us from MSM and the CPC, why do you feel what I am speculating about is so absurd? Does it have to do with your own biases and beliefs?

Why is it easier to believe that the Liberals are paying back WE for them occasionally hiring members of PMJT's family for speaking engagements in the past than to believe that 10 years of Harper led to some fundamental changes in how the civil service behaves?

The Trudeau speaking fees were not even high in the scope of speaking fees. Definitely not lucrative enough to throw away masses of political capital for. Misjudgment of the optics, maybe, but there does not seem to be any substantive evidence of malfeasance or bad motives.

Pierre Poilievre attempted to churn up a scandal about renovations that had been planned for years by the NCC, suggesting Trudeau was building himself a palace with public money. Think about that. The CPC assumes people don't know how things work

They make stuff up and throw it out there, trying to find something that will stick. Think about the source. If they tried to feed the public a fantasy about a secret palace, shouldn't all the "scandals" they rant about be put under a microscope? Think critically.

Here is some background to what I have been speaking about with respect to Harper "stacking the deck":

Thursday, 16 July 2020

The UCP IS a Crisis in Alberta

Wild fires and floods get people's attention. You can see them happening. And people act. But there are other threats that move along under the public radar. There's an announcement here and there, but it seems many people are not stringing them together... 
The UCP set up a War Room, ostensibly to counter foreign threats to Alberta's oil and gas sector. But what else are they doing? We see them on Twitter, shouting down criticism of the government. But what else are they doing? 
But, hey! A panel recommended this. After listening to the public. Even if what the public actually said is not necessarily reflected in the report. It gives Kenney the perception of arm's length rule. Cover to act on what he really wants to do without personal culpability. 
Then there's Bill 1, ostensibly created as a response to the rail-line blockades by the Wet'suwet'en, in effect they give the government the power to deem any public protest illegal and punishable by harsh penalties.…
Bill 27, the Trespass Statutes (Protecting Law-Abiding Property Owners) Amendment, seems designed to kill several birds with one stone. First, it protects the agriculture industry from whistle-blowers when animals are being mistreated... 
Second, it protects those who injure or kill a trespasser on their property from civil litigation. That the bill was retroactive to before the UCP were in power suggests it was designed to help one case for which Jason Kenney expressed sympathy and even donated money. 
Quite apart from the appearance that the government interfered in a court case, the normalisation of shooting trespassers that this Bill advances is incredibly alarming. 
Also alarming is Todd Loewen's motion to consider creating a civilian corps to assist police. The UCP insists this will not be a militia, but more like Neighbourhood Watch or Crimestoppers. But Neighbourhood Watch and Crimestoppers already exist... 

So what exactly will this "civilian corps" do that would be different? And how is this motion being interpreted by Albertans on the right? I rarely give oxygen to Rebel media but in this case, the comments on this subject are illuminating. 
Further to policing, the UCP introduced Bill 18, to have Alberta set up its own (redundant) Parole Board. And they are looking at cancelling the contract with the RCMP and setting up their own police force. 
The Alberta Parole Board (no doubt filled with UCP supporters) will feed red meat to the base in the form of keeping people in prison longer while costing Albertans for a service already provided federally. 
Speaking of investigations, Jason Kenney fired the Elections Commissioner who was investigating him. How convenient is that? Who wouldn't want the power to fire anyone who launches an investigation into one's questionable activities?…
So, in the UCP, we seem to have a party that is solidifying it's hold on power, while rolling out a barrage of legislation that attacks health care, education, environmental protections, worker's rights and safety, the poor, people with disabilities, the LGBTQ2+ community...
It's important to remember all these pieces. One at a time, they are not as in your face. They lack the impact to cause public outcry and action. But taken together, they are every bit as much a crisis as a wildfire or a flood. Pay attention. Kenney is just getting started. 

Tuesday, 14 July 2020

The Public Good

I am regularly accused of being "partisan" - along with a lot of other things that, I suppose, are meant to hurt or offend me. I would like to explain a few things.

Political parties are made up of human beings. Generally, at any given time, one party forms government.
Since parties, and therefore governments, are comprised of human beings, and human beings are fallible, no government is perfect. Someone will always find fault with something.
Governing is hard. There are a lot of moving pieces and even the best-intentioned government can make mistakes, miss doing something someone needed, have to backtrack and tweak programs to make them better. 
This is especially true when a government is having to govern on the fly, under extreme/rapidly changing conditions, like during a pandemic. The CERB came out fast, but then it became clear that this group & that were left out & programs are being developed to address these. 
Some things may be handled well, and others may need significant adjustments. But everything the Liberals have done during this crisis is intended for the public good. To keep Canadians from going hungry, being homeless, getting sick.
If I support and defend them, it is not because they are "Liberals". It is because they are working for the public good. That's what I look for in a party. I want a government in Canada that cares about Canadians and, despite being flawed humans, actually tries to do the right thing. 
I expect any Canadian government to work in the best interests of Canadians. I cannot support any party that seems to actively try to harm some Canadians. Of course, by this, I am referring to Conservative parties post 2003. 
The Harper government did not just pad the pockets of billionaires & self-aggrandize and follow a very exclusive doctrine. They actively engaged in activities that hurt Canadians & others. They cut environmental regulations, bullied charities that were doing important work... 
Cut Veterans' Affairs offices and staff, closed Coast Guard facilities, shut down Status of Women offices, destroyed science libraries, cut funding for health and education, demonized people (the niqab ban/barbaric cultural practices tipline), obstructed harm reduction measures (Insite), ignored Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women and Girls, tried to bypass the duty to consult to push pipelines through Indigenous lands, stopped refugees from coming to Canada... 
Cut regulations that allowed events such as the Walkerton e-coli outbreak in 2010, the listeriosis outbreak in 2008, the Lac Megantic explosion in 2013... Sent Canadian men and women to war for American interests...
Refused to allow any Canadian aid going to the developing world to address family planning needs, bought billboards in Hungary telling Roma people they are not welcome in Canada... 
Cut the court challenges program which ensured that groups could raise challenges to infringements of human rights in Canada, raised the age of eligibility for Old Age Security to 67, made it harder to be eligible for EI...
Brought in mandatory minimum sentences (many of which have been deemed unconstitutional), carried out trade negotiations in secret, introduced boutique tax credits that do nothing for those with not enough earnings to pay tax... 
The list goes on. All behaviours of a party that does not have the public good at heart. And fast forward to the present, we can see exactly the same behaviours in provincial conservative parties. 
Kenney and Ford have cut funding and programs for the most vulnerable, while giving big corporations huge tax breaks. They are trying to dismantle public health care and public education. 

In Alberta, one of the first things the UCP did after the election was remove protections from LGBTQ2+ youth. And they celebrated by dancing in the fountain in front of the Legislature. 

Here, in these conservative parties, I see not only imperfect people who might sometimes make mistakes. I actually see animosity towards the public. Callousness and disregard for the public good. We live in a SOCIETY, not an ECONOMY. 
The goal of government should be a healthy, well-educated, and reasonably comfortable population. Economic ratings are secondary to the quality of life enjoyed by the population. 
The conservative parties, federal and provincial, seem to have completely lost sight of this. They are willing to cheat, to lie to the public, to make things up or spin them, in order to gain power. 
And once they gain power, they are happy to view the public as a means to an end. We are just "human capital" to them. Cogs in the capitalist machine that pours wealth into a few special pockets. 
The NDP used to be the conscience of Parliament. I don't really know what they are now. Messaging is garbled. Sometimes they are highly principled, like Matthew Green, MP for Hamilton. Sometimes they side with the CPC in fomenting unrest based on conjecture, spin, rumour... 
The PM bought a swingset and gifted it to one of Canada's official residences. The CPC and NDP and our news media crucified the Prime Minister about this for weeks. That does not suggest a party with anything but power on its mind. 
So, the Liberals are not perfect, nor are they my natural choice. I expect they will make mistakes. They are only human, like the rest of us. But of all the parties right now, they seem the one most able and inclined to work for the good of Canada and Canadians. 
And so, you can call me names and suggest I am "stuuupid" and talk about koolaid all you want. I want a Canada that is good for all of us. Even you who troll my posts and spew insults.