THERE IS NO BROADCAST ASSOCIATED WITH THIS EDITORIAL:
Stephen Harper, Canada’s “virgin” Prime Minister, sworn-in just this week, is either a liar, a deceiver or someone with no regard for the intelligence of the electorate.
Take your pick.
The Conservative Party which Harper leads, built its reputation from its Western Canadian Roots on several fundamental beliefs.
1) CANADA’S SENATE MUST BE ELECTED:
As it stands today, Canada’s Senate which has limited powers, but powers nonetheless, is comprised by members who have been appointed by sitting Prime Ministers.
Essentially; appointment to the Senate has nothing to do with merit. And everything to do with cronyism.
If you’ve been a good Party member. Or a journalist (like a newspaper editor) who made certain that news was appropriately slanted. Or someone who raised plenty of money for the Party. There is a good chance you’ll make it to Canada’s Senate.
And worse: There is no review or oversight on members chosen.
2) ELECTED MEMBERS SHOULD NEVER CROSS THE FLOOR:
In Canadian politics, people vote primarily for the Party. Every riding (308 ridings) has candidates competing to become that riding’s Member of Parliament.
But unlike the American system, where candidates run on their own beliefs, Canada’s candidates sell the Party-line. Therefore, in effect, Canadians vote not for the candidate who has no power once in the House of Commons, but rather for the Party.
In Canada’s system, individual elected Members can choose to cross the floor to sit with an opposing Party. Or as an Independent.
Most Conservatives believe, that for someone to cross the floor, the first thing they should do is resign his or her seat, and then run again under a different banner.
Both of these policies are part of the Conservative Corner Stone to Parliamentary reform, and to make Canada’s government more representative to the will of the people.
It should also be made clear to people who don’t know much about the way Canada’s Parliament works, that elected Members of Parliament have no say whatsoever in the day to day management of the country, unless they are named by the Prime Minister to sit in his/her Cabinet. Or as a Cabinet Secretary.
In Stephen Harper’s very first important function as Prime Minister, he shattered the two principals that helped get him and his Party elected.
1) He named a Montreal businessman (Michael Fortier) to the Senate, in order to bring him into his new Cabinet.
The Conservatives didn’t win any Montreal seats, and Harper believes that it is important to have a Cabinet Minister from Montreal. So much for an ELECTED SENATE.
2) Harper invited an elected Liberal foe (David Emerson) from Vancouver, to cross the floor in order for him to sit in Harper’s Cabinet. So much for PARTY LOYALTY.
The same reason as Montreal. The Conservatives failed to elect a candidate in Vancouver.
What Stephen Harper did, in his first time out as Prime Minister of Canada, was to demonstrate that he is no different than the Liberal Prime Minister (Paul Martin) he defeated.
It really doesn’t matter what laws Harper will try to pass in Parliament vis a vis his platform, since he has already proven, to me at least, that he can not be trusted.
I’m disappointed but not surprised.
I think I’ll continue to write less about Canadian politics, since it is so unimportant. And focus more on real issues that can, and will change our lives.