Harper Government

What will Canada be?

I wonder if evangelical christian Stephen Harper would agree with views of American fundamentalist Franklin Graham, the million dollar a year preacher whose father Billy began ministering in the Christian and Missionary Alliance church favoured by Canada’s Prime Minster.

Stephen Harper seems at least to share the Graham belief that, beyond ensuring order and conformity, government should have little involvement in the lives of citizens. The agenda of Harper’s Conservative Party is to restrict civil rights and limit public administration while ceding governance to business groups, unregulated markets and voluntary acts of individuals, institutions and interest groups.

Last year, Franklin Graham said this to journalist Christiane Amanpour:

A hundred years ago the social safety net in the country was provided by the church. If you didn’t have a job, you’d go to your local church and ask the pastor if he knew somebody that could hire him. If you were hungry, you went to the local church and told them, ‘I can’t feed my family.’ And the church would help you.

Star blogger digby had a different take in her piece Post Modern Serfdom:

Charity robs the recipient of the dignity and personal liberty to which all people have a claim, rich, poor or in the middle. Using government to act as the safety net instead of the good will (or good mood) of those of means allows that. Citizen pays in, and someday, god forbid, if he needs some help, he won’t have to kiss the ass of some rich busybody or self-righteous hypocrite who thinks he or she has a right to dictate his behavior on the basis of a couple of bucks.”

Canada is drifting away from principles of justice and equity that made our society more humane than that of our neighbour to the south. In this province, the federal and provincial governments have acted to:

  • centralize authority while reducing the influence of parliamentarians and independent agencies;
  • degraded and threatened public healthcare and public education, not to reduce total expenditures or improve service but to increase profit opportunities for private enterprises;
  • restrict collective bargaining rights of workers while staying silent on dramatic escalation of executive remuneration;
  • rely less on progressive taxation and increasingly on user fees and other regressive taxation;
  • raise contribution rates and plan delay of retirement pensions for ordinary citizens while leaders enjoy double and triple dipping and more along with unrestrained expense accounts;
  • abdicate responsibility for ensuring environmental oversight and protection;
  • initiated constant negative campaigning and extensive political advertising paid for by taxpayers;
  • scorned reform of political financing while pocketing hundreds of millions from business groups that aim to influence policy directions.

6 replies »

  1. More accurately it is the system, set up the way it is, that allows these things. We as citizens should never have to spend our time policing governments to do the right thing. But as far back as I can recall this has been the constant since my youth.
    Government officials should have the best interests of the constituents in mind. We all witness the failure of this repeatedly.

    I don’t believe we can characterize Harper and his minions as government officials. These are simply nothing more than predatory corporate shills doing whatever the hell they want because the system, set up the way it is, allows this to happen.

    Our problem, as citizens, is we sit by and watch like wall flowers, waiting for the next group of “government officials” from the next party, recently voted in, to repair things. Then we find out the recently voted in group is exactly the same as the recently turfed out group. Same system attracts the same caliber of person, resulting in the identical outcome time after time…

    Who was it that used to say …….Surprise surprise surprise?

    Nothing, absolutely nothing, will change until our system of governance, in particular our electoral system is changed from FTPT to something else.

    Not addressing this problem will bring more of the same for the future. Without change in this part of our society only the names and the faces of our government’s officials will change that is the reality.


  2. I certainly can't call this country Canada anymore. We are living in a fascist dictatorship regime. I see nothing around me any more, that says Canada. Harper has brought, terrible disgrace upon our Nation.

    At the meetings of Nations, Harper always causes trouble. He is called a petty gasbag, arrogant, stubborn, impossible to work with, and co-operates with no-one. The other country's are fed up with Harper's bullying and his hissy fits, when he doesn't get his own way.

    Harper is banned from, the New Trans Pacific Trade Group. The U.N. banned Harper from a seat, in that organization.


  3. The first mistake many people made when voting for Harper was assuming he is Christian because he goes to church. I see him more a pew-warmer…a Christ follower would not speak, act, or think the way Harper does. He's a church-goer yes…that doesn't make him a Christian, evangelical or otherwise. People will soon begin to see how wrong they were…but hey!…it worked this time around. Christ is not amused.


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