Monday, May 23, 2011


The recent federal election was a very difficult one for many people. We heard about many of the "dirty tricks" being played such as midnight phone calls, phony calls from Election Canada to tell people their polling station is moved, or false reports that one can only use Photo ID to vote with. These tricks were well publicized, and hopefully being seriously investigated and charges laid where possible. However, there were other things going on that were less publicized, and has only reiterated the position I have taken in my last blog entry, "From We to Me". Over the course of the election, there were reports of low income people getting "egged", racist remarks being openly shared in public forums and poor bashing once again becoming a national sport. These techniques, as well as the dirty tricks cited above, are no less of a vote suppressor for those that might otherwise have exercised their right to vote.

We hear about stories in developing countries, where their democracies are very fragile, where people are getting threatened if they dare oppose the ruling party, or they get rewards for promoting the dictator for yet another term. People get punished in these countries. Many have lost their jobs for exercising their right to vote for an opponent, others had their cars bombed or their homes broken into. In this election, right here in Canada, people's cars were vandalized if they were parked in a yard where a political opponent is being supported. There were also allegations of a fire bombing, as well as bar fights over the election. These things that happened here can only move a small amount further, and our country's democratic principles are no further advanced than those of a banana republic.

Unfortunately, many of the problems that surfaced during the election did not stop. Ardent supporters of the now majority ruling Conservatives are holding it high on top of others that they are "better" than those that supported other parties, morally superior because they supported the "stability" of Harper ... one of them even commented that we now don't have to worry about having regular elections. Hey, dictatorships have that too, where people don't have to worry about elections, because they are never called and when they are, they are certainly rigged in favour of the incumbent. Saddam Hussein, Muammar Ghadafi, Robert Magube, Fidel Castro, and many others felt they did not need elections. Why not? They were costly, inconvenient and who wants to bother with them anyways?

The poor bashing sadly continues too. It is so remarkable how the wealthier classes refer to "their" money, when in fact the majority is inherited or otherwise unearned through investments or other means. I stated in another blog why the wealthy do not work as hard as the rest of us, and please don't try to disabuse me of that notion, as I know too many people who worked themselves to death practically, who were by no means wealthy, while wealthy people would complain that increased taxes would only curb their lifestyle somewhat. Again, this is a pestering inconvenience for them to pay their own way in the society in which they live.

Throughout the election, I asked people if they can afford private health care. Ardent supporters vehemently deny that Harper or anybody in his government will ever cut health care. Well, there is plenty of history on the web with Harper's name on it, and his continued antipathy towards medicare. Ardent supporters did not want to read these articles, as they were blinded by ... whatever it is that made them feel Harper was so inviolate. Some would argue that having a parallel private and public health care would lessen the wait list for the ones that cannot pay. Well, this has been tried in many jurisdictions, and unfortunately, this only made those that cannot pay wait much longer and in some circumstances, get inferior treatment. Many of these same people blocked me on various websites because they could not win an argument with me. I don't care. I do not need their ignorance on my computer anyways; let them go pollute other people's mind space.

One person tried to get me to commit to six months of this government and then return to say whether it was good or not. I'm sorry, we ALREADY HAD FIVE YEARS of this same government and what is going to happen in the next four is the same that has happened in the last five years, except the ongoing hyper-partisanship and destruction of opposition opinions will be on steroids. This already happened, as Harper could not even give Parliament a chance to open or even give a Speech from the Throne yet, but he had already re-appointed two Senators that resigned their positions to run in this election and they lost, only to be put right back in the unelected, unaccountable Senate.

In 2006, Harper ran a reasonable campaign to clean up the Senate, clean up spending, make government more accountable, make government transparent, make leaders in the government accountable to their constituents, and to reign in things like AdScams under the Liberals. I was one of those that was fooled by this platform, and they got my vote in 2006. They had FIVE YEARS to make it right, and they only made these things worse. We have government hiding key issues about Afghanistan, the G20, secret papers that have been left with a Cabinet Minister's girlfriend, a Cabinet Minister that ordered a document altered after it had been signed by the parties, and then lied about it, and lack of answers regarding how much corporate tax cuts, fighter jets and private prisons are going to cost the taxpayer. They were found to be in contempt of Parliament, yet they get elected again.

My faith in some Canadians is not very high. As somebody coming into my polling station on election day jokingly suggested, voters should have to pass a basic civics and economics test before they get handed a ballot. Of course, as electionn workers, all we can do is smile and take their identification, etc. and send them to vote. Apparently, there were pro-Harper ads playing on the radio the day of the election, which is apparently against the elections law. But they got the majority now, so nothing is going to get done about that either.

People around me are nervous about Harper. I tell them there is probably not much we can do, other than watch what other people are finally doing in other parts of the world and standing up to their governments. Harper is going to make us all pay for the billions of dollars in handouts to his corporate friends, corporate tax cuts, untendered contracts, among other things, so that the deficit that was created from these ill informed decisions will be paid for by the rest of us that neither created the deficit or had any benefit whatsoever from the spending that led to it. I ask my ardent Conservative "friends" if they can identify ONE job that was created as a result of a corporate tax cut, they couldn't even do that. Because they know that taxes are only applied AFTER the jobs, equipment, research and development, administration, etc. are paid for ...

I am far too educated and intelligent to believe in any of this bunk anymore. In some ways, I wonder why I even bother voting, and perhaps I should join the growing group of non-voters who are fed up with this archaic, corruptible "first past the post" system that can only be manipulated to lead to huge majority governments with far less than 51% of the popular vote. With more people voting against him than for him, Harper SHOULD try to govern for all of us, but I am not holding my breath.

My guess is people will be understanding what I, as well as many other Canadians have been saying about this, in about two or three years when they find their economic circumstances have not improved one iota, and they seem to be paying more and more for the same basket of goods and services and paying more out of pocket for health care and other so-called "public services".

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