Sunday, 24 April 2011
The 2011 Canadian Federal Election
As many of you know an election was called in Canada on March 26th, 2011. This occurred after the current federal Conservative Government, under Stephen Harper’s watch, lost the confidence of the majority of House of Commons members (aka: The opposition M.P’s). Since the launch of the election much speculation has occurred over why it was occurring.
Some people have claimed it is because the Liberal Party of Canada (LPC) is power hungry. My question is, If the LPC was so power hungry then why would they have not waited until polls showed they had a better chance at winning more than their current seat count. In fact, polls are showing they may either make a net gain of 2, stay the same, or drop lower than the amount of seats they had going into the election. This reasoning should show a clear signal that this is not way the election was called.
I would like to point out that out of the 5 major party leaders (Stephen Harper, Micheal Ignatieff, Jack Layton, Elizabeth May, and Gilles Duceppe – only Ignatieff and May have credible proof that they have yet to cause an election based on polls indicating their seat count, and power, would rise. Harper, Layton, and Duceppe forced an election in 2004 – with claims that they lost support in the Government due to the Gomery Inquiry. This inquiry dealt with the sponsorship scandal that brought an end to 13 years of Liberal control in the HOC. However, what few people focus on is the fact that public opinion shifted with increased support for the Conservative Party of Canada (CPC) and the New Democratic Party of Canada (NDP). There was also heavy movement in Quebec to the Bloc Quebecois (BQ). In fact, the NDP, within a week, saw the possibility of a net gain from 19 seats to that of almost 40! This was a very interesting thing for the NDP as they had not seen support or gains like this since the 1980s. It was the NDP who had propped up the Martin Liberal government of 2004-2006 – due to like mindedness on policy issues, compared to that of the CPC.
Martin made significant contributions in his 18month-2years as Prime Minister (PM) with movement on African Aid, Environmental Legislation – specifically within the framework of the Kyoto Accord, the finalization of a historical document on a National Child Care Plan, and another historical document, which took 18 months to finalize, known as the Kelowna Accord. This accord would have seen an injection of 5.5 billion dollars into FN issues relating to Education, Health, and Infrastructure. This Accord would have sought to bring FN’s to the same standards of education access, health care access, and infrastructure standards that Canadians had. However, all of the above accords/legislation was slaughter after the January election results, with the CPC forming a minority government, the LPC becoming official opposition, and the NDP seeing historic gains in seat count (still less than their biggest count in the 80s). In my personal and humble opinion, these accords and legislation would have done much to help Canadians – but the parties put their greed, popular vote, and potential seats above this. I say this more specifically about the NDP, who had supported Kyoto, Kelowna, and the National Child Care Strategy – all of which have been destroyed.
Furthermore, in 2008 Harper broke his own election laws by calling an early election. The CPC government had implemented legislation expressing that Canadian elections were to be held every 4 years, unless, in the case of a minority government, the opposition parties force an election. In the early days of September 2008, polls were showing strong gains for the CPC. Harper, out of nowhere, then declared that he could not work in the House of Commons with the opposition parties because they would not work with him. However, from 2006-2008, the opposition parties had been working with them. In fact the LPC, under Dion, had purposely avoided votes in favour or against CPC legislation in order to prevent confidence issues – which the CPC kept teasing them with. There was no reason for the 2008 election, except that Harper seen that he would gain seats – almost securing a majority, which he would have had he not screwed up on arts funding, which made Quebec very mad. In the end, the Harper government increased its seat count to within 11 seats from a majority, while the Liberals saw a historical defeat (second worse in its history), and the NDP also made modest gains.
In 2009, the Liberals obtained a new Leader – Michael Ignatieff, who is the newest federal party leader out of all 5. The above items show that the NDP and BQ both took advantage of 2006 polls to move for an election, while the CPC took advantage of the same in both 2006 and 2008. The Liberals have not forcibly caused an election, out of greed, since 2000 – when Chretien noticed he had a chance to secure a larger majority – thus a stronger mandate. The 2004 election, that Martin called, was a must because he was a new leader of the LPC and had to take his case to the Canadian people. The 2006, and 2008 election were forcibly done to gain seats – by the CPC< NDP, and BQ, with 2008 solely being due to the CPC. 2011, is different I agree – however there is more reason for why it has occurred.
A Tale of Canadian Democracy, Our Loss of it, and the Canadian People’s Lack of Caring:
By the time the opposition parties, under the LPC, NDP, and BQ, brought about a confidence motion which saw the defeat of the Conservative government, many items had occurred that should anger Canadian citizens. However, so few care to pay attention anymore that people only noticed an election happened not to long after the Budget had been released.
The fact is THIS ELECTION WAS NOT based on the Federal Budget for the 2011/2012 year. THE ELECTION OCCURRED DUE TO CONTEMPT CHARGES. Throughout February and March, allegations had begun to surface that led to serious questions of where the CPC stood on items such as Canada’s Democracy. One such item related to the Canadian government’s investment of over $30billion+ for fighter jets. For me, the problem was not so much the idea of purchasing jets (as I am very pro-military) but more of why were we buying jets, at such an expensive cost, when we had just retrofitted our current jets to last until 2017/2018. Why not use this 30billion on other military things, like our navy, to help with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), to upgrade Military infrastructure and technology, etc. Furthermore, the HOC began to realize that the original costs put forth on this, was far higher than the government claimed – with even an American Bureaucrat pointing out that the Canadian government’s estimate was way off, and far lower, then it ought to be. The costs didn’t even include items such as the fighter’s engines!!!
This is similar to the issue of the justice legislation that the CPC had been pushing. Again, I am quite right winged when it comes to justice, yet it was found out that the costs the CPC had put forth to the HOC had been lied about. The fact was the CPC knowingly skewed the costs in order to make it seem cheaper than it would be. This led to questions of ethics and whether or not the government was in contempt. This could only be decided by the Speaker of the House (Mr. Milliken – an MP for the riding of Kingston-and-the-Islands). At the same time it was discovered the federal government had denied funding to a group called Kairos. The unique situation about this was that the funding had clearly been approved, but someone had written into the document, which had originally been typed, the words not, in front of funded. The opposition brought this up in the HOC and the Minister responsible, Bev Oda, claimed not to know who did this. It was eventually realized that it was herself who had added the words ‘not.’ Thus, Ms. Oda had lied to the House of Commons, leading to another reason to look at whether the government was in contempt.
These things occurred after various other immorally acceptable occurrences. Twice the CPC, under Harper, prorogued parliament. One time it was claimed that it dealt with preventing an ‘undemocratic’ coalition (which I will write about later). In December of 2009, Harper pushed for prorogation again – simply with claims to benefit the Vancouver Olympics, as well as for He and other important CPC Ministers could attend. However, right when he called for Prorogation was also during the Christmas intermission. When they were to return at the end of January, items regarding proof that the CPC knew of torture in Afghanistan were to come forward. This was a major contributor to the enforcement of the prorogation. Prorogation is legal in Canada, but usually requires the majority will of the HOC. However, due to Harper’s minority government status – he clearly did not have the will of the majority. Thus his enforcement of proroguing parliament, with the help of the Governor General, was viewed as undemocratic because it went against the will of the majority of the HOC representatives. Let us remember that in our democratic style we elect people to represent us, and trust them in their judgments – thus majority of Canadians elected non-CPC members.
These situations also go along with referring to the Government of Canada, as the Harper government, lying to the International world about its History with the Indigenous population, firing people who have spoken out against the CPC or tried to warn them about stuff (Such as the head of Elections Canada, the Nuclear Safety Watchdog, the head of the Census, etc). It is because of all this that the Opposition had had enough. It was because the Speaker of the House (who is elected by the members of the HOC – thus the CPCs, LPCs, BQs, and NDPs did have a hand in who was made Speaker) found our government, and the Canadian Prime Minister in CONTEMPT. In other words, the Canadian government, and the Prime Minister, was found to have purposely lied and misled the official opposition parties, bureaucrats, and the Canadian people. This is the FIRST time in not only the history of Canada but also the British Commonwealth that this has occurred.
Let us look at this in the sense of a business. If your business partner had told you that finances were fine, but they had secretly distorted it so you would approve of it, and you eventually found out this was the case – what would you do? Would you go along with the lie and support your corrupted business partner while they make yourself and your business out to be a bunch of asses, or would you fire that individual? Or would you continue to support someone in your business who purposely keeps people quiet who might show you problems – who might warn you that there is some structural problems with the building your business is in. And yet that person is kept silenced or let go because it might undermined productivity a bit, even though in the end the building could collapse and hurt many of your employees. Again, would you go along with it … knowing full well that your co-worker, who could be your significant other, or a family member, faces utmost danger – and most likely death because her cubicle is in that area that will collapse? I would assume most of us would act, and do so quite angrily. Yet we don’t when our government lies to us.
It is these reasons that the opposition parties brought forth an election. It is because of the CPC’s lack of proper accountability and reliance on the general Canadian’s apathy and lack of knowledge on how their own government works, that they continued to do this. How could any party or person who knows all this fully endorse a party that lies and thwarts democratic process? How many of you understood this is the case? How many of you care? More Canadians need to wake up and smell the foul – stop complaining and become involved with their state’s politics – or we have no right to democracy – let those who care about it have it, or perhaps we can just trade places with those stuck in autocratic, monarchal, dictatorship states.