getting to know your (Canadian) government….
Okay, I stole this idea from CBC Radio this morning –
the idea that you can get to know Stephen Harper better, if you look at the title of parliamentary bills he has introduced into government –
the titles tell you everything about the conservative ideology of the man and the vision he has for this country…at least while he is in power…
here are a random selection of 15 Bills from just the first two pages of the Parliament of Canada’s website…
Bill C-1: An Act respecting the administration of oaths of office (restricting Muslim dress while taking oaths);
C-2: Respect the Communities Act: An Act to amend the controlled drugs and substances Act (anti-marijuana laws);
C-11: Priority Hiring of Injured Veterans Act;
C-12: Drug Free Prisons Act (getting tough on prisoners act)
C-21: An Act to control the administrative burden that regulations impose on businesses (removing – among other things – environmental restrictions on business) ;
C-22: An act respecting Canada’s offshore oil and gas operations…(see Bill C-21);
C-24: Strengthening Canadian Citizenship Act (making it harder to become a Canadian citizen);
C-26: Toughening Penalties for Child Predator’s Act;
C-27: Hiring Veterans Act;
C-32: Victim Bill of Rights Act (the “we’re too soft on criminals” act);
C-36: Protection of Communities and Exploited Person’s Act (legislated after Supreme Court said that prostitution was not illegal)
C-42: Common Sense Firearms licensing Act (making it easier to own guns);
C-44: Protection from Terrorist Act (increased government surveillance of citizens and more arresting powers for police);
C-46: Pipeline Safety Act (making it easier to lay oil pipeline in Canada)
C-50: Citizen Voting Act (making it harder for immigrants to vote)
There are 29 pages of Bills on the PofC website- other random ones I came upon: C-528: The Conservation of National Historic Sites; C-526: Cracking down on organized crime and terrorism act; and C-544: the Elimination of Partisan Government Advertising Act (making it easier for Harper to use tax money to advertise).
It doesn’t take long to see the direction Harper is taking this country. And it doesn’t take long to realize that this process, applied over the last 8 years while he has been in power, has fundamentally changed how Canadians see themselves (moved to the right), and how Canada is seen by the world (much less admired).
And when you realize that 62% of Canadians did not vote for Harper in the last election – you begin to appreciate that this new direction is against the consent of the majority of Canadians.
Sadly, that majority of Canadians now consistently split their vote between the three alternative political parties (the Liberals, NDP, Green) – which suggests, that we have another four years of Harper to look forward to.
Trudeau may not be the man yet ready for the job of Prime Minister – but he raises the bar when he says that voter reform needs to happen in Parliament – that the House needs to better reflect how the people voted. He says that the Liberals will introduce an all-party voter reform bill within the first 18 months in office.
But it needs to be agreed upon now.
All three opposition parties need to bury the hatchet: Mulcair needs to be PM, Trudeau needs to accept that while the people like him – he is viewed as not ready – and he needs to concede this and accept a senior Cabinet position (he needs to channel an early version of Jean Chretien), and Elizabeth May needs to be our voice of social-justice and environmental conscience – with real power and respect in this trifecta of ruling power…
and the Conservatives need also have a strong voice at the table as well (because not everything they say is nonsense all of the time).
-if you want more details on Bills, go to the Parliament of Canada website… http://www.parl.gc.ca/LegisInfo/Home.aspx?language=E&ParliamentSession=41-2