Posted by: jmtoriel | November 27, 2007

The Great Canadian Betrayal by Dictator Steve Harper

While John Howard is ousted from his poor leadership track record internationally in Australia, Steve stays online with dictatorial stance to betray the Canadian public’s will abroad. The results of the election in Australia is especially important for Canada as the first ever election that is proclaimed as “the world’s first Climate Change Election.” (Julian Glover, The Guardian) The Australian Greens with the guiding leadership of Bob Brown, are in position in Senate to work in coalition with Labour with 5 seats and rising numbers in the popular votes just short of a seat in the Lower House. This implies the shift in the polls supporting the non-deniers of Climate Change based on party policy. Australians increasingly want action on this issue in supporting international progress in creating legislation and this was their time to show it at the polls. It is obvious that the concerns of the majority in (and out of) parliament representing Canada’s responsible role internationally is being sabotaged by Steve and Baird in support of Big Oil interests and climate change deniers. The latest Commonwealth meeting reiterates this clearly:

Mr. Harper was incensed by suggestions that Canada was isolated at the meeting. “On the contrary,” he told reporters, “it’s the first time in these international meetings that a group of countries worked with us to assure a better result. The position of Canada is clear and we have no intention of changing it.”

– Globe & Mail Nov. 26, 2007

 

While the environment was barely mentioned in the last election, it now takes headline position in most western media sources. In Canada, Elizabeth May and the Green Party of Canada have continuously represented the issue of Climate Change and Global Warming for over a decade, while the NDP and the Liberals race to position themselves according to the latest polls all the while throwing mud in each other’s faces. Captain Jack continues to play out as a political opportunist while refusing to acknowledge that he is now behind in some polls (SES polls put the Greens ahead of the NDP for the first time last week) and will never win over the centrist Liberals and fiscally conservative Conservatives. This is most troubling in the context of the urgent political implications that the NDP will have in key swing ridings next time around on the issues of greatest importance to Canadians (like genuine Climate Change legislation). Jack’s opportunism is as shameful as Steve’s misrepresentation of Canadian’s abroad. More Canadians are putting their first choice behind the political party that represents the issue most effectively while providing a clear message in their support to climate change issues. Canadians want a more responsible government that are accountable to the Canadians they represent. This is, sadly, currently far from the reality.As a case in point, here is an excerpt from the Parliament of Canada website: 

Responsible Government“Responsible government” means that the executive branch — the Prime Minister and Cabinet — must have the support from the majority in the House of Commons to stay in power.  In the British tradition, the defeat of a bill involving a major policy issue or a tax or supply bill in the House of Commons is usually regarded as a “vote of non-confidence” in the Government.  Given the rigidity of party discipline, which discourages Members from voting against party policy, defeat in the House of Commons is unlikely unless the Government is in a minority position or loses the support of its own backbenchers.AccountabilityAs in Great Britian, there are other features of Parliament that ensure the accountability of those in power.  Cabinet Ministers report to Parliament on the activities and programs of their federal departments and must defend their actions to members of the Opposition during Question Period.  In fact, the various activities in the daily life of Parliament and the dynamic inherent in Canada’s system of political parties are designed to ensure that the governing party is accountable for its policies, activities and programs.

 

Canada’s Constitution (BNA Act) states clearly in Section 91  authorizing Parliament to “make laws for the peace, order, and good government of Canada, in relation to all matters not coming within the classes of subjects by this Act assigned exclusively to the Legislatures of the provinces”. Recently, there seems to be an emphasis on order and not much else. Harper is thwarting the general will of the Canadian public according to public opinion data and claiming it to be Canadian. It is shameful and a betrayal of this country’s fundamental principles. 

Vancouver, September 4, 2007A newly-released poll by the Environmental Monitor research program shows that seven in ten (70%) Canadians now call this country’s pollution laws inadequate, up sharply from 11 years ago when just fewer than half (41%) felt this way.The Environmental Monitor poll also found that when Canadians are asked to spontaneously name their top environmental concern, the most frequent mention is global warming (29%), up nine points nationally from July 2006. When asked to rate the seriousness of climate change, 66 percent of Canadians view climate change as a “very serious” problem, up from 57 percent in 2006 and 44 percent in 2000.

 “The future will either be green or not at all.” – Jonathon Porritt 

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