Democracy Shrugged.

Could 20th Century writer Ayn Rand have imagined Canada’s Stephen Harper? Would she have lauded him for his Objectivism or would she have scoffed at his failures? At best guess, were she alive today, Rand would have been but another apologist for our failed prime minister.

He certainly has his apologists. Nobody could have forecast the events in world oil reserves and pricing since late 2014. The oil production glut from non-OPEC sources that include fracking and tar sands has been answered by lower-cost OPEC producers driving down prices. The results have meant serious losses to both Canadian and Venezuelan tar sands producers and financial problems for both countries.

In Canada, the Conservative government promised a surplus from which to offer tax goodies to the greedy in an election year. Tax savings for those who least need them are right in line with Ayn Rand’s extremist philosophy. Much of the Conservative base vote were expecting those pay offs and it is considered disastrous for Harper to renege.

Many wonder just how much of the government’s solutions to its budget problems have been based on subterfuge and outright lies? It was like listening to Global’s Tom Clark asking Defence Minister Jason Kenney why NATO figures show that Canada has been short changing the military budget. It seems that the Kenney’s government is claiming a couple hundred million was spent that NATO says does not show up anywhere. It was likely never spent. It appears that the government has been penny pinching on the backs of our military personnel and veterans.

A more obvious deception is the carbines that were supposed to be distributed to Canada’s R.C.M. Police in their role as federal officers and in providing provincial services to various provinces. That weapons program requires many millions of dollars in weaponry and training and these federal employees have been waiting for over six years for these guns to be distributed to all detachments. Commissioner Paulson has provided some cockamamie story about testing but that does not wash. The truth is probably that Treasury Board President Tony Clement has not been releasing the money for the weapons. That is how Clement is finding money for Mr. Harper’s tax cuts throughout the government. It might also be a reason for the number of R.C.M. Police killed in the line of duty lately because they are not armed adequately.

It is a long time since a tortured reading of Atlas Shrugged. We seem to recall a dialogue in the book that the mythical Titan (Atlas) was holding the world on his shoulders and it kept getting heavier and heavier. The question was asked how he could sustain that weight and the answer was supposed to be that “Atlas Shrugged.”

If we rid ourselves of Harper’s Conservative government later this year, can we say that democracy shrugged?

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Copyright 2015 © Peter Lowry

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