What has brought Canadian politics to its current level? We barely have our nose above the slime but we are well positioned to smell it. We have a majority government in Ottawa acting as though it is a besieged minority. And its answer to all its critics is an appalling degree of arrogance.
Our ready answer might be that we import this type of politics from the United States where slinging mud is a natural tendency of the political breed. And yet for all the rudeness and prevarication in their politics, Americans have some basic rules that people do not cross without universal condemnation. Crossing the line cost President Richard Nixon his office. Crossing the line brought President Bill Clinton before Congress where he barely escaped impeachment. The voters even had the decency to toss aside the vice-presidential candidate who could see Russia from her back porch.
Much of the problem in Ottawa has to be laid at the door of Prime Minister Stephen Harper. He thinks he is emperor of some imperial oligarchy wherein he commandeers a military Airbus 300 to take him on his round of world meetings to expound on Harper economics. He leaves his underlings to ram omnibus bills through parliament that even his MPs do not understand.
Harper’s Treasury Board President, Tony Clement, who is something of an expert at spending government money, continues to block parliament from finding all the details of his spending of money designated for border upgrades on new public washrooms in Muskoka.
Harper’s Minister of National Defence, Peter McKay takes note on how the Prime Minister does things and orders up a military search and rescue helicopter to return him from a fishing trip. His flip answer to opposition queries is that the military wanted to show him how it works.
Meantime, for sport, the Conservatives on the Hill with nothing to do ravage after the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation like a cackle of hyenas.
In all their actions, the Conservatives in Canada’s parliament are as unsure of themselves and their tenure, as freshmen during a badly planned frosh week. There is no maturity or trust, no sober second thought, no olive branch and no conciliatory effort. Canada has a sad parliament.
Copyright 2011 © Peter Lowry
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