Saturday, January 30, 2010

 

SPOKEN WITH FORKED TONGUE

It is abundantly clear that politicians of any and all stripes will say pretty much anything that can justify their actions, worthy or otherwise...

Prime Minister Stephen Harper is an increasingly seasoned and adept practitioner of the art. Now in a salute - Nay! - Tip of the Hat to old style politics, he's tipped the balance of power in Canada's Senate. Old style politics of course being a practice Mr. Harper and his party have repeatedly vowed to reform, abolish, rise above, and to submit to a new era of accountability (take your pick) in each of the three times these Conservatives have sought the electoral support of Canadians.

There have been five (and counting) excuses and reasons advanced for the bitter aftertaste of the hasty, useless, and affront to democracy "Proroguing" of the House of Commons. On that one; just short of a quarter-million FaceBook subscribers have so far petitioned Mr. Harper to have a change of heart.

Now, having repeatedly campaigned never to do so, Mr. Harper has packed the Senate under the premise that the heretofore Liberal Senate majority obstructed his government's "tough on crime" agenda. That of course would be the same "tough on crime" agenda legislation which died on Parliament's order paper when the Prime Minister unilaterally prorogued the House twice in one year. If you're keeping score; this sounds like excuse number two. To wit: It seems to me that when Senators Wallin, Duffy et al were appointed it was to hasten that promised (never to be delivered) reform of the Senate.

Be that as it may: Right-wing "tough on crime" agendas have packed American jails and the practice has repeatedly been shown to be an abject failure south of the border. A lesson we've missed, and thus obviously still must learn at our own politically fueled expense. I digress!

Despite winning two of the last three elections; a decimated disorganized opposition; and several potential false starts in between, majority government still eludes the Tories...There may be a reason for that: One that is all the more re-enforced by packing the Senate rather than delivering on promises. Hardly the signal of a new era..N'est-ce pas?

It was writer, journalist, raconteur Larry Zolf, now aged 76, who observed of management's decision to cancel the controversial program "This Hour Has Seven Days" in 1966; that at the CBC..."the milk rose to the top." He could just as well have been speaking of the slate of political masters we've elected to represent us and to assure the country's well being.

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