Sunday, May 30, 2010

Iggy..? Iggy..? Are you there?

 

So first we write up a story about how the only people taking action on doing something about taking the non-budget items out of the tories budget bill, C-9, are members of Canada's normally phlegmatic Senate. Now I'm here to tell you that Jack Layton has jumped aboard the 'let's fix this damned bill,' express. He's calling it a "Trojan horse" bill which seems appropriate enough considering all the nasty things hidden inside it - now if someone would just apply a Trojan to the thing and prevent its conception that'd be about perfect.

Layton is calling for Ignatieff to stop pussy-footing around and behave like a real opposition leader and conduct some tough negotiations with Harper, of whom he believes would do most anything to prevent the government from falling before his very expensive G-8 and G-20 confabs. He may have a point.

Ignatieff really doesn't have anything to lose by trying a new tack like threatening to bring the government down and meaning it. The worst that could happen is that he'd be forced to go to the polls and take a lot of popular stands on issues over which he should have been jumping up and down about in the first place. Two examples: C-9 guts important environmental legislation - Sec. 20 of the bill gives authority to the federal environment minister to unilaterally decide whether an environmental assessment needs to be done for any project, it deregulates Canada Post ...opening up international mailers to competition, Canada Post could lose millions of dollars in annual revenue and inevitably will have to cut services or hike rates.

Layton points out that while regular Canadians are ignored here, there are $15 billion dollars in corporate-tax giveaways - again not an issue likely to be popular with anyone but Harper's corporate pals and his mindless conservative base.

So Iggy? Where are you while this crap is being shoved down our collective throats? This is not something you can sit back and gaze upon from an ivory tower and speculate on where it leads. The answer to that is clear - this leads to GWB style governance and policies. Is that what you really want?

Canada's Conservatives Renege

 
A shocking development in the Afghanistan detainee issue: The tories are going back on their word to make all documents available and allow them to be viewed by selected members of Parliament on the grounds that some of them are “not necessary or appropriate for the purpose of holding Parliament to account.” In related news, there's word of gambling taking place at the Casino:


 The tories are trying to insert a loophole into an already agreed upon deal that averted a possible election. All sides agreed in principle to let a small panel of MP's have full and complete access. The Conservatives have gone the weasel route and inserted a paragraph that allows Ottawa to keep secret any records on detainees that can be linked to advice it received from government lawyers.

Paul Champ, a lawyer for Amnesty International, said, The key to finding out why Canadian government officials and soldiers acted the way they did will be found in the legal opinions." If they can't look at how the opinions were weighed and what advice they got from their lawyers, then the whole process will have been rendered moot.

Just like the plot of a bad sci-fi movie, this was predictable.