Well, to no one's surprise, despite the symbolic, peaceful protests, the harpercons' Bill C-38 passed the House of Commons. Canadians are a busy people. Just because our present inhabitants of government power won their majority with a mere 6,000 votes after a campaign of massive, centralized electoral fraud, it doesn't mean we don't want to see stuff getting done!
That's why our leadership (the increasingly compromised and evidently incompetent Elections Canada), the Liberal Party of Canada (which started us on our way to one-man government under Trudeau and Chretien, which mocked and cynically exploited our hatred of the GST, which helped orchestrate the overthrow of the democratically- elected Bertrand Aristide and install a government of torturers and thieves in Haiti, which signed NAFTA after vowing to re-negotiate it, which dragged us into Afghanistan, which acquiesced to the cover-up of war crimes in Afghanistan, which colluded with the harpercons to block the testimony of Colombian victims of corporate criminals and right-wing death-squad governments) and the NDP (which is no doubt dreaming of the day when it can ignore the laws and abuse the people "for their own good" itself one day) are all playing along as if this is a legitimate government and allowing them to have Parliament operate in secret and ram-through vast omnibus-type legislation.
What's that you say? What about the attempted filibuster? Sorry. But the NDP, the Liberals, the Bloc Quebecois and the Greens have all been acting as if this is a legitimate majority government. Bill C-38 might be a horrendous, undemocratic abuse of power, but they're treating it as if the foundation of that power is valid. It is not. The government's majority rests upon fraud. As such, harper really doesn't have the power to do anything. Furthermore (and this has become lost in the mists of time) but I have ALWAYS asserted that harper has no legitimacy in any case. Even before it turned out that his majority is bogus, it's a documented fact that harper has no respect for the basis of his own power. He took the unprecedented step of proroguing Parliament to avoid a vote of non-confidence, and then he refused to give Parliament (that is, the people of Canada, through their representatives) the cost estimates of his policies (his prison-building fantasies and the F-35 fighter-jet purchases) telling us (through our representatives) that we'd just have to trust the numbers he was given. In stephen harper's blinkered view of democracy, we, the people of Canada, must simply TRUST the government's statements at face value. (It has since turned out, after his having stolen the last election, that harper was lying through his teeth when he was telling us the likely costs of the fighter-jets and asking us to trust him.) All of this, ALL OF IT, is demonstrated, thorough-going, utter contempt for both the forms and the spirit of the laws that supposedly govern us.
Oh! Mustn't forget the media! Truth be told, our media (the print media anyway) has done a decent job of exposing and condemning the anti-democratic tendencies of the harpercons. I only want to focus on one important shortcoming. Andrew Coyne, who is as big a promoter of bankrupt neo-liberal policies as Canada can produce, also showed himself to be a genuine upholder of the rights of Parliament and the limits of executive branch power. He castigated and condemned harper's serial abuses of Parliament's rights. But then, instead of taking his analysis of the nature of stephen harper and the cabal of goons that he leads in the House of Commons to its logical conclusions, he goes on to consider the various policies these anti-Parliament, anti-rule of law, anti-democracy vermin bring out on their own merits. Coyne's shortcoming is the shortcoming of every other political analyst who has accused harper of tearing out the heart and soul of Canadian democracy but who then continues to write as if its business as usual. Those pundits who have the security and the resources, should use their positions to advocate for those measures that will be necessary to remove the usurpers from power and restore legitimate government to this country.
It is NOT business as usual. This government is illegitimate. Democracy, Canadian pseudo-Democracy, has been suspended. Or, more accurately, it has been usurped. And thus we find ourselves where we are today. Last night. after the oppositions' attempted filibuster was sliced down to a manageable 24-hours by the contemptible lackey, Speaker of the House of Commons Scheer, Bill C-38 has passed Third Reading in the House of Commons. Bill C-38:
1. Bill C-38 guts environmental legislation and 'streamlines' the environmental review process
2. Various aspects of Bill C-38, including changes to the environmental assessment review process, violate the federal government's obligation to consult with First Nations and accommodate First Nation Treaty and Aboriginal rights.
3. Bill C-38 amends the Coasting Trade Act to allow increased off-shore seismic testing and drilling.
4. Bill C-38 implements new rules that will require most unemployed EI claimants to accept job offers at hourly wages significantly lower than their previous employment.
5. Bill C-38 will also make changes to the Temporary Foreign Workers Program, Old Age Security, and will repeal of the Fair Wages and Hours of Labour Act
6. Bill C-38 makes changes to meat inspection regulations and cuts funding to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, weakening our protection from diseases like listeria, mad cow, rabies, and toxic poisoning.
7. Bill C-38 undermines food sovereignty by amending the Seeds Act and Plant Breeder Rights, eliminating enforcement of the Product of Canada label, and prioritizing trade deals that benefit multinational corporations instead of local farmers.
8. Bill C-38 officially withdraws Canada from the Kyoto Protocol reducing the federal government's obligations to report on climate change policies.
9. Bill C-38 dedicates millions of dollars to attack environmental groups and charities through audits on foreign funding.
10. Bill C-38 includes amendments to the Employment Equity Act which eliminate the requirement that federal contractors apply employment equity provisions put in place to protect groups that have experienced discrimination, including women, Aboriginal peoples, visible minorities and persons with disabilities.
In short, it is another "omnibus" bill. Right-wing thugs like omnibus bills. First of all, because they're lazy and stupid. Second of all, because they're thugs. These omnibus bills are in the spirit of the shit-for-brains hypocrite Milton Friedman's call for the right-wing, "free market" gang to hit their welfare state, liberal opponents hard, all at once, everywhere. He advocated this "shock and awe" politics in his book The Tyranny of the Status-Quo. Between 1900 and 1970, he argued, progressives and liberals and Marxists and the great unwashed in general, had built up an enormous welfare state system, and it would take far too long to dismantle it piecemeal. No, no, no! If they were ever to implement the neo-liberal economic agenda that had already failed in Chile under the right-wing torturing scum-bag Augusto Pinochet (whose torturing dictatorship Friedman the "libertarian" enthusiasticly supported) and would eventually produce the decline of the incomes of the majority in the west and bring on the biggest economic crisis since the 1930s by 2008, it would be necessary to launch wholesale massive attacks on the welfare state edifice, and leave its various supporters confused and reeling and unable to mount a coherent defense.
Friedman's tactics worked incredibly well. (Having the capitalists and their political cats-paws on your side in a capitalist democracy helps!) The people with money and power attacked and attacked and used their control of the media to lie and spin. And there was wealth aplenty for people in the right place at the right time. As trillions of dollars flowed from the pockets of hundreds of millions of ordinary people, some of it would pool and congeal to be lapped-up by dogs like Sean Hannity or Ezra Levant or Jack Abramoff.
Well, I say that we do to them what they do to us. Attack them Attack them everywhere. Attack them constantly. Attack on all fronts. Especially when we regain power. We will mete out the measure and more than the measure that they have meted out to us.
We will destroy them as a movement. We will destroy their bases of power. We will destroy their protections. We will destroy their revenue streams We will destroy them. We will destroy them and thereby save the world and save humanity.
And to do that, we will have to move beyond empty, symbolic protests of the already converted. People have been trained to ignore politics. We must stop talking to ourselves and start talking to the unconverted. While the print media has had enough commentators rightfully calling the harpercons for the undemocratic scum that they are, the majority of reporting (especially the television kin) has been vapid, business-as-usual, he-said she-said garbage and it always will be. We have to make a genuine grass-roots educational movement, door-to-door, small groups, and when we do that, we have to propose genuine SOLUTIONS and tactics that actually achieve them. We must abandon, now and forever, for gods' sake! the traditional leftist drivel of pleading with our masters that they grant our wishes. We must focus on taking power so that we can use it ourselves.
I have already started At the last symbolic, formulaic protest against Bill C-38, I got the contact info of my fellow protesters. I am going to be speaking to the groups that they belong to and I will be making the case for a pro-democracy, a pro-rule of law insurgency. A mass movement is going to be built, meeting by meeting, door-step by door-step, mail-box by mail-box. And the difference is going to be that instead of mouthing the words "Organize! Educate! Resist!" and meaning: "Give money to the NDP! Show up for a meaningless rally!" it will mean actually doing something to achieve a specific goal after having planned what is necessary to achieve that goal, assembling the resources needed to achieve that goal, achieving that specific goal, and moving on to the next step that is necessary to achieve the wider project.
It means that a movement must be built that is dedicated to something other than wandering around in confusion chanting meaningless slogans.
So, produce your wish-lists. What part of the neo-liberal, capitalist-corporate agenda do you want to see destroyed? What environmental laws, cultural laws, whatever laws, do you want to see enacted. Dream 'em up! Write 'em up!
[Update! Speaking of the media, what's the big story on the CBC the morning after the passage of a 400-page monster bill that attacks EI, immigrant's wages, women's equity, environmental assessments and the freedoms of environmentalist NGOs by a government installed via fraud? "3 armoured-car workers killed in shooting at University of Alberta."
Um. While I won't deny that that's a big story, ... um, ... you know, aside from the families of the victims and whoever's money was stolen, ... there REALLY ISN'T much there that affects most Canadians. I mean, YOUR TOP STORY???? Please professional journalists, ... it's true that we need you. Investigating stuff and keeping on top of events is a full-time job and there is something to be said for your training. I mean that. So, you know professional journalists, ... you have every right to deride those among your critics who say you can all be replaced by "citizen journalists" entirely. But when you work for institutions that blare headlines about a fucking armoured car robbery when an illegitimate regime has taken over the country and has just rammed-through a bill that undoes DECADES of regulation AND contributes to the DISASTROUS WARMING OF THE PLANET THEREBY THREATENING CIVILIZATION, ... expect to be mocked and scorned yourselves!!!!!]