Think Twice Canadians: Harper Reasserts Plan to Renege on Kyoto and Sabotage Charter of Rights with Insidious Neocon ‘Property Rights’ Clause

harperbushStephen Harper, the Canadian Conservative leader soaring in the polls due to the staggering ineptness of his three progressive opponents, reasserted Thursday that he would renege on Canada’s commitment to the Kyoto Accord, which he says is ‘unworkable’. He also announced he would renege on aboriginal settlements and cancel child care funding put in place by the current Liberal administration. Even more frightening, he announced a new and sinister plan to entrench ‘property rights’ in the Canadian Charter of Rights & Freedoms. The defence of ‘property rights’ has been successfully used by US corporatists to circumvent and block environmental laws, animal protection laws, logging regulations and other progressive legislation and regulations. Harper’s plan would put the right of property-owners to do whatever they want with their ‘property’ ahead of and out of reach of any legislation restricting such ‘rights’.

A new group of progressive and moderate organizations called Think Twice Canada is sufficiently alarmed about Harper’s policies that they have hastily convened a news conference today (Friday) to inform Canadians about the implications of the Harper platform, because they believe (and I agree) that neither the other parties nor the media is giving voters sufficient information on this matter. The media and the parties seem to have decided that the environment is not an issue in the campaign, and need not be covered in the news. The property rights issue appears too complex for the media to analyze — beyond covering the statements of the party leaders, there has been no discussion of it in any of the media, no editorials, no constitutional analysis.

Think twice Canadians! We are this close to falling into the neocon hell that our American counterparts have been suffering under for five years, with policies ruinous to the environment, civil freedoms, the economy and the middle class. Like Harper is doing now, Bush in 2000 soft-pedaled his radical right-wing agenda under the guise of ‘compassionate conservatism’. Like Harper is doing now, Bush exploited a scandal by his political opponents to seize power without being honest about his real political intentions. Like Harper, Bush was heavily supported by Big Oil interests and extreme right-wing groups totally out of touch with, and disinterested in, the desires of the country’s citizens.

On January 23, please make sure your vote counts. Don’t let this dangerous man take power in our country.

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6 Responses to Think Twice Canadians: Harper Reasserts Plan to Renege on Kyoto and Sabotage Charter of Rights with Insidious Neocon ‘Property Rights’ Clause

  1. until now, I have been reading and enjoying the blogs. In almost every post, articles are well thought out with intelligent insight and argument. Today, I was thoroughly disappointed at the fear mongering and radical anti-american and left-leaning giberish that is usually spouted by those that use emotion rather than an expression of alternative ideas. When the left-wingers turn to name calling rather than expousing alternative porposals or logical plans, then there truly is something wrong with their policies and practises.Let’s get back on track with some logical and intelligent dicourse!

  2. Ginger says:

    Contrary to M. Dupuis, the right-wing reader (with sore toes now), I greatly admire your heartfelt, insightful, intelligent analyses of the political situation in Canada. As in every post, you articulate your point of view very well. Nill illigitimi carborundum!Thank you for helping to get the word out about the dangers of “right-wing Americanizing” Canada. I won’t say Americanizing because as an American who deplores right-wing thinking and actions it hurts me to have “America” be so equated with Bush, greed, warmongering and total disregard for the environment that all Americans are thought be of that ilk. We are not–just those who manipulated the public and the polls in order to grab the reins to steer America away from peace and ethical behavior. I truly hope that Canadians have enough sense to thwart the right-wing efforts to manipulate them.

  3. Matthew says:

    Bwah-ha-ha.Join us, Canada!

  4. darcy says:

    It is amazing how predictable it has gotten: Stand up and call it like you see it (& even through in some somewhat long-winded, thoughtful explanations) and some right-winger turns up to tell you that you are crazy along the lines of “radical anti-american and left-leaning giberish.Of course, there is no emotion whatsoever in that completely “logical” statement. Personally, I am praying for the rapture to come along and liberate the earth and all of us left-behind, over-emotional, childish gibberish talking, paranoid spawn of satan – er socialized medicine.

  5. Annette says:

    Bruce:It is hard for the crowds to know what is really going on now that the media in Canada has become hopelessly corporatized and centralized. It sure was easy for Bush to pull the wool over the eyes of the masses in America when the only information the average overworked American can get is a 30 second newsspot on Foxnews. The only thing we have heard about in this entire election campaign is Harper and almost none of it has been critical or analytical. On the otherhand, the Liberals are continuously smeared and the NDP is completely silenced. The first step on the road to the destruction of democracy is a media who force their own corporate interests down our throats.Entrenchment of property rights in our constitution will be the second nail in the coffin for Canadians. The first nail was of course – corporate personhood. When corporations are allowed to argue that their rights are just as valid as TRUE HUMAN RIGHTS the corporation will always win even when they are up against REAL HUMAN BEINGS. This is because they have the CASH NECESSARY to actually enforce those rights in court.Another thing that the media in this country has not been covering has been the full-fledged assault on the middle class that the Bush administration has been upto.Evidence:1. Changes to the overtime rules to make it harder for workers to claim overtime.2. Reducing IRS corporate auditors by 30% while increasing IRS personal auditors by the same amount.3. New bankruptcy act written by the credit card companies in the U.S. that make it harder for individuals to claim bankruptcy (of course corporate bankruptcies weren’t touched.) The number one reason for individual bankruptcies in America are HEALTH CARE costs. Read Elizabeth Warren for more details on that.4. Changes to the workplace rules to make it harder for workers to claim sick time or leave time to care for family members. (In Canada we have been adding new kinds of leave to take intoconsideration needs of the aging population and their caregivers).This is what the Bush administration has been upto. This is while simultaneously funneling BILLIONS of dollars to corporations and in particular, the military corporations – which by the way is another item on Harper’s unspoken agenda.Another commonality between Bush and Harper is their desire to “starve the beast”. Cut down on the responsibility of government to its community, its people, and therefore its social programs ( in the U.S. this is done by running the government into such a huge deficit that it can just say “sorry, we can’t afford old age pensions anymore, so we’ll just close down that program”).As a result of such policies, privatization of health care in the U.S. has resulted in skyrocketing costs of health insurance and health care, with fewer and fewer employers agreeing to foot the bill. That means it is up to each individual to cover their own health care costs.Now there are 30 million Americans without health care. This means that they look at getting health care the way you and I look at buying a new pair of shoes or a new CD. “Can I afford this right now?” If it is an emergency and they have no health insurance, an American can get stuck putting THOUSANDS of dollars on their credit cards – and THAT industry has been so poorly regulated that now any interest rate goes and if you pay one of your credit cards late, it is perfectly legal for ANY OF YOUR OTHER credit card companies to up their fees and rates on you.The average cost for health insurance in the U.S. is TEN THOUSAND dollars per year and that does not cover the co-pays (you have to pay everytime you go to the doctor even if you have health insurance) and in particular co-pays on drugs, which are also exorbitantly priced over there. Oh Canadians – do you have an extra $10,000 per year laying around to spend on health insurance?I THINK NOT.For a full analysis of the state of the U.S. health care system read:Critical Condition: How Health Care in America Became Big Business and Bad Medicine.It will shock you.Right wing policies have PROVEN in the U.S. that the only thing that happens by removing the safety net and regulation, is that the ordinary folks get SUCKED DRY by gigantic companies who have all of the politicians in their back pocket. Look at all of my examples above: every single one of them has HUGE implications for the ordinary person’s pocketbook or standard of living. But guess who benefits big time?There is nothing wrong with regulating. Corporations have proven that they can’t handle the responsibility themselves.It also creates a stable business environment because the corporations in Canada know exactly what it will cost them during the year to live up to their regulatory obligations. In the U.S. since the regulatory bodies don’t do much enforcement, or the law itself has been gutted, the last bastion of protection from corporate malfeasance is the class action suit, which of course was ALSO gutted by the Bush administration last year.Canada has proven time and again that you can have a strong economy and at the same time provide a strong social safety net and we have proven that this social safety net can be good for business because it takes the burden (for health care) off the businesses. Just ask Ford, Chrysler and GM who wrote a joint letter to our Health Minister in support of our public health system over here, arguing that it makes Canada more competitive for business.At the same time, while Canada has real regulations and enforcement mechanisms, our legal system has many more disincentives to litigation and so the corporations likely won’t get hit with million dollar lawsuits/settlements that they didn’t see coming.How Bush or Harper could ever say “I have mandate to do whatever I please” after winning an election is beyond me – when you run on platforms that completely obscure your true intentions.I agree with you 100% David and hope such critical articles get wide publishing via the internet and email because lord knows we aint’ gonna hear it elsewhere.

  6. Dave Pollard says:

    Ginger, Darcy: Thank you. Annette: Exactly. I like Elizabeth Warren’s approach because she tells stories of real people that probably make my points more effectively than my rhetoric can.As for the Wisdom of Crowds, read the book — to be wise, a crowd must be reasonably informed and not subject to groupthink, and most of the right-wingers in the US fail to meet either criterion. A crowd that fails to meet these criteria isn’t wise — it’s a mob.

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