"A Citizen"s Eye View"

Monday, April 25, 2011

Did Someone Try to Muzzle Me??

I don't usually think of myself as a paranoid person.  No, it's not because I know everyone is out to get me... Yes, I flirt with the odd conspiracy theory. Mostly because they're fun. But I don't really believe there is any "theory" to the harm that the Harper Cons are capable of inflicting on Canada. I believe this to be very real.

I KNOW that Harper and his Cons lie

I KNOW that Harper and his Cons mislead and misrepresent the truth.

I KNOW that Harper and his Cons are trying very hard to muzzle the press and hence keep the truth about his regime from our ears.

I KNOW that Harper and his Cons systematically dispose of dissenters and ruin their careers.

I KNOW that Harper and his Cons will dispense with democracy in order to get their own way.

I KNOW that Harper and his Cons don't want to tell us what they are spending our money on.

I KNOW that Harper and his Cons employ fraudsters, goons, felons, terrorists and an assortment of petty thugs.

I KNOW that Harper and his Cons decide on policy based on ideology rather than evidence based facts.

I KNOW I don't trust Harper and his Cons.

So there may well be a conspiracy afoot, but there is no theory to it. It's hard fact. Harper wants complete and unchecked control of Canada in order to reshape it into whatever twisted configuration he sees fit. If you'll remember, he promised that we wouldn't recognize Canada by the time he's done changing it. And this is one promise he means to keep. Though what he intends to do with the country once he's ruined it is anybody's guess.

But last night, as I was catching up on the days news- learning about the vandalism and intimidation being perpetrated by Con zealots-  learning about how the Cons had the partisan crowd at a Harper rally shout down the media for trying to press the Prime Minister for answers regarding yet another indiscretion- learning how the Con candidate in Guelph was charging people to attend his rally- a funny thing happened as I was getting myself prepared for a right and proper "social media rant" . I got locked out of my blogs, my Facebook and my email accounts.

The last thing on my mind at the time was that maybe I was being muzzled. I am a pretty loud anti-Harper critic if you hadn't noticed. But no, I was more ticked about the inconvenience. I tried to contact my ISP but they were no help. So I went to bed. Fully expecting things to be back to normal in the morning. They weren't.

Even as my consternation continued on into the morning, the idea of "conspiracy" didn't enter my mind.  But as I started running virus scans and various diagnostic programs, I suddenly remembered the story about how the Cons are in favor of open and random internet surveillance, without a judges warrant. I remembered how citizens were being ejected from Harper rallies based on their Facebook content.  And I remembered that there was never an adequate explanation as to who was doing the online screening of innocent citizens or why they were doing it. And I started to get paranoid.

In this current political climate, with this pseudo- Conservative party that will resort to any measure to silence it's critics, I started to wonder if I really had been muzzled. I found it hard to believe because in the big scheme of things, my dissenting voice is tantamount to nothing more than a fart in a windstorm. But I wondered if I hadn't farted up wind of the wrong person.

But miraculously, almost 24 hours after I lost control of my means of speaking out, I regained control. I have my blogs and Facebook etc. back in my own hands. I don't know what caused this temporary silencing of my voice. My diagnostic checks turned up nothing as did my queries to the ISP. This "black-hole" in time remains a mystery. I would still like to think it was simply an internet glitch, but I still can't help but wonder.

But if any of you fellow pro-democracy bloggers, tweeters or Facebook socializers have experienced the same sort of thing, I would love to hear about it. You can comment on this blog post or for greater anonymity (I think), I can be emailed at 70sfusion@gmail.com. I would love to hear any and all comments.

Friday, April 22, 2011

To the NDP and Liberals: The Enemy of Canada are the Cons, NOT EACH OTHER!

According to the recent polls, The NDP have not only passed the BQ to take the lead in Quebec, but they have  inched passed the Liberals nationally to seize the number two spot.

The BQ scenario going on in la belle Province is a pretty good one. It's never a bad thing to weaken a regional party's base. The big problem though is that Jack is feathering his bed at the Liberal's expense. Whether you like the Liberals or not, this is a bad thing.

If there is a hope in hell for the reality of a successful coalition government, the two left-centrist parties need to cooperate together to sway voters away from the Cons. Swapping votes among themselves does little to nothing to help the coalition cause. And if you look at the recent polls, as the NDP inch ahead, so do the Cons.

So Jack, yes you are being successful at luring some voters out from under the "Big Red Tent", but your overtures to the voices of sanity are hurting more than they're helping. What good is finishing number two if a coalition is an impossibility? Do you really think the BQ will work with you after you've destabilized them? You are driving them into the arms of the Cons along with creating the stronger possibility for  a "dark-coalition".

So I say again Jack and Iggy, it matters not which of you two finishes second. What matters is knocking the dictatorial Harper off the top of the hill. HIS is the base that needs destabilizing. You both need to appeal to the segment of society that for some reason seem to feel that an undemocratic  regime is better for them on a day to day basis then a very democratic coalition  government.

There may well be a segment of Canadian society that is so uninformed as to not realize just how black-hearted the Harper-Cons are in reality (though with all the media attention they are getting for their indiscretions, it's hard to believe). That needs to be emphasized and reemphasized again and again. It's not being a broken record, it's a repetition of a truth that Canadians NEED to understand and firmly grasp.

Canadians need to understand just how untrustworthy the Cons are and that having an untrustworthy government in power is NOT  a more stable option than a trustworthy and democratic coalition. But Canadians won't realize this if the parties who would form that coalition government are unstable among themselves. If the NDP and Liberals are taking pot-shots at each other, it does not inspire confidence in the coalition alternative.

So gentlemen, STOP talking negatively about each other. It creates an atmosphere of instability in the minds of the voters and drives them all the more to the Cons. If anything, you should be singing each other's praises and highlighting that a combination of the two parties working hand in hand is the only way to maintain the country as we know it.

Canada, our society of acceptance, inclusiveness and equality for all is in danger of being eroded out of existence. It is in danger of being replaced by a closed-minded, exclusive and intolerant society of fearful chattel. A society where the individual doesn't matter nearly as much as the large multi-national corporation or the local Evangelical mouth-piece.

So gentlemen, if you care as much about our country as you say you do, for god's sake stop the petty, internal, gutter-sniping. You destabilize our society with every vote you steal from the other. You need to work together to get the message out to Canadians just how important this election is. And you need to show them that the two of you are willing to work together for a stronger and more democratic Canada. And you need to do this NOW! There may not be a second chance.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Don't Buy into Harper's "Evil Coalition" Garbage

So the Harpernator is reviving his "evil coalition" mantra. That's if he ever really abandoned it.

Apparently, Iggy has let it slip that he would be willing to work with the NDP if Harper gets the most seats but does not have the confidence of the House. Something I'm pretty sure he said he would not do at the beginning of the election. This could certainly be used as fodder for anyone looking to take pot shots at his credibility. 

But pot shots aside, Iggy should never have allowed himself to be maneuvered into a corner where he had to reply one way or another about a coalition. This pressure resulted from Harper manipulating the media around the "C" issue in order to take the heat off the REAL "C" issue, CONTEMPT! And it worked. Iggy ended up making a comment regarding not forming a coalition that could well come back to bite him in the derriere.

The only good thing to have come from all those shenanigans is that a national discussion on the democratic legitimacy of coalition governments has occurred. And surprise of surprises, they are VERY legitimate. In fact, several countries around the world including England have functional coalition governments. 

So despite the repeated attempts at autosuggestion from the Harper Cons, trying to plant the "evil coalition" notion into our collective subconscious, it's been generally recognized that Harper is full of hooey! Coalitions in fact, are an exercise in democracy in action. 

A coalition as envisioned, one such as the 2008 model, are a reflection of the MAJORITY of  the members of Parliament which of course, represents the voices of the majority of Canadians  who elected these Parliamentarians to speak for them.

So any coalition that should arise after May 2nd would not be a result of anti-democratic back room deals as Harper would have Canadians believe. It would be a matter of the majority of MPs saying "we have no confidence in this man's leadership. He has repeatedly lied to us, and blocked the democratic process".  And if the Governor General buys the argument, he could well ask the opposition parties to try to cobble together a deal that would keep Canada from going back to the polls.

So don't buy into Harper's rhetoric that only the party "first past the post" has the right to govern in a minority situation. In a democratic society, the majority still rules. And if the majority does not happen to include the Harper Cons, then so be it. The people of Canada have spoken with their votes. 

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Iggy and Jack Need to Work Together for the Sake of the Nation

I am very concerned by an apparent shift in tactics we are seeing from the NDP leader, Jack Layton. 

It seems that Layton has shifted gears and instead of doing his utmost to demonstrate to Canadians that the Government of Harper is an affront to our democracy and to our democratic rights, he is now taking pot-shots at the Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff. 

It must be acknowledged that the Liberal Party has not had an absolutely spotless record while in power. But it is hoped that some of the negative things that occurred in the Liberal's history remain there... in history.

But the focus of this election should remain squarely on the reason that caused it... The Government of Harper was found in contempt of Parliament. And in so doing, Harper is in contempt of our entire democratic system and of the citizens of this country. There should be no other focus other than the complete and utter demise of the Harper regime and putting his tyrannical reign to an end.

Layton has said he is running for Prime Minister. That much is understood as the basis for his leading a federal party into a critical federal election. But the reality is, the chances of the NDP forming the next government are slim to none. Not that the Liberals are looking any better at the moment. But "stealing votes" at the expense of the other left-leaning parties just plays into the hands of the Harper-Cons. This internecine bickering between forces that should be allies will render this election as meaningless as Parliament has been for the last five years in holding the Government of Harper accountable.

I am glad that to this point, Ignatieff has not seen fit to retaliate against his NDP colleagues, though his outright refusal to consider a coalition with them must seem a slap in the face to the NDP. 

But this is such a critical election at such a critical time in our history. Our democracy, our way of life, our multicultural society,  our Charter Rights, our system of Health Care are in dire peril, being threatened by the ever present shadow of ideological extremism. This is no time for egos, the feathering of nests or petty squabbling. Canada NEEDS Mr. Layton and Mr. Ignatieff to cooperate with each other. Canada NEEDS these men to put their personal ambitions aside for the good of the country or Canada as we know it may well cease to exist.

Monday, April 18, 2011

A Student Speaks out about Guelph

A student speaks out about the Conservative attempt to discredit the 700 U of G votes.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Would it have been a bad thing for all the special university polls to have taken place?

For the sake of accuracy, I felt it best to update my blog-post regarding the 700 votes at the U of G.

The thing about twitter is, one can follow a story as it is evolving. It can be exciting and allows one to feel part of the process, a part of history unfolding before our very eyes, such as how Facebook and Twitter allowed us Lilly-white westerners to feel apart of the Egyptian Revolution. 

As an aside here, the Egyptians were revolting against as regime that was trying to suppress their right to vote much as the Con Regime was trying to suppress the Guelph student's right to vote.

But because Twitter is a collection of professional journalists,  along with people from all walks of life, it can sometimes be difficult to separate fact from theory and opinion. One of the "professional" theories yesterday was that the special polls were considered as not legitimate because of students registering and voting at the same time.  The thought process being, "what the hell is the Cons problem with this special poll"?

As it turns out, the special poll was in fact sanctioned by the Local Elections Canada Returning officer. A measure that was hoped (and quite accurately so) would encourage students to become involved in the election. It had apparently been done at Guelph before. The purpose being to accommodate students who would no longer be at school when election day rolls around on May 2nd.

Special polls are allowed by Elections Canada to accommodate various groups, such as seniors in nursing homes or aboriginals in isolated communities so that they may be able to vote. With this spirit in mind, U of G was allowed a special polling station. In fact, more than 20 universities across the country have arranged for the same kind of "vote mob" to take place. 

What a wonderful way to involve students in the democratic process. Make voting a social, festive affair. A collective right of passage, a celebration of their democratic right to participate in our government. Someone should have thought of this long ago. Make voting a "celebration" across the country. Make it a holiday, a joyous occasion.

But alas, despite all the pre-planning that had occurred regarding the Guelph polling station and the sanctioning by the local Returns Officer and it having been overseen by EC monitors, it was still not officially allowable under EC rules. The reason being apparently, there was not "enough" advance planning, like pre election. Though how one can plan for a special poll when one doesn't know the exact date the Government is going to fall is beyond me. Also, all parties have to be notified in advance of the special polling location, something which did not occur.

So it seems the rules around these special polling stations is not widely known. As I said, at least 20 other University "Vote Mobs" have been arranged across the country. I would imagine those Returns Officers weren't aware of the rules either. And as I said, this is not the first time Guelph has had a special polling station to accommodate their students. 

So chances are, if the Cons had not been frightened by the concept of students actually voting and tried to commit the federal offense of stealing an elections Canada ballot box, all these special polls would likely have occured and all the votes would have counted. Would that have been a bad thing?

One of the alleged Con concerns was that there was partisan material present at the polling station. However it appears that U of G was very careful to follow Elections Canada guide lines around the provision of political material at a polling station. As I understand it, there was none present on site or within 100 meters of the site. But eventually, all political literature was removed entirely from the campus except for the presence of signs, one for each of the parties, at a location far distant from the polling station.

Apparently, an allegation has been made that either the hit man, Michael Sona, (the guy who tried to intimidate students and abscond with the ballot box), or the Con candidate himself was seen filming U of G students in a line up as they waited to vote. If true, this is yet another federal offense. But somehow, I doubt that anyone is going to be serving any time like you or I would for the commission of these heinous federal offenses. This is after all, the Harper Cons we're talking about. They are above the law!

Friday, April 15, 2011

700 Guelph votes will count because the "cons" are such nice guys

 Ok, so it seems that, if the "Twitterverse" is to believed, Elections Canada has found that "special" polling stations such as U of G are not sanctioned and therefore cannot occur in the future. Mainly because students were registering and voting at the same time. Thought you could register at a polling station? 

So the Cons will "allow" the 700 votes to stand because they are great guys and all. And now they are "spinning" this as a problem with a sloppy EC official. And they are grinning ear to ear to be able to pin this fracas on Elections Canada.

Cons are at war with EC by the way because EC nailed the Cons for their "in and out" scam in 2006. The Cons consider this an "administrative dispute" much as they characterize contempt of Parliament as "Parliamentary bickering".

Apparently "Voting Mobs" can still place at advanced polls and on election day. But this does not take into account the students issue of not being on campus come election day. And how many of the 700 would have voted without the encouragement of the School?

This is NOT a student friendly decision. They are being discouraged from voting once again because students would typically not vote conservative. So the Harper strategy remains one of "vote suppression". 

No word on charges re: the attempted ballot box snatching. Seeing as the 700 votes are being allowed to stand, this attempted theft of legitimate ballots is a federal offense worthy of some serious jail time in one of those nice new shiny conservative super jails. But will this occur? Not likely. And will this heinous offense stick to Teflon Stevie? Also not likely.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Join the Beaver Revolution

Ok all you Hosers, get out there and VOTE on May 2nd. This is STILL our country. Lets KEEP it that way.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Harper Wins the Coalition Battle

Well the 2011 federal election campaign was barely one day old when Stephen Harper had already fought and won a major battle, one that could ensure his return to power on May 2nd.

Harper's argument about coalitions being an illegitimate form of government, a government forged from back-room deals rather than the will of the people, is absolutely ludicrous. Ask Israel or England or Poland if they feel their governments are illegitimate. But Stephen knows this all to well. 

The Coalition "monster" that the Conservatives have been warning us about is strictly a product of the Tory Spin-Doctor machine. As they've learned over the years, all they have to do is put the "misinformation" out there, frequently and forcefully and throw in a few well chosen adjectives like referring to the Bloc as the "Separatists" and the NDP as the "Socialists" and they have a monster. At a speech given in Montreal to a number of business types, Jim Flaherty used the phrase "coalition" no less than 14 times, as though he were attempting to conjure up an evil spirit or control the minds of the audience through the power of "auto-suggestion" like some cheap vaudeville hypnotist.

So the monster doesn't actually have to be real. The Spin-Doctors just have to say it often enough and passionately enough, and it becomes real. Harper knows this. In fact, he explored the possibility of a coalition Government with the "Separatists" and the "Socialists" himself in 2004 while Paul Martin was still Prime Minister and no three-headed Hydras appeared.

So the auto-suggestion technique seems to have worked it's evil magic once again. The "suggested" theme, an "evil coalition of the damned" was thrown out there so often that the members of the media latched onto it and applied sustained pressure on the Opposition leader, Michael Ignatieff to articulate his stance on the possibility of his forming a coalition Government.

But prior to the fall of the Government of Harper,  all three opposition parties seemed to have simultaneously snapped their fingers and awoken the media and the electorate from it's trance by producing a 2004 letter to then Governor General, Adrienne Clarkson, signed by  Stephen Harper, Jack Layton and Gilles Duceppe that seemed to be asking the GG to  consider the alternative of a coalition Government should Paul Martins fragile Liberal Minority Government of the time lose the confidence of the house.

That seemed to have rid us all of the Evil Coalition suggestion once and for all. Stephen Harper seemed to have no suitable comeback for this new revelation that he too had explored to coalition alternative. But the Tory Witch Doctors continued to perpetuate it's myth never the less. If nothing else, they are good at what they do. 

But then a funny thing happened on the way to the forum. The Government of Harper fell to a non confidence motion due to it's contempt for the House of Parliament. And the Coalition suggestion kicked back in as if Mr. Harper had rung a little bell from somewhere on the floor of the Commons. And the media immediately snapped into action, pouring unprecedented pressure on the leader of the opposition to give them an answer as to whether or not he would consider a coalition Government should the Tories win the most seats.

And Ignatieff finally relented and gave them an unequivocal "NO"! He would not, could not, should not form a coalition under any circumstances. And instantly, a very real and viable alternative to any future Tory minority was lost forever. There is no way the Liberals could go back on a statement like that and retain any shred of credibility, to be able to say they are more "honest" than the previous Government of Harper. Which means that the only hope that there would not be any future Tory minority Governments is that either the Liberals OR the NDP become the first party "past the post", meaning they get the most seats in Parliament. This is indeed, putting all our eggs into one very leaky basket, which is exactly what Mr. harper had hoped for. 

Mr. Harper has not been pressured to make the same claim regarding a coalition Government. He has promised nothing. If Liberals should gain the most seats but fall short of a majority, there is nothing what so ever stopping the Tories from attempting to form a coalition of it's own as it was considering in 2004. So unless Michael Ignatieff goes back on his promise, the only thing between the country and another Harper-Con minority is the Liberals winning a majority Government, which at this times seems to be highly unlikely.  

So while this war is destined to continue for a further five weeks, it appears that it's outcome may already have been determined as a result of the very first battle fought on the very first day of the campaign.