Time for all the ‘nobodys’ in Canada to speak out

Stephen Harper has repeatedly insisted that “nobody” wanted this election.

Well… I’m “nobody” because I really wanted this election. And I’m not alone.

There are lots of us “nobodys” clear across our country. We’ve become cynical with our federal government because we continue to see abuse of power, scandals and contempt as being “the norm” in Ottawa.

Many of us “nobodys” don’t even bother to vote any more. And that’s sad that they’ve lost faith in our political system. All of us Canadians should be outraged at the way this election has been framed by Harper’s Conservatives. This election should really be about Mr. Harper’s contempt of Parliament.

No Stephen Hill, it was not the budget that the opposition voted down, as you stated at the outset of the election call. And it was not the “bickering” of the other three parties, as Stephen Harper claims.

It was the Speaker of the House, Peter Milliken, an impartial enforcer of the rules of our Parliament, elected four times successively since 2001 by all four parties, who ruled on two counts; Mr. Harper was in contempt of Parliament. And the opposition, who are also our elected representatives, agreed.

On the first count, Bev Oda, Minister for International Cooperation, was accused of misleading Parliament in a “document tampering” scandal.

She ordered the “doctoring” of a document to reject an application for funding of a particular church-based aid group called KAIROS. She then insisted to a parliamentary committee that she had no knowledge of the penned in refusal, only to admit later that she had indeed ordered the “doctoring”. Yet, even after her admission, Stephen Harper and his Conservatives continued to defend her.

As for the second count, as stated by the Auditor General, and quoted in the Apr. 11, 2011 edition of the Globe and Mail: “The Harper Government misinformed Parliament to win approval for a $50 million G8 fund that lavished money on dubious projects in a Conservative riding” (Tony Clements riding).

Isn’t this sort of like the Liberals’ Sponsorship Scandal when Canadians dumped Paul Martin’s Liberals?

And Paul Martin wasn’t even involved in that scandal. Harper, on the other hand, had full knowledge of both the “dubious” G8 scam and the document “doctoring”- thus the contempt charges.  Couldn’t this money from the G8 (and G20) summits have been better spent on stuff like our healthcare? Our unemployment insurance? Our Canadians in poverty? Our childcare? Our seniors?

What should be equally disturbing to us “nobodys” are the Conservatives “American style” attack ads and their negative campaign strategy. Admittedly all the parties have picked up on the attack ads, but the Conservatives have been the most prolific at “character assassination” throughout the past three elections.

This election really isn’t about how good the Conservatives have done while in power. According to Mr. Harper, it’s all about how bad the opposition is. Tack this negativity onto to his fear mongering over the so-called dangers of a coalition government and every body who is “nobody” loses sight of the real issues which, of course, suits Mr. Harper just fine.

The truth is, according to a recent article in this paper on April 14th from Dan Gardner (“Ottawa Citizen”),  “… there have been 13 minority governments in Canada and 18 minority governments in Britain since 1834”. In fact Britain is currently functioning under a coalition.

In my view, one of the most productive governments experienced in my adult years was when the Liberals with Pierre Trudeau and the NDP with David Lewis, cooperated and produced some pretty decent legislation for us Canucks. Of course back in 1972, “everybody” was respected as being “somebody”.

Getting back to Stephen Harper, I guess its true; if we tell a lie often enough, the masses will accept it as truth. Perhaps that’s why “nobody” wanted this election.

But like it or not my friends, we are having an election and that gives all of us “nobodys” a great opportunity to boot this power hungry, scandal ridden, contemptible bunch of autocrats out of “our” government.

Then perhaps all of us “nobodys” can be “somebody” again.

Jim Saare