Recently I wrote a post about the very stringent and restrictive conditions imposed upon those who would attend gatherings featuring Stephen Harper. Not only are all potential attendees vetted and issued a ticket, but it was reported that they had to agree to a gag order, a virtual embargo on information and pictures from . . . → Read More: Politics and its Discontents: Openness And Transparency: An Update
The gulf between the open and reasonable persona Stephen Harper tried to convey during last week’s debate and the Nixonian truth about the man is a yawning one indeed. Until and unless Canadians become widely aware of that reality, there is still very much a chance that he could win the upcoming election, an . . . → Read More: Politics and its Discontents: Openness And Transparency: Not In Harperland
The Harper regime is notorious for its virtual embargo on information. Muzzling of scientists, heavily-redacted Freedom of Information documents, regular obstruction of Parliamentary officers have become the norm. In light of these profoundly anti-democratic traits, one has to ask whether the paranoid control that obsesses the regime has filtered down to other levels of . . . → Read More: Politics and its Discontents: Is Secrecy The New Canadian Norm?
H/t Kat McNamara
The Harper-led assault on our rights as Canadians continues, this time under the guise of Bill C-51, the new Anti-Terrorism Act. And finally, the media showed some resistance. Reporters in Ottawa became surly quickly Friday when it was discovered the government lock-up they attended for a briefing on proposed anti-terror legislation was . . . → Read More: Politics and its Discontents: Herr Harper Is At It Again, But The Media Revolt
Knowledge is power, and withholding knowledge is crippling.
So states scientist Sarah Otto, in an op-ed piece in today’s Star. Sadly, when we apply that truth to the Canadian reality, it becomes apparent that all of us are confined to metaphorical wheelchairs.
Referring to a report released last week by Evidence for Democracy, . . . → Read More: Politics and its Discontents: Fighting The Darkness
Star readers have much to say:
Harper downplays concerns about trade deal, Sept. 27
It’s a dangerous world but Big Oil, multinationals, banks, the wealthy and his party’s masters can rest easy in the knowledge that Secret Agent Stephen Harper has their collective backs.
He knows how to keep a secret and he’s always . . . → Read More: Politics and its Discontents: About That Fifth Columnist In Ottawa….
While “Let them swallow tainted pharmaceuticals” seems to be the motto of both Health Minister Rona Ambrose and Health Canada, always-vigilant Star readers take issue with such deference to the corporate agenda. Here is just a small sampling of their reactions:
Good thing we have the FDA and the Star to look after our . . . → Read More: Politics and its Discontents: Star Readers Respond To Health Canada’s Fecklessness
The Toronto Star has recently been conducting some fine investigative work on tainted pharmaceuticals and the fact that Health Canada has been shielding the guilty companies from public scrutiny. The issue finally rose to a degree of national prominence this week when the issue was raised in the House. The ‘answers’ provided by Health . . . → Read More: Politics and its Discontents: Tainted Pharmaceuticals: Health Canada’s ‘Feeble Response’
As we embark upon a year-long election campaign, we will increasingly be exposed to propaganda from all parties vying for our vote. But the propaganda emanating from the Harper government will deserve special scrutiny.
To be sure, we are constantly told how much better off we are under the compassionate ministrations of the cabal than . . . → Read More: Politics and its Discontents: The Real Face Of Stephen Harper
Health Minister Rona Ambrose really has no reason to smile.
Last week, based on a Star Investigation, I outlined the shocking incompetence, indifference and completely unacceptable secrecy within Health Canada that allows for tainted, ineffective, and dangerous drugs to be sold regularly to Canadians. It was only because of the transparency of the American . . . → Read More: Politics and its Discontents: More Indifference From Health Canada’s Towards Canadians’ Health
This morning, in my print edition of The Toronto Star, I saw the following headline: Canadian scientists to be placed in isolation. While it turned out to be a story about the evacuation of a Canadian medical team helping to fight Ebola in Sierra Leone, for a brief moment I thought it concerned the . . . → Read More: Politics and its Discontents: Our Anti-Democratic Democracy
Despite the best efforts of the ever-secretive Harper cabal, details about the CETA deal are finally emerging thanks to leaked portions of the text. And has been long-predicted, those details are not encouraging when it comes to Canadian sovereignty in general, and local sourcing of construction contracts, goods and services in particular.
While government . . . → Read More: Politics and its Discontents: And This Is A Good Deal Because?
Last evening I wrote a brief post on how the Harper regime is exploiting the tragedy in Gaza for political gain.
Anon responded with the following:
It is worse than no shame. It is disgusting. Over 630 people have died, including 30 Israelis and over 600 Palestinians, mostly non combatants and civilians including . . . → Read More: Politics and its Discontents: King Stephen And The Law Of Diminishing Returns
This morning’s Star reports the fact that Canada’s sesquicentennial in 2017 is eliciting something less than enthusiasm from the majority of Canadians living outside of Alberta:
Albertans are far more excited than other Canadians about the looming 150th birthday of the country in 2017, a new poll has found.
A full 70 per cent . . . → Read More: Politics and its Discontents: Not So Hard To Understand
One of the reasons I subscribe to The Toronto Star is the quality of its columnists. Tim Harper, Martin Regg Cohn, Thomas Walkom, Heather Mallick, etc. rarely disappoint. However, no one is perfect, and today’s column by Walkom is not up to his usual critical standards.
Entitled Conservatives’ downfall could be Stephen Harper’s dismissive . . . → Read More: Politics and its Discontents: Thomas Walkom Misses The Mark
The other day I posted a report on Peter Mansbridge speaking out against cuts to the CBC and the unprecedented secrecy that pervades public institutions under the current federal government. I gave some praise to the broadcaster for finally speaking out about important issues that potentially affect all of us.
My friend Dave, from . . . → Read More: Politics and its Discontents: Mansbridge Revisited
It may be both. The Harper regime’s penchant for withholding information from the public that should be accessible is well-known and well-documented.
As pointed out in this Star article, we are persistently denied access to the information about the dangerous side effects of drugs, how much Canada Post spent on overtime to end last . . . → Read More: Politics and its Discontents: Is It Irony, Or Is It Hypocrisy?
The Toronto Star recently revealed the following:
Health Canada is keeping secret the vast majority of the drug reviews it conducts despite a clear promise from the federal minister to publish this critical safety information.
Only 24 of 152 drug reviews completed last year by Health Canada are being considered for public release, the . . . → Read More: Politics and its Discontents: Slamming Harper Secrecy
Yesterday, fellow-blogger LeDaro posted a video from last May when Harper invited reporters to a caucus meeting to hear his speech, then refused to answer questions about the Senate scandal engulfing his government. As the reporters shouted out their questions, they were drowned out by the deafening ovation rendered by the Prime Minister’s trained . . . → Read More: Politics and its Discontents: Harper’s Palpable, Consistent Contempt
Given the Prime Minister’s penchant for control, I suppose this story should come as no surprise, but does rather conspicuously give lie to his claim of running an open and transparent government, doesn’t it?
OTTAWA – Pity the poor government tweet, nearly strangled in its cradle before limping into the Twitterverse.
Newly disclosed documents . . . → Read More: Politics and its Discontents: Herr Harper: Master Of The Twitterverse
While the Harper cabal proceeds full-tilt with its tarsands advertising campaign, the details of which Canadians are being denied, a game of inconvenient truth versus consequences is being played out in Peace River, Alberta.
According to a report in The Edmonton Journal, Peace River may be making people sick. The suspected culprits? – its . . . → Read More: Politics and its Discontents: Fear And Loathing In Peace River
Although the following Rick Mercer rant was made early in 2013, most, I think, would agree that nothing has changed in the interim:
Recommend this Post
Two seeming unrelated stories, both connected by one pernicious element: unwarranted government secrecy.
In this morning’s Hamilton Spectator is the sad tale of Marit McKenzie, an 18-year-old Calgarian who died after taking an anti-acne drug known as Diane-35. Often prescribed off-label as a birth-control pill, the drug’s side effects can include formation of . . . → Read More: Politics and its Discontents: Who Do You Trust?
Having spent yesterday recovering from the temporal vicissitudes imposed by trans-Atlantic travel, my first post back will be brief and on one of my favorite subjects, The Man Who Would Be King, a.k.a. Dear Leader, the ersatz head of a country whose government, thanks to his contemptuous and heavy-hand ministrations, is at least as . . . → Read More: Politics and its Discontents: Wading Back Into The Fray