Harper has just ordered his government to try and destroy the opposition parties’ funding yet again.

stephen_harper_victoryVery few things Stephen Harper has done while in power have genuinely scared me.

Sure he’s done plenty of stupid things (denying gays the right to donate organs even if they’ve been tested, and opposing the UN conference to end racial discrimination to name two examples).   Sure, he’s done some mean-spirited things (creating a more regressive tax structure so that poorer Canadians must carry a heavier load of the federal budget, for example).  Sure he’s continued some of the most horrendously right-wing policies the Liberals implemented in their time in office (Employment Insurance comes to mind).

But in terms of 3rd world banana republic dictator-esque supervillany, this in my mind takes the cake.  In 2008, after having almost lost his government trying to emaciate and eviscerate his opposition like a would-be dictator and after having stretched the bounds of constitutionality by putting undue power into the hands of the unelected Governor General, Harper is now at it again.

pinochet

U.S.-backed Chilean dictator Pinochet saluting his military guards

Harper just ordered Stephen Fletcher — the same guy who proudly boasted about how “The Japs” were “bastards” and then refused to apologize about it — to try once again to destroy and permanently cripple the opposition parties thus ensuring him a virtually untrammelled reign of terror for the foreseeable future.

This move by Harper isn’t just stupid; it isn’t just mean-spirited; and it isn’t just Conservative/Liberal politics as usual.  It’s scary and both anti-democratic and irreversible if implemented.  And that is a horrible combination.

18 Responses to “Harper has just ordered his government to try and destroy the opposition parties’ funding yet again.”


  1. 1 Toe 27 August, 2009 at 11:19 pm

    Democratic Reform the One Way, the Only Way according to the Reformatories. That’s their dream, especially before the Greens show up in the House, gawd forbid.

    • 2 salvador 11 October, 2009 at 3:10 pm

      EL ULTIMO GRAN HEROE DE CHILE

      Un hombre que entrego su vida entera a chile
      Un hombre que salvó a chile del comunismo fascista
      Un hombre que salvó a chile de una guerra civil
      Un hombre que salvó a chile de la más grande pobreza de Latinoamérica
      Un hombre que sacrificó a su familia por chile
      Un hombre que después de muerto, sigue sacrificado
      Un hombre que entregó a chile en forma limpia y democrática
      Un hombre que entregó a chile con la mejor proyección económica de la región
      Un hombre que salvó a chile de una guerra con algunos de nuestros países vecinos
      Un hombre que hizo nuevamente de chile una gran nación
      Un hombre que murió como un gran soldado, cumpliendo son su deber
      Un hombre que no fue cobarde, pues no se suicidó ante el acoso político
      Un hombre que dio la cara hasta el final de sus días.
      Sin siquiera nombrarlo TÚ ya sabes quién es.
      Aunque los políticos de turno lo odian, NUNCA , podrán borrar lo que este general dio por CHILE

      VIVA A. PINOCHET.

  2. 3 CanadianSense 28 August, 2009 at 12:27 pm

    Which party is going to lose the most money from ending the Liberal Policy introduced to fund political parties with taxpayers subsidy? The CPC nearly $ 10 million.

    Which party relies on the Political Pay subsidy? The Bloc.

    What do the majority of Canadians think in regards to funding political parties with the Liberal created policy?

    I look forward to the opposition parties AGAIN demanding their $ 2.00 per vote as a “threat” to democracy.

    Political party can raise funds through their grassroots. The very generous existing Rebates still exist.

    The Liberals have raised millions and have fixed some of their organizational problems.

    The NDP and Bloc are capable of doing the same through improved organization and fundraising efforts.

    Being lazy or inefficient is not a reason to give taxpayers money to political parties.

  3. 4 Joe 29 August, 2009 at 4:08 pm

    How is it scary and undemocratic to reverse a policy that was only introduce, what, 6-7 years ago? You can argue about the merits of eliminating public funding for political parties, but to suggest that eliminating it is tantamount to implement a military dictotatorship a la Pinochet is the worst form of hyperbole. Unless the opposition parties are genetically incapable of raising funds (or volunteers, since often its people, rather than money, that gets out the vote) on their own (a proposition which is not supported by the data (both the NDP and the Grits get bigger individual donations than the Tories, they just get fewer of them) eliminating public funding is hardly a permanent obstacle to them.

    Moreover, isn’t there something perverse about using public funds to provide a subsidy to the establishment parties? It’s a darn strange kind of marxist who wants to use the coercive power of the state to subsidize the political parties of the establishment.

    • 5 Erin 4 May, 2011 at 9:51 pm

      The thing I think would be bad about removing the policy would be that conservatives would then have even more of a majority of funds than the other parties. Especially since companies are the major donors to parties that support corporate gain. Like Bell supporting Harper–and now internet capping.

  4. 6 marcel 30 August, 2009 at 2:52 pm

    Public financing of political parties is a great way to somewhat level the playing field for democratic ideas.

    Unless you subscribe to the idea that only those with the extra money to hire political parties to promote their interests should control the government.

    • 7 Bob Smith 31 August, 2009 at 2:42 pm

      Except the system only works for establishment parties. Unless your ideal of “democratic ideas” means “ideas that are adopted by a party that is sufficiently mainstream as to get at least 5% of the vote”. If you’re a marxist whose ideas are represented by no such party, that’s a odd position to take. Moreover, if anything, a system which gives money to parties based on past results makes it harder for new parties and new ideas to spread, because it gives incumbent parties a huge advantage.

      Moreover, it’s not as if the old system was exactly styming the development of new political parties and ideas. After all, 3 of Canada’s 5 “main” political parties (including the Conservative party and half of its predecessor parties, the CA and the Reform Party) didn’t exist 25 years ago. Indeed, had pubic funding been available in 2003, it would have given a boost to the old Progressive Conservative Party (which, based on the current formula would have collected more cash than any other political party) while handicapping the newer Bloc and Reform Parties. Granted, you’re free to argue that that would have been a good thing (certainly it would have been for the old Tories), but it doesn’t support the contention that public funding is conducive to the development of new ideas (mind you, the existence of the Bloc and the Reform party also refute the notion that those with money direct politics, since those parties were intially pieced together on shoe-string budgets and ultimately carried influence far in excess of their pocketbooks).

      In any event, the issue isn’t whether public funding is a good or bad idea, it’s whether ending public funding is somehow an assault on democracy. It isn’t (unless, somehow, Canada was a totalitarian state right up until 2003 – which position one is free to adopt if one has no conception of what “totalitarian” means). Indeed, if we ended public funding of political and maintained existing campaign financing restrictions, it would shift political influence from those with money to those with labour (since in politics, as everything else, labour -i.e., volunteers – and capital are imperfectly interchangeable).

      In the absence of vast funds for political advertising and to pay for jets to bounce accross the country, political parties might have to resort to getting votes the old-fashioned way by recruiting intelligent candidates (rather than trained seals) and volunteers and getting them out to spread the word. (Well, that’s not the real old fashioned way – i.e., buying beer for would-be voters provided they vote the “right” way – but let’s pretend it is.) It is the availability of money which allows Canadian political parties to be be top-down vehicles for their presidential leaders (and, let’s be honest, they all are). Without those resources, they would have to rely more heavily on grass roots volunteers and local candidates who can attract and maintain supporters based on their own characteristics.

  5. 8 marcel 1 September, 2009 at 9:11 pm

    You don’t really believe that, do you?

  6. 9 Oggie 7 September, 2009 at 8:22 pm

    Ha!

    That’s gotta be one of the best pictures I’ve seen of the Field Marshal.

    Heil Harper!
    Heil Harper!
    Heil Harper!

  7. 10 Frothing Mouth 26 September, 2009 at 12:33 am

    I want those fingers up my asshole and pussy at the same time.

  8. 11 SALVADOR 8 October, 2009 at 4:36 pm

    EL ULTIMO GRAN HEROE DE CHILE

    Un hombre que entrego su vida entera a chile
    Un hombre que salvó a chile del comunismo fascista
    Un hombre que salvó a chile de una guerra civil
    Un hombre que salvó a chile de la más grande pobreza de Latinoamérica
    Un hombre que sacrificó a su familia por chile
    Un hombre que después de muerto, sigue sacrificado
    Un hombre que entregó a chile en forma limpia y democrática
    Un hombre que entregó a chile con la mejor proyección económica de la región
    Un hombre que salvó a chile de una guerra con algunos de nuestros países vecinos
    Un hombre que hizo nuevamente de chile una gran nación
    Un hombre que murió como un gran soldado, cumpliendo son su deber
    Un hombre que no fue cobarde, pues no se suicidó ante el acoso político
    Un hombre que dio la cara hasta el final de sus días.
    Sin siquiera nombrarlo TÚ ya sabes quién es.
    Aunque los políticos de turno lo odian, NUNCA , podrán borrar lo que este general dio por CHILE

    VIVA A. PINOCHT.

  9. 12 SALVADOR 8 October, 2009 at 4:38 pm

    Last Action Hero CHILE

    A man who gave his life to chile
    A man who saved Chile from communism fascist
    A man who saved Chile from civil war
    A man who saved Chile from the largest Latin American poverty
    A man who sacrificed his family by chilli
    A man after death, is killed
    A man who surrendered to Chile in a clean and democratic
    A man who gave the best chili with regional economic projection
    A man who saved Chile from a war with some of our neighbors
    A man who made chili once a great nation
    A man who died as a great soldier, are fulfilling their duty
    A man who was no coward, as no political harassment committed suicide before
    A man who showed his face to the end of his days.
    Without even naming it You know who you are.
    Although I hate politicians of the day, EVER be able to erase what this general gave CHILE

    VIVA A. PINOCHT.

    • 13 Pablo V 12 November, 2009 at 6:16 pm

      The man who robbed chile blind, sold out whatever wasnt nailed to the ground and killed thousands of people including women and children.
      Un gran hombre de verdad PENDEJO

  10. 14 Barbara O'Brien 1 June, 2010 at 10:17 am

    Paul,

    I just have a quick question for you but couldn’t find an email so had to resort to this. I am a progressive blogger. Please email me back at barbaraobrien@maacenter.org when you get a chance. Thanks.

    Barbara

  11. 16 my review here 26 September, 2013 at 9:02 am

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  1. 1 My Blahg » WE’VE GOT ISSUES Trackback on 9 September, 2009 at 9:43 am
  2. 2 Harper has just ordered his government to try and destroy the opposition parties’ funding yet again. (via Paulitics) « Cbmilne33′s Blog Trackback on 20 March, 2011 at 8:59 pm

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