University of Toronto
2 min

Democracy is bad for the markets?

So Stephen Harper thinks that democracy is bad for the markets – or something like that. Yes, he said minority Parliaments, but guess what? That’s who democracy brought to the dance, so man up and try not to step on its toes – or some other tortured metaphor.

Quite rightly, Michael Ignatieff ridiculed the statement while on his university tour, this time at a stop in Montreal. “What does he want? To cancel Parliament altogether so we can have the stability of a prime minister without any limits on his power?” Ignatieff joking asked. Well, you laugh now, but the way things are going, he’ll soon be issuing Order 66 and re-organising Canada into the first Galactic Empire – or something like that.

Of course, the government’s preferred course of action is to simply try to change the channel, and once again hide behind the troops. When the government is being held to account, they try move to redirect the fire toward the troops. Watching MP Shelly Glover’s naked attempt at doing so on Power & Politics last night was rather sickening, and while I’ve found her credibility to be lacking in a lot of the things she says on behalf of the government, this was above and beyond. (Also, trying to deflect that Tom Flanagan – Harper’s own former chief of staff – calling their strategy “childish” by saying she’d never heard of Tom Flanagan but that she presumed he was Canadian and therefore entitled to an opinion – was also very, very rich indeed).

As for all those “pre-budget consultations,” Jim Flaherty’s numbers have been blasted by the Parliamentary Budget Officer as unrealistic – the deficit simply cannot be slain without either raising taxes or doing major program spending cuts. All of which reaffirms that this government can’t give us a grown-up conversation on the state of our finances.

Speaking of the stellar performers in Cabinet, it looks like Harper is going to shuffle said cabinet sooner than later, but that it’s going to simply be a shake-up, with no new members. But really – if you need to shuffle around controversy-prone Lisa Raitt, just where does one put her anyway? Labour? Tourism?

In their bid to totally look like they’re not covering up anything, the government still hasn’t found a new chair for the Military Police Complaints Commission, which hasn’t finished its examination of the Afghan detainee situation – and it’s been a month. The former chair was on The Hour last night, and he made a few rather pointed statements about just how amazing a coincidence it was that a number of these watchdogs have found themselves unemployed of late, and that simply cannot bode well for the system of administrative laws in this country.

On the topic of appointments, the entire staff of the non-partisan Rights and Democracy organisation, funded by the government, has written to the Prime Minister and Foreign Affairs minister to demand the resignations of the board chair and two of its members – all of them Conservative appointees whose harassment of its former president, who died of a heart attack last week, while two of their foreign board members walked away from the organisation. Chaos – at the hands of Conservative appointees. Who ever would have thought? *coughs*CWB*coughs*IRB*coughs*

And finally, in relation to that earthquake in Haiti, Her Excellency says that she fears for its people, but promises that they are not alone and that Canada will respond.
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