“Harper’s” government

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/lawrence-martin/on-the-road-to-the-harper-governments-tipping-point/article1933110/

Lawrence Martin reminds us of the multiple offenses against democracy that have taken place since the Conservatives came to power. The tag line–there’s more to come– expanded over the last two days into a scandal about misusing government funds in the last election. This government and these ministers take responsibility right up to the point of being found out and then they scarper and blame a junior minister or a civil servant.

Oda, Kenney, Harper himself, all of them have the same haughty attitude of “if we doit, it must be good”. No responsibility, no resignations.

Even the Globe and Mail, who never saw a Tory government it couldn’t support, rails this morning about the lack of transparency( you and I would call it lying) about the cost of their “tough on crime” agenda. Even the “lock ’em up and throw away the keys” boys in the US have woken up to the fact that it costs megabucks to incarcerate people for minor crimes as has happened under the three strike law. One in every hundred Americans is in jail.

But the cost is one thing. Incarceration is a failure at reducing the number of reoffenders, at rehabilitation, at treating the mental illnesses that bring so many into conflict with the law. Why spend huge amounts on something that doesn’t work and won’t make our society any safer? Why? It’s called buying your vote with your money. Oh, and we don’t know what the bill will be because they won’t tell us.

Have you seen the Harper attack ads. Remember them from last time? They’re recycling stuff that they ran years ago, referencing events from the beginning of Michael Ignatieff’s return to this country. Apparently they haven’t yet got over the fact that he is a man with international experience, compared to their man, little-travelled until he came to power. Lawrence Martin reminds us that the ones they released this time have been withdrawn because they were of “such questionable quality.” How low can they sink?

Abuse of power. “L’Etat, c’est moi. That’s the Harper gang.

Writing: I’ve been working on the sequel to The Facepainter Murders, http://www.writewordsinc.com/and http://www.amazon.com., and recently joined the novel section of my online writing group. A no-hold-barred bunch they are, and very helpful. http://www.internetwritingworkshop.org/

My short story, Homicide in Haliburton has been published by Pine Tree Mysteries at this link.  http://www.pinetreemysteries.com/index.html

Writing is a craft, with a learning curve that I certainly didn’t understand when I started out twelve years ago. I’ve been reading Scene and Structure, by Jack Bickman, part of the Elements of Fiction Writing, published by Writers Digest Books, to learn some of the formal mechanics of constructing a novel.

Sakineh: She languishes in prison. Her sentence to stoning has been reversed, but she may still be hanged. Her lawyer is in exile, having been tortured in prison and she has given a “confession”. Please sign the petition.

http://freesakineh.org/

Oda

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/second-reading/gerald-caplan/stephen-harpers-worst-enemy/article1913681/

The worst enemy of Stephen Harper described in this article by Gerald Caplan, is Harper himself, at least the mean-spirited, nasty, revenge-seeking, never-say-you’re-sorry side of the man. He punishes dissent as quickly as any Middle-Eastern despot, although not with bullets and truncheons. The article above is dealing with the ramifications of the Oda affair, which has the autocrat’s stamp all over it. What I found disconcerting was the line-up of members of Kairos, churches from the Anglican Church of Canada to the Evangelical Lutheran, to the Mormon Church, all of them working together for decades to bring compassion and health care to violated women in Africa. But they spoke out against the decisions of Harper with which they disagreed, and so the funding, long-established and carried forward for thirty-five years is gone, as has the funding for countless other smaller organizations on the other side of political debate.

And then they lied, yet again. “Who did that? Not me?” she says to the Commons committee, not to a newspaper, or her friends at lunch, but to Parliament. Apparently the Harperites despise, not just the Upper House, but the whole thing. And it’s not the first time.

Gerald Caplan writes that this reflects the abandonment of the view that a government of the people is responsible for maintaining civil society. That is the difference that Canadians, who value our civil society and its support of the ill and the weak and the old, will have to consider at the next election.

Go to the end of the article and read the list of activities Harper has indulged in over the five years he has been in power. Why would we want to keep him?

He isn’t conservative with our money either. Look at the millions of dollars that is the estimate to carry out his further acts of vengeance against those convicted of crimes, many of them minor ones committed by people with serious mental illness, condemning them to be stacked like cordwood in cells barely adequate for one let alone three or four. Our prisons are going to resemble those in the third world. And for what? Rehabilitation doesn’t occur under these circumstances. Education in crime does. Getting mental heath resources for children is extremely difficult in this country. Perhaps he could spend a few dollars at the root of the problem.