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.

True Tory Colours

Immigration Minister pulled gay rights from citizenship guide, documents show – The Globe and Mail.

It’s not just that Jason Kenney, the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration pulled a section of the study guide for immigrants that details Canada’s gay rights legislation. He did that, according to the Globe article over the objections of senior staff memebers. That’s what we expect from him.

It’s not just that now people who immigrate from countries where homosexuality is a crime, will have no idea that they are coming, or could come to a country where “There’s no place for the state in the bedrooms of the nation.”.

It’s far worse than that, in my opinion. It points to a continuing, under the radar,  fundamentalist religious agenda in this government.

It’s far wore than that. Jason Kenney has tried to change who we are by ministerial decree, without  regard for the wishes of Parliament, the decisions of the Supreme Court, or the decent behaviour of most Canadians.

Through the actions of this minister and by his own prorogation of Parliament, Stephen Harper is showing Canadians his contempt for our institutions, for all he wrapped himself in the flag in Vancouver.

Revision

The revision of a novel can take years, as it did for my first one, or fewer years, as it has for the one under review now. Somehow, I’ve managed to have one published, one being revised, and one sitting in my computer, percolating.
Revision is mainly rewriting, in my hands anyway. The worst is deleting a big chunk of prose, as I did this morning, because I felt it was telling, not showing. I replaced it with a much shorter piece of dialogue. If I keep cutting, i’m going to end up with a novella!

This proroguing of Parliament has irritated me more than almost anything Harper has done, and he has done a lot that I objected to. I think he has shown a contempt for the people that is astounding. And I’m not the only one. True blue conservatives, of the non-Reform Party variety, are also taken aback by this abuse of power. There was no real need, after all, except that he didn’t want to answer the questions in the House. Or maybe he and his minions just wanted a long winter vacation. The rest of us are at work, and want to see the M.P.s at it as well. Besides that, we want him to answer the questions, about Afghanistan and the budget, and whatever else comes up, and answer them in the House, where the people we elected to ask him questions, can do so.
Oh, and don’t tell me he needs the time to consult about the budget. I don’t believe for one minute that anything the people say affects him one whit. Again, that’s what we pay the opposition M.P.s for.