Friday, February 24, 2012

Just When I Thought It Couldn't Get Worse...

Excuse me while I go off the deep end.

I didn't vote for Stephen Harper, Canada's Prime Minister. Neither did most other Canadians. However, due to the archaic first-past-the-post political system we have here, Harper got to be our nation's leader. I admit, I was choked when he won. But I thought, as I'm sure most Canadians did, "How much harm can one man do?" And "He'll never get re-elected anyway."

I stayed quiet, apathetic even, as Harper has laid waste to many of the things I think Canada has done pretty well in the past. Environmental stewardship - gone. International reputation of moderation and peace keeping - gone. The dear old CBC - gutted and all but gone. In fact, Harper has done so much damage it makes me nostalgic for the days of Brian Mulroney, notorious for being Canada's most despised Prime Minister. Lawrence Martin puts it well here.

But what has knocked me off my rocking chair, where I am busy sewing a duvet cover, (oh yes, I am such a dangerous radical) is the news that Transport Canada thinks it's just fine for oil tankers to cruise the treacherous, environmentally sensitive waters off of B.C.'s north coast. The story is here.

Amazingly, all relevant government agencies have signed off on the project. But, since Harper won't allow any dissenting individuals to speak out, (oh yeah, that's another thing he did, muzzle government employees, including scientists and researchers) it's not like those agencies had a choice.

For those of you who haven't been following this, Harper desperately wants to allow a private company, Enbridge, to build a pipeline through northern B.C. that will carry bitumen from the Alberta Tar Sands (another horrible environmental disaster) to Kitimat, where it will be put onto tankers who can sail their merry way to China, where it will be refined and used to manufacture cheap consumer goods for the rest of the world.

This cannot be allowed to happen. It is wrong on so many levels my head spins. Seriously, I am thinking, "What have I got to lose?" If there were some kind of militant rebel forces here I would sign right up. I'm a middle-aged lady, and the future looks like crap anyway.

I have been working hard the last few years, cultivating inner peace, patience and tolerance. That's another thing Stephen Harper has destroyed. Although I have never believed the Devil, that personification of evil, exists, I am starting to think that he does indeed walk this earth, in the body of Stephen Harper.

6 comments:

  1. It seems the way of things these days in leadership. I had SUCH high hopes for Obama, but, even with a like-minded sould at the top, the ropes that bind him and the racism and lies that frame him keep him from truly being able to make change or at LEAST keep things reasonable. We're facing that pipeline, too, seems like anything the corporations want somehow gets through even though throngs of people are opposed. I, too, find myself longing for the "old days" when, though I may not have shared a president's views, I trusted that he had a sliver of a conscience. I'm soooo nervous about what's coming in our next election.

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  2. Anonymous8:32 AM

    I had those same feelings when GW Bush was running for reelection here in the US. I have lost faith in people seeing what is happening and doing the right thing. Politics have gotten so corporate.

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  3. I was born and spent my childhood in that Northern piece of paradise. We can no longer remain silent - accidents happen, humans make mistakes. One tanker accident and there is no going back. This area is as earthquake and tsunami prone as anywhere on earth. Princess Royal Island, home of the Kermode "spirit bear" would be negatively affected. Harper needs to listen to the people of Canada not the oil barons.

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  4. Oh, honey! Do NOT get me started about that man. How can he have run (over) my country for 7 years so far - and counting. Nobody I know will admit to have voted for him! But obviously somebody did. Shame on them. Somehow they need to figure out what's really important. And truthfully we're going to run out of oil eventually. Move on, people. There are ALWAYS other options.

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  5. Oh how I sympathise with your anger and indignation... As I read your post, I thought I could also substitute "Sarkozy" for "Harper" in so many examples.
    You are not alone, and hopefully some of these devilish schemes can be stopped by citizen action.
    I love it when middle-aged women get rebellious!

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  6. Anonymous8:09 PM

    Years and years ago I read a book that said there were two kinds of governemnt, public government (the kind we vote for) and private government (the corporate world). While we are supposed to have some control over the policies of the public government, we do not have any input into the corporate world . The main goal of the corporate world is to make a profit and therefore anything that makes a profit is considered good. When that motivation starts to run over human rights and quality of life, then the public government is supposed to step in and use power vested in it to reign in the power of the corporate world. The two are supposed to be separate. The probelm now, it seems, is that over the past 30 years these two kinds of government have gotten closer and closer and closer together and now they have become a hybrid. Our government now is some sort of monster, part corporate and part private, and it would seem that the most dominant part too often is the corporate side. It's like that awful, old horror movie about the two headed man, one a good scientist and the other a bad criminal. Slowly the criminal head takes over control of the body and the good head can only look on helplessly. Well, I guess the thing to do is remember that, even if the government has become a kind of monster, it is still made of men and women and they are not immortal. They are just profit driven. Harper and his ilk are not unbeatable. They are just ordinary people and they can be voted out of office. The trick is, when they will be voted out of office, it's important to put better people in. Ask your political representatives what they stand for and keep them to their promises! Meanwhile, do anything possible to fight that pipeline and keep the coast of B.C. beautiful.

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