I just got back from the South, southern Ontario that is. It seems I had to travel 250 miles south to find new fallen snow. The Toronto area had six inches of snow after I got there, while back home the snow was rapidly disappearing. Such is the weather in March in these parts.
I had planned to stay a week to help my friend Lynne celebrate her birthday. We did have a few days together when I learned that the other female in my life needed me. Heidi my long legged bitch needed me to return to care for her. It turned out my son's plans changed and he had to spend the weekend away with his kids while they played hockey. Heidi ,the Great Dane, was waiting for me. I had cut my visit short. Duty called.
It seem like it will be quite a while before life around the pool and in the hot tub begins.
Farewell to Lynne's suburban home for a while. By the time I return she will have had a visit to Barbados. I, on the other hand, will get to experience the sights, sounds and smell of Spring emerging in the North Wood.
I shall not be without distractions. Canada is going to have an election on May 2. Yesterday the Opposition defeated the government with "a vote of no confidence". Prime Minister Harper visited Governor General David Johnston today and it was agreed there should be an election.
The vote of no confidence was the result of the government being found in contempt of parliament because it failed to present the necessary financial information to parliament for it to fulfill it's responsibilities. This is the first time in the history of the British Commonwealth of Nations that a government has been found in contempt of parliament.
It was not for one thing but for three. The government, in it's contemptuous and secretitive way of operating refused to deliver to parliament the cost estimates of the proposed acquisition of new and expensive F-35 jet aircraft from the US, the cost of the Conservatives anti-crime legislation and finally, their failure to tell parliament the amount of the corporate tax deductions suggested. It seems the Conservatives would rather there be little or no debate on this expensive legislation.
Canada should not be purchasing, without tender, (if at all,) expensive fighter aircraft. In my opinion to satisfy the Americans, and to pretend that Canada can be a big time military player in the World. Canada has no enemies that would require this high tech air power unless those in power expect Canada to always join the US in their military adventures. These billions could be used to more important government programs if not to lower the deficit.
Similarly, Canada does not have a crime problem. The Conservatives, for ideological ,not rational reasons, believe we should be arresting more people, keeping them in jail longer and building more jails. Sound familiar. They want to make Canada more like the US in this area. If keeping more of a nation's population in jail, and longer, makes a country more crime free, the United States would be the most crime free country in the World. Well we know this approach is a failure. Any professional in the field would gladly tell the Conservative this reality if they were interested in a rational approach, rather than appealing to the right wing supporters of their party.
This is no time to be giving Corporate Tax breaks while increasing the deficit and national debt after a decade of deficit free government, under the Liberals, before the Conservatives came to power. Tax breaks and expensive unnecessary expenditures in the face of deficit financing makes no sense.
I could rant on. . . and on. Harper has been described as Nixonian. He has also been called paranoid. Need I say more?
At last we can have another chance to vote against the Conservative government. It has not been one that I have admired at all. (I guess you have realized that by now.)
It is not their economic programs that offends me the most. I am more offended with their style of leadership. Prime Minister Harper is a control freak. Nothing is said or happens without his approval. He is a very secretive person who wants to control everything. He is mean spirited toward members of parliament and arrogant toward the Canadian people. He acts as if he has had a clear mandate to govern when he has always only had a minority government. The four other parties , to the left of the Conservatives politically, represent the majority of Canadians. A minority government needs to work closely with the opposition parties to properly govern. Openness and cooperation is called for. Two things that are out of character of Harper and his style of leadership.
Most offensive to me is the way the Harper's Government has failed to go to the aid of Canadians in trouble in other countries upholding their rights. The most glaring was the way the government failed to speak up of Omar Khadr, the child "soldier" prosecuted and persecuted by the United States. In the eight years the Americans imprisoned him both governments refused to honour the UN Protocol on Child Soldiers, the international agreement on the rights of the child, and the Constitutions of their countries. He was tortured and even prevented from having any schooling because he was treated as an adult prisoner and the US had no responsibility to educate any adult as they would a child. All those years, in spite of several Canadian court decisions that ruled against the Conservative government, Harper's government did little or nothing. In the end, they were in contempt of a Supreme Court decision which came too late. Omar plead guilty in a plea bargain to crimes he, as a child, really was not guilty of in order to avoid a truly draconian sentencing in the US. Next year, Omar Khadr will be returned to Canada to finish out his sentence. In spite of him being a Canadian citizen the Conservatives would love to find a way to prevent him from returning. If for no other reason it would be nice to have another party in charge of the government on his return.
There were other cases against Muslim Canadians, citizens and residents that the government failed to support. It took the federal courts to get them to finally do something. I could go on with other issues such as having little or no environmental program to protect the environment or counter climate change, but I have said enough.
Sadly, with four political parties to their left, the Conservatives could end up in power after the election, once again. Hopefully, at worst, it will be another minority government. A majority government would see more ideological conservative programs out of step with the Canadian ethos.
A lot of things can happen in six weeks. Hopefully, the opposition parties can make their case and defeat this Conservative government. If not, for me, the pain will continue.