It's interesting looking back to George W. Bush and when he first came to office. Many were then concerned with their loss of democracy, in light of the fact that Bush had stolen the election.
The theft of our election by Harper, wasn't apparent until later.
Cheating with the "In and Out" scandal, when candidates scammed tax payers out of almost $800,000.00, getting rebates they weren't entitled to. And the party spending more than a million dollars over and above the legal limit.
They used the RCMP to discredit the Liberals in the middle of the election. The entire thing turned out to be a setup.
And one of the leading members of the American Religious Right, Paul Weyrich, instructed his members to not talk to our media, because Harper didn't want Canadians to know how deeply he was involved in the American movement.
And as Michael Moore reminds us, the United States before George Bush was a different place.
Pardon me if I was dreaming, but weren't things looking up ...? Weren't we supposed to be living through the "largest economic expansion in history"? Hadn't the government ended fifty-five years of operating in the red and finally boasted a "cash surplus" large enough to fix every road, bridge, and tooth in America?And the so-called global economic melt down, was caused by further deregulation, under Bush.
Air and water pollution were at their lowest levels in decades, crime was at a record low, teen pregnancies had dropped out of sight, and more kids were graduating from high school and college than ever before. Old people lived longer ... Palestinians broke bread with Israelis, Catholics shared a pint with Protestants in Northern Ireland. Yes, life was getting a whole lot better—and we all felt it. People were friendlier, strangers on the street would give you the time of day, and Regis made the questions easier so we could have more millionaires.
By mid-2001, thirty-seven countries were at war around the world. The United Nations kicked us off their Human Rights Commission, and the European Union attacked us for unilaterally violating the ABM treaty by reintroducing "Star Wars." ... In short, all of a sudden everything sucked. Whether it's the shaky economy, depleted energy supplies, elusive world peace, no job security, no health care, or the simple unusable ballot we were given to pick a President, it has become maddeningly clear to most Americans that nothing seems to work.
Before Harper, we were sitting on a surplus, our debt had been substantially paid down and though we were in Afghanistan, after four years, we had only lost 11 soldiers. I don't like to really use the word "only" when it comes to deaths, but compared with the 143 under Harper's watch, it's worth noting. And that's because, according to Rick Hillier, our prime minister made the decision to put our troops in the most dangerous areas of conflict. And why? To impress George Bush.
And we have also been rebuked by the United Nations because of our aggressive foreign policy and our many attempts to sabotage action aimed at slowing down Global Warming.And the Harper government had spent through our surplus long before the economic crisis. Bush took eight years to destroy his country. Harper did it in five. We are now sitting on a record debt and deficit, women's rights have been diminished, gay rights are non-existent, and the tone of our political discourse is ugly and toxic.
Richard Brennan wrote a piece for the Star: Harper’s democratic record wins little praise
It was one of those rare times politicians from all parties on Parliament Hill agreed. They concluded that Canadians’ right to know demanded significant enhancements to the Access to Information Act based on the premise that democracy thrives best in the light of day. But Justice Minister Rob Nicholson dismissed the October 2009 recommendations from the Commons committee — in direct contrast to the Conservatives’ 2006 promise to be the picture of openness and accountability.And though Brennan brings up the Liberal record, everyone agrees that government secrecy has NEVER been this bad. A common statement is that they've "never seen anything like this".
The Harperites are pointing to their Accountability Act, which turned out not to be worth the paper it was written on. The office they refer to was opened only to say that it was there. By 2009, it was still just a room:
The government should scrap the Federal Public Appointments Commission because it still doesn't have a promised patronage watchdog and has spent $1-million since 2006, says NDP MP Pat Martin.And yet that didn't stop Harper from having the nerve to demand that the budget for the phantom office be increased. As Greg Weston reminded us in January of 2010:
Canadian taxpayers have shelled out more than $1 million for a federal appointments commission that has no commissioners and hasn’t overseen a single appointment in four years. In fact, it isn’t even supposed to exist. Stephen Harper created the commission in 2006, and promptly scrapped it in a huff. Yet the spending continues, and indeed the commission lives on, despite serving no apparent use.His accountability is non-existent and our democracy has disappeared. But everything he's done, he learned from George W. Bush. Spend, lie, cheat and destroy.
1. Stupid White Men: And Other Sorry Excuses for the State of the Union, By: Michael Moore, Regan Books, 2001, ISBN: 0-06-039245-2, Introduction