By Henry McRandall
As I write this column, Canada’s House of Commons should just be wrapping up a mammoth sitting — more than 24 straight hours — to vote on hundreds of amendments the various opposition parties have introduced in an effort to try to protect the Other 99 Percent of Canadians from the harm they will suffer under Conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s omnibus so-called “budget” Bill.
True, the 400-plus-page Bill does have a tremendous amount in it related directly to the government’s spending plans for the next year — almost all part of a harsh “austerity” plan that will severely punish poor, working-class and middle-class Canadians through draconian cuts to spending on health care, education, social programs, scientific research, food inspection, drug testing, old-age pensions, etc. and by adding thousands of civil servants to the ranks of millions of Canadians already unemployed or severely underemployed — despite the fact this far-less-than-honest government continues to insist that Canada is not in a recession.
But in addition to the horrific economic implications of this budget-from-hell, there are literally dozens of major changes to many other laws that the Conservatives have tried to hide in the massive tome and steamroll into law before anyone could catch on to what they’re up to. By then the damage will be done. And for a great many Canadians the damage will indeed be very severe.
True again, the Canadian recession has been relatively tame compared to what so many other countries have suffered through since the gangster banksters shattered the global economy half a decade ago. And Stephen Harper and the other compulsive liars who make up his cabinet have shamelessly tried to claim credit for this fact.
But Stephen Harper and his band of trained, extreme-right-wing seals deserve absolutely none of the credit for Canada’s getting off relatively easily compared to so many other countries. The truth of the matter is that the fairly timid Canadian financial services regulations that helped the country’s economy escape some of the extreme hardship seen in other countries were passed into law not by the Conservatives but by a previous minority Liberal government, with the support of the social democratic NDP and the social democratic/sovereignist Bloc Quebecois.
The Conservatives opposed that legislation. And if they had managed to win a majority before the gangster banksters collapsed the global economy, they probably would have repealed those regulations and left Canada as badly off as the U.S. and much of Europe.
But while the marathon House of Commons sitting may have awakened a few more oblivious Canadians to what this Conservative government is really all about, the exercise was doomed even before it began. Even though more than 60 percent of Canadians voted against the Harper Conservatives, the Tories still won an outright majority on May 2, 2011 because of the way the Canadian electoral system is rigged.
Canada’s phony “democracy” has a so-called “first-past-the-post” electoral system that allows a political party to win a vast majority in the House of Commons even if the vast majority of Canadians vote against that party — as happened with the Conservatives on May 2, 2011.
A non-binding referendum was held a few years ago to gauge the level of support among Canadians for switching to a much fairer and much more honest proportional-representation system. But the government and the mass-media conspired to so confuse and so mislead most Canadians about what the change would mean that the proposal was defeated.
As a consequence of that, the Conservatives — with the support of less than 40 percent of Canadians — won a massive majority that has given them free rein to do a lot of damage to the Other 99 Percent between now and the next federal election in 2015. And they will do as much damage as they possibly can. They won 166 seats in the 308-seat House of Commons, far more than the 142 seats won by the combined opposition who won more than 60 percent of the vote. Under a system of proportional representation, the Conservatives would only have won 122 seats and would likely not even have been part of a coalition government
Even with the advantages of incumbency, massive illegal election campaign overspending, massive numbers of fraudulent “robocalls” aimed at unlawfully preventing supporters of other parties from voting, and a rigged electoral system, Stephen Harper’s extreme-right-wing Conservatives could not have won their majority — could not even have come close — without the covert assistance of just one Canadian daily newspaper — Canada’s largest daily newspaper — Canada’s most “Liberal” and “liberal” daily newspaper — the newspaper that gains the most mileage from a phony “commitment” to social justice — the Toronto Star.
Despite its fraudulent claims to “liberality” and “social justice,” the holier-than-thou Toronto Star singlehandedly delivered Stephen Harper’s Conservatives the massive majority that is going to deliver massive injustice to the Other 99 Percent of Canadians. How did the Toronto Star accomplish this? Its extreme-right-wing publisher — John Cruikshank — and its extreme-right-wing executive editor — Michael Cooke — conspired to implement a ploy designed to guarantee a Conservative majority. The Star “endorsed” the social-democratic NDP just a couple of days before the election, knowing full well that this “endorsement” would split the anti-Conservative vote in the Greater Toronto Area — (which has about 18 percent of Canada’s population and about 15 percent of its seats in the House of Commons) — which had for decades been an impenetrable Liberal bastion, and allow the Conservatives to come up the middle. The ploy worked! Almost every additional seat the Conservatives picked up to gain their majority was in the Greater Toronto Area.
Ramming garbage down Canada’s throat
By Henry McRandall