A list of Harper government cuts/actions.

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jerrym

The Canadian budget, according to the following article (as well as many other articles), is proposing that Canada should follow the Cyprus model in dealing with a collapse of one of its big six too-large-too-fail banks (note its never small banks or credit unions) giving them the green light to engage in extremely risky financial dealings as they will be bailed out by depositors, executives can get ever larger bonuses and bank shareholders face little risk. 

"Your money is officially no longer safe in any of the major Canadian banks. As we've witnessed in Cyprus the Canadian government will be looking to loot the accounts of depositors in the event that one or more of the "too big to fail" banks depletes its capital to the point of no return. The failed system of fractional reserve lending has proven disastrous and the time has come to protect your assets from being stolen by the government."

http://beforeitsnews.com/financial-markets/2013/04/cyprus-and-the-canadi...

 

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

It occurs to me that this might be a cattle prod meant to herd investors into the stock market again.

JKR

The Harper government has also given us the most extreme version yet of the electoral college version of parliamentary democracy whereby the House of Commons has no power over the Prime Minister except through forcing an election through a vote of non-confidence.

Quote:
Conservative MP revolts; Elizabeth May supports the idea of parliamentary democracy

http://rabble.ca/blogs/bloggers/karl-nerenberg/2013/03/conservative-mp-r...

Harper subscribes to what we could call the "electoral college" theory of parliament.
This is how the theory goes:
When Canadians vote in a federal election they may think they are electing Members of Parliament, but they are really choosing Electors – as in the USA Electoral College – whose main job is to anoint a virtually all-powerful and unchecked executive, led by the leader of the “winning” party, who becomes Prime Minister.
There is a winning party and there are losing parties, and the true and essential purpose of an election is to choose the winner, full stop. The idea that the citizens throughout the country are electing their representatives to the Parliament in Ottawa is quaint, sentimental and old-fashioned, according to the Harper view of parliamentary democracy.
May takes a very different view. She put it this way, in relation to Warawa's question of privilege.
"We are not here as teams. The principle of Westminster parliamentary democracy is that we are here are representatives of our constituencies and our constituents," she told the House,..."

It's imperative that our system be reformed to being much less dictatorially "top-down" and much more democratically "bottom-up". Parliamentary reform and electoral reform are desperately needed to enhance our democracy.

Michael Moriarity Michael Moriarity's picture

I suspect that Parliamentary reform will be much easier to achieve in a post-electoral reform, multi-party system than in the current "elected dictatorship" configuration.

 

janfromthebruce

JKR wrote:
The Harper government has also given us the most extreme version yet of the electoral college version of parliamentary democracy whereby the House of Commons has no power over the Prime Minister except through forcing an election through a vote of non-confidence.
Quote:
Conservative MP revolts; Elizabeth May supports the idea of parliamentary democracy http://rabble.ca/blogs/bloggers/karl-nerenberg/2013/03/conservative-mp-r... Harper subscribes to what we could call the "electoral college" theory of parliament. This is how the theory goes: When Canadians vote in a federal election they may think they are electing Members of Parliament, but they are really choosing Electors – as in the USA Electoral College – whose main job is to anoint a virtually all-powerful and unchecked executive, led by the leader of the “winning” party, who becomes Prime Minister. There is a winning party and there are losing parties, and the true and essential purpose of an election is to choose the winner, full stop. The idea that the citizens throughout the country are electing their representatives to the Parliament in Ottawa is quaint, sentimental and old-fashioned, according to the Harper view of parliamentary democracy. May takes a very different view. She put it this way, in relation to Warawa's question of privilege. "We are not here as teams. The principle of Westminster parliamentary democracy is that we are here are representatives of our constituencies and our constituents," she told the House,..."
It's imperative that our system be reformed to being much less dictatorially "top-down" and much more democratically "bottom-up". Parliamentary reform and electoral reform are desperately needed to enhance our democracy.

May's view is but one of the role of our elected representatives. In fact, there are 3 roles and one is as elected as a member of parliament: Introduction: Principles of the Westminster Model of Parliamentary Democracy

So if you start at the Intro and move through the units, one gets to see how parliamentary democracy has evolved over time.

Representative Government and Responsible Government

Over time British parliamentary democracy has evolved in ways that have led to its association with the concepts of representative government and responsible government. Representative government is based on the notion that those who serve in government are placed in their positions as a result of citizen selection. Citizens choose people to represent them in the parliament. Some controversy underlies this seemingly simple concept. The word 'represent' means to make present something that, in fact, is not present. Representatives enable an indirect citizen presence in the legislative process. In general representative roles can take three forms: delegate, trustee and party. These forms of representation will be discussed later in more detail.

A representative who performs as a delegate subordinates his or her judgement to the views of the citizens he or she represents. In other words, representatives vote the views of their constituents regardless of their personal views. In contrast, a trustee takes the position that he or she has been elected to exercise his or her best judgement. Accordingly, the positions trustees take are based on their perceptions of what is most appropriate. Finally, the party representative votes as a loyal member of a particular party.

Roles of Members

Most parliamentarians today represent parties as much as they do their constituents. In this role the parliamentarian acts and votes as a loyal member of a party. They take and follow the instructions of the party and its leadership. They do not take independent stands either on the basis of their own opinions or according to the wishes of their constituents. As Saalfeld notes "party is the single most important factor influencing voting patterns in any parliamentary system" (1998: 795). There is much justification for this role after all; elections are contested and organised around parties and leaders. The effective functioning of parliament makes it necessary for those who form the government to do what is needed and have stability in the operation of Parliament. Parliament operates on the principle of majority rule and in order for legislation to pass, and for a government to remain in office, it must have the support of 50 per cent + 1 of the legislators. Representatives who are acting as delegates or trustees do not provide this sort of stability. Moreover, it is often the case that members are elected more because of their party or party leader than as a result of their own qualifications or attractiveness to voters. Acting on an independent basis thus partially distorts the existing political reality.

So May provided one view of representative democracy, however, the evolution happen over time and that party is equally inserted in there. I thus believe that is issue needs to be addressed in each party in that the whip position could be changed within the causas of each party.

JKR

Members of the House of Commons have a responsibility to accurately represent the party platform they ran on and the general political philosophy of their party but they have no responsibility to be a lackey of the leader of their party. If members of the House of Commons are just parrots of their party leaders then we should elect the party leaders directly via presidential-type elections. 

Harper's complete control over his government and party are unprecedented. Heavy handed top-down rule runs counter to a healthy democracy. Harper's term in office has highlighted why electoral reform and parliamentary reform are sorely needed in Canada.

janfromthebruce

I agree JKR with your overall thoughts, however, the centalization of PMO happen big time under Chretien and con't under Martin Liberals. It appears that so often the Liberals start something and the Cons follow suit.

I believe we would see a very different style of leadership of an NDP federal govt, with less leader focus but perhaps cabinet/party position focus.

 

jerrym

The Cons expansion of the temporary foreign workers program has become a mechanism to increase unemployment among Canadians in order to drive wage rates down for the corporations. 

janfromthebruce

exactly

JanetHudgins JanetHudgins's picture

Add to the list: Health Council to close its doors on March 31, 2014

On March 31, 2014 the Health Council of Canada will be closing its doors. CDM believes that the HCC is an important institution that brings Canadians necessary information on the sustainability, quality and efficiency of our health care system.

To read more about CDM's response to the Federal government's decision to cut funding to the HCC click here.

Sean in Ottawa

I see the point: Harper does not support any role by the federal government in healthcare and does not support any monitoring of public policy. He will tolerate a province that decides on its own to have some healthcare provided business gets an unfettered shot at the market. Where that contradicts he will negotiate away the ability for provinces to have a workable health care system at the national table. He does not want anyone looking. By Harper I mean the entire Conservative monster we call the Harper government.

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