Category Archives: Politics

Stephen Harper Hates Me. Does He Hate You, Too?

Blues for Canada by Cathy Cook

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blues

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Deeds Done in the Darkest Hours

Reid Dickie

“It’s not the people who vote that count. It’s the people who count the votes.” – Joseph Stalin

“Fascism should more appropriately be called Corporatism because it is a merger of state and corporate power.” – Benito Mussolini 

How pathetic that I have to quote two monsters from the 20th century to frame the crimes against freedom and democracy currently unfolding in Canada. Hot on the heels of Spy Bills C-11 and C-30 comes Robogate or whatever you want to call the highly organized and concerted effort by the Reform-Conservatives to fix Canada’s 2011 election and get a majority government. 

Their tactics are familiar and have been used consistently in American elections to confound and confuse the electorate before and during election day. Here are four quick pages from the US Playbook for Political Scumbags that partly explain how the Ref-Cons did it in Canada:

  • In the weeks leading up to the election, thousands of people received calls from people claiming to be from the Liberal Party. The caller would be rude, call late at night, early in the morning or in the middle of the night, say outrageous things then hang up;
  • On election day, robocalls were made to thousands of Liberal and NDP households telling them their voting place had been changed, usually to somewhere an hour away with very bad parking. (The criminality is very refined and thorough);
  • On election day opposition voters were offered rides to their voting place but the rides never showed up; 
  • Also on election they used this form of sabotage, from a news report: 

 “When Robin Warren of Montreal showed up to vote on Monday, she said her name had been crossed off the voter list. She had to sign an affidavit swearing she had not voted already. While Warren was at the polling station, she said another woman who lives in the same apartment complex had an identical problem.

“On my way back home after we dealt with all this I ran into another group of ladies outside and all their names were crossed off the list, and they had to go through the same thing of signing affidavits. There’s something not right here. There’s too many people in one building,” Warren said. She called Elections Canada to complain but she said the elections agency called the situation an irregularity.”

Wake up Canada! This isn’t “dirty tricks.” That’s mainstream media doublespeak intended to downplay the significance of, what one of my friends calls, treason. Other MSM terms for this include “prank” “hoax” and “mischief.” In Harper’s Canada, treason is now described as “mischief.” Is that the Canada you live in? 

Here are some numbers for your consideration:

  • So far, 43 ridings (see list below) from coast to coast where robocalls were used have been identified;
  • The Ref-Cons won 29 of the 43 seats;
  • Six of those ridings were won by less than 1000 votes, three of them by less than 500 votes, two by less than 30 votes;
  • The Ref-Con majority in the House of Commons is just 10 seats;
  • 100,000s of illegal robocalls were made to Canadians before and during election day;
  • Two firms (Racknine in Edmonton, Responsive Marketing Group [RMG] in Thunder Bay) connected to the Ref-Cons have been identified as sources of some of the calls.

There is much much more information about this to emerge but based on what we know so far, is there a smoking gun directly linking Harper and the Ref-Cons to these crimes? You decide. In the National Post’s first story they included this paragraph about election day events at Elections Canada:

Internal Elections Canada emails obtained under Access to Information legislation show officials were rattled by the calls. At 11:06 a.m., election officer Anita Hawdur sent an email to legal counsel Karen McNeil with the header: “URGENT Conservative campaign office communications with electors.” Hawdur reported that returning officers were calling to ask about the calls. McNeil responded by asking Hawdur to alert Rennie Molnar, the deputy chief electoral officer. He later emailed Michel Roussel, a senior director: “This one is far more serious. They have actually disrupted the voting process.”

This links Conservative campaign office in the header with intentional disruption of democracy. Interesting wording: “This one is far more…” as if there were other crimes. How much did Elections Canada really know?

This week, one of the call centre workers at RMG blew the whistle by publicly saying that on election day her work was making calls on behalf of the Ref-Cons to intentionally misdirect voters away from their proper polling place. I admire the bravery of whistleblowers and hope she can preserve her anonymity and suffer no consequences. I pray for her. 

An unsettling news item turned up today. Some of the calls were made from a call centre in North Dakota! Oh, Canada.

Since both the RCMP and Elections Canada (its head is appointed by the prime minister) are under Harper’s thumb, their already-compromised “investigations” won’t likely turn up anything of substance, just more smoke and mirrors.

What you can do!

Since the MSM is falling down in its job again, it’s up to the online community to react appropriately. Let the politicans know you are ticked. Leadnow.ca has an online petition that is sent to Harper, other party leaders and your MP. Almost 30,000 Canadians have already signed it in the past few days. Find the petition at http://www.leadnow.ca/en/index

Inform your friends and family. Talk to them, email them, text them, post information and/or links on Facebook and Twitter. Make sure they understand the dire times we are living in and what’s required of them and everyone to preserve our freedom and democracy.

These are the 43 ridings that have been identified as targets of the Ref-Cons anti-democratic tactics. Cui bono – who benefits? The Ref-Cons won 29 of these ridings. If you live in one of these ridings, your Ref-Con member may not be legitimate. The ridings in bold are Ref-Con seats won by fewer than 1000 votes:

  • Sydney-Victoria (NS)
  • South Shore-St Margaret’s (NS)
  • Egmont (PE)
  • Mount Royal (PQ)
  • Davenport (ON)
  • Guelph (ON)
  • Hamilton East-Stoney Creek (ON)
  • Eglinton-Lawrence (ON)
  • Etobicoke Centre (ON)
  • Essex (ON)
  • Cambridge (ON)
  • Haldimand-Norfolk (ON)
  • Kitchener-Conestoga (ON)
  • Kitchener-Waterloo (ON)
  • Kingston & the Islands (ON)
  • London North Centre (ON)
  • London West (ON)
  • Mississauga East-Cooksville (ON)
  • Niagara Falls (ON)
  • Nipissing-Timiskaming (ON)
  • Oakville (ON)
  • Ottawa Centre (ON)
  • Ottawa-Orleans (ON)
  • Ottawa West-Nepean (ON)
  • Parkdale-High Park (ON)
  • Perth – Wellington (ON)
  • Peterborough (ON)
  • Simcoe-Grey (ON)
  • St. Catharines (ON)
  • St Paul’s (ON)
  • Sudbury (ON)
  • Thunder Bay – Superior North (ON)
  • Wellington – Halton Hills (ON)
  • Willowdale (ON)
  • Windsor Tecumseh (ON)
  • Saint Boniface (MB)
  • Winnipeg South Centre (MB)
  • Elmwood – Transcona (MB)
  • Winnipeg South (MB)
  • Wascana (SK)
  • Edmonton Centre (AB)
  • Edmonton East (AB)
  • Saanich-Gulf islands (BC)

Write to your MP personally. I highly recommend this especially to Ref-Con MPs elected by fewer than 1000 votes. Cut and paste email addresses for all MPs are at http://sandrafinley.ca/?p=3297 Oh, what the hell, email it to every MP.

Put your imagination to work and come up with other inventive forms of protest against the creeping fascism of the Ref-Cons.

For inspiration, I leave you with two things to ponder.

First, this quote from Ref-Con PM Stephen Harper: “Human rights commissions, as they are evolving, are an attack on our fundamental freedoms and the basic existence of a democratic society. It is in fact totalitarianism. I find this is very scary stuff.” Pot, kettle, black. 

And the lyrics to an Elvis Costello song called Night Rally that details a typical evening in a country with a fascist government:

Night Rally

Elvis Costello 1978 British version of This Year’s Model 

I would send out for assistance but there’s someone on the signal wire
And the corporation logo is flashing on and off in the sky
They’re putting all your names in the forbidden book
I know what they’re doing but I don’t want to look
You think they’re so dumb, you think they’re so funny
Wait until they’ve got you running to the
Night rally, night rally, night rally

Everybody’s singing with their hand on their heart
About deeds done in the darkest hours
That’s just the sort of catchy little melody
To get you singing in the showers

Oh, I know that I’m ungrateful
I’ve got it lying on a plate
And I’m not buying my share of souvenirs
You can stand to attention
You can pray to your uncle
Only get that chicken out of here
Everyone gets armbands and 3-D glasses
Some are in the back room
And they’re taking those night classes

You think they’re so dumb, you think they’re so funny
Wait until they’ve got you running to the
Night rally, night rally, night rally

Hear Elvis sing it.

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Wake Up Canada! Big Brother is coming to a front door near you

Reid Dickie

Sinister, secretive, untrustworthy, tyrannical, compromised by a foreign country, indebted to their corporate masters and unsullied by conscience, the Ref-Con (Reform-Conservative) regime currently ruling Canada is a dog’s breakfast of right-wing extremists, religious fundamentalists, greedhead capitalists, stunted idealogues and just plain dummies, not unlike a lot of alleged democracies these days. Similarly, this government is trying to make it legal to spy on every Canadian who has a computer and/or a cellphone without a warrant. Spy Bill C-30 stinks of Nazi Germany, Soviet Russia and Communist China and the massive negative reaction to it by hundreds of thousands of Canadians is appropriate.

Canada’s Public Safety Minister Vic Toews, a long-standing windbag, sponsored this paranoid piece of “legislation.” Subsequently and deservedly, Toews has had his dirty laundry paraded before the public when the sordid details of his acrimonious divorce were published on a Twitter account. Although already public knowledge, the revealing details caused poor Vic such great despair and indignity that he got all victimy and launched an “investigation.” What a hoot! (Memo to Toews: if you can’t stand the heat, don’t light the fire. Plus, you make a lousy victim!)

Because language is a virus from outer space, every bill introduced in Canada has two names, a long and short name. Bill C-30’s long name is An Act to enact the Investigating and Preventing Criminal Electronic Communications Act and to amend the Criminal Code and other Acts. Its short name, the mainstream media name, is Protecting Children from Internet Predators Act. That’s different. Read the text of odious Bill C-30 here. Be brave.

Just so you know who has their hand up Toews’ back and wrote the script for him, on November 5, 1997, a bill was introduced into the U. S. House of Representatives. Its short title was H.R.2815 — Protecting Children From Internet Predators Act. 

Booga! Booga! Taking another page from the U. S. Neo-Con playbook, Toews thought he could fearmonger Canadians into ceding more of our rights and freedoms by invoking child pornographers as the boogeyman. Explaining the simple options to Canadians, Toews said, “either stand with us or with the child pornographers”  – fearmongering at its most amateurish.

Today Toews has backpedaled about three country miles from that because Canadians didn’t fall for it. Instead we started to share all our mundane personal information with Toews that we thought he needed to know. On his Twitter account #TellVicEverything and in emails to parliament, ordinary Canadians began confessing their sins to Deity Toews. Like? Like parking closer to one yellow line than the other in the mall parking lot, cleaning up cat puke and waiting for more, just checked – I’m still not a child predator and asking for a copy of an email accidentally erased. You get the picture. Thousands responded! Call it satire, zen, karma, justice, Canadian humour, eh. Consequently, the true nature of a foolish man with a little bit of power was appropriately revealed to the world, a deflated balloon, a sad buffoon.

Bonus: Because social media and bloggers drove and dominated events, the mainstream media went into a tailspin. Canadians weren’t buying their brand of bullshit. Editorials and pundits ranted about how the bill makes the internet safer for everyone, blah, blah, blah but it didn’t seem to work. The MSM are failing to convince more often now but don’t tell them yet. In spite of declining readership and viewership, they’ll be the last to know how truly irrelevant they have become. 

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