The Shotgun Blog
Saturday, May 28, 2005
No, no, no, no, no. A thousand times no. This is not the issue.
Let me be clear: it is entirely possible that Gurmant Grewal approached the Liberals first looking for some goodies in exchange for throwing his vote. It may even be likely (though the presence of a tape recorder and his "shut up and let them do the talking" conversation style on the tape, sure makes it sound as though he was playing amateur PI).
But nowhere on the tape does Tim Murphy say, "You are sorely mistaken Mr. Grewal. This sort of dirty dealing is not what this Prime Minister's Office does. I bid you good day sir." No. What does he do? He begins feeling out Grewal to find out what his price is. He talks of Senate seats and negotiating. He even appears to intimate that he'll see about calling off the criminal investigation launched a few weeks ago by Joe Volpe.
People, this is governance 101. If Canadians don't get this, we're beyond help. When a backbench Opposition MP goes to the highest office in the land and asks to be bribed, and the Prime Minister's chief of staff responds with "How much?", the greater concern is with the prime minister's office, not the two-bit backbencher.
Sigh. Are we so far gone?
Posted by Kevin Libin on May 28, 2005 | Permalink
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Poetic Justice For Tim Murphy:
"No! I am not Prince Hamlet, nor was meant to be;
Am an attendant lord, one that will do
To swell a progress, start a scene or two,
Advise the prince; no doubt, an easy tool,
Deferential, glad to be of use.."
T.S. Eliot wrote The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock just so such banal absurdities would have a poetic definition. Laureate, where are you in our time of need!
Posted by: Barry Stagg | 2005-05-28 8:55:34 PM
Kevin we are so far gone. Where are the reporters who should be investigating this?? Well when you think of CBC, CTV, and the national newspapers all owned by liberals, you know where the reporters are.
Where is Andrew Macintosh of Grand-mere fame??
Nobody cares anymore. I just looked at a website that you commented on and this guy is now accusing the Tories of being loaded with born again Christians. You think I wouldnt rather have born again christians than those crooks in there now. No not these guys at that website. They will vote liberal again.
Look at these fanatics at rabble.ca. using cartoons to make fun of the new pope accusing him of Naziism. Judy Rebick says its ok and of course people will listen to that feminist cow. Would he paint a picture of Allah for example cutting someones head off. Yeah right.
This country is snowballing downhill fast and unless Alberta makes a move fast we will be caught in it and we will be just like them. I shudder at the thought.
Posted by: MikeP | 2005-05-28 9:18:04 PM
Then get it on Alberta. I will come back to vote for you and support you.
I wondered for a moment yesterday why no-one in Canada had the guts to get together, walk in and just take over the House after the way the Liberals have acted lately. It is the people's House, no? Then it dawned on me that most of those people probably live in Alberta. And they want to get rid of Ottawa, not take it over.
Posted by: John Crittenden | 2005-05-28 9:37:50 PM
"If Canadians don't get this, we're beyond help."
We are LONG beyond hope.
A big big shrug all across Canada.
Here in Winnipeg, I've practically ended all my friendships, trying to explain a hundred times over and over what's "the big deal" about postponing a non-confidence motion for 9 days so they can buy off the public and the oppsotion; why gay marriage is just a con; why any one with half a brain can hear that Tim Murphy is attempting something very shady - in fact it's plain as day he's coaching Grewal on "how these things are done.
I haven't met a single person here who even gets it, never mind acti=ually doing something about it.
Posted by: Brian O'Neill | 2005-05-28 10:25:56 PM
Anybody for pulling camp in (a la Ukraine) at the Alberta Legislature until Klein quits and we get a decent leader?? And I dont mean Jim Dinning. Where do we start?? What do we have to do to shake people out of their complacency?? Any ideas??
Posted by: MikeP | 2005-05-28 10:35:19 PM
I know. It's hilarious when people cite Klein or Harris (or even more absurd, Clarke or Orchard) as the voice of Canadian conservatism.
Posted by: Brian O'Neill | 2005-05-28 10:40:22 PM
Oh, I forgot about Jean Charest!
Posted by: Brian O'Neill | 2005-05-28 10:42:49 PM
The moment I realized that the Adscam revelations on Captain's Quarters were only making a ripple throughout the voting public, and not a tidal wave, I realized what Canada had finally become; especially Ontario; Pedantic, quivering, Nanny State leeches, so arrogantly Narcissistic or zoned out in their politics that nothing could shake them from their Trudeaupia. What these Narcissists and slugs have said, and proudly, is that they can tolerate corruption and constitutional abuse, as long as there is a payoff. Ontario, and much of the East, has become a place for political whores and sugar-daddies. Maybe now, finally, we in the West may begin to understand why the hard core separatists in Quebec hate the Liberals so much. They have watch, for decades, as their fellow citizens have sold their souls for grants, kickbacks, and government programs, and ignored political sleeze at its worst.
Posted by: PM | 2005-05-28 10:58:05 PM
Brian. I've lost three what I thought were good friends over the last 6 months for the same reasons. I don't miss them.
MikeP. I no longer live in Alberta but I'd be prepared to come back for the next vote provided there is a party running a candidate in every riding. Alberta needs to get a realistic program for separation going. To do that you need to elect a party that will do that. How is the Separation party of Alberta doing? Are they the ones?
Posted by: John Crittenden | 2005-05-28 11:34:13 PM
"What's the big deal?"
"They're all corrupt."
"They're all the same."
"Why can't they just pass the budget and then they could criticize if they like, AFTER people get the money for their programs and whatever?"
"The only reason the conservatives are opposed to the government is to try and make trouble."
"But if we had an election then the separatists would win!"
"We shouldn't have an election until the Liberals can beat the Bloc in Quebec, since Quebecers hate the Alliance Party."
"Why does Stephen Harper have to go running to the Governer General just 'cause he can't get his way. It's not her business how government is run! She's busy with other stuff."
"Stephen Harper just wanted to embarrass the Queen in the West so people would want to separate fom British Canada."
"Stephen Harper just hates Paul Martin because Martin is more intelligent than him."
"Stephen Harper just does whatever the Pope tells him to do."
"Stephen Harper doesn't understand Canada because he hast an American mentality"
* What's the most stupid thing you've heard? *
[Winston and Russil don't count, since they've displayed their ignorance here for all to see.]
Posted by: Brian O'Neill | 2005-05-28 11:46:59 PM
"People, this is governance 101. If Canadians don't get this, we're beyond help."
I'm more afraid that they may get it, but they just don't care about it. Why should a nation of people busy filling up their MP3 players with stolen music be worried about a bit more theft and dishonesty?
Posted by: Sean | 2005-05-29 12:54:53 AM
So, we've become Canuxicans from the frozen banana republic.
We live in a CONfederation in which there hasn't been one good reason to be a part of Canada for decades; good reasons *should've* been compounding since that time! CONfederation guarantees Alberta's powerlessness over our own affairs and potential. Kyoto is an example of how the centre has excempted itself from the impact of the accord, while seeing to it that Alberta's energy sector take the impact full on.
From ethics and morals to finance and foreign policy, with the money we send to the blackhole of Canada, we could EASILY finance our own way without sovereignty-association (moving "out" but into your parent's basement).
But do we have the guts to be brave, strong and entrepeneurial in an historic sense? Or will be shrug our shoulders, cook up more of the same, and get the gov't a frozen banana republic oughta have?
Posted by: wharold | 2005-05-29 1:37:23 AM
In response to the comments by Mr. Brian O'Neill - I cannot agree more with what you have said. Simply because Ontario is allowed more seats in the House of Commons, we are stuck with a corrupt, power-hungry and dirty government. I see today in the news that the Liberals are actually leading (!!!) in some sort of poll recently conducted -- whether the poll would work out similar at the real polls is always up for debate -- but do people in Ontario have such small memories that they do not remember the Gomery Inquiry (which Paul Martin will succesfully keep putting off a vote until everyone forgets about this debacle), and bribery in order to maintain power -- or perhaps are they just too stupid?
I strongly believe Alberta must seperate, for our own good, but we do need a party that will lead us there and gain support.
Posted by: Chris McQuid | 2005-05-29 1:59:35 AM
The Gomery inquiry may be the first instance of a report that has been forgotten before even being issued.
Why did Liberal support go down during the Brault testimony, then go back up? This is something I can't understand. If you found out on Friday that your accountant had robbed you blind, would you trust him to manage your savings by next Thursday? The astonishing answer from Mr. and Mrs. Canada seems to be, "Let's give him another chance. He meant well."
Posted by: surly | 2005-05-29 3:20:38 AM
I wonder if this moral malaise of Canadians with regard to the federal gov't (contradicting their oft-repeated self-assertion of moral superiority in the world) has anything to do with the fact that Canada is no longer a democracy but is an oligarchy - and our federal gov't is not in the control of Canadians. That is - do Canadians feel so alienated from Ottawa, so powerless to do anything - that they emotionally act 'immune' to its corruption?
I've said it often enough - Canada inadvertently set itself along the path to an oligarchy, and a corrupt oligarchy, a generation ago, when it defined itself, idealistically rather than realistically, as a bilingual nation, and insisted that governance must be bilingual.
After one generation, the result is reality rather than ideal. We are not a bilingual nation and never will be. Of the 80% who are anglophone, only 10% of that ratio are able to move into the major governance positions. Effectively, we have alienated, deprived, cut off - the majority of the population from having any control over the federal governance. They remain forever, 'viewers' rather than integral participants. They remain backbenchers, or working in outposts, ..whatever the lowest levels are and are never members of the upper level of government.
This is actually a tribal governance, for, in a small population, what develops is a self-organized closed set of people who self-select members. It becomes in-grown, self-referential and corrupt - exactly what we are seeing in the Gomery Inquiry.
And that's exactly what we are seeing in the Canadian population. They have no sense of any right, desire, ability, duty..whatever the word...of interaction with the Ottawa scene. It is completely alien to them. It is something 'They' i.e., someone else, does.
Now, if you criticize this democratic imbalance, you are labelled as 'anti-French', as a bigot, a racist, whatever. So, Canadians, who have been told that they are 'tolerant', say nothing about this reality. And, since they have no power among that oligarchic group - they acknowledge this by turning their backs on the situation.
How does one deal with such a situation? Our structure of governance, unlike, for example, the Australian system, the US system, has set up Canadian governance as primarily one of patronage rather than electoral. We have invested the PMO's office with almost unlimited powers. No checks, no balances. The PMO's office appoints the upper house, judges, the G-G, appoints the heads of the major business and public industries run by the gov't (and Canada runs by public rather than private industries)..and as we now see...that same PMO ignores the constitution, precedent and effectively, does what it wants.
This structure, which again is quite tribal, gives enormous powers to the unelected officers and the unaccountable acts of the PMO. Therefore, we have two structural problems. One, is that about 75% of the population are confined to a lower level of political power because of the bilingual requirement. Two, is the fact that most of the key government positions are unelected and patronage appointments.
Now - if you are a student in political science 101, it is easy to see that this infrastructure is the best, the most efficient system of dictatorship possible. You don't even need a military. You remove the power of the majority of the population; they cannot move into powerful positions and they remain 'backbenchers'. Then, you set up a system where almost 100% of the key authoritative economic, judicial and gov't positions are appointed by ONE OFFICE - the PMOs office. A dictatorship. Neat and simple.
Since the Canadian economy churns along regardless of the corrupt oligarchy in Ottawa, due to one factor only - the consumption of all our goods by the USA - then, the corruption in Ottawa has little immediate effect on Canadian citizens.
There is no need for a military repression. Propaganda by the Liberal media smooths out questions and concerns.
How do people deal with a corrupt oligarchy like this? I think it will take the rage, and I mean the word, of the West, for any changes to take place. That rage will embolden Quebec rage. The only remedy is a bold restructuring of Canada.
Decentralization is vital, with the federal gov't stripped of most of its powers, which devolve to the provinces/regions.
An elected Senate. End of patronage judges who, if nominated, must undergo scrutiny.
End of the Ottawa controlled corporations.
Two tiered health care.
End of bilingualism.
End of gun registry.
etc... The point is, the centralization that has enabled a small oligarchy to control the federal governance must be broken.
Posted by: ET | 2005-05-29 7:33:19 AM
What makes anyone hear believe that Alberta alone would be much different than Canada? Does anyone think that the Premier's office is any less powerful within its realm than the PMO?
As for the argument that Alberta can afford to go it alone, has anyone crunched the numbers from the last budget? Alberta spends MORE per capita than any other province. If there is a fiscal conservative in the provincial cabinet, they have little or no impact on the rest.
Health care reform is another place where reform will not come from Alberta. Its simple -- necessity is the mother of all invention and we don't have the necessity.
In reality, the Progressive Conservative government in Alberta today is little different than the Liberal government in Ottawa. This includes preferring to spend money rather than return in to taxpayers. And it includes the modus operandi of every decision emanating from the leader's office.
So, while I might support separation since I no longer feel much allegiance to the concept of Canada, I don't see much hope for better governance unless changes are made in Alberta. Its the same system with the same lack of separation of powers and the same lack of checks and balances. The Westminster model, as applied in Canada, needs to be altered significantly if better governance is to occur. And that, my friends, is never chatted about in Alberta.
Posted by: Mad Eye Moody | 2005-05-29 8:33:47 AM
Notice all the comments have been removed from Mindless in Ottawa's post on Born again Christians. Must be us right wing fanatics.
Posted by: MikeP | 2005-05-29 8:53:18 AM
German 'chancellor-in-waiting' was award-winning Communist
By Tony Paterson in Berlin
Angela Merkel, the woman fêted as Germany's chancellor-in-waiting, was an award-winning Communist in her youth whom the Stasi secret police tried to recruit as an agent.
Lift up our eyes; look at Germany today.
Despair is not enough.
What is to be done?
Listen to the message from ET. ET is not an alien message. Act on this message. Despair is cowardly.
Long live freedom and democracy.
"Say not the struggle naught availeth ...
But westward, look, the land is bright."
Arthur H. Clough (1819-1861)
Posted by: maz2 | 2005-05-29 9:28:59 AM
I agree with ET about Canada becoming more and more oligarchic, and I think enforced bilingualism is a huge problem, too. But I think of oligarchy as more like the corruption of moneyed interests.
One thing about the Gliberals huge spending spree and desparate attempts to get people to cross over or abstain from voting is the absolute DESPARATION of it all.
They are so terrified of an election that they'll just toss another 4.6 billion in the budget, promise everyone the moon, put a bimbo in charge of HRDC. Etc etc.
And then when they win a non-conf. vote only because the speaker of the house broke a tie, they act like its VE day, like they just saved the Empire or something.
It is really bizarre and so out of scale to apparent reality.
I mean, almost all polls predicted that the Glibs would win another minority. For sure the BQ would gain in Quebec, but then the MSM spin would have been how "Harper supported the Bloc!"
Even if the Glibs had a smaller minority than now, there's no way that the G-G would have let the CPC form a government, unless they got the official support of the BQ, which would probably be the best thing for the Glibs in the long run.
It makes no sense that they were THAT terrified of an election. Unless they had something to hide much much worse than anything so far. How else to explain it? Stronach's connections to the oligarchic class only ad more conspiritorial fuel to the mix.
It seems that the Glibs are absolutley desparate to prevent any kind of scrutiny of "da books" or having to make any kind of genuine promise of real structural reform in government - the kind of thing that would be expected in an election in this climate.
Am I paranoid?
Does it make sense for the Glibs to go THAT far just to postpone an election for a few months or even for a year?
Posted by: Brian O'Neill | 2005-05-29 9:32:46 AM
Maybe you should all go to:
Read the platform, and if you agree sign up, 10 bucks plus a stamp.
Talking is one thing, action is another. I've signed up as well as everyone around me. Enough is enough. There membership, in the last few months has swelled unbelievably.
Posted by: rob | 2005-05-29 9:36:57 AM
ET: "The Canadian population [has] no sense of any right, desire, ability, duty..whatever the word...of interaction with the Ottawa scene. It is completely alien to them. It is something 'They' i.e., someone else, does."
Yes, I agree. I've also noticed that the people who exhibit that attitude the most (the shrugged shoulders - "they're all the same" etc) also tend to be the most reflexively patriotic.
By reflexively patriotic, I mean completley uncomprehending of Quebec separatist sentiment or western alienation. The kind of people who get all choked up and maudlin once a year about "the vets gave their lives for our freedom" (don't misunderstand - nothing wrong with that) but NEVER VOTE.
The kind of people who plaster maple leafs all over their bodies at hockey games, but don't know who their MP is.
The ones who go around saying, "we've got the greatest health care system in the world!" without knowing anything about the rest of the world except for the American TV shows they watch every night. (Even then, they should realize that the average indigent "E.R." patient, at Chicago's "County General", receives treatment that most Canadians can only dream of). Etc. Etc.
I think it's undeniable that the average Albertan or Western or Quebec separatist has a much better understanding of Ottawa (Parliament, the federal budget, fed. legislation, the Senate etc) than the average Canadian.
That is one of the reasons that it seems virtually inevitable that Canada will be 2, 3, or 4 separate nations within a generation.
And why no-one can get anywhere in federal politics unless they first publicly subscribe to all the "accepted" points-of-view: 100% "pro-choice", Ottawa over the provinces, "a nation of peacekeepers". "tolerance" above all ... ad nauseum.
Posted by: Brian O'Neill | 2005-05-29 10:01:59 AM
In reply to Brian- yes, the oligarchy IS moneyed interests. It's the PowerCorp/Desmarais cartel - and Magma Corp!
What has happened is that the Canadian political system, which is structurally completely amenable to corruption because it operates almost entirely by patronage rather than election and has no checks/balances or accountability, has been taken over by a non-elected financial/economic cartel. The Liberal Party, at the moment, is its political wing.
The point is, whichever political party forms the gov't has to be run by this cartel. This means (1)the party has to be capable of enough seats to be defined as the gov't and; (2)the key people in that power must be members of the Cartel.
In case 1, this removes the NDP and Bloc. In case 2, the problem is Harper. He is not corruptible, and, even though I suspect that Belinda Stronach was moved into the CPC by the Cartel to (a) win the CPC leadership; and then (b) try to get rid of Harper so she could take over....both of these as situations where the Cartel figured that the Liberals might lose the next election...and needed the CPC as "Their Boys up Front'.
The Cartel failed to get Stronach in power in the CPC - so- their agenda now is to maintain the Liberals in power. They have moved Stronach over to the Liberals, to parade around as The Blond Dish With a Heart. Meanwhile, they will paint the CPC as 'aligned with separatistes/terrorists' (just watch them start this campaign...)...They are now starting a campaign of aligning the CPC with 'activist Christians'.
You know, as I keep saying, the Bloc are elected representatives of Canadians. For the Liberal Party to say - We don't like your ideology and therefore, we refuse to interact with you - is a denial of the electorate of Quebec. Of course, it's also a hypocritical denial of the Canadian Liberal crap about tolerance, getting along and blah blah. However, we all know that the Liberals aren't interested in separation or unity or anything. Only in - who controls the gov't. Period.
So- the campaign has started. The Cartel want the Liberals to win; they have given up on thinking that they can take over the CPC. They are ignoring the Bloc and marginalizing them completely...by aligning the Bloc and CPC together.
They are focusing on the Maritimes and Ontario..and probably BC, for their votes.
Now, if we had electoral representation as in Australia, where the elected Senate has 12 seats per region/province..or like the US with its 2 senators per state..etc.. then, the Liberals would not be able to maintain the kind of control over the country that they now can. But, with seat-heavy Ontario..they can do what they want.
OK - so- why is it so necessary for the Liberals to maintain power? Because the Cartel has given up on the CPC; they can't, yet, infiltrate it. They won't bother with the Bloc because it's confined to Quebec and won't bother with the NDP because it has a threshold strength. So- for THEM to maintain their economic and financial power, they have to control the federal gov't, because their financial dealings are big time international, and require political lobbying, international deals etc. So- they have to control the federal gov't.
I'm saying that such corruption, where a non-elected corporate cartel controls the federal gov't, couldn't happen in Australia or the US - No matter how much the leftists scream about 'corporate America' - what we've done in Canada, inadevertently and completely hidden from public knowledge - is to hand over our gov't completely to a private Cartel. Only in Canada.
Now - that's scary.
Posted by: ET | 2005-05-29 10:02:37 AM
Rob: "Maybe you should all go to:
What am I gonna do? I live in Manitoba!
Maybe I can get a government grant to move to Alberta... I'll say I'm going there to promote Canadian unity. Like all those ROC-ers that were bussed into Quebec just before the referendum to tell Q'ers how much they are luuuuuuvvd.
Posted by: Brian O'Neill | 2005-05-29 10:04:53 AM
You seem to be caught in the middle. I know there's a party in Sask., but am not sure about Manitoba.
Only reason I mentioned it is because this has to be approached on multiple fronts, kind of a parallel thing, much like how the Librano$ scam cash. If Harper wins the next election, then support for separation will fall anyway, but if he losses, we must be ready. We know there coming after us with kyoto etc., and to do nothing will put us in the same position as NEP.
Move here, all conservatives are welcome, and the economy is red hot. To many mosquitos were your are anyway.. ;-)
Posted by: rob | 2005-05-29 10:15:07 AM
Rob - here's the problem - the Separation party will steal votes from the Klein "conservatives", perhaps allowing the provincial liberals to steal up the middle, acquire government and proceed to wreck Alberta, as they have done to every other province.
So perhaps a two-pronged strategy is in order - support the Separation Party AND those few within the Provincial conservatives who support the firewall or even more direct action (ie separation), that way you can get rid of Martin's puppet klein (yeah, he protests but he always delivers for Martin, not to mention the NDP modelled budgets).
The result is, hopefully, a takeover of the provincial conservatives by those who have had enough of the harmful farce Canadian federalism represents, which is in a position to actually deliver on separation (or sovreignty association - I just couldn't resist throwing that in, although its clear that Alta is not in this as a ploy to extort goodies as much of the Quebec sovreignty movement is). Maybe Morton is the one to deliver on this, with pressure to deliver provided by the Separation Party as an alternative, notwithstanding the attempts to derail the process by federal corruption of the mandate of individual office holders and parties...
The challenge then, is to institute a credible sovreigntist alternative that does not allow the provincial commies to sneak up the middle by vote splitting, wrecking Alberta while sovereignty is arranged.
BUT even the rise of a credible separation movement in Alta should cause the self-appointed guardians of conferation in Ontario to (i) panic and (ii), more importantly, stop thwarting the legitimate contribution to governing that the West is entitled to (in other words, the prospect of Alta separation might force the morons in Ontario to cede power to oppressed other regions in the country - picture that - Ontarians voting responsibly!).
What do you think? I write from the eastern USA, so I don't have local knowledge but it seems the real challenge in Alta independence is building momentum (the argument is favor of independece is overwhelming) without engineering a ruinous left-wing government through vote-splitting.
Posted by: SEchappe | 2005-05-29 10:16:09 AM
As much as I am pessimistic about Canada's long term prospects as a nation, no serious separatist movement is going to get off the ground until it is endorsed (or led) by some widely respected federalist politician (or prominent provincial politician).
I wish I knew more about EXACTLY what it was that finally tipped the Liberal Levesque and the Conservative Bouchard to take then irreversible public step into the separatist camp. i.e. The straw that broke the camel's back. The tipping point.
[Notes for political neophytes:
René Lévesque (1922-87) served in the Quebec National Assembly (1961-67) as a member of the Liberal party. He left the party in 1967 and in 1968 founded the Parti Québécois. 1976, PQ won provincial election, and Lévesque became premier.
Lucien Bouchard (b.1938). A lawyer and a political ally of Brian Mulroney , Bouchard served under him as Canada's ambassador to France (1985-88) and environment minister (1989-90). In 1990 he broke with Mulroney and the PC party over the failed Meech Lake Accord and formed the Bloc Québécois. In 1993, Bouchard & BQ became the official opposition. He resigned from parliament in 1996 to become Quebec's premier and leader of the PQ. He resigned as premier and party leader early in 2001.]
Posted by: Brian O'Neill | 2005-05-29 10:17:47 AM
The first step we need to take in Alberta is to get Klein out. The second is to get Morton in, which isn't gonna be easy as he doesnt have much name recognition yet and we know Jim Dinning has corporate Alberta on his side. So as many people as possible have to take out membership in the Alberta Conservatives so that you can vote for Morton in the next leadership campaign. This is a must. Thats a good first start. Then we can start putting pressure on Ottawa. So any Albertans reading this, start talking to your friends and emailing them and lets get going on this. Thats my suggestion for now. Now back to diggin post holes.
Posted by: MikeP | 2005-05-29 10:31:10 AM
Brian - I agree that a charismatic figure is useful, and would be indispensible if the argument in favor of independence was not so overwhelming. Such a person will appear within a credible independence organization or be drawn to it once it is running. The key is to start building the independence option now, so that anger over the latest serial injustice, corruption or idiocy emanating from Ottawa has a place to be expressed other than detachment from the political system.
The mere rise of an organized independence movement will force the Alberta / provincial conservatives to be more aggressive in federal relations, implementing the firewall and more, because their political base will erode if they don't.
So starting now has merit even if there is no charismatic figure in the party for the short term. In the long term, Albertans will be free, or free-er and ther cabal that really runs things in Ottawa will be permanently diminshed.
Accordingly, that long promised but never delivered "liberty for all Canadians" lies in the rise of a credible western independence movement.
Posted by: SEchappe | 2005-05-29 10:33:46 AM
Your exactly right, we are pushing for Morton to replace Klein in the background, and hope that he succeeds. Klein, like you say, talks the talk, and then collapses on the last day. If Morton were to replace him, all the people currently moving to the separation party, would move back, but still retain there cards.
Posted by: rob | 2005-05-29 10:35:27 AM
Yes, I further agree with Brian - we are trapped in The Canadian Rhetoric.
We have no real, grounded identity. Nothing that we can actually point to, a reality, and say - "that's us". Nothing. Instead, we tell tales about ourselves. These are almost completely false, completely ungrounded in any reality.
We are a Fictional Nation. I mean that. Our ideologies are pure fiction -
We are NOT tolerant; our virulent and immature anti-Americanism is basic proof #1 of that; our locking diversity into the balkan ghettoes of multiculturalism is #2, our anti-Christianity is #3.
We are NOT peacekeepers. We were, a generation ago; we do NOTHING anymore, anywhere, except pontificate.
Our health care is NOT the best; it's among the worst. Our job creation is a mess; who is the biggest source of new jobs, ever, in Canada - it's the gov't, the public service. So, we taxpayers are paying taxes to hire more of us. We don't develop private enterprise.
We are invisible on the world scene - economically, politically, intellectually.
Now- since we are all members of the same world species, 'homo sapiens', then - the problem has to be with how we organize ourselves. Our political system removes power from the electorate and reduces them to passive recipients of a centralist, welfare-state type of gov't. This welfare governance is a front, I maintain, for the Cartel..which actually bleeds off the major economic abilities of this nation.
What I'm trying to say is that - most Canadians lead a middle class life. This is NOT due to any innovative, entrepreneurial competitive economic actions of Canadians...as it is in the US or Australia. It is due to keeping Canadians at a 'common demoninator' standard, a medium average standard of living. The way this standard can be maintained..is due to the fact that our economy is fortuitously bonded to the USA. Anything we make, no matter how mediocre, is purchased by the USA. We need not compete, innovate, act as entrepreneurs.
Now - this 'glued average-standard economy' maintains Canadians as 'average-standard' in life style.
But- how come, how come..with all the resources of this country...how come our standards have remained the same..and Canada hasn't burst on the world with an explosive economy? How come the standard of living..remains the same? What has gone wrong?
It's because we have a separate economic level, which is NOT open to the average Canadian. This separate economic level is the private domain of the Cartel. It IS competitive, international, entrepreneurial, BUT, BUT...the competitive reality..is drastically reduced, because the Cartel has moved into and controls the political system. It controls the federal gov't. So- the federal gov't sees to it that no other major industries move into the Cartel's domain. It sees to it that no other major businessmen move into take over any alliances, any international agreements.
It is due to the fact that the Cartel keeps most Canadians OUT of the highly competitive international competitive arena; it retains this lucrative but competitive and cutthroat arena for itself. And it succeeds in its business because it has the gov't prevent other Canadian businesses from competing with the Cartel.
So, what I'm muddling with...is that Canadians are kept quiet and somnabulant within a centralist gov't that maintains them, by virtue only of the USA as consumer neighbour, in an average standard of living. BUT - The big time economic activity is KEPT OUT OF the average Canadian's hands; the average Canadian has no access to big time economic activity. That's the domain of the Cartel. The Cartel uses the federal gov't to ensure its control over the big time economic activities...
The chinks in this delicious Russian-style Cartel empire?
The health care is a mess...so..the tactic is not to give more powers to the provinces, for that would reduce federal power..and to reduce federal power is also to reduce Cartel power.
Hah..so..the Cartel will fight like mad to retain federal centralist power in Canada. So- the tactic to shut up the provinces? Fling money at them. More and more. To shut them up. But, there must be NO decentralization...for that would cause the Cartel to lose power...and it might enable more Canadians to enter the big time economic scene. The Cartel doesn't want competition.
Another chink? The increase in population in the West, and thus, its 'awakening' and its rejection of centralist control. How to deal with this? First- the Cartel can afford to ignore it, because the West doesn't have the parliamentary seats. So, it will concentrate on Ontario. It HAS to maintain Ontario and the Maritimes, in order to retain power. So, it will fling money at both.
Another result? The gradual impoverishment of Canada. Maintaining everyone at an 'average standard of living' isn't enough..especially when the standard is not rising and is becoming more costly. And - when Canada's population increase requires MORE big business entrepreneurs. The Cartel won't permit anyone else on the scene. But, Canada requires more of its citizens to move into the wealthy level. What's going to happen?
I admit - I don't know. I think that decentralization is the only viable option, but it will be one hell of a fight.
Posted by: ET | 2005-05-29 10:39:29 AM
If I didn't have family commitments I'd leave Manitoba in a heartbeat.
One good thing about living in Manitoba, especially Winnipeg, is I that think it helps to understand Canada better than if one lived in most of the rest of the country. Because we really are "in the middle" in almost every way.
The electoral breakdown here is more "balanced" than anywhere in the ROC:
7 Conservatives (Bezan, Fletcher, Mark, Pallister, Smith, Toews, Tweed)
4 Dippers (Blaikie, Desjarlais, Martin, Wasylycia-Leis)
3 Glibs (Alcock, Neville, Simard)
3 Glibs (Alcock, Neville, Simard)
3 Dippers (Blaikie, Martin, Wasylycia-Leis)
2 Conservatives (Fletcher, Smith) (Though Smith is really in the rural edge of Winnipeg)
In MB we went from middle-of-road P.C. Filmon to middle-of-road.
In WPG we went from lunatic lefty whacko Glen Murray to Goldeyes owner Sam Katz.
As you can see we're really kind of marshmallowy here. I can't see anywhere in Canada so politically diverse.
So I think it's significant that MB is becoming more and more conservative, even though the no. 1 T-shirt image in Winnipeg seems to be "Che" (okay...a mild exaggeration).
Posted by: Brian O'Neill | 2005-05-29 10:53:28 AM
Are you ready for a fight? ... start taking action that will contribute to change. Join the movement, wherever you are for decentralization. In any fight, to be effective, it has to have a strategy that includes a lot of different scenarios. This includes failure by the CPC, and there must be a counter to that failure. The time to prepare for it is now, not after the fact.
Posted by: rob | 2005-05-29 10:54:16 AM
Right on ET. Decentralization is the answer which is why I keep hammering away on getting Klein out here in Alberta, and someone in with the gumption to stand up to Ottawa. I think Alberta has the leverage already. Tell Ottawa to keep their health care funding, we are gonna do our thing. Tell them there is no way SSM is coming to Alberta. Period. You dont like it. So sue us. Get the firewall going, get our own police force, collect our taxes and whatever else it takes. It might mean putting our nose to the grindstone but that is nothing new for Albertans.
BTW ET have you ever considered politics?? This country desperately needs you.
Posted by: MikeP | 2005-05-29 10:59:18 AM
Just emailed Morton for tips on how we can help advance his cause.
Posted by: rob | 2005-05-29 11:06:04 AM
Since this is The Western Standard and not Alberta Report, I hope no-one will mind me going on a bit more about Manitoba.
I don't really advocate separatism, but...
I'm originally from Belfast, Northern Ireland. I have British and Irish passports.
Emotionally I couldn't really care less whether N.I. is a province of the UK, or part of the Rep. of Ireland, or independant for that matter.
I just don't have that kind of nationalist mindset.
For most of my life I've been all in favour of a British Northern Ireland, because it's the will of the majority, and I had more respect for British institutions and laws than I did for the REp. of Ireland's. But I definitely felt more of a kinship with Free Staters (i.e. Southerners - in-joke for Aiden) than I did with English, Scots, Welsh etc.
What has tipped the scales there, for me, is 25 years of jokers like John Major and Tony Blair (and no hope on the horizon), the increasing yobbism of British youth, the increasingly absurd "Cool Brittania" campaign to throw out a millenia of tradition in favour of trendy social engineering (Theodore Dalyrumple writes best about this phenomenon), and the beaurocratic nightmare specter of EU "integration" (think The Borg).
Before my feeling was like, "I don't have to be in the same country as those people just because we're all Irish. We have a different history nad culture." etc
Now I'm thinking, "The only things that made sense about being British, the English are tossing it all in the garbage."
I see Canadian separatism in the same way...
[To Be Continued]
Posted by: Brian O'Neill | 2005-05-29 11:10:15 AM
Manitoba was still part of the west the last time I looked.. ;-)
Europe is a very good parallel. One will always try to be dominate. It's that power struggle that causes the problem. The British, French, and Germans have always tried to be the dominate force, what makes anyone thing that trend won't continue. After the euphoria of the union has subsided, there will be claims of unfairness which will start the ball rolling. I'm putting my odds on the French to make the first move, then if things get hot, throw up the white flag, as per usual.
Posted by: rob | 2005-05-29 11:27:53 AM
Before when I asked Winnipegers "Why shouldn't the west be independent?", the number one response was,
can you guess?
"But Canada is multicultural."
WESTERN CANADA WOULD ALSO BE MULTICULTURAL
That's the best they can come up with, 133 years after MB joined Canada?
Other people would get really aggressive. "Fuck off back to where you came from if you don't appreciate all the freedom we gave you in Canada!"
(Hmmm... I thought immigrants were supposed to be thanked for bringing their skills and culture to improve Canada. And BTW, I'm from the UK not Upper Volta or some pissant pigsty banana republic)
These days most people just shrug their shoulders and say "whatever, pass me a beer."
Even the one's who get upset just make silly reamrks like, "Oh yeah! Dude! I's like to see ALberta leave and try to run a country with all those rednecks., and then kick the door in their faces when they come begging back to Canada. Hnuck! Hnuck! Hnuck!"
So that's what I see from here in Canada's mushy middle. Canadian pride seems to consist mostly of acting like an ass at hockey games and calling George W. a moron.
I predict that slowly slowly (until the camel's back breaks) more and more Westerners wil start to just say "Canada, whatever."
Posted by: Brian O'Neill | 2005-05-29 11:40:39 AM
"In MB we went from middle-of-road P.C. Gary Filmon to middle-of-road Gary Doer. (Even Gary is a middle-of-the-road name.)"
Posted by: Brian O'Neill | 2005-05-29 11:42:28 AM
Peter Black's Take on Quebec Affairs
is the producer of CBC Radio's Breakaway program, based in Quebec City, a columnist on Canadian affairs, and a freelance writer.
Black's previous columns are archived HERE.
The prodigal Lib
It would be pretty easy for a lot of people - including, we suspect, some MPs and ministers in Paul Martin's government - to be upset, outraged or confused by the federalist rehabilitation of Bloc Québécois founding member and later anti-Chretien dirt-leaking mole Jean Lapierre.
Jean Lapierre, now Martin's deputy-prime minister
was a founding member of the Parti Quebecois, along with L. Bouchard.
Posted by: maz2 | 2005-05-29 11:43:33 AM
ET: Smack on post. Separation will be a difficult thing to acheive though, because the Liberals and Socialists in Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and BC, are terrified of going it alone. They see the Federal bank dollars and can't imagine living without them. What will have to happen, is that Socialists in the West will have to catch the wave too. They'll have to genuinely realize that a Western concept of Canada would not be as right-wing as they imagine, because there are a lot of Liberal Socialists in the West. Come to think of it, a Western Canada would be very balanced politically.
To those who complain that the Alberta PC are a mini Liberal Government, as far as power and control; just keep in mind that any change to Western independance will require massive rewriting of government. I can't see anyone out here allowing governance rules and regs (constitutions) that would allow us to ever become what Canada has become.
As for me, I have now become a Westerner who supports the Bloc. The fastest track to the destruction of the Canadian Pig Trough is through Quebec separation. I think that Westerners should be reaching out to the Bloc, and supporting it. We've been slagging the Bloc for too long; maybe now we'll understand how hard core Quebec Separatists feel. They've had to watch their fellows being bought off again and again by Liberal corruption, and now they've discovered that the Liberals robbed the last Quebec referendum. In many ways, begrudgingly, we must realize that they are our allies. It's not them shoving French down our throats, it's the Liberal thinkers who realize what a powerful tool for control the bilingual concept is. Any watching the integrity and honesty with which Duceppe operates, has got to see him as a potential friend. I have never heard him or read of him slagging the west... he hits hard only at Liberals.
Posted by: PM | 2005-05-29 11:52:03 AM
You won't get that answer here. For years it's been complacency, but with the events in the last year, the answer has now become "Were do I go? What do I do?".
The left likes to project that somehow it's not on the rise, but on the talk shows, it ultimately is always brought up or becomes the topic. In places and circles I frequent, it's "How come we waited this long?" "When are we going to start doing something?"
Posted by: rob | 2005-05-29 11:53:03 AM
I agree with a lot of what was said above. The change in Alta government, without voting the Liberals in. Getting someone in who will really stand up for Alberta etc. Just one coment though about what it would take to wake up the average joe in Ontario. Let's talk about how all this spending is going to impact their interest rates, the mortgage goes up, the credit cards interest rates go up, the government interest on debt goes up. They are all sitting back saying "what the heck if the government has the money let them spend it." Wait til their mortgage payment jumps by a couple hundred, maybe that will get their attention. I am no economist but I'm betting all this spending is somehow tied to interest rates down the road.
Posted by: Eavon | 2005-05-29 11:53:26 AM
Your right PM, the bloc has my full support. They were robbed in that referendum, and like you say, the bilingual has cost us billions, and achieved nothing.
ET's plan, which I've read here a few times would be the saviour, but Southern ON would never accept it.
Posted by: rob | 2005-05-29 12:03:53 PM
Tim Belford: Short Takes On Life
Tim Belford is host of Quebec A.M. -- CBC Radio's popular English- language morning show (91.7 FM, 6-9, Mon.-Fri). He also is said to know a thing or three about wine.
Politics: It's about stuffing envelopes, eh?
The old adage that people who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones has come back to me a lot lately.
It's one of the reasons I've been pretty muted in my criticism of the parade of Liberal bagmen and ad types that have kept the Gomery Commission on the front pages.
You see, I've been there.
That's right. Much to my shame I have to confess I've been on the receiving end of the cash-stuffed liberal envelope.
I've been part of the sleeze. I wallowed in the mud with the best of them.
And before the Gomery Commission comes looking for me I've decided to sing like a bird, or at least like Jean Brault.
Cash $500.00 in brown envelope in 1970.
From the Liberal$.
Could this confession mean that millions of Canadians are complicit/involved in outright bribery for votes and other electoral crimes? Could this guilt be a reason for their rejection of Stephen Harper's message?
Veritas odit moras. (Seneca) Truth hates delay.
Posted by: maz2 | 2005-05-29 12:05:01 PM
SE chappe has some valuable advice for us; the only effective way to change things is from the inside out, not from the outside in. Get some good conservatives with a STRONG constitution to infilterate the ND and Lib Parties - ask the yellow haired gal in paules party for 'good advice', just kidding!! Or am I?
All Westerners should learn French and Spanish - Spanish first because it sounds a lot nicer and is a lot more valuable in North America. French and Spanish are gramatically the same, both have very small vocabularies so English speaking people find it simple to understand - there are very few synonymns in Spanish and French. Quebec French is much like ROC English - just basic English with a limited vocabulary and lots of swearing. Skip the 'gutter language' because no one with anything to say uses it.
In this country it is never related how government money is generated by the citizens who WORK here. The number one issue that would really hit home is the RIGHT to own property. The RIGHT to own property is the issue that kept the U.S.A. from comming apart during the Civil War. Property is not 'people' (as Mr. Lincon says so well in the Gettysburg Address) - Slavery was never the issue but it was the only 'good' issue the North had. The Southern people were land owners and it was not the big plantation owners who fought that war, it was the small independant farmers. State ownership of people (China/Soviet/Cuba style) is the same as slavery because people have nothing to call their own and are therefore 'helpless'. When a country takes ownership of childern we are indeed in deep trouble - state run babysitting is state run brainwashing. All tyrants know this - a child who is taught that he owns nothing all day (not even his time) will never have respect for Conservative values that respect individual ownership and rights. Bring on the specter of immigrants sharing the homes of canadian people -for ever - hack up some of those big houses and use the space for 'others' who need a place to live. It is in the books, once the 'knuckledraggers' out west are taxed out - the Liberal supporters are next... THE RIGHT to own property is the only way to stop LEGAL home invasion. Getting rid of the Lib?ND left wing wackos ifs the only way to stop state slavery in Canada.
Posted by: Jema54 | 2005-05-29 12:51:35 PM
Look, if Alberta becomes a US state, look at what you immediately get: elected Senators, a strong military, constitutionally protected gun ownership, total dismissal of Kyoto, lower taxes, the whole of US markets to compete for, and the opportunity to be citizens of a country that respects rednecks and makes them president, rather than seeing them as a perjorative. (I'm from Texas, remember?)
Sure, you still have to fight for these rights, but you fight to defend them, not to try to acquire them.
And what have you lost? You still geographically live in exactly the same place. All of your friends and relatives still visit as much as anyone wants. You still keep your customs and traditions. (You've seen how the South stands up for Confederate statues, and so forth. We haven't erased our history.)
Why not have exploratory, back-channel conversations with America, you know, just kick around ideas to get a sense of what's what?
Captain's Quarters shows that getting Americans to assist you is not difficult. What better leverage are you ever going to get against the cartel and their political party?
ET, I think you should collect all your Shotgun posts on bilingualism and the Canadian problem for those who would like an education on the subject.
Posted by: Greg outside Dallas | 2005-05-29 1:00:51 PM
Already exploring that option, you also have to take into account 1/6th of the population here is American.
All options have to be on the table for discussion no matter if the people think there to radical or not. It never hurts to see what would benefit the region the most.
I personally like the idea of becoming a state, it seems to be everything were all asking for anyway.
Posted by: rob | 2005-05-29 1:34:32 PM
I agree with PM; the west has to reach out to the Bloc. Not simply the CPC but the West. That's vital. Why?
Notice what the PMO/Liberals/Cartel (PLC) are doing at the moment; they are defining the Bloc as 'terrorists'. It isn't as crazy as it sounds. We're dealing with emotions, with images, with half-formed concepts. How is the PLC doing this? By linking the term 'separatistes' which is not, in itself, a problem, but it is when linked to the admonition that these Bloc people have on agenda; they are out to 'destroy Canada'. Get it?
Notice that any reference in parl't and by the Liberals to the Bloc and Quebecers as 'our fellow Canadians', is gone. That's what puzzled me. They've redefined Quebecers as all members of the Bloc, and have redefined the Bloc as having only ONE agenda.
So, when you set up a 'term' (separatiste) as having one frightening and destructive meaning (destroy Canada), then, given the rhetoric and hot-topic images of our current war era - the separatistes become our home-grown terrorists. Out to destroy the country.
Then, you link the CPC with the Bloc..and you've got quite the scary scenario. Especially when you add in religion to the soupmix. And that's exactly what the PLC are doing; they really are quite clever. Have you noticed the recent MSM blurbs about 'activist Christians' taking over the CPC ridings?
The Cartel/Liberals have set up a link between:
destruction of country AND religious fundamentalism AND the CPC.
These are the hot images of the day, and people won't even realize that they've been bamboozled into imagizing the CPC as our very own Bin Laden.
I'm serious. Watch for more of this imagery.
So- the West has to get very very close to Quebec and the Bloc. In fact, since I'm saying that decentralization is the only answer to the mess of this country, I'll also venture to say that it's up to the West. Why? Because Quebec tried decentralization, but only as itself. What that set up was a 'favoured nation' infrastructure - and - the framework of our present corruption.
Hoping to deal with 'separatism', the federal gov't made the utterly stupid decision that 'gosh and golly, we'll all become just like Quebecers'. And instituted official bilingualism, which has to be one of the most stupid tactics to promote national unity possible. Enforced homogenization of a vastly spread out population...where 80% of the population never, ever, use/hear/read/ the language. Unbelievable. The result was inevitable - the loss of democracy as the electorate lost control of parliament.
But, Quebec has reached a threshold beyond which it cannot go. When it rumbles about separation, the feds simply fling money and special deals (health care) at it to shut it up. I don't think it can go beyond this threshold, and the majority don't want a separate nation but a 'new deal'.
I'm also against separation of the west. Why? Because I think that the era of separate, self-organized nation-states ended with the two world wars. It's over. We are a global network now, made up of 'regions' that network economically and informationally. That's one basic reason also, why the globe has to all function democractically.
At any rate, I don't see separation into a nation-state for the West/Quebec. Simply because I don't agree with nation-states anymore. BUT - a vastly decentralized federation. Yes. Demoting the federal gov't to a small, small system essentially looking after communication, banks, transportation, military. Not much else. And, structurally changed..more like the Australian system.
Posted by: ET | 2005-05-29 1:37:59 PM
Alberta is not going to join the US.
Congress would never accept it.
For people who say, "What about all that oil?"
What are they going to do, steal it?
It'll be on the market regardless of Alberta's political status.
The main reason it'll never happen (Well, I mean in our lifetimes) is because Democrats would never accept it. It'll mean the death of their party. (I'm assuming they don't committ political suicide soon - which IS a possiblity, but recently it seems like the Republicans who've been sucking on their gun-barrels... [Blubbers Voinovich, the Independent Republic of McCain, etc.])
A couple of million people rejecting "Canadian Style...." Everything.
Alaska and Hawaii could only join at the same time because everyone knew that Hawii would be primarily Democratic and Alaska Republican and therefore they'd balance each other out most of the time.
Posted by: Brian O'Neill | 2005-05-29 1:43:11 PM
ET: "I don't see separation into a nation-state for the West/Quebec. Simply because I don't agree with nation-states anymore. BUT - a vastly decentralized federation. Yes. Demoting the federal gov't to a small, small system essentially looking after communication, banks, transportation, military. Not much else."
But such a devolution is NOT going to happen. Even if it did, then I guess Andrew Coyne's (was it him) comment about Ottawa becoming the province's Head Waiter would probably be proven true, and because Canayjin national identity is becoming such a shallow and superficial thing anyway, virtual separation would probably be inevitable anyway.
As for "not agreeing with nation-states" -- I guess if you were a dictator then that would be the end of that debate.
And an indepentent Western Canada WOULD be a a vastly decentralized federation.
None of the four Western provinces could dominate a federation in the way that Ontario and Quebec dominate Canada.
And none of the four would be as relatively small as Newfieland and PEI are in Canada.
Posted by: Brian O'Neill | 2005-05-29 1:52:23 PM
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