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Thursday, January 07, 2010

Harper's Teflon is Cracking - Can He Stand the Heat?

Reading the Globe and Mail this morning I was engaged by the editorials on Prorogation and Senate reform.  More particularly I was drawn to the op-ed pieces by Gary Mason and Lawrence Martin. All of these pieces connected with my theme of citizenship for 2010.

The unilateral and conniving tactical appraoch by Prime Minister Harper to use prorogation to delay  accountability of his government and defer the truth on Harper and his Ministers knew about the torture of Afghan detainees.  This is an affort to democracy as we know it.  His contempt of Parliament in stopping the business of the country in it tracks because of the Olympics and "recalibrating his government" is laughable. He presumes Candians are suckers.

As for Senate Reform the hypocracy of the Prime Minister is monumental.  He is appointing 5 more Senators to add to his personal record for such appointments to the Upper House and pandering to his base by trotting out the last old Reform policy chesnut of a elected Senate.  He is not anymore serious about this policy charade than he was about not eliminating Income Trusts.

Lawrence Martin is continuing his very dispassionate but effective pressure on the credibility and integrity of Prime Minister Harper. The Harper government is all about messaging, raw politics and personal power for Prime Minister Harper.  The sense is the teflon coating of Harper is cracking and some light is shining through and Canadians are waking up and not liking what they are seeing. 

Gary Mason's piece is such a nice complement to the edictorials and the Martin column.  We says we citizens have been indifferent and disengaged from our citizenship responsiblities for far too long. The decline of our democracy at the hands of Prime Minister Harper is the direct result. We have enormous policy problems at hand and on the horizons but the debate and discussion in Parliament and amongst politicians and people is stifled.  The lack of public outcry he says is "eerie."

All this underscores the personal energy and citizen re-engagement I am seeing in and around Reboot Alberta. Democracy is fragile and needs nurturing, even in mature states like Canada.  Alberta's democrcacy is also seriously undermined and our institutions are ill-equiped to deal with the pace, scale and intensity of change we are seeing. 

Citizens sense the political culture systems need a Reboot.  Citizens haved to retake CONtrol of their democracy.  We have to start to exercise our rights and assume our responsibilities to be informed and engaged in the politics of our times.  We need viable ALTernatives to  the current state of affairs and distructive aderserial political posturing of the Conservatives in Ottawa and Alberta.  We need to DELete a buch of politicians and policy approaches that are ideological but not practical or pragmatic in the face of current and emerging realities.

If you share some of thiese concerns, visit http://www.rebootalberta.org/ and start reading about a New Progressive approach to politics and public policy in Alberta.  If you want to start doing something about the democratic deficit and the policy approach of the conventional political parties, join in the Reboot conversations and register are part of this movement.