Contempt of parliament is a scandal; getting a massage is not

The Harperites are showing their true slimy colours by trying to make the non-story about Layton into a story.

  • Ending the long form census is a scandal. Funneling G8 money to build pretty sidewalks that aren’t anywhere near the G8 is a scandal.
  • Backing Bev Oda who lied to parliament is a scandal.
  • Shutting down parliament twice is a scandal.
  • Paying the Integrity Minister half a mill in hush money is a scandal.
  • Not telling other parliamentarians how much your American-style jail plan will cost the Canadian public is a scandal.
  • Withholding pertinent documents in the Afghan detainee affair is a scandal.
  • Having a justice Minister (Vic Toews) who is an adulterous, two-timing philanderer who spawned an out-of-wedlock child is a scandal.
  • Pre-screening every single person you meet on the campaign trail is a scandal.
  • Limiting the press to 5 questions a day is a scandal. Cutting off the funding of KAIROS is a scandal.
  • Spending less on foreign aid is a scandal.
  • Looking up to and admiring George Bush is a scandal
  • Pretending Canada weathered the global economic downturn because of something you did when it’s in fact the result of banking regulations that were put in place long before you got to Ottawa is a scandal.
  • Having such a one-sided view of the Middle East that it costs Canada a seat on the U.N. Security Council is a scandal.
  • Spending billions on jails instead of spending it on the true societal causes of crime is a scandal.
  • Letting your evangelical end-times beliefs form the basis of your foreign policy in the Middle East is a scandal…Getting a massage isn’t. Let’s use this bullshit attempt to smear Layton as a motivator to get out the vote, VOTE ABC and do it strategically.

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The most important issue of the campaign

There are many reasons to fear a Harper majority – contempt for the parliamentary process, squandering the surplus he inherited, his Republican-style of politics, the long for Census scandal, the in and out scandal, the Bev Oda debacle, the Afghan detainee scandal, etc – but one of the biggest ones has somehow managed to be largely overlooked in the campaign: the Supreme Court.

If Harper gets his coveted majority he will be in a position to name at least three new justices to the court over the course of the next four years. Harper has already been very adept at lurching Canada further to the right even though his party has only ever been in power as a minority. If Canada hands Harper the keys to the nine member Supreme Court, the damage he could do in this country could be felt for generations.

As we enter the final weekend of the campaign, every progressive must spread the word, however possible – via social media, knocking on doors, making cold calls, whatever – that Canada cannot afford to let Harper shape the Supreme Court.

The contempt of court charges and the litany of scandals don’t appear to have had much effect on the electorate. Hammering home the idea that Harper could influence for many years after he’s left office should be the ticket to convince any progressive and liberal to deny Harper his majority.

One needs only to look at America to see how George Bush nominated some far right judges to the Supreme Court and what that has done to American society. It’s a nightmare, and it’s exactly what Harper would do here if given the chance.

Vote ABC – anyone but conservatives – but do it strategically.

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Globe shocker: despite unprecedented scandals and the whiff of many more to come, the Globe endorses Stephen Harper

Like thousands of Canadians across this great country, we at Vote ABC are stunned that our nation’s so-called only national paper has endorsed Stephen Harper and the Conservatives. In the Globe’s 784 word endorsement, not one single word was devoted to the Conservatives’ dubious and odious distinction of being the only party in the history of Canada to be found in contempt of parliament.

That the Globe’s editorial board could be okay with that ugly historical fact, that it could be okay with a party and a leader who have brought the very worst of American-style politics of personal destruction to Canada, that it is okay with a leader that holds the media in disdain and only gives the press five questions a day, that it is okay with a party that saw our nation lose a coveted seat on the United Nations Security Council, that it is okay with a leader who has presided over Canada’s palpably diminishing stature on the international stage, that it could be okay with all the scandals we know about and those yet to surface, is astonishing, demoralizing and hugely disheartening.

It is beyond shameful.

But rather than let the Globe’s unthinkable endorsement of Harper get us down, let’s use it as a motivator. Let’s channel our anger and our frustration of doing every thing we humanly can in these remaining days of the election to ensure the Globe’s wishes do not come true. Let’s save the boycotts and the calls for canceled subscriptions for after the election. We’ll let them feel our rage when it impacts their bottom line. But for now, let’s harness our rage and put it to good use.

Let’s roll up our sleeves and work our asses off this weekend to show the Globe’s editors, Stephen Harper and the Conservative party that their vision of Canada is not our vision.

Vote ABC – anyone but conservative – but do it strategically. Visit Project Democracy for the latest directions for how to cast your progressive vote.

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Why do evangelical Christians in Canada vote for Conservatives and AGAINST the teachings of Jesus?

If you have wondered why evangelical Christians in Canada are the least likely to support political parties that reflect the teachings of Jesus, a recent poll in the U.S. answers that question. According to the Pew Forum, white evangelical Christians, people who claim to have a personal relationship with Jesus, who go to church every Sunday, who pray several times a day, listen to Christian music, have daily devotions, place God’s only begotten son at the centre of their lives, who claim Jesus lives in their heart and believe that the Bible is the inerrant, perfect word of God, are the very people most likely to reject the teachings of Jesus when it comes to politics.

While the Pew Forum surveyed American evangelicals, the bizarre idea that born- again Christians are not likely to support politicians that reflect the teachings of Jesus certainly seems to also apply to evangelicals here in Canada.

Issue after issue, it is amazing how religious conservatives in Canada vote for a Stephen Harper-led Conservative party whose actions directly contradict the teachings of Christ.

On dealing with crime not by dealing with the root causes of crime but instead by building more jails – how is that anything like the way Jesus taught us about how we should treat the poor and underprivileged? Would that resemble Jesus’ idea of mercy and forgiveness?

On dealing with criminals by imposing longer sentences – would Jesus adopt the evangelical position of favouring punitive justice instead of rehabilitation?

On spending billions of dollars on jet fighters instead of feeding the poor and giving medicine to sick children – is that the way Jesus would want us to deal with the less fortunate in society?

On tax breaks for wealthy corporations instead of putting money in the hands of the people who most desperately need it – how do evangelical Christians in Canada reconcile that monumental anti-Christ like move?

On waging war in Libya instead of exploring ways of dealing with situation in nonviolent, humanitarian ways – how does that reflect the message of Jesus to loving, peaceful and nonviolent?

On the possibility that Canadian armed forces knowingly passed along prisoners in Afghanistan who were likely to get tortured instead of taking every precaution that they would be treated humanely – is that the way Jesus would have wanted us to handle the situation (and would he be okay with Harper refusing to release all the documents on the Afghan detainee issue)?

On lying to other members of parliament – is that how Jesus would want our leaders to lead? On denying funding to KAIROS and other humanitarian organizations – is that something Jesus would approve of?

(On one item Harper does act very much like Jesus…hanging around with crooks. With Harper having two staff members with criminal records he does appear to follow the teachings of Jesus in that way.)

Secular conservatives in Canada are entitled to be in favour of the Conservative platforms mentioned above, but it is astonishing how religious conservatives, especially evangelical Christians who proclaim themselves to be devoted followers of Jesus, can vote for a Conservative party whose agenda goes against everything Jesus stood for.

The Pew study exposes something profoundly hypocritical in the evangelical community: that people who call themselves devout followers of the “Prince of Peace” out of one side of their mouth are also the most militaristic, pro-corporate people in the country.

Here’s our sad but true prediction. Despite a domestic and foreign policy that shows contempt for how Jesus wanted his followers to live and hijacks the core message of Chrisitianity, Conservatives will win the most seats in the nation’s most evangelical constituencies.

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Two masterful takedowns of Stephen Harper

Two great articles today that clearly illuminate what’s at stake for Canada on May 2.

First up is Haroon Siddiqui’s piece in the Toronto Star that lists the many ways that Harper has tried to make Canada look more like the United States with his whole-hearted embrace of Republican-style governance and campaign tactics.

Siddiqui:

Stephen Harper has Americanized Canada more than any prime minister in memory. Even those who disagreed with Brian Mulroney’s free trade agreement with the U.S. never accused him of Americanizing our politics, or even wanting to. What Harper has done, in fact, is to import some of the worst Republican policies and tactics.

Then there is the Winnipeg Free Press’ Francess Russell who describes the multitude of ways that prove Harper is more of an autocrat than a democrat.

Russell:

Canada’s democratic deficit has reached unprecedented heights

In order to stop Harper from moving Canada further to the right than he already has, Canadians must vote ABC – anyone but conservatives – and they must do it strategically.

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SUN TV a parade of T&A

Credit where credit is due….as much as it must have killed Tasha Kheiriddin of the National Post to write anything even remotely negative about SUN TV, she had guts to call the brand new network what it is: a non-stop parade of T&A.

Kheiriddin:

So why won’t I be watching? Because despite its virtues, Sun TV really isn’t about Hard News and Straight Talk. It’s about Hot Chicks and Sexy Outfits. And oh yes, after 5 pm, ladies, for the most part, you are dismissed.

Like cars, fashion, music, movies, TV and toxic right-wing conservative ideology, many things American eventually make their way north to Canada, and with the launch of SUN TV the official dumbing down of the news has begun in earnest.

Supporters bristled at critics who call it “Fox News North” but when it comes to T&A and skin tight outfits, SUN TV actually goes way beyond Fox in sexualizing the news.

Kheiriddin aptly summarized the entire experience as “double yuck.”

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Questions for conservatives, vol. 2

If Stephen Harper truly believes Canada is a conservative country, why is every single person he meets on the campaign pre-screened? Why is every moment of every event choreographed? Why is Harper so terrified of meeting the public? And how does Harper show anything even remotely approaching leadership when is afraid of meeting everyday Canadians?

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