At the root of the Conservative movement on both sides of the border, is the fear of Communism. In the U.S. they rallied around Joseph McCarthy, and Ronald Reagan became the poster boy for the anti-communist movement.
I read yesterday that Canada's First Nation chiefs are taking their case to the UN, and I think that's a good idea, because clearly the Harper government has overstepped their bounds.
The chiefs asked the UN to appoint a "special rapporteur" to examine whether the Harper government is dealing with the crisis in a way that meets its obligations under Canadian and international treaties concerning First Nations people. The declaration, which also calls on the federal and provincial governments to respond to communities in dire need, was added to the meeting's agenda at the last minute as the controversy over Attawapiskat grows.That story reminded me of something I had read several years ago about this party's views on Canada's Aboriginal people, and fortunately, I was able to find the piece again online. It was written by Alex Roslin, a leading Canadian investigative journalist , and was first published in Windtalker, Volume 17, Issue 12, 2000.
Under the heading: New name, old attitudes - CRCAP, Roslin warns us of what would happen if the Alliance Party was ever able to form government. And now that the Alliance Party has formed government, his predictions are coming true.
In 2000, the Reform Party underwent a name change, but kept all of their prejudices intact, justified in their mind, because of a commie threat.
So you thought the Cold War was over and communism was dead. Not according to Canada's great right hope, the Canadian Alliance. The new right-wing party believes the red menace is lurking in First Nations communities across the land, and promises to stamp it out. The Canadian Alliance, which unites Reformers and [provincial] Conservatives [Mike Harris and Ralph Klein] and has set its sights on winning the next federal election, has a platform on Aboriginal issues that promises to bring relations with Native peoples to a boil ... The new party also has an interesting view on Aboriginal self-government: it should be eliminated because it is "communistic."Jason Kenney who was handling Stockwell Day's leadership campaign, had suggested that Aboriginal self government, would be a breeding ground for Communism, and Diane Ablonczy said that
...the Canadian Alliance would invoke the notwithstanding clause - the device used by the Quebec government to sustain its unconstitutional French language law - to overrule court decisions affecting First Nations and any other issue the party doesn't like. ... Also new in the Canadian Alliance platform is opposition to "race-based allocation of harvest rights to natural resources." This particular position brings the party into conflict with numerous recent Supreme Court decisions and international legal norms.Even their own constitutional experts warned that the notwithstanding clause could not be used on Native issues.
When Stephen Harper headed up the Alliance he shared the same views, and in fact, during his 2004 election campaign (then under yet another name: The Conservative Party of Canada) he ran against our Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
Constitutional experts have warned that the Conservative platform is so anti-charter it is a legal minefield. "A lot of this stuff raises serious constitutional issues." the University of Ottawa's Ed Ratushny told CanWest Global News Service. The experts have identified at least 12 positions that either, violate the charter, are ripe for serious court challenges or would require amendments to the Constitution.If this government was never prepared to uphold our Constitution or our Charter of Rights and Freedoms, why would we expect them to honour legally binding treaties?
"They are saying they would just disregard treaties," said Jean LaRose, an AFN spokesman. "They are just as extremist as before, but now they are trying to form a party that would stretch across Canada and form the government. That, for us, is very worrisome." "Here is a party that wishes to place itself above the law and above the courts," said AFN National Chief Phil Fontaine in a statement. "I wonder if Canadians understand the implications of such a movement. It could override any legislation or court decision if it chose to, using nothing more than its own judgement."Is that not what this government has been doing since stretching across Canada? They have placed themselves above the law and if anyone disagrees with them, they simply use the law to tie things up in the courts until issues reach their best before date.
A federal court has just ruled that Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz "broke the law by not consulting with the Canadian Wheat Board or holding a farmer vote before moving to end the board's grain marketing monopoly.
"Had a meaningful consultative process been engaged to find a solution which meets the concerns of the majority, the present legal action might not have been necessary," Justice Douglas Campbell wrote in his decision. "... The minister will be held accountable for his disregard for the rule of law.""Held accountable"? Since when has this government ever been held accountable for anything?
That idiot Peter Mackay is even thinking of suing Opposition members for suggesting that he was lying about his helicopter joy ride.
Of course, he'd have to sue Stephen Harper too, who gave a conflicting story to Mackay's, by saying he needed the helicopter because he was called back early from a fishing trip.
We elect MPs with the idea that they will either be part of the government, or part of the body elected to oppose the government, by trying to keep them honest. What good are they if they can simply be sued by the government for challenging them?
And again ... this is what passes for democracy in Harperland.
I hope the UN will step in and make Harper step up, but I'm not counting on it. He also campaigned against the United Nations.
"When it comes to issues of this country's vital security and national defence, you don't put that to the United Nations, which, quite frankly, is a coalition of everybody—the good, bad and ugly," (Stephen Harper, Toronto Star, February 28, 2004)Will he simply claim that the Aboriginal communities are a threat to our security? I mean aren't they all Commies?