Something very strange is going on in Canada when election rallies become “private events” and the RCMP give their aid to party operatives bent on keeping citizens away from the Prime Minister.
We expect the Force to provide security to the Prime Minister, but not to engage in political housecleaning. A statement from the RCMP today concedes they shouldn’t have been helping Conservative organizers keep out people from Mr. Harper’s rallies on the basis of their Facebook photos or bumper stickers.
Then the statement goes on to add:
The RCMP is responsible for the security of party leaders. This mandate does not include managing the access of persons attending private events.”
So now Conservative Party election meetings are “private events”?And here we thought, poor us, that election rallies were occasions for Mr. Harper (and other party leaders)to reach out to Canadians by explaining their policies and trying to convince us to vote for them.
In fact, these sessions have been turned into contrived media events, with a few dozen party stalwarts dragged out as props to make it look as if this guy is conversing with the people. Why do the media go along with this charade?
Perhaps we shouldn’t be surprised, in view of the fact that the same Mr. Harper has been deriding our exercise in democracy as “an unwanted and unneeded election.” When is an election unwanted or unneeded? Ask the people of the old Soviet Union, or Iran, or Egypt and you might get some interesting answers.
Another disturbing thing about this election is that the two main parties, and even the NDP to a lesser extent, are ducking discussion of any serious issues.
Yes, the Prime Minister needs to explain why he hired as a chief advisor a man with a record of multiple fraud offenses and who is now being investigated for possible illegal lobbying.
But where is the discussion of:
1 – Foreign policy – and the implications of our actions in bombing Libyan targets?
2 – Free trade negotiations with Europe – and what this could mean to our future?
3 – The “perimeter” security and trade agreement Canada is discussing with the United States?
4 – Cost sharing between Ottawa and the provinces of health and medicare when the current agreement expires in three years (and the feds find themselves with a bare cupboard thanks to Harper corporate tax cuts and overspending on jets and jails)?
5 – Our nuclear future - its promise or its threat to energy security and climate change?
Not a peep about any of these from Mr. Harper or Mr. Ignatieff, and damn little from Jack Layton.
And therein may lie the explanation for voters’ apparent indifference toward this election.
Now, to change the tune, here’s a fun Video you might like – “It’s a Book.”