Weekly Highlights from our Conservative Overlords

Weekly Highlights from our Conservative Overlords

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

2012 Best Of - Week 87 - Dec 25-Jan 1

The whole purpose of this blog is for me to be able to track all of the crazy shit that the Conservatives are going to do over their 4 year term.  As I look back over the past year...Gawd...I'm just overwhelmed by how much crazy shit they've done.  It's too much for me.  I think that in order to understand how crazy this year was, we need to look at some of the stories that I had to gloss over as I made my list.  Allowing two major Canadian oil companies to be purchased by foreign state controlled enterprises?  Didn't make it.  Allowing a northern British Columbia mine to ship in all of its employees from China at a discounted rate?  Didn't make it.  Closing down a groundbreaking freshwater research station (perhaps because of some troublesome research into the oil sands)?  Didn't make it.  Stripping a layer of environmental protection from our lakes and rivers?  Didn't make it.  What about their continual re-introduction of anti-abortion laws?  Their no questions asked support of Israel?  Looking back, things are way, way worse than I thought.

Lessons in short-sightedness
After years of a ridiculous pro-asbestos position that was mocked by the rest of the world, the asbestos mine responsible for this ridiculous stance closed down.  And somehow the Conservatives are trying to blame the Parti Quebecois for this reckless swerve towards acceptability.

The War on Terror reaches new levels of awesome
A Muslim man in Quebec sent a text message to some work colleagues encouraging them to "blow away the competition" at a trade show.  He was arrested on suspicion of terrorism.  Reddit agrees that this is awesome.

Government cuts lead to a pretty good idea for a comedy sketch
Did you know that Canada is surrounded on three sides by oceans?  I don't think the Conservatives do.  Coast Guard and other naval safety cuts seem to be a favourite of theirs.  In addition to closing the Coast Guard base in the largest port in Canada, they also seem to be struggling to provide effective services in the places that remain open.  This poor Newfoundland fisherman had his emergency medical call transferred to a non-English speaking doctor in Italy when he phoned in for help.

Model citizens
Have you heard about these Queen's Jubilee medals?  Ya, there's something like 60,000 of them being awarded and it sounds like it is largely at the discretion of individual MP's.  One Saskatchewan MP has decided that a pair of ladies who have continually been arrested for anti-abortion related harassment.  He's praised them as "heroines of humanity".  Surprisingly, he's a Conservative.

Limits to democracy
It's actually hard to keep track on the amount of times that the Conservatives limited debate, jammed through mountains of legislation via Omnibus Bills and just kind of messed with democracy by preventing people from asking question.  These are only three examples of a worrisome trend.

War on Crime
Look at that graph above.  See how there has been a steady decline in the crime rate since the early 90's?  See how we're basically at levels not seen since the 70's?  Ya, me too.  But even with all of that, the Conservatives decided to jam through a whole bunch of "Tough on Crime" laws (like mandatory sentencing) even though a whole bunch of people told them that it's a bad idea...And then, they actually have the balls to take all the credit for the last 20 years of dropping crime rates...even though there was a dramatic spike in homicide rates this year.

Not only that, they've decided to:
- Cut prison inmate reform programs - because what we really need is convicts getting out of prison with no real world skills or training
- Close a few prisons even though before their new mandatory minimum sentences can have an affect there are already overcrowding problems...honestly...double bunking!
- Decided that convicts earning between $10 and $69 every two weeks are living high on the hog and they're going to charge them more in rent money
- Created a law whereby it's illegal to riot in a mask...even though it's already illegal to riot in a mask.  Great prioritization, guys!
- Supported a bill to outlaw gang recruiting...ya...that's really going to put the brakes on gang activity

Enbridge and their Magic Pipeline
I actually can't believe that there is still a chance that this Northern Gateway pipeline might get built.  There is just so much wrong with this whole story, I don't know of any other way to tackle it but point form.
1. The Federal Government has suggested that opponents to the Pipeline are terrorists
2. They've also cut so many research positions over the last few years that there probably aren't enough people remaining to adequately research the effects of this pipeline
3. Enbridge created a promotional video that has a map that conveniently ignores all of the nautical hazards that will be faced by the hundreds of tankers steaming towards Kitimat
4. Their clean-up plan submitted to the government is for crude oil, not bitumen
5. While all this was going on, one of their pipelines in Wisconsin started leaking...and they didn't do a particularly good job in responding to it
6. A report came out that crucified the Enbridge response to a 2010 pipeline leak in Michigan...I don't think governments generally throw around terms like "Keystone Cops" lightly
7. After the above mentioned Michigan oil spill, Enbridge executives gave themselves some hefty bonuses
8. They've created a limited liability partnership that will, you guessed it, limit their liability in the event of an oil spill
9. And while all this was going on...while Alberta was screaming at BC for being selfish about not allowing a pipeline...leak after leak after leak after leak popped up across Alberta.
10. Is it a surprise though, seeing as people connected to big oil have had upwards of 2733 meetings with public officials over the last 4 years?

Honestly.  How are we still talking about this pipeline?

Robo-Calls
What is the worst thing about this Conservative government?  The fact that they might not even be legitimate.  The robo-call scandal continues to roll along.  Even worse is the Conservative response to the whole thing.  They demanded that Liberals release all records of "all calls made on their behalf" during the last election, but refuse to release their own records because, obviously, there's no possible chance they have done anything wrong themselves.  That didn't work, so once the cases finally made it to court, they attempted to shirk responsibility through a series of loopholes, smoke and mirrors.  First, they claim the cases were filed too late.  Then, they suggest the complainants should be ignored as they are made by "professional agitators" and the bills are paid by people with a "political bias".  Last, even though a pollster dug up information suggesting that there was voter suppression (they actually tried to have this evidence thrown out), they claimed that everything is okay because even if there were robo-calls, they didn't actually have an effect.


The next section I'm going to call the 2012 Conservative All-Star Team.  With guys like this, how can they possibly get re-elected?

Vic Toews
Where do you start with Vic Toews?  He's accomplished so much in a one year period, it's difficult to know what to talk about.  First, his fingerprints are all over the "tough on crime" section above.  But I think his crowning achievement for the year really was his internet snooping bill.  First, he suggested that if you didn't support his bill then you were "with the child pornographers."  Then, he freaked the hell out when somebody (well, a Liberal staffer) started posting (completely, 100% true) information about his messy, messy divorce (the babysitter?  really?).  At this point, Anonymous started threatening him and, despite his bluster, he actually admitted that he was powerless to stop them and temporarily threw in the towel on the whole thing.  Until he saw an opportunity to use the horrific Luka Magnotta murders for political gains and then reintroduced an even worse internet surveillance bill.  To heap further awful onto an already giant pile of crap, when a journalist asked a pointed question about a particularly over-the-top portion of the bill he became surprised and confused; It was almost as if he had no actual idea about the contents of the very bill he was championing.  (This is a bit of an aside, but I'd like to point out that while the Conservatives are all about using the forces of Government to eavesdrop on citizens, they don't believe that Canadians deserve any government help or protection from identity theft or other cyber-security matters.  That would be government over-reach)  I know you're thinking.  At this point, an ordinary man would sit back and be happy with his accomplishments.  But not Vic Toews.  He was just getting started.  He was the point man for Canada refusing to bring convicts back home via prison transfers.  He actively worked against bringing Omar Khadr home and then made a series of crazy statements once he finally did make it back to Canada.  And he allowed the RCMP and Canadian Border Agency to use information obtained from torture.  Nice job, Vic!

Jason Kenney
Jason Kenney didn't have enough actual immigrants for his press conference.  So he decided to have some of his staff dress up as as "immigrants" to celebrate their "citizenship reaffirmation".  As well, his department decided that the way to deal with the crazy backlogs of applications was just to ignore all applications made before 2008.

Rob Anders
"Sleepy Time" Rob has been caught sleeping several times on the job.  I know, I know, we've all dozed off for a few minutes at work.  But, I bet your little nappy time didn't come in the middle of a Parliamentary Question Period or during a presentation from a group supporting homeless veterans.  Of course, it all would have been alright if he had apologized.  But no, he doubled down and called the homeless veterans support group a bunch of "NDP hacks."  He did eventually apologize.  And then later in the year, he claimed that Jack Layton's death was Thomas Mulcair's fault.  And yes, that is a screen capture of one of his Parliament naps.

Bev Oda
Every time I see the above photo of Bev Oda, I'm actually a little bit sad that she left politics.  Poor Bev had a problem with her expense account.  It all came to a head when it was found she'd racked up crazy bills living it up in London during a conference on the immunization of children in poor countries.  She moved from one luxury hotel to another, charged thousands to have a car and driver at her beck-and-call and then washed it all down with a $16 glass of Orange Juice.

Patrick Brazeau
Doesn't that guy look like a Senator?  As well, he has an atrocious record of attending Senate sittings (you know...his job).  He's absent about 25% of the time.  And when somebody pointed it out and asked some questions, he called her a bitch.  He also may be fraudulently claiming a living allowance.  I will give him credit for his charity boxing match with Justin Trudeau...and his excessive pre-match bragging made it even funnier when he lost.

16 comments:

  1. I realize you may have mentioned it elsewhere, but you didn't mention the total gutting of Statistics Canada which used to be a model agency much envied and emulated by the rest of the world. Not only the "long form census" debacle, the the laying off and downsizing of the entire agency in the aftermath (since, without the long form, they really have nothing to do any more).

    What's the effect of these actions and why do I think they merit mention as one of the worst things the Conservatives could have possibly done this year?

    Well, as nearly every agency, company, Province and Territory protested, stats can and the long form census provide incredibly valuable information about the results of any action the government might take. Without the long form, almost all multi-year (longitudiunal) research is no longer possible because there are no weighting factors available to correct survey samples. The long form, besides providing incredible useful information, allows researchers to correct other surveys!
    This means that almost nobody will be able to tell if a policy change by the government is good or bad because all surveys will contain more error, or will require larger sample sizes making them much more expensive. Not to mention thousands of multi-year research projects that can no longer function... at all.

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    Replies
    1. Michael:

      That is a good one. I think I used it in last years summary though and I didn't want to double up. So much to choose from.

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  2. Nice writing Dave. I heard that you may or may not be a child molester.

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  3. Thank you for doing this. We forget so quickly. Kudos for bothering to hold them (and us) accountable. I pray for a semblance of sanity to return to our nation before our hard-won international reputation for being peace-loving, reasonable, and moderate is destroyed.

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    1. I echo your sentiments but wonder if the damage has already been done? Let's hope not.

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  4. its almost impossible to keep up with the fuckery
    F35 debacle with Mckay and Paradis was a total clwonshow
    Del Mastro the Pig was a clownshow.
    everywhere u look in Harpers cabinet of orcs is another buffoon
    Peter the Pig Van Loan crossing the floor to threaten Nathan Cullen.

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  5. Just heard about your blog. I thought about doing just this but then I've also thought about cutting back on drinking, losing weight, getting more exercise etc. etc. So thank you for chronicling the travesty to democracy this - what are they calling themselves now? It's not the New Government of Canada, it's not the Government of Canada, is it still the Harper Government, whatever - group of neo-fascists represents.

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  6. Added a twitter feed. Please check out @24Majority

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  7. Idle No More protests marches won’t accomplish one thing. Flash mobs won’t accomplish one thing. Blockading trains won’t accomplish one thing. The time for hunger strikes was over two-hundred years ago.

    Idle No More Ride Hard. Nothing short of seizing government buildings is needed. Nothing short of reoccupying ancient lands is needed. Nothing short of provoking an armed conflict with the army is absolutely needed. Where is your victory at Little Big Horn Idle No More?

    Chris Roberts

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  8. The Regressive Conservatives are doing to Kanada what Mike Harris did to Ontario: namely, deliberately doing so much damage that it will never, ever be possible to undo what's been done. Welfare rates in Ontario are now close to 50% smaller than they were before Harris, with food banks the only thing standing between hundreds of thousands of people and actual starvation; irreplacable wetlands and meadow are now under concrete; social housing which took billions to create was sold off for $1 to the same developers who gave Harris the money to buy the elections; a thriving street culture was crushed with the Orwellian-named Safe Streets Act, replaced with business lobby BIAs with quasi-governmental power over public spaces; the list is endless.

    The fact is, we've already lost. The changes made by Harper cannot be undone. The wild right-wing swerve by the NDP shows that neo-conservatism is the new normal, and the Canada people used to know is forever gone.

    Canada is dead; welcome to Kanada, our increasingly fascist home on native land.

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  9. Great piece Dave. Here's something you might be able to use;
    http://www.sorel-tracyexpress.ca/Article-de-blogue/b/23358/Gun-Show-regulations-abolished-by-Harper

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  10. Great Blog! But what about John Baird?

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  11. I have been looking the World Wide Web for this information street teams

    ReplyDelete