Weekly Highlights from our Conservative Overlords

Weekly Highlights from our Conservative Overlords

Monday, January 6, 2014

2013 Best Of Canadian Federal Politics

Seeing as 98% of you are new readers and you have no idea who I am or what this is, I’ll give a brief introduction.  This little blog here is my attempt to keep track of all the wonderful things that the Harper Government is doing to this fine country.  I update it once a week and this is my summary of all the terribly awesome things that have happened in the past year.

And who can keep track?  Looking back, this has been a staggeringly awful year for Canadian politics.  Or perhaps it’s been an amazing year?  Who even knows anymore?  Let’s plunge in.  We’ll start with a photo of our dear leader with Justin Bieber, because who doesn't want to see that?

The Senate

Of course you couldn’t read a fortune cookie this year without a mention of the Senate.  Who can make sense of this crazy, crazy debacle?

Am I missing anything?  Oh wait.  The funniest thing about all of this?  After thoroughly hanging Nigel Wright out todry, it comes out that our great leader actually praised Nigel Wright for his help with “ethics” in the foreword to his book about Canadian Hockey.  Which he wrote while sitting as the Prime Minister of our country.

Canada – Stephen Harper’s personal Advertising Agency

One of the perks of getting elected is that you get to spend millions and millions and millions of dollars advertising how great you are in hopes that people vote for you the next time around.  First off, "The Harper Government" has really blown up.  That phrase has shown up on 522 government news releases.  That was back in May though, so I'm sure it's much more than that by now.

Not only that, but Harper has gotten the PMO (an organization which was originally just supposed to plan his day out) to get involved in political mud-sligging.  The Conservatives also pretty consistently use taxpayer funded mailouts to do their partisan dirtywork and seem to routinely place criticism of the opposition on government websites.

Then there's the little annoying ones.  The splashy event, cancelled at the last minute, to celebrate the end of the Long Gun Registry.  Yes, nothing screams "prudent fiscal managers" more than spending a lot of money to cancel an expensive program and then spending more money on a party to celebrate all the waste.  They also decided to scrub references to "Environment Canada" from the Environment Canada website (I think to make room for more Economic Action Plan ads, by the look of it).

But that's just a tiny little amuse bouche leading up to the double fisting, strap on the fat pants, all-you-can-eat buffet of wasteful awfulness.  It's probably impossible to figure out exactly how much this government has spent on totally useless advertising since coming to power.  $548 Million is the best guess here.  Think about that for a minute.  The "fiscally conservative" government in the midst of cutting programs and benefits and environmental protection to "save money", has spent a half billion dollars telling the country how great they are.  I guess you need to do something to keep the 4,000 communications related employees busy.

These ad campaigns are so unbelievably insane.  Honestly, how desensitized are we to these things?
  • Advertising campaigns to convince the USA that we're not a bunch of oil burning knuckle draggers (so that they'll let a private corporation plow a pipeline down the center of their country).  They've spent approx. $40 Million on this
It's just an amazing act of gall to spend this much money blowing smoke up the asses of your own citizens.

Government Spying

Oh sure, America, you have the NSA.  Turns out we’re just as bad.  Not only are we your muckraking minions , like some sort of ill-conceived Hells Angels puppet club, setting up spy-posts in places the USA can't get to.  But we're also helping the USA spy on our friends that we invited to our great big G8/G20 gazebo blowout/Summit.  And it seems like we really learned some things, because then we turned around and started spying on foreign countries (friendly ones) on behalf of Canadian industries.  You have to credit the Harpoids for creating a new way to discredit Glenn Greenwald though – did you know that he’s actually taking money to write these articles?  Gasp.

And more good news.  They're actually looking to fund an organization to continually monitor your social media.  I mean, I'm sure they're already monitoring your social media, but this will be more involved.

Treating People Like Assholes

Did you know that 40% of Canada’s native children live in poverty?  No worries though, because we’re probably just going to throw them in jail when they grow up.  We’re equal opportunity child haters though, as James Moore points out, it’s not his job (or the Federal Government's) to feed his neighbours hungry children.  I mean, who expects help from the government, right?  Speaking of James Moore, I mean...what the Jerry Gergich is going on here?
But it’s not just children and natives that Stephen Harper hates.  He’d also like all the employees of Members of Parliament to sign ongoing, life long, forever inperpetuity, non disclosure agreements.  I mean, nothing screams “transparency” more than ensuring the (taxpayer paid) employees that act out your terrible, terrible plans can never speak to anybody ever about anything.  This isn’t without precedent though.  He tried to get librarians to sign a loyalty pact as well.

This year also saw a cabinet shuffle.  Fresh starts and all that.  Except...our great leader asked the outgoing Ministers to draw up lists of enemies as he hurried out the door.  Nixon would be proud.

We Blew up a Town

Okay, we can't entirely blame the Lac Megantic train explosion on Stephen Harper.  But after that train exploded, we sure talked a lot about preventing exploding trains.  And then another train exploded while we continued to talk about it.

What's awesome is that the amount of oil shipped by rail has gone up by 28,000% since 2009, yet we deregulate, and train companies do things like lobby to use obsolete rail cars.  But why shouldn't we let these companies haul more oil with fewer and fewer regulations.  I mean, the company responsible for Lac Megantic has really stepped up to the plate.  By going bankrupt and by having their license pulled for inadequate 3rd party liability insurance.  Real princes of private enterprise.

Winning the War on Crime

If there is one thing Conservatives are good for, it's being tough on crime.  In fact, this government has been so tough on crime lately that crime has steadily been going down since 1991, a full 15 years before they came to power.  If I've learned anything in my career as an Engineer though it's this: If you see a really positive trend and things are heading in the right direction, start messing with stuff!  Let's look at some graphs (and this is from the National Post!  Who knows what fancy statistics the left wing can dig up)
But of course it's only radicals and criminals that are opposed to this stuff.  People like judges, who are refusing to honor minimum sentencing laws.  Or pointing out that mandatory sentencing laws are unconstitutional.  Or charge criminals the "victims services surcharge".

The judges aren't the only radicals though.  Look at this crazy guy, the Ombudsman for Federal Inmates"More crowded and violent."  "Less successful at rehabilitation."  Yes, the Conservatives war on crime is creating less rehabilitated, more violent criminals.  Who can trust somebody that says things like "You cannot reasonably claim to have a just society with incarceration rates like these. And most troubling, the growth in the custody population appears to be policy, not crime, driven. After all, crime rates are down while incarceration rates grow,"

Another crazy radical not on board: The Parliamentary Budget Officer.  Here, he shows how radical he is by pointing out that most of the costs of all this new legislation will fall to the Provinces (and that crime rates are falling and these expenditures don't make sense).

But what pisses me off the most is just how red-meat-for-the-base all of this stuff is.  Is our countries top priority really stripping terrorists of their citizenship?  Should we focus on keeping the mentally ill in prison for longer, or should we put some money into getting them help?

Dominating the War on Science

This is becoming such a thing, there are actually several roundups (and a book) on all the damage Stephen Harper has done to science in this country.  You may cry a little.

It's getting so bad that scientists are actually starting to march in protest.  Prompting our "Science Minister" to send out fundraising letters to combat "radical ideologue" scientist.

Not all science is bad though.  When you can re-purpose a Federal Research Organization (The NRC) to do science on behalf of industry, that's good science!  When you can just sort of make some shit up about polar bears to forward your climate change denying ideals, that's good science!  When you can use "science" to determine when life begins, that's good science!

Unfortunately, most science in Canada is bad science, and needs to be scrapped.  Research into the effect of lead bullets and shot?  Scrap it!  Fisheries libraries with irreplaceable documents (many fisheries libraries...and apparently not just libraries but budgets and jobs at the DFO as well...and perhaps proof that it's been done to "cull materials" rather than "save money")?  Scrap them!  Protection for endangered freshwater fish?  Scrap it!  A program that has greatly reduced heroin overdoses on the Downtown East Side?  Better try to scrap that!  Doctors trying to reduce heroin dependency using prescription heroin?  Scrap it!  The UN Drought Convention?  Scrap it!

And this is how crazy it has gotten.  Can you believe that Statscan is actually putting disclaimers on it's data due to scrapping of the mandatory long form census?  Our Environment Minister has doubts about climate change!  Gee, can't imagine why they are so afraid of admitting that climate change is real?

Hiring everybody but Canadians

(It's tough to talk about this stuff without sounding like a xenophobe.  Really, I'm pro immigration.  I'm just not pro bring-people-in-from-outside-the-country-at-lower-wages-and-then-send-them-home) I’ve got to admit, this is just a stroke of genius.  John Le Carre couldn’t dream up a plot this thick with cunning and irony.  Imagine selling Canadian people on all sorts of environmentally harmful mega projects with the promise of long term, well paying jobs.  And you have to cut all those pesky environmental reviews because they take too long and gosh darnit, Canada needs job.  Except.  Man, we need these projects done so quickly we don’t actually have enough people to do these jobs so we’re just going to hire all sorts of people from outside of the country (even if there's lots of unemployed people with the requisite skillset) and pay them a lot less and steal their money and not really bother with creating all these Canadian jobs in the first place.  It’s beautiful.  Not only that, but we’re also going to:
So we're going to have some sort of hand-picked, corporately acceptable society of welders?  Just so that we can harvest oil really cheaply?  Not that there's anything wrong with welders.

We Only Help Countries that Have Something to Offer Us in Return

You’ve heard of foreign aid?  That’s where you help out countries that are less fortunate than your own.  You’d think you’d decide on who needs help based on who needs it the most, right?  No.  Canada decides based on who can offer something in return.  I think all charities should function like this.  I think I'll only give to the food bank if they can send somebody over to mow my lawn.

We've also started telling our diplomats to worry more about developing trade than on...well...whatever they'd normally be doing.  Spying on friendly countries, I guess.  And anybody that has a problem with any of this is an "extremist fear monger".  Is there like one old lady in Mississauga that isn't an extremist fear monger according to the Conservatives?

The Stephen Harper 2013 List of All-Stars

Let's end this list by focusing on our Great Leaders best performers.

"Sleepy Time" Rob Anders - First, I'd like to congratulate Rob Anders on a fantastic 2013.  I don't think he was caught sleeping on the job at all this year.  Well done.  Unfortunately, it seems this left him more time to talk and express himself.  He did such things like rail against that terrorist Nelson Mandela (in his defense, Stephen Harper probably used to agree with him).  Unfortunately, this was not his only windbag moment.  Thanks for sending this great Canadian to Parliament, Calgary West.  Sorry.  Can't resist posting this photo.
Dean Del Mastro - Poor Dean Del Mastro.  People just wouldn't lay off him with the accusations of election shenanigans.  He complained that his good name was being sullied.  He used his Parliamentary privilege to bully witnesses.  He begged to either be charged or set free of his terrible hell.  So they charged him.  I hope he's feeling better about all of this now.

Peter Goldring - I missed this guy last year.  He somehow managed to beat his drunk driving charges for refusing to blow (honestly, read through this story and try to figure out how this came to pass) and has been welcomed back to the Conservative fold with open arms.

Jim Flaherty - I used to think Jim Flaherty was one of the okay guys.  He didn't do or say anything terrible.  He just hacked and slashed budgets.  And then...well...I can't even believe I'm writing this.  He's started confronting other Conservatives who have spoken out against Rob Ford.  I think he might be on the wrong side of this issue.  As well, he had some difficulties filling out expense claims this year, which is a bit troubling considering he's the Minister of Finance.  We're also going to celebrate the only mention of Rob Ford in this article by showing a picture of Rob Ford with the Hamburgler.

Vic Toews - I was almost sad to see this guy go.  I feel like nobody brought Canadians together quite like Vic Toews.  He actually blamed the opposition for the Conservatives fiercely enough when they appointed a now disgraced former CSIS watchdog.  It was their fault that they didn't question them hard enough about what they were doing.  Not only that though, but after creating a bunch of laws that will put a bunch more people in jail, he complained that policing costs have gotten too high.  For a Minister of Justice, he seemed to have a tremendously poor understanding of crime statistics.

Peter "Helicopter Captain" McKay - Peter McKay freaked out when Justin Trudeau talked about marijuana legalization in front of "school children"...after some high school kids directly asked Justin Trudeau about it and he answered their question.  I've heard politicians talking about marijuana is one of the #1 causes of drug addiction.  I think Peter might just be confused because most Conservatives aren't used to the concept of directly answering people's questions.

Tony Clement - Good old Tony was actually following me on Twitter for a while this year.  Which is odd.  He had the unenviable task of explaining to Canada that the government hadn't actually lost $3.1 Billion dollars, they just didn't know where it was.  These things are different, apparently.

Jean-Guy Degenais - Jean-Guy Degenais is a Conservative Senator.  An unelected Conservative Senator.  He's upset because the MP for his region is "useless and powerless", by his estimation.  If only the good people of Quebec would be smart enough to vote Conservative and hop on board the gravy train.


In the end though, what can we do about this?  Who is going to make it all better?  That's what I keep asking myself.  And I think I found the solution.  Anything the Conservatives are this strongly against is probably worth looking into.

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