Letters and Editorials 3199 Views by Joseph

O’Canada! What Have You Done?

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Since the majority win by the Conservative Party of Canada (CPC) in the Canadian 2011 federal election, they are with impunity, passing or intend to pass, critical legislation that will have profound and lasting affect on the social, economic and judicial face of Canada for decades to come.

The official opposition New Democratic party (NDP) members have attempted to put forward amendments and/or to debate proposed Bills. But, the CPC Harper government simply rejects or refuses to consider these proposals by taking the immovable stance that their mandate i.e. 2011 election platform, is supported by the majority of Canadians reflected by occupying the major of 166 seats of the 308 seat House of Commons.

All Bills passed by the House, must also pass the Senate. But, the Senate also has a majority of CPC members. This means that any bill passed by the House will find little to no resistance into becoming law.

What should be of critical concern to all Canadians is that, by examining the statistics representing the outcome of the election, it is clear that the CPC Harper government majority is clearly NOT representative of the majority population of Canada.

According to Elections Canada agency, 14,720,580 out of 23,971,740 registered electors cast their ballots in the 2011election. The approximate population as of the May 2 election date is 34.6 million.

According to the tables below 39.6 of eligible voters (5,829,349) voted for the PC party to 166 of the total 308 seats in the House of Commons. The 5,829,349 is approximately 16.9% of the 34.6 million population as of the May 2 election date.

Therefore statistically, the critical legislation that will affect ALL Canadians for decades represents the wishes or has the support of only 16.9 percent of the population.

The Bills that the PC Harper government propose to push through to become law that should be of critical concern to all Canadians are as follows:

- Bill C-26 Abolish the Long Gun Registry - generally opposed by several provinces and several levels of both federal and provincial police enforcement agencies

- Bill C-18, Act to reorganize the Canadian Wheat Board and to make consequential and related amendments to certain Acts to eliminate the Canadian Wheat Board as sole marketer of all wheat and barely production without approval of majority of farmers affected

- Bill C-13 that will result in harsher and longer sentences, amendments to youth offender sentencing, construction of several new prisons though several provinces, judicial bodies and law enforcement agencies have stated passing the proposed legislation is likely to create more social problems then it will resolve. In addition the original version of the Bill read by Committee prior to the election has been revised and have nine additional bills include without public debate

- Bill C-26 Defining Canadian security: perimeter and border security in Canada-US relations that most Canadians are not aware is being discussed.

What is most infuriating is to witness discussion and debate of these controversial Bills and other governance policy related matters such as the proposed purchase of several CF 35 state of the art fighter jets without clear statement of the program’s cost in a public forum. For instance; CBC’s “Power and Politics” news program that provided a public platform by which these issues can be openly challenged and debated.

When confronted, CPC members present a smug and dismissive attitude repeating the same benign rhetoric captioned by the statement that they have been given a clear mandate by the majority of Canadians to do what they plan to do, unabated. They dismiss any criticism or questions for clarification as to the short and long-term implications of these important matters.

Clearly Canadians will be in for a rude awakening as the implications and changes attributable to the passage of new and amended legislation filter their way into their daily lives but, by then, it will be too late.

The prognosis in the short-term for there to be a change to this autocratic form of governance is that it is not likely to be any time soon. The NDP loosing charismatic and influential leader with the passing of Jack Layton and the dissolution of the Liberal Party, the CPC Harper government could hold its majority past the next scheduled election sometime post-2015. And, given present trajectory Harper’s government it is difficult to project accurately what the Canadian landscape will look like in the coming years but, it does not appear to be pretty.


National Post Article: http://news.nationalpost.com/2011/05/03/canadian-election-turnout-estimated-at-61-4

Andrew Heard Political Science Department -- Simon Fraser university http://www.sfu.ca/~aheard/elections/results.html

Statistics Canada http://www.statcan.gc.ca/ig-gi/pop-ca-eng.htm

Parliament of Canada http://www.parl.gc.ca/Default.aspx?Language=E


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