Harper ‘lies’ about coalition details

PM ‘shameful’ in portraying crisis as national unity issue, former NDP leader says

December 3, 2008

Former NDP leader Ed Broadbent speaking in Toronto Wednesday.

Former NDP leader Ed Broadbent speaking in Toronto Wednesday. (CBC)

To save his own government, Stephen Harper is deliberately trying to deceive Canadians about the facts surrounding a proposed Liberal-NDP coalition, former NDP leader Ed Broadbent said Wednesday.

In an interview with CBC News in Toronto, a furious Broadbent had harsh words for the prime minister, saying Harper was also trying to pit English Canada against Quebecers in his attempt to discredit the proposed coalition to replace him if the Conservative minority government falls.

“I’ve never seen the leader of a Conservative party, certainly not Bob Stanfield, certainly not Joe Clark, lie — I choose the word deliberately — the way Mr. Harper has,” Broadbent said.

The former NDP leader, who helped negotiate Monday’s deal between the New Democrats and the Liberals with the support of the Bloc Québécois, said Harper also lied when he said the three opposition leaders refused to sign their agreement in front of a Canadian flag because Gilles Duceppe, a Quebec sovereigntist, objected.

In fact, there were at least two flags present at Monday’s signing ceremony, as well as a painting of the Fathers of Confederation.

Broadbent said Harper is conducting a “shameful operation” by trying to turn certain defeat in the House of Commons into a national unity crisis.

“I’m concerned I have a prime minister who lies to the people of Canada and knows it,” Broadbent said. “It’s one thing to exaggerate. It’s another to deliberately tell falsehoods.”

The former NDP leader also accused Harper of lying about the details of the proposed coalition, including his charge that the Bloc Québécois is a formal partner and that six Bloc MPs would be offered Senate positions under the coalition government.

The Bloc has said it will support the Liberal-NDP coalition for 18 months in the House of Commons, but none of its members will sit in a cabinet led by Stéphane Dion as prime minister and a Liberal as finance minister.

“They make it up,” he said of Harper’s Conservatives, who have been quick to label the proposal a “separatist coalition.”

“They lie. They pay people to destroy things.”

Clark, Stanfield ‘would have done the proper thing’

Broadbent said he understood how some Canadians are furious to watch politicians fighting while the economy continues to be battered.

“I have no doubt that is how they see it in the short run, but we are doing what should be done in a parliamentary democracy,” he said.

“They’re trying to turn a serious economic situation into a political crisis. We will say we objected because there is a serious economic situation for Canadians.”

The opposition’s proposed economic stimulus package, Broadbent said, contains similar measures to ones planned by U.S. president-elect Barack Obama in the wake of the global economic crisis.

“Other countries are doing it and we should be doing it here,” he said.

He said Harper was betraying the honourable legacy of past party leaders by continuing to delay a confidence vote in the House of Commons. The prime minister pushed back the confidence motion brought by the opposition parties until next Monday and could delay a vote indefinitely by proroguing Parliament.

“I had, my predecessors had a sense of integrity. Bob Stanfield, a Conservative, Joe Clark, a Conservative, had a sense of integrity,” Broadbent said.

“They would have done the proper thing. If we lost the confidence, then we would accept that and have to resign.”

Source

Day denies report of 2000 coalition plot with Bloc

Former Alliance leader once told reporters, ‘I’m not big on labels’

December 3, 2008

Federal Trade Minister Stockwell Day denied on Wednesday he was aware of a secret plan in 2000 for him to take power through a formal coalition between the Bloc Québécois, the Canadian Alliance and the Progressive Conservatives.

Trade Minister Stockwell Day speaks during Wednesday's question period in Ottawa.

Trade Minister Stockwell Day speaks during Wednesday’s question period in Ottawa. (Adrian Wyld/Canadian Press)

The Globe and Mail reported on Wednesday that well-known Calgary lawyer Gerry Chipeur, who identified himself as an associate of Day’s and the now-defunct Alliance, sent a written offer to the Bloc and Joe Clark’s Progressive Conservatives before the votes were counted on election day on Nov. 27, 2000.

The 2000 election saw Jean Chrétien’s Liberals win another majority government before the 2004 reunification of the two conservative parties that now comprise Stephen Harper’s Conservative government.

The paper said Chipeur’s letter proposed a coalition between the Alliance, the PCs and the Bloc, while a separate document discussed contents of a potential throne speech.

Bloc Leader Gilles Duceppe held up the letter during Wednesday’s question period while grilling the former Alliance leader over the alleged plan, as well as over the Conservatives’ apparent willingness to form a coalition with the separatist party in 2004.

“Will he admit that in 2004, and in 2000, he was prepared to make such a deal with the Bloc?” Duceppe told the House.

The Conservatives have lambasted Stéphane Dion’s Liberals for entering into a proposed Liberal-NDP coalition government with the support of the Bloc if Harper’s minority government were to fall, portraying the pact as undemocratic and a threat to national unity.

Day replied that the report was a “complete fabrication” and that he had never seen the letter, never endorsed it and would never sign such a deal.

“It would be against my very DNA to do a coalition deal with socialists, and it would absolutely go against my heart and the heart of Canadians to do a deal with separatists,” Day told the House on Wednesday, in reference to the current proposed coalition.

In an interview with the Globe, Chipeur played down the importance of the offer, saying he never discussed the matter with Day or with other MPs, and was simply getting ready in the event of a minority government.

But in July 2000, Day indicated a willingness to form political ties with the Bloc if it meant ousting the federal Liberals from power. He said his party’s position was “to be open to anybody who’s interested in a truly conservative form of government.”

“I’m not big on labels,” Day told reporters at the time when asked about a possible coalition to oust Chrétien’s Liberals.

“If there are people who embrace the views of the Canadian Alliance and believe we need a federal government that is limited in size, that respects the provinces and that wants lower taxes, I’m not interested where they may have been in the past politically.”

Source

A Blast from the Past

Prime Minister Stephen Harper responds to a question from newly elected Liberal leader Stephane Dion (background) during Question Period in the House of Commons. (CP PHOTO/Tom Hanson)
Prime Minister Stephen Harper responds to a question from newly elected Liberal leader Stephane Dion (background) during Question Period in the House of Commons. (CP PHOTO/Tom Hanson)

Tories blasted for handbook on paralyzing Parliament
May 18 2007

The Harper government is being accused of a machiavellian plot to wreak parliamentary havoc after a secret Tory handbook on obstructing and manipulating Commons committees was leaked to the press.

Opposition parties pounced on news reports Friday about the 200-page handbook as proof that the Conservatives are to blame for the toxic atmosphere that has paralyzed Parliament this week.

“The government’s deliberate plan is to cause a dysfunctional, chaotic Parliament,” Liberal House Leader Ralph Goodale told the House of Commons.

New Democrat Libby Davies said the manual explodes the Tories’ contention that opposition parties are to blame for the parliamentary constipation.

“So much for blaming the opposition for the obstruction of Parliament,” she said.

“Now we learn, in fact, that the monkey wrench gang have had a plan all along and not just any plan, a 200-page playbook on how to frustrate, obstruct and shut down the democratic process.”

Bloc Quebecois MP Monique Guay said the manual demonstrates the government’s “flagrant lack of respect” for the democratic process.

The opposition demanded that the manual, given to Tory committee chairs, be tabled in the House of Commons.

Peter Van Loan, the government’s House leader, ignored the demand and continued to insist that the Tories want the minority Parliament to work.

He again blamed the opposition parties for its recent dysfunction. He cited various justice bills which have been stalled by opposition MPs in committees for up to 214 days.

“The opposition pulls out every stop they can to obstruct (the justice agenda) and then they get upset when a matter gets debated for two hours at committee,” he scoffed.

But Van Loan’s arguments were weakened by the leak of the manual. The government was so embarrassed and annoyed by the leak, that, according to a source, it ordered all committee chairs to return their copies of the handbook, apparently in a bid to determine who broke confidence.

The handbook, obtained by National Post columnist Don Martin, reportedly advises chairs on how to promote the government’s agenda, select witnesses friendly to the Conservative party and coach them to give favourable testimony. It also reportedly instructs them on how to filibuster and otherwise disrupt committee proceedings and, if all else fails, how to shut committees down entirely.

Some of those stalling tactics have been on display this week.

Tory MPs on the information and ethics committee stalled an inquiry into alleged censorship of a report on the treatment of Afghan detainees. They debated the propriety of the witness list for more than five hours while two critics of the government’s handling of the matter cooled their heels in the corridor.

The official languages committee has been shut down all week after Tory chair Guy Lauzon cancelled a hearing moments before witnesses were to testify about the impact of the government’s cancellation of the court challenges program. All three opposition parties voted to remove Lauzon from the chair but the Tories are refusing to select a replacement, leaving the committee in limbo.

Tories have also launched filibusters to obstruct proceedings in the Commons agriculture and procedural affairs committees and a Senate committee study of a Liberal bill requiring the government to adhere to the Kyoto treaty on greenhouse gas emissions.

The previous Liberal regime also tried to control the conduct of committees. Former prime minister Jean Chretien even faced a mini-rebellion during his final months in office from backbenchers who chafed at being told what to say and do at committee. They demanded the right to choose their own committee chairs.

But Davies, a 10-year parliamentary veteran, said the Tories have taken manipulation to extremes she’s never seen before.

“They’ve codified it. They’ve set it down. They’ve given instructions.”

Both Davies and Goodale agreed that the recent dysfunction may be part of a long term Tory strategy to persuade voters that minority Parliaments don’t work, that they need to elect a majority next time.

But Goodale predicted the ploy won’t work because Canadians will realize that the Tories are the “authors of this stalemate.”

Goodale said the manual also demonstrates that the government is in the grip of an “obsessive, manipulative mania,” run by a prime minister who has “a kind of control fetish” in which there can’t be “one comma or one sentence or one word uttered without his personal approval.”

Source

They can lie all they want but the truth is coming out. The Present Conservatives have been manipulative and lieing for some time. They are not really conservatives anyway.

The Alliance took them over.

So really what Canadians have is an Alliance Government, not Conservative Government.

The Alliance is just a right wing nightmare.

Similar to George Bush and his Republicans.

Nothing to worry about now is there?

Canadians really need to wake up and stop looking through those rose colored glasses and take a long hard look at what is really happening in their country.

Canadian Leaders Fighting tooth and nail

Prime Minister Harper officially endorses North American Union!

Stephen Harper lied about Cadman Tape

Stephen Harper hid the actual cost of the War

Harper has done nothing to get this kid our of Guantanamo Bay. I guess he must think it is alright to keep this child in prison and torture is just fine.

Ontario lawyers call on Prime Minister to ask U.S. to return Omar Khadr

Stephen Harper lied about Cadman Tape

Cadman bribe tape wasn’t doctored: Expert

A file photo of Independent MP Chuck Cadman. Author Tom Zytaruk asked the prime minister on tape about an alleged attempt by Conservative officials to bribe Cadman.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s own audio expert says a tape providing key evidence about an alleged bribe was not doctored as Harper has claimed.

Ted Colley ,  Canwest News Service

October 10, 2008

SURREY, B.C. – Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s own audio expert says a tape providing key evidence about an alleged bribe was not doctored as Harper has claimed.

Author Tom Zytaruk asked the prime minister on tape about an alleged attempt by Conservative officials to bribe Independent MP Chuck Cadman.

In 2005, Cadman told his wife, Dona Cadman, that two Conservative representatives had offered him a $1-million life insurance policy in exchange for his vote in a confidence motion aimed at bringing down the Liberal government.

Cadman was terminally ill at the time and died just two months later.

The interview, in which Harper speaks of an offer to Cadman “to replace financial considerations he might lose during an election,” has been cited by Liberals in the House of Commons and on articles posted on the Liberal party website as evidence that Mr. Harper knew of an alleged attempt to bribe Cadman in May 2005, in exchange for his vote in the Commons to topple the Liberal government of the day. Harper, who denies knowing any such thing, is suing the Liberals for $3.5-million.

Two audio experts hired earlier by Harper said the tape appeared to have been doctored.

An Ontario judge ordered another analysis and Harper tapped former FBI agent Bruce Koenig for the job.

Koenig said the portion of the tape dealing with the insurance policy “contains neither physical nor electronic splices, edits or alterations,” according to a report entered in court on Friday.

Last month, Harper was able to persuade the court to put the lawsuit on hold until after the Oct. 14 federal election. Harper also tried to keep Koenig’s report out of the court record until the vote had passed, but the Liberals were able to get it on the record Friday.

Zytaruk, who has steadfastly maintained the tape was never altered, said he’s happy about the timing.

“I’m glad this came out before the election. I was really looking forward to testifying because it’s not pleasant to be accused on a national scale of doing something dishonest, such as doctoring a tape.”

Dona Cadman, the Conservative candidate in Surrey North, could not be reached for comment before press time.

Source

Harper, Bush Share Roots in Controversial Philosophy

Close advisers schooled in ‘the noble lie’ and ‘regime change.’

What do close advisors to Stephen Harper and George W. Bush have in common? They reflect the disturbing teachings of Leo Strauss, the German-Jewish émigré who spawned the neoconservative movement.

Strauss, who died in 1973, believed in the inherent inequality of humanity. Most people, he famously taught, are too stupid to make informed decisions about their political affairs. Elite philosophers must decide on affairs of state for us.

In Washington, Straussians exert powerful influence from within the inner circle of the White House. In Canada, they roost, for now, in the so-called Calgary School, guiding Harper in framing his election strategies. What preoccupies Straussians in both places is the question of “regime change.”

Strauss defined a regime as a set of governing ideas, institutions and traditions. The neoconservatives in the Bush administration, who secretly conspired to make the invasion of Iraq a certainty, had a precise plan for regime change. They weren’t out to merely replace Saddam with an American puppet. They planned to make the system more like the U.S., with an electoral process that can be manipulated by the elites, corporate control over the levers of power and socially conservative values.

Usually regime change is imposed on a country from outside through violent means, such as invasion. On occasion, it occurs within a country through civil war. After the American Civil War, a new regime was imposed on the Deep South by the North, although the old regime was never entirely replaced.

Is regime change possible through the electoral process? It’s happening in the U.S., where the neocons are succeeding in transforming the American state from a liberal democracy into a corporatist, theocratic regime. As Canada readies for a federal election, the question must be asked: Are we next?

The ‘noble lie’

Strauss believed that allowing citizens to govern themselves will lead, inevitably, to terror and tyranny, as the Weimar Republic succumbed to the Nazis in the 1930s. A ruling elite of political philosophers must make those decisions because it is the only group smart enough. It must resort to deception — Strauss’s “noble lie” — to protect citizens from themselves. The elite must hide the truth from the public by writing in code. “Using metaphors and cryptic language,” philosophers communicated one message for the elite, and another message for “the unsophisticated general population,” philosopher Jeet Heer recently wrote in the Globe and Mail. “For Strauss, the art of concealment and secrecy was among the greatest legacies of antiquity.”

The recent outing of star New York Times reporter Judith Miller reveals how today’s neocons use the media to conceal the truth from the public. For Straussians, telling Americans that Saddam didn’t have WMD’s and had nothing to do with Al-Qaeda, but that we needed to take him out for geopolitical and ideological reasons you can’t comprehend, was a non-starter. The people wouldn’t get it. Time for a whopper.

Miller was responsible for pushing into the Times the key neocon lie that Saddam was busy stockpiling weapons of mass destruction. This deception helped build support among Americans for the invasion of Iraq. Miller was no independent journalist seeking the truth nor a victim of neocon duplicity, as she claimed. She worked closely with Lewis “Scooter” Libby, who was U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney’s Chief of Staff and responsible for coordinating Iraq intelligence and communication strategy. Libby is a Straussian who studied under Paul Wolfowitz, now head of the World Bank, and before that, deputy secretary of defense, where he led the ‘Invade Iraq” lobby. Wolfowitz studied under Strauss and Allan Bloom, Strauss’s most famous student.

Miller cultivated close links to the neocons in the administration and at the American Enterprise Institute, the leading Washington-based neocon think tank. AEI played the key role outside government in fabricating intelligence to make the case for invading Iraq. Straussian Richard Perle, who chaired the Defence Policy Board Advisory Committee until he was kicked off because of a conflict of interest, is a senior fellow at AEI and coordinated its efforts. Miller co-wrote a book on the Middle East with an AEI scholar. Rather than being a victim of government manipulation, Miller was a conduit between the neocons and the American public. As a result of her reporting, many Americans came to believe that Saddam had the weapons. War and regime change followed.

‘Regime change’ in Canada

As in the U.S., regime change became a Canadian media darling. Before 9-11, the phrase appeared in Canadian newspapers less than ten times a year. It usually referred to changes in leadership of a political party or as part of the phrase “regulatory regime change.” Less than a week after 9-11, the phrase began to be used in its Straussian sense, as if a scenario was being choreographed.

From 19 mentions in Canadian newspapers in 2001, regime change soared to 790 mentions in 2002 and 1334 mentions in 2003. With the Iraq invasion accomplished that year, usage tailed off in 2004 (291 mentions) and in 2005 (208 mentions to November 10).

There’s one big difference between American and Canadian Straussians. The Americans assumed positions of power and influence in the administrations of Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush. The Canadians have not had much opportunity to show (or is that hide?) their stuff. That may change with a Harper victory.

Paul Wolfowitz’s teacher, Allan Bloom, and another Straussian, Walter Berns, taught at the University of Toronto during the 1970s. They left their teaching posts at Cornell University because they couldn’t stomach the student radicalism of the ’60s. At Toronto, they influenced an entire generation of political scientists, who fanned out to universities across the country.

Two of their students, Ted Morton and Rainer Knopff, went to the University of Calgary where they specialize in attacking the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. They claim the charter is the result of a conspiracy foisted on the Canadian people by “special interests.” These nasty people are feminists, gays and lesbians, the poor, prisoners and refugee-rights groups who are advancing their own interests through the courts at the expense of the general public, these Straussians allege.

The problem with their analysis is that the special interest which makes more use of the courts to advance its interests than all these other groups combined — business — receives not a mention. Deception by omission is a common Straussian technique. The weak are targeted while the real culprits disappear.

Harper’s mentors

Harper studied under the neocons at the University of Calgary and worked with them to craft policies for the fledgling Reform Party in the late 1980s. Together with Preston Manning, they created an oxymoron, a populist party backed by business.

Ted Morton has turned his attention to provincial politics. He’s an elected MLA and a candidate to succeed Premier Ralph Klein. But he did influence the direction of right-wing politics at the federal level as the Canadian Alliance director of research under Stockwell Day.

When Harper threw his hat in the ring for the leadership of the Alliance, Tom Flanagan, the Calgary School’s informal leader, became his closest adviser. Harper and Flanagan, whose scholarship focuses on attacking aboriginal rights, entered a four-year writing partnership and together studied the works of government-hater Friedrich Hayek. Flanagan ran the 2004 Conservative election campaign and is pulling the strings as the country readies for the election.

Political philosopher Shadia Drury is an expert on Strauss, though not a follower. She was a member of Calgary’s political science department for more than two decades, frequently locking horns with her conservative colleagues before leaving in 2003 for the University of Regina.

Strauss recommended harnessing the simplistic platitudes of populism to galvanize mass support for measures that would, in fact, restrict rights. Does the Calgary School resort to such deceitful tactics? Drury believes so. Such thinking represents “a huge contempt for democracy,” she told the Globe and Mail‘s John Ibbotson. The 2004 federal election campaign run by Flanagan was “the greatest stealth campaign we have ever seen,” she said, “run by radical populists hiding behind the cloak of rhetorical moderation.”

Straus and ‘Western alienation’

The Calgary School has successfully hidden its program beneath the complaint of western alienation. “If we’ve done anything, we’ve provided legitimacy for what was the Western view of the country,” Calgary Schooler Barry Cooper told journalist Marci McDonald in her important Walrus article. “We’ve given intelligibility and coherence to a way of looking at it that’s outside the St. Lawrence Valley mentality.” This is sheer Straussian deception. On the surface, it’s easy to understand Cooper’s complaint and the Calgary School’s mission. But the message says something very different to those in the know. For ‘St. Lawrence Valley mentality,’ they read ‘the Ottawa-based modern liberal state,’ with all the negative baggage it carries for Straussians. And for ‘Western view,’ they read ‘the right-wing attack on democracy.’ We’ve provided legitimacy for the radical-right attack on the Canadian democratic state, Cooper is really saying.

A network is already in place to assist Harper in foisting his radical agenda on the Canadian people.

In 2003, he delivered an important address to a group called Civitas. This secretive organization, which has no web site and leaves little paper or electronic trail, is a network of Canadian neoconservative and libertarian academics, politicians, journalists and think tank propagandists.

Harper’s adviser Tom Flanagan is an active member. Conservative MP Jason Kenney is a member, as are Brian Lee Crowley, head of the Atlantic Institute for Market Studies and Michel Kelly-Gagnon of the Montreal Economic Institute, the second and third most important right-wing think tanks after the Fraser Institute.

Civitas is top-heavy with journalists to promote the cause. Lorne Gunter of the National Post is president. Members include Janet Jackson (Calgary Sun) and Danielle Smith (Calgary Herald). Journalists Colby Cosh, William Watson and Andrew Coyne (all National Post) have made presentations to Civitas.

The Globe and Mail‘s Marcus Gee is not mentioned in relation to Civitas but might as well be a member, if his recent column titled “George Bush is not a liar,” is any evidence. In it, Gee repeats the lies the Bush neocons are furiously disseminating to persuade the people that Bush is not a liar.

Neo-con to Theo-con

The speech Harper gave to Civitas was the source of the charge made by the Liberals during the 2004 election — sure to be revived in the next election — that Harper has a scary, secret agenda. Harper urged a return to social conservatism and social values, to change gears from neocon to theocon, in The Report‘s Ted Byfield’s apt but worrisome phrase, echoing visions of a future not unlike that painted in Margaret Atwood’s dystopian work, A Handmaid’s Tale.

The state should take a more activist role in policing social norms and values, Harper told the assembled conservatives. To achieve this goal, social and economic conservatives must reunite as they have in the U.S., where evangelical Christians and business rule in an unholy alliance. Red Tories must be jettisoned from the party, he said, and alliances forged with ethnic and immigrant communities who currently vote Liberal but espouse traditional family values. This was the successful strategy counselled by the neocons under Ronald Reagan to pull conservative Democrats into the Republican tent.

Movement towards the goal must be “incremental,” he said, so the public won’t be spooked.

Regime change, one step at a time.

Donald Gutstein, a senior lecturer in the School of Communication at Simon Fraser University,

Source

The we have this:

US War Resister faces deportation from Canada

Canada hit hard by war on Taleban

We won’t win Afghan war, admits UK commander

And This

Omar Khadr:

He was 15 years old at the time and has now spent more than a quarter of his life in prison. Khadr has been in U.S. custody since 2002, when he was captured in Afghanistan and charged with murdering an American soldier during a firefight.

Stephen Harper, George Bush’s Fart Catcher

Well put I must say.