Friday, September 26, 2014

Shame and fear

It has been a bit embarrassing these past few years to be a resident of Toronto.  The antics of our mayor have caused the world to laugh at us and yet nothing Rob Ford did caused me as much distress as what I saw today of the Conservatives that control Canada.  Thing is, Ford is a buffoon and has limited control.  He also was in a place such that the rest of the government could sideline him and move on with business.

The Conservatives have gone beyond shame though and right into terror.  A real part of the democratic process is respect for the process and they have made it clear that they have no interest in responding to real, immediate, important questions about Canada's involvement in Iraq.  Question Period in Parliament is designed to allow the people to get answers from the government about their policies.  Recently the Conservatives demonstrated complete and total disregard for this process, ignoring questions about Iraq in favour of rants about Israel.  It is completely reasonable for the government to debate policy surrounding Israel but when the opposition can't even get the government to talk about the same *country* that a question was about we have a serious problem.

The followup was no better.  The Conservatives apparently see nothing amiss with simply refusing to tell people what is going on and what they intend to do.  They try to hide it with emotional speeches about barely related topics that energize their base but it is abundantly clear that they have the utmost contempt for the other parties, Canadians in general, and good governance.  Shouting about how someone associated with the NDP is critical of Israel has nothing whatever to do with simple questions about deployment schedules in Iraq, and the fact that the Conservatives don't even feel obliged to pretend to be accountable is a frightening thing.

When a government becomes so certain of its invulnerability, so dismissive of its constituents, so obviously narcissistic, it must be brought down, and quickly.  No matter who is in charge of a nation they must always feel like the people they serve deserve and demand respect.

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