Friday, March 06, 2015
Long-time readers will note that I don't often comment on Canadian political matters.
There are myriad reasons for this - not least of which Canadian politics (federal and provincial) is somewhat 'beige' on the average, but a more important reason in my opinion is the meager protections for satire-based free speech in my country.
While in the United States the First Amendment exists to protect unpopular concepts (even the most crassly extreme), Canada has always had somewhat less stable legal ground in this regard, up to the present time.
However, as we are soon to enter an election season with a particularly authoritarian and corrupt federal government fighting to continue the process of remaking my country in its own image with the help of paid American right-wing media advisers, I may have valid and pressing reasons to refocus my energies in a more local direction. Time will tell.
Meanwhile, I find it somewhat of an affront as a resident of one particular province in the Great White North that (caution: back story links may be required for non-resident latecomers) an unelected (by his province) Premier, a banker and a front man for oil and gas interests not limited to but including the (as Charles Pierce puts it, 'continent-spanning death funnel designed to bring the world's dirtiest fossil-fuel down from the environmental hellspout of northern Alberta, through this country's most valuable farmland, and down to the refineries on the coast, and thence to the world' - your mileage may vary), who was parachuted in to replace a spectacularly failed former Premier who resigned in disgrace last year, can find the time to lecture the citizens of his province on their complicity in decades of single-party government malfeasance, and counseling them to 'tighten their belts' whilst buying a flashy collector car for his grandchild - while keeping most of the same political retinue that are at the root of the problem close to his bosom.
To be fair, how Mr. Prentice (the individual on the left in the above graf) spends his money is not my concern - g'head, buy a T-Bird for yer sprog, doesn't everybody? - but how he spends the public purse is...and as his party, who in the last two decades has shown a remarkable talent for neo-liberal spendthrift ways, obsequious support for the monied among their supporters at the expense of the have-nots, the usage of populist rabble-rousing as a stratagem for division and conquering (as represented by the individual in the right of the graf, Ralph Klein), and development of incipient police-state tactics may be facing their own electoral moment shortly, there is very little time left to waste. More to come.