Rewriting History? Or History Repeating?

I am unimpressed with our elected officials this week.

(I am using understatement as a rhetorical device and in an attempt to remain calm and keep from spitting pure venom onto the computer screen)

3rd prorogue?!?!? Really?!?! *Update- according to my friends at the CBC and lostandfoundbooks, Harper has actually prorogued FOUR times.  I somehow missed the one in ’07- was buried alive in a dissertation.  Carry on…*

Jebus.

Evidently the political agenda needs ‘updating’, so the reconvening of Parliament is delayed a month.  Just like when the Liberals and NDP threatened to form a coalition that could overthrow the Conservative minority, and again when the Prime Minister was hesitant to answer questions about Afghan detainees (that time he blamed it on the Vancouver Olympics).

I’m sure it has nothing at all to do with the debacle in the Senate at the moment.  Especially since the inquiries and audits are mainly finding issues with Conservative Senators.

Can’t have anything to do with it.  Right?

And he verified that he will be leading the country into the next election.  Was ‘disappointed’ the reporter even had to ask.

Disappointed.

Jebus.

Not as disappointed as I am.

And then there’s Harper’s Canada and Harper’s History.

Granted, he’s not the first politician to attempt to rewrite history.  The cliché that it is the winners who create the stories is all too accurate in most cases, but in a free, democratic society, where we have access to primary documents and first-hand accounts along with significant remains of material artifacts, we also actually have historians who work pretty hard at solving the mysteries of the past.  It’s their job.  And real historians don’t start from a particular political agenda when reconstructing history.

Scholars of Canadian history link events and people and places together, regardless of whether or not the stories are flattering or even, at times, all that pleasant.

Harper would seemingly prefer that his government provide the backdrop and definition of our shared identity and past.

Thanks, but no.

Lest you think that my anger is directed only at the federal (Conservative) ‘leadership’, I also sent a somewhat disgruntled missive to my Provincial (Liberal) MLA last week.  This disgruntlement has only increased with the complete lack of acknowledgement or response.

It wasn’t anything remotely like a letter one would receive from someone in a tin foil hat.  No conspiracy theories.  No mention of the colossal waste of taxpayer money in the decision to shut down the plans for power plants in order to preserve seats and control (albeit as a minority) of the government (and I wouldn’t even think about bringing up what political expediency did to the teachers of this province).  I maintained appropriate decorum and language throughout the letter.

I just plainly and clearly expressed my concern about value-for-money in the context of a reallyreally unacceptable response to my (taxpaying) inquiry about resources for job searches from an employment centre that is funded by the Ontario government.  As I have said before, I am aware that I am fortunate to have any job at all in this market/economy/recession.  But does that mean that I should be completely shut down and out in my request for direction and access to government resources?

I didn’t think so.

So I asked my MLA if there is another tack I should be taking, since my tax dollars funded employment centres have no help at all to offer to me.

No response.

It seems as if both levels of government (all three, really.  But I’m trying to forget that Mayor McCheese exists right now.  I can only handle so much political depression at one time) are paying all kinds of lip service to this story of economic recovery and powering forward as the envy of the world.

Harper shifted the discussion away from his prorogation suggestion stating that he prefers to discuss economic recovery and job development in the North.

Ontario politics have been so messed up- what with by-elections (one riding won by Mayor McCheese’s now-former deputy) and hearings about the power station controversy, that there has been little coherence to any message at all coming out of Queen’s Park.

It’s Summertime.  In Canada.  Everyone is moving at Cottage Speed.  I get that.

But these people were elected to fix uncountable issues that impact the everyday lives of millions of citizens (and residents) of this country.

In ancient Rome Prorogatio extended the power to command beyond the one-year mandate of the magistracy in cases when there weren’t enough elected officials to govern newly acquired land.  In theory, this was intended to ensure that these territories would continue to be governed by men who knew the area and its local conditions.  Because ancient Roman politicians were humans (and politicians) and therefore inclined to corruption and greed, in actual practice prorogatio of provincial assignments became the norm- allowing those who ascended to power to extend that power and to command extraordinary military power and personal wealth.

This well-intentioned political device, originally something that had to be voted on by the citizens of Rome, became usurped by the powers of an unscrupulous Senate and led to the breakdown of the governmental system and to the civil wars that eventually ended with the collapse of the Roman Republic.

Unscrupulous Senate?  That sounds vaguely contemporary and familiar doesn’t it?

According to Canada’s constitution, the monarch has the ability and royal prerogative to prorogue Parliament.  In practice (as we’ve seen oh-so-frequently of late), the leader of parliament (or the legislature- Dalton McGuinty did it too), in this case the Prime Minister, asks the Governor General, the Queen’s representative, to cease all legislative business until such time as he decides to recall the members to get back to work.  At his convenience and according to his control-freak agenda.

Rick Mercer summed it up a few years ago.

Proroguing IS for children.  The CNE has started, summer is almost over.  Get the hell back to work.  I’ve had more than enough of the taxation without representation that Rick talks about.

P.S. Feeling a little revolutionary today.  Anyone feel like joining me down at Harbourfront for a little party?  I’ll bring the tea.

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4 comments on “Rewriting History? Or History Repeating?

  1. I feel your pain. It bothers me greatly because he uses it as a method to change the channel on public opinion when he’s in a pinch. And sadly, it works. To my surprise, CBC reported that this is his 4th time (2007, 2008, 2010, 2013) — “Harper used prorogation in 2007, but it was subsequent moves to prorogue in 2008 and 2010 that drew the most attention. In 2008, he used the tactic to successfully out-maneouvre the opposition’s attempt to unseat him and form a coalition government. He prorogued again in 2010 in the midst of a controversy over Canada’s treatment of prisoners in Afghanistan and ahead of Vancouver’s hosting of the 2010 Winter Olympics.” source: CBC…anyway, enjoy your tea!

  2. colemining says:

    Whoa. Must have slept through the one in ’07. Thanks for the clue in! Tea is on hold- at least until I find some fellow revolutionaries! Thanks for reading!

  3. colemining says:

    Wasn’t planning on drinking the tea- just dumping it symbolically in the harbour. Something stronger is DEF in order, as far as the imbibing goes!

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