Susan Delacourt's post yesterday, addresses the new reality and frankly the thesis deserves much more attention. It's time to wake up, the Harper government has fed off voter apathy, and like a thief in the night, made off with acceptable practice for any self respecting DEMOCRACY. People like Clement, under direction from the PMO, are able to put out patent mistruths and the only recourse for the public service, resignation. How SAD is that, manipulation, wherein the real casualty is honesty and truth?
Delacourt makes a fascinating point, relating to the Governor General, as part of her wider theme:
So what does this have to do with the coalition crisis? In that case, the battle was also over perception versus reality. By the time the matter landed in the Governor-General's lap, the public had been whipped up into a frenzy about separatists running the Canadian government. There was no public debate or education campaign about the realities of the coalition and minority parliaments. The Governor-General was spun into a corner and again, unable to speak directly to the public, because of ancient codes of silence and discretion. From what I understand, the GG was also worried about public perception, fearing that any decision to deny prorogation would unleash a PR campaign against the institution of governor-general itself.
A very shocking revelation, you have a situation where officials are not focusing on their responsibilities, but distracted by fear of recourse and a certain potential for payback. The question is now raised, did the GG accept Harper's prorogue because she weighed the constitutional arguments, or was her view influenced by what she felt the government would do in retaliation, if Harper was rejected? Public servants shouldn't have to operate under fear and intimidation, that is simply ludicrous in this country, in today's times.
Weaving back to the census debate, that a well respected man's only recourse is resignation to protect his integrity- something is clearly wrong and disturbing. We now have a host of completely independent examples, wherein this government uses intimidation, innuendo, bullying, to silence their critics and even mis-represent their positions. That these tactics have become standard fare in Ottawa, alarming, but also a testament to passive acceptance.
There is a wiff of totalitarianism here, somewhat analogous to the idea of "purges", strong men using threats and intimidation to solicit compliance. This paranoid and vindictive government, that seeks out enemies where none exists, has transformed our political reality. When you actually step back, what an ugly picture, how far we've evolved backwards. In Canada, I would have never believed it, if you asked me a few years ago.