Conservatives Take Their Debate Ball and Hide In A Closet

After so much effort from the Greens to ensure all Canadians can hear an inclusive debate, what the Conservatives are doing now is absurd and frustrating. So the Cons are behaving typically. Will the media let them get off? Yes, history shows.

Of course, the less the Prime Minister says, the less he gets in trouble.

By doing this, the Prime Minister’s Office is sending a clear signal to legacy media platforms that their old way of doing debates is done. By proactively taking that initiative, it looks like Team Harper is attuned to the times – and voter interests.

-JAIME WATT of Navigator (Firm that dropped Jian Ghomeshi)

Why voters would be interested in the Prime Minister dictating what sort of debates there will be for him to participate in, is beyond me.

Why endure the whole thing when you can catch a recap of the highlights by waiting a short period of time?

Because people don’t speak in sound bites except on Twitter, Mr. Watt. Real life happens first, and media cuts down what’s real into what is presentable for those short periods of time they ironically call “news”.

Fair and Balanced Questions

As you probably know, “Fair and Balanced” is the Fox News tagline that exists to trick the more easily fooled into thinking that’s what their actual objective is.

Check out today’s story from the Vancouver Observer about “@FairQuestions”, a Conservative friendly researcher who took thousands of dollars in speaking fees from oil companies and testified for Conservative ends in Parliament. This, after being connected to lucrative oil money roles through Senator Duffy.

The $10,000 fees were paid by the Association for Mineral Exploration of BC (AMEBC), Canadian Energy Pipelines Association (CEPA) and Taseko Mines between March 22nd and June 6, 2012. The Inuvik Petroleum Show paid $6000 for a June 21 appearance, along with Amanda Lang and Ezra Levant.

The B.C. mining group also appeared to go out of its way to pay her.

“We usually don’t have fees,” said John Buchanan, Director of Communications and Public Affairs of AMEBC. “It’s a professional opportunity. It’s a way for speakers to give back to their industry.”

www. ezralevant. com/protecting_canadas_future has a video of Krause on Levant’s former Sun News show.

ADDED: One of the most disturbing points in the video is when Krause says she thinks the debate has been skewed because big money from the cities is drowning out small voices in rural Canada, and that funding should be “out in the open”.

Made In Canada Conservative Hypocrisy

“Canada had long been a proponent of harmonizing our climate-change policy with the U.S. until the U.S. started to fight climate change.”

First it was the “Made in Canada” scam plan (that never appeared). Then it was, “We will act when our American partners do.” Now that Americans are acting, it’s exposed the climate denial-ism of the Conservative Party.

So what happened? Why has the government suddenly changed course? The reality seems to be that harmonization has just been an excuse the federal government used to justify doing nothing, and then quickly abandoned as soon as it meant doing something.

“Apparently, the government is now looking for today’s climate laggard to harmonize with.”
– “Tim Gray is executive director of Environmental Defence.”

And Now, For the TFSA Switch!

Following up my blog post of 4 years ago about Harper’s tax break for the wealthy are stories on CBC and elsewhere regarding the TFSA folly. The increase benefits only ~39% of Canadians who’ve managed to open such a savings account.

“Harper pledges to double tax-free savings limits – but not till deficit is beat
And you have to give him credit, he’s going to be right. Because he won’t be in office when the deficit is beat, a Conservative government doesn’t know how to go out of deficit (history shows they only go into them).

“TFSA limit could swell to $10,000 when Tories balance budget”
(FP article shows a picture of a piggy bank, which should be a flying pig instead.)

Balance what budget? Harper and Oliver have indefinitely postponed this year’s budget in part because Oliver is incompetent, and also due to oil’s somewhat unexpected drop in value.

More Debates, Not Fewer Debaters

The unethical fools at the Broadcast Consortium will probably gladly keep Elizabeth May away from the debates this year too.
Especially amusing is the Conservative spokes-tool saying more participants would make it a gong show. Mulcair wanting a debate focused on women, while angling to keep the only female leader out of the room, is special too.

What’s wrong with the Star and Robert Benzie to write an article about debate controversy and not even mention the Consortium considering blocking the Green Party again because they got away with it last election?

Why would it be up to the Conservatives to decide how many televised debates there are? Clearly, the Broadcast Consortium isn’t actually in charge here. It’s known that Layton and Harper conspired to keep May from debating previously.

The Pony Express Government

CSE has undertaken a domestic spy operation that is illegal in Canada, because it’s spying on communication of Canadian citizens. CSE is supposed to only spy on foreigners, and the Commissioner overseeing the signals intelligence agency is supposed to put a stop to any overstepping of that mandate. Something clearly has gone awry in a grave way.

PONY EXPRESS should not exist in Canada nor should every (paper) letter mailed by Canadians be photographed, as the US is doing. Claiming the mandate CSE has to protect government computers overrides its restriction on conducting a mass surveillance operation of Canadians’ communications, doesn’t pass even a smell test.

Under the Criminal Code, CSE is barred from targeting the content of Canadians’ emails and phone calls, but it gets special ministerial exemptions when protecting government IT infrastructure.

The restriction on spying on Canadians is precisely for preventing twisted ‘logic’ to allow this sort of violation of Canadians’ privacy.

IT security analysts at CSE only use and retain information “necessary and relevant to identify, isolate or prevent harm to government of Canada computer networks or systems,” the agency told CBC News in a written statement. Data that poses no threat or is not relevant to that goal “cannot be used or retained, and is deleted.”

Civil liberties lawyer Vonn argues that there’s “much more” Canadians should be told about the agency’s collection of their data, such as how long it’s held, without putting national security at risk.

We need a more aggressive civil liberties lawyer to sue our government to stop this sort of breach, but with a bill like C-51 on the table, I see why they’re too timid.

C-51 Being Pushed by “Fascist” language

A former Mountie and CSIS operative thinks Harper’s so called anti-terrorism bill is scary and unnecessary.

Mr. Lavigne, 55, left government in 1999, but follows intelligence news closely.

He spent years tracking dangerous radicals without the powers the government wants to give to CSIS.

“I find it a little convenient that in the past few years that these radicalized people are the biggest threat to ever hit us,” he said. “There are more people dying because of drunk drivers or because of gang violence.”

(-link added by me)

Mr. Lavigne said the prime minister’s advisers must tell him that using inflammatory language increases the risk.

“When our leaders start talking about tentacles and jihadis and barbarians, it’s adding fuel to the fire. It’s actually increasing the likelihood of that happening.”

Mr. Lavigne said the prime minister’s language reminds him of fascist leaders like Mussolini and Franco.

“Some of these tactics are taken right out of the fascist playbook,” he said.

“They’re not crossing the line. They’re using the language to appeal to the emotions, which is one of the first stages. Disinformation being the second, which I think they also use. But they’re not fascist. I’m not saying the government’s fascist.”

He laughs.

“Don’t detain me.”

Ha. Ha. Don’t detain me, either.