Thursday, March 18, 2010
This is democracy?
Apparently, Harper's Conservatives either:
a) don't understand that concept
b) have something to hide
The smart money is on b).
From filibustering a committee meeting to refuse to have the widow of the former Rights and Democracy president to testify to, of course (and for years now), using every single obstructionist tactic it can possibly dream up to deny MPs access to documents about allegations of torture on Afghan detainees handled by Canadian forces, this perpetually arrogant minority government cadre of Conservatives believes that democracy is only something that works according to its restrictive rules.
The only good news is that the Canadian people, according to the latest poll, don't think these Cons are anywhere near deserving to rule as the majority party. And it looks like the collective opposition is finally growing a real spine by threatening MacKay et al with contempt of parliament. What is truly laughable in the situation with these torture documents is that MPs are not to be trusted with national security matters - unless they are in the governing party, apparently.
That's not the way to run this country.
And that the opposition refuses to push this government out of office while its attempts to rule by fiat only increase in audacity every week shows how truly weak they really are.
We're talking about a cover-up of torture here.
But, after all, what have we learned from our neighbours to the south these past few years when it comes to concerns about torture and their lack of urgency as expressed by so-called "liberals"? We've learned that those who authorized torture and who publicly condone - even flaunt - its use in public (a la Dick Cheney and Karl Rove) can admit their war crimes without any consequence whatsoever from those with the power to go after them legally.
There's not much breathing room on the political scale between the Democrats and the Liberals (not that the NDP is off the hook for this lack of urgency either) when it comes to forcefully and immediately standing up for the human rights of torture victims. Why? Because they're just as complicit - either by taking part in the cover-up or in failing to act in any way that actually mattered when they had the power to do so.
So, we coast and wait and coast and wait until the powers that be deem that "Canadians want an election" or until some international body finally forces some actual accountability - which could be years, decades from now.
In the meantime, we boast about how wonderful our "democracy" is and how those "third-world" countries would do so much better to mimic our so-called "representative" and uncorrupted systems.
Just who are we trying to fool - besides ourselves?