Stephen Harper

Harper's Saving Grace: Canada, China, Trade and Human Rights

"None who have always been free can understand the terrible fascinating power of the hope of freedom to those who are not free"

      - Pearl S. Buck

During Prime Minister Stephen Harper's four-day trip to China last week he was hit with a non-stop barrage of sanctimonious scolding and chiding about how he has unwisely undermined Canada's relationship with China during his four years in power.

These public attacks came not just from the Chinese leadership and state-run media, but from the opposition parties back here in Canada as well, particularly the Liberals.

Now there's not much I respect about Stephen Harper, but his stand on China has been one issue where I believe he really deserves some genuine praise. While the rest of the western world has stumbled over itself to suck up to The People's Republic for trade and business purposes, Canada has retained a certain sense of dignity. Harper's refusal to kiss China's ass - when just about every other world leader has been doing nothing but - deserves some real respect in my books.

Bitter and Bewildered: The Sad Plight of The Disillusioned Left-Wing Canadian Voter

Do you ever feel like you're a rock 'n' roll fan stuck in the eighties? Or a science teacher at a Republican education convention down in the Southern States? Or an environmentalist in oil sands-ravaged Alberta?

Well, if so, then you're quite possibly a left-wing Canadian voter. Because feeling discouraged, depressed, dejected and downhearted is all part and parcel of being a progressive voter here in this country these days.

In fact, this must be what it feels like to be a Toronto Maple Leafs fan after a while.

Thank You Quebec: The Canadian Election Rant (Part 3)

I could go on and on about what a depressing night it's been watching the election results trickle in and facing up to the fact that we're in for more of the same from Stephen Harper and his reactionary Conservatives.

But I'm not going to.

What Canadians Need: The Canadian Election Rant (Part 2)

We need to face reality here in Canada, our electoral system is, at its core, quite simply undemocratic, unrepresentative and broken.

It's time to move out of the 19th century and into the 21st. It's time to start modernizing this archaic system of ours. It's time for some true democracy.

I mean, if a party is potentially within reach of a majority government with just 36-40% of public support, as the Conservatives now seem to be, then, clearly, something is fundamentally wrong with our system.

What Canadians Want: The Canadian Election Rant (Part 1)

In most of the recent polls leading up to next month's election the Conservatives have had the support of between 36-39% of decided voters and now the pundits are talking about them possibly forming a majority government. It seems Canadians want the Conservatives in power. It seems they want more of what Prime Minister Stephen Harper has to offer. It seems Canadians are leaning to the right.

The only problem with all of that, of course, is that it's bullshit!

Canada The Callous and Cold: Get Omar Khadr Freed Now!

This whole situation with Omar Khadr is so repulsive, shameful and depressing. Thinking about how this poor kid from Toronto has been treated makes me, as a Canadian, feel so embarrassed and sad. All his rights have been violated, he's been abused, tortured, held for six years (so far), long periods of which have been in solitary confinement, he faces a sham trial that would make the Soviets proud, and he was just 15 years old when captured, yet Canada has done absolutely nothing to help him. In fact, as we now indisputably know, the Canadian government has been an active participant in this whole tragedy. And so I ask: What sort of nation have we become anyway?

It's Called Conservativitus: The Pity The Conservatives Rant

Your old road is
Rapidly aging
Please get out of the new one
If you can't lend a hand
For the times they are a-changin'

- Bob Dylan, The Times They Are A-Changin'

We know that throughout history conservatives have constantly fought tooth and nail against equality and justice? But the question remains, why? Could it be a sickness?

What's up with conservatives anyway? Time after time they have been shown to have been on the wrong side of history, standing strong, tall and proud against justice, equality and progress. Yet in the present they always seem to stubbornly cling to their bankrupt way of thinking, as they insist on opposing all progressive change, whatever it may be. Of course today's typical conservative wouldn't defend slavery or deny women the vote, but, in the end, it's the same mindset and, without a doubt, today's conservatives, had they been around back in the day, would have supported the status quo then, just as they do today. The conservative mind remains the same, it's just the topics under discussion that change.

Finally An Apology: The Canadian Native Residential Schools Rant

Canada's Shame: Generations of Children Kidnapped and Brutalized In The Name of "Civilization" and "Christianity"

Yesterday was truly a great day for Canada. After years and years of waffling and procrastination, the federal government finally did what everyone knew had to be done: The Prime Minister, on the floor of the House of Commons, apologized to the Native People of Canada for the horrific and racist residential school system that this country ran for more than a century, a system that destroyed tens of thousands of lives. It's the single most shameful chapter in this country's recent history and an official apology simply had to be made. So, it's certainly not very often that you'll find me heaping praise on Stephen Harper, but today he most definitely deserves it.

The Humiliation of Canada Rant: Harper, Bush and The Bathetic Bali Balk

Hey all you fellow Canadians out there, as Bob Dylan once asked, how does it feel? How does it feel to have a government that is such a disgraceful embarrassment on the international stage? I mean, when your country's only real ally on a major issue is George W. Bush's America you've really got to stop and ask yourself just what the hell went wrong? And the answer, obviously, starts with the election of this Stephen Harper-led right-wing Bush-a-like government of ours two years ago. The only question now seems to be, just how far down do these jokers plan to drag us?

The Canadian Abandonment of Omar Khadr Rant

The American gulag in Guantanamo Bay has one - just one - remaining Western captive still being held by the U.S. government. His name is Omar Khadr. And he's Canadian. Every other Western government did all it could and eventually won the release of every single one of its citizens held in that Kafkaesque joke of a camp. But not our government. No, the Canadian government has abandoned this guy. And the worst thing is he was already abandoned back when he was just a 15 year old kid. That's how old he was when the American's locked him up and started their mental and physical torture regiment on him. Torturing kids? Yup, that's how fucked up the American government has become. Abandoning Canadian kids in foreign gulags? You bet, that's exactly how fucked up the Canadian government has become.

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