Thursday, November 21, 2013

The Organized Crime of the Harper Regime . . . .

The Harper/Senate scandal is fast becoming a tragic-comedy. In many Western democracies, this Prime Minister would have already been forced to resign. Practically every mainstream media commentator (even the rightwing ones) now seem convinced that Harper probably knew practically everything about this conspiracy of bribery and cover-up. The emails from Nigel Wright that say "I want to talk to the PM before everything is considered final," and the next one written an hour later saying "we are good to go from the PM," establish pretty clearly that Harper played an active part in bribing a sitting Senator. (This is the second time that it has been demonstrated that Harper is involved in bribery - recall the Cadman affair) And, as it usually is, the cover-up is as bad or worse than the initial wrong-doing. It is pretty clear that the Prime Minister was part of an orchestrated cover-up in the Senate, a cover-up that involves altering a financial audit.

As politicians go, it doesn't get much worse than this folks. The only thing comparable in Canadian history is the so-called Pacific Scandal.

One of the things that strikes me as curious about this scandal is this - though it is clear now that the Prime Minister lied to the House and all of Canada, even without his confession of direct knowledge of the details of the bribe and cover-up, his best-case scenario is that he instructed his top aides not to inform him of any illegal details. In other words, the Prime Minister oversaw the orchestration of profound malfeasance even if he didn't know the details. The Disaffected Liberal nicely compared this situation to a Mafia Don who oversees illegal events without ever actually taking a direct part in them.

Another thing that strikes me about all this (and the Rob Ford scandal) is the way that it illustrates the inequalities in our system. Nigel Wright, Benjamin Perrin, and the other are wealthy individuals who can use their wealth and power to protect themselves from the law. Even with guilty verdicts there is almost zero chance that any of these wealthy individuals will spend time behind bars, and even if they do, they can emerge afterwards still wealthy and still connected. Yet our prisons are full of individuals who never abused power (because they never had any) and are guilty of petty crimes that come out of their severely limited options and poverty in youth. If a guy like Rob Ford had not been born wealthy he wouldn't be mayor today and there is a very good chance he would be in prison as well. This is not to say that working-class people never get ahead. Rather, it is to say that wealthy people are more or less immune from paying the prices in life and society that others are routinely forced to pay. And in many cases the crimes that the poor pay for are significantly less significant than those committed by white men in suits.

Like a godfather of organized crime, Harper has orchestrated an continual undermining of democracy in this country. Countless members of his circle are convicted criminals, awaiting trial, or simply deeply shady. He has overseen bribery and seemingly countless incidents of electoral fraud. And yet he goes merry along in his chauffeur driven limo, and, like a loyal Mafia family, his caucus gives him standing ovations every time he opens his mouth. His closest Ministers know full well he is crooked and have approved, and been involved in his corruption. They know that they can't oust him because at the very least they will be admitting to being culpable in his corruption.

And like most Mafia Dons, Harper will retire comfortably while other fools, sorry idiots who have failed to understand that in Harper's case loyalty only moves in one direction, pay for his crimes.

4 comments:

Scotian said...

A bit harsh on the reputation of Mafia Dons with this analogy, aren't you? After all they at least have some down-chain loyalty in their system even though the up-chain loyalty is clearly dominant, whereas with the Harper CPC I am not convinced there is any down-chain loyalty outside the uppermost level of the Harper regime. Not to mention their structures are designed for evading and breaking the law, one would expect better than that from a political party forming government. What is worst about what I just said is that none of it is tongue in cheek, and that we finally got a PM that such could be fairly said of is something that sickens me beyond anything I have ever felt where politics is concerned, and given I have been a watcher of it for almost my entire life (family got to me young, I first started paying serious attention while I was still in my single digits) that is a very difficult threshold to achieve.

From the outset way back in the waning days of the Lib government I was sounding the alarm bells about how with Harper the corruption that would happen and to be feared would be abuse of power scandals, not mere money scandals like with the Libs and former PCPC governments which has been the traditional form of corruption that has taken place in Canadian federal politics. I also kept saying about how abuse of power corruption is inherently far more damaging and dangerous to a democracy, and that Harper represented at least as serious a threat to the health of the Canadian nation as the Quebecois Separatists do, to which of course I was branded a Lib operative/hysteric and such from all sides. That such was simply unreasonable to believe possible in Canada, that there was no way any party leader could act so (this despite the proof of Harper's lack of integrity with his actions and cover-up of CPC wrongdoing throughout the Grewal recordings fraud in the Spring of 2005) contrary to the rule of law in our society. Well, here it is in 2013 and I believe my arguments from then have been proven out to be if anything possibly understating just how corrupt Harper and his government would be when it comes to abuse of power.

Consider that in the latest document dump via the RCMP we find that the Harper PMO seems to think it actually runs the Senate despite the actual Constitutional separation and role of the Senate. As you likely recall from earlier this month on another of your posts I mentioned I am a bit of a process geek and I actually find some value in the Senate as it is even though I do agree some modernization tweaking is needed. So I know that the way the Harper PMO was seeing the Senate and the role of Senators, even/especially Conservative Senators was at clear odds with the most basic principles of how our system of government is designed to work. That they saw it as simply another arm of their government and the PMO itself. This is so contrary to our basic system of government that most elementary schoolchildren would see the problem with acting so (well after they were taught those basics, but then kids also tend to be far more inherently direct and honest than we adults).

To be concluded...

Scotian said...

Conclusion:

This is a PM that has truly earned the nickname "Crime Minister", because he has directly and/or encouraged others in his circle to treat the laws of this nation, from civil to Constitutional to criminal as secondary considerations to doing what he wants, when he wants it, and how he wants it. So in that sense the comparison to a Mafia Don is fair, the comparison between the Harper Government(tm) and organized crime is also fair, not merely for the loyalty oaths and the Omerta code of silence, but for the more fundamental aspects of deliberately working around any laws that get in the way of their goals. Bad enough to have groups within society that chose to be this way such as organized crime groups, but when it is those that are charged with writing and protecting the legal society itself and the mechanisms that protect and provide for its functioning that acts so, that is about as corrupt as you can possibly get short of simply overthrowing completely and becoming a dictatorship or some such. This is a corruption like no other to sit in the PMO, indeed within the leadership of the Canadian Parliament itself.

My opposition to Harper was never rooted in partisanship for another party or leader. The only true partisanship I was ever having through all this was my partisanship for the underlying system of government and protecting it from those who would act to destroy it. I don't care what the political flavour is when it comes to that. I DO care about making sure the underlying system remains healthy enough so that we can have these political disagreements and still provide good government, even when it is flavours I personally may not agree with. Harper is and always was something fundamentally alien to our political culture, traditions, and heritage, and something far more corrupt than anyone that merely steals tax dollars. Harper and company steal basic powers, rights, and due process, and those are things that cannot be measured in mere currency, and are inherently far more valuable, and it was that which *I* was being the partisan of.

I really wish people would remember that we are citizens first, not taxpayers first, that it is the duty of citizens to protect the basic precepts of this nation, and to hold all to account, especially the powerful when they chose to do wrong. While the powerful always have had something of an advantage in our society, the last few decades have seen that get far more blatant and absolute, in no small part because we the citizens have allowed the powerful to have their own way (not only that of course, but we really have gotten lax about doing our part beyond token protesting in my view). Democratic political systems exist in part as a way to hold the powerful in check by the common citizen, something that has been forgotten about, and undermined by those who don't want that to happen, and that comes from all flavours of the political spectrum IMHO. When the process is deliberately made obscure, when it is being deceived about then we are all being harmed and the interests of the powerful are being served. That though is a whole other rant for another time.

What is important to remember is that in any democratic structure of government that unless the citizens value their rights and prerogatives they will lose them and have them abused by those with power. Harper is by far and away the most clear example of that in action for Canada, and I hope and pray it is the example which finally wakes up the citizenry to their responsibilities as citizens of Canada.

Kirby Evans said...

Wow, thanks for the great comment Scotian. You did a better job in your comment than I did in my blog.

the salamander said...

.. thanks to both of you .. WoW !
.. a must read again .. just to absorb ..
the original commentary.. and comment !!