Canadian democracy is eroding

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To the Editor:

I would like to comment to Henry Dahle’s and Ray Neufeld’s letters to the editor in the April 14 issue of the Advance, letters written from the opposite side of the fence with reference to our federal government and the up coming election.

According to an Australian newspaper, the Australian, the world is watching Canada’s democracy erode, while Canadians “suffer an excess of civil obedience, politeness and lack of civil rage that could be harnessed to combat political atrophy. At a time when Arabs risk life and limb for political freedoms, Canadians seem highly apathetic about the erosion of their democracy.”

The paper goes on to say how the centralization of power in the hands of Stephen Harper and his political staffers have resulted in the demise of the role and status of cabinet, and parliament. The extent to which constitutional conventions, parliamentary etiquette and civil institutions of good governance have been worn away is great cause for concerns to all, but it seems not for Canadians.

The Australian goes on to list the infractions. The Speaker of the House, for the first time in the history of Canada, ruling that the government and a minister have been found in contempt of Parliament; the integrity commissioner being so inept that she failed to uphold a single one of more than 200 whistle-blowing complaints and was forced out of office, but awarded $500,000 severance on condition that neither she nor the government talk about it; shuttering Parliament twice when questions got a little tough to answer to gain time to recoup strategies; four Conservatives charged with exceeding campaign spending in the 2006 election and nothing has been done about it; civil society groups that criticize the government are evaporated by funding cutoffs; judges who rule against the governments pet ideological causes are attacked by cabinet ministers and the list goes on.

I have faith in my fellow Canadians, and I trust they will see the light by May 2, and will vote the right way.

Alex Ewashen