Sunday, 4 October 2015

Vote for Good Government

Cross-Canada Harperman Sing-Along
After almost 10 years in office, Prime Minister Stephen Harper and his Conservative government have become a political liability for many Canadian citizens at the time when the country is facing a federal election on October 19th, 2015. This dissatisfaction was highlighted with 100s of people participating in two high profile events here in Ottawa to influence votes:

Memorial March for the Victims of Harperism
I attended both events, heard the sounds of deep dissatisfaction and photographed the discord. See my 36 photos of Cross-Canada Harperman Sing-Along, and  134 photos of the Memorial March for the Victims of Harperism. See links to multimedia coverage by 7 other journalists, 1000+ photos.

It now seems that the Harper Government has managed to alienate many of its citizens with a series of scandals, paranoid behaviours and secrecy, using fear as a controlling mechanism in governing, and public embarrassment in the lack of diplomacy on the world stage — with 'no credibility with essential players'.
  • The Mike Duffy affair for improperly claiming over $90,000 of living expenses was an exercise in public deception.
  • The Conservative Senate fiascos since 2007 have brought dishonour to this Parliamentary institution. Perhaps now is the time to consider dissolving the Senate.
  • The ill-defined Bill-C51 was an overkill reaction to handling crimes, resulting in a threat to civil rights. Much of the Government's spin on terrorism and security is a hijacking tactic for votes.
  • Scientists and others have been muzzled from speaking out, resulting in a climate of fear and intimidation in the civil service.
  • Greatly cutting the budget of CBC has reduced the capacity to report accurately indepth news abroad.
  • The close of the long form Census was a reflection of the Conservative’s negative attitude towards science.
  • Closing down the Canadian Wheat Board has hurt many prairie farmers, resulting in lower prices of grain and erratic transportation schedules. 
  • Bill C-42 was an attack on citizenship, giving the power to the government to deport any citizen at its will.
  • The Auditor General exposed 'unprecedented incompetence' on the F-35 plane procurement scandal.
  • Rejection of the UN Kyoto Protocol to climate change was a slap on our commitment to clean up our environment. Climate change is a matter of human rights such as the right to life, the right to health, the right to adequate food and the right to water.
  • Shutting down parliamentary debate on important issues by using omnibus bills is a travesty of democracy.
  • The government was implicated in the 2011 Canadian federal election voter suppression scandal known as Robocall.
  • Lacking diplomacy on the world stage is not in keeping with the behaviour of a good statesmen. An example of this is Harper’s uncouth behaviour towards President Vladimir Putin of Russia. Remember that civilized people talk.
  • In November 2014, a resolution was brought before the United Nations that condemned Nazism. It was opposed by Canada, the US and Ukraine. What is the point of having Remembrance Day if nothing is remembered?
  • Militarizing Canadian society has been a cost to our stature in the world as a peace-keeping country. We need to awaken our consciousness about who we are, and what we need to do to regain our voice and leadership role for peace in the global community.
The list of missteps by the Conservative Government in Canada goes on. It is time for a change. Good government is urgently needed to meet the many human needs of our citizens and to bring civility and real democracy to the country.

On October 19th Canadians have an opportunity to go to the polls. ‘Vote for honest politicians’ advises Paul Maillet of the Center for Ethics Peace Services. Yes, stand up and be counted! Let us reclaim our country as one that is respected around the world for its honesty, good governance, universal health care, clean environment and a supporter of nonkilling peace.

  1. Harperman writer decides it’s time to go, sing out for change, by Kathryn May, Ottawa Citizen, October 3, 2015: A9.
  2. Open Letter to Canadians. Time To Re-Establish Canada As A Global Citizen For Peace, by Paul Maillet, Center for Ethics - Peace Services, Unpublished Ottawa, October 3, 2015.
  3. Steve Paikin, The Agenda, TVO. Michael Harris: Harper in the Hot Seat. YouTube, 30 minutes, 2015. 
  4. Teresa Healy and Stuart Trew (editors). The Harper Record 2008 - 2015
  5. Ed Finn (ed.). Canada after Harper: His ideology-fuelled attack on Canadian society and values, and how we can resist and create the country we want. 2015. See review by Meg Borthwick in, Oct. 8, 2015. 


  1. Thank you for your work for peace and a non-killing society. The above list is a good reminder of why we must elect legislators who will act for peace and progress. The Harperman singalongs across Canada and the march for victims of Harperism are inspiring contributions towards a more just Canada.
    For Peace and Progress Ed Lehman, Regina, Sk.

  2. I agree Koozma. What I find hard to understand is how ideological this government is, preferring to ignore or avoid good information, alternative views or discussion. Their minds are made up and they don't want to hear anything contrary. They seem determined to not learn anything from the past. Sadly, this results in many just plain stupid decisions and, in the case of Bill C-51, a dangerous piece of legislation.

  3. Dirk Falkner, Germany6 October 2015 at 08:00

    Dear Mr. Tarasoff,
    Thank you very much for this great explanation of Canadian politics.

    You diplomats and bureaucrats
    Who play the role of God,
    Who rule the fate of sole and skate
    Of turbot and of cod.

    You dicker and you dither,
    -Each plies his selfish wishes—
    But never once consider
    The wishes of the fishes,
    Who may have valid reasons
    To fear for their survival
    Besides the fishing seasons’
    Or fishing boats’ arrival!

    Tim Samorodin

    My late father wrote this poem in the ‘80’s in response to the disappearance of the fishing industry on Canada’s East Coast! As we enter a new political era, maybe the politicians seeking to be elected will take to heart the lessons of the past and stop dickering and dithering, and get on with the task of honestly representing the electorate!

    Fred Samorodin
    October 3, 2015

  5. Kalmykov Valeriy6 October 2015 at 23:32

    "leadership role for peace in the global community." --- смеялся до слёз.

    1. Если канадцы хотят вернуть себе роль «мировых лидеров», то канадцам следует помнить, что тогда необходимо нести полную ответственность за действия и поступки которые они совершают на внешней политической арене. Когда канадские вооруженные силы бомбят Ливию и Сирию без разрешения СБ ООН, то и обязаны принять 1 миллион беженцев, содержать их, выплачивать пенсии, строить им мечети.

    2. Все призывы голосовать за «ЧЕСТНЫХ политиков» не более чем пустая риторика. В политике не существует понятие честности, так как никакой политик не может быть независим от глобальных проблей в мире и экономики. При любом раскладе он просто будет обслуживать интересы трансатлантических корпораций и военно-политических блоков, иначе его съедят и ничто не сможет его удержать у власти.

    3. Translation for part 2: All calls to vote for 'HONEST POLITICIANS' are no more than empty rhetoric. Politicians have no concept of honesty because they are not independent of global actions in the world and in economy. In any development, the politician will simply serve the interests of transatlantic corporations and the military-political blocks, otherwise he will 'be eaten up' and will not be able to hold on to power.

    4. Translation for part 1: If Canadians wish to return to themselves a role of 'world leaders', Canadians should remember, that it is necessary to bear the full responsibility for actions and acts which they make in the external political arena. When the Canadian armed forces bombed Libya and Syria without the permission of the United Nations, Canada was obliged to accept 1 million refugees, to contain them, to pay pensions, and to build its mosques.


  6. Every year since the 1930’s, sections of the Doukhobor community in Canada have celebrated “Declaration Day” which celebrates the declaration by the Doukhobor “social movement”* that this “movement” rejects any participation in the political structures of any (Canadian?) social society. Yet our Doukhobor society has continued to benefit from the order and structure that the state can provide. At what cost? Doukhobors have been obliged to submit to or ignore the implications that such state benefits provide when they are placed in philosophical/spiritual conflict with the political leanings and military underpinnings of various elected governments.
    However, the electoral decisions of most voting citizens in democratic societies are based on how they perceive political issues affect them personally. Jesus Christ is described in the New Testament as stating “render unto Caesar, that which is Caesar’s (sic)”. Therefore, how does a Doukhobor morally respond to a situation created by lawmakers in France? A recent French law “made it illegal for students to wear clothing and adornments that are explicitly associated with a religion…The justification given by the French government was that such a measure was necessary to honor the separation of church and state, and useful for ensuring that the French citizenry is united into a whole, rather than divided by religion. However, it is also possible to see this law as an unwarranted interference of the state in religious practice. If liberty of conscience includes not simply a right to believe what one chooses, but also to give public expression to that belief, then it seems that people should be free to wear clothing consistent with their religious beliefs.” Internet Encyclopaedia of Philosophy “Religion & Politics”
    Can our Doukhobor society condone such a political action in Canada? Can our Doukhobor “movement” even imagine such an event? Well, I would argue that such political actions have threatened our Doukhobor movement in the past and continue to do so to this day! Fortunately such politically sanctioned actions have not yet reached the point of banning the wearing of “platki” by Doukhobor women!
    “A liberal state is supposed to remain neutral with regard to religion…it is wrong for the state to intend to disadvantage one group of citizens, at least for its own sake and with respect to practices that are not otherwise unjust or politically undesirable [like the contents of certain periodicals].
    “Alternatively, neutrality can be understood in terms of effect. The state abides by this sense of neutrality by not taking actions whose consequences are such that some individuals or groups in society [Doukhobors?] are disadvantaged in their pursuit of the good…thus, if the government requires school attendance on a religious group’s holy days, for example, and doing so makes it harder for them to practice their faith, such a requirement counts as a failure of neutrality.” ( Liberal philosophers apparently consider this thinner assessment of political neutrality to be subject to compromise. “Thus, if the institutions and practices of a basically just society make it more challenging for some religious people to preserve their ways of life, it is perhaps regrettable, but not unjust, so long as these institutions and practices are justified impartially.”( my question: when the state makes demands on a select group or “social movement” that threatens its way of life or survival, does such a social movement use its human resources to (peacefully) apply its influence on the powers of the state by using their democratic perogative to vote —or choosing other ways to seek social change that is in harmony with their spiritual/social beliefs ? You be the judge!