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Are we screwed?

FTLComm - Tisdale - Monday, March 6, 2004
Once long ago bridges like this one carried traffic across streams all over Saskatchewan, there are three of these in the Tisdale area alone. They were built in the good old days when Saskatchewan was a real place, concerned about its population and when its people were concerned about each other. Back in the late forties and fifites when these bridges were built we had towns and villages with services, prosperity and promise. We had medical facilities with real nurses and doctors, we did not have waiting lists and we looked forward to the approach of better times, when more modern things would come along. Rural electrification had taken place but most of us shared telephone lines and placed calls through central. Our telephone number was 2 ring 1.
But the times have changed, indifference in Ottawa toward all but Quebec has made Canada a very different Canada than the one that existed when John Diefenbaker won the election after the pipeline debate, campaigning on the idea of one Canada for all Canadians. As we all know, his dreams were soon shattered when he discovered that there was only one Canada and it was run by Ontario and the rest of us could do as they said. During the good ole days of the Diefenbaker regime, we had an agricultural minister from Saskatchewan (Alvin Hamilton) who said he would and did, sell our wheat. We proposered here in Saskatchewan and things have gone down hill since then.
In 1967 the nationalism in Quebec went from a rumble to a roar and since then Canada, has had Prime ministers from that province, the only ones who were not from Quebec had terms measured in weeks instead of years. The rest of the country came to realise that the shift in emphasis was something we could do nothing about and when the Chretien government almost lost the referendum, we all looked the other way as money was shovelled to that province in every way possible. Gas tax money went only to Quebec and of course we hear the indignation of all, about the sponsorship scandal, where over $200 million was shipped to Quebec with half of that money slipped off into private and corporate pockets.
There are lots of people who are pretty upset about this issue, but they shouldn't be, because nothing has changed. This is the natural order of things as they have become in this country of ours. Government elected by Ontario voters and controlled by Quebec politicians. The political scene in Canada has shrunk to a simple pattern, a Quebec prime minister is replaced by another Quebec prime minister and then by another. The only change of venue is the part of Quebec from which he comes. Trudeau from Montreal, Mulroney from Montreal, Chretien from Shawinigan and Martin from Montreal. The present purge inside the Liberal party is against the non-Montreal types who were from the sticks (Shawinigan).
The Liberal party is the government party, not just now, but for the past and all the forseeable future. No matter what the scandal, or the issue, there is simply no credible alternative to the new prime minister, who staged what amounted to a peaceful coup within his party, to rest the reins of power from the upstart from Shawingan and back into the hands of someone more appropriate, the son-in-law of the ruler of "Power corporation," Paul Demarais, power is now where it rightfully belongs, in the hands of Paul Martin. The establishment is pleased.
When he was thrown out of cabinet for messing around behind the prime minister's back, Paul Martin announced a bold and positively received plan, to give more power to individual members of parliament, to have more free votes and empower parliamentarians so that there is democracy once more in the House of Commons. I noticed that he had done his home work and when he appointed his cabinet and the various non-specified ministers, I incorrectly surmised that the man may have believed his own propoganda. All of what a man says is tested only when his actions are measured against his words.
In order to let democracy take its course, Sheila Copps, who is well to the centre of the Canadian political spectrum, and had served as deputy prime ministered, ran against Paul Martin, but purges in a power hungry regime, are ruthless and autocratic. It might just as well be Kruschev having replace Bulganin in Ottawa, as the party purge is in full swing, as Paul Martin makes sure that all who had opposed him are destroyed. A leader who gains power as he did, back stabbing his way to the top, will not let what he did to Chretien, be done to him, and Sheila, was defeated in her attempt to gain the nomination in Hamilton Saturday night. But it was how she was defeated that should give each and every Canadian pause. The nominating convention was extended more than an hour, to let people waiting in line, to vote, but the actual number of votes for the "so-called" winner were never announced and countless party members are reporting that they were not allowed to vote because their memberships, were somehow not recorded.
I truly must tell you that I was suckered into the Paul Martin story line, that he was intent upon reforming parliament, now I realise that it was a hoax. But alas folks, there is an election in the spring, Yeah right!
The Reform Party, which became the Alliance Party, which is now called the Conservative Party, has always stood firmly upon the basic principle that the voter must have the power in a democratic system. They say this individually, they say it in their literature, on their web site and every one of their leaders from Mannning, Stockwell Day and Steven Harper are advocates of the democratic process. Yet when Saskatchewan voters want to give the nomination to former Premier Grant Devine, Steven Harper vetoed his nomination. Democracy is set asside by the Conservative party. Yet, the third condender for leadership of the party, Tony Clement comes from a government that made graft the stuff that he and his fellow Conservatives, accuse the Liberals of in Quebec, look like penny-anti stuff, as their actions over Ontario hydro are not in hundreds of millions, but perhaps billions. While the second leader contender says that what government needs is somebody from the business world to run things and we consder her father who avoids paying taxes in Canada by slipping his money and residence off shore. But alas their is the NDP, yeah right!
Jack Layton, the new leader of the NDP, has a very populist view and has come out on the proper side of most issues since taking over his party. Many people believe that when the dust settles after the spring election and Polit-bureau Head Paul Martin has completed his purge and settled into the Kremlin in Ottawa to assume his first term in office, that Layton and his NDP members could be the official opposition, simply because the Conservatives are deceitful, as demonstrated by their underhanded means of forming the party. But that little tune is going flat, as former Saskatchewan cabinet minister Chris Axeworthy announced that he will run as a Liberal in the coming election. What?????
When even NDP folks have no faith in their possible success and Saskatchewan NDP people, realising that the only party that can form a government, is the Liberal party, I think we are screwed.
The "we" here is the voters of Canada. Comrad Martin has grabbed the reins of power in the government party to such an extent that even within it, the word of the Prime MInister's Office, which was the law of the land, in the Chretien days, will now be considered edict under Martin. The Conservatives are without crtedibility, totally, would you cast a vote for someone like Peter MacKay and the guy who made the under the table deal with him, Stephen Harper, come on, not a word they say can be taken for anything but drivel. Harper a committed Alberta Separatist with Alberta separatist advisers, will become the party leader and his share of the popular vote across the country will be well below that of all but the Bloc. The NDP, unable to convince even their own people to support them are, despite their good intentions and popular causes, simply out of hope.
If anyone remembers their Canadian history, we have returned to the days of the "family compact" and it could be decades for the Liberal party to tire of running the country, for it will be up to them to decide when they want to turn things over to some half baked fool for a term, just to give themselves a break and show the country how badly things go without them at the helm.

Timothy W. Shire


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Editor : Timothy W. Shire
Faster Than Light Communication
Box 1776, Tisdale, Saskatchewan, Canada, S0E 1T0
306 873 2004