When Harper touts his leadership, be afraid
By Gloria Martin
In the Sept. 10 Strip, Casey Lessard made comment that he feared a majority government in the federal election, and that, although he couldn’t quite put your finger on it, he “just doesn’t trust him (Prime Minister Stephen Harper).” I have to admit that I resonate with that fear, but I think with good reason.
First off is the fact that we are facing an early election despite Harper’s own pronouncements to the contrary; he says one thing and does another. Second, we have a prime minister who does not respect the will of Parliament by disregarding a majority vote in the house: the vote taken on allowing Iraq war resisters to stay in Canada. Having refused to participate in an illegal war not sanctioned by the United Nations, a war which has committed serious human rights violations, left countless untold dead, with lives and communities utterly destroyed, Harper continues to deport these courageous resisters back to the United States to face prison sentences. This is in spite of the fact that a majority vote was taken in the House of Commons to let them stay. Make no mistake: Canada would be fighting in this Iraq war if the Conservatives had their way.
Perhaps this is why Harper is so insistent on supporting another very unpopular war in Afghanistan. Canadians have heard the pleadings of voices like Afghan’s former MP Malalai Joya urging us to stop supporting her government, one of the most corrupt and criminal governments in the world – a gang of druglords and warlords, many of them wanted for human rights violations. She has told us that 60% of the Afghan people consider this government to be the worst in two decades. She reminds us that it’s a proven fact that no nation can liberate another. Liberation must be achieved by the people themselves – others can only provide support. The majority of Canadians want to support the troops by bringing them home, but Harper is determined to keep them there and watch as many of them return home in body bags. I was proud to call myself Canadian because we were a peacekeeping country concerned for human rights and people in crisis. Now we are involved in a war and supporting a criminal government. Would Harper follow the US in a war against Iran? His actions thus far suggest he well might. He seems more intent on impressing the Republican government than the Canadian people. We need to read the writing on the wall before it happens.
Last but not least is Harper’s reneging of the Kyoto Accord. Faced with the biggest crisis of all time he would rather point a finger at China than take full responsibility for our significant part in the global environmental crisis. Our very life on this planet depends on us taking urgent measures now. Now is the time for strong leadership on this matter because we don’t have until 2050! So am I nervous about the outcome of this election? Very! And with good reason.
For more information please go to www.youtube.com and watch Malalai Joya on Democracy Now! 19June07; Malalai Joya on ABC program on Afghanistan; War Resisters Supporter Catches Up With Stephen Harper; Canada’s Parliament votes to let U.S. War Resisters stay.
Gloria Martin is a Parkhill resident.