Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Mulroney, Schreiber, Big Oil, and Shrub's Illegal Election Financing

Someone has undoubtedly posted the write-up by David Orchard... You know the one from his website (here), where he points out links between Big Oil and PM Harper's campaign funding?

So where has the national media been on this story??? If someone as forthright, connected, and aware as Al Gore makes such a serious claim about a sitting PM's campaign financing, surely the media would push the story? Surely the RCMP would investigate? When is was our turn in the spotlight, a handful of Conservative/Reform backbenchers made it their full-time occupation to search for corruption - even where it did not exist. Surely we can be half as tenacious?

Living in Alberta, it is hard - nay, impossible - to see how Big Oil was not behind Harper's success. We are aware of oil company employees canvassing for Harper's New Bleau in the past two campaigns. We don't know a single oil company employee - including foreign citizens - who were not lining up to harp on Harper's "good points".

Which companies were contributors to Harper's campaigns? His leadership? The last election? How did they directly or indirectly channel money and other support to the Harper Conservatives?

We may feel we're in an age past the time where big money could influence election campaigns. Canadians may want to think again. How do you account for the $150K/yr oil exec who miraculously finds himself with a couple of weeks of "bonus" holidays during the election? How do we keep in check the conservative-owned media (Can-West/Global, Quebecor, Fox "News" North of the border it belongs in, etc.)?

The fact remains that while organizations such as unions (which may represent the "common man" from time to time), and even the Canadian Taxpayer's Federation (when they're not fronting foreign business interests, and proporting to represent the "tax-paying little guy") have had to restrict their electioneering activities, some of the world's largest corporations have been running roughshod over our election clean-up efforts.

While a relatively small and frugal organization like a union local - or the CTF - may not be able to influence the handful of folks they may have reached, corporate giants like the Aussie owned Fox News, BP-Amoco, Shell, et al. have been able to exert an unjustified amount of pressure on our system. "Scientific experts" (I use both terms loosely), bought and paid for by Big Oil were critical in this election in twisting the decisions of voters on key issues such as Kyoto - so much so, that voters were "doubting the science" (an oxymoronic expression that seems to be overused nowadays).

Every day Canadians are being deluged by news stories from South of the border - or stories run on Canadian news networks that are completely sourced from the US. Add to this the hawkish, neo-con bent of so much of the Canadian press (might is right, and it's good to be a "tough guy" vs. a "wimp"), and we can quickly see where someone like Stephen Harper can eke into a minority victory (C'mon... this guy hadn't even left the country before being elected - and then only left at taxpayer's expense, riding along with then-PM Cretien).

We need to get after the neo-Cons before they make some fundamental changes to the Canada we know and love. Time to start treating this shrub like the weed it really is. Let's start with an investigation into Harper's campaign finances...

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