Stephen Harper came to power (along with some other MPs, who we don't see or hear much from) on the pretense of more accountability than previous governments. Two years under Harper rule, or "Harper Rulz", we are not seeing any of the accountability promised. We are actually seeing secrecy, closed doors, and the death of freedom of information itself. What went wrong? Or, for Mr. Harper, what went right?
NeoCon/Republican campaign experts brought Harper to power through the magic of a buy-able media. Never has Canada seen as inept a group of yahoos try to run the nation. Ill-qualified, uneducated, and without creativity (sworn to the mantra of the NeoCon "bible"), the massive ad campaign and smear of innocent Liberals (see the bogus attempts to discredit Cretien, Goodale, etc.) was able to bring these "less than the best for the job" people to the big show.
It is becoming apparent now, that Conservative strategists were told by their foreign advisers that "playing more righteous" can come back to bite you in the ass. Instead, the strategy became to HIDE everything and anything from the public eye. Your MPs are a bunch of racist, sexist, homophobic, anti-choice bumpkins? Gag them. You are quoted attacking Canada, and calling it a "Northern European Welfare State"? Deny it. Confuse the public with Quebecscam/Adscam. You talk about immigrants living in ghettos in Western Canada... Say you were "mis-quoted", or better, try the new-fangled, "I misspoke"... Yeah... that's the ticket. You want to break election laws, and all rules of Parliamentary accountability (mailers, spending, patronage appointees, etc., etc.)? Just create the "Accountability Act"... The very fact that you created it will make everyone think you're all about accountability and integrity. Don't want people to find out what you've done while in power? Get rid of the Co-ordination of Access to Information Requests System (CAIRS).
You can't be called "unaccountable" or "dishonest" and "lacking integrity", if no-one can find out you were. The old Liberal government of Cretien, then later, Martin, were very open, and becoming increasingly more open. Being so open led to the visibility of the whole "adscam affair". Sure the PMO had power, but it was different power. It was power to exercise party discipline (a good idea when wanting to present a CLEAR MESSAGE to voters). Harper's PMO is more about power itself. It's about breaking down Canada's traditional institutions, about attacking and destroying the bureaucracy. It's about making sure MPs hide the party's true feelings - not say things the party doesn't agree with. Most importantly, Harper's PMO is all about hiding information from Canadians.
Harper's strategy is simply to "not get caught". If you don't get caught, they think, no-one will know you lack accountability and integrity altogether.
Lucky for Canadians, someone is calling attention to these facts. We just hope the media doesn't continue to turn a blind eye, while they continue to dub Harper the "master strategist". To be honest, the "master strategist" mis-nomer is probably in place because the media is as shocked as anyone else about Harper's ascent to power - after being written off only a couple of years ago. Goes to show, the public will buy it, as long as tons of money, foreign advisers, and a media looking for sensationalism and creating stories (rather than just reporting the news) are around.
Keep up the good work fellow bloggers. At some point the "so-called" journalists will turn on their "owned" corporate masters, and actually begin practicing their profession. Journalists have "clubs", however it is too bad they don't have some sort of authoritative body like the Law Societies, Medical Boards, etc. For a group that can change so much in the public forum, and can impact so many lives, it's a wonder there isn't a professional body that helps them maintain integrity better. Before I get skewered by my reporter friends, I just want to point out that I'm referring mainly to journalists who get hoodwinked into "editorializing" then have their "owners" paint the piece as a "news" story...