Sunday, January 22, 2006

Harper watch II

Couple of more things on Harper.

Check out one of his main advisors, Tom Flanagan of the University of Calgary, who is an unabashed racist:

What ignited the most fury was Flanagan's contention that aboriginals were simply conquered peoples who'd been bested by Europeans with a higher degree of "civilization," as he termed it. That argument, peppered with references to "savagery," hadn't been heard in polite company for decades. "There's a fundamental racism that underpins his view," says Radha Jhappan. "It's an amazingly selective reading of history and it's driven by a particular right-wing agenda that wants to undermine the claims of collectivity."

Also, The history of Harper's relationship with the Reform/Alliance/Conservative front National Citizen's Coalition:

During his time at NCC, Harper strongly promoted the NCC agenda, including its bedrock issue, privatizing health care:

“GLORIA MACARENKO: Stephen Harper, what do you think of a parallel private health care system in Canada?
STEPHEN HARPER / V.P, NATIONAL CITIZENS' COALITION: “Well I think it would be a good idea. I think we're headed in that direction anyway. We're alone among O.E.C.D countries in deciding that we'll have a two-tier system but our second tier will be outside the country where only the very rich and powerful can access it and will be of absolutely no benefit to the Canadian health care system. So I think this has been the wrong way to go. And clearly we're moving in another direction.”” [53]

With respect to child poverty, Harper said:

“These proposals included cries for billions of new money for social assistance in the name of “child poverty” and for more business subsidies in the name of “cultural identity”. In both cases I was sought out as a rare public figure to oppose such projects.” [54]

Concerning bilingualism:

“After all, enforced national bilingualism in this country isn’t mere policy. It has attained the status of a religion. It’s a dogma which one is supposed to accept without question. … [M]ake no mistake. Canada is not a bilingual country. In fact it is less bilingual today than it has ever been...As a religion, bilingualism is the god that failed. It has led to no fairness, produced no unity, and cost Canadian taxpayers untold millions.” [55]

On federal-provincial relations:

“If Ottawa giveth, then Ottawa can taketh away… This is one more reason why Westerners, but Albertans in particular, need to think hard about their future in this country. After sober reflection, Albertans should decide that it is time to seek a new relationship with Canada. …Having hit a wall, the next logical step is not to bang our heads against it. It is to take the bricks and begin building another home – a stronger and much more autonomous Alberta. It is time to look at Quebec and to learn. What Albertans should take from this example is to become “maitres chez nous” [56] .

And to clarify Harper later added:

“It is imperative to take the initiative, to build firewalls around Alberta, to limit the extent to which an aggressive and hostile federal government can encroach upon legitimate provincial jurisdiction.” [57]

Regarding protection of human rights:

"Human rights commissions, as they are evolving, are an attack on our fundamental freedoms and the basic existence of a democratic society…It is in fact totalitarianism. I find this is very scary stuff." [58]

On partisan politics:

"You join a political party if you want to work for a politician; you join the NCC if you want the politician to work for you…The press could have gone one better though. They could have quoted me directly. I have been consistent and unequivocal for a long time now - I have zero interest in leading this new entity or any existing party…I like my job as President of the National Citizens’ Coalition. I think it's important to have an organization dedicated to the NCC's principles and not subject to the pressures of partisan politics. Before the NCC, I spent over 10 years of my life pursuing those principles in partisan politics, including a number of years as the first policy officer of the Reform Party. While I don't regret that at all, I have no desire to do it over again. In fact, there is almost nothing I would rather do less." [59]