(well, when the critic voice moves from Rabble.ca to the Star and hits the GLOBE, then it’s almost mainstream…even if the Globe is now going to retreat behind the paywall….)
Want to hear a pitch for a movie? It’s sort of a 3-D sequel to Terry Gilliam’s Brazil, except twice as weird and four times as depressing.
There’s a bill, called C-38. It’s driven to Parliament on forklifts retrofitted for maximum stealth. This bill, similar at 420 pages in weight and heft to a small pony, is delivered to dead-eyed MPs, behind whom stands the chief whip, taser in hand. The drool-drenched backbenchers nod in unison, and put the bill back on the forklifts for rubber-stamping further down the line.
What’s the film’s title? I’m calling it Canada.
We find ourselves at the cusp of one of those moments in history books (not that there are many history books in the countries where bills like C-38 are routinely passed): Prime Minister Stephen Harper and his legions are trying to shovel an omnibus bill, disguised as a budget, down the throats of sleeping Canadians
Like the border of some Third World hellhole, C-38 is mined with things likely to go boom. There is a budget in there somewhere, but also wholesale “reform” of environmental policy, tweaks to the oversight of Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp., changes to pension eligibilities and Laureen Harper’s quiche Florentine recipe….
Good policies? Bad policies? Doesn’t matter. Properly, each of those items should be sent to committees and considered individually. That’s how our system is designed to work. What the Conservatives have engineered isn’t illegal, merely rotten – another in a long line of tricks defiling the democratic process.
Governments congenitally allergic to transparency, addicted to secrecy and horrified of debate? “Historically, not awesome,” to quote Robert Downey’s Iron Man…. By not making this the issue of our generation, by not linking this with other efforts calling for responsible governance and respect for democratic institutions – and by not understanding that this trend is not just local, but global – Canadians are rolling over and playing dead….”