Added: April 28, 2008 Category: News & Politics
Title: Sun Tsu says fight, RobinDiscussion on: Stephen Harper and the Conservative Party not being founded on the "Rule of Law" and what can be done to thwart there actions;
© Lloyd MacIlquham, all rights reserved, 28 April, 2008,
Lloyd MacIlquham, B.Sc., M.Sc., J.D.
Nanaimo, Vancouver Island
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Last time Batman and Robin were discussing the Harper regressive, conservative right wing ideology of "Obscure and Obstruct" as well as the IN-and-Out (In-Out) election finance scheme.
Now, they are discussing Stephen Harper and the Conservative Party not being founded on the “Rule of Law” and what can be done to thwart there actions.
Meanwhile back in the Bat Cave . . .
Robin: Holy Hidden Agendas, this is beyond comprehension, Batman.
What’s that, Robin, don’t tell me the Joker is running for mayor, again.
Robin: If only, Batman, this is something much more insidious.
Batman: More insidious that the Joker, Robin, what could that be.
It appears Harper and his Conservative Government has included fundamental and far reaching changes to the Immigration legislation in their Budget Implementation Bill.
Batman: That’s correct, Robin, but it goes much further than that.
These changes give the Minister of Immigration the power to pick and choose, at her own discretion, who will be allowed into Canada and who will be refused. This, of course, means, given the very tight control over his Ministers, that, in reality, it would be at the discretion of Stephen Harper, himself.
This new selection process would apply even where the people affected meet the requirements, whether they have already submitted their applications and no matter how long they have been waiting to have that application processed. This is achieved with the simple changing of one word in the legislation from
[to paraphrase] if they meet the requirements they "shall" be issued a visa to they "may" be issued a visa - "may" being at the discretion of the Minister.
Robin: Holy "Too Clever by Half", Batman, what`s that have to do with the Budget.
Batman: Once again, a very good question, Robin. Many people are asking themselves the same thing. It appears the only thing it has to do with the Budget is that Dion had indicated that he was not prepared to vote down the Budget and if Harper had introduced these changes to the Immigration legislation in a
separate piece of legislation, it would have achieved very little more than embarrassing him and his party.
Robin: Holy Despots, Batman, what is Harper and the Con.`s excuse this time.
It seems, Robin, Harper is trying to excuse it by saying that something must be done about the backlog, which they blame on the Liberals while in office.
Robin: Great Caesar`s Ghost, Batman, is Harper still harping on that. When is Harper and the Conservative Party going to stand up and be judged for what they are.
Holy Lack of Leadership, Robin, [oophs, I did it again] certainly that is a hallmark of leadership. Presumably in the election they may very well be required to be accountable and transparent regarding their actions.
Robin: Great Covens of Right Wing Extremists, Batman,
certainly there must be other, more moderate, ways to deal with the backlog than simply kick out people who qualify and have been waiting, or make them wait even longer. After all, what did they do to deserve such treatment, I mean other than trust that Canada would treat them fairly and with dignity and respect.
Batman: Yes, Robin, it certainly might make the International Community of Nations shake their heads in shock and disbelief. This may very well be seen not to fall within Canada’s fine traditions of fair play and honourable behaviour.
Wouldn`t allotting sufficiently more money to processing the applications and changing how the applications are processed be the obvious answer, and one which many have suggested.
Batman: That does seem transparent, Robin, and allotting
sufficiently more funds to deal with the backlog has the added benefit of being something that might actually belong in the Budget.
Robin: Holy Simpliciter, Batman, so why doesn`t Harper do just that.
Who knows what lies in the hearts of men, Robin.
Robin: Holy duplicity, Batman, wasn't it Stephen Harper who promised increased transparency in government in the last election, Batman.
That’s my recollection as well, Robin, and now we are seeing what Harper and the Con.’s are really all about, and with greater clarity.
Robin: Holy “Banana Republics”, Batman, do we really want this kind of government. Batman: Not I, Robin. And,
perhaps all the fair minded people throughout Canada should ask themselves “ is this the type of government we want for this great nation of ours ”, and so doing, join together in a common cause to put this proud nation of ours back on its true course.
After all, Harper and the Conservatives were only supported by a very small minority in the last election and I think it may be not unreasonable to suggest that amongst those who voted against Harper in the last election very few would approve of these actions.
Robin: Holy Lack of Oversight, Batman, it seems that the proposed changes take our Immigration system, which has always so important to the vitality of our great nation, outside the "Rule of Law".
Batman: Yes, Robin, it specifically takes it outside the "Rule Of Law" in that even if applicants
meet the requirements of Immigration legislation they it is only that they "may" be issued a visa and not "shall", as the legislation now directs. In other words, the law no longer rules it is the Minister, herself.
Robin: But, Batman, doesn't that
put the Minister above the law - et tu, Harper.
Batman: "Ergo, Harper", is more appropriate, Robin, . . . I think. Effectively, yes, Robin, she will be able to pick and choose amongst those that apply at her own discretion and without having to abide by any laws, policies, or whatever. This is
despite how qualified they are and how long they have been waiting since they applied.
Robin: Surely Parliament won't support it and since Harper only has a small minority they would not likely pass it.
Batman:That, Robin, appears to be why Harper and the Con.'s have tacked it onto the Budget Implementation Bill.
This does appear more insidious than the Joker becoming mayor.
Batman: Yes, Robin. But it gets much worse than this.
Robin: How so, Batman.
Batman: It appears Harper and the Conservatives are playing fast and loose with our laws in other areas as well.
Say it isn't true, Batman.
Batman: No Can Do, Robin. They have also buried into the same legislation changes to the film and video tax credit program that would apparently allow the government to cancel tax credits after it is made if deemed offensive to the public.
Holy “Insidious Implementation of Extremist, Conservative, Ideology”, Batman, it sounds like good, old censorship to me, Batman. Doesn't that also make investing in and producing films more uncertain.
Batman: Not if you conform to Harper and the Con's view of what should be censored, Robin.
Immigration and censorship, they're beyond belief, Batman. Given their stance on abortion, I'm surprised Harper and the Conservative Party haven’t tried to criminalize abortion in some anfractuous fashion.
Batman: Funny, or not so funny, you should say that, Robin. As a
matter of fact Harper is amending the Criminal Code (Bill C-484) which many consider a back door attempt to recriminalize abortion (Quebec Federation of Medical Specialists - see: Montreal Gazette, 16 Apr.’08). Whether you feel abortions should not be legal, the manner in which they are doing this should gives rise to concern.
Great ethical and moral struggles, Batman, you mean, the end doesn’t justify the means.
Batman: Precisely, Robin. If the will of the Canadian people is to recriminalize abortion then it should be done thru “informed, open and transparent discussion leading to a truly democratic solution for the good of all” and not “the back-door”.
But doesn’t our Charter of Rights declare that Canada is founded on the “Rule of Law”, Batman.
Batman: You’re absolutely right, Robin. But that doesn’t mean Harper and the Conservative Party are founded on the “Rule of Law”.
The Minister of Immigration has indicated that the Charter will not be violated. However, it is not at all clear, to me anyway, that the Charter applies to the people applying for immigration, where they are neither Canadian citizens, nor permanent resident, nor on Canadian soil. So, when s.15(1), Charter, states
that “every individual is equal before and under the law” and has the right to equal benefit without discrimination based race, nationality, colour, religion, sex, age or mental or physical disability, it is not at all clear that “every individual” applies to everyone in the world, no matter where they live and their status vis-a-vis Canada.
Robin: Holy "regression to the Dark Ages", Batman, it seems that Harper and the Conservative government could restrict Immigration from visible minority countries in favour of those from Western countries. And, Harper doesn’t even need to apply the "Opting Out Clause". Can they do this.
The question, Robin, is, “Can we stop them”. Also, with such extreme, discretionary power, it could prove very difficult to have the Minister's decisions overturned in Court.
Robin: But how can Harper and the Con.'s justify this and putting it into the Budget Implementation Bill,
thus avoiding "informed, open and transparent discussion".
Batman: I don't know, Robin. It is very difficult to see how granting the Minister of Immigration such sweeping, arbitrary powers has anything to do with the budget. It is much more readily explained as abusing the Parliamentary System to
implement legislation that allows Harper to gradually and thru stealth implement his extreme, right wing agenda regarding immigration, censorship and abortion and through an assault on the fundamental basis of the Charter of Rights, which, if I recall from the last election, has been a serious concern about a Harper government.
Haper and the Conservative Party have a minority government, quite small at that. What about the other Parties, surely there is something they can do.
Batman: Well, Robin, for one they could join together in a common cause to save this great nation of ours, and ask the Governor General to allow them to form the government.
Holly “Better Chance of Being Struck By Lightning Three Times”, Batman.
Batman: So it appears, Robin. They could introduce Private Members Bills to bring back accountability and the rule of law to Immigration, censorship, et al. Such Bills would
not be money Bills and so not automatically Confidence Votes. If Harper declares them as Confidence votes he would have a lot of ‘xplianin’ to do to the good people of Canada in the ensuing election.
Robin: Holy “Finally Showing Their True Colours”, Batman.
Certainly this is a good course to take, on the opposing Parties will pick up on.
Batman: We shall see, Robin.
Robin: But what about Stephane Dion , surely rallying the Liberal Party to fight Harper and the Conservatives on this would stop it in its tracks.
Batman: Stephane Dion strategy appears to be to "leave a marker" on these, and other issues, presumably to bring them up during the next election campaign.
Robin: But surely he knows that a tomb stone is a marker as well, Batman.
Hopefully, Robin, and the hole Dion finds himself in may be too deep to dig himself out of. Sometimes you just got to fight and "damn the torpedoes". There is an ancient Japanese Samurai saying (to paraphrase), if you are in a life or death struggle, choose death.
Robin: Certainly, you're
not suggesting that Dion choose to lose the next election, Batman.
Batman: No, Robin. The Samurai were mongst the fiercest warriors the world has ever seen. They did not fight to lose. By 'choosing death' the Samurai freed themself from the emotional drag of
concerns for their own personal safety and freed their spirit to fight. If Dion decides to fight Liberals throughout this fair land of ours may join the fray.
Robin: What about Sun Tzu’s saying that you should not engage the enemy unless you are assured of winning.
Sun Tsu was indeed a great military commander. However, I suggest that "Sun Tsu says fight", Robin. Dion has already been engaged by Harper and the Conservatives.
Dion does not have the luxury of making that choice. This is perhaps the fundamental error in his assessment.
Holy "Stand Up and be Counted", Batman, will the universe unfold as it should.
Batman: I don't know, Robin. What I do know is that we've got to get our Canada back, Robin, before it's too late.
© Lloyd MacIlquham, all rights reserved, 28 April, 2008-04-28