Sunday, May 20, 2007

Parliamentary Doldrums

Now is precisely the time when the kind of parliamentary reform I envision would come in handy, ie, a non-partisan parliament, in which only the cabinet is the government, and in which lack of confidence votes would lead to a transition to a new cabinet/new PM, via a deal brokered by the Governor General, with the support of a majority in the House.
Here we have a minority government with no agenda, that most of the electorate voted against, and whose policies are therefor unacceptable to the majority of Canadians, kept in power because no one actually wants an election, a government incapable of regenerating itself because all its policies were reactions rather than responses, leaving us not with responsible government but with a reactive one, at a time when we need to be making bold new steps towards dealing with a pending global catastrophe.
I say dump Harper and his cabinet, let the GG broker a deal for a new cabinet under a new PM, and let that new government set a new agenda that will get things done.
All Harper is doing now is waiting around to become history.

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Fixed Parliamentary Terms

I'm not much of a fan of this new law because I prefer the much older system in which the government was the cabinet and the cabinet was the government. I think that system (as opposed to the government being the party in power)provides greater room for good government, an easier way to bring in proportional representation, and retains the role of the Governor General in creating new government/cabinets when a lack of confidence issue arises in the house. Which is to say that if a Prime Minister can't keep the support of the house, a new leader is asked to create a cabinet/government from the ranks of the elected house members, and if that leader succeeds the new cabinet proceeds to govern until they lose the confidence of the House. An election in that system would occur only when the Governor General can't find a leader/cabinet that can hold the support of the house. Partisanship is the biggest problem in our parliamentary system these days because the 'party in power' has replaced the 'cabinet in power', so instead of focusing on policy the cabinet focuses on electability, and the party whips turn the rest of our elected representatives into 'step and fetch' voting blocks instead of into individuals serving their constituents. The four year term may create a certain kind of stability, but most of what it stabilizes are parties.
I don't mind using parties to contest elections, but I'd prefer a non-partisan parliament once elected, and a proportionally representative cabinet/government. That's how I'd create stability and accountability and flexibility.

Thursday, May 3, 2007

Maude Barlow came to Guelph Last Night

Maude Barlow came to Guelph Last Night to deliver a sermon in the Norfolk Street United Church, the message was Living Water and the victories of commoners around the globe in retaining or regaining their wetland stewardship, their access to free clean water, the driving back of the Nestle-Mammonites and the Coke-Pepsi Bablyon/Assyrian codes of corporate water taking throughout the Third, Second and First Worlds, Water Warriors with Water Keepers waging peace against mercenary Water Hunters, communities struggling to remain indigenous, local rites of spiritual passage since time immemorial made in the presence of ancient waters denied, people around the world, having enough. Maud Barlow in Guelph last night testifying of water battlers uniting over water, overthrowing armed fortress water-corps security forces through public pressure, defeating gun-toting compound guards at the places where the waters were stolen by Law and reclaimed by the grace of Living Water, darkness repudiated.

Communities are rising around the globe to defend water after hunted-down springs passed into the hands of water extraction profiteers courtesy of government charters, privateers draining ancient commons, the threat of violence growing in places, easing in others, the time of deciding arriving, the separating of the sheep from the goats, the choice to either live how the Waters would have us live, or die in our own waste, wrack and ruin, that choice upon us, the battle of the Age in which we live here among us being fought over water.
Maud Barlow in Guelph last night exhorted us to become new creatures in a new creation, or remain beings doomed to the fate of our own making.
The Good News for the congregation in Guelph last night is that the Living Waters will not lose, and can not fail, we will steward Eden back into being, Justice will flow like the river Isaiah prophesied, fed "like a spring whose waters never fail." (58:11) Though Maud said that differently.

The second reading I have chosen to give alongside Maude Barlow's sermon in Norfolk United Church,I chose in memory of the sun through the stain-glass windows before dusk last evening; the way the rays glowed living colour through the gothic stone windows onto the wall above the plaque that honours the dead of the Great War...

My third reading is
The man brought me back to the entrance of the temple, and I saw water coming out from under the threshold of the temple flowing east. The water rose also out from the south threshold, and past the north gate and to the outer gate where the waters also poured out of the doors, and where the man said, Son of Man, this water flows fresh to the sea, where the river enters... everything will live.
Ezekiel 47...

My Homily

We are upon the crossroads where the deals are done,
daughters and sons,
the choice is ours to choose
as we please,
between the Devil or the Deep Blue Seas.

Wednesday, May 2, 2007


It has quickly become apparent that the Conservative green plan is being greeted with universal disdain from everyone but those who will continue to benefit from an oil economy, ie. those who own Stephen Harper and his government.
Their mantra, that meeting the Kyoto commitments will be bad for the economy, really means that what the Accord will be bad for are their personal economies. Bad for the continued rape of Alberta's landscape and resources. Bad for the hold the oil men have had on the economy of Alberta since 1947. Bad for the veneer of democracy Alberta conservatives love to lecture the rest of the country with. That's the thing about libertarians posing as conservatives, they want a playing field as uneven as they can get, so they pursue the false biological imperatives of social darwinism, with themselves as dominant predators and the unseen hand of the market allegedly governing them, when what is really governing them is Mammon, the god of greed. Harper's job is to delay the inevitable demise of the oil economy as long as possible while pretending to be green, but it's not going to fly. And whatever sins the Liberals had in this field, their sins were those of the Canadian people, who apparently only woke up to the impending ecological disaster recently. The Liberals can move forward because they aren't a construct of the oilagarchy. And that really makes conservatives angry. They are the least ecologically concerned party around, and this little bit they're doing now is like a revolution for them, but it's a baby step, and we need to be taking adult steps, great long strides. Once the environment has been saved, then it will be safe to have conservatives conserve it for us, but as long as they're nothing but libertarians in green conservative drag, they need to be left to practice their baby steps where they can't cause any harm, out of office and in the privacy of their own homes.