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COMMENTARY · 25th March 2011
Merv Ritchie
Today, March 25, 2011 at 11:20 am the Canadian Parliament voted to close their doors to business. This means, yes an election, but more importantly, the end of debate and discussions. On the day a Canadian General is instructed to take over directing a campaign of war against another, non aggressor country, on a day when Japan announces the failure of reactor number three’s containment vessel leaking plutonium, (the most dangerous toxic substance known to man), into the open surrounding ocean and land, on a day when nothing is more important to the people of Canada than a debate to address these most serious concerns, the Parliamentarians decide to call it a day and go home.

This, my friends, is a crime.

Now we all individually get to watch the outrageous display of Canadians at war, with the entire affair being directed by our own General, having no Government to challenge it.

Now we get to observe a continuing meltdown in Japan, the worst Nuclear accident since Chernobyl, get worse, with no Government to debate what to do about it or how to prepare for effects from it.

Those who believe this wasn’t a pre-planned affair, wasn’t thought about in great detail and manipulated by others to enact this entire vote to end the Canadian Parliament are deluded. This was all planned to distract us from the horrific reality of the world today. Lets talk election and watch pretty pictures of Halo 360 live on the telly. Lets not frighten the sensitive Canadian, distract them.

Our international neighbours, to the south, the good old US of A are challenging their President for taking them into another war. What is wrong with us and our media? Call it whatever the Mainstream Media wants; we are dropping bombs on a Country who was not a threat to any other Country. If we want to talk about them killing their own people and how this is the bar we need to step in and start bombing a Country over, then there is easily a list of a dozen others we should be bombing.

And what is this “No-Fly Zone” bullshit all about. Yes, passed by resolution 1973 in the United Nations, but how is it that before this motion passed no other country flew there? Now that we have a “No-Fly Zone” every country in the world, except Libya, gets to fly there. Am I alone here in finding this ludicrous? There is a word for actions and deeds such as these. Malicious. The western world is being betrayed by their governments and their media. Another word, Treasonous.

No where was it heard in Parliament, in the last few days, on the illegality of our Canadian troops bombing targets in Libya. (Our email to our MP Nathan Cullen, to clarify this declaration of war was not responded to.) It is bad enough to have our boys and girls sent home in boxes from Afghanistan, but now we are in another Military engagement, get it, WAR, and our parliamentarians vote to go home and not even let these words escape their lips.

Lots of other things have happened too with the closing of the doors of the ‘Civilian's Government Business Responsibility Chamber’ the bill to ban crude oil tankers on the west coast, the one which demanded the Government put a bill forward for the members to vote on banning tankers all along the Northwest coast of BC, is now dead. Dead in the water, just like some of our brave men and women will be, just like some tankers will be, just like our environment will be, just like those Japanese workers who stepped into a pool of water only to discover their feet were burning up, will be. They stepped into pools of the worst radioactive slop ever dreamt up. Just like this international manipulation to close the Canadian people's democracy chamber.

And our Parliamentarians are quitting now for at least a couple of months to ask you to vote them back in.

How pathetic is that?
You could be correct
Comment by Gary Edwards on 27th March 2011
You could be correct Merv, in your theory about international Conspiracy. Non of this has escaped me.
But I for one am glad this Government has fallen. On an Historical vote no less. It is my firm belief that Harper is an autocrat and foes not deserve to lead this country. The people are the ones that do the voting and not big money interests. This has to stop and the supporters of the few rich need to be handed a lesson. Not just in the federal government but the provincial and municipal as well. And we in BC have a chance to stop it all.
Get out and vote folks. Don't just sit around and whine. You can make a difference.
From Japan
Comment by M Craven on 26th March 2011
I live in Tokyo and have tried hard to contact various federal ministers. Not one has replied back to me. Our country and government has done. I can give you a timeline of the Embassy in Japan's response and how little information they have given Canadians and how they are impossible to contact during a disaster. My cousin and I phoned multiple times over the period of 6 days and they couldn't even answer the phone! Is this how Canadians respond to a disaster?

I am a professor with strong ties to the Japanese government, I write speeches and edit documents for members of Japan's Parliament. A record 262 aftershocks of magnitude 5 or greater were registered in the first seven days following the 8.9-magnitude Tohoku earthquake on March 11. My three children are scared; do Canadians even care about the anxiety and fear of children?

Harper stated that this is not an emergency and Canadians can easily return. As an expat it is hard for me to return because I will have no job and I am ineligible for any support for at least three months because I am a non-resident of a province. I am stunned with what I have witnessed in the first week by the governments response and the Embassy inefficiency. It was very frustrating that our government thinks it is just so easy to escape a natural disaster and uses a call center with workers who have no clue about Japan from Ottawa to give advice by phone...what has happened to Canada since I left?

I still have family in Northern BC, I would return in a heartbeat with my children if there was work. It saddens me that the US has done more for me and my family than Canada has. It troubles me knowing how serious this disaster is in Japan and how it is getting very little media coverage due to Canada's unstable government.

Mr. Ritchie, in the future I hope you could show some respect for the Japanese workers. Japan has learned Canada doesn't care so it would be better to use another nation’s people as an example. Did you know according to local Tokyo media even North Korea has given more aid then Canada...Anyone who follows me on facebook or twitter will be able to confirm the horror I have seen and my family is experiencing. I only hope that our waters in BC are safe.

There is a lot of information that has gone unreported and I think that all members of Parliament should be there to listen to a expat who was born in Canada and raised in Kitimat when he says that he is scared for the safety of his family and is there any help or plan to help Japan? This is one of the worst natural disasters of recent history. I can still feel tremors everyday, now the water and food are contaminated. I guess Canada’s participation in the war on Libya is more important then what made Canada famous, humanitarian efforts.
Just think with the same result...
Comment by Helmut Giesbrecht on 26th March 2011
...odds are that both Stephen Harper and Iggy will probably be gone. Harper is trying to make everyone fearful of a coalition and he knows that if he gets another minority government he will have to form a coalition himself if he stays. It is ironic, or maybe a bit disingenuous.
Terrace vs the world
Comment by Bryan Notheisz on 26th March 2011
Merv, you do raise some good points but to say this is all part of an international cospiracy??
I seriously doubt that one. If anything, some of the opposition parties (don't think the Bloc cares either way) decided this was a good time to go to the polls, when the voters are distracted by world events.

I see nothing in this budget that was so offensive to require an election, and the "contempt of parliament" issue is quite certainly a blow up of reality. What was so different this time that the Liberals and NDP were not prepared to let the government live another day?? Nothing.

As for bill dying, this happens with every parliament, if the bills were good they can be re-introduced next time.

My prediction is that after the election we will be in pretty much the same situation as we are now. The Liberals will then once again go on a dump the leader parade. Hopefully this time they will have a race, not a coronation done in haste because they see a chance at grabbing power.

All very unnecessary and costly.

I would suggest that most folks in the Terrace area would prefer the Terrace Daily stick to items related to Terrace and the region. Maybe you should start a blog to express your opinions and beliefs on world events.
Talking Points?
Comment by Barry English on 26th March 2011
I'm not surprised that the conbots are out in full force. I'm only surprised that there are so few of them so far. What they are saying though is right out of the Conservative's handbook of talking points.

To start with, we are NOT having elections every six months. The last one was a provincial election (and had nothing to do with federal politics), in the spring of 2009. There was a municipal election in the fall of 2009(again, not federal), and the last Federal election in 2008.

Next, This election was NOT forced on us by a "coalition of seperatists". It was brought about by the official opposition to the Government of Canada after finding that Harper and the Conservatives were held "In Contempt of Parliment", a very serious claim and one that was not easily arrived at. While the budget was a big issue, it was not the devining factor in this case.

The budget itself was not a document that any party besides the Conservatives could vote for and Harper knew that when Flaherty presented it. By stating adamantly that it was NOT open to amendment Harper guaranteed that the opposition would be forced to vote against it, triggering an election that the Conservatives knew would come.

The ONLY ones screaming "coalition" are the Conservatives, not the parties supposedly involved . It must be remembered that the Conservatives themselves are a coalition of the former Reform, Alliance and Progressive Conservative parties, and that the Liberal party in British Columbia is a coalition for Conservatives, Social Credit and Liberals.

Finally, What is wrong with a coalition? Most of the European countries, including Great Britian have coalition governments, and some of them have lasted a long time, and work quite well. A coalition just means that people with divergent opinions work together. I see nothing wrong with that.
Short Term memory...
Comment by R1chard Jenn1ss on 26th March 2011

Harper had his "coalition" formed with the bloc & NDP in 2006 to overthrow the Liberals.

2008 the confidence vote passed however harper veto'd the vote for yet another election.
Fixed election dates was a lie.
Gas was almost $1.50 a liter then.

What is wrong with a coalition anyway?
A NATO Coalition we have enforcing Libya now, A Canadian is leading it too.

Does Contempt of parliament mean anything?
It means a disregard for process which is ironic since we're defending democracy abroad.

Vote, please do.
Don't vote for the sake of avoiding an election - our veterans fought dearly for the luxury of apathy.

Pay attention, it's the least you can do for your country.

Comment by K Derksen on 25th March 2011
Lance I could not have said it better myself! This will be a landslide majority this time! As for Merv! What can I say wow!
another waste
Comment by bill braam on 25th March 2011
I'm really tired of being asked to go through yet another election process. Perhaps we can send all the Ottawa bound politicians to a year of kindergarten first. Then when they can all get along for at least four years of playing in the sandox together and not be bad to each other when playing 'King of the (parliament) hill' they haved earned a seat there. Thank you.
Comment by Lance Armstrong on 25th March 2011
I cant wait to vote for Harper again! Maybe they will really blow them out of the water this time so we wont have to listen to them as much. Then maybe we can go 6 months without another election.
Comment by Mike McFetridge on 25th March 2011
That you have linked the World's response to military autrocities against people participating in a cultural revolution--these autrocities conducted by an obviously insane man; a potential nuclear catastrophe brought about by not one - but two - natural disasters; and a Canadian Federal election moves me to think that you do not merely have a unique filter through which you view the world Merv.

This article is a "biwinner".

And to prove the point...
Comment by Helmut Giesbrecht on 25th March 2011
...SFU Political Scientist is quoted as saying "he believes Prime Minister Stephen Harper decided to trigger the election by tabling a budget carefully calculated so other parties couldn't support it." So there is nothing noble and honorable about that tactic.
I agree...partially
Comment by Kevin Gooden on 25th March 2011

You're right, there's some pretty important events going on in the world right now, where having Parliament in session to deal with Canada's role makes very good sense.

But today's vote to close Parliament was not unanimous, it was 156 for and 145 against. The Liberals and their coalition partners the NDP and Bloc Quebecoise voted to close down Parliament, so they could serve their own interests by forcing us to the polls for the fourth time in seven years.

With the memory of the Liberals speading money-stuffed envelopes around in Quebec in a desperate attempt to cling to power not that far in the past, it's certainly no surprise that they (and their coaltion partnership) have chosen a critical time in global history to shut down government business.

International conspiracy? Seems pretty far-fetched. Of course, we've just witnessed the Liberals and NDP teaming up with a separatist party to defeat our nation's government...and it doesn't get much worse than that....

Let's hope the NDP's shameful participation in this debacle doesn't lead to a Liberal government that decides NOT to fund the Northwest Transmission Line. The Conservative government resurrected the project after the provincial government dropped the ball...but would a federal Liberal government/coalition support the project? Who knows?

History has shown the Liberals to be very focused on central Canada's needs, to the exclusion of "outlying areas" (i.e. anywhere west of Ontario). If they and their coalition form the next government, we may find our economic revival in great jeopardy. Something to think about in the voting booth......
I've Had My Doubts ...
Comment by Roy Harding on 25th March 2011
... about you for a while.

I put those doubts down to different styles and outlooks. But this takes the cake.

I never entertained the idea that you might be a conspiracy theorist - obviously I should have.

You generally run a good little community newspaper here - and I read it daily, but I won't bother reading your opinion pieces in future.