Another calculated boo-boo?

It worries me that the Harper is trying to get around the constitution. It should worry everyone. From the Ottawa Citizen:

PM’s cherished bill unconstitutional, House counsel says
Lawyer issues challenge of accountability legislation; MPs demand release of staff advice to minister
Tim Naumetz, The Ottawa Citizen

Published: Friday, June 02, 2006

The federal government’s sweeping accountability bill would violate the Constitution by allowing the courts to wade into the decisions of Parliament and votes by MPs, says the chief legal counsel for the House of Commons.

In a surprise brief yesterday to the committee studying the 192-page bill, chief Commons law clerk Rob Walsh took the rare step of challenging key clauses, including the new conflict of interest rules for MPs and the secret ballot votes to elect officers of Parliament.

Is this another nod of the head to another faction of the party, saying that yes, when we have a majority we’ll transform this country into something we’ll never recognize? Or, perhaps this is why the Harper picked up his marbles and ran away after the Gwyn Morgan thing. Or maybe it does smell like cheese as one blogger suggests. It’s definitely a wedge issue, designed to score points over the Liberals next election. But is the electorate really that fickle? Will it be after experiencing this Minority government? I mean, the Harper is scary! And so are some of his supporters.

Thanks to Sinister Thoughts for the lead.

Another Nicaragua?

It’s deja vue! I seem to recall something like this going on in the 80s. I shared an office with the Tools for Peace administrator. From The Globe and Mail:

Bolivian president accuses U.S. of assassination attempt


Associated Press

La Paz — Leftist President Evo Morales said Tuesday the U.S. government had organized groups to kill him and said he believed Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez’s assertion that Washington was preparing to overthrow his administration.

“I’ve been informed recently how the U.S. had organized teams — groups to persecute Evo Morales, to kill Evo Morales. They haven’t been able to and now we’re organized, from unions to this political party and they can’t stop us anymore,” Mr. Morales said, without giving more details.

Ambrose would not face dissent

About twenty Singers of the Sacred Web (and friends) gathered at the airport to welcome Minister for the Environment, Rona Ambrose, to Regina. Standing around Shelley Sopher’s photographic installation of the Old Man on His Back Tipi Ring we sang two songs written by songwriter, spiritual feminist, and social activist, Carolyn McDade. The songs, based on words from the Earth Charter, apparently frightened the Honourable Minister away.

We sang:

We of Earth
We declare our responsibility
To the whole, to the future
We of Earth declare

(which has a few more verses) and

We are one
One human family
One Earth community
A common destiny for all

How sad the Minister lacked the courage to listen to our voices raised in song!

Welcoming Minister Ambrose to SK

A greeting party! I’m so excited! Meet at the Teepee Ring in the Arrivals & Departures area at the Regina airport. Bring a placard if you like.

Greeting the Federal Minister of the Environment with Songs from the Earth Charter.

The Singers of the Sacred Web will gather with citizens concerned for Earth at the Regina Airport at 7:30 p.m. on Monday, May 22, to greet the Honourable Rona Ambrose, Minister of the Environment.

The Singers of the Sacred Web, with citizens concerned for Earth, will sing from the Earth Charter by way of protesting the Federal Government’s plan to scrap Kyoto and eliminate climate change programs including the One Tonne Challenge.

For more information contact
Ruth Blaser

The songs are very catchy and easy to sing.

BTW, Linda McQuaig makes a good case for staying with climate change programs..

Finally, Poetry

Not mine, and not poetry, but this review of a memoir by Nigerian poet, Wole Soyinka, who in a wide cultural perspective and with poetic overtones fashions the drama of existence and was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1986. As I learned in Amy Goodman’s April 2006 interview with him he was a peaceworker accused of conspiracy and imprisoned by the dictatorial Nigerian government of the late 60’s. He spent almost two years in solitary confinement, an attempt he says, to break his mind.

My favourite nugget from what I’ve read of Soyinka’s work thus far: The greatest threat to freedom is the absence of criticism. Do you think the Harper and his merry band of UltraCons and right-wingnuts could learn something here? B-)

Saving EnerGuide

Thanks to Maple Leaf Politics for the link to this story about Natural Resources Minister from Quebec, Pierre Corbeil, and his effort to save the EnerGuide Program at a meeting in Regina on May 24.

Now this is interesting. The program is still on the federal government’s website. And Quebec’s PM, Jean Charest and the Harper are great buds. Makes me wonder if pulling this one off might help the Harper save face in Quebec and the rest of the country.

Environmental organizations have called for action, insisting the Harper reverse this cut. But would he do so at the expense of the Alberta oil industry and those who paved his way to 24 Sussex?

Then again, one can’t help but wonder if this meeting will be a nuclear energy love-fest. After all, the nuke-loving Australian PM, John Howard, recently met with the Harper. Oh, these wealthy white males!

We’ll see what transpires.