SomeoneSomeone should remind Stephen Harper Canada's Prime Minister that Canada is still a democracy.
email@example.com or Harper, Stephen - M.P. <Harper.S@parl.gc.ca>"Someone should remind Stephen Harper Canada is still a democracy. Retreating into a bunker mentality, the new prime minister has proclaimed that his office must approve all information, comments and even letters to the editor from government officials and cabinet ministers, except those that deal with the Conservatives' top five priorities. The reason given is to keep the focus on those priorities -- GST reduction, an accountability act, child care, sentencing for criminal offences and a wait-time guarantee for patients. The Prime Minister's Office also wants cabinet ministers to avoid talking about government direction and be less accessible to reporters. This sends all the wrong messages. It tells Canadians their access to the cabinet ministers they elected to Parliament will be tightly controlled by a small inner circle. That means the public will be told what the power-brokers want them to know, which flies in the face of the democratic process. It also suggests the prime minister doesn't have confidence in his own cabinet ministers. If Harper thinks these ministers need to be on such a short leash, how can the public be expected to respect their judgment? It speaks volumes for Harper's disdain for the media. The PMO even tried to ban microphones from hallways outside cabinet meetings, a decades-old tradition. Like it or not, it is the news media that give taxpaying Canadians access to politicians. Excessive impediments to media access to ministers verges on obstructing the public's right to know. So much for accountability and open government. It also portrays Harper as a control freak. After some of his more extreme and loose-lipped MPs helped squander the Tories' chance for the government benches in the 2004 election, we can appreciate why he reined them in during the last campaign. But the election is over and Parliament hasn't even convened yet. Instead of loosening his grip, the PM rushes to gag his cabinet. Ministers of the Crown should be free to answer questions on any issue Canadians choose. If their responses contravene official policy, as has happened already, the government must simply make a subsequent clarification. People forgive mistakes, but not snubs. Harper needs to let his ministers carry the ball, knowing they'll sometimes fumble. If they never fumble, they're not running hard enough. ""it's déjà vu all over again. The Conservatives have returned to office paranoid about the media, distrustful of the public service, conscious of their own inexperience and determined to manipulate as much information as possible. Brian Mulroney used to croon that his team all had to "sing from the same hymn books." When his gang first arrived in Ottawa in 1984, orders went out that no civil servant could talk to the media and all ministerial announcements had to be approved by the Prime Minister's Office. These rules, including the bureaucratic "gag order," soon broke down under the weight of their silliness and inability to be enforced. The same awaits the new Draconian information-control measures being imposed by Prime Minister Stephen Harper on his government" firstname.lastname@example.org"Ottawa — The Harper government's move to demand central control over all government communications is part of an international pattern of governments seeking to centralize their message while they face pressures to increase openness and accountability, an expert in government information practices says. Communications aides to leaders say the move is just an expansion of the kind of efforts most administrations have tried — efforts that have invariably fallen apart. Eventually, most of those governments lose some control, and both Mr. Bush and Mr. Blair have been plagued by leaks and public criticism by former senior figures in their governments... "Corralling his ministers is a misstep for HarperDid someone say control?..abrogating its responsibility to lead transparently....a tiny group of unelected officials around the Prime Minister is running the country... This is a universe away from the participatory, grassroots democracy that Mr. Harper espoused when he was policy director of the Reform Party. It does a disservice to all those Canadians who voted for the Conservatives in the hope they would bring a new openness and accountability to government. " The Globe and Mail"This type of false, dictatorial, undemocratic control of communication is exactly what I have seen myself for many years with the senior pastors, and their managers at the perverse Christian Missionary Alliance churches in Canada . It is certainly both un Christian and un democratic, rather it is still demonic, or in this case very incompetent management.All the BS about democracy, still next indicates that the Conservatives are the biggest liars and abusers of other's human rights. Simply just try to post disagreeing messages on the Conservative sites such as http://canadiancoalition.com/forum/ccd-forum.shtml or the Western Standard Blog http://westernstandard.blogs.com/ dominated by a minority of self centered, abusive rednecks and you for sure next will be firstly abused, slandered, personally bashed, attacked and next cut off, denied access to it. The self proclaimed Conservatives posters there in Alberta are still some of the biggest liars, human rights abusers even if they lie and claim they are Christians now too. It has been that way for the last 25 years in my real Albertan experiences now too. Even an Ostrich cannot hide from the realtiies of life forever.It is also sad the New Canadian Federal conservative Government and it's leader S Harper are really not any better, or different than the previous one. They too now are undeniably a pretentious bunch of liars when it comes to observing other persons's human rights and free speech now too. The pit Stephen Harper now dug for other he has fallen into it himself.. Never mind his parties lying spin too it. He has undeniably to all shown he is an immoral, incompetent, dictatorial manager of others too. Sad.S Harper also is undeniably clearly not a real Christian. He does not follow Jesus own teaching on the subject now too. (Mark 9:35 KJV) And he sat down, and called the twelve, and saith unto them, If any man desire to be first, the same shall be last of all, and servant of all.