Thursday, September 3, 2015

Federal Election 2015: the politics of Improvisation (Part 1)

 abbreviations used:

CC - Climate Change
GW - Global Warming
NDP - New Democratic Party
       Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. After ten years in power, Prime Minister Stephen Harper is feeling the hot breath of scandal on his shoulder: senators accused of claiming rebates for living expenses they are not entitled to.. So he decided to bite the bullet and call an election before things got worse. The election will be 19 October, 2015.

        Like all contemporary politicians (or most, anyway..), Harper seeks power, either for its own sake or to implement some God-forsaken 18 - 19th century ideology (in Harper's case: the "Free Market" / neo-conservative idiotology imported from the United States)

The Real Issues: the four major challenges facing humanity at the dawn of the third millennium are

The Four Principles of Sustainable Economy or how to create a sustainable economy in conformity with the laws of

- physics (particularly thermodynamics)
- ecology (particularly protection of vital ecosystem services)
- social psychology (collective decision making)
- the ethical, spiritual dimension: what is the good life? what values to die / live for?

internal blog link: four-pillars-of-sustainable-economy

          So how do our current leaders measure up to the challenges we collectively face?

Stephen Harper: age 56, Master's degree in Economics, professional politician - federal Conservative Party, elected Prime Minister three times (into his 10th consecutive year)

         Stephen Harper's buzzwords: steady the course! "It's the economy, stupid".

         Harper, let's be honest, is the lapdog of the petroleum industry.

book-review: tar-sands-dirty-oil

         Harper, while still an Albertan provincial politician, appealed to populist and reactionary sentiment by claiming that Global Warming (GW) and Climate Change (CC) are part of a socialist plot to destroy the economies of the West.


        Reality Check: As a PHYSICAL phenomenon - studied by Atmospheric Physics - GW / CC has diddly-squat to do with politics. As the sun shines equally on the good and the wicked, so GW / CC respects no political ideologies (or idiotologies). The politicization of GW / CC in North America is a cultural aberration, a folly, designed - constructed - to maximize the short turn profits of the fossil energy sector and its industrial / financial network: finance banking, heavy industrial infrastructure manufacturers (steel, pipelines, boilers, construction..) and associated service industries. One hardly need add that Big Coal / Oil / Gas and Nukes have a controlling, distorting influence in the flow of information reaching the public through their advertising contracts with the mass media.

        Harper, of course, is part of this "nexus of influence" designed to hinder the transition to a sustainable green energy / post-industrial economy. As one might expect from those great neo-con defenders of "democracy" and "liberty", Harper has done his share of suppression when it comes to earth scientists who dare to challenge the wisdom of his business-as-usual policy.

internal blog links: suppression of science in Canada under Harper



are you a fanatic?

         Harper likes to present himself as a great economic strategist and pragmatist, rather than what he is: a narrow minded ideologue with an incredibly narrow tunnel vision of reality - economic, political, ecological.. For example, as an economic "strategist" he has managed to put all our eggs in the petroleum sector, neglecting the manufacturing sector (most especially, small and medium scale enterprises) and the emerging green energy sector. He has failed to meet the challenges and opportunities of the Post Cheap Fossil Energy Economy. In his ten years as Prime Minister he has (totally) failed to direct our national resources, talents and energy into vital sectors of the emerging economy: 

- green energy infrastructure (windpower, solar, tidal energy..)
- public transport, 
- energy conservation, 
- improved product design, 
- new service industries,
- small scale finance, 
- participatory public policy making, 
- decentralized decision making,
-  the revivification of local / regional economies,
-  the development of new and profitable expertises and skills, etc.

          Ten years is a long time, and, as a nation, we have nothing to show for it.

          Worse, Harper's tunnel vision has left Canada a diminished, less resilient nation, less able to adapt to the tsunami of change we are living through. Our international reputation as a fair and objective player has been shot to hell. Successive short-sighted governments - Liberal and Conservative - have reduced us to the level of buffoons on the world stage. It began with our failure to act on our Kyoto Accord Greenhouse Gas Reduction commitments - thanks to the Liberals under Jean Chrétien who hypocritically ratified the Kyoto Accord for that one! Later, the pathetic attempts of the Harper government to openly sabotage the Accord signaled that we were no longer in the progressive camp. Finally, Harper's kneejerk support of right wing Israeli government policies finished off whatever shards of reputation that might have remained. In the race to the bottom, Liberals have been about as guilty as Conservatives. The Conservatives are simply a bit more honest and open about what they stand for.

nytimes: the-closing-of-the-canadian-mind.html?

"The early polls show Mr. Harper trailing, but he’s beaten bad polls before. He has been prime minister for nearly a decade for a reason: He promised a steady and quiet life, undisturbed by painful facts. The Harper years have not been terrible; they’ve just been bland and purposeless. Mr. Harper represents the politics of willful ignorance. It has its attractions."

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