Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Canada's 'Orange Revolution'

There's a corruption scandal going on in Canada that may threaten the current minority Liberal government and lead to a June election. This 'scandal' is very old news, and Canada has had an election since the issue broke, so much of it appears to have been generated by the opposition Conservatives and their very good friends in the disgusting Canadian media. A lot of the speculation is based on polls which have been generated by exactly the same polling companies which attempted to swing the last election to the Conservatives by releasing polling results which showed much, much higher Conservative support than was reflected in the election results (these lying polls were a form of 'push polling', intended to make the Conservative victory seem inevitable, but Canadians weren't fooled). Here's the best thing I've read on the subject, by 'weapons-grade pandemonium' in a Metafilter thread:

"Suppose for a minute the money was kicked back to the Liberals to save the country. If you look at the sleazy way the Canadian Alliance took over the Conservatives, how their platform is built nail for nail on the American agenda, then add Western and Eastern alienation & almost losing the Québec separatist referendum way back, and you'll see a picture of massive forces dedicated to breaking up Canada, picking clean our natural resources, and installing Star Wars under a Fundie government. Just suppose."

Exactly! We're seeing the 'Orange Revolution' applied to Canada. Americans right-wingers would dearly love to change Canada into an extreme right-wing clone of the United States, but have had to be very careful in doing so as being seen to interfere would have the opposite effect. They appear to have found the secret weapon.

The latest scandal is based on self-serving unsubstantiated allegations, the main ones from someone who is awaiting criminal prosecution for his role in the matter. These were hidden under a temporary publication ban intended to allow for a fair trial, a ban which was effectively broken by a systematic campaign by right-wing American bloggers who revealed the testimony based on their 'confidential sources'. We've already seen the use of blogs by the extreme right wing of the Republican party, particularly in the matter of the CBS Bush service memos. Paul Martin, the leader of the Liberals, has publicly stated that Canadians will play no role in Iraq (and the Americans are still riled that Canada refused to participate in the illegal attack in the first place), that Canada won't participate in the American missile defense program, and that Americans are welcome to try the Canadian refugee system to escape service in the war in Iraq. Canada has a large number of trade issues with the United States, particularly softwood lumber and beef, and Canada has slowly started to retaliate for American intransigence by putting tariffs on American goods. Canada is clearly angling to make a lot of money selling its enormous quantities of natural resources, including what is probably the largest quantity of hydrocarbons in the world in its oil sands . . . to China. Canadian lackadaisical attitudes towards enforcement of laws concerning marijuana drive the Americans crazy, as do the upcoming laws concerning gay marriage (American fundamentalists are sending large amounts of money to Canada to assist in the fundie campaign against the new laws, a fact which has probably hurt their cause). The Canadian health care system, which the Conservatives clearly want to destroy, is also very annoying as it gives Americans the idea that there may be some alternative to the insane American system. Cheap Canadian pharmaceutical prices don't help either.

The Conservatives have managed to smooth off some of the rough edges, but they are essentially a party combining extreme right-wing economics with hillbilly fundamentalist religious nuts. In other words, they have created a clone of the Republican Party. Canadians have seen the damage such policies have caused the United States, and clearly don't want any part of it. Will they be fooled by an 'Orange Revolution' - a campaign concocted in Washington to further extreme right-wing American corporate and fundie interests - into a disastrous choice of government?


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