For anyone left who cares, Canada is slipping into the grip of corporate totalitarianism. The Prime Minister’s Office or PMO as the Ottawa press corps likes to call it is becoming a power unto itself. It is where Mr Harper can huddle with those who will not disagree with him on neo-liberal policies that will alter Canadian politics. That is to say, make it more unlikely that the working class can wrest power from the corporate heavies who have always run things. We only have to look at the Tar Sands operation – the most destructive environmental project in history and the extension of the involvement of the Canadian military in occupation of Afghanistan. This is the future of corporate power – war, environmental destruction and poverty for millions. Harper schemes and plans, then taunts the liberals into conceding moral principle over and over again. The liberals began the build-up of the PMO and Harper is using it in a way that should be frightening us enough for us to take to the streets demanding an election.
Richard Brennan of the Ottawa Bureau of the Toronto Star reports that “[t]he growing concentration of power in the Prime Minister’s Office … is threatening the very democracy that Canadians enjoy…” according to retired Justice John Gomery. Further, Gomery is quoted as saying he “suggest[s] this trend is a danger to Canadian democracy and leaves the door wide open to the kind of political interference in the day-to-day administration of government programs that led to what is commonly called the sponsorship scandal…”
Critics have continually accused Harper of running a very centrally controlled and secretive government and point to his lack of accessibility to the media and his iron grip on the Conservative caucus as well as the bureaucracy.
“We have a government where one man seems to have an ever-increasing influence upon what government policy is going to be. If you look back historically at prime ministers in the past, I don’t think they had the same hold over their party and Parliament that the present prime minister has,” Gomery told reporters later.”