One of the tactics we see regularly in use by governments is “silencing by intimidation” – where opponents of an issue are labelled and dismissed as “extremists”, threatened by legal charges that can’t possibly be upheld and which are aimed purely at trying to silence critics. Now we have the latest “card” in this game, where charities are being threatened with removal of their charitable status if they don’t bow down to Conservative political ideology.
Here in Canada, the Harper government refuses point-blank to engage in any discussion with its critics or opponents. At the last election there were numerous cases where people were removed from Conservative “debates” and presentations for no other reason than the fact that they weren’t fully-paid-up members of the Conservative collective ass-kissing community. Harper and his party can’t tolerate dissent in any form it appears.
Now they’re extending this to threatening charities with the removal of their charitable status simply for supporting causes that go against Conservative policy. Tides Canada, for example, recently had its charitable status threatened for supporting ForestEthics – an organization that opposes the dubious Endbridge pipeline.
The Harper government has called people against the Endbridge pipeline “enemies of the government of Canada”. They’re wrong. I’m an enemy of bullies, of anyone who tries to browbeat, threaten and lie in order to achieve their own selfish goals. I believe in democracy, for everyone, not just the self-serving rich and powerful; if this makes me an “enemy” then we have lost democracy completely.
The pathological Conservative government lists the following as “adversaries”: the media, the biodiesel industry, environmental and Aboriginal groups. “Allies” listed are: Energy companies, the National Energy Board, Environment Canada, business and industry associations.
This isn’t a government representing people; these are the tactics of the bully pure and simple. Even if you agree with the development of the pipeline, this behavior is still wrong. Tell Harper you don’t want a country run by bullies.
“All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent.”
– Thomas Jefferson