Canadian Arab News
|No one knows what goes on behind closed doors, which is why Harper must be tried for sedition
August 23, 2007
Stephen Harper has been doing a lot of laundry this past week or so. First, he sorted through his cabinet and put some of his ministerial sock puppets through the spin cycle. Despite the best efforts of our palace press to present the event as “real news,” it was a political nullity.
A cabinet minister today is a micromanaged serf who cannot go to the bathroom without written permission from Harper’s Central Directorate, so the individual at the head of a given ministry is supremely irrelevant, unless he or she gets beaten up by the Opposition beyond the point of redemption and has to be replaced.
Such was the case with Gordon O’Conner, who was done in as minion of defence by Harper’s pro-Bush militarism in Afghanistan, especially the scandal of Taliban prisoners being tortured after Canadian soldiers turned them over to Afghan authorities. O’Conner, though clearly not up to the job, could not be blamed for a policy that was entirely the product of Harper’s devotion to the U.S. and Israel.
Nevertheless, O’Conner was shuffled off to a less conspicuous post and replaced at defence by Foreign Minion Peter McKay. Other changes were not significant. While this non-event got more attention than it deserved, substantive coverage of Harper—and Paul Martin before him—taking Canada’s sovereignty to the cleaners has been all but non-existent. What little we do know about it comes largely from public protests and organizations like the Canadian Action Party.
On Aug. 20 and 21 Harper, Bush and Mexican President Felipe Calderón met at Château Montebello in Quebec to discuss the (shhh!) Security and Prosperity Partnership, which has as its objective the consolidation of Canada, the U.S. and Mexico into one North American politico-economic entity. To the sub rosa conclave, the press and parliamentarians were not invited, although business leaders were.
According to official sources, critics of the SPP have it all wrong—the SPP isn’t a treaty or an agreement; it’s simply “a dialogue to increase security and enhance prosperity.” If that be the case, why is this claim found on a website bearing a U.S. government domain and why is there no public dialogue?
(Felton’s Second Law of Electoral Politics: “A transparently self-serving, virtuous title for a group or project serves to mask conduct detrimental to the public good and rule of law.” For example: Security and Prosperity Partnership, Canadian Coalition for Democracies, and “Operation: Enduring Freedom.”)
When a dialogue on the SPP was organized in June 2007 at the University of Ottawa, the Harper government refused to participate. Granted, the event at Simard Hall was highly critical of the SPP, but Harper should have sent a representative, if for no other reason than to regurgitate official fictions, deny the obvious, and give the illusion that he gives a damn what Canadians think.
The fact that Harper refuses to debate the SPP fuels legitimate speculation that something criminal is going on, and that he is betraying the interests of Canadians. Sue Corcoran of the Council of Canadians rightly points out that the SPP, unlike the North American Free [sic] Trade Agreement, is not being discussed among elected legislators in full view of the public; rather, it's being negotiated in secret by unelected bureaucrats.
That is cause enough to warrant an investigation of Harper for sedition on the grounds that he is usurping the role of Parliament, and undermining the sovereignty of Canada and the welfare of Canadians.
According to the Criminal Code of Canada, Section 59 (3) states: “A seditious conspiracy is an agreement between two or more persons to carry out a seditious intention.” These persons are, but not limited to, Harper, Bush and Calderón. The definition of seditious intention is given in Section 59 (4):
“Without limiting the generality of the meaning of the expression ‘seditious intention,’ every one shall be presumed to have a seditious intention who
(a) teaches or advocates, or
(b) publishes or circulates any writing that advocates, the use, without the authority of law, of force as a means of accomplishing a governmental change within Canada.”
Since Parliament is the only body authorized to pass federal laws, and since it has had little or no input into the SPP, Harper has no legal authority to negotiate away any amount of Canadian political sovereignty. Despite the dearth of definitive data on this deal, its dishonesty is demonstrable. To take one further example from the spp.gov website:
“Myth: The SPP is a movement to merge the United States, Mexico, and Canada into a North American Union and establish a common currency.
While you ponder the veracity of this claim—and debate which is “myth” and which is “fact”—I’d like to introduce you to Robert Pastor PhD, vice-president of international affairs, professor of international relations, and director of the Center for North American Studies, American University in Washington, D.C.
Fact: The cooperative efforts under the SPP,…seek to make the United States, Canada and Mexico open to legitimate trade and closed to terrorism and crime. It does not change our courts or legislative processes and respects the sovereignty of the United States, Mexico, and Canada. The SPP in no way, shape or form considers the creation of a European Union-like structure or a common currency. The SPP does not attempt to modify our sovereignty or currency or change the American system of government designed by our Founding Fathers.”
At the beginning of November 2002, this highly credentialized individual gave a speech in Toronto entitled A North American Community—A Modest Proposal to the Trilateral Commission. It is perhaps the clearest exposition of the SPP and its objectives.
Pastor argues, among other things, that NAFTA should be raised to a new level of co-operation. On this new level, the existing “two bilateral legislative groups” (Parliament and Congress) would be merged into one North American Parliamentary Group. There’d also be a Permanent Court on Trade and Investment—though he doesn’t say how such a court would stop traditional U.S. contempt for Canadian economic interests (softwood lumber, anyone?)— as well as a North American Commission to deal with immigration and customs, and propose measures like a continental infrastructure and transportation network, harmonized [sic] regulatory policies, a customs union, and a common currency.
On the latter point he said: “Mexicans and Canadians do not want to be incorporated into the United States, and they are ambivalent about adopting the American dollar, but they are more willing to become part of a single country of North America and of a unified currency, like the “Amero,” proposed by Herbert Grubel.” Grubel, of course, is a former MP and now a senior econo-theologian at the Fraser Institute, the B.C.-based neo-con propaganda factory that has more influence on national policy than do elected MPs. He made his proposal in 1999!
If you have considered spp.com’s “myth” vs. “fact” distinction while you read the discussion on Pastor, consider again this “fact” claim: “The SPP in no way, shape or form considers the creation of … a common currency. The SPP does not attempt to modify our sovereignty or currency or change the American system of government designed by our Founding Fathers.”
Significantly when Pastor speaks of the amero, he assumes that Canada and Mexico would convert their currencies to the U.S. dollar, thereby surrendering the right to set national monetary or economic policy.
One would think that in the time since the amero was formally suggested (1999) and SPP discussions were begun (2005) we, the Canadian public, would have been informed about them. Problem is, we aren’t supposed to know about it until it’s a done deal. Who will be doing this deal? Consider Pastor’s final charge to his audience:
“The challenge of the Trilateral Commission—[is] to sketch an alternative future for the entire continent that the people will embrace and the politicians will feel obligated to accept.” (my emphasis)
There you have it. A clique of econo-political elites is going to remake North America in its own image and the citizenry of the three countries has no say in the matter! How much does Pastor’s Brave New Economic Order reflect actual discussions on the SPP? I’m sure inquiring citizens would like to know.
Even without further information, though, the charge of sedition against Harper deserves serious consideration, given that the SPP is being debated by an unelected cabal of business interests and bureaucrats with the aim of bringing about a governmental change within Canada. The punishment for sedition is spelled out in Section 61 of the Criminal Code:
“Every one who… is a party to a seditious conspiracy, is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding fourteen years.”
A final note: Anyone who wants insight into Harper’s mindset and penchant for autocratic secrecy should read the Aug. 18 feature “A Matter of Faith” by Vancouver Sun religion columnist Douglas Todd. He focuses, to the extent he can, on Harper’s affiliation with the obscurantist Christian and Missionary Alliance Church. One of its core convictions, all of which are based on biblical inerrancy, is the “immanent” return of Jesus, the same superstition that led to the failure of the Alberta-based Millerite cult after Jesus failed to show up for his Oct. 22, 1844, appointment.
|Mexicans and Canadians do not want to be incorporated into the United States, and they are ambivalent about adopting the American dollar, but they are more willing to become part of a single country of North America and of a unified currency, like the “Amero..."
I bring this point up because it is also a key belief among U.S. Christian sociopaths like John Hagee, Pat Robertson and Bush himself, who abuse biblical stories to justify blind support for Israel, the “war on terrorism,” highly centralized economic elitism, contempt for secular, democratic law, disdain for their own people and the indiscriminate murder of Muslims.
In a like manner, Harper’s warped religiosity is seen in his contempt of Parliament, autocratic leadership, disdain for the press and public accountability, coziness with Bush, and involvement with the SPP. Harper knows the vast majority of Canadians don’t trust evangelical politicians, so he doesn’t talk about his Christianity, and he counsels other evangelical ministers to keep quiet about their religious beliefs. But his religiosity, like the SPP, must be publicly debated for the sake of Canada’s future.
Harper was elected by Canadians, but his primary allegiance is to his church and pro-U.S./pro-Israel interest groups. The case of Regina v Stephen Harper on the charge of sedition in the matter of the SPP begins here.