The Editor: Traditional Canadian conservative values have been well established in our political culture since there was a Canada. Those traditional values of respect for authority, traditions and institutions, accountability by way of personal responsibility, living within our means and avoiding intergenerational debt, loyalty to one’s community and nation can be part of reducing societal dysfunction, if practiced.
By his actions, Stephen Harper has proved he is definitely not a traditional Canadian Conservative.
Canada has the only Westminster Parliament that does not have written rules that limit the powers of the prime minister. Britain, Australia and New Zealand have written rules. Canada only has unwritten conventions — basically, be a gentleman and play fair. Not the Harper style.
To be fair, Trudeau and Chrétien also took too much power, but not on the scale of Harper. We elect a Parliament, not a prime minister. We now have huge omnibus budget bills that get little debate. We have a bloated Prime Minister's Office (PMO) with unelected people who actually run the country.
The Constitution of Canada says that MPs represent their constituencies. MPs now are messengers from the PMO rather than messengers from their constituents.
MPs do not bother to even read the bills that they vote on, receiving their daily voting instructions via pages. Sober first thought, real debate and amendments? No more.
Our Constitution, Charter of Rights and Supreme Court are the only barriers at present to Harper’s total control.
It has been a Canadian tradition to look after our returning military personnel. Now Harper uses our money to argue in court that he does not have such a duty.
Accountability was the big Harper slogan in Opposition, but once in power we have the most secretive government ever. Parliament has difficulty finding out how money is being spent.
We have the largest national debt in history and a large ecological debt to future generations thanks to a one-track focus on expanding bitumen extraction while demolishing our environmental laws.
Speak up traditional conservatives. Our country needs you. — Mike Bray, Indian Head, Sask.