The new rules concentrate more power in the hands of Citizenship and Immigration Minister Chris Alexander, such as giving him the power to unilaterally grant citizenship. Critically, it also gives him the power to revoke citizenship without a court hearing in cases where "false representation or fraud" led to citizenship being granted. Under the outgoing rules, a subject facing that kind of revocation had a right to a court hearing. They no longer will.
Man, they're really going for broke, aren't they?
Ministers are supposed to make informed policy decisions that get implemented by government - which isn't Cabinet and isn't Parliament, it's the bureaucracy. When we say "Liberal Government" or "Conservative Government" we're really putting the name of the CEO before that of the company. Of course, in this case we're talking Harper's government.
Where, pray tell, does the Minister/Cabinet/PM's information come from? Well, the Harper Government used to get good data from the census, but that's done with. They used to get the (sometimes) uncomfortable truth from the bureaucracy, but continue to stamp down on any truth that proves politically inconvenient.
That process includes undermining accountability officers in government, defunding agencies that they don't like and finding ways to stifle whitsleblowers.
Now, they're also changing the electoral system to make it more about the money/i.e. advertizing, which means more competitive and vitriolic - which suits them just fine. The more people fight, the less they're progressing.
Across the board, they're using newspeak terms like "Fair Elections" when it's really about shrinking the pool and "full independence" for bodies which they have hamstrung or obstructed in the past. They're even taking government out of the business of promoting democracy.
I'm sure there are big high-fives in the backrooms and in some cases, even grudging admiration from opponents about the successful ruthlessness with which this government is increasingly putting Canada into a functionally fixed iron box - at the same time they're making the economy all about digging into the ground.
It grieves me to see how short-sighted these people are. Of course, they're assuming that the people who support them are rational and those who don't are bleating sheep, so they can pretty much get away with anything they want so long as they sell it aggressively enough and demean their opponents enough.
What they're really doing is starving the middle class, freezing our economy, stagnating our society and atrophying our growth opportunities.
Did it not occur to them that New Canadians looking to do business and tap into those very resource-hungry markets the CPC is after may want to spend some time in Canada and the rest of it in their home country for business development?
Are they completely ignoring the fact that those most mistrustful of government are the least likely to vote - but the most likely to rebel?
It's like trying to convince an alcoholic not to get behind the wheel so that they don't hurt others or themselves; the individuals under the influence (in this case, of power) laugh you off and roll their eyes in disdain of your weakness.
This policy trend will either be shifted - and in relatively short order - or will end very poorly.
It sucks when people don't think ahead.
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