One year ago, I wrote a post expressing my frustration with our government. I was - and am - quite frankly, pissed about the direction our country has been heading.
As it turned out - as I found out - one year ago, today, I wasn't alone.
By the end of Canada Day, last year, #DenounceHarper had trended Worldwide on Twitter for several hours and I found myself both overwhelmed and inspired by the outpouring of support - over (or "only" depending on who you ask) 5000 people took to Twitter to take part, to share their stories, anger and frustrations with our Government.
It was amazing - watching people jump in from all across the country. I truly felt like we were on track to make a real difference.
But the day passed and, as it happens, the world moved on.
And people moved on.
And it didn't seem like anything HAD changed.
But then Bev Oda quit (*cough* golden parachuted from *cough*) her job.
Now, when I say 'we', *I'm* not taking credit for that -- or anything else that will be said below.
But, Oda's disgraceful exit was a direct, tangible reaction due to the public pressure we all put on the government - and it was the first true public showing of weakness from a man, and a Government, who up until that point had basically protected each and every single person from the backlash of their scandals.
I mean, he called Christian Paradis's ethics violations 'learning experiences' - of which there were three separate occasions - and made THAT go away.
There is, and has been for a while, a genuine anger building among Canadians.
It's an anger and frustration that #DenounceHarper tapped into and built on. I suspect that we have #TellVicEverything to thank for that, which, I also suspect, grew with and built on the frustration of being unable to find #13Heroes.
Since then our numbers have been growing, slowly, but gradually. The disenchanted, the frustrated, the plain, ol'-fashioned Pissed off.
#IdleNoMore continues to scare the shit out of our government, especially as our First Nations brothers and sisters took to the streets and began peacefully protesting EVERYWHERE, showing the rest of us how it should be done.
And our numbers grew again, in support, in knowledge and understanding.
#PMHarperMustResign burst out onto the scene just last month, in response to the PMO senate scandal -- almost 44,000 people took to Twitter to express their outrage at our Government.
Just as Movie studios have been using Twitter to gauge the 'pulse' of their movie, one could say that Twitter offers a direct undercurrent to the pulse of our nation.
Of course, like I said above, I can't take credit for 5000 people becoming 44,000 in the space of a single year.
No, that honour goes to our Prime Minister, Stephen Harper - who, under his watch and despite the mistakes of the last year - has continued lead a Conservative party full of scandal and unethical behaviour.
Here's a brief list top 5 list of what's come to light about our Harper Government in just this last year:
1. Federal Court judge Richard Mosley ruled (full text here) that in the May 2, 2011 election, electoral fraud occurred nationwide using “a concerted campaign by persons who had access to a database of voter information maintained by a political party,” *cough* CIMS - The Conservative voter database *cough*. Incidentally, Marc Mayrand has now publicly called the Harper Government out for 'not helping' Elections Canada get to the bottom of the Election Fraud investigation. Gee, I wonder why that would be?
2. $3.1 Billion in 'unaccounted for' anti-terrorism funding - our tax dollars so inconsequential to them that 'oh, it's around here somewhere' is considered an acceptable answer to public outrage. Maybe it disappeared into the black hole of our CSEC MetaData surveillance machine? Or the 'Anti-Terrorist' TrapWire program that we're so fond of? (More on that below)
3. The Mike Duffy/Nigel Wright Senate expense scandal -- ALSO of note, the allegations that the Conservative Senate had first tipped off Duffy that an audit was coming, then had their original report edited to soften the language used against him -- at behest of the PMO (who, of course, says that they would never do such a thing).
4. Temporary Foreign Workers Scandal - It all began right here and quickly spun out of control (second source), reporting that 191,000 Temporary Foreign Workers were admitted to Canada in 2011, with up to 300,000 still residing here. Those workers, given jobs at tens of thousands of Canadian companies - including 18 of the 50 largest companies in Canada - lined up to take advantage of it. We're talking big names: Subway, Tim Hortons and McDonalds, RBC Dominion Securities, BMO Financial Group and ING Direct Canada. In a time when Canada is still experiencing a Youth Unemployment Crisis, I'm very encouraged to find Subway, Tim Hortons and McDonalds had been shipping in Temporary Foreign Workers at a discount rather than give jobs to Canadians. Again, none of this would be possible without the Harper Government. So remember to thank them for that.
5. Like the American's NSA over-reach, it's come to light that, under the Harper Government, Canadians are being spied upon by CSEC - reading the Metadata of our phone calls and emails (as much as they will admit). Now you might just say 'oh, it's only Meta Data' but Metadata alone is considered informative enough for them to catch Terrorists, to build maps of their movements and interactions -- who they know and who they're talking to. "Some of CSEC’s metadata activities raise issues that make us question whether CSEC is always in compliance with the limits,". Of course considering what we now know about our Government spying on Canadians, it makes it even more worrying that Harper eliminated our CSIS watchdog (to save $1 million/per year) - Incidentally, they also tried to warn us about CSIS's data access and info sharing. Side Note: This is a MUST READ Government report on the Communications Security Establishment: The CSE - Canada's Most Secret Intelligence Agency
This list doesn't even touch any of the other ethics breaches or even internal dissent fomenting withing his own party.
Stephen Harper's iron fist is rusting and even his own party has begun to turn on him.
And that could not happen without YOU. Without US.
Continue to support great Journalists who dig on our behalf.
Continue to REMEMBER the story once it fades.
And Continue to hold our leader's feet to the fire.
The Transparency we were promised.
And don't stop until you get it.