Wednesday, August 22
U.S. Democrats Summering, Canadain NDP Challenging SPP
The future of U.S. politics--the system of power that distributes this nation's limited natural and economic resources among American families--was painfully evident a month after midterm congressional elections last November.
Foreign and domestic policy--the management of natural resources, the annual distribution of billions of tax dollars and approves White House requests for war and funds it, etc.--would safeguard now only the interests of the 15-20% wealthiest families.
On the other hand, less fiscally endowed Americans were left with the unenviable option of fending for themselves on a revamped economic playing field tilted in favor of Corporate Amerika.
Last November, U.S. voters cleaned "house" on Capitol Hill, sweeping out moribund Republican slackers for Democrats who were to pursue, among other changes required to counteract a dictatorial White Houses, a "new direction in Iraq."
Then in early December, Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) told Truthdig's Joshua Sheer that Democrat House leaders proposed funding the war in "recommending that the Democrats support the appropriation that is going to be brought forward in the spring, for the purposes of [continuing to fund] the war in Iraq."
That "bait-and-switch" tactical sell-out of voters is an apt metaphor for Democrat comportment since last January when they convened their first House majority in twelve years. Veteran Democrats John Conyers and Henry Waxman, chairmen of the House Judiciary and Government Reform and Oversight, respectively, are noticeably remiss in activating their new subpoena power after years of threatening the Bush White House with accountability on a range of issues.
Americans seeking a sanctuary from the political vacuum savaging their lives would do well immigrating to Canada. There the historically center-left New Democrat Party has resisted U.S. Democrats' easy willingness of scamming the constituencies.
The NDP grew from populist, agrarian and democratic socialist roots. Today it's known for its relationships with non-governmental organizations and organized labour. While the party is secular and pluralistic, it has a longstanding relationship with the Christan left and the Social Gospel movement, particularly the United Church of Canada. However, the federal party has broadened to include concerns of the New Left, which advocates progressive issues such as gay rights, peace, and environmental protection.In an e-newsletter Monday (20 August), the NDP announced its opposition to the White House's Security and Partnership Plan before a two-day Canadian summit in Quebec among Bush and his Mexican and Canadian counterparts.
...During two days of meetings, Stephen Harper, George Bush and Felipe Calderon will talk about 'deeply integrating' more than 300 areas - including health, safety, and environmental standards - between Canada, the U.S. and Mexico. Canadians could join a race to the bottom and lose the ability to make our own rules on everything from food labels, drug safety, water exports, air quality and immigration, to the military. Despite the SPP's potential impact on everyday Canadians, we've been kept in the dark and without a say. CEOs have been invited to huddle with the leaders in Montebello but average Canadians and public interest groups are literally being shut out.NDP spokeswoman Jessica Johnson promises House debate in Ottawa when Parliament reconvenes after its summer recess. “When Parliament reconvenes in the fall, the House will be debating several anti-SPP motions brought forward by the NDP. It is interesting to note the relatively seamless transition from Liberals to Conservatives on this issue.”
The NDP is blowing the whistle on the SPP. The party forced Parliamentary Committee hearings on the SPP in April and is calling for full legislative review, public debate and a parliamentary vote before the SPP goes any further.
But expect no comparable response to SPP to be undertaken by their Democrat colleagues in Washington. Adjourned the entire month of August, they return after Labor Day in time to switch their summer cottons for darker autumn fabrics in anticipation of the seasonal revival of the D.C. party circuit.
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