Critics say that Ottawa has become a place where the nation’s business is done in secret, and access to information is under attack. But many contend that Stephen Harper’s government has gone a long way towards replacing the Liberals as the country’s natural governing party. Join us for three perspectives on the stealth, pragmatism and ruthless determination of Canada’s sixth longest serving Prime Minister and how he has reshaped the nation.
In his new book, Kill the Messengers: Stephen Harper’s Assault on Your Right to Know , Mark Bourrie examines how trends have conspired to simultaneously silence the Canadian media and to elect a government determined to conduct business in private. He suggests that budget cuts have been used to suppress the collection of facts that embarrass the government’s position or undermine its ideologically based decision-making. Kill the Messengers is billed as a call to arms for informed citizens to become active participants in the democratic process.
Providing insight into the origins of a new Conservative vision for the economy, federalism, and domestic and foreign policies, Dismantling Canada: Stephen Harper’s New Conservative Agenda by professor Brooke Jeffrey, a former advisor to the Liberal Party, explores the Prime Minister’s successes and failures, the importance and influence of the British and American right-wing and evaluates the likely outcome of his long-term agenda.
In Irresponsible Government: The Decline of Parliamentary Democracy in Canada , independent MP Brent Rathgeber, a former Conservative, takes Parliament to task for its failure to hold the government to account. He examines the current state of Canadian democracy in contrast to the founding principles of responsible government established by the Fathers of Confederation in 1867. Through an examination of the principles of our parliamentary system and their subsequent erosion, Rathgeber seeks methods through which we can begin to recalibrate and correct these power imbalances and restore electoral accountability.