Canadian government threatens bird watchers for writing concerned letter about bee die-off


#1

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#2

These wouldn’t be the same politicians who believe the social safety net would be better replaced by non-profit organizations, would they?


#3

See! The IRS is targetting Tea-Party organizations!\

 

 

 

 

 

######Yes, I am well-aware this is in Canada, and not the Tea-Party, thangyaverrahmuch.


#4

I’d really like to see the letter. I can’t imagine how concern about chemicals killing bees is in any way partisan unless there are parties whose platform includes using chemicals to kill bees.


#5

So I see you do understand. Any other questions?


#6

wow the Canadians must have been talking to Obama on how to shut people up.


#7

I see Canada is a fan of Citizens United. Clearly, if the more for-profit you are the more political influence you should get, then it follows that the more non-profit you are the less political influence you should get.


#8

It’s OK. Political labels shift in meaning from country to country. I should maybe add, here, that this sort of birdwatching group is what our government would call a “terrorist”.


#9

Many kinds of US NPOs have similar “no politics” rules. But there are some easy ways around this:

  1. Obviously, to a politician, everything looks like a political problem. So instead of being gagged, groups can emphasize that the effects of chemicals upon bees are a scientific problem. Just because somebody calls it “politics” does not make it so.

  2. Step outside of their organization. Deal with offending groups as individuals instead. Tell them, for instance, that if they release these chemicals that you will attack part of their infrastructure. Organize on a non-formal-NPO basis.


#10

I’m not even Canadian and I’m sick of the Harper government.


#11

This is probably why no one has actually be shut down or had their status as a non-profit or a charity stripped, because they didn’t do anything wrong. They are being harassed with audits, by people who have the power to harass with audits.


#12

I would like to see the government allow/embrace political activity by charities. Donations to political parties are tax deductible in Canada - you are limited in the amount you can donate - so why not donations to organizations taking political action? Okay - there should be a cap on donations here as well. But it is basically impossible for many non-profit organizations to tackle their goals without being political/partisan, so we shouldn’t pretend they can be neutral.


#13

The power to conduct audits =/= the power to harass with audits. These people have their own rules to adhere to. Which they usually do poorly, which is why the larger and more centralized a governmental body is, the more they resist being audited themselves.


#14

No, those would be the old “Red Tories”. Today’s Conservative Party doesn’'t even want volunteers/non profits to replace the social safety net when it’s gone.


#15

[quote=“mallyboon, post:12, topic:43213”]
it is basically impossible for many non-profit organizations to tackle their goals without being political/partisan, so we shouldn’t pretend they can be neutral.[/quote]

I disagree. Political goals tend to be tribal rituals, rather than anything which can be objectively verified. Politics and business alike are based upon wishful thinking. It would be more practical to replace these groups with scientific organizations. This can rid us of most of the pretending.


#16

By power to harass with audits I was refering to ministers and their political staff, who interfere with the public service, not the auditors themselves.


#17

I think it’s wishful thinking to believe that a technocracy, or even a democracy that claims to put scientific evidence ahead of all else would be the best way to tackle problems. The main reason of course is that science doesn’t really address what people consider to be a problem. If you care about equality and justice, it’s not because those things are some sort of scientific conclusion. And contrary to a lot of bipartisan kumbaya-ing that goes on, people at different ends of the political spectrum have fundamentally different value systems. What divides us is greater than what unites us.

Science can only tell you the best way to achieve a policy goal, not what that policy goal should be. And even then science spends a long time getting it wrong before repeatable, effective solutions are identified. That’s not to say independent research isn’t valuable, or that it shouldn’t be heavily weighed when trying to achieve policy goals.


#18

I would say that this is the whole point! Governments are simple administrative functions, they are not needed or entitled to have goals or agenda of their own. Individuals have goals, societies do not. The function of a government is to nominally assist in having some infrastructure so that people can fulfill their real goals. As opposed to positing bogus social games and making everybody play them.


#19

So. . . how is democracy supposed to work, anyway?


#20

Well, so much for moving to Canada! Any other suggestions for a free country?