I watched ecstatically last week when Stephen Harper’s (and my own) Government fell on a historical first ever Non-Confidence vote in Parliament. Having been stuck in the insidious, creeping Neo-Con ooze of Harper’s “policy” and authoritarian actions for five long ugly years, it almost felt like physical relief – watching the votes in the House hit him like stones.
What troubles me, as with many Canadians who remember how politics used to work, is that our political system – not as broken as, say, the one in the U.S. – still provides that he may regain power despite the loud and resolute motion of his having been washed away. The alternatives, as we know too well lately, are so very weak…too weak to win? One hopes not.
The most obvious sign of Stephen Harper being an agent of Neo-Conservatism (which is to say, NOT Conservatism), is his unerring manner of limiting discourse and the flow of information; the manipulation of “truth” to suit his playbook (Fox News, anyone?). And he’s doing it again, right before our eyes.
Perhaps most frustrating of all is that it’s all drawn in crayons to appeal to his ideologically bewildered ‘base’, regardless of how that appears to Canadians who are alternately terrified or disgusted by his obviously dictatorial Americanist agenda; an agenda which, at least, is counter-intuitive to how this writer feels about the strengths of Canada as an independent nation.
So, here we go again – another election. (Many are saying “we’re not ready” for one. Personally, I think it’s coming not a moment too soon – damn the ‘cost’!)
The nauseatingly facile attack ads have begun already (even before the Government fell, interestingly), the stumps are being climbed all across the country, and it’s time once again for discussion and discourse – right?
Herr Harper wants you to guess again. He’s taking five (5!) questions a day…period. Four from journalists embedded on his campaign trail; journalists he hasn’t even met, apparently.
Harper wants to “focus on the economy”, which is to say – smokily – to do the exact opposite and disrupt any real notion of where the economy is headed by specifically limiting any real discussion about it. Classic Harper. Disgusting.