Saturday, April 9, 2011

Stephen Harper: Still Hating Canada

Either Stephen Harper doesn't understand Canadian democracy, or his opinion of the Canadian public is so low that he believes that we don't.

Either he has no recollection of what he himself proposed in 2004 in order to bring down Paul Martin, or he believes that Canadians have such a poor grasp of history that we won't recall it.

Either he is being profoundly - if honestly - mistaken about a matter that he has chosen to make the centrepiece of his campaign, or he is being viciously mendacious with the public, along with his own supporters.

As the always astute Gilles Duceppe pointed out, here is what Harper himself wrote to Adrienne Clarkson in 2004:
I don't know whether or not Harper's focus on process issues rather than policy will be successful or not. On both counts, however, his party is taking Canada away from its traditions as a parliamentary democracy and towards an American-style of politics. On the process front, they are doing this by:

1) Fostering the impression that we directly elect the Prime Minister (as in a Presidential system) rather than local MPs.

2) Trying to collapse the opposition parties, who together represent the Canadian tradition of the representation of significantly divergent viewpoints, into a single entity - the "Coalition."

3) Relying on personal attack ads, both during and before the election, to shift the discussion from issues to personalities.

4) Ending the per-vote subsidy, without which parties rely on individual donors with deep pockets to finance their operations.

5) Finally, and perhaps by doing the above, he is trying to destroy the Liberal Party of Canada, particularly where finances are concerned, which the party has come to rely upon since Jean Chretien (perhaps in a final flipping of the bird to the hapless Paul Martin) placed limits on campaign contributions. I don't have any special place in my heart for the Liberals, but if they are defeated, it should be because their ideas were bad, and not because the party was outspent.

On policy, there are no shortage of reasons to suspect that Stephen Harper Hates Canada. Some are documented in this blog. On foreign policy, his is Canada's Likud government. On the economy, his is the party that has perpetually ignored homelessness as an issue. On health care, his supporters have long cried for an American-style health care, even if the party itself denies it. On the environment, his was the government that was instrumental in scuttling the Copenhagen talks. The list goes on . . .

So if you love Canada please, please, don't vote Konservative.

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