Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Stephen Harper: unfit to govern

Greg over at Mr. Sinister has pointed to the likely reason behind the not-so-peculiar timing of the "veiled voters" nonsense currently infecting the Canadian political scene. The Conservatives have, it seems, been caught by Elections Canada with their hands up to their shoulders in the electoral cookie jar. So why not pick a fight with Elections Canada on some other issue entirely, throw a little mud their way, excoriate a model public employee who is unable to answer back, and peddle some good old fashioned bigotry to the backwoods while you're at it? That ought to throw things advantageously off-track. And the fact that the opposition parties have been successfully diverted indicates just how far and how deep the infection has spread.

This is the style of Canada's "New" Government. There's nothing new about it, in fact, to anyone with even a superficial knowledge of history. Our Prime Minister is, not to mince words, an authoritarian thug, a liar and a bully, he's been that way from the get-go, and Canadians are paying the price--at home and abroad.

Let's review. Over the past 20 or so months, we have watched Stephen Harper demand control of which members of the media are allowed to ask questions at press conferences. We have seen clumsy and probably illegal attempts to supplant sitting MPs with Conservative "go-to" stooges. We have seen one spectacular example of imperial air rage. We have been embarrassed on the world stage by Harper's description of the carnage visited upon Lebanon last year as "a measured response," and his insistence on blind, uncritical support for Israel.
His slavish kow-towing to the US on everything from foreign policy to softwood lumber has become a hallmark of his reign. His racist opposition to the UN Draft Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, motivated by his political co-religionist John Howard (presently sending in the army to pacify those troublesome Abos) deserves far more attention than it has received to date.

Now he is lying through his teeth about the wording of the Canada Elections Act, demanding that Elections Canada do a legal makeover to suit his own prejudices. It has become abundantly clear that Harper doesn't believe in law or democracy. His vision of government is one-man rule; his ministers are a pack of muzzled dogs.

Heading up a minority government, Stephen Harper has been little short of a disaster. The thought of what this
dangerous, shallow, power-hungry control freak would do with a majority is one that should keep us all awake at night. Can't happen here, eh? Don't count on it.

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