Tuesday, May 03, 2011

The Con Majority: The Day After

Well I have to admit that the weather matched my mood perfectly eh? It was as if Canada itself was weeping.

And of course I felt like Heather Mallick.

The triumph of Harper's Conservatives is a revolution in Canada. Grumpy old men are happy but modernists, women, young people, immigrants, people fond of evidence-based policy will be much less so. It's the beginning of a kind of war, conducted in a dull, quietly agonising way.

And these people...

But strangely enough I'm not discouraged. Because a lot of exciting things happened last night. The orange wave was awesome. I look forward to seeing all those young people the NDP has brought to Ottawa in action, because this country is dying of oldness and BOREDOM.

And most of alI I'm excited because I'm absolutely convinced that out of this majority will come the historic opportunity to rid our country of the Cons FOREVER.

And of course because when a hard rain falls, I fight even harder. Just like I did against the bullies at school. One moment they looked unbeatable. The next moment they weren't.

What does disappoint me is the way some Liberals are blaming the NDP for what happened to them. And their extraordinarily harsh language.

Because let's be absolutely clear, the only vermin in this country are the Cons. And the Liberals have only themselves to blame for their sad situation. A lot of their supporters voted for the Cons. And so many of them still don't understand that in an increasingly polarized country the centre will not hold.

So we are back to old-style, left-right politics. Our debates are going to be a lot more impassioned, and angrier, than they've been in years. It'll be less nice, even less Canadian. But it will be more real.

Nor do they understand that when they started losing Quebec, about TWENTY years ago, they were doomed. And that they will never get those votes back because they can't be as left or social democratic as that province demands, without alienating their right-wing supporters.

So while I'm sorry about what happened to the Liberals, and the loss of good MPs like Mark Holland and Marlene Jennings, I'm also happy because it will finally force the Liberals to come to terms with their real existential problem. And force them to make a choice: join with the NDP to form a new Liberal Democrat party, or face slow extinction.

They may not want to even think about it now, but as the long years in shrunken opposition grind on they will. Which is a good thing for ALL of us.

And the even BETTER thing is that now that Stephen Harper doesn't have to pretend to be a Liberal, he will reveal his true self, and after years of mugging and raping this country Canadians will be begging for something new and different by the time his term is up.

And there waiting for them will be a new and powerful progressive party waiting to grind the Cons into the dust. And chase them from power FOREVER.

Oh sure, I know birth can be a painful process, but when you see the look on the face of the mother holding her baby, you know it was worth it. And so it shall be for us.

In the meantime I look forward to taking our struggle into the streets of this country and exploring new ways to fight the Cons.

Because with only 39 percent of the vote they are NOT my government, Stephen Harper will NEVER be my Prime Minister.

And this evening when I saw his plane arrive in Ottawa, and I heard the redneck hee haws from the Cons waiting to greet him, I realized how much I hate them.

And how easy and how much fun it will be to keep on fighting them...

Please welcome our new Con overlords.

Then start working to defeat them.

And remember, even when a hard rain falls.

Life goes on...

(click pic to enlarge)

Recommend this post at Progressive Bloggers


  1. Hi Simon While there are many angry people out there today there are more of us that feel as you do.

    Personally I'm personally surprised at my lack of anger, instead feeling ever more focused and determined.

    We need electoral reform and must make all the parties know that without a credible electoral reform platform they will not get our vote.

    ps: Orwell's Bastard has an equally excellent post on this subject as well

    Solidarity will win the day

  2. hi Kev...I understand the pain and disappointment of the Liberals. I've got quite a few sad Liberal friends. But there is no point in slagging each other. It only pleases our enemies, and by the way they are oinking and swaggering around I don't want to give them any more satisfaction.
    Just a good kick in their porky behinds. ;)
    Now is the time to pick ourselves up, comfort each other, and prepare to resist the Con regime by what ever legal means necessary.
    Because in the end, as you say, solidarity will win the day...

  3. Anonymous6:49 AM

    Wish I could share your excitement at a Harper majority, but I can't.

    A lot of changes Harper has been making have been behind the scenes, in government agencies, foreign funding, appointments, ... and there is not reason to think these won't continue or even intensify. He promised to implement his faulty crime bills within 100 days, which will not only be costly, requiring additional cuts elsewhere, but which will not help with crime. Many changes can be extremely difficult to reverse and increased incarceration is one example.

  4. Simon:

    Word. The sniping between Liberals and New Democrats needs to stop. It's just giving the Cons more wood. I thought I'd seen bitter until I followed your link to Mound of Sound. Jeeeeeeeezus.

    Kev, thanks for the props.

  5. I don't think the anger will last between Libs and NDP. It's just an understandable knee-jerk reaction to a deplorable situation. It's only human to immediately look for blame. Something went terribly wrong with the Liberals that was a long time coming. Yes, I do believe there is an opportunity for solidarity between the left, centre left and centre. It won't happen overnight. Take heart progressives, we could still prevail, as Simon points out. After the shock wears off. It's just sad we have to wait for the Cons to shoot themselves in the foot for positive change to happen.

  6. The problem for your argument is that you believe a 2 party ideological fight is a good thing for the Canadian people, I don't, and I suspect many swing centrist voters won't either, even after Harper does his damage. As for the ideological purity of the NDP, if that was real Layton would have made stopping Harper job one from day one, but he didn't, indeed he did anything but preferring instead to focus on building up his own seat counts as job one while claiming to be a different kind of party that does things differently, actions speak louder than words, so having faith in Layton being ideologically pure/sound is to me a mug's game.

    Not to mention that what does Layton do when those nationalist inclined MPs he has now to deal with expect him to represent their voices and views and he doesn't because of how it will hurt the NDP in the ROC? I fear in his lust for power Layton may have replicated a mistake Mulroney made in 1984 when he allowed soft nationalists to run under his banner to beat the then dominant Libs in Quebec which ended up giving us the BQ for 20 years. Not to mention his pandering to opening up the Constitution an exercise which has zero appeal in the ROC.

    No Simon, I am sorry, but I am far less sanguine about what is coming than you are, because one thing above all else life has taught me over the decades is that the positive outcome is rarely the one which actually happens, that the tendency is for the path of least resistance to be followed, and that most voters are not partisans of any party nor do they want extreme ideology from their governments. Harper got in because he stopped sounding ideological after his loss in 2004, not because he sounded more so, and he continued to mask his ideology ever since because it was not what appealed to most voters, and when you add the bulk of the Lib vote to that CPC vote you get over half, which I would argue demonstrates that the clear majority in this country are not in favour of ideological government overall, and that has been the norm in this country throughout its history.

    Now, could that be changing? Yes, I don't deny the possibility, but I suspect it will come a lot harder and slower than you appear to think it will. I also wouldn't be surprised if the backlash against Harper actually reelects the Libs because people will have fond memories of when they last governed by that point, and are more willing to trust centrists than another ideologically driven party, because one of the poisonings that could well come from a Harper majority is the poisoning of Canadians towards ANY ideologically driven party being allowed to govern, you cannot forget that as an alternative outcome you know.

    Enjoy your hopes and dreams Simon, and who knows you could be right in them. Me though, I will wait and see, because if nothing else the rise of Harper has shown me that what one thinks should be obvious and what actually ends up being can be widely divergent.

  7. Anonymous3:27 PM

    With control of the senate and a majority Harper will be 100% responsible for everything that goes wrong in the federal government over the next 4 years. I think that he now has enough rope to hang himself.

  8. hi anonymous ...I'm afraid there has been a terrible mistake. I am NOT excited about the Con majority. It's a terrible thing, all the plagues of Egypt wrapped up in one ghastly package. I just refuse to let the swaggering Cons think that I'm beaten. I'm not. I'm just excited that because of what has happened, and what will happen, Canadians will finally wake up and we will drive the Cons from power FOREVER...

  9. hi O.B...thanks...I couldn't agree more with you. And Kev's right your post was brilliant. I can't believe what I'm seeing. It look as if the progressive blogosphere is eating itself. Hopefully once the anger and the disappointment has worn off, people can start focusing on the REAL enemy...

  10. hi Jymn...I think you're right. The whole catastrophe has shocked and hurt a lot of progressives. And I suspect what we're seeing is the tip of the iceberg. Hopefully summer will cure that. :) I think we're all stressed out. There should be no rush to judgement, or angry words. Just a BBQ or two, and plenty of liquid refreshment. We got four long years to work this one out...

  11. hi Scotian...I know you're a noble person, and your motives are pure, and you're as shocked by what happened as I am.
    But you're wrong when you say that I want polarized politics. I don't.
    I would much prefer to live when there was a Canadian consensus and all the parties agreed on our values, and there was a centre.
    What I am simply saying is that polarization is happening whether we like it or not. It's happening in Britain, it's happening in the United States. It's caused by a lot of factors, recession shock, fear of the future etc. etc.
    In this country it has been accelerated by the Americanization of English Canada. And by clinging to a virtual centre the Liberal Party is fishing in a dry pond.
    And if we still believe that progressives can beat the united Cons divided, we will never get out of the rut we're in. But there is no need to despair, or be too angry. Time will heal us, and then we can get down to seriously discussing what's best for all of us.
    But you're right about something tonight. I am dreamer. It's my most serious flaw. But somehow I can never find the time to do anything about it... ;)

  12. Simon:

    Except I am not convinced that you are correct in this, I am not so sure polarization IS what is wanted by the electorate, at least not here and not by judging from these results. What I saw in these results was something rather different than you, and I maintain that at least in this country there is still more of an appetite foe a centrist party than in other places. Using the US as one example makes no sense because it has been hyperpartisan polarized down there for generations, and as for Britain, well it still remains to be seen how much of that is long term or not as it is still a relatively new thing there too. However, in this country the ability to resist that kind of polarization has been a multi-generational thing too, especially because we have the US next door with its disproportionate influence on us and yet we still had resisted that pattern even with a decade now Harper actively pushing in this direction.

    Just because he removed one centrist option in the PCPC and the other is still in less than good odour like the Libs does not suddenly change this about the basic electorate. Indeed, I would argue that the swing to Harper to stop the NDP from cruising farther in the ROC outside of Quebec underscores this, because it is the NDP which has the reputation for hyperpartisanship and more importantly being ideologically driven for most middle of the road voters who tend to only tune in during election cycles.

    As to my thinking you think polarization is a good thing, well you have already asserted that it is inevitable based on this election that the Libs must merge (aka in this environment be absorbed much the same way the PCPC was by the CA) with the NDP leaving a binary set, and that you find this hopeful and a good thing, so it is not exactly an unreasonable belief to have you know. As for blaming the NDP for the rise of Harper, while they of course are not the only source for his rise to not place a fairly significant percentage of that responsibility squarely on their shoulders for NEVER treating Harper as the primary enemy ESPECIALLY (but not just then too) during elections with Layton as leader which made him seem moderate and centrist to the more disengaged voter and that all those language about how he is so dangerous and different and out of the mainstream empty rhetoric (made it easier for the corporate media to keep that image going too you know, both points I have raised for over a half decade now) is delusional and I believe in giving credit where it is due both positive AND negative, I blame the Libs for their faults but the NDP gets no pass from me for theirs no matter how much they might prefer it.

    This also brings up another point for consideration, if you expect that most of the former Liberal party which has been on the receiving end of all this is suddenly going to be willing to just be taken over now, well you don't understand basic human nature as well as you might think. I suspect most Lib partisans out there online and off are feeling very betrayed by Layton and company, and were more than a little sickened by their glee on election night when Layton gained LOO status at the cost of the Harper majority.

    Sorry Simon, but I simply cannot agree with your reasoning about merging, indeed I think the loss of the only other centrist party in a decade of each other would be a very bad thing for progressive values and responsible government in Canada.