Monday, December 09, 2013
Stephen Harper, Rob Ford and Our Divided Country
It's hard to decide which Con clown is more pathetic. The one on his way to the funeral of Nelson Mandela.
The man he once called a terrorist who should be kept in prison, or hanged.
Or the one waddling down the street at a Santa Claus parade throwing candy canes to children.
As their parents tried to shield some of them from his ghastly sight.
But what is only too obvious is the damage both are doing to Canada's reputation.
A Pollara survey conducted in the U.S. and provided to the Star found almost one-third of respondents — 29 per cent – had a worse view of Toronto because of the news about Ford’s crack cocaine use and other controversies.Some 18 per cent said the story has left them with a worse view of Canada as a whole.
A country and a people no longer seen as decent. A country no longer cool.
A decade after declaring Canada “rather cool,” The Economist, the U.K.-based international affairs and news magazine, has withdrawn the compliment.
If Canada is exciting at all in 2014, it will be for the wrong reasons,” said the Nov. 18 online article authored by correspondent Madelaine Drohan.
It cited several factors tied to the polices of the Conservative government and Prime Minister Stephen Harper, including promoting a pipeline to the U.S. to carry Alberta’s tar sands “minimum” progress on climate change and “backtracking” on social liberalism.
It's depressing, it's humiliating, it's infuriating. But what's even worse and more ominous is what we know about ourselves, and the Canada we are becoming.
Canadians are more attached to their country than the people of any other advanced democracy on Earth, says Ottawa’s EKOS Research Associates, which for decades has gauged the glue that holds the nation together.
But now for the dark side.
EKOS the research project sponsored by the Atkinson Charitable Foundation, in partnership with the Honderich family and the Toronto Star, conclude is that the bonds that hold Canadians together are unravelling, leaving a nation profoundly polarized along fault-lines of age, education and the workplace.
A people inflamed with nationalist feeling, in a country increasingly at war with itself.
Young, highly educated and progressive “next Canada” is disconnecting itself from formal participation in Canada’s democracy. The percentage that voted in the 2011 federal election was under 40 per cent and Graves predicts it may well slip into the teens by the next election or two.
Next Canada” sees a nation shaped by public institutions, chiefly governments, that favour aging Boomers who vote en masse and heavily en bloc for Stephen Harper’s Conservatives.
A country polarized and poisoned by a toxic alien ideology, where economic and generational resentment is on the rise, and more and more people are losing faith in democracy.
A country with all the conditions necessary to become a playground for right-wing demagogues...
Because of course, that's what Stephen Harper and Rob Ford have in common. Both are Con demagogues who would pit one group of Canadians against the other, make democracy a bad word to discourage us from voting, appeal to the lowest instincts of the population, and turn a city and a country into a jungle.
Ford by posing as a populist and pitting the alienation of the Ford Nation against the so-called "elites." Harper by posing as Great Canadian Leader, whipping up those nationalist feelings.
Canada is hoping to lay claim to some prime North Pole real estate. The federal government has until Friday to submit its claim to an extended continental shelf -- and its potential oil and gas gold mine -- to the United Nations.
But Prime Minister Stephen Harper asked federal bureaucrats to revise their submission to the UN to include the North Pole -- laying claim to a greater part of the Arctic than was planned and into an area being claimed by Russia and Denmark.
And then at some point before the next election, taking advantage of the alienation of Quebec, to trigger a confrontation with that province and its separatist government, and pit the rest of the country against them.
So he can claim that Tom Mulcair and Justin Trudeau are too separatist too govern, and polarize the country further for partisan political purposes.
Yup. Even as we focus on the scandals that are slowly destroying both of those demagogues, it's vitally important to remember the big picture.
And of course remember this: Until we give those Con clowns the hook they will shame us again and again.
Cry the beloved country.
How low have we fallen…
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