Sunday, May 18, 2014
Could Stephen Harper Still Win the Next Election?
It's a horrible question, and one I'd rather not ask myself in the middle of the Victoria Day weekend.
Lest it encourage me to join half the population, and start drinking heavily.
But with all those reports or rumours that the Cons are preparing for an election sooner rather than later.
Maybe it is time to ask ourselves whether Stephen Harper could still hang on to power?
Watching Stephen Harper envenom not only the politics of the day but hammer at our deepest societal framework — the rule of law, democratic process — is to wonder what will be left of our self-respect as a nation if he wins the next election, thanks to a splintered electorate.
Harper is a genius at totalitarian-style manipulation that feeds on the divisions that it has itself created, and at keeping the public confused. The fact that his party is still in the game at all according to the polls, despite one anti-democratic binge after another, attests to that.
Because it will come down to this:
One would hope that by the time the next election rolls around in a year and a half, the game will be absolutely clear to the electorate. The idea of Harper in power another four years to rip up treaties, pervert the electoral process, pass manipulative omnibus bills, deepen the hold of oil and other resource companies over government, rig the tax system for partisan purposes, politicize the bureaucracy, plus attack environmentalists, scientists, civil society groups and parliamentary watchdogs, among others, should give us pause indeed.
It would be an absolute nightmare...
And this is a real problem:
Meanwhile, the opposition Liberals and NDP, which two-thirds of the electorate would like to see come together to put an end to Harper, instead are locked in their own frenzied combat, making it more likely that the Conservatives will slip through in those contested areas. And another Harper victory, even in a squeaky minority, would kill any chance that this country can retake its place as a positive force in the world.
So it seems to me, that with a possible election looming on the horizon, we should be at least be thinking about how we can minimize the threat of splitting the vote. Start spreading the message that if the situation demands it, progressives should be prepared to put their country before their parties.
And at the very least demand that the Liberals and the NDP stop fighting each other, as if the next election was an election like any other. Instead of one of the most fateful moments in the history of Canada.
Because not only are those squabbles making them both look bad, and distracting Canadians from the fight against the common enemy.
They are also subtracting from the sense of national mission that we should have at this time, and making it harder to define Harper, at a time when he is trying to rebrand himself.
As we must define him, if we are going to counter his plans to try to bribe voters.
Harper’s argument there is that he’s going to heroically balance the budget and cut taxes. That is, he’s going to slash at everything, like services to veterans, and, especially, dump costs on the provinces. (Even the Parliamentary Budget Officer doesn’t know what exactly is being cut — that’s hidden in the last omnibus bill.)
With these savings, he’ll propose to cut taxes aimed at key voting groups in the money belts around Toronto and Vancouver that can be counted on to put self-interest above country.
By making it absolutely clear that the main reason Harper wants to cut taxes is so he can shrink government until he can drown it in a bathtub, privatize everything, and slowly strangle medicare.
And in pursuit of that objective is prepared to cripple our democracy and turn us into a police state.
So he is too dangerous to be allowed to remain in power, and must be defeated at all cost...
As you know, I still believe that in the end Harper will probably defeat himself. That his government is too old, too tired, and too corrupt to survive. And that by the time the next election arrives most Canadians will be practically desperate to get rid of him.
But we can't take any chances. The danger is too great. This is not an election like any other.
So we need to unite, fight smarter and better than ever, do more to drive a stake through the black heart of the Con regime.
And make sure we finish them off...
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