Sunday, November 02, 2014
Harper's War: Will the Fear Factor Trigger an Early Election?
Well there he was at the funeral of Warrant Officer Patrice Vincent, the humble soldier who served his country so long and so well.
And where his sister tried to rescue some humanity from her brother's senseless death with this moving message.
“Patrice’s message is to go home tonight, look at those who contribute to your happiness, to your life, and have gratitude for the love they give you, for the help they give you,” she said.
“And he would tell you also ‘Love them, share with them your help in the way you can.’ And this was what Patrice was doing, trying to be a better man every day of his life. .
Only to have Stephen Harper ruin the uplifting mood with a snarling message of his own.
“Someone dear to you has been taken away by the revolting actions of a person motivated by a barbaric ideology, an ideology contrary to the values of justice, freedom and compassion that we share as Canadians.”
Trying to convince Canadians that ISIS terrorists are attacking us, and that only he, a Great Warrior Leader, a soldier's best friend, can save us.
Even though Patrice Vincent helped injured soldiers and veterans, who the Cons have betrayed so miserably, so I doubt he was Harper's friend.
Even though Harper is the last person in Canada who should talk about "justice, freedom and compassion."
When he has violated all those values so savagely.
And even though the man who killed Vincent, like the one who killed Cpl. Nathan Cirillo in Ottawa, was not an ISIS or Islamic terrorist, he was a homegrown madman.
It may be tempting for some to blame Islam for Couture-Rouleau’s conversion from beer-drinking average Joe to kaffiyeh-draped murderer. Yet fundamentally he was a single and singularly troubled human whose apparent knowledge of his adopted religion amounted to bumper-sticker praises of Islam on Facebook.
Martin Couture-Rouleau was a textbook lone wolf—a man with a big mouth and nothing to lose.
But then of course we know what Harper is trying to do; trying to justify his war, inflame patriotic emotions, and scare people into voting for him.
And so far the Fear Factor seems to be working.
The impacts of the tragic deaths of two Canadian soldiers appear to be affecting the political landscape in a highly significant fashion. While not entirely unexpected, the clarity and significance of the effects may be altering the political calculus around an early election.
It's boosting Harper's numbers...
The race has tightened significantly with the Liberal lead now cut in half and the Conservative Party now clearly ahead of the NDP. While his approval rating remains mired below 30 points, Mr. Harper has seen some softening of his disapproval, suggesting that some of those sitting in the disapproval camp are moving to “not sure”. Mr. Mulcair and Mr. Trudeau, meanwhile, have seen modest declines in their approval numbers.
It's making more Canadians put security ahead of civil liberties...
Stampeding them into the hands of those who would turn us into a police state.
And of course, as EKOS suggests, it's increasing the chances of an early election.
Because Harper must surely know that this mix of emotion, anxiety, and war fever won't last. The Fear Factor will fade just like it did after the 9/11 attack.
Canadians will understand that those soldiers were killed by madmen not real terrorists.
War fever will also fade as more Canadians come to realize the futility of the bombing campaign.
And the even better news is that even if Harper is sorely tempted to strike soon, he will find it very hard to justify an early election.
As long as his job approval ratings remain so low...
Because any advantage he could get by going sooner rather than later, would be demolished by the fact that so many Canadians don't trust his motives.
But all of this does show that we live in dangerous times, that fear is the enemy. And that the opposition will have to be careful not to fall into a trap and give Harper an excuse to call an election.
While reminding Canadians that by joining in a bombing campaign Great Strong Leader has made our lives more dangerous, as the British government is reminding its citizens.
Britons travelling abroad are being warned that they could be targeted by extremists seeking revenge for UK air strikes against Islamic State (Isis).
Not safer as he would pretend...
As I've said before, I think that Harper's sordid record and the desire for change will in the end seal his fate.
But in a time of war.
No beast is more dangerous...
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