Monday, November 24, 2014
Stephen Harper, Stephen Lewis, and the Con Neanderthals
Somewhere in his grim bunker, or his dank closet, Stephen Harper must be celebrating madly.
I'm sure he can't quite believe his good fortune. Or the way the bony hand of fate has saved him from almost certain defeat.
But war has been good for Great Leader, and after trailing Justin Trudeau for a year and a half, he has finally caught him.
A new Forum Research poll shows the federal Conservatives in a statistical tie with the Liberals in public support, meaning the Tories have closed a large gap that had Justin Trudeau’s party out in front after he was elected leader last year.
The so-called “Trudeau effect’’ saw the Liberals leading the Conservatives in the polls by 10 points as recently as this spring, but a Forum survey of 1,500 voters conducted Wednesday and Thursday shows that lead has evaporated — 36 per cent now support the Liberals and 33 per cent back the Conservatives, a virtual tie given the sample size.
For although it is a Forum poll, other polls have shown his meteoric rise...
And the question is what will Harper do now? Find some excuse to call an early election, or quit while he's ahead?
Leaving me to wonder how so many Canadians could be so easily scared, or inflamed by war fever?
Harper has garnered a lot of media attention after the Conservative government vote in the House last month that paved the way for Canadian airstrikes in the Middle East to combat the ISIS terror threat.
That they could be so quickly stampeded into once again supporting a leader like this one?
After all the terrible things he has done to Canada, and the monstrous way he has behaved.
Stampeded by what Michael Harris calls the selective use of terror, or the Goering factor.
Politicians of all stripes have long known that external enemies, especially ones you are at war against, have a way of silencing internal critics. Here’s how the head of the Luftwaffe, Hermann Goering, put it when he stood trial at Nuremberg for crimes against humanity:
“Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger…it works the same in any country.”
And I have to admit that it's times like these that make me question everything I believe in...
Make me wonder what kind of country is this one where fear can replace hope so easily?
Or even wonder whether I have been wasting my time blogging every night for so long. Which is a scary thought, because it has taken a huge chunk out of my life, and it would be the death of hope.
So you can imagine how good it felt, in this pit of despair that is Harperland, to hear the voice of the old lion Stephen Lewis roaring in the darkness.
The former Ontario NDP leader, United Nations ambassador and lifelong human rights advocate took aim at the “pre-paleolithic Neanderthals” in office and their role in the decline of Parliament, the suppression of dissent, the plight of First Nations, their blinkered climate-change policy and our plummeting world status.
When he surveys the political scene today, he says he runs the emotional gamut from “rage to rage.”
Calling the Cons Neanderthals, and telling us that we are right to be angry about what what they are doing to our Canada.
And in my mind at least, telling me that I was right to portray Harper like this...
“There is a radical ideological agenda gripping this country,” Lewis said, “but it’s not the environmentalists or the other targeted groups committed to the quest for social justice; it’s the political leadership.” We are channelling the years of Richard Nixon’s enemies list, Lewis says, adding the former U.S. president was driven by paranoia, Harper is driven by malevolence.
As a brutish, morally depraved leader out of another era, who is both evil and DANGEROUS.
But what cheers me the most is Stephen Lewis' dream:
“Somewhere in my soul,” Lewis says, “I cherish the possibility of a return to a vibrant democracy, where equality is the watchword, where people of different ideological conviction have respect for each other, where policy is debated rather than demeaned, where the great issues of the day are given thoughtful consideration, where Canada’s place on the world stage is seen as principled and laudatory, where human rights for all is the emblem of a decent civilized society.”
For it is also mine.
And I know that when powerful voices like that one help spread it, and denounce the Cons like they should be denounced, it will awaken those who would sleepwalk to disaster, and that Stephen Harper's popularity will soon fade.
I also know that I haven't wasted my life beating this little drum night after night, for what will be in a couple of weeks nine years.
And that I am lucky to have readers like you who share that dream, and like me can't wait for the great day when the Con cult is finally defeated.
And most of all I know this even in this darkness: if we really want it.
If we really love our country. And fight for it harder than we ever have before.
Then the light will return, and we shall get it back...
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