Wednesday, March 11, 2015
Could Stephen Harper's Bigotry Cost the Cons the Next Election?
You should have seen Stephen Harper in Question Period yesterday, for there couldn't have been a more scary spectacle.
He looked like hell, bagged beyond belief. He looked angry and desperate.
Angry at Justin Trudeau for accusing him of fanning the flames of bigotry with his Great War on the Niqab.
And sounded like an absolute maniac.
Stephen Harper says the practice of covering one’s face with a niqab is “rooted in a culture that is anti-women” – his bluntest effort to date to explain why the Conservative government is fighting the use of these veils during Canadian citizenship ceremonies.
Why would Canadians, contrary to our own values, embrace a practice at that time that is not transparent, that is not open and frankly is rooted in a culture that is anti-women,” Mr. Harper told the Commons Tuesday. “That is unacceptable to Canadians, unacceptable to Canadian women.”
Who would claim he's a champion of women, when the very first thing he did when he came to power was order the removal of the words "women's rights" from thousands and thousands of government documents.
When there has never been a more misogynist Prime Minister than him.
And he is now attacking a small group of Canadian women, stirring up hatred against them, for no sane reason...
Alia Hogben, executive director of the Canadian Council of Muslim Women, said Mr. Harper should “do a little bit more thinking” before he speaks on this topic.
The council conducted a study of 80 women in Ontario who wear the niqab and found that none of them had any problem with uncovering their face when necessary for security or identification reasons.
And is as Justin Trudeau said, doubling down on the politics of fear, and stirring up bigotry for crass political reasons.
“This government is willing to confuse and conflate the issues in ways that encourages ignorance about these various elements and quite frankly stokes fears and anxieties at a time where people are worried about terrorism and extremism,” he said. “This is the crassest kind of politics.”
But the good news is that Harper also looked desperate, and for a very good reason.
Because his actions, along with this racist statement by the Con MP John Williamson...
Have stirred up a hornet's nest even in his own party.
Another Conservative MP is criticizing a caucus colleague over racial remarks about temporary former workers. Devinder Shory, who represents a Calgary riding, calls New Brunswick MP John Williamson's comments racist and says he is outraged.
Deepak Obhrai, another Calgary Conservative, used Twitter to criticize Williamson, saying years of outreach work with ethnic communities had gone down the drain as a result of the comment.
And as Paul Adams reports, that backlash could not only damage the Con's chances of winning the next election, by making a lot of other Canadians nervous.
Turbaned Sikhs, Lebanese Christians and brown-skinned Hispanics know full well — from looking south of the border, for starters — that when the mood turns ugly for Muslims, the racism that ensues doesn’t bother with fine distinctions. Visible minority voters are critical in many of the seats around Toronto and in the lower mainland of B.C. on which the next election may turn.
But could also damage the Cons in a more devastating way....
The Conservatives worked hard over a decade to erase the stain of racism that attached itself to the Reform party. But it is resurfacing now, and that may have consequences that long outlast the election of 2015.
Now isn't that a nice thought?
The clock struck midnight. The Cons turned into the Reform Party.
And the morally depraved Stephen Harper fanned the flames of bigotry.
That did in the end consume him...
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