Wednesday, July 01, 2015

Canada Day in Harperland, Between Hope and Despair

It's Canada Day in Harperland in the grim year of 2015. And I must admit I'm finding it hard to find a reason to celebrate, or find words to express how I feel.

For it has been a grim year, and think I said what I wanted to say about Canada, in this post the other day.

How I once thought of this big beautiful country as a magical place. 

But now I don't recognize it.

For can it really be true that one out of three Canadians would condone torture? 

New numbers from the Pew Research Center show that, despite categorical evidence that torture does not work as an investigation tool, over a third of Canadians believe they could justify the torture of terror suspects after 9/11 — and would condone the Canadian government torturing suspected terrorists.

And is it true what Bob Rae says in his new book, that we're a nation of poseurs?

Canadian politics, Rae argues, has arrived at a place of disillusionment — theatrical, shallow and relentlessly focused on mudslinging, with governance generally lost in the shuffle. The populace is disengaged and distrustful, the media mediocre and driven primarily by profit, the economy a vehicle for concentrating wealth in the hands of the few, the health care system woefully deficient, and our foreign policy vacuous and unprincipled. 

“Canada,” he writes, “has become a posturer, a poseur, a political game player. Canada has become a right-wing gasbag, shouting from the sidelines.”

And I must confess I don't know what this country has become. I just don't recognize it. I don't know how we got to this wasteland of disillusionment and despair.

But what I do know is that we will never get out of it, never find out how decent and truly great we can be until we defeat this monster...

Who has corrupted everything he touches, has made the Canada he hates so much a more warlike, greedier, and grubbier place. 

In the process of destroying our precious Canadian values he has corrupted them beyond recognition. And by allowing him to stay in office for so long, for failing to unite to defeat him, we have let our Canada down badly in the worst possible way.

For how will we ever explain to the future that we fought ourselves, while he torched our country?

Which as I said in my last post is such a depressing thought that it has even made me think about giving up blogging, and joining the ranks of the disillusioned.

But of course I won't do that, and the good news is that it's still a big, beautiful country. 

And Stephen Harper's grip on it is slipping. He has never looked more vulnerable, or more desperate.

His Great War on Terror and his fear campaign aren't working for him anymore. His crass attempts to bribe the population haven't worked out either. 

And as John Ivison points out, the latest GDP figures make his chances of winning the next election look even gloomier.

The GDP numbers for April came out Tuesday and showed the economy contracted 0.1%. That follows the three previous months of negative growth. With the second quarter just about to end, it is entirely possible that Canada is back in recession (defined as two straight quarters of economic contraction), for the first time since April 2009.

For a Conservative Party whose only prayer of re-election is to deliver on its pledge of jobs and growth, this must be prompting some duodenal percolation.

The Harper Conservatives have made a virtue of being a one trick pony – convincing voters that they alone can manage the economy. But what to do when the trick no longer impresses?

So if we can get our act together, and focus on the real enemy instead of fighting each other, we can defeat him and his foul Con regime.

We can take our Canada back. And make today Stephen Harper's last Canada Day in office.

Which i have to admit even in my depressed condition, is a REALLY good reason to celebrate.

And why I leave you with this little video I made of the fireworks show last night on the Toronto waterfront where I live...

Oh boy. Can you imagine what kind of Canada Day we are are going to have next year after the tyrant has been finally defeated?

Won't it be the best one EVER?

Hang on to that thought. Hang on to that hope, like I do with both hands.

Prepare to fight like you've never fought before.

And have a great one everybody...

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  1. happy birthday, canada!
    happy canada day to you, simon and everybody who is willing to firecrackle to shed their simple, small ten photons on the maggotry of our governing CONvicts and their hopes that our apathy cloaks their power lechery in darkness. the more, the brighter!
    happy 148th, my beautiful baby girl. i hold you with both my hands, close to my heart, burning bright, standing guard.

    1. Hi Luce...thank you and happy Canada Day to you too !!! And yes hold that precious baby with both hands for it is in great danger. But know too that we will not let apathy prevent us from defending it, and that that those who threaten it WILL be defeated...

  2. Anonymous8:53 AM

    I am sitting here in my northern community which is shrouded in smoke un a very unhealthy way with a garden that is burning up unless I pour the water to it because we have not had a crop of rain yet this year. We have to be guided out of the community because fires are burning on both sides of the highway. Not sure I will even go to the parade in this smoke. It's hard to breath and my eyes are sore. I read with envy the articles about the Netherlands and the court case that forces them to deal with their carbon. If this horrifying man is gone next year I and my family and friends will be dancing in the streets on July 1.

    1. Yes, I spend quite a bit of time in the Netherlands, and was thrilled by the carbon case. Despite the enviable cyclable and walkable cities, towns and countryside, there are still too many cars and too much carbon pollution.

    2. hi anon...I'm sorry to hear about those fires, and all that smoke. Please stay safe. It is indeed a frightening situation. Hopefully all that that is afflicting large parts of North America and the Caribbean will serve as a wake up call, and put more pressure on the Con climate change deniers to do more to save the planet....

    3. hi lagatta...I'm surprised to hear that about the Netherlands. I've always thought of it as Bike Heaven.
      But at least I'm sure they will do something about it, while here in Toronto everybody is bitching about forcing people to stay out of certain reserved traffic lanes during the upcoming Panam Games, unless they have three people in their car. You have to see and hear it to believe it....

  3. Ironicly Harper thought may make Canada the greatest nation in the world. Not by rasing Caanad up, no by destroying most of the world, leaving Canada the best of the worst in a ruined world.

    1. hi Steve...well that's one way to look at it. I feeling better already... ;)

  4. The worst thing Harper has done is convince a sizeable mnority of Canadians that we must fight (blank) over there, or fight them in our hometowns.

    1. hi Steve...yes it really is insanity, and that absurd argument has been used from the very beginning of the Great War on Terror. The war that has only made things worse, and turned a massive region into something resembling hell...

  5. That was lovely, Simon. Was it for Pride, Canada Day or something else?

    Here it is Moving Day, of course, and it is also the anniversary of our housing co-op, and I'm making three pizzas for the party celebrating that important event.

    And certainly hope we can see the back of Harper. Hmm, Alexandre Boulerice as a Cabinet Minister.... on a bike!

    1. hi lagatta...I'm glad you liked it it. It was our annual Canada Day firework's show fired off a barge anchored in the bay. It's a really good one, that includes fireworks that float on the water. I love fireworks myself, although for years I couldn't enjoy them because my beloved old lab used to be terrified by them, and would make a bee line for the washroom, jump into the tub, and quiver like a jelly, poor thing.
      As for Alexander Boulerice, he is one of my favourite NDP MPs and I think he'd make a great cabinet minister...

  6. Eager Beaver10:52 AM

    Hear! Hear!

    Very eloquently stated, Simon.

    Happy Canada D'Eh!

    1. hi Eager Beaver,,,thank you and happy Canada Day to you !!! I was glad to see that a new report just confirmed that the work eh? is still very popular with Canadians. So at least one of our distinctive characteristics is still alive. I've been in some very scary places in the world, and when I've heard someone say eh? it lifts my spirits and makes me go running to embrace them... ;)

  7. Happy Canada Day to all!

    Is Stevie heaving a sign of relief now that Arthur Porter has died?

    1. hi David...happy Canada Day to you too !! And yes I bet Steve is heaving a giant sign of relief now that Arthur has departed, because their relationship couldn't be more embarrassing, and he could have revealed a lot of secrets that Harper would rather keep hidden...

  8. e.a.f.9:53 PM


    Lets hope Steve and his gang of cons are not re-elected or it maybe our last day as free citizens on Canada Day.

    Will Steve be re-elected? The CBC article recently on how the number of seniors who are declaring bankruptcy can't be helping him. things are not getting better for Canadians, its getting worse. For Canadians to then have to think about $38 billion being cut out of their health care...........that's more scary than ISIS.

    Steve's fear mongering hasn't worked. The economy isn't getting better. Del Mastro's "stroll" on prime time. People are starting to notice.

    1. The NDP or Liberals should borrow Ronald Reagan's famous "framing question" that got him elected:

      "Are you better off now than you were four years ago?"

      Create TV, radio and online ads asking a number of people, including: federal scientists, seniors who are declaring bankruptcy, students who can't find employment, workers from the Heinz plant and Oshawa car plant who lost their jobs, oil and gas workers who have been laid off, First Nations who don't have clean drinking water on their reserves, veterans who find it harder to access service due to the closing of 9 veterans offices, veterans who are fighting the Harper government in the B.C. Supreme Court, etc.

    2. hi e.a.f ...happy Canada Day to you too!! I'm pretty sure it will be Harper's last Canada Day. It better be because if it isn't it might be my last Canada Day. Because I don't think I could stand another four years of that maniac regime, and neither can our country...

  9. If Harper manages to steal another election, then by July 1, 2016 he will have mandated this new version of
    O Canada:

    O Kanada! Our Con-ser-va-tive land!
    C-51 love un-der Stephen's command
    With glowing hearts we hear him talk
    He's careful not to speak
    From far and wide, O Kanada,
    Great Closet Leader's not weak.
    Stephen keep our land, strong and proud and free!
    O Kanada, we will bow down to Steve;
    O Kanada, we pray he'll never leave.

  10. watching on CBC the Canada Day Celebration in Ottawa i notice how awkward and uptight our PM and his wife seem but what is worse is that there was no acknowledgement of our First Nations people
    Here in BC we invite the FN whose territory we are on to open for us
    Next year we should demand this on Canada Day

    1. hi Oemissions...I must admit I didn't watch the whole show so I didn't notice that our First Nations weren't recognized. I'd say I'm shocked but nothing the Cons do shocks me anymore. But yes, next year once they are defeated we can give the First Nations pride of place. As you know, after all these years that day can't come soon enough...

  11. Anonymous8:49 AM

    I'm burned out too, but I won't give up the fight. Soldier on with dignity!