Monday, January 31, 2011
Stephen Harper and the Break Up of Canada
I thought this Maclean's story about Stephen Harper was a real good read. But it didn't tell really tell me what I didn't already know.
Because I've studied Harper like a bug for years. I can never forget how he was willing to risk the unity of this country to save his own skin. And how well it worked for him.
The attempted coalition was gone. But not forgotten. Conservatives marvelled at the spike in support for their party at the height of the crisis, with well over 40 per cent saying they would vote for the besieged party. Thousands backed that sentiment with cash. “We’d never raised so much money,” the senior campaign official said. “It was a banner month for fundraising.”
I can never forget how a wave of anti-Quebec feeling swept across English Canada. How the comment columns and the airwaves were full of the most disgusting garbage I have ever seen. A frenzy of hatred aimed not just at the Bloc, but at ALL Quebecers.
And how if an election had been held then, it would have given Harper a crushing majority. Which is of course, why he is planning to do the same thing again.
That's why he goes on and on about a coalition. Why he launched those attack ads where, if you look at them closely, Gilles Duceppe is made to look like a terrorist.
It's just an attempt to recreate that toxic atmosphere, so he can campaign against Quebec again, and get his precious majority.
Even if it destroys Canada.
Stephen Harper is risking a great Canadian success by soothing one of the country’s rawest irritants. Ending public subsidies for political parties – Conservative code for, among other things, getting separatist Bloc Quebecois fingers out of the federal purse – is a feel-good exercise rippling with bad omens for national unity.
Successful in saving his government, Harper’s tactics were odd and dangerous. Odd because they conveniently forgot his earlier attempt to form a similar coalition to bring down Liberals and dangerous because it effectively disenfranchised the roughly 40 per cent of Quebec voters who support the Bloc.
I don't doubt that if Harper is able to harness that anti-Quebec feeling again, he will win his precious majority. Because those demons that inhabit English Canada are far too easily aroused.
When the Globe recently ran a story on the Bloc's conditions for supporting the budget. They got more than 1,500 comments and many of them were like this one:
This frog really has REAL CANADIANS shaking in their boots. The sooner we cut these asssssholessss off the dole the better. Only the Conservatives are prepared to stand up for Canada. Canadians have had enough of these bloodsuckers.
You know, I realize many Canadians would rather live in denial. But here is the inconvenient truth eh.
The Parti Québécois will most likely win the next election in Quebec. Gilles Duceppe could be its next leader. If Harper wins a majority by campaigning against the province, and starts turning Canada into a right-wing country most Quebecers can't live in, he could provide a popular separatist leader with a very powerful hand.
I don't believe there is anything inevitable about Quebec separating from Canada. But if the Québécois are made to feel they are The Enemy, sooner or later they WILL.
Which wouldn't bother Harper of course, because if Quebec leaves, Canada will be a right-wing country FOREVER. Just like the rest of Britain would be if Scotland ever seceded.
All of this doesn't completely explain why Harper was allowed to get away with it the first time. Why there was no moral reprimand for fucking with the fabric of Canada. Or why so many progressives went along with him. Or why our leaders have been so cowed.
The opposition parties deny they are plotting to form a coalition to replace him. And you know what? They are not plotting to form a coalition. But neither are they performing the day-to-day consultation and collaboration opposition parties always do to clip a government’s wings, because they are too afraid of looking like the coalition he warns against. They have had him outnumbered for five years. For a week in 2008 they acted like it. Now he will not stop using that week as a stick to beat them with.
But it does explain some of it. And it does explain why a person like me, who loves Canada AND Quebec, tries to end as many posts as possible this way:
Organize, unite, defeat this criminally irresponsible maniac.
Before he destroys our country...
Recommend this post at Progressive Bloggers.