Sunday, May 18, 2014

Could Stephen Harper Still Win the Next Election?

It's a horrible question, and one I'd rather not ask myself in the middle of the Victoria Day weekend.

Lest it encourage me to join half the population, and start drinking heavily.

But with all those reports or rumours that the Cons are preparing for an election sooner rather than later. 

Maybe it is time to ask ourselves whether Stephen Harper could still hang on to power? 

Watching Stephen Harper envenom not only the politics of the day but hammer at our deepest societal framework — the rule of law, democratic process — is to wonder what will be left of our self-respect as a nation if he wins the next election, thanks to a splintered electorate. 

Harper is a genius at totalitarian-style manipulation that feeds on the divisions that it has itself created, and at keeping the public confused. The fact that his party is still in the game at all according to the polls, despite one anti-democratic binge after another, attests to that.

Because it will come down to this:

One would hope that by the time the next election rolls around in a year and a half, the game will be absolutely clear to the electorate. The idea of Harper in power another four years to rip up treaties, pervert the electoral process, pass manipulative omnibus bills, deepen the hold of oil and other resource companies over government, rig the tax system for partisan purposes, politicize the bureaucracy, plus attack environmentalists, scientists, civil society groups and parliamentary watchdogs, among others, should give us pause indeed.

It would be an absolute nightmare... 

And this is a real problem: 

Meanwhile, the opposition Liberals and NDP, which two-thirds of the electorate would like to see come together to put an end to Harper, instead are locked in their own frenzied combat, making it more likely that the Conservatives will slip through in those contested areas. And another Harper victory, even in a squeaky minority, would kill any chance that this country can retake its place as a positive force in the world.

So it seems to me, that with a possible election looming on the horizon, we should be at least be thinking about how we can minimize the threat of splitting the vote. Start spreading the message that if the situation demands it, progressives should be prepared to put their country before their parties.

And at the very least demand that the Liberals and the NDP stop fighting each other, as if the next election was an election like any other. Instead of one of the most fateful moments in the history of Canada.

Because not only are those squabbles making them both look bad, and distracting Canadians from the fight against the common enemy.

They are also subtracting from the sense of national mission that we should have at this time, and making it harder to define Harper, at a time when he is trying to rebrand himself.

As we must define him, if we are going to counter his plans to try to bribe voters.

Harper’s argument there is that he’s going to heroically balance the budget and cut taxes. That is, he’s going to slash at everything, like services to veterans, and, especially, dump costs on the provinces. (Even the Parliamentary Budget Officer doesn’t know what exactly is being cut — that’s hidden in the last omnibus bill.) 

With these savings, he’ll propose to cut taxes aimed at key voting groups in the money belts around Toronto and Vancouver that can be counted on to put self-interest above country.

By making it absolutely clear that the main reason Harper wants to cut taxes is so he can shrink government until he can drown it in a bathtub, privatize everything, and slowly strangle medicare. 

And in pursuit of that objective is prepared to cripple our democracy and turn us into a police state.

So he is too dangerous to be allowed to remain in power, and must be defeated at all cost...

As you know, I still believe that in the end Harper will probably defeat himself. That his government is too old, too tired, and too corrupt to survive. And that by the time the next election arrives most Canadians will be practically desperate to get rid of him.

But we can't take any chances. The danger is too great. This is not an election like any other.

So we need to unite, fight smarter and better than ever, do more to drive a stake through the black heart of the Con regime.

And make sure we finish them off...

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  1. ben burd7:24 AM

    of course he will the arrogant libs and the obstinate dippers will guarantee it. Only way out of it is an electoral cooperation pact and a coalition government. But suggest that to party hacks and they will explode.

    Sorru dudes you are done like dinner and under the rule of Harperlaw forever unless you change your attitudes.

    1. hi ben...I have always believed that progressives should unite, and was a big supporter of forming a coalition. But like you I found that just suggesting we cooperate with each other was enough to bring down mortar fire on my head from both sides. However, I'm just about ready to emerge from my bunker and start talking at the very least about some electoral cooperation pact. We really need to start thinking outside the box. The situation is too dire to keep playing the same old game and expecting a different result. I believe they call that insanity....

  2. Anonymous8:19 AM

    Yes, he can still win.

    And no, Simon, drinking heavily won't make him go away. I tried.

    Stay sober and have fun!

    1. hi liberalandlovingit....don't worry, I may joke about it, but I don't drink. My Scottish granny used to be deeply concerned, saying that the ones who start late are the worst. But so far so good. However should I ever start I will blame Harper... ;)

  3. Considering how gleefully the Lieberals jumped on Mulcair in those kangaroo court 'hearings' it sure doesn't seem likely that they will kiss and make up, does it?

    1. hi mizdarlin...the way the Liberals joined the Cons to jump on Mulcair prompted me to write this post. But to be fair a few days before the NDP was trying to embarrass Justin Trudeau by holding some vote on the abortion question. So both sides have been partisan, or just playing the same old games. I understand that, it is the way the game has always been played. What I hope we can all all do is at least get a discussion going about what we can do to minimize the damage. it would be great if the two parties, or three with the Green Party, could agree on some kind of Canadian Charter. Agree that we need to remove the Harper regime for reasons XYZ. And also agree that they will focus on the positive reasons people should vote for their respective candidates, and stop sniping at each other. We also need to legitimize the idea that it is OK to vote for the candidate most likely to win, because it is time to put our country before our parties. However, I fear that we will learn our lesson the hard way, and once my very partisan friends read this I will be forced to go into hiding... ;)

    2. Anonymous7:51 PM

      Don't go into hiding Simon. You're entitled to think as you wish! And if some people come down hard on you for whatever personal reasons of their own, just stand up to them. These are hard times and hard decisions need to be made if we are to get rid of this plague that has invaded our country! We can't ever please everyone but I know that you know that. So do I but there are times when I need to remind myself of that because I sometimes forget!

  4. Anonymous11:17 AM

    The so-called "liberals" have tied themselves inextricably to the cons with their joint attack on Mulcair the other day. I'm not crazy about Mulcair but I can see him being a bit less corporatized than both harpie and trudeau. No coalition government will ever be formed because trudeau is much too narcissistic himself to ever share the limelight with anybody else so, as much as I hate to say it, Ben Burd has a great point. We can't get past our own squabbling over the table scraps harpie throws us to get together on anything, it seems.
    God help Canada. It seems that we mere citizens are totally incapable of helping it or ourselves.
    I can't wait for another landslide of non-voters, just like the last federal election, sitting around and whining about how bad the cons are when they couldn't be bothered to get out to at least vote and try to make a difference.
    I see these images of young people protesting and demonstrating and REALLY hope that they and millions like them get to the polls to make so much of a difference in the final tally that even the con election-stealing machine and the supreme con court of Canada can't even fuck with the final outcomes.
    Wouldn't that be something?

    1. hi is indeed a very frustrating and depressing situation, and as I told Ben I share his views, I'm just too cowardly to express myself that bluntly. ;)
      However I feel that this post is a tiny step in that direction, I would like to help start a discussion about what we can do to make sure we don't spend another four years in Harper's Hell. And I really can't accept that though we are 70 percent and the Cons are 30 percent, they could win yet another election because we were so wedded to the past wwe couldn't get our act together. As for getting young people to vote I am spending most of my energy trying to think of how we can motivate them to turn out in greater numbers than ever before. As Frank Graves recently pointed out, if we can boost our turnout we will defeat the Cons...

  5. Anonymous11:57 AM

    Like I tell my co-workers at Canada Post, if he gets in again we can look forward as being Wal-Mart Post. Our contract expires January 2016. The cons will take away all negotiating rights like last contact and impose the same winner take all settlement which is obviously and always tilted towards the Corporation which forces us to take massive cuts . All I can say is like you Simon, every day I speak out to my co-workers about the dangers of electing the cons again. The struggle begins, even in Edmonton.

    1. hi anonymous...good for you, we all have to work as hard as we can to convince our friends, neighbours and co-workers why it is so important to pull together and get out the vote. I got six of my most apolitical friends to the polls last time, by herding them like cats, and threatening them with violence, but I am hoping I can get even more of them to the polls by more peaceful means next time. ;)
      I met some of your co-workers during a strike a few years ago while supporting them on the picket line and I must say they were an excellent group of people. We can do better, and we must...

  6. Harper is a Fascist Dictator from way back.

    All dictators are paranoid control freaks. Stalin, Hitler and Mussolini were dictators with very similar characteristics, paranoia, lie, deceive, thefts, corruption, used dirty politics, dirty tactics and, they all cheated to win. Harper too flies into white hot rages and falls into deep depressions, where he isn't capable of making any decisions. Hitler made a law, there were no other political parties permitted. Harper would dearly love to do the same.

    We all know, the Campbell/Clark BC Liberals work for Harper. There are thousands of Communist Chinese pouring into BC. Christy Clark has just kissed China's butt and apologized to the Chinese, regarding the head tax many. many decades ago. All the Chinese will vote for Harper as, he has handed most of BC over to Communist China.

    Harper also kissed Israel's butts. He is also kissing the people of Ukraine's butts. The *Fair* Election Plot, is all in favor for Herr Harper. Harper is desperately trying to get control of the Supreme Court, that way Harper will be supreme Dictator of Canada. Canada will be? Harper's Thousand Year Fourth Reich. Harper has a list of henchmen to do his dirty work, as long as his arm.

    However, try as hard as we did? You can't wake Canadians up and Harper knows he can count on that. BC warned 10 years ago? Harper is so low, he can walk under the belly of a snake wearing a top hat.

  7. e.a.f.2:43 PM

    Yes, he can win. Its like people going back to live with their abuser. We have become a nation of co-dependents. As to drinking, Simon, if stevie slime remains in power, you won't be able to afford it.

    The Liberals did a very stupid thing by joining in to attack Mulcair. He isn't going to forget that. Any help the Liberals might need to form a majority, just went the way of the dodo bird. If Trudeau would have been smart he would have had his M.P. excuse himself and Trudeau simply make a statement he wasn't going to participate in the "lynching" party of a fellow M.P. Trudeau ought to know it was done to his two predecessors and he, having been able to skate through the first few attacks, may not be so lucky next time. This little committee meeting was to set the stage to campaign against Mulcair and the NDP as crooks. It is to counter the claims the other parties will make during the campaign about the senate hearings regarding the 3 cons. The Cons will enter this election with more money and will run more ads, and they will be attack ads, based on these hearings against Mulcair.

    If the Liberals aren't smart enough to win the election, or help put the Cons in third place, then it will be up to the NDP to make sure it happens. People can help themselves by remember to vote. As a min. Veterans, Postal Workers, anyone who has been replaced by a TFW, anyone whose job has been outsourced, and then there are the environmentalists. They all need to ensure their groups get out and vote and vote for anyone but the Cons. It has to be an Any Body but Harper election.

    1. hi e.a.f...first let me correct the record, as I told Deb I don't drink, I just joke about it, especially on a weekend commonly know as the Two-Four Holiday. I can't drink more tha two beers without getting drunk, and anything more than that has meant a close encounter wit the toilet. ;)
      But seriously, the Liberals and the NDP have to stop fighting each other. As I said in my post, this is NOT an election like any other. We have seen what the Cons have done to Canada with one majority, to hand them another would be simply unforgivable. And of course there is another reason why the two parties should not fight each other. And that is because when I look at the polls I see that we may very well find ourselves in a situation where the Cons have a slight plurality, but the other two parties combined have more seats. And in that case I would expect them to wait no more than three weeks before defeating the Harperites and forming a coalition government...

    2. e.a.f.3:29 PM

      no more than two beers and you're drunk? you have to be one of the cheapest dates around! O.K. just kidding. Now we know why you have time to blog. You don't drink. Of course blogging could drive you to drink, but I've found, when you are writing, who has time to drink. There is so much work to do.

      For some, whenever you think about going out to consume a bottle to forget the politics of this country, take the money to the nearest child charity/school and donate. It saves a hang over, saves calories, and you don't put any of your tax dollars into government hands. Moonshinners drink on.

  8. This is my worst fear.

    1. hi is also my greatest fear. I can't imagine how depressing it would be to have to spend another four years looking on helplessly as our country burns, while knowing that we made the same mistake again, and ended up with the same result. However, the good news is that we still have time to encourage the progressive parties to think big, break out of the box of tradition, and come up with a more noble and imaginative approach...

  9. The Liberals are not progressives...they support virtually everything that the Conservatives do.

  10. hi Lavrenty....the tiny Simon star circles the planet in an orbit far to the left of the NDP, so needless to say I'm not too impressed by the Liberal's rightward drift. However, all the ones I know share my basic Canadian values, and forming a coalition doesn't mean everybody has to agree on everything. I ask them only to agree on one thing: the Harper government is the worst government in Canadian history and they must do everything they can to defeat it. Even if that means temporarily jumping into bed with each other. Who knows they might enjoy it. Judging by the number of Liberal/NDP couples I see this doesn't seem too hard. ;)
    First we defeat the Cons and then we argue about what we should be doing to make this country progressive again. Or just Canada...

  11. Anonymous1:13 AM

    Mulcair has been attacking the liberals for the past year or more so what I am saying is that Mulcair is as bad himself stabbing at JT every chance he gets He's a great lawyer but a shoddy politician..He's not winning points for himself by doing that.In reality, he's openly helping out the Cons regime of losers by portraying himself as one of them .For all its worth, that's my opinion of what I see and here from him.

  12. Anonymous2:39 AM

    1984 in National Citizens Coalition v Canada (Attorney General) they were trying to amend Canada Elections Act.

    2000 in Harper v Canada - Harper tried to change Elections Act to get third party able to fund campaigns unlimited

    2001 in Harper v Canada (Queen's Bench of Alberta) successful in allowing 3rd party funds beyond set amount into campaigns

    2004 in Harper v Canada (challenged by Appeal by Attorney General at Supreme Court of Canada - guess who was the Chief Justice at the time?! Chief Justice McLaclin. Supreme Court struck down lower Alberta Court ruling saying NO cannot have third parties fund campaigns beyond a certain $

  13. hi anon...both the NDP and the Liberals have been attacking each other, and my position is that BOTH should cease and desist. We have bigger fish to fry, namely the bottom feeding Cons. And defeating the is the only thing that matters...

  14. hi anon 7:51 pm...don't worry I won't be going into hiding. I think it's time to be brutally honest and ask if we are doing enough to ensure the defeat of the Con regime, because failure is not an option. And although my friends do give me a hard time sometimes, their hearts are in the right place, they're not too mean. And besides I'm the one who studied martial arts for years... ;)

  15. Anonymous10:26 PM

    Simon? I'm voting for whomever in my riding has the best numbers to flip McColeman out of his seat.
    This is not a safe CON riding. We're kind of on the edge of sanity here- between Toronto and The West...
    No offence to anyone west of TO, k? :)