Sunday, January 11, 2015
How Does Stephen Harper Get Away With It?
One of the questions I get asked the most is how after damaging Canada so much does Stephen Harper get away with it?
And I have to tell them I have no idea. I'm not a psychiatrist, I can't explain madness.
Or how he could fool so many for so long.
But with Harper creeping up in the polls it's a question I ask myself a lot. So I'm glad to see that Bob Hepburn is also wondering the same thing.
How does Stephen Harper get away with it after the way he has behaved?
How does Harper get away with it, indeed?
Since he became prime minister in 2006, Harper has displayed a stunning disrespect for democracy in Canada, either approving or turning a blind eye to decisions that have undermined our democratic traditions and institutions and our faith in democracy.
Over the years, Harper has taken advantage of Canadians’ waning interest in federal politics to implement his anti-democratic initiatives and to run roughshod over Parliament and campaign rules and practices.
How could he still have a chance of winning another mandate?
Why is he still in power or not in jail?
After the way he has applied a chainsaw to our country and its values...
How does Harper get away with introducing a fair elections act that was so unfair it should rightly have been called the anti-democratic elections act? How does Harper get away with slapping gag orders on public servants and scientists, preventing them from speaking to the public?
How does Harper get away with blissfully ignoring Conservative election scandals, from the infamous anti-democratic robocall affair to voter fraud and election spending violations? How does Harper get away with shutting down Parliament not once but twice for partisan political reasons?
And still pose as Mr Canada in this absurd photo-op at a junior hockey game in Kingston last night...
What does this ghastly act, and his appalling record say about him?
Taken individually, all of these moves and decisions can be dismissed as one-off mistakes or transgressions. Collectively, though, they point to a prime minister who doesn’t care much for democratic institutions and practices. Taken together, they also reinforce the reasons why there is a growing discontent and disconnect between citizens and the federal government.
And what does it say about us?
While some pro-democracy groups have raised alarms in the past about Harper, most Canadians have just shrugged their shoulders, albeit in disgust. They are disengaged, discouraged by government scandals and believe politicians don’t listen to them and aren’t interested in the issues that are important to them.
And the good news? I don't think the voters are as disengaged as Hepburn seems to think they are. I think many are just discouraged by a nightmare that just seems to go on and on.
But when the time comes for an election they will rouse themselves, and we will see a campaign like this country has never seen before.
And when the Cons roll out their heavy artillery...
We'll reply with our attack ads, and with their foul record we'll have all the ammunition we need to defeat them.
As we must, for Hepburn is right about this:
For all Canadians, the stakes are huge. That’s because this election may be the last real chance for years ahead to restore faith in our democracy.
Because we must, we will. Failure is not an option.
Canada will be saved.
And this monstrous leader will be defeated...
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