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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  1. Anonymous9:37 AM

    We can only hope with all our hearts!

    1. hi anon...These are depressing times, but as I've said many times, that monster has feet of claw. His government is old, tired, and out of ideas, and as long as we keep our spirits up we WILL defeat them...

  2. One of the strangest things in this odd spectacle is the Cons' evocations of the Holocaust, which "started with words". It started with the words, and the deeds of the militarist Right in Germany, after the defeat in the "Great War". The Freikorps attacked the Spartakist insurgency and murdered Rosa Luxemburg and Karl Liebknecht, and the leaders and many members of the Bavarian Soviet Republic, and later on the early Nazis beat and killed trade unionists and lefties of all political stripes.

    No, of course the Harper régime isn't Nazi, nor technically even fascist, but they are certainly a hard-right, militaristic government with a strong propension for bigotry and enemies lists.

    1. hi lagatta....Every time I hear Steve Blaney say something I wince, and quickly remind people that he doesn't represent the views of most Quebecers, and if the Con didn't just have five seats, he'd be sitting in the backbencher and nobody would even hear from him. I don't know if you know, but every year he swims across the St Lawrence near Lévis. So when I see him speak, and I see that face, all I can think of is the Monster from the Black Lagoon. And although I used to avoid the word fascist, I don't any longer...

  3. The whities and brownies tea party wisdom is not the only gem to come slithering out from under Preston's rock.

    As told by Press Progress one after another they dragged their knuckles up to the podium and screeched their hatred of Canadians.

    Rex despised everything diverse,ethnic,social,sexual,ideological or regional. He admitted he speaks in tea party code to oppose all that is reasonable.

    Unions were vilified for holding taxpayers hostage, opposing "our" interests and seeking corporate welfare.

    Women were told that the reformers would free them from the oppression of work to enable them to stay at home, do chores and be liberated from having to pay maids.

    Flanigan called users of social media a pitchfork and torch crowd.

    Environmentally we heard that the Yukon would look great if it was just dug up and that social liscence is used to thwart democracy by blocking projects.

    To me it looks like Harper has lost his grip on the reformacon party: he can't bully them anymore and has gone from being a useful idiot to one no longer useful.

    The lunatics have captured the asylum: God help us all.

    1. hi rumleyfips....yes I heard about that, and how it resembled a Reform Convention. And I think you're right, he is losing control of the Reform block. But of course that's excellent, because the more we can portray them as the Reform Party reborn the more damage we can do them. That time is passed and their day is over...

  4. What struck me was while harper was berating woman who hide their faces the Sikh member behind him with a full beard and blue turban which completely 'disguised' his face while 'the boss' was decrying women who wear a niqab.

    A picture really is worth a thousand words.

    1. hi know I had exactly the same thought. And I couldn't help wondering what that Sikh MP was thinking. Because as Paul Adams points out, when you attack "brown people" you're attacking a lot of people in this country. And they are going to pay big time for what John Williamson said. There were already signs that his niqab campaign was making many new Canadians nervous, and this will only make things worse....

    2. e.a.f.8:44 AM

      yes, that M.P. ought to give some thought to the thousands of Sikh and Hindi women who wear scarves over their heads. Will they be next. With the M.P. with the blue turban be next? Really who will be next.

      Harper defunded women's groups as soon as he came to office. The abortion bill has been "studied" by health Canada for 3 years. The Cons want it studied for another year. yet this pill has been approved in 60 other countries and has been in use in France since the 1980s. Defender of women's rights? right, he has done everything he can to ensure women do not have the right to choose. this pill is very necessary for women who live in rural areas who do not have access to surgical abortions. So stevie, while you're advocating for women can you get those funds back for all those women groups, pay for a few "save houses" for women and children. And steve the biggest thing you could do if you're such a defender of women, find out who the hell killed 1,200 First Nations women. YOu see all those murderers are walking around free and clear and that is very scary/terrorising for some of us. So how about it steve, if you really care about women, you'll establish and fund a special police unit to find those murderers because there are several hundred of them walking around this country, free and clear.

  5. Anonymous1:19 PM

    Con MP John Williamson was simply thinking out loud. I'm sure many other con MPs think the same as he but knowing the wrath of "Chairman Harper" awaits those who do so has so far kept them from wagging their Mao Tse Tongues.

    1. hi anon...I find it hard to believe that Williamson could be so deliberately crass when as a communications specialist he is trained to measure his words. But yes you're right, he did reflect the views of many in the Con base, and for Harper and his gang that's all that counts. It is the worst and dirties campaign I have ever witnessed, and I can't wait until we get rid of those swine, and restore our country and its values...

  6. Anonymous3:12 PM

    Simon: I doubt that the stain of racism is ever going to affect Closet Leader's support from his base.

    It is really simple. I believe that many in his base are actually bigots ..... they hate gays, transsexuals, muslims, women, immigrants, First Nations, brown, red, yellow, black people. Years ago, it likely would have been Jews or the Irish newcomers. They likely even hate white people who accept that all people are equal. Probably call the latter "self hating whities", eh? Just like the rabid right winger Israelis label their own who criticize the actions of their state on the Palestinians as "self hating Jews".

    I suspect that the main reason that Closet Steve and his rabid base hate the Charter of Rights and Freedom is that it grants these people their rights and protection by law.

    That is likely why many Cons supporters hate PET and the Trudeau name .... because the Charter of Rights and Freedoms granted these unworthy people equal rights to the "real" Canadians. Lol

    1. hi anon...look you're right about the racism, they are bigots, many of them hate this country and its values with a passion beyond all reason. But his old white base is shrinking,he was counting on getting more immigrants to support him, and in that regard he has just shot himself in the foot. Also, some in his base are libertarians, so Bill C-51 could shake a few of those out of the Con tree. And remember, any bleeding from his base can prove fatal...

  7. Anonymous4:04 PM

    Hi Simon,

    "He looked like hell, bagged beyond belief. He looked angry and desperate."

    Herr Harper has always looked that way to me...

    Blessings and cheers,

    1. hi Mogs...remember I've been watching him closely almost every days for years. I know when he is in a deep funk, or recovering from an asthma attack. And I've NEVER seen him looking so weird. Something is happening to him, and as the pressure of the campaign builds I wouldn't be surprised if he goes off the deep end...

  8. Connie aka Mary Walsh from 22 Minutes is the best blurb I've viewed so far today, eh?

    1. hi Kathleen....yes Connie was in good shape, and I haven't seen her for so long, so I really enjoyed it. Although the donuts did make me feel hungry. And I had to restrain myself from running down to the nearest Tim Hortons and buying a box myself. Sometimes in Harperland, only a dozen donuts can pick up my spirits... ;)

  9. Anonymous6:23 PM

    Any body but Harper after October 17th 2015.

    1. hi anon...couldn't be simpler, couldn't be better. Our poor country can't afford any more punishment, and we absolutely must save it....

  10. Anonymous3:12 PM, the Norwegian far-right terrorist Anders Behring Breivik deliberately targeted "self-hating whites" and said so, after government offices in Oslo, he killed dozens of social-democratic youth who he thought were spreading "multiculturalism" or whatever they call that in Norway.

  11. Anonymous10:13 AM

    It is very unlikely we will ever get an impeachment law from the current government but to put it mildly it would be a great tool to remove the tool that is running things so badly.

  12. Anonymous10:30 AM

    I am old enough to remember the whiff of fascism that was so potent during the 19 thirties and forties but never thought it would arise here in dear old Canada these days.