Friday, March 20, 2015
Stephen Harper and the Night of the Living Dead
As you probably remember, when I saw that Stephen Harper had poured gasoline on the flames of bigotry in Quebec, and I saw how his words had galvanized the Bloc Québécois.
I portrayed him as the man who had helped bring the Bloc back from the dead.
And I knew that it wouldn't be long before other zombies would stagger out to take advantage of the situation.
And sure enough out of his PQ crypt came Pierre Karl Péladeau.
Parti Quebecois leadership hopeful Pierre Karl Peladeau apologized on Thursday after saying a day earlier that immigration was hurting the sovereignty movement.
On Wednesday, Peladeau said during a PQ leadership debate that immigration was hurting the goal of Quebec independence. “We don’t have 25 years ahead of us to achieve it,” he said. “With demographics, with immigration, we’re definitely losing one riding each year.”
And although he has apologized, there are two things everybody needs to know:
One, Pierre Karl the billionaire always says what he feels. And in a province and a country where polls show many share his views about immigration, you haven't heard the last of that one.
And two, a simple apology doesn't extinguish the flames of bigotry. Those who are receptive to that kind of dog whistle heard it. The only thing that shocked them is that he apologized.
And a fire of that kind is always easier to start than it is to put out. So his words ring hollow, and so does Stephen Harper's condemnation.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s office also weighed in on the debate. “We believe that most Quebecers reject sovereignty, but believe that an even greater majority of Quebecers reject that kind of nationalism, as articulated by Mr Peladeau,” said an emailed statement from the PMO.
Because Tom Mulcair is right, Péladeau is only playing Harper's game.
“Mr. Peladeau is using the same strategy as Stephen Harper,” Mulcair said. “And it’s really too bad. “Just like Stephen Harper, he is pitting Canadians against each other and saying the vote of certain people in our extraordinary country, certain Quebecers, have more rights than others.
And Michael Harris is also right. It is the return of the night, or the right of the living dead.
Although it seems like ages since a protester drenched Stockwell Day in two quarts of chocolate milk, the evidence is mounting that Reform and Canadian Alliance zombies have crawled out of their shallow graves and are shambling across the landscape once more.
And what is also true is that when Stephen Harper blows his bigot whistle, or calls on some to become vigilantes, in the explanation is also buried the message.
This is Harperland, where the words mean what the man says they mean. The PM insisted it was “patently ridiculous” to interpret his words as an incitement to vigilante acts. Why? Because all he was trying to do was show that the Conservative Party of Canada was pro-gun owner, while the other parties are clearly anti-. The words themselves meant nothing; the sentiment was everything.
It is all about inflaming emotion. It is all calculated.
Harper has simply made the calculation that if the way to give a chameleon a nervous breakdown is to put him down on plaid, the way to win an election in our disappearing democracy is to offer Canadians only two flavours — vanilla or chocolate.
That means hitting the hot buttons, over and over. Before oil prices tanked, greed was the button of choice. Now it’s fear. It makes things starkly simple — black and white, good and evil.
And this is the burning question:
As simple as War is Peace, Freedom is Slavery … and Ignorance is Strength. It’s a campaign designed for Idiot Culture. The only question is, are there enough idiots out there to put Harper over the top again?
And it's a question I can't answer, even with all I know about Canadian and Québécois politics. I don't think anybody can. Because there are all kinds of demons and zombies stalking the land, and it's not the same country it was just a few months ago.
Then it was bad, now it's a living nightmare. So anything could happen.
But what I'm sure of is this: Pierre Karl Péladeau could one day become the biggest threat to a united Canada this country has ever seen.
And that if Stephen Harper and his ghastly Cons are not defeated in the next election, they will destroy our Canada...
Fight fear, fight bigotry, fight those monstrous zombies.
If this country is to live.
Don't let them win...
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