Three links from fellow progressives lead me to think, however, that it's not just hyperbole.
From Dr. Dawg, we have this:
Background checks on all who wish to attend his rallies will be conducted by the RCMP. Anyone found to have opinions or connections other than true-blue Konservative will be barred or ejected.
The RCMP is currently headed by William Elliott, a Harper appointee. Hepersonally gave convicted felon Bruce Carson the top-level security clearance required to work in the Prime Minister’s Office.
Now (h/t reader Sir Francis, in the comments) he’s been asked by the man who appointed him to investigate the man he cleared.
From Boris at The Galloping Beaver, this:
The Harper goons, with the support of the RCMP has created lists of political dissidents. Young voters now find themselves on lists and banned from Harper events for such crimes against the party as visiting Cancun on behalf of a well established mainstream environmental NGO. Lists, based on suspicion of activity that runs counter to the ideology of the Conservative Party.
Lists mean files.
Files on Canadians.
This party of Harper can very likely now be said to have in conjunction with the RCMP, compiled files with details on the lives of Canadians it does not like without their knowledge. Are these records in possession of the RCMP? And if so, under what law or condition?
And from James Bow, this:
... there is a difference between protecting a politician from possible physical threats, and protecting a politician from ordinary Canadians who simply might not necessarily agree with the politician’s agenda and want to say so. This is, essentially, a criminalization of dissent. You’ve been seen photographed with opposition leader Michael Ignatieff, no rally for you! You’re a member of the Sierra Club, get off of our lawn! There is a chance — a microscopic chance — that you won’t be an obedient little lapdog who will stand up and cheer precisely when the prime minister tells you to stand up and cheer, so we don’t want to have to deal with your type.
Remember, this is supposed to be a time when Stephen Harper and his Conservatives want to talk to Canadians. They want us to listen to them and convince us that we should trust them with our vote. The election campaign is possibly the only time the average politician has any real respect for the opinions of Canadians. But while Stephen Harper might want us to listen, he doesn’t want to engage in the two-way street and actually listen back when we talk to him. Indeed, anybody who might try is deemed worthy of only contempt.
Anyone else noticing the pattern? Do we need to spell it out? Again, I'm beginning to think the answer might be yes. Another focal point from which we can seize control of the narrative, even if the corporate media are slow on the uptake, or afraid of jeopardizing what little access they have.
Once again, dear friends, our task seems clear. Let's get to it.
(ETA: An interesting suggestion from Falsum. Thoughts?)