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Friday, April 1, 2011

Let's stay on message: Harper's legacy of shame

A heartening first week, yes, but too early to say whether the wheels have come off the Harper Machine.

We can't be distracted by sideline drama over debate formats and whether or not Elizabeth May gets included. Or astroturfers trolling for trolls on Craigslist. Or Conservative senators calling reporters rude names.

The focus needs to stay on Harper and his contempt for Parliament, for democracy, and for us. That will be his undoing.

Lies, hypocrisy, slapping down dissent, smears, and systematic dismantling of the infrastructure of civil society. About a month and a half ago, Gerald Caplan summed it up beautifully: Harper is his own worst enemy. What we need to do is help him do it to himself by reminding voters of what he does to them. As Caplan puts it:

Look at Stephen Harper's record.
He silences whistle-blowers and punishes dissenters.
He treats Parliament with open contempt and brazenly lies when found out.
He suspends Parliament at the first sign of political risk.
He makes a mockery of the accountability and transparency he loudly demands of everyone else.
He makes lying to parliament just another tactical device.
He fakes his budgets by refusing to cost new initiatives.
He transforms vital watchdogs of democracy into mushy lapdogs.
He unleashes ministers to attack judges who make unwelcome decisions. He personalizes attacks on his “enemies”.
He blithely smears other parties, groups and individuals as anti-Semitic.
He is impervious to the democratic spirit that has galvanized hundreds of millions of people to stand up for freedom.
He makes major economic decisions on the basis of their impact on his electoral fortunes.
Makes you wonder why Canadians aren’t yet out on the streets in the millions. Instead, Michael Ignatieff demands that Bev Oda be fired.

Let's stay on message, comrades.

1 comment:

  1. I think Harper is screwed. That schoolyard bully stunt he pulled on Wednesday isn't going away. He called out Iggy to go one-on-one, Ignatieff accepted the challenge, and Harper took off running. Captain Weasel realizes the jam he's put himself in and wants nothing to do with it. That gives Ignatieff a target, a way to make this election about Harper by reminding everybody, every day about his blatant cowardice. In other words, Iggy can make Harper wear this every day for the remainder of this campaign if he refuses to honour his own challenge. But then, if he does, Harper knows Iggy will have all those talking points you've listed above - and more - to start cutting him up. Iggy's best hope to really damage Harper is to go after him, cut him - again and again and again.