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Sunday, April 17, 2011

Meme for the week: Harper – too dangerous to govern

I had to think about it long and hard over the weekend, in part because I got ahead of myself on Friday when I suggested that the meme for the week might be voter suppression, à la Rove.

There's no reason not to keep repeating that message, because it's such a wonderful illustration of the Harpobots' attitude to democracy, to elections, to fair play, and to governing. Voters in a given poll not likely to go your way? Rent a mob, barge in with a bunch of thugs, start screeching over-the-top accusations of illegality, and try to make off with the ballot box.

And of course, the F-35s without engines. No wonder they're getting such a terrific price!

Now this evening we hear the Dear Leader reviving the spectre of Quebec separatism. The only way to stop them, of course? Give Him His Goddamn Majority.

All wonderful points of attack, and all part of a larger pattern of contempt, incompetence, bullying, and disregard for the truth or anyone who might disagree.

But it's that last that gives me pause Sunday evening. This little corner of the blogosphere has always been non-partisan, and so it will remain, momentarily piqued though I may be by Iggy's recent attempt to channel the Parachute Club.

I've gone on at some length [all together now: you, OB? go on at length? Perish the thought!] about why the prospect of a Liberal government doesn't have me turning handsprings. In short, it's because I've seen nothing that suggests the Liberals, under Iggy or Bob Rae or whoever, would move to undo thirty years of Reagan/Thatcherite damage, or show any hesitation in continuing to implement the corporatist/continentalist agenda: "free trade," privatization, diminution of the public sphere, sustained attacks on organized labour and the middle class, and shredding of the social fabric and safety net. The things that hold us together as a society, as citizens with obligations to one another, and enable us to act in concert for the common good, are under assault, aided by the corporate media and an insidiously calculated strategy of divide-and-conquer.

That said, however, I have to give Iggy's strategists credit where it's due. Yep, it's that Parachute Club thing. (OK, fine, so maybe he thought it was The Boss. That works for me too.) Rise up, rise up.

[Eighties nostalgia moment]

[/Eighties nostalgia moment]

I know, I know. I do go on, so I won't list, yet again, all the horrible things Stephen Harper's done to dismantle democratic infrastructure or weaken the mechanisms of accountability, not to mention the sheer fuckheaded incompetence. Pogge's done absolutely yeoman-like work in that regard, so I'd urge you to go read through it over at his place.

But this is why I think Iggy's handlers are onto something with the "rise up" thing. When you look at the record of incompetence, corruption, lies, sleaze, thuggery, smears, scandal, abuse, embarrassment, contempt, nastiness, authoritarianism, corruption, militarism, secrecy, paranoia, control freakery, vindictiveness, racism, sexism, callousness and hypocrisy ... and then consider the possibility that an uncomfortably large percentage of our fellow Canadians are just shrugging and going "meh ... whatever ... "

... it's then that you realize just what a toxic, enervating and corrupting effect Stephen Harper's had upon our public sphere, our national conversation, our civil society, our body politic. Look at how he's lowered our standards for integrity, transparency and effective public policy. Look at how he's pissed away our international standing and embarrassed us before the entire world. A record of scandal, disdain and ineptitude like this should have us out in the streets with torches and pitchforks. Instead we futz around with the PVR and complain about the inconvenience of having to vote.

Ultimately, this is the overarching message we need to hammer on. Stephen Harper and his minions have poisoned us so thoroughly and profoundly that we've measurably reduced our expectations of our government, and by extension, of ourselves. Our sense of ourselves as citizens and as a community has been stripped of honour, of aspiration, of a social conscience, and of any notion that it's something worth working for. (Last summer, the irreplaceable Alex Himelfarb captured this better than I ever will, in a post about bargain-basement citizenship.)

This bastard can't be trusted to govern. He has no sense of stewardship. He has nothing but contempt for us as a nation. He has systematically diminished us as citizens and as a society.

Stephen Harper: Too Dangerous to Govern.

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  1. A pretty thorough indictment of the man and his minions. I continue to hope that the young have not been infected by the disease.

  2. Your use of the poison metaphor is an apt one, and one in which I am in total agreement, although I do fear that the damage Harper has done to us as a nation, thanks to his incrementalist approach, is barely noticed by the majority of people.

    It's funny that you should have this as the subject of your post, as I have been working on a piece about how Harper has undermined the Canadian psyche; I'm still not entirely satisfied with what I've written, but your post has encouraged me to finish it and get it up on my blog, probably a bit later today.

  3. Lorne:

    Whatever it takes, bro. We're all in this together.

    The poison metaphor didn't start with me. Thwap had the idea recently, in an eloquent and moving post over at his place ...

  4. OB,

    I tried to say what you said above. So many Canadians now feel free to say stuff they'd be embarrassed about a decade ago. More Canadians now have less public spirit, less respect for reason than before. More Canadians see citizenship as a joke rather than as a dignity to be defended.