Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Good Days and Bad Days in Harper's Canada. . . .

Politically speaking, I exists in two extremes these days. On the one hand I am intensely pessimistic. It is now clear that Harper has de facto control of Elections Canada and this make our Prime Minister more or less like Vladimir Putin. Harper has turned the military into an arm of the Conservative Party and is attempting to do the same with the RCMP. It is entirely reasonable to believe that Harper can now win future elections with deep and broad fraud and since Canada does not allow foreign election observers, fraudulent elections could go on basically unchecked. Furthermore, on bad days I honestly believe that if by some miracle Harper was unable to orchestrate an election 'victory,' he would still refuse to give up power and go from being a de facto dictatorship to a de jure dictatorship.

This is the pessimistic me.

On the other side I sometimes think that no Western leader has done more for the leftist cause in recent years that Harper. He has shown the rightwing to be not only tyrannical, dangerously militaristic, secretive and paranoid, lawless, anti-environmentalist, corporate pawns, but also widely incompetent both fiscally and legislatively. In attempting to appear to occupy the political centre (though never actually doing so) and destroying the Liberal Party of Canada, Harper has driven many voters into the NDP camp. But, more importantly, Harper's psychotic paranoia and tyrannical style, has demonstrated to many exactly what the rightwing in this country really stands for. Meanwhile, his bizarre behaviour regarding environmentalist and any alternative energy approach makes even many conservative voters deeply nervous. Though Harper has always attempt to govern (and change things by stealth) it has become difficult for him to hide his real agenda and that agenda is the very best demonstration of just how bad modern conservatism is that I, and many Canadians, can think of. What better way of promoting leftwing change than demonstrating to everyone that rightwing ideology in a modern Canadian context is a lawless, tyrannical, top-heavy, secretive, paranoid, blindly pro-corporate, fiscally irresponsible, and dangerously unstable way of thinking?

Thus some mornings I get up and I look like one of those cartoon characters with a cloud over my head imagining the worst, most tyrannical future for all of us. And other mornings, all I can think is "thank heaven Harper is such a nut-job because he is destroying the very political ideology he is trying to create.

12 comments:

Owen Gray said...

Let's hope your second vision turns into reality, Kirby.

Rural said...

On a bad day I agree entirely with the first bit, on a good day I am only slightly less pessimistic but am not convinced that enough folks have yet to take enough notice for the second to be true. Which is why we all must keep on telling it like it is despite the despair and depression brought on by actually finding and spreading the truth about the Harper Regime.

Rural said...

On a bad day I agree entirely with the first bit, on a good day I am only slightly less pessimistic but am not convinced that enough folks have yet to take enough notice for the second to be true. Which is why we all must keep on telling it like it is despite the despair and depression brought on by actually finding and spreading the truth about the Harper Regime.

janfromthebruce said...

Great post Kirbycairo - I'm with you on those ups and down but I'm with Owen in hoping your 2nd vision turns true - now do you have "visions"?

janfromthebruce said...

Great post Kirbycairo - I'm with you on those ups and down but I'm with Owen in hoping your 2nd vision turns true - now do you have "visions"?

Simon said...

hi Kirby...excellent post. I know the feeling, I think we all do. It's so horrible feeling so bad and so helpless in the face of such brutishness.
But of course your second vision is the one you should cling to, because only optimism will get us through the next three years, and give us the strength to drive the Cons from power. Besides it's so true, the Con regime has finally revealed itself, and by 2015 I'm pretty sure most Canadians will be desperate to get rid of it. Wherever I go I hear people saying the WORST things about Harper. And although they make me blush eh? It's like music to my ears... :)

Snyder said...

It reminds me of a quote I saw in Adbusters years ago - It's only when we get the worst leader possible that we can hope for any real change. (They were talking about Bush at the time, but I think it applies nicely.) My concern is that Harper has a following of nutjobs that just care about money in their pockets. Only if we actively outnumber them can we get anywhere. Unfortunately wherever I go, I here people gushing about what a strong leader he is - and I'm a teacher!

kirbycairo said...

@Janfromthebruce - I do see angels and I talk to them in the trees. But they don't tell me the future. (I don't think that they know)

@Snyder - For reasons that are unfathomable to me, some people are unable to understand the difference between leadership and control. A tyrant controls, a leader inspires, finds peoples' strengths and delegates. But a decreasing number of people see Harper as a leader and his poll numbers have been steadily going down. And when we consider that less than 40% of those who voted actually voted Conservative (and only about 50% voted), very few Canadians actually support Harper or his party.

doconnor said...

As long as our election system isn't fundamentally changed by going electronic, it would be virtually impossible to commit fraud on a scale to have a major effect on the results.

Ballot boxes are monitored by party volunteers continuously from when they are inspected in the morning until the count and the number of ballots must match the number of voters, making ballot box stuffing impossible.

Campaigns watch the count and gather their own vote counts from polling stations, so any manipulation of the totals would be detected.

Even something like the robocalls scandal unlikely shifted more then one or two seats and doing the same thing on a larger scale would increase the likelihood of getting caught.

Any kind of fraud the Conservatives could pull off pales in comparison to the benefit they get from first-past-the-post. (I bet Putin would love it if he had our system.)

kirbycairo said...

@doconnor -good to hear from you again - it's been a while. I agree that the FPtheP is what really skews our system and it is deeply problematic, you are not considering the fact that Harper can, in fact, change the rules of how the voting is done and counted. He could create a system whereby his government chooses who sees the votes counted or, better yet not allow anyone to see the votes counted. It is only by the grace of the government that we are allowed access to such things and the Prime Minister could take away that privilege any time he wants. Harper now has de facto control of Elections Canada he could do easily. And if changed the rules right before the next election there would be no time to mount a SCof C challenge. Once he had orchestrated another majority he would have years to make sure the changes could not be reversed.

I am sure you think such a scenario is alarmist and absurd but such things have happened in many countries before and they will happen again.

Anonymous said...

kirby: I keep hearing that b/c the conservatives are still bringing in the most donations that this is somehow 'proof' that they are the most popular party despite what the polls are saying

what is your take on this?

-fruity

kirbycairo said...

@ Fruity - one would have to have a pretty shallow political analysis to imagine that the party with the most money is the most popular party. Even prima facie such a conclusion is absurd. First of all the Del Mastro affair suggests that many of the Conservative donations could be fishy. Second of all, the Conservatives are obviously popular with those who have the most money and the ones that can afford to give their maximum donations to a political party. General popularity doesn't even enter the picture.