Friday, 15 January 2010

Wake up Canada! This bastard is running our country!

The real Stephen Harper? - The Globe and Mail

It occurs to me, somewhat begrudgingly, that the same comment can now be made of Stephen Harper. Whatever else one thinks of him, Harper is without question the most intriguing personality on the Canadian political scene. Sure, that's distinctly modest praise. The competition is not exactly Olympian. Who knows how Harper might have fared against a street-fighter like Chr├ętien, a smoothie like Mulroney, or a Trudeau himself? Tommy Douglas, David Lewis or Ed Broadbent would have turned him into a laughingstock.

But for now he stands alone and he runs the country alone. He's sphinx-like, enigmatic, dull as a door, anti-charismatic, unashamedly opportunistic. He's both unliked and unloved. The chattering classes can't figure him out and his opponents can't figure how to beat him. He's his own worst enemy and repeatedly comes close to finishing himself off. But he doesn't. Time after time, often in cliffhangers, he finally prevails.

We underestimated his discipline, his determination, his tactical wiles, his ideological drive, his sheer hunger for power, his readiness to do whatever it took in his world to claw his way to the top and in our world to stay there. Who would guess how much he could get away with as prime minister? Who knew how little thought and knowledge it took to run our complex dominion?.

Here is a government, from its head down, that practices ignorance-based public policy. Huge areas of the human condition go completely unrecognized – AIDS, global warming, Africa, to name only a few. To Africa, they are simply indifferent. Who knows why? To AIDS and climate change, they are actively hostile or in denial. This is a prime minister who humiliated Canada before tens of thousands of social activists and scientists from around the globe by refusing to appear at the giant biannual International AIDS Conference in Toronto in 2006. This is a prime minister who, as we all recall, gave Canada a black eye for his shabby performance at the Copenhagen climate summit the other day. This is a prime minister who is single-handedly reversing Canada's stellar reputation (too often vastly overrated, I'm afraid) around the world. I've just come from Africa, and I promise you this is no exaggeration.

It's also bizarre in Harper's own terms. He's dying to have Canada elected a temporary member of the Security Council when a rotating seat opens later this year. (What Harper's Canada could possibly bring to the Council except deep-rooted ignorance and sophomoric prejudices is beyond understanding.) Yet he has actively alienated countries all over the world by his various vindictive acts – such as cutting off aid to African countries, refusing grants to widely respected Canadian NGOs, copping out on climate change.

This is a prime minister who knows little about many subjects and feels passionately about them all – the Middle East, international development, the entire Canadian criminal justice system. This is a prime minister who looks at a complex, nuanced, interconnected world and sees only simple black and white. This is a prime minister who breaks the most heartfelt of commitments with bland excuses that make you wonder if you've heard properly. This is a prime minister for whom democratic accountability is a pure oxymoron that has no place in his life, only in his campaign promises.



LK Taylor said...

"Time after time, often in cliffhangers,he finally prevails" because he twists the spirit and letter of our laws, abuses our institutions and out-right destroys what has taken years and decades to build. One of the latest, most sickening examples to me, besides running from legitimate questions--by locking the doors to OUR House of Commons, is the death of a man, from a heart attack, after a meeting stacked with Con's and dirty tricks to derail this group's work. There is no depth to which they, as a political party, won't sink. Ignorance? Oh they get it. They JUST DON'T CARE. LK Taylor (no relation)

Dylan said...

Thanks for the link! A fantastic article that, I believe, points out the frustrations of many progressives.

ck said...

That ominous ending: watch how fast he reacts to Haiti.

I wrote about this earlier today:
Here is the link if you haven't read it:

We can only hope that Canadians of no matter what stripe, can walk and chew gum at the same time.

I never understood this Stevie phenomenon.

Caplan was right: years ago, had he gone up against Chretien, Trudeau, Broadbent and even lyin' Brian; Stevie would have been buried. Hell, I even think Joe who could have buried him back in the day.

that is why the left need to merge ASAP.

Right now, nothing terrifies me more than a potential Harpercon majority.