Canada’s Crisis of Democracy and the Multiple Sins of Stephen Harper

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The Conservatives are out to dumb us down folks. More than we have already been. The principal weapon in this war against our self-respect is fear….well-understood as an effective mind killer.

Fear of the ISIS bogey-man: a level of fear that is an insult to many of the world’s citizens who have actually experienced and now experience much more than the picking off of one or two citizens by damaged individuals seeking some form of identity….any identity…in any way. An insult to the memory of my recently deceased mother, for instance, who at age eighteen was pulling bodies from bombed-out buildings in London.

Want to destroy a nation’s morale? Just make cowards of its people. That is what Harper is trying to do to Canadians.

In today’s world many beleaguered populations sustain or strive for democracy while arguably the worst Prime Minister Canada has ever had picks away at ours….essentially taking us incrementally down the road towards what totalitarian movements like ISIS would want……if it did not have much of the world blasting away at it and were not hopelessly doomed to fail on a global scale.

Not to mention….oh let’s….encouraging other psychologically damaged and ineffectual individuals like Parliament Hill gunman Zehaf-Bibeau to attempt similar acts. After all…..he was after recognition wasn’t he….and Harper is giving it to him in spades.

Fear of job loss……which Conservative over-reliance on the oil industry is now delivering. Hand in glove with big industry, self-designated experts on modern economics, these Capitol Hill idiots have failed to honor that good-old-hand-me-down precautionary principle of ‘diversification.’ Not to mention (well let’s) that oil is losing its cachet globally…..that reserves can be used precisely as they have been to manipulate value at the whim of an arab sheik. Or that infinitely more intelligent and relevant global leaders than Harper pretends to be are investing not just in existing alternative energy but in the research that can turn oil into a relative loser and the planetary atmosphere back into something we can safely inhale. Harper’s controllers would like to see us trapped by the expenditure of billions on infrastructure for it, pocketing those billions for constructing it.

This is not just little old me out on the edge of the forest saying so. Mark Carney, former and much lauded head of the Bank of Canada and currently head of the Bank of England is now quoted in the Huffington Post saying, “If the world comes to a consensus on curbing fossil fuel emissions in Paris this year, some fossil-fuel assets could well become worthless, with huge economic impact.”

Harper and his minions (and who among those elected as part of his entourage are not?) clearly operate by the tenets of the most successful fear-mongers of all…..the /public-relations industry.

What fear are they selling you ask?

They want you to be afraid that you do not have enough, do not eat enough, eat too much, do not dress well enough, are too poorly housed, are not sexy enough, not smart enough…..which is how they need you to feel. Just as they otherwise sell the promise of satisfaction while absolutely relying on you staying unsatisfied……so that you will continue to buy what their paymasters produce…..much of which you will use only fleetingly before consigning it to the cupboard and then on into a land-fill.

One thing we can justifiably fear: the political bankruptcy that turns politicians into posing and preening pretenders on a scale of insincerity not seen in my considerable lifetime.

How can we not see what an absolute buffoon Stephen Harper is on the international stage…..what a poseur he must be to those with real power? Shrugging off Putin’s handshake as if Putin really gives a shit what an international non-entity like Harper thinks. And selling it to us as what…..a gesture of political principal?

Posing as a champion of democracy while undermining it at every turn here in Canada.

Buddying up to an egomaniacal Israeli Prime Minister who breaks not just the rules of diplomacy but those of decency in parading on the stage of the U.S. Senate…invited by equally unprincipled Republicans……Harper’s kin in all but citizenship.

Harper clearly operates on one core principle and that is to sustain himself and his ilk in office. That his supporting cast is so characterless, so insubstantial, is entirely evident in the pathetic unsuitability of so many Conservative Senators and Ministers and MPs directly chosen by him….who have turned out to be either dishonest or utterly incompetent.

The man is a disgrace on so many levels……and it is disgraceful that enough of us would vote for him to have sustained him in office for all these years.

Now that is something only a country seriously lacking self-respect would do. And lack of self-respect is precisely what you get in a population who have ceased to use and value what elevates us as a species…….our brains.

There is a strong and honorable strain of respect for character, hopefully still, in this country. It despises the phony and prizes realness. It is a quality that, like any, can be lost altogether. It is a quality that we desperately need in those we elect to steer our fleet of economic, social, scientific, and educational ships. Little reason to hope we’ll get that from the established parties.

Evidence of it aplenty in Elizabeth May. But of course the Green Party will not be forming a government in Canada in the immediate future.

However, voting for a party whose leader so clearly demonstrates intelligence and integrity might throw enough of a scare into the others to get them to start looking for it in their own candidates. And maybe we would stop looking like such idiots internationally on the environmental side of things, and regain some of the international respect we once had that Stephen Harper has squandered.

And if we were to end up with a coalition government… much the better…..Harper’s record of fear-mongering about that entirely legitimate and constitutionally-sanctioned option definitely not withstanding. Out of such a government might well come proportional representation, at the very least a penance for more than a decade of declining respect for democracy in this country and at best, hope for us having something like the real thing.

Oh….hang on….oh yeah….I wrote a song about this kind of thing a while back. In the days of Mulroney, another egomaniac foisted on us by the Conservatives. I named it after John Ralston Saul, who wrote a fine book called Voltaire’s Bastards….bearing on humankind’s history of operational and intellectual self-sabotage. I knew it would come in handy again. The song…and the book…which I unstintingly recommend.

[audio:|titles=Saul on Ice]

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