Though it’s been said, it bears repeating: Stephen Harper owes his political existence not to talent or popularity, but to the political exhaustion and enfeeblement of the opposition Liberal Party. After three majority governments under the strong leadership of Jean Chrétien, the Liberals spiralled into dissension and irrelevance under a succession of weak stewards—Paul Martin, Stéphane Dion and Michael Ignatieff—and became co-opted.
With the Liberals politically neutered and the NDP preoccupied with making electoral gains at the Liberals’ expense, Harper and his henchmen have had free rein to impose a zionist/corporatist dictatorship on the country. As they proceed to bully Parliament, eviscerate federal legislation, and wage war on our democratic political culture, Canadians might sense what life must have been like for Spaniards, Germans, Italians and other nationalities in the 1930s as they watched their countries succumb to fascism.
Yet, despite the pervasive gloom that has hung over this country for the last seven years, a recrudescence of democracy could soon brighten the political landscape. Next month, the Liberals will choose a new leader, but this time the party will emerge as the long-awaited governing alternative. Does that mean that Harper will soon join other deposed fascists on the dungheap of history? There are three reasons to think so.
First, even without a leader the Liberals are in a dead heat with the Harperites, and this according to Harper’s chief propaganda organ, the National Compost! Of 1,755 Canadians surveyed during the first week of March, 30 per cent said they’d vote Liberal; 31 per cent, Harperite; 27 per cent, NDP; 6 per cent, Bloc Québécois; and 5 per cent Green. With Justin Trudeau as party leader, the figures for the top three become 39, 32 and 20, respectively.
In fact, the selection of Trudeau is a foregone conclusion. He has the support of around four dozen federal and provincial politicians and is the first choice of 34 per cent of Canadians to lead the Liberals. His nearest rival, former astronaut Marc Garneau, withdrew and now supports Trudeau. The other six candidates each only register in the single digits among voters. These also-rans, who have little or no public profile to speak of, should fold their tents for the good of the country to unite around the obvious winner to avoid any hint of intraparty dissension.Does this mean that Justin Trudeau is Canada’s saviour? No. It just means that a Trudeau-led Liberal Party could defeat Harper and that’s all that matters—governments are voted out, not voted in.
In a critical column last October, political analyst Murray Dobbin pointed out that Trudeau, Pierre et fils, are not the same political animal. Justin is a product of the same political culture as every other Liberal politician and is not the intellectual giant his father was. Specifically, Dobbin depicts Justin Trudeau as an unknown commodity and wonders:
• How far would Trudeau go toward undoing the horrors committed by the Harper régime?
• What would Trudeau do to reclaim the political centre from the NDP?
• How would he position himself on key issues like the Enbridge pipeline or climate change?
• When the housing bubble bursts, would he hold banks responsible for their predatory lending practices, or would he screw the public the way Obama did?
• Given his inexperience, is Trudeau strong enough to unite the party, stand up to the corporatist old guard, and quell internal dissent?
Dobbin’s concerns are perfectly sound, but not definitive. Trudeau could well turn out to be a capable prime minister, and at any rate, come election time such concerns likely won’t matter much. Trudeau is young, energetic, and has a last name that hearkens to a pre-fascist era, a time when Canadians could feel proud of their country, and when federal spending was not anathematized. That whiff of nostalgia may be enough reason for voters to reclaim their country from Israel’s arrogant satrap, who had no useful experience when he was chosen as party leader. Given that elections are mostly popularity contests anyway, Trudeau can be expected to defeat the increasingly loathed Harper.
Harper—obnoxious and oblivious
Stephen Harper’s majority victory in 2011 gave him the length of rope he needed to hang himself with; unfortunately, he’ll swing for a while before nature, and justice, take their course. Many of Harper’s crimes have been discussed here, but three further instances hint that his loyalty to Israel and contempt for his own country will only worsen, and make a Liberal victory that much easier.
Putting the ‘ass’ in ambassador
Harper’s creation of an Office of Religious Freedom, to be run out of the Foreign Ministry on a $5 million budget, has been rightly lambasted as politically inept and a sop to right-wing Christians. The office’s “ambassador,” whose name is unimportant, has no accreditation to any country, and therefore has no standing. The stated aim of “promoting freedom of religion or belief as a Canadian foreign policy priority” is not only politically corrupt, but also a demonstrable lie. Muslims and Christians in Israel are openly singled out for persecution, and in Canada and the U.S., Muslims’ religious and personal freedoms are routinely violated.
This Orwellian farce is obviously meant to impose pro-Jewish/pro-Christian propaganda on other states and curtail liberties. As proof, Don Hutchinson, vice-president and legal counsel for the Evangelical Fellowship of Canada, told the Globe and Mail he hopes this new unqualified “ambassador” will help formulate immigration policy. It is standard procedure for tyrants to focus on external matters as they abuse their own people. That fact will not be lost on voters.
Donning the knee-pads for lawlessness
In another cringe-inducing display of zionist fealty, Harper’s foreign minion John Baird showed just how much contempt Harper has for the law. First, in advance of his unannounced (!) attendance at an AIPAC orgy, Baird uttered this standard inanity: “Simply put, Israel is worthy of our support because it is a society that shares so many values with Canada—freedom, democracy, human rights and the rule of law.”Leaving aside the fact that none of the above-mentioned qualities applies to Israel, Baird declared in his speech that the Palestinian government would suffer consequences if it used the rule of law against Israel in the International Criminal Court. I imagine that the vast majority of Canadians would rush to reclaim their country’s international reputation from an Israeli stooge that has no sense of shame or concept of self-parody.
Muzzling the messengers
Like any tyrant, Harper is a control freak who is deathly afraid of the free-flow of information, the essence of a free society. Therefore, he has taken further steps to intimidate the civil service; not only have scientists been muzzled from speaking on topics like global warming, but now federal archivists and librarians can be punished for attending conferences, teaching, speaking with academics or visiting schools. These innocuous activities have been reclassified as “high risk,” and any personal appearances must be cleared with managers to ensure there is no conflict with the Library and Archives Canada code of conduct, which perversely stipulates that librarians and archivists owe a “duty of loyalty” to the “duly elected government.” Such overt politicization of the civil service is unknown in Canadian history. What’s worse, snitch lines have been established for anyone to report on any librarian that contravenes the code. This form of intellectual terrorism is identical to the civilian spying apparatus that existed in Soviet Russia. Under Trudeau, some renaissance of intellectual freedom can be expected.
NDP—back to reality
Canada’s antiquated electoral system often ensures that the popular will is not reflected in the make-up of Parliament, so vote-splitting between the Liberals and the NDP has been a longstanding concern of voters who want Harper out. That won’t be a problem next time. As the numbers above indicate, the NDP stands to lose the most if Trudeau becomes Liberal leader, but what they really show is not so much a loss as a return to normalcy.
The Naively Delusional Polyannas have mistaken their massive gains in Quebec and status as the Official Opposition as some kind of nationwide validation of their party. In truth, their success was a fluke. In the previous election, a sizable portion of Liberal voters could not stand Michael Ignatieff, whereas they felt positive toward the avuncular and popular Jack Layton. Now that Trudeau is set to become the new leader, the votes that were parked with the NDP will revert to Liberal candidates, at least in sufficient numbers to put the NDP back into third place.
The NDP will also likely lose votes to the Green Party. Elizabeth May, who leads a party of one, has been the strongest, most energetic voice of opposition in the House. She is almost certain to retain her B.C. seat and her example could lead to other Green Party victories. The NDP is caught in a vise between the Liberals and Greens and will be squeezed from both sides. Therefore, the danger of Liberal/NDP vote splitting is minor.Whether Trudeau brings in a minority or majority Liberal government, voters will at least celebrate the fact that the Harper dictatorship will be in the hands of its enemies—Canadian citizens.