Sunday, December 07, 2008

Stephen Harper Outsmarts His-self - Lies & Anger from a Would-be Autocrat by Louis Evan Palmer

Stephen is angry. He didn't get his way. Worse, he made get sidelined. Now he's really mad. Now he may even subvert parliament to get his way.

It's a peek-a-boo routine worthy of old-school burlesque - first the anger, then the lies. Sometimes seamlessly interwoven but always both there. As a former professor of economics, Harper would be expected to know more about what's needed to deal with a full-blown international financial crisis than merely attacking various "enemies" with a parochial, head-in-the-sand economic statement.

But then again, Harper is a also a former president of the Ayn-Rand-ist National Citizens Coalition (guess he didn't have a problem with coalitions then) who are against a lot of things including our national health-care system. Presumably, Harper was also against our national health-care system for his entire NCC tenure and likely some time before assuming their leadership position. Is he really for it or against it? Hard to tell with Stephen as he has this lying problem. Has he formally renounced this recent deeply-held position?

What about his former support of the Iraq war? Our Stephen wrote to the Wall Street Journal when he was the Leader of the Official Opposition to berate Canada and Canadians for not participating in what most would categorize as an illegal war. That qualifies more as a betrayal than an act of leadership. He ran to the US for approval and to cheer them on, undercutting his own country in his haste to curry favour with the self-appointed big bad wolf of the world.

Harper is the type who agrees with the individuals & groups who feel that Canada does a poor job teaching Canadian history. However, I don't think our Stephen or his reform rabble knows much about Canadian history other than the anecdotal fireside chats of Albertan premiers and the like. If they did, they would not be cuddling with the Americans - it's not something we've done in our past or admitted to or openly embraced. One of the reasons for that being America's own history of attacking and controlling every nation it thinks it can or needs to. Ask Stephen if he thinks the United Empire Loyalists were right; or, perhaps more appropriately, if they're still right?

When Stephen and his Mike Harris retreads and rabid reformers start barking that coalitions are an abomination, and that the Bloc are even worse than the Alberta separatists who'd like to build firewalls and other walls, while they tried to do the very same thing themselves, it's really too much. Lucky for them no-one knows even recent history including the news media. Stephen & Company tried to form a coalition with the NDP and the Bloc not once but twice. The naked brazenness of this type of serial lying is breathtaking and nauseating. In 2000, Stockwell Day was the leader of the Canadian Alliance (very similar to coalition) and he had a document all prepared and ready for signatures. A scant 4 years later, our Stephen tried the same thing - again without success. The NDP could not stomach allying with a bunch of nouveau fascists so it fell through.

Coalitions are infrequently used in Canada but it's available and totally legitimate especially in the cause of avoiding unnecessary elections. However, closing parliament is not legitimate. Parliament is the fundamental control on the exercise of power in our confederation. We vote for MPs. Parliament is comprised of MPs (members of parliament). How they organized themselves is distinct from what we vote for. The names of the parties were not even on the the ballot until 1960. MPs can drop out of parties. They can join other parties. They can form new parties. But, at the core, we don't vote for parties, we only vote for the MP. The rest is an assumption, a point in time.

Coalitions act as a form of representational voting in that people who voted for parties that would have not had an active role in government can participate to some degree.

Stephen has shown in his intemperate attacks on the Bloc that he does not have the grace and magnanimity to be a true leader. He can be a loathsome fear-monger posing as a leader but not a true leader. He does not lift the people up but rather he knocks the people down - who gets knocked depends on the day and the battle. Not only does Stephen not play well with others, he brooks no opposition. Perhaps living in the one party state of Alberta is part of that mindset especially the no opposition part. It's one thing to always form the government but quite another to have an unbroken series of majorities - makes one get a little loose with all that rights and accommodation stuff.

Stephen says he's worried that Canadians are not getting what they voted for. Like when they voted Reform and got Canadian Alliance? Or, when they voted Canadian Alliance or Progressive Conservatives and got the Conservatives. (Dropping the "Progressive" was telling)

Stephen won't let his Cabinet Ministers talk on their own. His underlings surreptitiously tape meetings. They manipulate campaign monies and then attack the Electoral Officer. They release secret information when it suits their political aims. It's obvious by now that they're in it for the power and they'll sing any song to get it.

They cry "less government" but that's not it at all because those various functions they decry have to be done by someone. What they really mean is not "less government", it's less "public" government. They want to privatize as much government as possible. We'll still have government but it'll be in the hands of the few and far less accountable. How do you say "conflict of interest"?

I'm afraid our dear little Stephen has shown himself to be a dissembler and a divider and there's nothing to be done but to send him home.

Stephen Harper Outsmarts His-self - Lies & Anger from a Would-be Autocrat, Louis Evan Palmer, The Way It Can Be,
Copyright 2008 Louis Evan Palmer lives in Ontario Canada. His short stories have appeared in numerous publications.