Saturday , May 18 2024
How low will the Canadian prime minister go - to stay in office?

Canadian Politics: Prime Minister Steven Harper – He Stoops to Conquer?

You’ll have to trust me on this, but I distinctly recall reading somewhere that Steven Harper enjoys being Prime Minister of Canada. That’s not a surprising thought. But there’s also the reality that he might like the job too much, and for all the wrong reasons.

Right from the start he consolidated a lot of power into the Prime Minister's Office, issuing decrees and edicts for others to obey. Instead of sullying himself by dealing with the press and holding regular press conferences, he speaks directly to the people. In other words, he has no one question him, make him explain what he's talking about, or justify any wild accusation he may want to hurl.

So when he comes out with statements like the Defence of Religion Act being there to defend the rights of Christians who don't believe in homosexuality, he isn't questioned on  the difference between that, and defending the rights of a Klan member who doesn't believe in integration. In actual fact, his "freedom bill" allows any person anywhere the right to not hire homosexuals, refuse to do business with homosexuals, refuse them service in a government office, and to preach about the evils of homosexuality in the schools.

But because Mr. Harper isn't questioned about his new act, he can make it sound oh so reasonable and fair, when in actual fact it would turn the clock back further tan 1968 when the government legalized homosexuality. No one questions him about whether he forgot our Charter of Rights that says no one may be discriminated against because of sexual orientation as well as all the other reasons. But just like when he was promising a new vote on same sex marriage, he conveniently forgets to tell the people unpleasant things like the truth.

Steven Harper and his cronies have shown nothing but disrespect for the voters of Canada since the last election. Climate change wasn't a problem when he started talking about scraping the Kyoto accord after he was elected. But when the polls indicated that it would be a major issue in any future election, he all of a sudden realized the science behind global warming wasn't so suspect after all.

So he announced his version of Kyoto, which offers consumer’s tax rebates for using public transit (do we get receipts from the bus driver to attach to our income tax forms?) and relies on industries’ voluntary compliance in the reduction of emissions – with targets being phased in over the next quarter century. Well, at least we know he's not planning on staying on as Prime Minister for more then a decade or so, because he won't be around to see how few of his buddies in industry voluntarily comply with standards even lower then Kyoto.

Of course, Mr. Harper started 2007 with a bang, showing his calibre by allowing his party to run viscous attack ads against the new leader of the Federal Liberal party when he supposedly has no intention of calling an election. If you have no intention of calling an election, why are you making disparaging comments about another human being? Is that how he gets his fun, or does it make him feel more powerful when he belittles people?

Anyway, who do they think they're fooling with their talk of no intention of having a quick election? People who have no intention of calling an election do not put deposits down on the rental of airplanes and buses to make sure they are available when they want. Do they really think that anyone is going to believe them when they say that they've only done that, in case the opposition forces an election?

If they can afford to do that, lay out that kind of money, somebody should be taking an even closer look at their campaign financing. They've already been busted by Elections Canada once this year for breaking the rules by claiming the law that applies to all the other parties about convention dues being considered a donation doesn't apply to them.

But those ads which ran earlier this month during the Super Bowl telecast in Ontario were just Mr. Harper's warm-up act. Earlier this week he had the audacity to accuse a Liberal member of parliament's father-in-law of being a terrorist. He never actually said it word-for-word of course, but everybody knew exactly what and whom he was referring to. It meant he could deny accusing the man's relative of being responsible for blowing up a plane, while at the same time accuse him of doing just that.

So I come back to the thought that Steven Harper likes being Prime Minister a little too much for our own good. Not only does he love exercising the power of the office; it looks like he'll do almost anything to a) hold on to it and b) get a majority government.

Former U.S. President Lyndon Johnson is reported to have told an aide –  when he was running for State Senate in Texas –  to leak a report that their opponent was known to have sex with pigs. The aide was shocked, and said we can't call him a pig fucker, sir, it's not true. Of course it's not, said Johnson, but let's make him deny it.

The longer you have your opponent denying something, no matter how patently ridiculous it is, the less time he has to outline his positions, and the weaker he looks because he is always on the defensive. Steven Harper has all the power and trappings of the Prime Minister's office at his disposal when he gets up in front of the cameras to make statements implying his opponent a pig fucker or today's equivalent, a terrorist.

The question is: how low does Steven Harper plan on going, to hold onto that power and that office? How many more people is he going to have to call a pig fucker?

About Richard Marcus

Richard Marcus is the author of three books commissioned by Ulysses Press, "What Will Happen In Eragon IV?" (2009) and "The Unofficial Heroes Of Olympus Companion" and "Introduction to Greek Mythology For Kids". Aside from Blogcritics he contributes to and his work has appeared in the German edition of Rolling Stone Magazine and has been translated into numerous languages in multiple publications.

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