We mock and joke about Harper changing the “Government of Canada” to the “Harper Government”, and that’s fine, but we need to remember he’s not kidding and he needs to be stopped.
Heather Mallick hit the right balance of ridicule and warning in her piece yesterday:
Harper has always been a spiteful man, a yeller at work who was forced to tone it down in public.
But he cannot help himself. The terrorizing of officials and the rewriting of language are revealing the malevolence that lies beneath Harper’s hair. It is ungood, to use Orwell’s Newspeak. It is crimethink.
I remember way back when Harper was first elected. He wouldn’t speak to the press. He buttoned up his ministers and their civil servants. He centralized and micro-managed words and power. He was the “Harper Government.”
He even changed the name of the government from the “Government of Canada” to “Canada’s New Government” and declared that the servants of his new government use his newspeak. Except when a GSC scientist emeritus named Dr. Andrew Okulitch called the phrase an “idiotic buzzword” he was informed that doing so was his de facto resignation from the emeritus program.
These aren’t acts of rhetoric in the fascist vein, but they do stray into soft fascist territory because they disrespect and negate the icons of democracy for personal, partisan gain.
But if you think Harper is a champion of democracy and not just a champion of his base, read up on some more extensive research into how much he has undermined democracy in Canada here: Harper’s Hitlist: Power, Process and the Assault on Democracy.
Then last summer he killed the long-form census after helping kill Copenhagen and public respect for other sciency and truthiness things like the evidence supported by thousands of scientists around the world on climate change.
Then he helped kill Cancun.
I’ve been hearing about the federal NDP and Liberals possibly talking about non-competition pacts to ensure no Harper majority. I’ve been thinking for many years about proportional representation.
We’re already somewhat past the tyranny of 19th century majority parliaments, having had minority federal governments for almost 7 years now without the earth stopping spinning.
All I know is that Harper has governed like he had a majority, enacting his ideology with a gun to everyone’s head by threatening an election through confidence motions on all sorts of things, thereby triggering a [perhaps] reluctant Liberal coalition.
I’m tired of the Conservative-Liberal coalition. And with almost 7 years of minority governments, it’s time reasonable Canadians started seriously investigating something more effective than the obviously useless first-past-the-post electoral system.
Tomorrow? Some of why electoral reform should be obvious now.