Canadian Politics: Steven Harper - How Low Will He Go?
I was reading somewhere, and you'll have to trust me on this because I can't provide a link, that Steven Harper enjoys being Prime Minister of Canada. Now in of itself that's not a bad thing, you'd have to wonder why he was doing the job if he didn't like it, but there's also the reality that he could be liking 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 it is he's talking about, or justify any wild accusation that he may want to make at the time.
So when he comes out with statements like the Defence of Religion Act being to defend the rights of Christians who don't believe in homosexuality he isn't questioned on what's 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 it actual fact it would turn the clock back further then 1968 when the government legalized homosexuality. No one questions him about whether he forgot our Charter of Rights and freedom 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 he's speaking to directly 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 when he was first 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 announce his version of Kyoto, which will offer consumers tax rebates for using public transit (do we get receipts from the bus driver to attach to our income tax forms?) and rely 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 the 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 maybe Steven Harper likes being Prime Minister a little too much for our 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 President of the United States 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 being defensive. Steven Harper has all the power and trappings of the Prime Minister's office at his disposal for when he gets up in front of the cameras to make statements like calling 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?