Steady Stephen; Steady

By October 27, 2014Federal Politics

By Mike Archer. After 911 the US government spent trillions of dollars, started two wars, and passed an enormous amount of legislation which took away the rights of US citizens. All in the name of protecting their ‘way of life.’

For those are the only two things politicians can think of doing when faced with a crisis – spend money and pass more laws.

Somehow in all the bravado and machismo which smothered and nullified the intellectual processes (such as they were) of American leaders it never occurred to anyone that everything which happened on 911 was already illegal or that taking US citizens’ rights away was at odds with the ‘way of life’ they claimed they were protecting.

Nor did anyone dare ask, “Why are these people so mad at us?”

After the killing of a soldier by a mentally-ill Canadian with a long gun who had, among other things, tried to get himself arrested so he could get some help, the Harper government is said to be prepared to adopt new laws based on the the UK’s ridiculous ‘thought police’ laws which make it illegal to agree with things the government disagrees with.

After being the only Western leader to take a loudly belligerent and insulting stance toward ISIL on the world stage and then, without so much as a ‘by your leave’ committed Canada to a combat mission against the extremists (he told the New York media before he told Canadian Parliament), Harper, while seeming shocked and surprised that his threats and insults would cause a reaction, is set to take away his fellow citizens’ rights to have or share thoughts which his government decides are illegal.

When I heard Harper, (who hid in a closet while his MPs fashioned spears from broken flagpoles) say in a measured and cold fashion that Canada “will not be intimidated” I disengaged for a moment because something was terribly wrong.

It sounded like something George Bush would say; something Vladimir Putin would say; something a mad dictator of a third world country would say. It didn’t sound like something a Canadian Prime Minister would say.

Stephen Harper has faced down the dramatic decrease in crime in Canada by sending more people to prison for longer. He has faced down Canada’s non-profit charities by hitting them with tax audits and investigating them for political (read anti-Harper government) activities. He has systematically stripped Canada’s soldiers of the right to be cared for when brought back from missions overseas and now he is set to take away the basic rights which are the fundamental underpinning of the ‘way of life’ he will claim to be protecting.

Any politician who drapes himself in the flag, sends men and women to war, and then turns their back on those men and women when they come home broken, cannot have any idea what most of his fellow citizens would describe as our ‘way of life.’

If Stephen Harper understood the Canadian ‘way of life’ he would stop insulting foreign leaders and prancing around like a school yard bully on the international stage, and ask some tough questions of himself and his government about why these things are happening.

Having divvied up the Middle East after WWI and creating the recipe for the states which are failing today, the West has had one prevailing response – war. Canada was once a country which distinguished itself by taking a more progressive, less belligerent and independent approach to the world.

We abandoned that approach when an aging, desperate politician seeking re-election decided to prance around on the world stage and commit us to another war in the middle east. Now he appears intent on using the nasty results of his pompous electoral bluster to change the Canadian ‘way of life.’

If they want to be re-elected, members of his own party should stop him and protect our ‘way of life’ from Stephen Harper.

Leave a Reply