Wednesday, May 7, 2014

UPDATED: Unfit To Govern

I have to admit that even though I am now in my sixties, I have never before witnessed the kind of behaviour on the part of a Canadian government as I have of the Harper regime. Contemptuous of opposing views, ready to vilify opponents at every turn, the regime has taken even me, an inveterate cynic, by surprise in its latest salvo. In a word, Harper's the attack on the Supreme Court is unprecedented in a healthy democracy.

To say that Stephen Harper is mentally unhealthy is to state the obvious. To say that his twisted psyche sees enemies everywhere is not news. What may not be so obvious to the casual observer is the contempt he holds for Canada itself, given his most recent attack on Beverley McLachlin. As other observers have already noted, to call into question, out of mere spite, the probity of the Supreme Court's Chief Justice is to undermine Canadian's faith in our judiciary.

And of course, this follows a long Harper pattern of sowing doubt and disaffection among Canadians toward so many of our country's institutional underpinnings. Harper's disdain for Parliament is legendary, from his marginalizing the opposition to proroguing the House to avoid defeat. The robocall scandal attests to how much the notion of fair elections offends him. The 'Fair' Elections Act is itself a giant middle finger directed at democracy.

In his latest column entitled PM’s enemies list? Here comes the judge, The Globe's Lawrence Martin reflects on the strangeness of Harper's Supreme Court attack:

This is Stephen Harper’s court. He appointed a majority of the justices on it. He named five of the eight, with one more pending. Another, Beverley McLachlin, was named to the court by Tory Brian Mulroney. The Harper appointments, as could be expected, have been more conservative in their orientation than liberal.

Yet these facts have not prevented the Prime Minister from his full frontal assault on the court.

Says Martin:

The Prime Minister’s enemies list, which includes Mr. Cotler and so many others, keeps growing – and reaching higher levels. Must everyone submit to Mr. Harper’s will or face retaliation? Do we have, as his former adviser Tom Flanagan maintains, a predator as prime minister? Does he not think there will be a reckoning?

Harper's much vaunted and exaggerated strategic 'genius' does not seem to be the motivating force here, either. Martin recalls,

... interviewing David Emerson, who had a unique perspective because he served in both the cabinets of Paul Martin and Stephen Harper. There were things he preferred about the Harper operation. But one difference that alarmed Mr. Emerson was the degree of visceral contempt he saw from Mr. Harper and his top lieutenants toward those opposed to their beliefs. He’d never seen anything like it. How could they harbour, he wondered, so much venom?

What goes on in the Prime Minister's head is not realy my concern. All I know is that Stephen Harper and all of his acolytes have betrayed what should have been a sacred trust, the leadership of our country. The country I know and love cannot survive another term of his hateful, divisive and destructive rule.

UPDATE: It would seem that even Conservatives are beginning to see the truth about Mr. Harper:


  1. Time to reread R.K. Finch's "The Singular Face Of Megalomania ". The original diagnosis of Harper's problems has been taken down, but it is still on the web at

    1. Thank yo for the tip, Editor. i shall check it out.

  2. We don't like to consider the possibility, Lorne. But one man can bring a country down.

    1. That could very well be Harper's legacy, Owen.

  3. It has long been obvious to all but the insensate that this character sees a healthy democracy as an impediment, a fetter on his freedom to govern unaccountably and in near total secrecy. That was plain from the outset when he sequestered the public service, sharply curtailing the public's access to communicate with their government bureaucracy and then followed that up with similar cloaking of the armed forces. This is a despot who has transformed the public service, the armed forces and even the national police service into partisan political agencies in service to his PMO.

    The creepy part, to me, is the degree of support Harper has received for his despotism from his cabinet, his caucus and most Conservative supporters. It reveals that this is a movement predisposed to considerable authoritarianism for whom democracy is an expendible notion if it stands as an impediment to ruling. To them a nation divided and a people betrayed and deceived is an insignificant price to pay for power.

    1. Your last sentence aptly and amply summarizes the pathology permeating the Harper cabal, Mound. The fact that he commands such loyalty among his cabinet, caucus and followers leads me down corridors of contemplation about human nature that I would prefer not to dwell upon.

    2. 'Democracy is an expendible notion if it stands as an impediment to ruling. To them a nation divided and a people betrayed and deceived is an insignificant price to pay for power.' (Mound 2014)

      They go home at some point to their children, wives, mothers, friends, neighbors.. after the workday is done

      Sociopaths ..

    3. Their capacity to compartmentalize is frightening in its implications, Salamander.

  4. Forget Al Qaeda, or the Taliban, or Putin. Harper's attacks on our judicial system only serve to emphasize that the real threat to our democracy is on our own doorstep: Harper.

    One has only to read Harper's "firewall" letter to know that he was only concerned about the fortunes of Alberta, not the ROC.

    I still am amazed at the ignorance and/or stupidity of people in Ontario, for example, voting for a government that is not working for their interests or that of Canada.

    Once you understand the above, Harper's disdain for, and his apparent enthusiasm to destroy, Canadian Institutions and values make a lot of sense.

    Also, his disdain for PET, who he had once idolized, thus follows because it was the Liberals that gave us the Charter that he so hates and perceives as conflicting with the ideology he adopted once he had moved to Alberta.

    Harper is the sort of politician that should never have been given power (unless, I suppose, you are an Albertan not interested in the commitments of Confederation).

    1. The conclusion you draw here is one that I think the majority of thinking Canadians would agree with wholeheartedly, Anon.