Saturday, October 3, 2015

Lifting The Veil

Lifting the veil behind what has become a major part of the Tory re-election strategy reveals nothing good. Consider, for example, this shameful announcement by party stalwart Kellie Lietch, who has yet to meet a Harper directive she doesn't salivate over:

In other words, the directive has gone out: surveil your Muslim neighbours and acquaintances and report on their foul and quite possibly nefarious practices. They are not to be trusted. What makes this announcement even more reprehensible is that it is being peddled under the pretext of helping vulnerable women and children, two groups the regime has shown little more than passing interest in up to this point.

Fortunately, not all are responding in the desired manner to this Pavlovian bell. Twitter reaction was fierce, as a few excerpts demonstrate:
Trying to convince citizens that people of a specific race are toxic. Don't let history repeat itself.

Trying to convince citizens that people of a specific race are toxic. Don't let history repeat itself.

The Canadian media better start calling this #elxn42 strategy what it is: racist. And they need to use that word.

Ignoring expert advice on refugee health care, crime prevention, harm reduction and climate change.

Is the #BarbaricCulturalPractices tip line open yet? I'd like to report someone for overusing a dog whistle.
And yet, despite the ability of some Canadians to see through this low tactic of stoking intolerance to win votes, it continues to deeply trouble me that we have a government so bent on twisting and perverting the national fabric for its own mercenary ends. In the process, incalculable damage, in my view, is being done to our collective psyche.

And we surely lack all perspective, especially in rewarding Harper with increased support for his politically motivated intransigence on the niqab. As Susan Delacourt points out,
... the magic number is two. That’s the total number, out of nearly 700,000 people, who have wanted to wear face coverings in citizenship ceremonies, according to a Radio-Canada report.

So all this agitation over the niqab, all the fierce declarations of what the majority in Canada wants at citizenship ceremonies, is about fewer than a handful of people. Except that it isn’t about those two people; it is about tapping into support that any responsible politician shouldn’t want.
... no party in this election ... should be whipping up antipathy to Muslims, or any religion or culture. It’s repulsive if it works and even more repulsive if it was planned to work that way.
Today's Star editorial offers similar sentiments, and points out the diversionary nature of such tactics:
... these spiteful Conservative policies — hound Muslim women, strip Muslim wrongdoers of basic human rights, shove Muslim refugees to the back of the line — have hijacked and distorted this election. They have blotted out the sun when Canadians face important choices on the economy, jobs, accountable government, social investment, fair taxation and the environment.

The relentless, divisive harping on largely fabricated “Muslim problems” may help the Conservatives get re-elected. But it is unworthy of the Government of Canada, it is socially corrosive, and it confirms the Tories’ unfitness to govern.
That the current incarnation of the Tories are unfit to govern is beyond dispute. We can only hope droves of other Canadians are coming to the same conclusion.


  1. What's the phone number. My neighbour has a reformatory lawn sign. I consider that a barbaric practice.

    1. In these perilous times, Rumley, we surely need to be constantly vigilant. As Halloween nears, I shall be on the lookout for any neigbours who erect effigies of pagan deities and will report accordingly.

  2. Hey Lorne, did you happen to hear Naheed Nenshi's lecture Doing the Right Thing on Ideas on CBC this week?
    If not, that's the link to the podcast. It's nearly an hour long, but its great. Its kind and hopeful and it needs lots of traction. I want to live in Nenshi's Canada.

    1. Thanks, Karen! I haven't heard it, but I will set aside some time to listen to it.