Monday, January 19, 2015

How Does Stephen Harper Get Away With It?

Because we let him. That is the question asked and answered by a Toronto Star letter-writer in response to a column on democracy by Bob Hepburn, which I posted about last week.

There is an array of excellent letters on this topic, one that could serve as a primer for those who are disengaged. I hope you will check out the full page and share with those who might benefit from the insights offered.

Election best chance to restore faith in democracy, Opinion Jan. 11
This summary is brilliant and speaks to the heart of Canada’s challenge. Poor choices, decisions based on an ideology that excludes more voters than it includes, an arrogant blindness to the growing collateral damage caused by policies made within a narrow context – all of these and more can be reviewed and changed.

This column is a cry and pledge for change driven by the phrase, “How does Stephen Harper get away with it?” At the first step of the democratic ladder, the answer is “we let him get away with it.”

Perhaps it’s time for us (the voter) to ask, “How do we stop this erosion of our democracy?” And then set about a plan to do it, acknowledging that perhaps Mr. Harper’s strongest asset is the diversity and size of Canada making joint projects a geographic nightmare, a land where divide and conquer can be accomplished with our own money ($2.5 million in TV ads) not to mention the overriding complacency of the voter (the fiddle is playing while Ottawa burns). This summary challenges the voter.

The Star has done its job with strong and factual, canary in the mine reporting. We need to respond. Each Harper candidate needs voters to ask them all of these “how does” questions and stand our ground until we get the facts from each and every candidate who wants our vote.

And each voter must look inside her or his soul to discover again the value of our democracy is worth more than ideology.

Don Graves, Burlington


  1. This is how we let them get away with it. Note that the combined Libs and NDP votes of John Baird's two main opponents exceeded his votes both in 2011 and 2008:

    In fact, in 2011, the combined Libs and NDP votes stood at 51%, a majority, to Baird's 45%. For this we thank both these parties for refusing to co-operate and field a single candidate in candidates such as this one.

    BTW, this is likely why Baird is running away to a new riding split from part of Pollievre's riding where there is more solid Cons support.

    1. Thanks for this information, Anon. As I have said before, as long as the other two major leaders put their own ambitions ahead of what's best for Canada, this kind of vote-splitting will continue.