Thursday, October 1, 2015

UPDATED: Hope Fades ......

It is becoming difficult to hold on to hope. Despite all we know about the Harper regime, despite all that has been written about its corruption, its abuse of power, its undermining of our democratic institutions, its insidious appeal to the worst in our natures, it seems to all be coming down to an issue that has already been decided by the courts: the niqab and its use during citizenship ceremonies.

It is almost enough to make me hold up my hands in abject surrender.

According to the latest poll conducted by Forum Research, if an election were held today, Stephen Harper would win another government, albeit a minority one:
The survey of 1,499 Canadian voters has Conservative Leader Stephen Harper’s party ahead with 34 per cent support, compared to 28 per cent for the NDP and 27 per cent support for the Liberals.
At the heart of this resurgence, according to Forum president Lorne Bozinoff, is that [t]wo-thirds (64 per cent) of Canadian voters are opposed to having fully veiled women swear the oath of citizenship, while just over a quarter (26) support it.
Though the poll’s findings are just a snapshot in time, if the same results occurred the night of the Oct. 19 election, the Conservatives would win a minority — 151 seats in the 338-seat House of Commons. The NDP would form the opposition again with 105 seats, the Liberals would seize 76 seats, the Bloc six seats and the Greens one.
And while the neo-barbarians are ready to resume their assault on our putative values and traditions, what are the oppositions parties doing? Fighting each other, of course. Thomas Walkom writes,
New Democratic Party leader Mulcair dismisses Trudeau as a callow youth. Echoing Conservative attack ads, his New Democrats say the 43-year-old Liberal leader just isn’t ready to become prime minister.

From time to time, and again echoing the Conservatives, Mulcair dismissively refers to his Liberal rival as “Justin.”

Trudeau is no less harsh. He accuses Mulcair of duplicity — of saying one thing in French and another in English. He says the NDP, by pandering to Quebec separatists, threatens national unity.

He dredges up old charges that Mulcair, a former Quebec Liberal cabinet minister, once contemplated the idea of exporting fresh water in bulk.

All of this occurs at a time when Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s Conservatives are quietly edging up in the polls.
As those two parties put on full display, not co-operation to oust the tyrant but instead their avidity for power at any price, progressives are put in a bind:
These so-called progressive voters desperately want Harper gone. And they are horrified by the real possibility that this war to the death between Liberals and New Democrats will split the anti-Harper vote, thus allowing the Conservatives to win power again.
Here's a sample of what the NDP is doing to achieve power:

Another ad aims to maim support for Trudeau in the manufacturing sector by referencing a suggestion Liberal candidate Chrystia Freeland made years earlier about letting the big three automakers — Ford, General Motors, and Chrysler — go bankrupt.

The third brings up the Liberal leader’s $20,000 speaking fees he charged charities and school boards, accusing him of skipping House of Common votes to collect money “for something that’s already a part of his job.”

Trudeau offered to reimburse some fees in 2013.

It’s a tactic that’s borrowed from the Conservative Party, who have been running attack ads against Trudeau with the tagline, “Just not ready” for months.
Canadians have notoriously short memories. Yet as we get ever closer to October 19, they are bound to remember certain things, the wrong things, I fear.

UPDATE: In his comment, Anon pointed out that the radio ad war was, in fact, started by the Liberals. I am unable to embed the ad, but you can listen to it here. While perhaps mild compared to the acerbity of the NDP attack ads, it serves to amply illustrate that both opposition parties are guilty of divisive tactics in their respective quests for power.


  1. Indeed Lorne, when I think of the almost 50 pages of things done to destroy our democracy listed in my Harper History series and see the sort of things you list above getting the attention instead it makes me sick. If they dont smarten up and thus loose to Harper (and create another constitutional crisis?) then there will be some serious arse kicking following the election.

    1. I have kept up with your Harper series, Rural, and have just started reading Michael Harris' Party of One. It is all enough to make progressives sick at heart. As to what will happen if they lose to Harper, I wonder if that will be enough to start some serious talk about merging the progressive voice, or will old egos and that ever-corrosive lust for power prevent them from doing what is necessary?

  2. Not mentioned above was that the new, unfortunate NDP ads were in response to another unfortunate Lib attack ad narrated by Trudeau himself attacking Mulcair for being cut from the same cloth as Harper: Thus the Libs would be protesting too much if they blame the NDP for these new attacks on Trudeau. And vice versa for the NDP blaming the Libs for attacks on Mulcair in general.

    But the Libs and NDP feuding against each other to mutual destruction is not really surprising since Trudeau had repeatedly ruled out a coalition with the NDP. Although both Mulcair and Trudeau had flip flopped on the question of forming a coalition, recall that it was Mulcair who had last offered to form one, and Trudeau who had soundly rejected the last offer.

    A coalition, while not without its problems (e.g. which candidate, Lib or NDP to run), would have allowed these two feuding parties to run a single candidate in those ridings where the combined Lib and NDP vote would be expected to exceed the Cons vote based on previous elections cycles. A coalition would, at the very least, have prevented them attacking each other to their mutual destruction while Harper sails to victory again.

    1. thank you for your comments and pointing out my serious omission of the Liberals' initial ad salvo against the NDP. I shall amend that mistake by updating this post shortly.

  3. A sad commentary on what we've become, Lorne.

    1. It seems to be the story of humanity, doesn't it, Owen? One step forward, two steps back.

  4. I don't think the polls are credible Lorne. I also think the Canadian voter will come through and throw Harper out. I really don't think that Canadians voting decisions will hang on whether a woman wants to cover her face or not when she takes the citizens oath, as much as Harper wants it to be so. There are days when I wonder that we have allowed Harper to get to be our PM. On those days I ask what is wrong with us. For those who follow politics very closely, the truth we discover in that process, particularly with this gang can be very depressing. Even with all of Harpers destruction of our democracy including his measures to prevent Canadians from voting, I think Canadians will vote him out. If he get a minority the NDP and Libs will not support him, so he will be gone.I think the only way Harper will get a Majority is through deception and fraud and that is still a possibility to me, but he will not get a majority from voters. Progressives care deeply about our countryand having a tyrant like Harper as our PM, who rules in secrecy, while dismantling our democracy is truly frightening, because we know that if he gets a majority in Oct. our country as a free and democratic country is finished. I do not think that will happen though. I still think the Canadian voter will not listen to the MSM overall analysis of the election nor the polls predicting a Harper win and in Oct. Harper will be gone. In spite of all of what I have learned about Harper, I do not think the 2/3rds of Canadians that he so consciously ignores can be manipulated to his liking. I'm not minimizing what you're saying Lorne. You are a very intelligent caring man, which is probably why your feeling somewhat helpless. People who don't care don't fee much of anything about their country. I think on Oct.19 Canadians will remember that they are decent people who want a government that reflects that decency. Voting on Oct.19 will be a true testing stone to whether Canadians value freedom or not.

    1. Your message of hope is encouraging, Pamela. I sincerely hope that the results you predict will come to fruition on election day.

  5. Hi Lorne. There is a fairly well written article by Heather Mallick in Harper's magazine, titled "Nixon of the North" "How Stephen Harper ruined Canada'. It is posted online and it came out today. I don't agree with what she says about Mulcair but the rest is well said. I don't know how to post a link, otherwise I would send it to you directly. It's easy to find online though. It's a good read.

    1. Thank you, Pamela! Here is the link:

      I am about to read it.