Over the last few days while out and about on my summer cavort, I’ve been asked by some folks who still think of me as someone avidly if not rigorously interested in municipal politics what I think of the election of Olivia Chow as mayor of Toronto. Am I happy with the turn of events? Is she as socialist scary as some of her opponents said? How she’s going to fare, do you think? Continue reading
In the end, he couldn’t even come out on stage, look us in the eye and say, I quit.
The Canada Stephen Harper detested, Liberal Canada, after nearly a decade of derision, came roaring back and punched the man right in the face. Irony, eh? It often (or especially or eventually) undoes the most hubristic of us.
Ding dong, the witch is dead. The dog barks. The caravan moves on.
My enjoyment of the moment was short-lived, not just because the man denied us the pleasure of resigning to our face, but we’ve seen this movie before. A conservative government collapse followed by a big Liberal sweep. 1993, federally. 2003, here in Ontario. Over the past 22 years, we’ve had Liberal governments in Ottawa for 13 of them. Liberals have ruled Queen’s Park for 12 of the past 20 years.
Whatever challenges we face, whether it’s income inequality, precarious employment, a lack of affordable housing, a precipitous infrastructure deficit, none of these have come about by the neglect or purposeful scheming of one man or one party. None of it happened overnight. Much of it occurred under a Liberal watch.
This morning, I am relieved. Last night’s outcome could’ve been so much worse. That’s hardly the edifying feeling one might like to experience with a much desired change in government. But, once again, I guess it’ll have to do.
— not unenthusiastically submitted by Cityslikr
As the interminable federal campaign draws to a close and our well established liberal media (newspaper division) largely circled its collective wagons around the incumbent Conservative party (some following tortuous paths to get there), one thing becomes clearly evident. If you’re not voting for Stephen Harper and the Conservatives, you’re the radical, you’re out of step with the mainstream. You’ve lost your way from traditional Canadian values.
If nothing else, this election has attempted to normalise Conservative behaviour as the old stock baseline. Sure, there were a few mistakes and missteps. Nobody’s perfect. Are you? But ultimately, steady as she goes, no serious deviation from the core principles that have defined this country since Confederation. Above all else, Canadians have fought and died for low taxation and a sound economy. Everything else is suspect.
“But mostly the critics [of the Harper administration] are seething with ideological zeal that warns that today’s Canadian progressives have veered to new extremism,” David Frum tweeted out on Saturday. Opponents of Stephen Harper are the extremists, says the guy who helped cheerlead the U.S. into a misguided war in Iraq that set the Mideast on fire. Yes, we’re the extremists.
As much as we’d like to think we are different than our neighbours to the immediate south, more tolerant, more moderate, more reasonable, in the light of this election campaign and the continued viability of the Conservative brand, we need to rethink that smug point of view. Our conservative segment of the population has drifted farther and farther from the middle of the political spectrum, dragging the centre with it and eyeing suspiciously everyone who hasn’t followed their rightward march. From that relative position way over there, enthusiastically enabling the vanishing of Canada, it sees its opponents and critics as the ones out of touch, out of step with their Canada. Radicals. Extremists.
So be it. Accept the fact that at this juncture in our history, we must consign a quarter to a third of our voting population to intractable conservative fanaticism. My party, right or wrong. A faction living quite comfortably in its no longer veiled racism and bigotry, happy at war with information and history, defiant in denying the inconvenient realities of the world around them. One time fringe thinking now mainstream conservative thought.
We need to stop catering to it, to cease trying to woo it or appeal to its better nature. There’s no such thing as a Conservative better nature. That died a long time ago.
You can’t ignore it but you can isolate it. 25%, 33%, that’s still a minority, healthily so, in fact. It’s not enough to govern properly but it is ample enough to disrupt the proceedings.
When Stephen Harper hooked up with the Ford Bros. for a campaign rally on Saturday night, it was a full and frank admission that this was all it was about, all it had ever been about. Disruption. Governance mayhem. Disregard for anything and anybody not holding to their narrow and dim world view. All of them feeding into and off of our worst instincts, asking nothing more from us than our hatred and fear.
Supporters and apologists tried to make that appear as normal, standard practice, conventional wisdom, plain ol’ common sense. You don’t think so? You disagree? You’re out of step with the rest of us. You’re out there, radical, extreme.
To believe that, though, is to admit that you don’t trust numbers, that basic math is an unreliable source of information. Somehow 25%, 33% makes a majority and dictates what constitutes the mainstream. The rest? Deluded, suffering from a simple case of Harper Derangement Syndrome.
It doesn’t add up but it never was supposed to. A stubborn wilfulness sits at the core of conservative thought belief these days. That’s why it’s so hard to engage. We need to stop trying. It only lends credibility where none is deserved.
— radically submitted by Cityslikr