Monday, 19 October 2015

The Harper Era Is Over

So first of all: Canada is back. There is reason to celebrate which outweighs all that remains problematic.

I'm not a big fan of the Liberals. At the moment, I consider them to be a properly conservative party - a party which is as far to the political right as reality allows sane people to be in the 21st century. They have a long way to go to win my support. Delivering on their promises will take them some distance. Priority one is proportional representation, so the nightmare of the last decade is unlikely ever to recur. Reversing the worst of what Harper wrought - repealing the human rights violation that is C-51, and the other humans rights violation that is C-24, and the other human rights violation that is the absurdly Orwellian "Fair Elections Act" - will bring them most of the rest of the way. But they've still got a lot to learn about some vital issues - climate change and environmental protection and conservation foremost among them (though I do at least trust them to un-gag Canadian scientists, and that is the all-important first step toward more informed governance).

Nonetheless, there is more than enough reason to celebrate. Stephen Harper, you deserve to know, after the harm you have done, that you have been the worst prime minister in modern Canadian history. The worst for Canada's economy. The worst for Canada's environment. The worst for Canada's international reputation. The worst for Canadian democracy. We will soon see that your project to transform Canada - to remake a beautiful nation in your own, twisted image - has been an abject failure. And it is as an abject failure that you will be remembered by history. You deserve to know this, and anyone who is considering taking up your cause - anyone who thinks that there will once again be the potential for political gain in Canada through what is mean, bigoted, selfish, greedy, destructive, ignorant, secretive, or genuinely evil (because subverting democracy is evil, and the citizens of a democracy require the courage to say that plainly) - needs to know this.

In all honesty, the CPC should probably be disbanded. It has become a horribly disfigured phantasm of its former self. But for now, I hope the Conservatives can at least realize that they must find something else to be - something other than what they have been for the last dozen years.

Sunday, 18 October 2015

A Canadian Election Prediction

I predict 150+ seats for the Grits. The youth vote, largely missed by the polls, is going to be the difference (by far overshadowing the "shy Tory" phenomenon), and although someone says that every election, this year it is actually true for the following very specific and substantive reason: Elections Canada is operating polling stations on University campuses where students can vote regardless of home riding. This is an ultimate eff-you to Harper's attempts to subvert Canadian democracy, while simultaneously being an entirely legal and technically non-partisan action. And the fact that something can be all those things at the same time tells you an awful lot about the horror show that Canadian conservatism has become.

Saturday, 17 October 2015

Globe & Mail Endorse the Conservatives - without Harper

This is the dumbest thing I've read this election.

Where the editors of the The Globe and Mail have been hiding their heads I don't know, but surely even they should have found out by now that the Conservatives have no economic record to run on. News flash: If they had one, they'd be running on it, since it's far-and-away the most important issue to voters. If they had one, they'd be running on it, instead of the desperate campaign of xenophobia and racism they've resorted to. This isn't a campaign that "should've" been about the economy but "became" about Harper's meanness. Harper turned it into what it's become, and that decision reflects what he thinks (I hope wrongly) about 36% of this country (along with the fact that even he knows he has no economic record to run on). To describe it in those terms is the vilest sort of white-washing.

The fact that so many Conservative economic policies show up in the other platforms reflects the damage Harper has done to the national conversation about the economy, and one can only hope that the next non-Conservative government will begin moving Canada away from this nonsense, whatever they may promise during the election. To see the myth of Conservative economic management propagated as fact in what is supposedly the country's paper of record is disheartening - almost as disheartening as learning that they also buy into the myth of a sober, moderate, and responsible form of modern conservatism, which we could apparently have if only Harper stepped down. Never mind the fact that Canadian conservatism was transformed precisely by the merger between the CPC and Harper's own Alliance Party - a merger which severed the connection between conservatism in Canada and the tradition of British Toryism, turning it into a Reaganite movement.

Essentially, they just endorsed Winston Churchill for PM - way to stay relevant, guys. I was about done with the G&M anyway. This seals it.