So, what is the opposition to do?
With Harper’s economic update now before the House of Commons, the opposition caught him red-handed plotting to do them in. He planned to create a one party state by killing off any effective democratic opposition in the government of Canada. He tried to destroy the opposition by depriving it of democracy’s life blood – money.
More significantly, he signaled his intention to impose his long held hard-right views on the nation. His first two steps in dealing with the economic crisis were to freeze the wages of civil servants and take away their right to strike for three years. There was no provision for any stimulus to get people working again or to save jobs.
The update also contained an overriding lie to the Canadian people that Canada would continue to run surpluses.
So now he is on the ropes. If the Grits, ND’s and Bloc get together and convince the Governor General they can govern in a coalition government, the Harper government is toast. In that event, it will be left to the Conservative Party to dispose of their leader’s remains. And dispose of them they will, if the Harper government falls.
Yesterday Harper caved on the party financing portion of the update. But is that enough to ward off a likely-to-succeed Commons defeat of the government and its replacement by a coalition of opposition parties?
The beauty of the situation to the insurrectionists is that they have a perfect overriding public interest issue to advance in convincing Canadians that bringing down the Harper government is the right thing to do. The policy presented by Harper in the update is not only dominated by a big lie, it is not in the least a stimulus to the economy to save and create jobs. The attack on the opposition parties very existence – grubby politics in the minds of many Canadians – does not even have to be mentioned.
So what should the opposition parties do?
They should do him in, that’s what they should do! If he did not destroy the opposition this time around, he is likely to try again through equally devious means. Time and again he has shown that when dealing with political foes or even friends who happen to be in his way, he acts with ruthlessness, meanness and poor judgment. His attempt to bankrupt the opposition parties to destroy parliamentary democracy in Canada is one of those instances.
Furthermore, he has always been ideologically driven by the ideas of people who are largely responsible for the current weakened state of the global economy. He is a deregulation, unrestricted markets, anti-labour, pro-big business, private medicine poster boy. As such, his government would likely prolong the coming of economic recovery rather than hasten it.
It is instructive to remember these words of Niccolo Macchiavelli in The Prince ( a work that no doubt Harper has committed to memory):
". . . men must either be cajoled or crushed; for they will revenge themselves for slight wrongs, while for grave ones they cannot. The injury therefore that you do to a man should be such that you need not fear his revenge."
In Harper's case cajolery won't work.
If the opposition does not take this golden opportunity to give him the boot, it will be a decision that it together with millions of Canadians are likely to regret – big time!