Friday, November 27, 2009

MURRAY DOBBIN: THANKS TO HARPER, "WE ARE IN GRAVE DANGER"

I have read at least one book by Murray Dobbin namely 'Preston Manning and the Reform Party' and many of his writings. He is one of Canada's great progressive writers and one whose values I respect and share. This piece appeared in his blog yesterday. I thought the substance was so accurate and the emotion so compelling about the dangers posed by the Harper government that it was worth repeating on this blog.


The Republicanization of Canadian political culture
Posted: 25 Nov 2009 09:17 PM PST

Watching the sickening performances of the Harperites in the House of Commons this week – out right lying, bullying, slander, contempt for the public and parliament, and a stunning disregard for the public good – brings home a hard reality: we are witnessing the Republicanization of our political culture.

And it’s not just the torture issue – it’s the Conservative labeling of Liberals as anti-Semitic – a kind of shit-house rat politics virtually unknown in Canadian political history. It wouldn’t surprise me to find that Karl Rove is on the PMO’s payroll; his disciples certainly are.

This is storm trooper politics and the most alarming and depressing part of it is that it actually works. In a poll done by the CBC (though on Afghanistan the CBC and its polls can’t be entirely trusted) only 50% of Canadians believed the testimony of Richard Colvin. The rest, presumably, believed a politician, Peter Mackay, who has repeatedly demonstrated a total lack of character – most notably his self-serving lie to David Orchard about handing the Progressive Conservative Party to the barbarians of the Reform/Alliance.

Colvin – a man of extraordinary courage, knowing that his testimony would effectively end his career – told the truth simply because it was the right thing to do. But in the new Republican world of Canadian politics viciousness can win out – just as it did in the US with the Swift Boat attack ads going after decorated soldier/politician John Kerry. In a political universe where there are no rules of civilized behaviour, the most ruthless can win because the side that plays by the rules just isn’t mean enough.

There is no obvious way to deal with overt and unapologetic political thuggery. Fighting back in the same manner actually plays into the thugs’ hands because part of their broader objective is to poison the well of public discourse. The ferocious partisanship of the Harper Conservatives – who should really be called the Libertarian Party as there is nothing conservative about them – is designed to drive ordinary citizens away from politics. I can barely stand to watch and listen to the vitriol and lies and I have spent my whole life observing and analyzing politics.

I try to imagine what people who have very limited for it must think when they see this performance. But there is no question that it partly explains the fact that 42% of Canadians didn’t vote in 2008 – a huge advantage for the Libertarians.

Part of the explanation for the weakness of Obama’s administration is the simple fact that the Republicans, even though they are out of power, have so damaged the political culture, so scorched the political landscape, that rational discourse is simply no longer possible in the US.

Eight years of George Bush (building on eight years of Ronald Reagan) lives on and will do so for many years to come. Compassion was simply beaten out of US democracy – day after day, week after week, year after year reason was degraded, community destroyed, truth and genuine discourse ridiculed and crushed. It is impossible to predict whether or not these things are actually dead in the US – or whether the hints of fascism will grow into the real thing before reason and compassion can be rebuilt.

The election of Obama suggests that the fight isn’t over – there are millions of progressive Americans who share the best of civic values. But so far they are losing.We are not there yet in Canada but we are na├»ve if we think the same destruction can’t happen here. After four years of sociopathic governance by a man full of hate and contempt, Canada is already becoming unrecognizable.

We must stop this man before he literally destroys the country – that is, destroys the core of who and what we are and how we see ourselves. The first step is recognizing that we are in grave danger.

11 comments:

Lizt. said...

I could feel this coming 2 years ago. I do not understand why so many people are enamoured with Harper so much? Why have the people not figured him out.
I know one thing about his deficit..no one will be able to do anything,if elected, because there will be no money for it.

RuralSandi said...

I suspect that a lot of the seniors that vote for Harper think they're getting their old Prog Conservatives and not really paying attention.

I heard one elderly woman say on a talk show (via phone) that she loved Bill Davis as a Conservative Premier of Ontario and we now have another Conservative as PM.

Darryl Raymaker said...

Lizt. and RuralSandi

You are quite right. Not enough Canadians are paying attention. In addition there are many who thoughtlessly endorse the hard lines because it is more likely to get people into line. Canadians must be brought to respect once again our traditional nuanced approach to problem solving and to understand that the issues are too complicated for simple black/white answers which the Conservatives advocate.

All of us are going to have to fight tooth and nail to get the attention of the Canadian people.

Mike said...

One could smell the petrol bombs being prepared to burn the Reichstag - House of Commons - with the arrival of the Reform Party.

I've often wondered if the Reformers were going to put the blame on the Liberals or the Progressive Conservatives. The answer is now pretty obviously the Liberals.

Mike
of Mikesmatters.blogspot.com

Darryl Raymaker said...

The Reichstag fire is next. They tried a coup already and it didn't work. The next step arguably will be something that requires a declaration of the War Measures Act, Martial law, or the like and after that, government by edict. These guys are capable of it, and that's why they have to be defeated!

Mike said...

We, the people, seem to get suckered by the George W. Bush definition of being a decider. What he really meant was someone who makes decisions and takes actions without prior thought. That's not a decider by any definition, but it certainly is quick.

Anyhow, we have to quit allowing this guy to have his way in setting the agenda and directing the narrative.

We must set our own agenda, play by liberal democratic rules rather than fascist rules, create, enhance and defend the narrative for liberalism and Canada.

SIMONE SANOUBANE said...

DEAR MR. RAY MAKER, TALKING ABOUT THE GOVERNMENT TO BROUGHT THEM SELF TO THE TOP BY USING ABUSIVE POWER, & VIOLATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS BY VARIOUS FORM OF TORTURE AS IN AFGANISTAN WAR CIMES. MAY I ADD TO THIS, A QUITE CANADIAN LIFE STORY THAT HAS BEEN SUFFERING ABUSIVE POWER 4 YEARS AGO. WE ARE IN GREEAT DANGER, IN THE HAND OF GOVERMENT IN POWER, THAT IS GRAUDUALLY SINKING DOWN EVERY MUNITE OF THE DAY, DUE TO THEIR CHILDISH BEHAVIOURS,NARROW MINDED, & ABUSIVE POWER. THANKS FOR YOUR TIME TO READ THE FOLLOWING REAL LIFE STORY, WHICH BEGAN WITH DOMESTIC ABUSE, TO MASSIVE POWER ABUSE, & CORRUPTIONS IN OUR TIMES:


DEAR MY CANADAIN FRIENDS:

"ZERO TOLERANCE TO ABUSIVE POWER IS OUR CANADA".

"CANADA HAS NO PLACE FOR HUMAN RIGHT VIOLATION; ABUSIVE POWER BY ANY INDIVIDUALS IN ANY LEVEL OF OUR GOVERNMENT SYSTEM, REGARDLESS WHO THEY ARE.

I FIRMLY BELIEVE.

TO BE CONTINUED IN UPDATED POST: LETTER TO MY FORMER-LAWYER: http://simonesanoubanebloggingpractice.blogspot.com/
http://simonesanoubanebloggingpractice.blogspot.com/2009/12/to-maria-lucarelli-llb-please-forward.html
Up on preparing my self to face with the elite class corruption, an other day of powerful litigation, which expect to involve the top flight lawyers/law firms representing the multimillion dollar wealthiest corporation, and financial institutions in our country, who destroy my life and took every thing from my family. They are not only that lucky, they are also potentially have all powerful resources in every level of our governing systems of justice, to facilitate them to their victories again, as they always have had against me. I am a women with no power or hierarchy, a visible minority woman of The Far-East-Asian origin, a single mother of 3 young children. Their lives are deeply affecting in every imaginable aspects, despite my desperate attempts to protect the children pain & suffering.

SIMONE SANOUBANE said...

THE CONSERVATIVE POLITICIANS VIOLATE HUMAN RIGHTS FROM DOMESTIC TO INTERNATIONAL LEVELS BY VARIOUS FORMS OF DOMINATIONS, USING MENTALLY, PHYSICALLY TORTURES, I.E. IN AFGHANISTAN WAR CRIMES. AS MEANING PARTY NAME IMPLIES: THE "CONS" JUST CREATED ISSUES TO MAKE, BREAK NEXT FEDERAL ELECTION: GOVERNMENT RESPONSIBILITY, ACCOUNTABILY (http://cybersmokeblog.blogspot.com/). CHALLENGING CHANGE THE RULES OF LAW (http://accesstoinfo.blogspot.com/ CONSTITUTIONALITY OF LAW). THE CONSERVATIVE IS SURELY CHALLENGING THAT, BY "STAYING ABOVE THE LAW", SINCE DAY ONE, THEY CAME IN POWER. ARE THEY CHANGING RULES OF LAW, FOR THEMSELVES,OR THE VICTIMS OF LAW LIKE OTHER CANADIANS, ME,& MY CHILREN, OR FOR CORPORATIONS/THEIR FRIENDS, GREEDY CAPITALISM? TALKING ABOUT THE "NO GOOD BASTARD" (http://blog.johnprince.ca/). WE ARE IN GRAVE DANGER (http://darrylraymaker.blogspot.com/).

TO BE CONTINUED http://simonesanoubanebloggingpractice.blogspot.com/
http://www.facebook.com/posted.php?id=21751825648&success#/note.php?note_id=190979788739&id=100000335551893&ref=mf

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Mike said...

"After four years of sociopathic governance by a man full of hate and contempt, ..."

Has anyone else heard people, particularly young women, remark that they can't trust the man because of something about his eyes.

Might sound flaky, but we've also heard and understood the maxim that the "Eyes are the windows to the soul."

What if there is no soul? Happy Hallowe'en indeed.