As The House of Commons opens its doors after the summer recess, John Ibbitson writes in this morning's Globe and Mail that:
Nothing on the fall agenda should surprise anyone. Most of the bills have been introduced before, only to be beaten back by opposition parties in minority Parliaments.
What has changed is the opposition. The NDP has stormed the barricades; but, with a tragic twist that reminds us that life is not fair, Jack Layton won't be leading them. The Liberals have been reduced to a mere shadow of their former selves: and, like the New Democrats, will be looking for a new leader. So, that leaves a clear opening for Stephen Harper to begin what he believes will be the radical transformation of Canada.
True to the basic tenet of modern conservatism, the Harperites enter the Commons as The Wrecking Crew. Their chief focus will be on getting rid of those things they hold in contempt: The Wheat Board, The Long Gun Registry and Political Party Subsidies. One hopes they will not succeed in getting rid of Parliament -- their contempt for which was officially noted in the last session.
The truth is that the Conservative Party of Canada is not Conservative at all. Rather than preserving social institutions, they are hell bent on tearing them down. If there is a ray of hope, it is that the man who helped them establish a beachhead in Toronto is now reviled by a majority of Torontonians. Having had time to experience what it means to be citizens of Ford nation, they are now considering emigration.
It may well be that the citizens of Harperland are about to have the same experience.