Janice Kennedy has accurately described what has happened to Canada during the Harper years. She writes that "a good country is being turned into a sad joke." Reviewing Stephen Harper's immigration policy, his military swagger and his "tough on crime" agenda, she concludes:
There are so many things wrong with our national picture these days, from empty swagger to lost compassion to a tragically eroded sense of international diplomacy, that it is no longer even recognizable. It is a picture that now looks not only mean, but stupid.
We are witnessing the ascension of stupidity dressed up as competence. If Canada entered the last recession in relatively good shape, it was because of nothing Mr. Harper had done. But he was not adverse to taking credit for others' good judgement.
Now he wants to bring Fear back into the national spotlight. That was the function of David Cameron's speech to Parliament last week. And, of course, the government is reintroducing expired terrorism legislation. The strategy is to "Keep 'em scared and keep 'em quiet." As the two prorogations of Parliament illustrate, Harper has a hard time dealing with any opposition -- even opposition in his own party.
In the end, Kennedy writes, the Prime Minister calls black white -- and he gets away with it.
With the Harper Conservatives back in the House in full majority finery, we have returned to the politics of naked emperors praised for their shining raiment. Everything is haywire as they trot out their daily distorted realities.
Those distorted realities have become the norm.