Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Canadian Republicans?

At the end of his reflection on the border security agreement which Stephen Harper and Barack Obama signed this week, Lawrence Martin writes:

In many respects, we have what might be described as our very own Republican Party at the helm in Canada. Public opinion prevents it from going as far in social areas as the GOP. But on war, on the security file, on trade and in many other policy domains, the similarities are apparent.

It's hard to disagree with that conclusion. A review of the government's record and future plans -- the omnibus crime bill passed the House last night, and yesterday Peter Kent announced that Canada will withdraw from the Kyoto protocol -- suggests that we do, indeed, have a government which has wholeheartedly bought the Republican narrative.

Given the farce which is presently taking place in the Republican Party these days -- Paul Krugman calls it a contest between the cynics and the clueless -- Canadians have many reasons to worry. Martin speculates that the Harper government has triumphed because Canadians have matured. "With age," he writes, "Canadians have become more secure about their independence."

That depends on who you talk to. The natives of Atawapiskat displayed their independence yesterday by telling Mr Harper's third party manager to take a hike. And, if one considers the recent election results, only 25% of Canadians buy the Harperian definition of independence.

The simple truth is that Stephen Harper -- despite his triumphal pronouncements -- has always been prime minister by default. Canadians have grudgingly put him where he is. It's an appropriate response to a man who bears a perpetual grudge.

Stephen Harper may be a Republican. It's too much of a stretch to claim that Canadians have become Republicans.

This entry is cross posted at The Moderate Voice.


thwap said...

Excellent post. We need all sorts of reforms to prevent this atrocity from ever happening again. Electoral reform for one.

Because the crop of hopefuls in the present Repug race is truly a shameful indictment of the political culture of the greatest country in the world.

Is it really the case that the brilliant minds of the people of the USA can only barf out such dreck as Newt, Cain, Romney, Bachmann, Santorum?

Obviously not.

But those idiots are useful to some people. But even then, their usefulness comes at a price. Dumbing-down the collective intelligence of the people as a whole until they are ungovernable.

This is the problem with the lack of accountability in the USA and now here.

People like Rumsfeld, Cheney, bush II, Obama, harper, should be behind prison bars, and their propagandists should have committed suicide out of shame and fear.

Owen Gray said...

If Canadians are smart, thwap, they will take what is happening south of the border as a cautionary tale.

We would be fools, indeed, to walk down that same path.

thwap said...


It looks like "we" did. I use the "" because, obviously, it was only around 25% of us who did. But we appear to be complacent in the face of this massive failure of our system.

Owen Gray said...

I agree, thwap. "We" did it. We get the government we deserve; and not voting is making a choice.

The fact is that "we" will be stuck with Harper until a solid block of Canadians -- certainly more than 25% of us -- decides we want someone else as prime minister.