Consider what has happened in the last three elections: In 2006, the Harper Conservatives -- in their quest for a majority -- broke Canada's campaign finance laws. In 2008, they broke their own fixed date election law. In 2012, by suppressing key voters in key ridings, they flipped an election.
Why? Was it simply a pathological drive for power? Naomi Klein suggested in The Shock Doctrine that advocates of disaster capitalism around the world have recognized that democracy is an obstacle to the implementation of their program. It's hard to get the public to vote against its self interest. The solution is to rig the vote.
Michael Den Tandt reports that the budget Jim Flaherty will present at the end of the month will be built on the principles of disaster capitalism:
What's interesting about the government's intentions now, heading into the budget, is how determined the Conservatives are to press ahead with a full suite of significant reform, controversies be damned — and how far the plan extends beyond the OAS system. The change envisioned is huge.
For starters, the age of eligibility for OAS will indeed rise from the current 65 to 67 (though in grandfathered fashion, so that only those younger than 50 or so now will be affected), sources confirm. Beyond that, immigration, resource development, research and innovation and trade are also being overhauled, all while the government moves more aggressively than previously signalled to balance the books. (The Finance department has said budget cuts will be in a range between $4 billion and $8 billion. As I reported here last week, the overwhelming majority of Tory ministers and MPs are pushing hard for cuts at the very upper end of that range, because they want to campaign in 2015 on a balanced budget.)
Their majority gives the Conservatives a chance to set a radically different course for Canada. Den Tendt writes that they hope the debate on the budget will blow the robocall scandal off the radar screen.
If the opposition parties are wise, they will link the budget to the robocalls. After all, one wouldn't be possible without the other. The Harper government is dedicated to Milton Friedman's revolution. And they are prepared to implement it by whatever means are necessary.