Monday, May 14, 2012
The Defining Battle
At some point in the future, historians will note that Bill C-38 -- the Harper government's four hundred and twenty page page Budget Implementation Bill -- marked the beginning of the end. They will note that the bill sowed the seeds of revolt across the country.
They will write about how the Conservatives stupidly alienated Quebec and allowed the NDP to establish a base in that province. They will write about how they destroyed their beach head in Ontario by focusing on western oil and eviscerating central Canada's manufacturing base. They will write about first nations' active opposition to the Keystone and Northern Gateway pipelines -- and to British Columbians' determination to keep their interior and their coastline sludge free.
The will write about how, under the mantra of "the economy," the Conservatives tried to accomplish a social revolution -- until Canadian seniors revolted and decided that Bob Rae was right when he said that Canadian democracy suffered "from dictatorial tendencies."
They will write that the Conservatives should have known better -- that they should have known how to bend. But, led my an anal retentive prime minister -- who departed the scene before their inevitable defeat -- they doomed themselves and their party to a western rump. They will write that, like the old Social Credit Party, from whom the Conservatives had sprung, they returned to their western bunker.
They will quote Nathan Cullen, who said, “Both in Parliament, and, in particular, outside, we will be looking at ways to bring as many Canadians to the table as possible, which is the opposite initiative to that coming from government.” And they will point to Marc Garneau who said, “Ultimately, will we stop the government if they are hell bent for leather on passing this and they are not going to listen to public opinion? No. But we will make it difficult.”
They will write that the opposition parties lost the battle but won the war. They will write that the downfall of the Harper government began with Bill C-38 -- the defining battle.