In her comment on one of Susan Riley's recent columns in The Ottawa Citizen, Cathleen Kneen writes:
There is a clear pattern here, from proroguing Parliament to the omnibus "budget" bill which (among much else) guts the country's environmental protection, the purpose of the Conservative government is to undermine and where possible to eliminate the capacity of the citizens of Canada to meaningfully affect the workings of the state.
I'm not sure what you call the resulting system, but "democracy" does not spring to mind.
Kneen hits the nail on the head. Stephen Harper rode to power on the theme that big government was the source of tyranny. The truth is that Stephen Harper is all about consolidating power -- and that is the source of tyranny.
But Harper's ambitions go well beyond establishing iron fisted rule at home. He believes that his kind of power needs to be projected around the world. That is why his government seeks to establish seven military bases abroad, from Africa to Singapore to the Caribbean to Kuwait. Tom Walkom writes that:
Steven Staples, a military analyst and head of Ottawa’s Rideau Institute, calls the entire idea a waste of money.
“The notion that we’re going to have permanent bases around the world is over the top. I don’t understand the rationale for parking a bunch of equipment in Singapore in case we might need it some time. That’s why we bought C-17s in the first place — so we could move troops and material quickly.”
The hypocrisy of the plan -- as Harper shoves austerity down Canadian throats -- should surprise no one. But Walkom sees a darker purpose behind these plans:
My analysis is darker. I fear the government is deliberate in its madness. I think it is setting up foreign military bases because it fully expects to have Canadian troops fight alongside the U.S. or NATO in more Afghanistan-style wars.
I think it has learned nothing from the past 10 years.
Harper learned nothing from the 2008 financial collapse. He has learned nothing from Afghanistan. Like a 21st century Ozymandias, he will leave ruin in his wake -- and he will leave it well beyond the borders of Canada. Megalomania results in that kind of harvest.