Sunday, September 23, 2012

Coyne On Politics

Andrew Coyne is no Pollyanna. He does not expect much from politicians; and, he says, we should not be surprised by the state of our politics. For politics is rarely noble; and politicians are rarely heroic:

Politics has been better before, and it has been worse. But politics, whatever one would wish, has never been a contest of ideas. Occasionally it is about ideas, as in the free trade election of 1988. But such debates as do arise are resolved not by persuasion but by combat. There simply isn’t time, people in politics tell themselves — the public hasn’t the patience. You can’t explain your position, and you can’t defend yourself against the other side’s attacks. All you can do is attack. Elections, in consequence, are about who can tear the most flesh off the other. And they all do it.

But there is the matter of degree  -- and, in that regard, the Harper Tories have pushed the envelope. Moreover, if we allow them to keep pushing the envelope -- something they have been doing with impunity -- things are not going to change. They won't change, Coyne writes,

until somebody in politics — the followers, not the leaders, the ones who quietly tell reporters of their frustrations, but go along in the end — stands up and says it’s wrong of my party to behave this way. My party: never mind what the other guys are doing. We just need to stop. Us.

 So when are we going to stand up and say, "Enough?"


Anonymous said...

Harper has no decency, morals nor ethics, what-so-ever. Harper is a traitor who, lies, deceives, is corrupt, thieves, uses dirty tactics, dirty politics and he cheats to win. I have no idea, how his Ministers can sink so low, as to support him.

I'm beginning to think, Quebec isn't that far wrong...To get the hell out of Harper's Canada. In what way, is this country even Canada anymore, anyway? Harper has dragged Canada, right down into the gutter with him, and his asinine governing.

Owen Gray said...

Quebercers are deeply angry with Harper, Anon. But it appears that only a small percentage of them are hard core separatists.

Let's hope -- for the good of the country -- that Harper does nothing to increase their numbers.

Beijing York said...

Real Tories have nothing to do with Harper or his reconstituted party. He robbed the Conservative part of the PC name, hoping to bury the extreme right-wing Reform label.

I wish the political pundits would stop working with the PMO-issued framework of political dialogue. All that serves is to soften his image and distract from his dangerous policies and actions. The right wing both here and the US have become expert in using loaded language to taint the image of their opponents. It's about time we do it too.

The Mound of Sound said...

Harper has done great damage to British Columbians' ties with their federal government. With our opposition to both pipeline/supertanker intiatives running 3 to 1 against and growing, there's a natural feeling that Ottawa, Alberta and their Big Oil patrons intend to enforce their will over ours.

It's really discouraging to our flagging sense of nationalism to see so little support from the Opposition parties and the other provinces.

It's one thing to weigh this bitumen trafficking on a test of "national interest." But it's another to implicitly contend that the interests of the rest of the country is paramount to our right to a secure environment. There's a huge disconnect there and it could fuel enormous discontent.

Owen Gray said...

You're right, Bejiing. The Harperites are not conservatives. They are reconstituted Reformers -- who, in turn, were really reconstituted Social Credit folks. They take their inspiration from Bible Bill Aberhart.

Harper -- like Aberhart -- likes to characterize his opponents as the devil's spawn.

It's time we stopped letting the spin go unanswered.

Owen Gray said...

It sounds as if there is a growing fury in B.C., Mound. Not only has Harper been contemptuous of British Columbians; he's been economically stupid.

I caught an interview with David Suzuki last night. Suzuki simply reminded the interviewer that strong economies -- like strong investment portfolios -- are diversified.

Putting all his eggs in the bitumen basket is not the mark of a dazzling intellect.

lungta said...

"Whether Canada ends up as one national government or two national governments or several national governments, or some other kind of arrangement is, quite frankly, secondary in my opinion."
– Stephen Harper

So if Canada is secondary
then what is primary?
And is the systematic disassembly of Canada at every level going exactly to plan?

In politics, nothing happens by accident. If it happens, you can bet it was planned that way.
Franklin D. Roosevelt

The outrage is planned and the irrational responses of outrage are counted on.

So when are we going to stand up and say, "Enough?"
My tiny contribution is to get on every opposition email list and when they come begging
to remind them that their philosophies are not as divergent as the reform-alliance-conservative confabulation was
and they had better get their act together in a unified front under one banner
or be complicit in the destruction of Canada by sin of omission.
Not recognizing the threat of harper vrs. "my party" is either egotistical stupidity or willful ignorance, NEITHER WORTHY OF SUPPORT.
Please come back when you have sorted out your priorities and have a workable plan other than steal votes from each other and split the middle allowing another conservative majority.

Yes Owen i know
It is not much of a "stand up"
I am very open to plan (b) if there is one
Converting conservatives is not an option (drunk on victory and true believers) and the 4 in ten non voters here are conservative so getting out their vote just adds to a 27000 win margin...sigh

Owen Gray said...

Frankly, lungta, the Harper Conservatives have such an animus toward government -- any government -- that the break up of Canada would be, for them, of little consequence.

But unless we do "stand up," they will get their way -- and their way is the way of the wrecking ball.

Lorne said...

Hi Owen,

Today we attended Word on the Street in Toronto, a celebration of books and their writers. We saw David Suzuki speaking on the same platform as Jeff Rubin, the economist, and it was heartening to see that there can be a 'meeting of the minds' between environmentalism and economics.

As David Suzuki reminded us, a strong economy is not separate from, but rather an integral part of good environmental practices, and that the economy is there to serve us, not the other way around.

I think it was a sentiment with which Rubin completely agreed.

However, until people are able to see through the tissue of lies and distortions our politicians promulgate as a matter of political expediency, I fear nothing will change.

Owen Gray said...

Last week, my son attended a lecture which Jeff Rubin gave pro bono in Peterborough, Lorne. His message was, I think, the same as the one he and Suzuki delivered in Toronto.

The Harperites live in an Old Testament world. They feel they are surrounded by enemies; and environmentalists fall into that category.

People like Suzuki and Rubin help set the record straight.