Haroon Siddiqui, in this morning's Toronto Star, points to the similarities between Stephen Harper and Mitt Romney -- who was rejected by 51% of American voters last week. Harper was rejected by 60% of Canadian voters, but he won the election:
That’s our parliamentary democracy. Still, it’s useful to remind ourselves of his policies that are not in sync with majority Canadian opinion but mesh with those of Romney and the Republicans.
He and they advocate smaller government and lower taxes, deficits and debts. But they believe in pork barrelling, milking government dry for their favoured projects. They also spend big on the military. That leads to bigger deficits and debts, as under George W. Bush and Harper (forcing the prime minister to now start cutting back on defence).
The Harper Conservatives and Romney Republicans don’t like gun controls or environmental regulations. They are oblivious to growing inequality. They treat adversaries as enemies — if you’re not with Harper, you are to be demonized, ideally destroyed.
Harper's ascendancy with 40% support is depressing, but not new. Those are the rules of the game. However, if there is a lesson to be learned from Obama's victory, it is that elections are still won on the ground. That comes down to knowing where the votes are and getting them to the polls.
That takes work. And the work starts today.