Friday, December 07, 2012

In Their Sights

The Harperites are gunning for Justin Trudeau. Michael Harris writes this morning that:

Not only does the Harper government have the magic wand of incumbency, it has the ruthless machinery to destroy its opponents. The political roadkill is everywhere. And the coming assault on Trudeau hangs in the air like an unspent thunderstorm ready to burst.

And, on the other side, Justin's recent pronouncements on the Nexxen deal and the gun registry have made progressives uneasy. But he stands for an old idea -- which, in the Harper era, seems remarkably fresh:

“Our democracy is in trouble. I trust the people to change that. I trust the people to restore the idea that Canada is a better place than it is now. I trust the people to decide if I’m right for this job.

“I would like to see people vote for something rather than against something. I would also like to improve our idea of citizenship — not just obeying the laws and paying taxes, but Canadians getting involved and being the agents of change. I love the country and I trust Canadians to believe in themselves again.

What a concept! Trusting Canadians to believe in themselves again. Stephen Harper has  diminished Canada's democratic institutions. And, operating on the principle that austerity is good for the soul, he has robbed the majority of Canadians of the hope that things will change, replacing it with the grim notion that plutocracy is the way of the world.

Harper -- the anti-Trudeau -- has trashed the idea of the Just Society. Injustice -- in the Middle East -- or in an economy -- where the gap between the rich and the rest of us grows -- is the way of the world. While the banks record huge profits, the economy stagnates.

In the end, the choice is between hope and despair.


Lorne said...

When I awoke this morning, Owen, I was thinking about a line from the most recent Batman film: without hope there can be no despair.

I suspect that part of the motivation for most of us who write blogs from a progressive viewpoint do so, not because we think we can change the world, but to at least let others know that hope is still possible. While that may sound a bit grandiose, I think there is undeniable comfort in reading the thoughts of those who vehemently disagree with the spartan and soulless vision of the Harperites and their ilk.

Something better is within the realm of possibility.

Owen Gray said...

Once upon a time, Lorne, the idea that a nation could be built on the foundations of two of Europe's historic rivalries -- Britain and France -- seemed impossible.

But as Shakespeare wrote in King Lear, "the ripeness is all." Let's hope that the time is ripe for Canadians to choose hope.

Anonymous said...

I think you mean "Site", as in the target of a gun, rather than "sight"

Owen Gray said...

I checked my dictionary, Anon, and it says that the device on a rifle is called a "sight."

kirbycairo said...

Yes indeed a sight is a device on a gun, a site is a location.

Isn't it frustrating when someone "incorrects" you.

Owen Gray said...

It's an easy mistake to make, Kirby. When I taught school I'd get all kinds of misused homnyms -- like Chief Running Bare.

e.a.f. said...

well the kid would certainly be an improvement over Harper. Harper has worked hard to destroy people who oppose him. This time it may not work. This time people may retaliate & start the same thing against Harper. Right now they have a lot to work with. Harper just sold Canada to China.

Owen Gray said...

Which accounts for his statement that Nexen will go through; but in future it won't, e.a.f.

As he did in Saskatchewan, where an Australian company wanted to take over Potash Corp, Harper looked at the seats which were at stake. He knows that the majority of Albertans favour the deal.

Mr, Harper knows nothing about smart policy. But he knows how to corral votes -- even if he has to do it illegally.