Heather Mallick writes, in today's Toronto Star, that the essence of the Harper government is personal cruelty:
I object to the Harper government for many reasons (harperwatch.wordpress.com provides a good listing service): damage to water, earth and sky via the tarsands, love of pipelines, no census, mandatory jail sentencing, service shrinkage, rubber-stamp Senate appointments, no harm reduction for drug users, the push for salesmanship over foreign aid, turning the Immigration Minister into judge and jury for deportations, silencing of scientists, rail safety deregulation, demonization of public servants, effective banning of strikes, contempt for women’s rights, proroguing of Parliament, voter suppression, plans for socially divisive income-splitting, and many more issues.
But I wouldn’t object to the above on principle if they were arrived at democratically, without abusing the absolute power given to the winner in our bizarre political system, without disrespecting the courts, without giving one the feeling that one no longer lives in an organized society based on the rule of law.
Harper gets his way by bullying individuals, generally the weakest ones.
Yesterday's budget was yet another illustration of the Harperian practise of preying on the weakest. The budget will be balanced, but the cost will be counted in human lives. I note, for instance, that youth unemployment is at 14% -- twice the national average. And what does Mr. Flaherty offer? Loose change for apprenticeships.
But probably the best definition is this. The hallmark of Harper conservatives is that they take everything personally. They don’t just oppose Liberals, they hate Justin Trudeau. They don’t just oppose some Muslim fundraising, they hate that benighted teenager Omar Khadr.
Governments should be generalists, asking, “What is good for the nation?” Harperites are vengeful, asking, “Whom shall we make suffer?”
Or, as Orwell put it, "If you want to imagine the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face -- forever."