The Harper Party insists that its values are the values of the vast majority of Canadians. But, Linda McQuaig writes, Senator Linda Frum's recent musings reveal just how narrow and inverted Conservative values really are:
Frum’s adamant insistence — at a Senate hearing and later in a series of well-publicized Twitter exchanges — that Elections Canada should not encourage people to vote sounded so out of sync with widely-held democratic principles that it appeared mystifying.
Indeed, it only made sense when you realized she was inadvertently revealing how deeply she and other Harperites mistrust the public at large — and how much they fear entrusting the vote to those beyond the Harper base.
Encouraging the vast horde of Canadians to vote is the last thing they want. Frum’s strange remarks captured the deeply anti-democratic tendencies of the Harper Conservatives.
In truth, the Harperites are snobs. The only people who matter, they say, are people like us. That is the central thrust of the "Fair" Elections Act. And it explains the government's insistence on shutting down dissent:
The Harper team is notorious for muzzling government scientists, cutting funding to groups insufficiently aligned with its agenda and launching an aggressive campaign of tax audits of environmental charities criticizing government policies.
The latest example of the crackdown on dissent comes from revelations that the United Church of Canada finds itself under scrutiny from the CRA:
I heard this from members of Toronto’s Trinity St. Paul’s United Church congregation, including opera singer Mary Lou Fallis, a recipient of the Order of Canada. Fallis says that participants at a recent church event defending public
healthcare were quietly warned not to say anything directly critical of the Harper government due to fears about the audit.
The United Church, with more than 3,000 congregations across the country, has a long tradition of social justice advocacy and taking stands that would annoy the Harper government — such as supporting First Nations in their opposition to the Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline and opposing Israeli occupation of Palestinian lands.
The Harperites are proud of their so called "Christian" roots. But, as always, the only people who count are "Christians like us."