Now that Remembrance Day is over, Thomas Walkom reminds his readers that a day that was set aside to honour the sacrifices of many is now being used by one man to pave his way back into office:
Patriotism is powerful tonic. The wanton killing of W.O. Patrice Vincent and Cpl. Nathan Cirillo reignited the militant side of Canadian patriotism, a side that — following the disaster of the Afghan War — had been in abeyance.
The prime minister understands this well. It explains his decision to abruptly interrupt a long-planned trip to China in order to make a cameo appearance at Ottawa’s Remembrance Day services Tuesday.
To miss the chance of publicly honouring military sacrifice would have been to miss a crucial political opportunity.
Harper will use the murders of two Canadian soldiers to whip up domestic fear of terrorism and to present himself as a "steady hand." He claimed that it was his steady hand that guided the economy. But that line began to ring distinctly hollow. He needs the same line with a different context. Recent events have provided him with that context.
Walkom warns that we could be in for an early election:
His announcement that he will increase the baby bonus is a classic example of bribing voters with their own money. To ensure Canadians understand who is bringing them these cheques, the government is running non-stop ads that trumpet the new goodies.
The effort appears to be working. Over most of the year, Trudeau consistently outpolled Harper in popularity. Yet in the latest Nanos tracking poll, the two were in a statistical tie.
Harper understands that he has to act before his new claim about being a steady hand begins to ring as hollow as his claim to economic clairvoyance. He is a phony economist. -- and a phony warrior.