Yesterday, in British Columbia, Stephen Harper warned that the world is beset by Islamists:
Harper drew the connection between the Paris attack and what he described as the "international jihadist movement," including the Islamic State, also known as ISIL.
"They have declared war on anybody who does not think and act exactly as they wish they would think and act," said Harper.
"They have declared war and are already executing it on a massive scale on a whole range of countries with which they are in contact, and they have declared war on any country, like ourselves, that values freedom, openness and tolerance. We may not like this and wish it would go away, but it is not going to go away."
Never mind that Harper's description of jihadists sounded remarkably like his own acolytes. Statistics Canada reported that same day that there was no growth in the Canadian economy in December. The master economist has clearly failed in his economic crusade. So, with an election looming, he needs another kind of crusade. And a crusade against terrorism fits the bill. Michael Harris warns:
When Parliament returns, Stephen Harper will be bringing forward new anti-terror legislation. Fear is Harper’s most powerful vote magnet; security is fear’s most reliable handmaiden.
The new legislation will be a loyalty test administered by Harper on Thomas Mulcair and Justin Trudeau — and on all of us, really. Are we tough or soft on terrorism?
Harper will follow the lead of the Far Right in Europe:
Just consider how the Far Right has pounced on this sickening crime to advance their political agenda. In France, Marine LePen of the Front National party has used the massacre at Charlie Hebdo to declare war on Islamism — without having the facts. That’s not a small consideration when you remember that France has five million Muslim citizens.
In Great Britain, the leader of the UK Independence Party, Nigel Farage, has jumped from these wanton murders to pronouncing a fatwa of his own against multiculturalism — as if putting an end to cultural tolerance would be good for being British.
We still don't have the facts about the attacks in Quebec and on Parliament Hill. But facts have never mattered to Harper. What matters is that there is an election to win and the line about "a steady hand on the economic tiller" won't work any more.
That is why Harper wants you to be afraid -- very afraid.