In last Sunday's New York Times, Paul Krugman tried to answer the question, "Why do conservatives hate good government?" His answer was pretty convincing:
Well, the political scientist Corey Robin argues that most self-proclaimed conservatives are actually reactionaries. That is, they’re defenders of traditional hierarchy — the kind of hierarchy that is threatened by any expansion of government, even (or perhaps especially) when that expansion makes the lives of ordinary citizens better and more secure. I’m partial to that story, partly because it helps explain why climate science and health economics inspire so much rage.
What they seek to establish is a rigid, class society -- where everyone knows his or her place. In today's Toronto Star, Carol Goar argues that Stephen Harper is well on his way to establishing such a society, where movement between the classes is non-existent. A poll from Pollara suggests that:
A substantial chunk of the adult population — 45 per cent — is trapped below the middle class. They think they’re stuck there for life, no matter how hard they work.
“The key finding (of the poll) is that Canadians have very low confidence in their social mobility.They don’t think they can move up.”
Consider some of the poll's other numbers:
Half of Canadians (49 per cent) said they were worse off financially than their parents.
More than half (55 per cent) were pessimistic about the employment outlook for their adult children.
Eight out of 10 working Canadians said their salaries were not keeping pace with the cost of living.
More than three-quarters (79 per cent) were worried about being able to afford health care as they aged.
A sizeable majority (85 per cent) agreed that “income inequality is no longer about the gap between rich and poor; but between the very rich and everyone else.”
As Reformers, the Harperites sold themselves as the champions of the little man. But once in power, they became the little man's worst enemy. With everything they have touched, the Harperites have produced the opposite of what they promised.
Either they didn't know what they were doing. Or they lied.