Friday, January 16, 2015

To The Showers


An election is in the offing. And Stephen Harper has come to the plate swinging. But, Michael Harris writes, he already has three strikes against him.

Strike One is his record on the environment:

They have greedily championed oil and gas while doing nothing to protect air and water. Consider the piece of legislation with the Orwellian name — the Navigable Waters Protection Act. NDP house leader Nathan Cullen said it as well as anyone could:

“It means the removal of almost every lake and river we know from the Navigable Waters Protection Act. From one day to the next, we went from 2.5 million protected lakes and rivers in Canada to 159 lakes and rivers protected.”

Harper has done more than favour oil and gas companies. He's done nothing to reign in corporate corruption:

Canada now has more corrupt companies on the World Bank’s blacklist than any other country in the world. A stunning 115 of those companies are comprised of disgraced engineering giant SNC-Lavalin and its subsidiaries — the same company that the Harper government supported with an $800 million loan guarantee to build the dubious Muskrat Falls power development in Newfoundland and Labrador.

Strike Two is his failure to make government accountable to its citizens:

That is, after all, what got him elected in 2006 (that and a little cheating during the campaign). So it was beyond hypocritical this past week for the PM to portray himself as a champion of democracy and free speech after the dreadful killings in Paris. He even politicizes tragedy.

Here is the real man … the one who dedicated his entire communications effort to smothering free speech, who undermined access to information, the life-blood of any democracy, with endless delays in handing over government documents that belong to us. In some cases, his government has simply — and unconstitutionally — refused to fork them over. He has also mused about charging $200 per access request — which would certainly suppress the urge to ask.

Strike Three is that real man is not anything like the people he claims to represent:

Stephen Harper is not who we are.

Canadians don’t want to see medicare slowly reduced to a ghost of its former self by a prime minister who once headed an organization created to destroy it.

Despite the stunning selfishness of some of its stars, Canadians don’t want to see the CBC brought to its knees and “restructured” by a man who prefers public relations to journalism.

Finally, Canadians don’t want to save money on the backs of veterans who didn’t take to the closet in the face of clear and present danger — especially when Harper has so egregiously used the military for political gain. There has to be more for our soldiers than bullets and beans.

He claims that, this time out, he'll put one into the bleachers and cross home plate for the fourth time. If Canadians are wise, they'll send him to the showers.


bcwaterboy said...

If the game is baseball Owen, time is ticking for Justin to come out swinging and hit a home run. A tarnished record and fake persona is for the taking whomever wants to form our next government.

Owen Gray said...

We're into the seventh inning stretch, waterboy, and it's time for Justin to play ball.

Askingtherightquestions said...

It's time for both opposition parties to defeat this rogue, Owen. From the taxpayer funded yet insufferable Economic Action Plan Ads to his tireless attempts to slooowly destroy healthcare (without EVER admitting his intentions), to the blocking of parliamentary information on Afghan detainees, to his lack of duty to care for Canada's environment, to the blatant, mindless partisanship that has reduced government discourse to ad hominems Mr. Harper has been a disgrace. Now that the economy is tanking due to his unbalanced push for oilsands development, I encourage Canadians to watch this him even closer. We still do not know the exact level of damage he has done to achieve his "balanced budget" -just ask the PBO!! Those of us who lived through the Mulroney and Harris regimes cannot believe the mess. What a disaster he has created!

Owen Gray said...

Given the fact that the Harper front bench is populated by Harris alumni, we shouldn't be surprised by the damage he has done, Asking.

But we will be.

lungta said...

so if i got this right
in one dugout there's a blue team
and in the other both orange and red uniforms who will only throw the ball to their own color
i'm not really a betting man
but if that's the game
i'm going to find a bookie

Owen Gray said...

And, remember, Harper insists that he should be able to hit his own pitches, lungta -- even if they're balks.

lungta said...

had to look up balks in regard to baseball owen :)
yes i had expected the game to be rigged anyway as the umpires are all now dressed in blue too

Toby said...

The election is really going to be up to Justin Trudeau. He is going to have to lead. I was just talking to a right wing acquaintance who can't stand Harper. His perception of Harper is much as is often described on your blog, Owen. But, he says there is no substantial difference between the Liberals and Conservatives and that nobody, repeat nobody, will vote NDP. I hear something like this so frequently from so many sources that there has to be something to it.

Will Justin stand up and lead the Liberals or will he do an Adrian Dix and throw it all away?

Owen Gray said...

I agree, Toby. This election is Justin's -- to win or lose. Time will tell which it's going to be.

Scotian said...


Agreed. I think he is smarter waiting until the election is called, or close to when it has to be called, before coming out too strongly. I recall last year, last fall even, hearing how the Trudeau had to come out with big ticket item policies now, well given how the economic equation has changed his reluctance certainly looks prudent/smart now, he unlike Harper and Mulcair, does not have to try to square that particular circle.

I'll admit I find it frustrating and a bit nerve-wracking to see him just waiting for the most part on the policy and platform side of things, yet at the same time I can see the logic. It is though a bit of a gamble, yet it also denies both his political foes a solid target to aim for, which makes their own attacks less potent and may possibly set them up for some powerful counter-punching attacks once the Libs do establish their platform. I'm not saying I know that is their plan, I am saying that I can see it as one reason why we are seeing this approach.

The one thing I am not willing to believe is that Trudeau doesn't have a strategy that he is already playing to, nor that he doesn't have at least a rough outline of a platform he plans to present, he has shown by how he ran for leader and how he has governed his party since becoming leader too much ability for me to accept that. It is Trudeaus to win or lose, although lets not let Mulcair off the hook either here, the more he does Harpers dirty work for him the more Trudeau is fighting a two front war, but I am hoping that the more Mulcair tries this approach that Layton used in 2011 the more it will backfire because now we have seen what a Harper majority looks like, and most of all Justin Trudeau is no Michael Ignatief in any respect, and the major success of Layton in 2011 was at least as much because of how bad Ignatief was as a Lib leader as it was for his own virtues (of which he had many, I'm just saying that it was the combination of the two that got the NDP Official
Opposition status, not just Layton and his team on their own). Not to mention the implosion of the BQ with the soft nationalist vote having nowhere else to go in Quebec.

Personally, I thought the NDP made a major mistake when they went with Mulcair for leader, I thought they would have been much better served with Cullen as leader, and Cullen would have been a much better NDP foil for Justin Trudeau than Mulcair is. Mulcair comes of like yet another lawyer turned politician who has been playing "the game" for so long it is what he is. Cullen came off much more dynamic, real, and not a typical/traditional politician, the same traits that have been serving Trudeau so well in his speaking tours across the country and in his media presence. One of the strength of Justin Trudeau is that he does not feel like a typical politician/leader, and that has a powerful lure. Harper and Mulcair both do, and at this point neither of them appear to inspire hope and creativity beyond their own core base, while Justin Trudeau clearly does. I believe Cullen could have done this for the NDP and would have ended up being a much better foil for the NDP in this election, but they went the way they did leaving that ground alone for Trudeau, and it is going to be interesting to see how much that ground makes the difference in the final outcome.

mogs moglio said...

Owen & BC water I think strike three the would be warrior Prime Minister now "hide in the closet queen" will be his undoing.

You cannot be a fierce champion warrior against terrorism jihadists and turn around and hide in the broom closet at the first sound of terror.

He is the "chickenshit Prime Minister"

Owen Gray said...

He plays two kinds of game, Mogs -- home and away. When he's away he talks freedom of speech.

But when he's at home, he muzzles public servants.

mogs moglio said...

Public servants just about everybody look he instructed his cons in the 2011 election not to partake in public meetings town hall debate or meet directly with the electorate. How is that for muzzling freedom?

Next session if he gets back in through the back door he will outlaw blogs like this he is a scary persona. He let's Michael Sona rot in prison for something he is responsible for and Mike could never have pulled off. Disgusting...

Owen Gray said...

Free Speech is fine for others, Mogs. But not for us.

Steve said...

The good news and the bad news. First all media except the Toronto Star are pro Harper.

The good news is no one reads or watches their trash anymore.

Owen Gray said...

Let's hope that's true, Steve. I get the uneasy feeling, however, that a significant portion of Harper's base doesn't read.