Tomorrow, we're told, the Harper government will introduce its new anti-terror legislation. Recent events have proved to be the undoing of the Harperian economy. So a diversion is in order. If they won't vote on your economic record, perhaps they'll vote for you out of fear. And if they do that, Clive Doucet and Joe Ingram write, the terrorists will have won:
The terrorists understand the power of the front page and are using it with apparent success – forcing their anger, rejection and violence to the top of the news, week after week, month after month. They want to provoke a “clash of civilizations.”
And Mr. Harper and his supporters appear to be walking right into their trap.
While no one disputes the need to deal effectively with terrorism and its causes, how we do so and the public resources we spend on them need to be proportional to their real importance for Canadians and for the world at large. The term “war on terror” was coined during the George W. Bush administration; his Presidency is long gone, his “mission accomplished” in Iraq. And terrorist actions have been multiplying ever since.
The "war on terror" response has only made things worse. But it focuses voters on the enemy without -- not the enemy within. And then enemy within is focused on destroying the state at home:
The glaring weakness of Mr. Harper’s decade of oil-first economic policies has been vividly exposed. Despite the warnings of some of the globe’s leading economists about the perils of the so-called “resource curse” (ie. an excessive reliance on a single commodity) the Harper government has failed to strategically diversify the structure of Canada’s economy. It has been as if we are blind to the longer term trends and to the particular threat reliance on fossil fuels has for the planet and to our economy. It’s only taken a few months for Alberta’s robust extraction economy to collapse and suddenly a national ‘balanced’ budget – even after years of unprecedented cuts to all public services – is receding into the distance.
Democracies depend on coherent, sustained and remembered public debate around complex issues such as – is there an alternative to oil? What is the best science telling us about climate change? And how can we best react to it? The Germans, for example, have just moved their economy into being powered 50 per cent by non-fossil fuels.
Last we checked, Germany had the strongest economy in Europe and they have no domestically produced oil. And the Danes are not far behind.
But the last thing the Harperites want is a debate about the wisdom of transforming Canada into an energy super power. So cue the alarm bells. Scare the hell out of them. And, when they cower in abject fear, you can get away with anything.