Remember when Stockwell Day used to lead the cabal which today passes for the Conservative Party of Canada? Those were the days when Day insisted that the St. Lawrence River flowed into Lake Ontario, not the Gulf of St. Lawrence.
Well, the party has returned to the days of yore. The prime minister and his acolytes have returned to their bedrock base and are spouting all kinds of idiocy. Michael Harris writes:
Conservative MP John Willamson offered his insights on the competition between “whities” and “brown people” for jobs. Not to be outdone, his caucus colleague Larry Miller invited people who insist on wearing the niqab to “stay the hell where you came from” (presumably he wasn’t talking about Scarborough).
And Stephen Harper is promoting the idea that those who believe they are too far away from a police station should buy their own guns for their own protection -- except, he says, that's not what he meant:
So, yeah, a campaigning prime minister gave the green light to vigilantes — much the way he did to Islamophobes, anti-First Nations bigots and anyone who hates environmentalists. Former Ontario attorney general Mike Bryant said Harper’s words were a direct invitation to commit illegal acts.
“It’s vigilantism,” said Bryant. “People are going to find themselves facing the criminal justice system and being charged with serious crimes if they decide to follow what the prime minister is suggesting.”
Ah, but this is Harperland, where the words mean what the man says they mean. The PM insisted it was “patently ridiculous” to interpret his words as an incitement to vigilante acts. Why? Because all he was trying to do was show that the Conservative Party of Canada was pro-gun owner, while the other parties are clearly anti-. The words themselves meant nothing; the sentiment was everything. As usual, most of the press corps assumed the supine position.
You have to ask yourself, who would buy this kind of idiocy? If the polls are to be believed, there are lots of idiots to be had for the taking. The strategy is transparent:
Harper has simply made the calculation that if the way to give a chameleon a nervous breakdown is to put him down on plaid, the way to win an election in our disappearing democracy is to offer Canadians only two flavours — vanilla or chocolate.
That means hitting the hot buttons, over and over. Before oil prices tanked, greed was the button of choice. Now it’s fear. It makes things starkly simple — black and white, good and evil.
As simple as War is Peace, Freedom is Slavery … and Ignorance is Strength.