These days, Michael Harris writes, the Conservative majority in the Senate is sounding more and more like Donald Trump:
If there is anyone left in the country who still believes that the place of sober second thought is an independent body, last week’s report from the Senate’s Security and Defence committee should open their eyes.
It’s not the Red Chamber. It’s the Echo Chamber, amplifying the central message of the Conservative election campaign: be afraid, be very afraid. It is trash politics in all its cynical glory. It is also unadulterated hogwash.
Taking their lead from the PMO, Conservative senators are doing their bit to scare the hell out of Canadians -- and they've resorted to good old fashioned Canadian racism to do it:
The Conservative majority in the Senate disgracefully singled out the entire Muslim community for a trip to the woodshed. They asked that the Harper government look at the training and certification of imams in Canada. Does that mean rabbis, priests, and ministers must be trained and certified too, or just imams? And why were community leaders also singled out for re-education camp?
And, once again, they have run run headlong into the Charter of Rights and Freedoms:
Since freedom of religion is guaranteed by the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, it is highly unlikely that this idiotic idea will have any better chance of surviving a court challenge than the rest of the Harper government’s myriad attempts to subvert the constitution, should the government be dumb enough to adopt it.
And what about the recommendation that Canada create a “no-visit list” to bar “ideological radicals” from Canada. Can’t have Jane Fonda slipping over the border, right? I must admit there is a certain philosophical symmetry here with Bill C-51, the anti-terror law. After all, it turns homegrown ideological radicals, mainly First Nations people, into terrorists — or at least it can, if CSIS or the government so decrees. So balanced, is it not, to be able to do the same thing to undesirables from away that you can do to your own citizens?
That said, a no-visit list in Harper’s world would probably mean that people like Noam Chomsky would be turned back at the border, while Dick Cheney would be met at the airport with a military band.
Harris is right. It's all hogwash.