Monday, July 06, 2015

The Centre Cannot Hold

                                                        http://www.cbc.ca/

Stephen Harper told us that we wouldn't recognize Canada when he was through with it. These days, there are lots of Conservatives who don't recognize their party. In the wake of the party's rejection of Chess Crosbie's candidacy, Michael Harris writes, John Crosbie has been receiving phone calls:

When former Prime Minister Brian Mulroney calls from Rome to express sympathy and outrage that Ches Crosbie was blocked from running as a Conservative candidate in the 2015 federal election, you know the Conservative Party of Canada has a big problem.

Nor does that problem get any smaller, when former Conservative cabinet minister Jim McGrath calls to add his voice to the political maelstrom triggered by this blunder of epic proportions.

“The party has gone to hell,” he told his former cabinet colleague and fellow Newfoundlander.

And the elder Crosbie doesn't buy the line that the decision was entirely out of the prime minister's hands:

When asked about the prime minister’s hand in this, Crosbie replied, “There is no way that he didn’t know. It’s like the Duffy matter.”

The word is that Harper didn't enjoy the younger Crosbie's skewering of the Cowboy from Etobicoke. But Conservative candidate Kevin O'Brien once claimed that Harper had "no integrity." There is more behind the Crosbie saga:

A far more plausible reason is that Ches Crosbie looks like he would be headed to trial this September on a ground-breaking class action suit representing 1,000 clients in a case involving allegations of physical and sexual abuse at five Indian Residential Schools in Newfoundland and Labrador.

For historical reasons, indigenous people from Newfoundland and Labrador were left out of the compensation package for First Nations, and also from Stephen Harper’s 2008 apology for the Residential Schools. The Harper government denied responsibility for schools that opened before the province joined Confederation in 1949. 

It's one thing to apologize to Canada's First Nations. It's something else again to seek justice for them. Ches Crosbie will do just that. Justice is not in Stephen Harper's DNA. Long time Conservatives understand that.

That's why the Conservative Party is falling apart. The centre cannot hold.

16 comments:

A Kisaragi Colour said...

'Center', not 'centre'. 'Centre' refers to a gathering place such as in 'community centre'. 'Center' refers to the middle of something. Americans only use 'center' while Canadians use both (hopefully in the correct manner).

Anonymous said...

And this is a guy who hung his hat on a war that happened in 1812.
What a hypocrite and how come Canadian didn't know this when he made that famous apology. What a misbegotten media we have.

Owen Gray said...

Remember, Anon, that most of the media is devoted to Harper's economic agenda. They wouldn't bite the hand that fed them advertising dollars.

Owen Gray said...

If you go to Word Web, Kisagari, you'll find this definition: "The choicest or most essential or most vital part of some idea or experience."

I'm using "centre" in that context.

The Mound of Sound said...

It's hard to know how much of Harper's longevity is due to his ability to intimidate and even suppress his own caucus. It's not just votes that are whipped in today's Conservative ranks. I have long wondered whether Harper doesn't have some serious emotional disorder, psychopathy perhaps, that manifests in his rigid control, complete lack of empathy and highly volatile temper.

Owen Gray said...

I'm no psychologist, Mound. But, from where I sit, Harper appears to suffer from some type of personality disorder. And I marvel that he has been able to succeed despite it.

The Mound of Sound said...

Owen, I wish you could sit in on a partners'meeting at any large law firm. There's bound to be one sociopath, if not more, and they're routinely among the most successful even if that's not entirely merit based.

Owen Gray said...

Teachers suffer from the same disease, Mound. Some are careerists who got into education to climb the ladder. Some seek power to fill a void. But they mask their motivation because they possess good people skills.

I marvel at Harper because he has no people skills. They used to be common currency among politicians.

Pamela Mac Neil said...

I feel the same way Owen. Harper has succeeded without people skills. I think though that may be because of his control of almost everything to do with government, his literally governing in secrecy and his complete avoidance of the Canadian majority. Then, I wonder if it is success, particularly in the last 4 yrs, he has had. Instead it may be that he has just not been held accountable by the MSM and the opposition, so the public, because he has been given a pass, has not had much of a chance to see him being scrutinized for his policy incompetency, his lying, his numerous deceptions, his secrecy, and his pursuit of power and his Neoliberal agenda. Who he really is and how he governs is starting to become somewhat public, so Canadians are starting to see what a nasty piece of work he is. I think his lack of people skills works in our favour though. If he was charming and people liked him, more people would vote for him. I think we're just seeing a surface view of Harpers true self. After the election if another party gets in, there will be much more revealed and it will be very ugly.

Owen Gray said...

I agree, Pam. If he's defeated, the skeletons will tumble out of his closet. If he's been able to keep them hidden up to this point, it's because the people who are paid to ask questions for a living haven't been asking them. They've been his allies.

Anonymous said...

Ches Crosbie's law firm represents the people against corporations.

Harper's government represents the corporations against the people.

It would be a clash of cultures from the get-go.

ffd said...

I haven't regarded Harper as a politician for many years now. He is more a budding dictator.

Owen Gray said...

I'd like to think that most Canadians agree with you, ffd. The question we face now is how to send him packing.

Owen Gray said...

It's interesting that a prominent Conservative sees himself as a champion of the people, Anon. What does that say about Harper's claim that he represents Conservative values?

Steve said...

I would love to see and attack add. contempt of parliament, etc etc, Putin No, its Harper

Owen Gray said...

I'm sure someone's working on one, Steve. But it'll be awhile before we see it.