Sunday, July 05, 2015

There Are Reasons For Harper's Slide


Six months ago, it looked like the prime minister was well on his way to his fourth mandate. The public supported his entry into the war on ISIS. They were scared of the terrorists Mr. Harper said were just outside the gates. And the economy seemed to be doing well. But, Michael Warren writes, things have changed:

Today we are losing that war and public support has dropped dramatically. It’s becoming clear the only way to defeat ISIS militarily is to put allied troops on the ground. But that’s too controversial to contemplate before the election. Chances are the Islamic State will consolidate its territory in Iraq, Syria and Libya and continue terrorizing western countries at will. Over the next few months Canadian voters will be reminded of this grim reality on a regular basis.

Meanwhile, the terrorist attacks on Parliament Hill and in Quebec created a climate of fear, amplified and exploited by the government, which provided the prime minister political permission to re-craft the balance between Canadian freedoms and security by writing tougher anti-terrorism laws. Eighty two per cent of Canadians favoured the idea of such legislation. But support had been cut in half by the time the final Bill C-51 was introduced. It was widely criticized for giving CSIS too much power without sufficient oversight and for encroaching on our freedoms and privacy.

And what of the economy? When the Conservatives met their pledge to balance the budget, and with a $7-billion surplus no less, the government’s economic strength seemed unassailable. Add to that the Tories’ promise to spend the surplus on a slate of populist policies — income-splitting, increased limits on tax free savings accounts, expanded child care benefits — and the Conservative outlook could hardly have been sunnier. But for many voters that’s a distant memory.
Since then the opposition parties have advanced their own proposals for income transfers and child-care schemes that have broad voter appeal. Moreover, Canada’s economy shrunk for the first time in four years in the first quarter. Even Bank of Canada Governor Stephen Poloz described the economy’s first three-month performance as “atrocious.” 

Add to that the revelations which have come out of the Duffy trial and the prime minister starts to look like the Incarnation of Incompetence. There are three months to go before the election. Recent history suggests that a lot can happen in three months. Things can change dramatically. So making predictions about victory are certainly premature.

Just ask Stephen Harper.


Steve said...

People are fed up with the status quo, we know its no good. What happens today in Greece is a harbinger for our future.

Owen Gray said...

Greece is the worst case example of neo-liberalism run amok, Steve. People forget that, after the G-20 summit in 2010, Harper visited Greece and encouraged them to add more austerity to their recipe for the future.

Strange, isn't it, that he now never talks about that visit?

Dana said...

I anticipate some undercover RCMP officers will burn a few barns, blow up a couple of bridges and stage a mock terra attack somewhere in an urban setting in Canada. CSIS will investigate and lay it all at the feet of ISIS or ISIL or maye they'll make up their own organization that no one's ever heard of. The national news media will swiftly fall in line and trumpet the news that Canada is under attack.

Of course it will be several years before it is learned that the state police and the state intelligence service Potemkinned the whole thing and by then the sheep will have their heads so lowered as to not even notice.

Good thing human civilization is coming to an end I say.

Owen Gray said...

I'm cynical enough to believe that these guys will try anything, Dana. But I'm hopeful they're incompetent enough to blow it.

The Mound of Sound said...

I'd be more confident if our opposition leaders presented manifests of all the excesses that Harper has implemented that they would review and, where possible, revise or repeal. That was one of the disappointments with the Obama administration. While he's done a couple of great things, he failed to live up to his promises to reform the democratic abuses of the Bush/Cheney executive branch. It's hard to believe that he hasn't reinstate habeus corpus or
that he's been willing to order drone strikes on American citizens claiming that their constitutional guarantee not to be deprived of liberty or life without due process is met by the president and his aides convening for a chat in his office. It's been a long time since a person could be tried and condemned without hearing the evidence against him and being afforded the right to speak in his own defence.

How do we know that Mulcair or Trudeau won't succumb to the same temptations that took down Obama? In my gut I don't trust Mulcair nor do I trust Trudeau's handlers (puppeteers?).

Owen Gray said...

It's true that, having a precedent, future leaders will be tempted to follow suit, Mound. It's worth remembering that, having used the War Measures Act, Trudeau Sr. left us the Charter.

Mogs Moglio said...

Trudeau Sr. left us the Charter because he felt guilty about giving our hard earned wealth to the bankers as a gift they did not need but it sure made them powerful and in control of Canada. My opinion...

Harper is running scared he can only peddle fear and the lies about Canada's economy that the Bank of America Merrill Lynch say is already "in recession" yet Harper and Joe Oliver continue the fabricated falsehoods...

"Harper has the worst economic record of any P.M. since 1935. Here are national average annual GDP growth rates, over the terms of Prime Ministers, since 1935:

R. B. Bennett, 1930-1935. Average economic growth rate: -2.34 per cent.

William Lyon MacKenzie King, 1935-1948: 6.24 per cent.

Louis St. Laurent, 1948-1957: 5.20 per cent.

John Diefenbaker, 1957-1963: 3.78 per cent.

Lester Pearson, 1963-1968: 5.43 per cent.

Pierre Trudeau, 1968-1979: 4.28 per cent.

Pierre Trudeau, 1980-1984: 2.16 per cent.

Brian Mulroney, 1984-1993: 2.51 per cent.

Jean Chretien, 1993-2003: 3.32 per cent

Paul Martin, 2003-2006: 2.71 per cent.

Stephen Harper, 2006-present: 1.77 per cent.

- See more at:

R.B. Bennett had the misfortune of being PM during 'The Great Depression' brought about courtesy of the monopolistic private gang of banksters known collectively as 'The Federal Reserve' they decided to dry up credit for American businessmen successfully destroying economies around the world and making out like royal bandits in the aftermath Just like the 2008 mortgage fraud the bankers are bigger and richer now and yet they perpetrated the fraud Harper has no excuse...

On a side note it is a tradition for the City of Calgary to offer visiting dignitaries or politicians a 'white' cowboy hat note in the Ottawa Citizen article pictured Tom Mulcair and Justin Trudeau in white hats Harper the lone stand-out in a black stetson ya know the ones the bad guys always wear in movies while the good guys wear white ones. I think this has something to do with his sub-conscious and deep down Harper knows he is the black-hearted evil vampire of Canada as he sucks out Canada's life blood and offers it to foreigners on a golden platter for free.

Harper will leave us with nothing penniless and broke in a once great nation slaves to foreigners who owe us no allegiance and will turn us into refugees. Wake up Canada that is your bleak future if you dare vote Red harper-con again. the Communists were supposed to redistribute the wealth to the poor. Harper redistributes Canada's wealth and resources to the worlds 1% elite and trans/multinational corporations. If elected again he will privatize all government services dis-employ public servants and hold a fire sale for the 1%ers and corporations who will own Healthcare, Natural Resources, Water, Fisheries, Wildlife, Trees, Veterans Affairs, Coast Guard, Off Shore Rights you name it he will sell it to get his precious surplus he will probably even sell Parliament The Harper Government is already bought and paid for.

And the economy is definitively stagnating under Harper's watch I believe is in reality part of his foul dream to destroy Canada.

Owen Gray said...

There's nothing I can add, Mogs.

Steve said...

Both Tom and Justin have promised prop rep which should solve much of our democracy problem

Owen Gray said...

If either of them carry out their promise, Steve, we may never have to face another Harper. Let's hope, however, that they have not been infected by the disease that Harper carries.