Things are not going as planned. The two big timbers in Stephen Harper's election platform -- the economy and national security -- are rotten.
The economy is nothing to crow about. Michael Harris writes:
Joe Oliver appears to have stayed out in the sun too long. It is not a recession, Oliver said, but an opportunity for the government’s Economic Action Plan, the undead of Harper policy, to come to the rescue. The Flat Earth Society are rationalists from the Enlightenment compared to the voodoo coming out of Ottawa these days on the economy. The masters of the economic universe sound more like ex-Pravda editors trying to bury the truth in low-grade propaganda — just like they did when they taxed income trusts into oblivion and denied the 2008 recession. As the chief economist of the Conference Board of Canada observed as he lowered the expected growth rate of the economy from 2.2 to 1.5 percent, it will be “another weak growth year for Canada.”
And Harper's claim that there are jihadists at the gate has proved to be as bogus as his claim that he is the best steward of the economy:
Neither Canada, the United States, nor the world for that matter are awash in terrorists. Forget the chorus of terror stories on the tube, ranging from raging beheaders to sewing needles in PEI potatoes. And disregard Harper’s claim that there have already been ISIL attacks in Canada.
Global terrorism isn’t ‘particularly global’ as Philip Giraldi put it in the American Conservative. According to the State Department’s annual “Country Reports on Terrorism 2014″, 80 percent of all fatal terrorist attacks were restricted to five countries: Iraq, Pakistan, Nigeria, Afghanistan, and Syria. War zones all, or places where large parts of the country are not under government control.
As for North America, the threat is “miniscule.” The 389-page document reports that although twenty-four Americans died in terrorist incidents in 2014, seventeen of those deaths occurred in war zones abroad, none in the United States. As for the terrorist threat to North America, since 9/11, there have only been seven incidents laid at the feet of jihadi-style terrorists, resulting in 26 deaths.
Meanwhile, Harper's performance on the international stage hasn't gone unnoticed:
How much lower can the prime minister drag our international reputation? Lectures from the governor of California about Canada’s doltish policy on climate change; lectures from the UN on permitting potential human rights violations by Canadian mining companies operating abroad; and serious scrutiny by the UN over the allegation that Harper has used the Canada Revenue Agency to attack charitable organizations that aren’t into partisan butt-kissing.
And, of course, there is the soon to resume Duffy trial. With so many things not going his way, will he prorogue the election?