Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Living In A Bunker


The Harperites have always lived inside a bunker. During this election, they've fortified the barricades. Lawrence Martin writes:

In the election campaign, the Conservatives have barred their candidates in a great many ridings from participating in all-candidates debates. That’s right. The candidates are censored by the leadership from taking part in the most basic, the most elementary of democratic functions. The Conservatives dispute that this is going on but evidence contradicts their half denials.

You might think Tory candidates with even a pinch of pride would refuse to put up with this. You’d think they’d tell the leadership that this isn’t the Canada they grew up in, that this isn’t Vladimir Putin’s Russia. Instead they kowtow.

They choose not to see or hear. Or to know. Anne Kingston recently wrote in Macleans that this government's attempt to destroy information is unprecedented:

It examines the impact of the killing of the long form census, how hundreds of small towns like Melville, Sask., have been turned into statistical dead zones and ghost towns. They are no longer factored into employment numbers, poverty rates, divorce rates.

But the report is about more than that. It tells of the degradation of knowledge across the board in Stephen Harper’s Ottawa and the threat it poses to a functioning democracy. It’s about how studies on air pollution and toxic chemicals containing unwelcome news have vanished. It tells of how credible information about our history is being supplanted by mythologizing historical narratives. It’s about how our data collection system with its emphasis on voluntary surveys is now skewered so that there is less evidence – how convenient is this for the party in power – of a poverty problem in this country. It reminds us that we’ll never find out if there was really a politically-driven crackdown on charities opposed to government policy. Why? Because the Canada Revenue Agency ordered employees to destroy all text-message records.

This is a government which has chosen to know nothing. And, it has concluded that the less we citizens know, the better. Of course, when you live inside a bunker, you can't see the end when it's coming.


Mogs Moglio said...

There is definitely a method to Harper's madness. Tune everything out facts science statistics and shutter his MP's away from the world of Canadian citizens. Therefore he will only hear the voices in his head that will tell him how to dictate to Canadians.

If he hasn't cleared his head of all of that 'noise' how can he hear his inner tyrant?

Owen Gray said...

Good question, Mogs. Those who serve him do so in silence.

Scotian said...

When I talk about the infrastructure of government being destroyed this is a large part of what I've been going on about for the past decade. This is where we see Harper the Destroyer and Salter of the Scorched Earth in all his terrible glory in action. This is a major part of where his long term damage really will take not just years but decades to recover from, if recovery is at all possible. This was much of why I said he could never be allowed to be PM and most especially never a majority PM, because he had telegraphed this long since if you paid attention to him, which is again why the NDP leadership is on my shit list for their de facto alliance back when stopping him was really possible, and why whenever I hear LibroCon or Lib Tory same old story I go up in flames.

My mother was a trained reference librarian, so perhaps that was part of why I appreciated the dangers of this mindset so early on, I don't know, but it is also why I get a little irked with those "progressives" who seem to think it was all worth it for a Mulcair NDP government to come to being. Whereas I say the price paid in the decades and decades of the money spent, the effort and seat of so many countless thousands and thousands of dedicated professional Canadians from so many walks of life is the clearest proof it was not! This nation has lost far more than it realizes, and this is also why I continue to maintain that as bad as we think the situation is from what we can see I believe it to be akin to the proverbial tip of an iceberg to the full truth.

lungta said...

your vote
will be counted inside some bunker
and at this point
a very blue bunker

Owen Gray said...

I'm sure that's the objective, lungta. Making it happen, though, may be much more difficult than they imagine.

Owen Gray said...

I'm quite sure we've only seen the tip of the iceberg, Scotian. When we see what's under water, we'll be horrified.

Scotian said...

I surpassed horrified a few years ago watching the first year and a bit of the Harper majority. Thee isn't a word I can think of to describe how I expect to feel when the full truth/reality is revealed.

Owen Gray said...

I suspect that -- in the end -- Harper will be reviled as much as Brian Mulroney was reviled, Scotian.

Scotian said...

Oh please, Please PLEASE far more than that!!! Mulroney as PM actually had his good points and was clearly in his own way a Canadian nationalist and did try to govern for more than just his own narrow interests, Harper has none of that. To hope he is reviled as much as Mulroney was does both a disservice and doesn't go far enough for what I feel Harper has earned. Harper has been the anti-Canadian for the super-majority of Canadians to 3/4ths of us, and he has earned the title of Harper the Destroyer and Salter of the Scorched Earth. Being as reviled as Mulroney was at the peak of said revilement is still not enough, not nearly enough for what Harper has wrought upon us all.

Owen Gray said...

I take your point, Scotian, Mulroney was a truly Green prime minister -- who Elizabeth May used to work for. But, when he departed, the epithet "Lyin' Brian" followed him into retirement and he left Kim Campbell with an electoral disaster which he managed to avoid.

Scotian said...


Oh I remember, I am more than old enough, I just missed being a Centennial baby by three weeks, and I recall Mulroney even at his worst having elements I could respect, the Green aspect being one, the anti-apartheid work he did for another. I also could have shot him for inviting the nationalists to be MPs for him and giving us the BQ (which BTW is one of the main concerns I currently have with the NDP at the moment, because I remember when Mulroney did the same thing everyone had assumed the Separatist movement was essentially dead by that point too and it was a good thing to bring the soft nationalists into the federal system, and look what we got for that assumption, the same can happen again and to think otherwise after that example is not wise in my books, and one of the things I was most worried by with Layton and now Mulcair's clear pandering to the soft nationalists in Quebec), something I was trying to warn people was a dangerous risk in 1984 (Harper is not alas my first Cassandra call on a potential/actual PM) with Mulroney.

The thing with Mulroney and corruption more than anything else was his pay to play access to PMO by outside interests, which was clearly a serious problem, and his ability to do the Irish blarney and get away with it as long as he did and even have it admired by some. Compared to the deliberate and total agenda of destruction and intentional bad government and lack of true governing we have seen from Harper and by design, Mulroney comes off not just looking a lot better but not worth speaking of in the same breath, even after the truth of his payoff from Schreiber and his bullshit lawsuit against the Lib government for investigating said payoff is a matter of formal fact/record. That he was able to sucker the first female PM in our history to take the fall for him is another black spot of course, and that he has used that to dodge so much of his responsibility for the disasters he left in his wake, not least the resurgence of Quebecois nationalism and the birth of the BQ and the damage that did to our political health as well as his massive spending issues also weigh heavily against him.

Yet even so...

Harper is so horrific that he should not even have something like a nickname like Lyin' Brian, deceiving Stephen is far too mild to encompass Harper's sins against the nation and we the citizenry. What Harper has done by design and full fell intent is far worse overall than what Mulroney did by either accident or corrupt political purpose/intent, and assuming the nation survives in the long term from what he has done to us I hope and pray it is remembered for exactly what it was, and that it was by full intention to create the disaster we have before us.

Owen Gray said...

My hunch is that history will be kinder to Mulroney than it will be to Harper, Scotian. Mulroney had a feel for the entire country, whereas Harper has always been the premier of Alberta. Moreover, Mulroney understood Canada's role on the international stage. For Harper, what Canada does on the international stage is about winning votes at home.