Thursday, October 08, 2015

Politics At Its Most Cynical


Did Stephen Harper make his comments about banning niqabs from the public service because he was drawn off script? David Krayden writes:

First off, there is no room for improvisation in a Stephen Harper script. When cabinet ministers receive their speaking notes from the PMO for a political event, what they get is a tightly-worded succession of talking points loosely linked by references to local dignitaries and the weather. Any digression from the core topic — congratulating the Harper government for its good works — is strictly verboten.

So I really don’t think Harper doubled-down on this topic on a whim. The fact that he said it days earlier, in French and in Quebec, made it a premeditated policy announcement. If Harper were to inadvertently promote an expanded niqab ban in one official language, he would not repeat that mistake in English.

No, Harper's comments were carefully calculated to appeal to the worst instincts of some Quebecers. And, if the polls are to be believed, the gambit has worked -- even though Harper knows that the Supreme Court will, once again, send his porposed legislation into the dumpster.

It's politics at its most cynical. But that really shouldn't surprise anyone.


Kirby Evans said...

It certainly doesn't surprise, but it is infinitely depressing. People has been so quick to lap up Harper's racist agenda that I can honestly say that if i were younger I would leave Canada, settle in a northern European country, and never return.

Owen Gray said...

We all have our darker angels, Kirby. What is tragic is that Harper is really good at calling them forth.

Askingtherightquestions said...

It is the ultimate summation of Harper's ten year reign, Owen. And I would not believe the polling on the niquab, Kirby. The dark, divisive, sociopathic politics of this man are shameful and must be called out. Danny Williams is perhaps the highest profile Canadian to put the whole package together and say it to national media (see his interview with Don Martin on CTV's Power Play). He has lied and obfuscated over so many issues that the public is becoming increasingly wary and his unwillingness to defend his dismal record is being noticed. Unfortunately in the process he is doing harm to respect for many institutions. I suspect that today's latest info about the PMO's interference in Syrian refugee clearance will harm him.

Pamela Mac Neil said...

I really don't believe the poles on this one Owen. It was tried in Quebec and the voters didn't bite. In fact Marois lost badly.As to Harpers new niqab statement, there is nothing that he does or says, that is not pre-planned.

Mogs Moglio said...

What I find interesting in a revolting way I remember when the East Indian/Pakistani immigration to Canada in the 70's happened. The turbans some wore their clothing and food were a source of ridicule and outright hatred for some Canadians. So Harper and his lizard from down under wish to stir up this kind of nonsense. It seems this irrational and baseless hatred can be turned off and on by darker characters behind the curtain whom have more than less ill intent.

I wonder what would happen to Steve and Lynton if they were parachuted behind ISIS lines with only the clothes on their backs and a white flag each?

Owen Gray said...

I hope you're right, Pam. Certainly, Harper is betting that you -- and I -- are wrong.

Owen Gray said...

I hope the news that he delayed acting on the refugee crisis will turn public opinion against him, Asking. By now what drives the man should be pretty obvious.

Owen Gray said...

You can be sure that, despite all their rhetoric, they wouldn't be there, Mogs.

Mogs Moglio said...

Speaking of cynical did you catch this over at the Tyee?

Harper Holds Another Unpublicized, Exclusive Media Conference by Jeremy Nuttall

"After rhetorically asking New Democrat leader Tom Mulcair how one holds a secret meeting with the media during the English debate in Calgary, it appears Stephen Harper did just that today. ..."

Harper says the 'Terrorists' are envious of our democracy, democracy what democracy? We get to vote once every four years and if a majority government gets in poof no democracy and Harper is THE outstanding example of destroying democracy. Here is my favorite line from Jeremy's article:

"When asked why some reporters were allowed into the main event, but not others, a Conservative team member said he was not authorized to answer."

Free speech eh?

Owen Gray said...

"He was not authorized." No one in Harperland does anything unless he or she is authorized, Mogs.