Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Man of the People?

The Harper campaign has been working from Karl Rove's playbook. It micro targets voters and it carefully screens the people who show up at Harper rallies. The Chronicle Herald has published a story which may prove apocalyptic:

A Dartmouth volunteer who helps homeless veterans was turned away from a Stephen Harper election rally last week and the man calls it a slap in the face to those who have been injured in service of their country.

Jim Lowther of the Veterans Emergency Transition Team said he is apolitical but will stand with anyone who promises to help the people he helps: former Canadian Forces members who find themselves living on the street, often as a result of psychological disorders caused by their service.

Lowther has been trying to set up a meeting with Harper to seek help for veterans but has been rebuffed.

On Thursday, he and fellow veterans advocate Gary Zwicker went to the Halterm container pier on the Halifax waterfront hoping to get a few minutes with Harper, or at least to watch his speech. But a Conservative staffer in a suit and tie denied them entry at the gate.

"We said we were veterans and we wanted to listen to what he had to say," Lowther said. "And we were turned away."

Whether it's putting a fence between reporters and the Prime Minister, refusing to take their questions, or handing out future tax cuts to carefully defined voters, the Harper campaign is all about keeping the Prime Minister away from the people. For, you see, the people are the problem.

Mr. Harper is notorious for his lack of people skills."People skills?" Deb Gray, the first Reform MP sniffed. "He was more fond of policy. Constituency work seemed like a grind to him." The man who claims that Michael Ignatieff wants to be Prime Minister "for himself" doesn't like people. What is his reason for running? Is it to get even? Is it to destroy his opponents? Is it to prove that the nerdy kid from Toronto is really an Alberta cowboy?

Richard Nixon didn't like people, either. He worked hard to keep them at a distance. And he didn't trust them at all. A word to the wise.


thwap said...

I simply cannot grasp how morally barren one must be to simultaneously wrap oneself in the flag and bray out weeping testimonies to the glories of militarism, while at the same time treating the precious "troops" like garbage.

How do they rationalize their hypocrisy?

Owen Gray said...

Your comment hits the bullseye thwap.

It's easy to rationalize hypocrisy when you possess a brain but lack a conscience.

Zero said...

thap,ever since the inception of standing armies, governments have called soldiers "heros" during war time, only to short change them later when they're of no further use. History - especially Canadian history - is rife with such examples. In "treating the precious `troops' like garbage", as you wrote, the Harper Government is not acting much differently than any other government has acted in the past,is acting now, or will act in the future.

However, the way in which these veterans were turned away is strikingly different from the way it's usually done - bureaucratically, out of sight, so that no one person or group can be blamed for their rotten treatment.

Before he was elected Prime Minister, Mr.Harper promised he'd be transparent. After five years of secrecy, he's finally honouring that promise. What courage! What arrogance!

Anonymous said...

Sounds like more evidence for Elizabeth May's thesis that Harper isn't trying to gain new voters at all.

I wonder if we'll set a record for democratically-elected-majority-government-representing-the-smallest-minority of-the-vote.


Owen Gray said...

There was a time we institutionalized those who were permanently wounded. Now they sit on the sidewalk, panhandling.

You're right, Zero.It was wrong to ignore them in the past, just as it is wrong to ignore them today.

Supporting the troops is about alot more than buying expensive military hardware.

Owen Gray said...

Mr. Harper's politics are entirely cynical.

Canadians have never have given him a mandate. He is Prime Minister by default. And he knows it.

This is his last shot at the prize. He's pulling out all the stops and manufacturing whatever facts he needs to achieve his goal.

ChrisJ said...

Cowboys and kittens - just like any other movie (fiction not documentary!)studio, Harper's campaign has costuming and props. At least Ronald Reagan was a real actor; Harper can't even do that at all well.

You might get a chuckle out of the kitten picture at


Owen Gray said...

Terrific picture, Chris.

Any successful politician has to be a good actor.What is astounding is that such an awkward, cold and suspicious man has been as successful as he has.