Wednesday, November 06, 2013

False Populists

Stephen Harper posed as a populist last weekend, claiming that he and Laureen didn't go to Ottawa to join an elite. That line, Lawrence Martin writes, doesn't ring true:

The populist schtick isn’t an easy sell when your government has given far more tax cuts to the corporations than to the little guy; when it’s been manifestly on the side of big oil; when it takes on unions at every turn; when its penchant for muzzling and censorship is legend; when it favours judges ill-disposed to the Charter of Rights and Freedoms; when the Prime Minister’s version of grassroots democracy has been to centralize and expand executive power at a rate heretofore unseen.

To try to escape the hole he has dug for himself, Mr. Harper has returned to his Reform Party roots and appealed to his supporters' essential ignorance. He's convinced that the corruption of his office is of no interest to the base. They simply don't buy Mike Duffy's allegations.

However, there is at least one Conservative who will confirm Duffy's story. Martin writes that former MP Inky Mark had an experience similar to Duffy's:

“They’d call you up and tell you what to do. One time, someone from his war room threatened me. I said, ‘Don’t tell me what to do just ‘cause you got a little office in Ottawa. And tell Stephen Harper the same thing.’ ”

The Senate expenses scandal is no surprise to Mr. Mark, he said, because for the Harper operation, the end justifies the means. In the 2006 campaign, Mr. Mark said, the bullies wanted him to take part in a scheme to allow his campaign to go beyond official campaign spending limits. He refused. The Harper “populists” demanded to vet every single one of Mr. Mark’s press releases, as they did everyone else’s. He said no.

Like Rob Ford -- who drives a Cadillac to work -- Stephen Harper is a servant of the wealthy. Like Charles Foster Kane, both men are false populists.


bcwaterboy said...

You're far too kind Owen, these men are a fraud, orchestrating a monumental scam not unlike a ponzi scheme where the support necessary to win elections remain at the very bottom of the pyramid. Too bad they can't see through it.

Owen Gray said...

The supreme irony, waterboy, is that both men owe their political success to the same kind of fraud which Harper claims his now departed senators were guilty of.

CK said...

It's interesting how since Inky Mark left office, he's been singing like a canary about what goes on in the Harpercon ivory tower. I hope he continues. Unlike Duffy, Wallin or Brazeau who have little to no credibility, Inky Mark does.

Owen Gray said...

Absolutely, CK. There are others, too, who speak with authority. A friend of mine contacted Bill Casey after he was thrown out of Harper's caucus.

Casey told my friend, "You wouldn't believe what goes on behind closed doors."

They are not talking about isolated incidents.

Anonymous said...

I feel a pall of despair falling over this country.

I don't see any other party mounting a fierce enough attack campaign.

Which means if the CON's are to be turfed out, something more miraculous of a political climate nature will have to happen in the next year.

I feel Harper and his minions are here to destroy Canada one brick at a time. I don't think he has built anything.

Owen Gray said...

Both men are self absorbed children, Anon, who hold their breath and turn blue -- pun intended -- until they get their way.

Unless Canadians start acting like parents, the kids are going to have the run of the house.

Anonymous said...

Yes but? Harper is a true Dictator from his Northern Foundation of 1989. Anyone opposing a Dictator, will find themselves, out of a job. Dictators think nothing of, threatening to control their team members.

I can't believe anyone with, self respect, honor, decency, ethics and morals, could ever support a monster, such as Harper.

We went to war so, we wouldn't have Fascism and Dictatorship in our Canada.

Owen Gray said...

Unfortunately, Anon, some people equate leadership with dictatorship.

Anonymous said...

"It can't happen here:
It can't happen here:
I'm telling you my dear
that it can't happen here!"
Frank Zappa

Owen Gray said...

It can happen here, Anon, and it did happen here.

e.a.f. said...

Harper has always and will always be a "reformer", not a conservative. There is nothing conservative about him or his government. They are excessive to the extrmem. Their attempt to play to their populist base, may work. It has worked nicely for the teabagging republicans. How ordinary working people think they have anything in common with people like the Koch brothers is beyond me. The same goes for Canadians who may think they have anything in common with harper and his crew. It would not be correct to refer to them as "elite' because there isn't anything "elite" about them. They are simply tackie people who got lucky at the polls.

If some of those who harper drove over and wrote a book, they could all walk away with a little cash and have some fun and pay harper back.

Owen Gray said...

I suspect payback is coming, e.a.f. Duffy and Wallin are not people who will stay silent.

And you can bet that they will find platforms to air their opinions.