On Monday 19 October, a week after Thanksgiving, we will elect the 42 Parliament of Canada since 1867. On Twitter #elxn42 (election 42) is the hashtag used.
Canadians are encouraged to vote this Thanksgiving weekend, voting by anticipation this time is seen as a good thing and it is to prevent a repeat of the last Election in 2011 when 40% of eligible voters or 9 million people chose not to vote.
This is one of the longest campaigns ever, Prime Minister Harper chose to call this election early, we are currently at day 64 of a campaign dominate by consultants imported from the USA and Australia. All work for the Reform Alliance called the Conservative Party of Canada (CPC), all have strong connections to FOX News, Tea Party, Koch Brothers, GOP, and other extreme right wing groups, like the KKK, Neo-Nazis and Evangelicals.
Harper has decided that since he does not want to talk about the current Recession in Canada, the unemployment figures, the low dollar at 0.71 cents, failing infrastructure, how he has failed the poor, the elderly, Veterans, and how his foreign policy has had disastrous consequences, his non-existent environmental agenda, his belittling the black guy in the White House, his constant lecturing other World leaders, his chronic underfunding of the Health System by 36 billion dollars as of 2016 and the list goes on.
Harper has picked a piece of cloth to attack a small minority in Canada. The Niqab that piece of cloth covering the face of some Muslim women has become the rallying cry of bigots and racists in Canada. Make people fearful of the ”other” is the campaign strategy of Harper. What is shocking is the number of intolerant and hateful people we actually have in this country. Just look at Twitter or Facebook to see people being proud of exposing their hateful views, their ignorance and xenophobia for all to see and turning that into a badge of honour and patriotism.
Unfortunately the Media in general has been too happy to beat the drum and spin the stories of Muslim women being attacked on the streets, the Harper base cheers. Some Conservative Candidates have said in public ”well they deserved it” PM Harper himself continues his campaign of hateful speeches without nuance and certainly he knows that by promoting mediocrity, the lowest common denominator, he can but win votes. How many Muslims do we have in Canada, they are 1% of the population, a very small group indeed. Harper has labelled them enemies of Israel, terrorists all, Islamicists, so they are fair game. On Twitter and Facebook many talk of an invasion, they must be stopped, what is being advocated to stop them is extreme. Reason and balanced views are not welcome in any such chat lines.
There are lots of extremely naive and poorly educated Canadians out there. People can be excused for not understanding complex economic formulas and monetary issues or even issues on foreign policy if you do not have a background in this field. But on a matter of morality and having the moral courage to stand up to bullies like Harper and pointing out that what he is advocating are not policies that a person wanting to be the Prime Minister should ever consider or even be proud of. This is where a lot of Canadians are moral cowards. As one commentator on Twitter point out ”I am only stating my opinion so I cannot be a racist”.
Harper has made it quite clear that he despises minority, just look at his campaign speeches, any one of them. He firmly believes that the majority can oppress and dictate to a minority, any one who is not White and Christian is an inferior being.
The Canadian Constitution and the Canadian Charter of Rights protect us from Harper’s abuses and the Courts have pointed out to him time and again that he is quite wrong in his biased interpretation of the Law. He has wasted some $750 million dollars on such challenges in Court. There have been close to 20 judgements so far in the last 2 years against bills he forced through Parliament, all struck down, one by one. He hates the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court and has openly criticized her. Again Harper publicly rejects the idea that the Judiciary is a Pillar of our Government. It serves him well to do so, there are about 35% of the population who cheer him up loudly for doing so, mostly men and women with less than 12 years of education who are in the Middle to lower Middle Class.
We are in a deep morass in Canada right now. It is impossible to have any kind of intelligent conversation or debate with arguments and facts. Canada is certainly not the same country it was just 10 years ago. It has become a place of nasty, unpleasant people, bigots and xenophobes. We can only hope that October 19 will bring change.
The election is so close at the moment with only 12 days to go it looks like we will have a minority government. A coalition of the Liberals and the NDP would save us from Harper. I can’t wait for the suspense to end. I may just go and vote on Friday at least I will feel I have done my bit.