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Hating Stephen Harper

“… there are a lot of bleeding hearts around who just don’t like to see people with helmets and guns. All I can say is, go on and bleed, but it is more important to keep law and order in this society than to be worried about weak-kneed people …”

Whoa! That’s pretty strong stuff and sounds like just the kind of thing Stephen Harper or most redneck conservatives might say and believe doesn’t it?

Stephen Harper and his Conservative government are on the record as being strong law and order types who have dramatically shifted the focus away from only crime prevention to tougher enforcement and stiffer penalties for criminals. They have little patience with those who are soft on crime and criminals and have made no bones about it.

But then, what can you expect from a government that is little more than a dictatorship. I was reminded again about how dictatorial Stephen Harper is when I read this comment left by a reader of an article on a news media website.

“I’m talking about the arrogant, dictatorship style of the Harper government – pandering to corporate interests while dismantling environmental protection by pushing through omnibus bills C-38, C-45 etc… I suggest you educate yourself about what is happening to Canada”

This comment was made by a Liberal supporter in response to criticism of yesterday’s Liberal Leadership whatever it was. It wasn’t a debate so I don’t know what to call it. I’ve never seen anything quite like it before – for a political debate it was somewhat unique to put it politely.

The commenter is clearly angry but what it also reveals is that she isn’t very well informed about the issues.

She’s not all that well-informed about the history of her own party either, for that matter.

The opening quote at the top of the page wasn’t made by some ultra-conservative fascist, it was made by former Liberal Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau just three days before he invoked the War Measures Act. He put Canada under martial law,  putting armed military troops in the streets of major Canadian cities. He suspended the civil liberties and fundamental rights of hundreds of Canadians who were arrested in their homes without warrant or proper charge and without access to legal representation.

For some reason, Liberals like Paul Martin, seemed to have forgotten that when they ran an ad accusing Stephen Harper of wanting to do what a former Liberal Prime Minster had already done. 

To be honest, that’s pretty much the closest I’ve ever come to living under what I believe a dictatorship might be like although having no other experience, I’m not a hundred percent sure it is what living under a dictatorship would be like. But I am sure of one thing, it’s a hell of a lot closer to it than anything the current government has done or even considered.

Progressives hate Stephen Harper and it’s both personal and visceral.

They talk about his controlling leadership style but quite frankly it isn’t all that different from former Liberal Prime Minister Jean Chretien’s. Liberals condemn Stephen Harper’s policies, including the ones they supported in Parliament and never quite seem willing to face the contradiction between what they said they were going to do and what they didn’t do when they were in power.

I sometimes think what they really hate about Stephen Harper is that he tends to do what he said he was going to do. Not always, I grant you. He’sdone some things that I didn’t like but he tends to keep his election promises and I can understand how that would provide a bit of discomfort to a political party that would prefer not to be reminded that they don’t usually keep theirs.

Stephen Harper restored the cuts in funding to provincial healthcare funding made by the Liberals and provided long-term guaranteed annual increases to that funding to provide provinces the opportunity for better planning. He apologized on behalf of Canadians for the disgrace of the aboriginal residential schools, introduced a motion in Parliament that recognized Quebec as a nation within a nation and which was passed by an overwhelming majority representing  all parties, including those that hate him.

It must have really stuck in their craw to have to acknowledge publicly that he was doing something rather decent.

None of that was addressed by Liberal administrations that were too busy with their grand schemes and photo ops which included the now defunct Kyoto Accord – an environmental agreement they signed but never implemented.

Nothing shows your commitment to protecting the environment more than shelving the very program you negotiated with other nations but then ignored once the photographers had left the building.

Unlike former Liberals like Paul Martin, Stephen Harper has stubbornly refused to meddle in those areas that are constitutionally the jurisdiction of the provinces no matter how often he is criticized for it and is a stickler for the division of powers as set out under Canada’s constitution – the bastard!

Yes. he prorogued Parliament and not once but twice but so have the Liberals both federally and provincially and while I personally don’t like it when any government prorogues the legislature for their own convenience, it is constitutional and it is legal. Liberals didn’t whine about it when some of their own did it – they gave up the right to whine about it when others do it.

As Prime Minister, Stephen Harper has often been criticized for lacking a grand vision and taking a pedantic one-step at a time approach to things.

“We must keep on trying to solve problems, one by one, stage by stage, if not on the basis of confidence and cooperation, at least on that of mutual toleration and self-interest.”

Progressives are highly critical of that approach, preferring the grand vision. Unfortunately as can be seen from the previous quote, the late Lester Pearson, a former Liberal Prime Minister and winner of the Nobel Peace prize tended to agree more with the Harper approach than that of his Liberal colleagues.

Recently, outgoing Ontario Liberal Premier Dalton McGuinty said in his farewell address, “We got the big things right.” What big things would those be I wondered at the time?

His much vaunted Green Energy Act has locked the province into contracts for wind and solar power at eight to ten times the current cost of other forms of energy. Environmentalists are increasingly concerned about the incursion on farmland and the slaughter of birds by windmills and the province now pays millions to other jurisdictions to take surplus power off its hands.

Taxpayers are losing millions on both sides of that brilliant bit of policy.

He drove the economy into the ditch, turning Canada’s economic engine into a have-not province. He was the premier who doubled the debt and increased the deficit four-fold and then cut and ran to leave taxpayers to pay for it.

It seems to me that isn’t quite  getting the big things right but his successor is now on the record as saying she is going to build on the McGuinty legacy. God love her for her misguided enthusiasm and God help the poor folks in Ontario. The Liberals aren’t quite through with them yet.

In British Columbia, the Liberals simply dispensed with the inconvenience of democracy by refusing to recall the legislature for the past ten months.

I compare that ‘non-dictatorial, visionary” approach to governing to the governance we’ve had for the past few years under Stephen Harper and quite frankly, scratch my head in confusion.

The Liberals raised taxes, Harper reduced them. The Liberals slashed healthcare transfers, Harper restored them. The Liberals sent our troops to Afghanistan ill-equipped, Harper restored funding to provide them what they needed in a war zone and eventually got them out of the combat role. The Liberals ignore the legislature – Harper stands and takes his hits from the opposition parties.

Under Stephen Harper, Canada is now ranked as being one of the most economically stable countries in the the G-20.

Under those circumstances, I’ve come to the conclusion that most progressives generally and Liberals specifically have lost the ability to think rationally. How else to reconcile the contradictions between what they want to believe and the factual record?

But if you required further proof, you only needed to tune into yesterday’s Leadership Chat in Manitoba. It was a, less than riveting, presentation of the grand vision Liberals accuse Stephen Harper of lacking. There was some general talk about policy but they were much more specific on the important issues like vacuuming and making Kraft Dinner.

“There is nothing more satisfying than sucking up a dust buffalo with a vacuum cleaner,”

Marc Garneau revealed. I don’t mind admitting that I would have hoped he would have found nothing more satisfying than serving Canada but then, we didn’t offer him a new Dyson. He went on to tell us he doesn’t like dusting although with his new Swiffer dust mitt he likes it better than he did.

Instead of real specifics, we heard words like ‘engage’, ‘focus’ and ‘consult’. Liberals are big on engaging Canadians to get a focus on things after having consulted with everyone. Anyone remember former Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff’s cross-Canada summer tour to ‘engage’ Canadians or his famous weekend of great thinkers? For that matter, does anyone including Liberals, remember Michael Ignatieff?

“To me, it’s all about stopping the violence,”

George. Takach said this  in a kick-ass conservative kind of statement which wasn’t all that compatible with Martha Hall Finlay’s belief in focusing on crime prevention rather than a balanced approach between prevention and enforcement but everyone was too polite to mention it to him.

Instead the candidates continued to hammer the Conservatives for their tough on crime stand which make me wonder how Mr. Takach intends to stop the violence. Perhaps he intends to ‘engage’ and ‘consult’ with those who are committing it.

Justin Trudeau magnanimously told the audience that Liberals were the party that “trusted Canadians”. I appreciate that but quite frankly, I thought it was the party’s obligation to earn the trust of Canadians rather than to look down from the mountain top and bestow trust on the great unwashed.

With that famous  twinkle in his eye, he went on to tell us that he wanted to put excitement back into politics which is all very well and good if you’re a politician I suppose. It must be dreadfully boring going to Question Period every day waiting for your turn to make an ass of yourself by calling a cabinet minister “a piece of sh*t.” But to be honest, I don’t think excitement is quite what Canadians are looking for from their politicians. Integrity, professionalism, reasoned policies and perhaps just a bit more purpose to exist than constantly whining about Stephen Harper are some of the things that come to mind.

So does policy and programs that actually get results rather than just grand words that are quickly forgotten.

But if it was the thing we wanted, yesterday’s Liberal performance was hardly a demonstration of anything even closely resembling excitement;  Justin Trudeau’s dreamy smile and heartfelt performance as a beautiful man of the people notwithstanding.

Surely to God, at least one of these people has a reason for living beyond Swiffer dusters and hating the current Prime Minister but apparently not. It appears that he has given most progressives a reason to cling to life. Having watched their economic, environmental and other program accomplish very little, hating Stephen Harper gives them something on which to focus beyond their own failures.

As I struggled to watch this drone-fest and time slowed down to a point where it all but stopped, I thought of all those great leaders who have come and gone in recent history and the challenges they faced and their approach to nation building.

I remembered people like Benjamin Disraeli, Winston Churchill, Sir John A. Macdonald, Wilfred Laurier, Nelson Mandela, The Mahatma, JFK, Ronald Reagan and Lester Pearson and what they faced and what they accomplished. I thought about how many of them rallied their nations to overcome injustice or to face the horrors of war and then I had a terrible thought.

What would it be like if Justin Trudeau was Prime Minister and Canada was attacked or faced some other national crisis beyond the daily challenge of fixing your hair and appearing to be clever in Question Period?

It was at that precise moment I suddenly found myself wishing that this was all a bad dream.

It isn’t, of course, but no doubt if he was prime minister under the circumstances faced by a Kennedy, a Churchill or a Thatcher, Justin would reach out to the attackers to ‘engage’ them in dialogue and then ‘consult’ with Canadians on what we think he should do.

It isn’t a very reassuring thought and it certainly isn’t how his father would have handled it. His father had no patience with bleeding hearts as he called them and as much as I disliked his father’s policies, I’d feel a whole lot safer with that leadership attitude than Justin’s. But his father is no longer with us so…

… in the event that we ever have to face a real national crisis, I think I’d rather put my money on Stephen Harper than Peter Pan and I believe that secretly, no matter how much they might hate Stephen Harper, so would many Liberals.

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  • Gabby in QC

    Some corrections, if you don’t mind …
    PM Harper did not introduce “a bill in Parliament that recognized Quebec as a nation within a nation and which was passed unanimously by all parties …”

    • The PM introduced a motion, not a bill. There is a difference.
    See http://bit.ly/11zYUxJ

    • The PM’s motion stated that “the Quebecois” constitute a nation within a united Canada, not “Quebec”.
    http://www.pm.gc.ca/eng/media.asp?id=1415
    Using “Quebec” rather than “The Quebecois” implies the territory of Quebec is indivisible, which is disputed by those who are against Quebec independence.
    See Wiki “Partition of Quebec”

    • The vote on the motion was not unanimous.
    “The motion passed by a margin of 265 (yeas) to 16 (nays). There are 308 seats in the House of Commons, but two were not filled at the time. Of the rest, 283 MPs voted on the motion, 20 were absent for various reasons, three chose to abstain and two had pre-arranged to be paired with absent voters (not counting their votes). MPs then voted down the Bloc Québécois motion.” [Wiki]

    Yes, I know, I’m showing my pedantic side … but given the current talk around the Clarity Act — its abolition (the Bloc) or its “improvement” (the NDP) — I think it’s important to be very precise.

    • http://abearsrant.com thebear

      I stand corrected. Thank you for the clarifications.

  • dmorris

    Pierre Trudeau’s finest moment was in the October crisis when he declared the War Measures Act. The college marxists had dreams of Quebec becoming their own little communist enclave.They even went so far as to murder a Cabinet Minister,and kidnap a British emissary to Canada.

    They had to be shown what happens when you play at terrorist games,and Trudeau did THAT in spades. I seriously doubt any politician since Our Mac would have done the same.
    Had Dalton McGuinty had the same courage and called out the OPP in force, there’d have been no Caledonia, Idle No More, Derek Nepinak,or Theresa Spence . And roads wouldn’t be getting blockaded and Canadians blackmailed by welfare recipients as they are today.

    Pierre Trudeau once said, you can’t pay today for the mistakes of past history,and in THAT he was correct. Trudeau’s IA Minister,Jean Chretien, produced the White Paper that should have laid the issue to rest once and for all, but neither he nor any politician since have had the guts to face up to the reality of the situation and do exactly that.

    Indian Land claims are absurd in the context of the building of this Nation. Trudeau was NOT politically correct as that disease hadn’t become epidemic when he was in Office.

    As for McGuinty, he did the job well, he gave contracts to his buddies and will sit on the Board of several companies after he drifts away from the public eye.

    Justin Trudeau is a bi-polar mediocrity that has attained so little in his privileged life, one wonders if his Dad is fuming in Hell.

    • http://abearsrant.com thebear

      I wonder if you would still think it was his finest hour if it was you, your wife or son or daughter who were indiscriminately arrested. It wasn’t simply a bunch of teenagers who were rounded up. It was lawyers, teachers and anyone who knew anyone who might have known a member of the FLQ. It was guilt by association and supporting that repression of our basic rights and freedoms is exactly the careless attitude that allowed Adolf Hitler to come to power. People supported the suppression of the rights of others whether there was any evidence of wrong doing or not against them….until it was their turn to be rounded up and then it was too late to object.

      To use your analogy of Caledonia, it would have been like Stephen Harper invoking the War Measures Act and arresting people across the country. That’s what Trudeau did. He didn’t simply crack down on the FLQ. He took away the rights and freedoms of everyone.

      • dmorris

        You can look at it that way if you want,bear, but the FLQ had grown from an activist organization to a terrorist organization,hardly akin to the German Jews who had done absolutely nothing illegal.

        The FLQ and any of their fellow travellers who were arrested were known to police,as they say,not completely innocent people who were rounded up due to their religion.
        Governments shouldn’t pussyfoot around criminal organizations,especially if they’ve segued into acts of violence. The FLQ were bombing, murdering and kidnapping,and had they not been stopped ,would have undoubtedly accelerated their acts of violence.

        And IF I or my kids were involved with a criminal organization,I’d expect to be arrested and /or harassed as part of “the game”.

        IF McGuinty HAD had the balls to arrest the Caledonia crew,the whole Indian Industry would have been put on full alert that if you play the big time criminal, you’ll pay a big time price.

        This was a Provincial matter,and should have been handled at that level.

        One day I expect we’ll have another terrorist group like the FLQ decide to play Che Guevara. And I hope at that time we have a PM who will have the courage and sense to do what Trudeau did, smack them down hard.

        • http://abearsrant.com thebear

          I’m not a soft on crime type. I believe in enforcement of our laws and think what took place in Caledonia is a disgrace and that both McGuinty and Farantino are cowards. But I believe in the rule of law and that means the state must not only enforce and uphold the constitutional rights of all persons, including the accused, it should not have the power to suspend whatever laws it wants, when it wants at the expense of our guaranteed rights. If the state cannot effectively fight crime and even terrorism without trampling the rights of law abiding citizens, then there is something dreadfully wrong with our state.

          You won’t find justice by fighting injustice by being unjust.

          You stated that “if McGuinty had the balls to arrest the Caledonia crew…” and as I stated, I agree. But that isn’t what happened in Montreal. If McGuinty had acted like Trudeau, he would have arrested anyone who might have known them whether they were guilty of anything or not. That isn’t justice nor is it just.

          Under our justice system, every person is entitled upon arrest to know the charge against them and to have access to legal council. That was also denied. Canadians supported Trudeau at the time but when the smoke cleared and they realized how dangerous that kind of power in the hands of government could be, they demanded and got the War Measures Act replaced by the Emergencies Act in 1988 by Brian Mulroney’s government.

          In a democratic nation, no government should ever have so much power that it can suspend civil rights and operate outside of the law and the constitution which are the only protection the innocent have.

  • Nicola Timmerman

    Liberals hate Stephen Harper because he has kept them out of power and because he, for the most part, looks at them with contempt.

    Liberals and Justin Trudeau are a bunch of Elois. Trudeau Sr. never met a dictator he didn’t love and Jean Chretien was a thug, so I don’t admire either one.

    • http://abearsrant.com thebear

      They’re also not too happy about the fact that his support is not only holding but increasing. Liberals hate it when they aren’t the centre of attention. It makes them feel insecure and that makes them lash out in anger…not intelligently mind you.

  • Martin

    Right you are. McGuinty’s ill conceived energy follies are well on track to take Ont electricity rates to among the highest levels of industrial partners. This from a province blessed with hydro resources, nuclear advantage and close access to natural gasfields. His green initiatives can have no significant effect on GHG levels, they are more about soothing urban angst concerning man made AGW. The costs and opportunity costs are staggering and will cripple Ont for generations.
    Canadians should pause to reflect how close we came to a national version of the same saga. The coalition troika with Dion as PM would have implemented schemes as wooly headed as McGuinty’s or even worse. Liberals in particular are prone to sign any international agreement put in front of them. Last week Carolyn Bennett was calling for a complete legal commitment to the UN aboriginal rights document.
    Canadians are truly fortunate to have the PMSH government in charge of their affairs.

    • http://abearsrant.com thebear

      I agree and I think Carolyn Bennett is an idiot.

      • Martin

        What is baffling is that she does have a medical degree from Un of Toronto, was an associate professor there, and was on staff at 2 Toronto hospitals. What is lacking I guess is common sense, not intellectual rigor.

        • http://abearsrant.com thebear

          Anyone who could not only publicly support Theresa Spence but literally spread her angst all over that charade as if it had real meaning is an idiot. Carolyn Bennett qualifies on all counts. She is a former academic with an understanding of the real world that is either naive or simply willfully blind.

      • Rich

        I feel sorry for the poor idiots to be ranked with the likes of Carolyn Bennet: I have never seen one person spew such vitriol and hate than that woman.

        • http://abearsrant.com thebear

          Politics make strange bedfellows.

  • Bubba Brown

    Liberals hate Stephan Harper because he is everything they are not and never will be.
    This Government has gotten more things right than any other in my lifetime.
    Perfect?
    No, of course not.
    I would give them 8 out of 10 and my vote
    for more of the same.
    When Justin, Bob Rae stop running around to tee pee drama shows.and occupy protests they might just discover ordinary Canadians.
    We want focused sensible policies, Kyoto was a disaster would have beggared us.
    Excitment?
    Maybe Justin could could take singing lessons from Mr Bieber.
    The Liberal Leadership-a-palozza could only draw 2 protestors.
    Now that is lame.
    Cheers Bubba

    • http://abearsrant.com thebear

      Amen to that.