As Sir Francis says in my last post's comments, ... this is as if we'd elected george w. bush here in Canada.
An important difference: 60% of the people who bothered to vote here voted against the tyrannical fraudster harper, whereas it was something like 55% of US-Americans who bothered to vote voting against the tyrannical fraudster bush II.
Another important difference: bush II had to blatantly steal his elections, whereas harper only had to come up the middle in our archaic electoral system. (The USA also has a first-past-the-post electoral system, which functions ... to the extent that US-American elections can be said to function at all ... because their elites have institutionalized the two-party stranglehold on politics there.)
But some important similarities: bush II blatantly stole Florida. bush II's regime lied its way into a war. It was corrupt. It was racist. It was ... well, it basically ripped the veil off of the workings of the US political system, it paraded around its contempt for democracy, for the truth, for the people (“This is an impressive crowd -- the haves and the have mores. Some people call you the elite -- I call you my base.”) and a thousand other sins too numerous to mention, ... and instead of being hanged he was treated as a genuine political option and allowed to steal a second election.
With harper, we have a racist, hypocritical "Christian" nut-bar, another war monger, ... whose own crimes against Canadian democracy are well known, and it's pointless to list them.
It's pointless because despite the enormity of his crimes, he too was treated as a legitimate political choice by us as a country. 40% of those who bothered to vote, voted for him. The 39% who didn't bother to vote at all didn't see anything wrong with the idea of him governing. And the owners and managers of our mainstream media actually endorsed him! Why list again all of harper's sins? Why type words that only the converted will understand?
I am going to grow old under an authoritarian, war-loving, bigoted, anti-environmental, corrupt, incompetent, tyrannical government.
Going forward, ... so that PERHAPS, MAYBE, others will not suffer the same fate, what do we do?
The first thing, ... the opposition must be united. I've reconciled myself to the idea that the Liberal Party is not going to die. Fine. Whatever. It is obvious that our electoral system is flawed. It's also obvious that the Liberals cannot realistically claim to have broad national support anymore. They have not been the party of choice in Quebec for several electoral cycles. They represent a particular view of the world and if they want to enjoy having that view represented they are going to have to do it as part of a coalition.
[Will Quebec separate? There's talk of it. harper is, for all his empty prattle about how much he cares about this country, for all his droning about how "evil" separatists are, would not hesitate to sow regional discord and allow Quebec to leave the federation since it will never vote for him. Social-democratic Quebeckers do not want to be saddled with a Christo-fascist ruled English Canada. But I don't want us to get ahead of ourselves here.]
"Progressives" of whatever stripe; we have to get our act together. Let's stop it with these screeching, self-righteous tirades against each other. BOTH parties acted like donkeys, okay? Yes, Layton attacked Ignatieff instead of going after harper. Yes, the Liberals decided to divert resources from attacking the common enemy and deliberately targeted NDP incumbents like Olivia Chow.
Let's put aside our mutual hatreds though. (And it really is hatred.)
We have five years.
We have five years to form a temporary alliance based on a mutually agreed-upon platform which MUST include the reform of our electoral system for the following election. The NDP and the Liberals must agree on candidates and a temporary platform that can handle two or three years of cooperation. We must put aside our mutual loathing and work together.
With proportional representation, the harpercon style of politics will never govern this country again.
In the meantime, during those five years, we must transform the political culture of this country. The US and Canada are going to descend back into official recessions in the next few months. We must be there, explaining to Canadians, hammering away at the mass media, that the economic catastrophe is the direct result of the economic policies that the rulers propose and which harper and Flaherty implement. We must be at work forming our own media, forming neighbourhood democratic consciousness raising groups, so that people will appreciate what they've just lost on May 2nd so that they will fight to get it back.
In that spirit, I think this blog will slow down for the foreseeable future. I'll post when I feel like it. Probably little things. I'll reply to comments. There have been a few times over the past four years when I've typed something that somebody else told me they really needed to hear. I know that I appreciate knowing there's a whole online resource of sanity to help me remember that I'm not alone. But blogging alone isn't going to change anything. I'm going to spend more time thinking about how to really change things and less time indulging in rants.