Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Ain't It The Truth?

Kev over at Trapped in a Whirlpool reminds us of an important truth:

While banishing Harper and the Conservatives from power is a worthwhile project our problems go much deeper than the evil he has unleashed on our nation.
Actually he has done us a favour of sorts in exposing the weaknesses in our electoral and parliamentary systems and institutions. None of that will change much upon his ouster. We will still have a first past the post electoral system and parliament will still be governed by conventions that require the government of the day to voluntarily submit to them.

Just as important we will still be governed by neo-liberals, continuing on the path of low taxes, austerity and privatisation. We will still be bound by ruinous trade deals that sell out our sovereignty to corporations.

on the day after we will heave a huge sigh of relief at seeing the end of the Harper regime, but much of what ails us will remain and the battle will continue.  

I'm no huge fan of our pre-harper politics. Trudeau, Clark, Mulroney, Campbell, Chretien, Martin were all far to the right of what I think decent political economy means. But I went along with what those people inflicted on me because they got their power legitimately and for the most part, they respected at least the basics, the foundations of the system they presided over. harper does not respect our democracy and he's desecrated the means by which power is given in this country. Getting rid of him is therefore highly important. Then we can try to get back to where we started and from there advocate for social justice and ecological sanity.

What's depressing about this is that harper has not only exposed the weaknesses of our system. he's exposed the the hollowness of Canadians' claims to be a democratic people. he's exposed the complete inability of progressives to defend their values and their rights.


the salamander said...

.. imagine for a glorious moment or two .. what if..

What if Harper never happened.. no Flaherty or Flanagan, no Fantino or Clement, no G20, no F-35 nonsense, no MacKay & no Joe Oliver.. no blustering fools a la Calandra or Del Mastro.. no Senator Gerstein

And instead.. someone else had come along.. with a clear honest voice.. and integrity.. a woman or a man that drew similar people to them.. probably because they were exemplars, not political animals.

Good ideas evolved to meet challenges & Canadian needs. The elders were respected & treasured, our distant times of war were remembered. Canada stayed out of meddling in south american mines. We cherished our resources and not at the cost of our species and ecosystems. We carefully developed alternative energy & at the same time encouraged culture community and home.. as well as diverse education.. we looked at young children and their future as a national calling

The woman or man grew older and left governance and guidance to a new generation, that protected the country, its peoples and environment.. and provided a model for other countries to dream about.

Thwap.. your essay is plain excellent ..
and to a certain extent, the reality you paint
is the complete opposite of my idealistic parable ..
and that's the flaming shame of Canada today
We are Weaklings for Democracy
and the winners of our so called 'elections'
go to Israel or Washington or China
spewing and braying their personal minestrone
as if they speak for Canadians ...

If anything.. Stephen Harper spouts for himself first
The Hudson Bay Company & Her Majesty 2nd
(yes, he lives in a frilly dreamy military colonial past)
and 3rd.. he puppets for Big Oil..
because that's what lets him get away with #1 and # 2

Instead of that exemplar I described..
Canada got a 3rd rate petulant accountant mail clerk
and that's why your version is accurate..
and my idealism is still waiting to happen ..

thwap said...


That would have been a different country from the Canada of those pre-harper PMs as well.

But we have a lot of work to do just to regain where we once were.