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If Harper Survives

with 3 comments

Murray Dobbin in The Tyee

After a long time going through all sorts of guff I finally found an article which gets it right.

Harper is a right-wing revolutionary manipulating a democratic system, which he detests for what it has produced: a pluralistic society, an activist state and a compassionate society.

Written by Stephen Rees

December 5, 2008 at 1:30 pm

Posted in politics

3 Responses

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  1. Yes, I think most of us can agree Harper is bad for the country and has a hidden agenda. The question is whether or not this coalition makes strategic sense at this time. The more we put the whole situation under the light of scrutiny, the coalition looks like a knee jerk power grab with little to no strategic thought put into it. Yes, Harper could do all sorts of terrible things and rip down many institutions Canadians take for granted. He can only do that under a majority government however. While Harper’s acts that precipitated the coalition where distasteful, they were not over the top distasteful. This is evidenced by a very clear split in public opinion in this country.

    A coalition can be formed and Government toppled at any time during a minority government. Why do so over an issue that albeit offensive, is not exactly setting large numbers of Canadians on fire. Why do so when the Liberal party is at its weakest point ever and has no funds to wage any sort of substantial election campaign? Let alone when the leader has resigned and the process has only begun to select a new leader?

    Why not wait another year until the Liberals have their house in order and are ready to wage another battle? I’m sure the NDP could still use some time to reflect on how they can do better as well. Why not wait until Harper REALLY sticks his foot in it? If he is as partisan and ideological as the opposition says he is (and I don’t doubt it for a second), then why not wait until he comes up with something really offensive and controversial and THEN scuttle the government. Harper will surely suffer in the polls, and a good chunk of his party will surely question his leadership ability. That is the time to topple the government.

    A coalition government is so unprecedented in Canada, that there is no assurance the GG would anoint any coalition as government. The coalition’s odds of actually becoming government would really be no better than a coin toss. That is not a sound strategy. Let’s not underestimate Harper. He’s no idiot, but he has an Achilles’ heel. A prudent strategist would wait for the right time to strike. The time is certainly not right now.

    In fact, public opinion is so….that if Harper plays his cards right between now and January, and the coalition doesn’t start paying attention to strategy….we could end up with an election early in the new year. With the Liberals still broke and in the midst of a leadership campaign, the Conservatives may end up with a majority in their sights. All because too many Canadians are pissed off at the coalition parties who dropped the ball in a fouled attempt to form a coalition government. That is NOT the end result we want, yet unfortunately the coalition could have already set the chain of events into action.


    December 5, 2008 at 10:08 pm

  2. You seem to have made a good case for Harper’s strategy. He thought he could use the opportunity of a weakened Liberal Party to force through some disgraceful measures – and I put the attack on women’s equality rights and the right to free collective bargaining for public servants as bad enough to justify a tough response. The vindictive attack on funding for the opposition was merely a sideshow he backed down on very quickly.

    He obviously was not expecting the three parties to coalesce as quickly as they did – and obviously hopes that it will fall apart as quickly. But that is only going to happen if the economy starts to pick up. which seems to me unlikely. I would have liked the environment to have have featured higher on the agenda, but Canadians have demonstrated they do not give a stuff about the environment if they feel their wallets may be threatened.

    The use of the power to prorogue is simply wrong – and a dreadful precedent. The Liberal Party now has to show that it is up to the challenge – and that this is about principles and not just power for its own sake. The Tories will have their PR machine in top gear – so they will have to be answered. But the coalition needs to take the high road and ignore the mud slinging.

    Stephen Rees

    December 6, 2008 at 4:44 pm

  3. I have posted on my site steps that can be taken to publicize this very important column from Murray Dobbin. Please take a look & implement them if you think them worthwhile. Thanks!

    P.S. Your blogpost on this subject appears on my site as well.


    December 7, 2008 at 12:29 pm

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