Wednesday, 3 December 2008

Fascism or Coalition?

Today I received an e-mail note from Canada's Conservative party, telling my why I should support Prime Minister Harper and fight the Liberal-NDP Coalition. The Tory letter began with the words, "Two months ago Canadians voted in a general election. They made a clear choice." The rest is my response.

Thank you for this note.

You are absolutely right!

"Two months ago Canadians voted in a general election. They made a clear choice."

In the end, 5.2 million Canadians (22.2% of Canada's 23.4 million eligible voters) cast ballots in favour of Conservative candidates. That's roughly one voter out of five. A support level for the Conservatives of 1:5 is hardly a ringing endorsement for anything. (In the same election, just over 40% eligible electors, 2 out of five, voted for "none of the above" by not voting at all.)

I don't belong to any party. In my voting life I've supported various parties. If there were to be another election soon -- another huge waste of time and money -- I don't know who I would support. I do know that Mr. Harper scares the living daylights out of me. He seems so hard-headed and self-righteous, and worse, so hard-hearted. His attitude reminds me of those attitudes held by leaders of Fascist governments in the past.

At the party's November policy conference Mr. Harper warned delegates to avoid an ideological approach to governing. "We will have to be tough and pragmatic, not unrealistic or ideological in dealing with complex economic challenges, he said. And he added, "We must work hard to keep Canadians trust and earn it again. We must listen to all voices, whether they support us or not." But by time the 40th Parliament convened, he had entirely forgotten those words.

Sadly, I do not think Mr. Harper is capable of listening to other people. Indeed, in Mr. Flaherty's economic statement, there was a plan to silence the voices of those who are not Conservatives.

So now we are at a crossroads. Should we allow a "centrist and socialist" coalition to rule the country (with the aid of the Bloc Quebecois), or a fascist party rule the country (with the aid of the Bloc Quebecois)? Because Mr. Harper cannot hold office without the support of the BQ, if he faces the opposition of the Liberals and New Democrats.

I know you're going to send me an insulting meaningless "thank you for your comments" letter in reply to what I have written. That says a lot about how much you listen to voices of those who are not die-hard Conservatives. But this letter comes with a warning. I am not at all thrilled by the idea of Canada being governed by a centre-left coalition. But I'm too afraid of Mr. Harper to give him my support. I think I speak for a lot of people in Canada's "silent majority."



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