What will Stephen Harper do with a majority government? That was the question on everyone’s lips just 50 days ago, after an election shocker gave the Tories their long-awaited majority with 166 seats.
Oh, I heard all the platitudes. It won’t be so bad, people said. Give them a chance. They’re not so scary. They won’t do anything that they didn’t do as a minority (not like that was very reassuring, either).
In politics, it’s customary to review the “first 100 days”. Unfortunately, Harper and his cronies have been so busy doing shit, that waiting until 100 days for this review seemed excessive.
(And yes, I know it’s not really the first 50 days of majority government. The 41st Parliament only convened on June 2nd, which is in fact less than 3 weeks ago. That’s a frighteningly short period of time in which Harper has already managed to do an awful lot of damage. But it has been 50 days since the election, so I think the post title is appropriate.)
Let’s look at what’s happened in the 50 days since the May 2nd election, shall we?
- Workers’ rights have taken a serious beating, with back to work legislation being tabled against Canada Post, and threatened against Air Canada (who struck a deal to avoid it). In the case of Canada Post, arguably the legislation is against the crown corporation, which has locked out the workers. And those of you who know me understand that I have rather ambiguous feelings about labour unions that have too much power. But, especially in the case of Air Canada – a private company with competitive options for the consumer – the Tory government’s swift response against any labour rights whatsoever crosses the line even for me. There’s a happy medium in there, and this ain’t it.
- Senate appointments for three Tory MP candidates who lost in their ridings called into question not only the appointment process itself, but Harper’s own promises to reform it. Canadians didn’t even blink. Beyond that, he’s threatening to abolish the Senate altogether if they don’t cave to his extortion cooperate with his reforms.
- Asbestos exports are once again being defended by the Tories, who apparently feel that cancer is okay as long as it happens to people in other countries.
- Job cuts in the public sector are coming pretty much right away. One of the first areas to be hit? Auditors. Cause, y’know, Harper doesn’t want anyone actually noticing how badly he’s been cooking the books – and how badly he plans to continue doing so.
- And that doesn’t even take into account the fact that Harper is about to appoint two judges to the Supreme Court – something that will have ramifications for decades.
When you consider that there are still most of 5 years to go in his term, and that nothing prevents him from being re-elected, it’s downright terrifying.