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The Guardian on Stephen Harper

The Guardian has published a damning, point by point account of how the Harper government has cheated, lied, blustered and outright steamrolled over democracy on their way to three consecutive election victories.


An unkind cartoon this summer showed the Canadian prime minister, Stephen Harper, kneeling before the statue of another politician, asking: “What now, O Great One?” That in itself would not be unkind. The punchline is that the statue is clearly labelled as that of Richard Nixon, famed above all for his attempts to corrupt democracy.

As Harper tries for a fourth term in office at the Canadian federal election next week, he is trailed by an extraordinarily long list of allegations. In the Watergate scandal, all the president’s men were accused primarily of breaking the law to get Nixon a second term in the White House. In Canada, some of the prime minister’s men and women have been accused not simply of cheating to win elections but of conspiring to jam the machinery of democratic government.

The article goes on from there to discuss the government spending and robocall scandals, the Mike Duffy affair, the use of a data bank to manipulate “wedge” politics, torture of prisoners in Afghanistan, the F-35 fighter jet scandal, proroguing Parliament and being found in contempt, omnibus bills, and so on and so forth.

Each one of these scandals on its own should have been enough for voters to throw out the Tories in anger. Taken together, though, they’ve led to a certain amount of depressed resignation, along the lines of “oh, just one more scandal”. We’ve lost our ability to be shocked or angered by any of this, it seems. We just appear to take it for granted that our government will do this sort of thing — and get away with it.

It’s a new spin on the old adage: Kill one democratic principle and you’ll end up in jail; kill millions and you’ll end up in power for a decade.

Read the whole thing.

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