The latest conservative slogan is cheesy, and for their believers, the sheeple as I lovingly refer to them, it works. I'm talking about the new "talking point" which will be continuously rammed down your throat by every partisan hack in sight. Canada will be flooded with the "Conservative values are Canadian values" which would be okay if there were an atom of truth to the statement. This catchy little slogan will be picked up and repeated to people so often they will come to believe they actually believe it.
It's no different than phenomenons like urban myths, or using viral video hoaxes as a marketing tool. Anything perceived to be true, is true, until proven different, but only in the case of people who are open minded. There are many people out there who think it is some kind of shame to admit when they are wrong. People who will continue to cling to absolute proven lies because they see it as some kind of defeat to accept they've been mislead. It's because of the sheer numbers of these kind of people that society continually takes one step back for every one or two forward.
Almost all Canadians I've come in contact with are generally glad to be Canadians rather than Americans. Traditionally, there have been similarities, but also marked differences. Americans tend to be relatively boastful and highly jingoistic. They're known world wide as being rude, boorish, and overbearing. They have more braggadocio than the rest of the world's population combined. Don't get me wrong, there are plenty of wonderful Americans, but the image of those people is never projected. Like the voice of moderates in Canada today, they are marginalized, however they've had to endure it far longer. American is known as a global bully, whether it is militarily or economically. The majority of Americans I interact with are shockingly inward looking, they believe, because they have been indoctrinated to believe since birth, the America is the greatest country in the world, which naturally means everything should go the way America wants it to go and if it doesn't, you take the chance of being bombed into the 12th century.
Americans are the first to criticize repressive countries who openly control their populations, you know, countries where the leader's name is preceded by the word "general" or places you see with gigantic murals of the leader for life and massive military parades which serve two great purposes: showing off your might to the world, and reminding your domestic population who's in charge.
The sole reason America can be such a vocal and sometimes violent critic, is because they have found a way to do the exact same thing without the bad optics. From birth, everything in America is about indoctrination. Waving an American flag commands a lot of attention, because even little children are taught to pledge their homage to the flag of their country, which, not incidentally, get the "G" word in at the end. From the time they are babies they are repeatedly told America is the greatest country in the world. As for the military parades, not required when you have made the military a viable religion. If you think I'm fooling, just watch any number of live events, sporting events, etc. The US Military is keenly aware of the value of having their "colour guard" appear on camera. No problem at all in arranging a fly past by some impressive aviation killing machines, or a display of military vehicles and weapons at your even or festival. They don't just have a single memorial for veterans, they have memorials spread far and wide because they are immensely personal and touch many lives. They remember veterans on several national holidays. No matter what the public event, you'll see two things. The flag, and men/women in uniform. This folks, is deep integration at its best. To the point where you are vilified if you even attempt to criticize even the most heinous actions of the military.
Unfortunately, in this country, many people are still deeply confused over the conservative party. They believe they know what conservative values are, after all, for many, their families have voted conservative for generations. This was the coup of all coups for Harper and his small circle of friends and advisors. Keeping the word conservative to identify their party, and a carefully thought out logo which is purpose built to make former progressive conservatives believe this is still their party.
Make absolutely no mistake about it. Stephen Harper is nothing like a progressive conservative. He sees them as weak, and soft on his agenda, however, in order to set his agenda in place he needs those people, or perhaps, past tense, he needed those people to get his majority. Why do you think he convinced his minions they "needed" a majority in order to have "stability" and get rid of the "shenanigans" going on in parliament. Nice line, people figured that's plausible, there have been plenty of badly run conservative governments in the past and we've survived them, what's so different about Harper's conservatives? Truth is, plenty.
Stephen Harper is a republican. He only began to somewhat hide that when the time was right to wrest control of a much-weakened progressive conservative party, not because he cared about the fate of that party, he needed the brand name. That's it. Prior to his initial run to become PM, Stephen Harper made no secret of what he thought of Canadian values, especially when his audience was full of American ears. This man was unabashedly apologetic for everything Canadians held (and I hope still do) dear. He called Canada a "Northern European welfare state in the worst sense of the word". He attacked everything from medicare to bilingualism to being a nation more partial to peace than war. All his words, not mine. I've never believed Stephen Harper had or has a hidden agenda. Until he became an important figure in Canadian federal politics he never hid the fact he believed that not only should Canada be more like America, but Canada should reflect a far-right republican America. Canada should be a country where, if you can't or won't survive on your own, too bad, hopefully someone will help you out but it would probably be better if you were dead. We should ensure our good friends, the Americans, have access to all of our resources, on their terms, as long as his backers would benefit financially from it. Governments should not run the country, corporations should. He'd love nothing more than an injection of good old convenient Christianity into our society as well, ergo, the slashing of funding for women's groups, because women should be a lot more like women in other countries, at home, having kids, married and staying that way even if you need a beating to know your place once in a while. Of course he never would have dropped that one publicly, but their policies are geared toward encouraging women to be quiet and most certainly out of the boardrooms of the country. One only needs to examine the "income-splitting" proviso promised when they balance the budget by cutting funding and programs for anyone who openly opposes them. Who will benefit? Not the people who really need help. Not single parents, or anyone with a family income less than $42,500. How many people are immediately exempted by just those 2 conditions alone? Mostly, Stephen Harper is all about government for the few, by the few, and fuck you.
Because of the lack of foresight of the over 20% of Canadians who offered up Harper's coveted majority, I am going to take great delight from your anguish at what you've done. With 4 years of absolute power a lot of things can change, and they will. Too bad for you sheeple, you see, I'm interested enough in people and politics I've been preparing myself for this for a decade. I'll be fine. On the other hand, your family and friends are going to be hurt in ways you never bothered to think of because you see politics as some kind of sporting event, whereas I see politics as the jerks who run my life. I don't fear the Harper agenda because I know the Harper agenda. I generally don't wish anyone ill will, but I will say to the ignoramus' out there who didn't bother to understand what you were voting for, I hope the policies implemented over the next four years really put the screws to you personally, or at least to someone you care deeply about. It's what you deserve for your intransigence. It's the price you pay for ignorance. In four years the Canada you've lived in all your life, or the Canada you came to for a better life will not be recognizable. Stephen Harper promised that, many years ago. I have no reason to suspect he will not follow through. At the end, he'll still be rich and getting richer, you'll be screwed, and frankly, people like me will smile and say, it looks good on you.
Welcome to America Lite.
To Stephen Harper I say, conservative values are your values. You've openly expressed you hate the things that made us uniquely Canadian, now, for a time, you will get your way. By the time you're exposed to the willingly blind, you'll be gone, the damage will be done to a great extent, but you'll never be remembered as a great Prime Minister by anyone but yourself and your friends. Congratulations. You've proven Canadians are embarrassingly naive.
To my fellow 60%'ers: Stop thinking about today and start thinking of how we are going to restore a once great and respected country. We'll have a lot of work to do. There isn't a shred of doubt in my mind that the political party that will be tasked with bringing Canada back does not exist today. That's just my opinion.
Canadian values are Canadian values. They're not conservative values or liberal values or NDP values. No single party represents Canada or Canadians. I know the Prime Minister doesn't care, but I do. A majority of others do too, chances are we aren't going away.
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Mark McCaw ~ twitter's @bigpicguy
Author of "Insights Inside a Mind" ~ blogging the big picture