Friday, November 02, 2007

Lies, Arrogance and Playing Games with the Country

I've been reflecting on the overall effect of the current government on this country, as well as how the country has responded. It's an interesting, though disturbing picture.

What is most glaring to me, is the fact that the current PM is playing games rather than actually governing. It's as though he's an actor, playing the role of PM, but in fact is more concerned with his craft. In this case, his craft is strategy. He's not as intent on implementing his ideology at the moment, as he is in finding a way to be in a position to fully implement it. Oh, he still slips in some ideological policies where he can, but that is not his main focus. No, Steve's all about the game at the moment. Sadly, he does this at the expense of our country.

Consider the recent policy change re' Canadians facing the death penalty in another country. Has he taken this stance because he thinks it's the right thing to do for the country? Obviously not. By his own admission he's doing it to impress his base and build on the tough guy brand he's trying to develop, à la the US Republicans. In answer to why the policy changed, Harper said:

"In light of this government's strong initiatives on tackling violent crime, I think that would send the wrong signal to the Canadian population."

He made no reference as to whether or not it was in Canada's best interest, only his Party's. In fact, this change is deleterious to Canada in my opinion. Canada has a solid reputation for protecting Human Rights. How on earth can we tell another nation that they must protect their citizens and respect their rights when we don't? How can we say we oppose capital punishment, when we allow one of our own to face that? Ridiculous! This man cannot think beyond his nose.

Are we as a abusive as countries we may choose to diplomatically take to task on such issues? No, but that is hardly the point is it? You cannot be a defender of rights on an ad hoc basis. So this disturbing move is all about increasing votes with a hint at what future policy may be, if he gains a majority.

The other interesting aspect of this move and indicative that it is about strategy, is the fact that Stockwell Day made the pronouncement. The policy of course originates in the Department of Foreign Affairs, not Public Safety. Why is Day setting policy for a department he doesn't oversee? Because it's not about policy it's about posturing. In fact, Bernier, who handles the file, somewhat contradicted the PM and Day by saying the policy hadn't changed and this was just a one-off.

When you consider what this government has actually done in 22 months, it's little more than making statements that are meant to be viewed as policy, but it would be more accurate to view them empty slogans. Whatever you call it, it is not governing.

A PM obviously should be addressing the needs of a nation. Current needs, with an eye to the future. Among other things, this country needs improved health care, a sound environmental plan, daycare spaces, assistance for cities and sound fiscal principals to ensure future prosperity.

Harper claims to have done these things, but has not. Big announcements are made to improve his image, but there is little or no substance behind the announcements. They will continue to claim, (read lie), that they have taken action, but when you look to the supposed beneficiaries of each program, you learn there has been no benefit what so ever. It's all show.

What's galling, is the fact that they lie about their achievements, they lie in order to pass their legislation, they lie about the opposition, they lie about the past and the accomplishments of the Liberal Party, they lie about just about everything and they get away with it. By the media giving them a pass often, they grow more arrogant and more aggressive in their quest to achieve their one and only goal, unfettered power.

All Party's spin of course, but this is more than that. It's lying in a way that Canadians would not expect. It's lying in a manner that we haven't been exposed to before, therefore many don't recognise it. We rely on the media to cut through it, to challenge the claims. Some do, but not often enough. In fairness, the breadth of the deception is so wide spread, it's difficult to write a cohesive narrative that exposes it.

In the end, the arrogance that Harper is now displaying with more and more frequency, may be his own undoing. Blatant arrogance has a way of waking people up who have perhaps been closing a blind eye to someones true nature.

Harper's heightened appetite for power may lead to carelessness. Hubris often does.

7 comments:

Dame said...

I am in Total agreement in all aspects.. You speak for me amd speak very well..
marta

knb said...

Thanks Marta. I'm at the point that I think enough is enough.

The ridiculous news we get these days, (do I sound old? sigh), is relieving people of their duty to explore the facts. Not all, but much media simply spoon feeds and we the populace have grown spoiled.

Few articles make you go, hmmm, I wonder what's behind that? though I think with the media's reduced access to information, that may shift a bit.

btw, I just checked it out again and I like your blog. I have to remember how to add blogs that I enjoy to my sidebar and when I do, I want to add an arts component. Be patient, ;).

Dame said...

Unfortunately I am not master of the talk /second language / but I am keenly aware of my times especially when there is a Crisis situation and we have that in Big Time now.., scary al hell .

my blog is a silent kind .. I just pour in what is colouring my feelings diary in an indirect way ...

I am Following the good liberal sites yours is an excellent one . keep it up we must turf the liars out !!!
Retro conservatives with a Big Psycho leader .
After Muzzling his party now he thinks he can do it with the parliament and the whole country.??
Totally absurd notion.

marta

Scotian said...

Well written KNB, very well written indeed. I like you have been intensely frustrated at the blatant double standards our national media is using to cover the various parties, in particular the CPC and Libs. With the Libs it is relevant to remind all Canadians of everything they did wrong in the past thirteen years (adscam being a decade or more old yet somehow is still "relevent" to discussing what the Libs are while Harper's consistent positions for nearly 20 years in adult political life until 2005 somehow are not) and old comments they made that may not square with something they are saying now, yet in the case of Harper whose public record of statements were/are wildly inconsistent with his current "governing" philosophy there is naught but the sounds of crickets chirping.

Not to mention the unprecedented media/information controls put in place by Harper. No CPC MP may talk to local media on even local/riding issues without clearing it through PMO. When cabinet meets for the first time is made secret so as to prevent the media from knowing where cabinet ministers are so they can be asked questions regarding their file. The minister of public works is unelected and truly unaccountable to anyone save Harper himself, works in secret, and is responsible for the single largest section of overseeing of awarding of federal contracts in the billions of dollars range. Worse, that minister is Harper's Quebec bagman just like Gagliano was for Chrétien, although at least in his case he ran and won an election to be MP which is more than Fortier was willing to do.

Then there is the way they are changing the way our government works via regulatory as opposed to legislative tools, since that way they do not have to make Parliament aware of what they are doing and therefore make it far more difficult for these changes to be known of until after they have happened (if even then), as we have seen most recently with the change in death penalty commutation requests for Canadian citizens facing execution in other countries (whether it is an innocent or truly guilty person does not matter, since Canada is an anti-death penalty nation it is to be consistent with that principle necessary to try to gain commutation even for the worst offenders, it is *NOT* something any government can simply brush off as being inconsistent with their preferred domestic justice policies unless they are including the death penalty being brought back within those policies which Harper swears he isn't doing just like he swore to be a more open transparent accountable government then the Libs ever were that would never tax income trusts, and we all know the truth/reality of those claims/promises now to be as empty as a black hole, which is what the federal government has become under Harper, and informational black hole).

I would have preferred that Harper never came to power, but at least he has been denied a majority or near majority which limits what he can change to mainly the regulatory side which can be reversed without too much difficulty when a change of government occurs. I have to say I am actually thinking these days it might be better to suffer through what we have to date and are continuing to so as to expose Harper's true nature via his own actions, words, and inability to make a qualitative difference in the lives of the voters (his tax cuts simply aren't enough, not with the strong belief in the need for a strong public presence/safety net within the vast majority of voters in this country) no matter how much he claims otherwise. After all, the CPC keeps saying they have done more governing in 2 years than the Libs in 13, yet where's the beef to quote an old expression.

If I have to choose between two more years of Harper minority with him being thrown out next time as the price to be rid of him, I'll pay it as heartrending as I may find it to be. As you say KNB he is arrogant and full of hubris and there is a reason why the cliché pride goeth before a fall is such an old and multiply proven one. It will be interesting to see how the death penalty controversy goes over the next few weeks since it happened while Parliament was in session. Harper's arrogance and his certitude in his own moral and political correctness and judgment is his biggest weak point, and despite my fears that he would successfully mask it in this government and get to a majority to date he has not managed it and the longer he is in government the less he can use the old blame the Libs excuse to explain why things haven't changed for the better for Canadians under his government. Not to mention having to actually defend his actions and explain why they were needed and how they are good for Canadians, something we have seen nothing of while seeing many negative ad campaigns against Dion and the Libs, which btw I think is another mistake.

While for the first one or two times saying Dion is not a leader might help make it a meme/frame that will stick, to constantly be harping on it repeatedly starts to make people wonder, if Dion truly is such a weak leader why then are the Harper CPC so persistent in portraying him that way including with the unprecedented out of election campaign series of character attack ads. That if he truly were such a weak leader why would Harper and the CPC need to constantly be claiming this, after all if he is so weak then he would display that for all to see. Harper risks undoing the gains he has made with this frame and worse for him may in the end actually help make Dion appear a true leader to the voters. Now *THAT* would be ironic indeed, and an excellent example of his arrogance/hubris leading to his fall. We shall see, but I think Harper is doing more harm than good to himself and his brand with the way he has been acting the last two years, and his recent actions are no exception.

Let us hope that 2008 is the year of revelation for Canadians about Harper and then the removal of him and his kind from power and hopefully from the national stage. I am fine with competing with Conservatives whose values are Canadian in origin and who actually like/love/respect this nation and what we have become as opposed to the contemptuous hatred Harper et al have for it. I would love to see them resurge and reshape the CPC into something that actually resembles the PCPC in truth as opposed to the fantasy/myth that MacKay's treacherous betrayal of the PCPC to the Harper led CA left anything remotely resembling a PCPC wing within the CPC as opposed to the harsh truth of the worst Reform/CA elements not only controlling the top of the party but purifying it from the top down as two elected MPs have already found out and several nominated via local riding association elections candidates removed by CPC head office.

Again, your work at this blog over the past months has been quite good IMHO, and I am glad of it. The more sane sensible and serious thinkers we have exposing the realities of the Harper CPC as inherently anti-democratic and anti-Canadian core values out there the better. Canadian values are those as represented by the former federal PCPC, Libs, NDP and Greens, not this American GOP wannabe association called the Harper CPC.

knb said...

Thanks Scotian.

I have to say I'm still torn. I do think having Harper on display may be his undoing, but it makes me crazy to think about what changes he is making by stealth. Duffy metioned that not one Ministerial permit has been issued since they came to power. Heaven knows what else is going on.

Yet, I've been reading that job growth will slow and other economic indicators won't continue to be quite so robust, so they may lose that as a great talking point.

In the end though, I do think hubris will be his downfall. I don't know what his next move will be, but it should be obvious to all that it is he that is pushing for an election, in spite of the opposite phrase that comes out of his mouth.

Strange times indeed.

knb said...

marta, art is language in my view.

The ability to read a language that is not native to you, is an incredible thing. To respond, even more so. I do not think that is to be dismissed lightly. Intent comes through no matter what the proficiency of writing is.

That's what counts in the end to me. English...good grief, what a silly language to learn how to write.

Dame said...

knb that was very nice of you to say ...

Language is the actual world you change when you change the country.. yes it was some hardship to overcome the antagonism at first ..then I found a language what is much much richer /it is just another medium/ colourful and eventually I gained a lot with learning English.. so Now I love it and enjoy it's fullness and brightness when I read GOOD PPROZE like here some of the bloggers are a joy to visit…
The clean humanist soul what comes through ..

marta