It is clear that our current government is comfortable with employing the tactic of, character assassination, when it suits them. Sometimes it's to gain political advantage, or, as is happening now, it is to cover themselves.
I've been thinking back over the time they have been in office and who they have attacked in the most vicious and spiteful ways. In the House of Commons, I recall being appalled as Harper attempted to smear Navdeep Bains over a speculative story about a family member in the Sun media. Also in the House, I remember Vic Toews, screaming at the top of his lungs the most vile things about Louise Arbour. Then, there was Jason Kenney at a committee meeting who went after Gen Roméo Dallaire re'the Omar Khadr case. Of course there was also the despicable Taliban lovers reference to anyone who brought up prisoner abuse in Afghanistan.
We aren't talking about back benchers here. This dangerous behaviour is coming from the leader of the Conservative party and his Ministers. There is no regard for the person they attack, their family or their reputation. We know what they did to Stephane Dion and now Michael Ignatieff and last week of course, Minister MacKay and Laurie Hawn, have begun to slowly erode the credibility of Richard Colvin. Even going so far to portray him as a Taliban stooge.
These tactics, (which of course are part of a larger strategy), I maintain do tremendous damage not only to the people being attacked, but to our democracy as a whole.
In a democracy such as ours, you expect a government to be open, truthful and above all not to attack it's own citizens. You further expect citizens to feel they can come forward, or just go about their daily work, without worry of being maligned by the government.
That is not what we have with Harper in power. As I saw it described somewhere this weekend, there are thugs in the party that have no compunction in destroying someone if it somehow advances the so-called, Conservative cause. This is not your grandmother's notion of Conservative mind you. No, instead we have a government that has lied to us on numerous occasions and seems to think that it is above the law or at least the spirit of the law.
They insult our intelligence, waste our money and manipulate the media, all in the name of advancing their agenda.
I won't pretend that life was all sweetness and light when the Liberals were in power. We certainly made our mistakes and fought to maintain power, but not like this. Not to the degree we are now seeing now.
Consider the 10 per center's put out last week by CPC back benchers. Accusing the Liberals of being anti-Semitic is apparently their idea of fair game and a way to operate while in government. Not in my world and I'm sure not in the world of many Jewish Canadians. Taking on Irwin Cotler? I found this to be an interesting response and for the record, the Lib's have asked that the rules be changed.
What our government is doing both disgusts and saddens me. A lying, thuggish government that ignores motions and Bills passed in the House, that plays at the margins of election laws re'spending, (In and Out trial coming up next week btw), ignores International Treaties and now is faced with proving that they haven't broken International Human Rights laws, doesn't sound like the Canada I know and love. Nor does Canada come to mind when I think of a government attempting to destroy good people in an effort to either increase their poll standings, or more often, create a false narrative.
There will be another Afghanistan Committee meeting this week. This one seems designed to further try and discredit Richard Colvin. It is important to note that absolutely no one who does not have an association to the government has disputed what Richard Colvin has said. In fact, his testimony has been corroborated at the highest levels, and not just in this country. Nor is Canada the only country taking note of this issue. Oh and for all the government's braying, the truth on some of the detail is starting to come out.
Obviously, this is a story that we as Canadians should be engaged in. Will we be though? Has Harper demeaned our democracy to such an extent that people simply can't bear to look, let alone get involved any more?
I sincerely hope not.