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Recovering backpacker, Cornwallite at heart, political enthusiast, catalyst, writer, husband, father, community volunteer, unabashedly proud Canadian. Every hyperlink connects to something related directly or thematically to that which is highlighted.

Monday 10 February 2014

Whatever Happened to Peace, Order and Good Government?

Stephen Harper's Conservatives are planning to target Justin Trudeau at the upcoming Liberal convention with a carefully orchestrated campaign to disrupt Liberal communications, highlight disunity in the ranks and question his leadership abilities.

What is the job of Political Opposition?  One would think it was to oppose, giving the title and all.

But oppose what?  Everything, unquestionably?

Pretty much.  This Socratic method is how our democracy tends to function; Parties will attack each other's positions, even the ones they later adopt themselves; to take matters a step further, they will tear strips off their individual opponents themselves so as to undermine their legitimacy.

Why?  Because the goal is to make the sitting government look weak, unable to function and therefore, unworthy of power.

A seasoned political operative once told me that the best thing Opposition strategists could do would be to throw monkeys into the Legislature and completely disrupt proceedings.  They could do this in good conscience, of course, because they were simply filling the role they had, right?

It was a Liberal strategist who told me this - one who, funny enough, has since become disillusioned about the system and is no longer deeply involved.  The partisan brand doesn't matter, though, because the tough-minded fixers in all Parties think the same way.

To a man, they relish the opportunity to be agents of chaos.  Politics is a blood sport after all, and what fun is a boxing match without a little blood?

But what happens when this pugilistic mentality seeps into government?  What happens when it's the people in power that are doing the opposing and disruption?

Team Harper opposes government.  They have always opposed government.  With all it's systems and social services and focus on peace and order, they have always seen government as a road-block to competitive success through dominance of the strong.

Even as government, they have never stopped opposing.  They have always felt they were the strongest.  
The longer they hold the reigns of power, the more ground they feel comfortable taking.

The Fair Elections Act has taken away the power of government to equitably promote voting.  It has made it harder for those least able to make it to the polling booth - including the impoverished, the disabled and those with mental illness - to vote.  

The Tories' electoral reform has also put more emphasis on partisan fundraising and spending, which critically takes the form of robocalls and attack ad campaigns like the one they're proposing here.

The problem they're trying to solve?  Participation.  The solution they're bringing forward?  An increased focus on resource-intensive competition with stiff penalties for the loser.

Attack ads are like a deer's antlers, or a massive military complex - the more you attack, the more you need to defend, meaning the less resources you have for anything else, ranging from healthcare to infrastructure.

Political Parties are perpetually at war with each other.  Harper's cabinet is at war with government.  

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Unless things change, we're going to see a country that's at war with its leaders.  

On the plus side, when the smoke clears, what'll be left are the people that saw this coming and planned ahead and those who were able to endure this political drought by working together.

It's never the strongest who survive - it's always those best able to adapt.  It's an evolution thing.

Isaiah 11:6

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