Dr.Dawg

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2015 is an election year—to many of us, the election year. How timely, then, that pollsters and media are now mooting Harperian rule by decree should it be decided that we’re facing “difficult times.” (Who decides? A growing number of ordinary Canadians are facing very difficult times indeed, but I doubt that the decision will be theirs.)

Here’s the poll. The shocker—yes, I can still be shocked—is that fully 23% of Canadians are prepared to accept a complete abandonment of the already-enfeebled democracy left to us. Presumably this figure overlaps Stephen Harper’s base, and indeed it would appear to comprise about two-thirds of it. That’s damned near a quarter of the population. Polls have, of course, been wrong before, but I’m not inclined to share my friend Alison’s scepticism.

Conservatives and their supporters have defended, in near-perfect lockstep, every single anti-democratic move that this government has made since 2006. Contempt of Parliament? No problem. Proroguing Parliament to prevent a non-confidence vote? No sweat. Passing Bill after Bill later struck down by the Supreme Court as violations of the Charter of Rights? Damned activist courts are killing us. Time allocation motions for vast omnibus bills that many Members of Parliament had not even had the time to read, with toxins aplenty in the fine print? Hey, that’s efficiency.

The list is long. Surely I don’t have to provide more examples. Parliamentary conventions lie in cobwebbed tatters. We already have one-man rule de facto, if not de jure.

Some out there thought an earlier post of mine about our whitewater rafting towards, well, less democracy, was a little over-the-top, although I dealt entirely in facts. Maybe, as an ageing and cranky Ottawa Citizen columnist suggested, we have nothing at all to fear—or, as the reassuring loudspeaker proclaimed on the fully-automated airplane in that old joke, “to fear…to fear…to fear.”

I mean, we have have a protective Constitution! Checks! Balances! History!

Except, not really. Parliament has literally been treated with contempt by the Maximum Leader, and left without any effective power. Electoral fraud has become a household phrase, and new legislation will make it that much easier. Harper’s Cabinet is a rubber-stamp. And there are numerous grubby ways around the Constitution, too. Check out the Emergencies Act, especially the “Public Order Emergencies” section: the basis of a good start, if a start is desired.

Now we learn that a substantial chunk of the population would apparently welcome our Conservative overlord as he finally gets down to the brass tacks of, well, overlording. But a lot of folks might not even notice the difference.

It can’t happen here? Quite possibly not, given the number of factors involved in a successful putsch; perhaps, despite the warning signs, this is the stuff of tinfoil fantasies after all. But if Harper’s natural charm doesn’t lift him in the polls and he does decide to give it a go, the one ray of pleasure peeping through the stormclouds will be to observe the puzzled frowns of the punditocracy, who have been singing us—and themselves—to sleep with a chorus of lullabies since 2006. As for the nation’s fawning editorialists, they’ll inevitably find new ways to explain why Stephen Harper is the saviour of our nation. And this time, as they are handed their notes, it should be even easier going than it was in the past.

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This page contains a single entry by Dr.Dawg published on January 2, 2015 5:24 PM.

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