It’s bad enough that Harper’s lackeys (aided by the RCMP) would turf people from his rallies because of they were suspected of not being faithful party drones, but concocting a patently ridiculous explanation for the inexcusable actions of his “team” takes matters to a new level.
Not only is Harper’s strange new twist on events thoroughly insulting to the intelligence of voters who are expected to swallow this demonstrably false codswallop, but most especially to the seemingly earnest individuals involved.
All reports clearly indicate they were not turned away at the door because there was an overflow crowd as Harper now seems to be claiming, but were targeted for quite dubious reasons and then marched out of the rallies they were already attending.
This situation – and again, I’ll admit it’s somewhat trivial in nature on a certain level – may however be an appropriate metaphor for what’s wrong with Harper as a leader and Prime Minister.
The man is evidently incapable of admitting when an obvious cock-up has been made under his watch and dealing with it in a forthright manner. Instead, his default position is always an amalgam of contempt, denial, prevarication and hostility. Little wonder that the shambolic parliaments which he’s headed since 2006 are always so acrimonious and, by his own admission, “dysfunctional” in the way they operate…
Not that the measly two debates that the consortium of broadcasters reluctantly deign to offer up to the citizenry of Canada in a federal election are ever particularly edifying, but once again the question arises as to whether the Green Party leader should be allowed to participate…
Given the collusion between the major parties and the broadcasters to exclude her, it seems highly unlikely that Elizabeth May will be present, but she’s hoping that public support will change the minds of the organizers. Good luck with that.
Some have suggested that an independent, non-partisan “debate commission” needs to replace the current arrangement. Maybe that would be an improvement… or not, I don’t really know.
Looking at the American experience where there is no end of so-called debates, all the way from the primaries right through to the final phase of the election where the two (or sometimes three) presidential candidates face off, doesn’t offer much encouragement. Unfortunately, they’re so painfully staged by everyone involved that the resulting “debate” produces neither heat nor light. Basically, these affairs are just an exchange of talking points, or as some wag once put it, duelling press conferences.
Bottom line, I don’t think it’s a huge loss for Elizabeth May and the Greens to be excluded from the “debates” even though it hardly seems fair that someone representing a significant percentage of voters (albeit with no elected members) shouldn’t have a voice at the table. Perhaps the biggest downside for May and the Greens is that it serve to delegitimize them in eyes of some people.
A witty little retort from the LPC about the recent incident with the young woman and her friend who were abruptly removed from a Stephen Harper rally in London when it was discovered by staffers at the event (via her Facebook page – how weird they would be cross-checking in the first place) that she may just possibly be a Liberal sympathizer.
Fortunately, I’ve been too busy of late to really follow the election campaign all that closely, but certain things do tend to leap out from all the boring rhetoric, silly photo-ops, and empty promises, as being significant. Oddly, though it’s perhaps relatively trivial in the scheme of things – Harper was certainly dismissive of it, disavowing any responsibility and blaming it on staffers (big surprise) – I really do think this is noteworthy because it’s indicative of a creepy and disturbing mindset that permeates at all levels the current iteration of the Conservative Party under Harper.
Don’t take the title of this post too seriously, by the way. I’m not one of those people who seriously imagine that the Harper Conservatives are, by any stretch of the imagination, actually fascists. They do, however, seem vaguely annoyed by the democratic process, averse to transparency, and yes, even “un-Canadian” as some have alleged – at least in the sense of using the same kind of reprehensible techniques that were employed by Bush-Cheney at their artfully staged events to exclude anyone who wasn’t already a confirmed supporter. Sorry, but that’s just not the way things work in this country – or at least, it wasn’t until recently.
One other thing… Curiously, this hasn’t been raised by the press, but I wouldn’t be in the least surprised if there wasn’t some racial profiling involved in this and other reported incidents of people being “flagged” by the RCMP. Awish Aslam, Aref Hamadi, Ismail Hirji… think there might be a pattern of some kind there?