With four in ten of the less than two-thirds of Canadians that bothered to vote on Monday having decided to give Stephen Harper the reigns of power until at least 2015, what changes can we reasonably expect to see over the next four years?
According to reports today, Harper indicates “he’s taking a no-surprises approach to majority government rather than contemplating any radical shifts in policy now that he has control of the Commons.” Well, of course he would say that… Now.
But how long will it be until the more “radical shifts” start appearing? And I don’t pose the question as idle fear mongering… just more out of a sense of morbid curiosity at what the Conservatives hope to achieve now that they’ve finally attained their long coveted majority. After all, there was a lot of implicit and abiding faith amongst the Conservative base that if ever given the opportunity to do so, they would effect dramatic changes to the very fabric of Canada.
Defunding the CBC and Radio Canada, for starters. Limiting the role of the federal government across the board, slashing taxes on enterprising “job creators” (i.e., the wealthiest 5%), auctioning off public assets, zeroing out corporate taxes and issuing in a sweeping wave of “hands off” deregulation in order to finally unleash the power of the “free market” to work its productive magic on the economy unfettered by meddlesome government bureaucrats. Not to mention other promises that have been implicitly made to the Conservative party base over the years… defunding the arts, criminalizing abortion, cutting or abandoning altogether social justice and welfare programs. You know the drill.
Now that the Conservatives have complete control of the House of Commons in addition to a majority in the “other place” and the ability even to load the bench of the SCOC with their own ideologically sympathetic appointees there should be absolutely nothing stopping them from implementing the full measure of their “agenda”…
Here’s another thing I’m curious about: What the heck are the Bloggin’ Tories going to do for the next four years? Demonizing a powerless opposition, while shaking their rhetorical pom-poms and blindly cheering on the Dear Leader’s every autocratic move seems like a rather dull prospect, doesn’t it?