If the last six years under Stephen Harper’s government has taught me anything, it’s not to take my country for granted. We used to live in a Canada that was democratic, innovative and open-minded. Now, with our backwards-thinking dictator (emphasize the first syllable) of a prime minister, I feel I cannot be a part of the mess he is creating. Since taking power, Harper has shown a complete lack of compassion and respect for my fellow Canadians.
Anyone who knows me would say I’m not the biggest fan of the prime minister. I’d call that an understatement. I would say it’s more of an intense loathing, or a pure hatred, even. Harper and I are on opposite ends of the ideological spectrum, and for someone who proudly calls himself a socialist, I just can’t understand some of his policies with regards to social programs. As a leftist, I believe in building society as a whole, not leaving anyone behind, and respecting our planet as we do this. Right-wing ideology says that people should fend for themselves, too bad for those left behind, and it’s ok to exploit the planet’s resources if it means stimulating the economy, no matter the degradation that may come with it.
My biggest problem with Harper is his complete arrogance and hypocrisy (e.g. scrapping the long-form census because it’s ‘too invasive,’ but then tabling a bill to watch our every move on the Internet), and unfortunately, we’ve come to expect this from him. But when we expect our political leaders to be hypocrites, to lie to our faces and go back on their promises, that’s a sign that we’ve got a major problem on our hands. But the fault on this issue may not lie on Harper himself. Canadians have had a very “laissez-faire” attitude with politics lately, and it’s been working to Harper’s advantage. The lack of toughness on the media’s part has helped bolster his image, and hasn’t been depicting him as the scheming fiend many of us see him as.
After the Liberal party’s sponsorship scandal in 2006, Harper was elected on the promise of transparency and accountability. Since then, he has led one of the most secretive and sneaky governments in Canadian history, having complete disrespect for the political process, proroguing parliament at the first signs of trouble for his party, and silencing anyone who speaks out against his practices, just like he did to Linda Keen, head of the Canadian Nuclear Safety Committee for expressing concerns about the Chalk River reactor. Harper was even found in contempt of parliament for breaking election rules, a crime that should have merited his resignation. But of course, he didn’t do that, nor did Michaëlle Jean, Governor General at the time, actually exercise her right and remove Harper from office.
And now we have two more scandals to add to the list: the F-35 debacle and Robogate. When the government tells us a ten billion dollar lie, or breaks election rules (again) by misleading voters on Election Day, that to me, is a serious offense worthy of incarceration. It’ll be easy for them to cover up the F-35 issue. Speaker of the House Andrew Scheer has already stated that there is no evidence to show that the prime minister misled MPs with the cost of the F-35s, obviously trying to quell the flames of an already pissed off opposition. But as for Robogate, independent investigations by Elections Canada has already showed that the digital trail used to mislead voters during the last election is tied to conservative party staffers. Allegations of voter suppression are being investigated in roughly 200 ridings throughout the country. If you ask me, the last election should be declared null and void as soon as possible so that we can stop Harper’s war to undermine Canadian democracy.
As someone who cares intensely about my country, it’s scary to see it be hijacked by one man. I feel I have a responsibility to save us from the ghouls and trolls of the Conservative Party, and I feel it is my mandate to expose these people for what they are: divisive, arrogant, hypocritical robots that answer to an ideology that may have been acceptable at some point in history, but not today. It’s 2012, Mr. Harper. Get with the times.