Thursday, April 24, 2008

Why I Don't Like Harper

In response to this post I thought I would add my two cents on the topic. I don't like Harper, primarily because I think he is fraud, the present a constructed calculation based on self-interest, with little regard for consequence.

Stephen Harper doesn't care a lick about Quebec, or Quebecers, any measure or outreach is simply a recognition of what is required to attain, keep or expand power. When he speaks of de-centralization, provincial jurisdiction, it all stems from the belief that Quebec has too much power in the federation, it's origin is actually anti-Quebec, as opposed to the presentation of greater flexibility.

Stephen Harper has the audacity to run on openness and transparency, market himself as progressive in that regard, and then when in office, institute the most repressive and stifling regime in Canadian history. No access to information, no access to the media, no access to MP's, no ability for anyone to speak freely, outside of pre-determined and approved talking points. The man who presented himself as the champion of open government, is in fact Stalinist in his approach.

Stephen Harper runs government, as though he is packaging a product and we are his potential consumer. Rather than develop sound policy, preference is given to measures which produce the desired perception, which can be sold. Expert opinion is largely irrelevant, empirical evidence is less persuasive than the idea of vote potential. Decisions are more about what is good for the Conservative Party politically, than they are what is good for the country.

Stephen Harper isn't a builder, his entire political career is predicated on negativity. Any ideas are developed in reaction to a perceived undesirable, a pessimism towards many of our institutions, a anger towards political foes, more about tearing down than moving forward. Stephen Harper hates the Liberals, he loves the gutter, he wants to destroy rather than compare and contrast. Anything that gets in Harper's way is subject to brutal assassination, threats, attacking without consideration for consequence, an inherent meanness.

It's not that Stephen Harper is a conservative, my dislike isn't necessarily kneejerk. I liked Joe Clark, I liked Peter Loughheed, I liked Bill Davis, I like John McCain. Philosophical agreement isn't entirely a pre-requisite for respect or acknowledgement of principled position. I don't like Stephen Harper because I don't like the approach, I don't see authenticity, I don't agree with the tactics or the motivations. I don't like Stephen Harper because he's a false prophet, what you see is edited fiction, a recipe for maximum digestion. The Harper model doesn't appeal to the best in people, it relies on divisions, it uses fear to force compliance, it requires an enemy, a foe, to find it's own union.


sassy said...

Excellent post Steve.

Your comment that resounds the loudest for me is:

Stephen Harper isn't a builder, his entire political career is predicated on negativity

Susan said...

Great post.

Drew Adamick said...

Excellent post.

Gayle said...

Great post Steve.

OT - I saw your posts over at Janke's site.

I wrote a long post about the fact he is confusing official documentation with evidence of an offence, but I cannot post it there.

Rest assured - he is way off base and you are not. As usual :)

foottothefire said...

You're all to kind.
Stephen Harper and his inner sanctumonious are hucksters. Cheap, garish, low brow hucksters, as ignorant about governance as they are about brewing mash behind closed PM's doors.
Hillbillies of the not Beverly Hills kind; mean spirited to the core who stop at nothing to squash the smallest of prey.....and that's just what their mommies tell me.

Anonymous said...

It takes a few paragraphs to cover all the bases but damn, that is the best distillation to date of why I hate Harper. The guy is a tight assed control freak.

Anonymous said...

"It's not that Stephen Harper is a conservative, my dislike isn't necessarily kneejerk."

From the conversations in my local pub in East Toronto where Stephen Harper grew up, the consensus is this.

You may disagree with Mike Harris and George W. Bush, but at least they can walk into my watering hole and have a lengthy conversation with them.

You can't do that with Stephen Harper.

What you have is a Prime Minister with an emotional quotient in the 20s, who can't relate to the general public. If Canada is a corporate firm, Harper is someone who you would hire to run the Information Technology room. Like his days working for Imperial Oil in the early 20s. Unfortunately, I am afraid I am being a bit unfair to all the cybergeeks in blogosphere.

WesternGrit said...

Nice posts folks. Growing up in Sask, and living in Alberta as well, I watched these angry, extreme right-wingers become Reform, then watched the genesis into Alliance, and finally CPC.

If anyone really thinks their core isn't "scary" they just need to go to a town hall meeting in Alberta or Sask., where most of their die-hard adherents are located... You know - the very people that sit next to Harper in the PMO, and in back rooms, making policy, and finding ways to destroy the very fabric of this nation in their ludicrous attempt to mimic the "hell-bent-for-free-enterprise" environment down south (we all know how that's ending up)...

Scary indeed.

Steve V said...

"If anyone really thinks their core isn't "scary""

I'm not sure anyone would deny that, after all it's Harper himself that muzzles everyone, nobody can speak freely. A mainstream party doesn't need to manage and edit it's people.


I still haven't seen your post at Janke's. I must say, I find it almost pitiful that people are investing all their energy trying desperately to cobble a coherent counter. Steve's a pretty smart chap, surely somewhere in that noggin he knows that this all stinks, it's all legitimate. Let's just hope one of those Liberal moles in EC leaks the raid findings ;)

Gayle said...

Steve - I cannot post at his site for some reason. I will try later from my home computer.

It is important that I straighten this out before it all spins out of control... ;)

Steve V said...

"It is important that I straighten this out before it all spins out of control... ;)"

Well, the good news, nobody is buying any of it, except for the partisans, desperate to find their security blanket of denial. As I said to Steve, good luck with making EC the real culprit, Canadians ain't that dumb.

Anonymous said...

Harper is not a leader, we all know that. He follows only one rule: reward your friends, punish your enemies. And enemies, not opponents, is what he sees. No wonder he can't ever build the coalitions that serve the nation's interests. It's time for true leadership, move over Harper.