Thursday, September 30, 2010


The new book by Lawrence Martin "Harperland: The Politics of Control" is based on the notion that "hatred for his opponents" is what drives this Prime Minister. Although Conservatives are already up in arms, Martin's thesis is primarily backed up by Conservative sources, fancy that.

I've held this belief for some time, and I've articulated it here in the past. Martin uses "hatred", which is similar to my view that Harper, and more broadly, the reformer group he led, was always more about negativity, what they were against, than any real commitment to substantial change. If you look at almost every policy position, the starting point seems to be an expression of what is wrong, something to rail against, more angst than vision. The entire status quo was the enemy, the Liberals a lightning rod for a rebellion against entrenched interests.

In practice, Harper has betrayed almost all of his former supposed beliefs. In addition, his merry band of ideologues have compromised all the former core tenets, whether it be egalitarian democracy, transparency, entitlement, etc- you name it, one can point to a tinge of sheer hypocrisy. The fact Harper has so quickly ignored the supposed philosophy, confirms to me that it was always an inherent negativism that drove him, rather than the superficial presentation. Harper only wants to tear down, disband, undermine, question, divide, there is little where one can point to a positivity.

If you review Harper's ascendency, you see writings and speeches littered with a profound dislike for almost all of Canada's institutions. Everything the enemy, which has become plainly obvious now that Harper has practical power. It's this bizarre "anti" disposition that causes unnecessary confrontations, where none need exist. Harper wants to destroy things, the Liberals a symbol for that deep seeded motivation. This is why Harper's "conservatism" departs from other manifestations, because it lacks balance, it lacks a positive horizon. Without something to attack, there is nothing really there, there is no passion or warped conviction. On the foreign policy front, it's always stark, because we need to have an enemy, so we can rally behind an ally. We don't like certain initiatives, but we don't offer alternatives, all energy is merely spend obstructing or stopping.

Step back and look for an overarching theme, and you see that most of the policies or positions are reacting to something already in place, in a decidedly pessimistic fashion. I firmly believe, if Harper had nothing to dislike or decry, he would have little impetus or inspiration to achieve anything. Harper needs a THEM, and his entire career has been based on this rudimentary construct.


Dame said...

Excellent as usual... I agree with every word you said..

Harper is a very sick man , I am ashamed of having himas our PM.

Anya said...

What on earth made the man hate the Liberals so much and he is poisoning the voter against them..he is demented and needs help, fast.

Tof KW said...

I'm just waiting for the rest of the world to pass judgment on us by giving our usual turn on the UN Security Council to Portugal. That's how much we've fallen under Harper. Since WWII we have always punched above our weight-class under successive Liberal and Progressive Conservative governments. Now small European nations can take our place.

Now if only Canadians could see what the rest of the world has already figured out about Mr Angry.

Brian Busby said...

Anya, it is odd, is it not? After all, the man was once a Young LIberal. But then our PM also quit the Progressive Conservatives and quit as a Reform MP.

While I don't entirely agree that Harper only "wants to tear down, disband, undermine, question, divide,", I'm with Steve that "there is little where one can point to a positivity."

Steve V said...


It was pretty pathetic to see Harper suddenly using Canada's proud history at the UN to try and swipe a SC seat, when we all know he despises the very things he mentioned.

ottlib said...

"I firmly believe, if Harper had nothing to dislike or decry, he would have little impetus or inspiration to achieve anything."

Actually his head would implode to such an extent that a quantum singularity big enough to threaten the entire universe would form in the Langeven Block.

Jerry Prager said...

In a book I highly recommend, called The Angry Marriage, the author postulates 6 styles of anger, which I regard as 6 modes in the language of anger. Two of the modes are overt, four are covert. Venting and provocation, are overt while enactment (eating, drinking etc, instead of getting angry) displacement (us versus them), validation (someone is sick, and someone is their caretaker) and suppression (denial of anger) are all covert.
Politics when used for spite is always displaced anger. In a couple it becomes a shared contempt for in-laws, neighbours, bosses, countries, etc. In Harper's party it's contempt for Liberals, socialists, sovereigntists, Toronto elites (probably the ones that piss off Stephen the most, since what he most wants, is to be loved in the city of his birth, only the vast majority of Torontonians don't trust or respect him, local boy or not. I guess his attack on Iggy as a guy who has been away too long could be seen as revenge for Harper being regarded in Toronto as the TexAlbertan tool of his oil executive father's friends.

JimmE said...

One only has to look at the so called RECORD of this person to see it is about breaking stuff not building stuff.
Life is too short to wallow in hate. Travel, help a neighbour, love more, hate less.
Heck read a sentiment from a greeting card & act on it; or move to Montana.

RuralSandi said...

Harper is supposed to be a good Christian - hatred in not being a good Christian.

Nixon was a very intelligent man - what brought him down? Paranoia and hatred.

You can't think reasonably or make good decisions when you are over-whelmed with hatred.

The Cons can object all they want to Martin's book, but people already know a lot of this stuff anyway - they doth protest too much.

Funny, they (the Cons) praised Martin when he wrote a scathing book about Chretien.

Tof KW said...

"Funny, they (the Cons) praised Martin when he wrote a scathing book about Chretien."

Indeed. I got a good laugh watching Lawrence Martin respond to those allegations that he's a Liberal hack on P&P yesterday. When Evan brought that up, Martin just gave a bit of a snort and replied that's not what they thought of me when I wrote my book about Chretien, or my many G&M articles criticizing Paul Martin.

But you have to excuse the Reformatards. After all they can't recall history very much, especially anything prior to 2006 unless it involves Adscam or the NEP.

WesternGrit said...

Great post! The party of "haters" has the ideal poster-child PM. The Reform-a-Tories have been seething anger since their first days. I grew up on the Prairies, and watched their stump speeches on the local news. It was always anger, anger, and more anger. Preston Manning was also fairly anti-everything, but his shrill demeanor was cause for some humor, and that often made him appear more of a "softy" than he really was... Harper, on the other hand, is the "real deal" - a "hater" extraordinaire.

Interesting thing about Harper is trying to ascertain what he actually likes... Does he really like to play the piano? Does he even like hockey? Has he ever EVER laced up a pair of skates and had a stick in hand? The guy likes very little of the Canadian fabric. Certainly his handlers from the US have coached him to wrap himself in Canadiana.

I recall Reformer acquaintances on the Prairies whining about how the (old/Chretien era) Liberal logo was just us wrapping ourselves in the flag... Of course I would just rub it in by adding that our party colours are Canada's colours... lol... It is safe to say that Harper (with much Republican coaching) is trying to create some sort of a Canadian image for his party while trying to appeal to the Tim Horton's crowd (WHATEVER the definition of that really is?)...

The common denominator is that Harper and his "hater" ilk know everyone dislikes or distrusts something, and that by galvanizing that dislike they can win some votes. In order to win their arguments against reason, all they need to do is muddy the truth/facts, and the best way for them to do that is by actually removing and/or underfunding the bodies that create and study the facts (Stats Can, universities, NGOs).

Kirk said...

What positive initiatives has Harper pursued?

There must be some.

And I ask this sincerely not as a opportunity to slag Harper.

I can think of one, his apology to the first nations for the treatment they suffered in residential schools.

Any others?

DL said...

"Harper is supposed to be a good Christian - hatred in not being a good Christian."

That's just for "display purposes". I think Harper is a classic elitist disciple of Leo Strauss - he thinks religion is good for the "common people" because it keeps them under control. Only GIANT INTELLECTS like "himself" can be trusted with not believing in God. Strauss himself and his acolytes were all atheists (some were gay as well - but that is a whole other topic) - but they thought that OTHER people had to be religious to "keep them in line". I suspect that Harper privately is a total atheist who knows that religion is "the opiate of the masses" - and he just pretends to be believer for political purposes.

That's just one example of how cynical he is.