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Monday, April 15, 2013

Harper's Low Road

When you're cruising down the highway to Hell, pulling a country behind you for the people in the stretch limo ahead, you run over a lot of people, most intentionally.

Harper continued to pull Canada to the bottom by releasing attack ads the moment Trudeau was elected leader. That is his main tactic, attack the opponent not the ideas. In philosophy the lowest form of argument is an attack on the person.

Harper is incapable of rational, adult debate because he lacks any original or constructive ideas, just the destructive neoliberal, neoconservative ideas of America's discredited Republicans and the traditional method of exploiting Canada and its people as a resource colony. He has done nothing for the country, just things to it. In seven years he has pulled Canada towards the bottom of lists that we topped for decades, along with bringing down wages, attacking the unions that brought us fair wages and working conditions, and ending environmental protections, commitments, and science. He even brought us Soviet-style minders for government scientists and swore librarians and archivists to secrecy.

Who does this benefit? Those in the limo. The new colonial masters of Canada, resource companies, many of which are feared and loathed internationally for their destruction and abuse. Resource companies wrote the so-called budget to suit their aims and remove obstacles and accountability. Someday they will write constituional law.

Trickle-down economics was a disaster, the neoliberal experiment giving us today's massive inequality and the financial crisis. Harper wants Canada to have one industrial sector that trickles down economic benefits to other industries and the people. That will work just as well as the disaster started by Thatcher, Reagan and Mulroney. Harper hasn't learned from history, particularly that of America since Bush the Puppet took office. He doesn't pay attention to facts that disagree with his world view, he silences them or or simply ignores them. Like any fanatic to an ideology.

Harper's ethical highway leads where all such neoconservative idiocy must, backward and downward.

On Harper's low road we're just speed-bumps.

 The following is from the Toronto Star. Published on Tue Apr 16 2013.

Conservative attacks on Justin Trudeau backfire on Harper: Editorial

Conservative ads mocking Liberal leader Justin Trudeau don’t say much about him, but they speak volumes about a governing party stuck in a negative rut.

Conservative attack ad mocks new Liberal leader Justin Trudeau.
Conservative attack ad mocks new Liberal leader Justin Trudeau.

Say one thing for Stephen Harper’s Conservative party: they’re nothing if not predictable. Every pundit in the land said they’d smack Justin Trudeau upside the head with one of their patented attack ads as soon as he took over as Liberal leader. And there it was on Monday – a sneering dismissal of Trudeau as “in way over his head.”

In this case, though, the Conservatives took a big swing and ended up connecting with their own nose. The oh-so-clever ads designed to mock Trudeau as a callow youth don’t say much about the newly minted Liberal leader. But they do speak volumes about a governing party stuck in its own negative, manipulative rut.

The video footage, helpfully on display at a new Conservative-sponsored site called www.justinoverhishead.com, show Trudeau doing a mock striptease, sporting a rather rakish moustache. It turns out the “striptease” was a stunt in aid of a benefit gala last year for the Canadian Liver Foundation and helped raise $1,900 for cancer research. (Harper’s wife Laureen attended the same event, and sat at Trudeau’s table, the previous year.)

The moustache? He grew that for “Movember,” the annual campaign in which men stop shaving their upper lips for a month to raise funds for prostate cancer research. Nice one, Tories: mock a guy for helping with cancer research.

As if that weren’t enough, there’s also the slight matter of the outright misrepresentation of a quote from a 14-year-old interview that Trudeau did with CTV News.

The ad shows Trudeau saying: “Quebecers are better than the rest of Canada because, you know, we’re Quebecers or whatever.” The Conservative website calls this “a shocking revelation previously ignored by the media,” and the narrator rubs it in by adding: “Nothing says good judgment like saying one region is better than another. Justin Trudeau – he’s in way over his head.”
In fact, as CTV reporter Danielle Hamandjian quickly pointed out in a series of tweets on Monday, in the original interview Justin Trudeau was actually describing his father Pierre’s beliefs. The full quote: “His philosophy, certainly as he passed it on to us, has always been Quebecers are better than the rest of Canada because we’re Quebecers or whatever. I mean, this idea that a lot more of us are bilingual, bicultural…” Hardly a shocking revelation.
The Conservatives had a lot of success with negative ads pigeon-holing the last two Liberal leaders – the hapless Stéphane Dion was “not a leader” and Michael Ignatieff was famously “just visiting.” So it’s no surprise they’re trying the same trick with Trudeau.
It may yet succeed: Trudeau grew a lot during his long campaign for the Liberal leadership, but he still has much to learn. So far, though, the Tories have succeeded only in drawing attention to their own tired tactics.