Harper’s “Tea Party North”

Census formIn the wake of all the chatter over the Harperites’ elimination of the mandatory long-form from the 2011 census, I have been thinking a lot lately about how Harper’s Conservatives have seemingly been getting away with dismantling the Canada the majority of us know and love despite his minority standing in the House of Commons. This article by Frances Russell Murdoch published on The Tyee puts into words, in a way I never could have, how the census debacle is only the latest manifestation of the Harper government’s implementation of the hard-right agenda that centrists and left-leaning Canadians feared so much prior to the rise to power of the Reform/Alliance Conservatives.

Taxes are not inherently a bad thing; mismanagement of tax dollars is. Having the state dictate to me where I can or cannot smoke or who I can or cannot f*ck is a bad thing, but having a state upon which I can call upon should bad luck befall me is a good thing. Meanwhile, it slays me to see, economic recession notwithstanding since the pattern began well before the recession struck, how these Conservatives, like Mulroney’s in the 1980s and 1990s or the U.S. Bushites of the 2000s, have made a porridge of the country’s finances (i.e., mismanaged tax dollars) to the point that, like Obama in the U.S., it will take another party longer to fix than it took these asswipes to break.

It breaks my heart to see Canadians and Americans alike fall for empty populist buzz phrases without realizing the negative long-term consequences. The left is not without its fault, but looking at the last century in both countries, it is clear that progressive policies have improved the lot of the majority far more than so-called conservative policies.