It was with great sadness and disappointment that I read the Globe’s Election Endorsement of Stephen Harper. Although Harper’s blatant subjugation of Canadian democracy has been reported in the Globe over the past 5 years, all seemed forgiven by the stroke of an editor’s pen 4 days before our federal election.
One may wonder at the particular reasons for this startling phenomenon, but I think it speaks to a disturbing trend in our society that erodes the very base of this great country. We need only look to the prime directive of the Corporation for a likely source – that, above all, a Corporation’s goal is to make a profit, regardless of any negative impact on society. The Globe editorial seethes with this ideology in praising Harper for his “respect…for the free market, and for freedom of international investment, in spite of their apparent yielding to political pressure in the proposed takeover of Potash Corp”. All of these things will not help the average Canadian weather the economic storm. They will not help to bridge the gap between the rich and the poor – in fact they will help widen it.
In terms of health care, the editor’s assertion that “Mr. Harper has the toughness and reformist instincts to push the provinces toward greater experimentation (in private delivery, for instance) and change” is a blatant push for the destruction of our prized universal health care system; something that most Canadians are vehemently opposed to. These are all part of a right-wing corporate ideology that Canadians do not support, clothed in the soothing garb of “successful stewardship of the economy”; something with which Mr. Harper had very little to do. The fact that Canada started out in a position of surplus, combined with the Liberal party’s opposition to bank deregulation is what carried Canada through the recession. Economic stimulus spending was only achieved by Harper under the pressure of the opposition parties – he was too busy denying that a recession was in the offing.
What does the Globe editorial teach us about what it takes to be successful? Be a bully; when you are caught in a dishonest act, lie your way out of it or deny that it ever happened; stay cool under pressure and never admit that you’re wrong; repeat the same message over and over again, no matter how wrong you are and people will eventually believe you; if you never admit to wrongdoing, nobody will ever punish you. Do those things, and you too will “have shown the leadership, the bullheadedness … and the discipline this country needs.” I can’t wait to tell my kids.