A blog to give a voice to our concern about the continued erosion of our democratic processes not only within the House of Commons and within our electoral system but also throughout our society. Here you will find articles about the current problems within our parliamentary democracy, about actions both good and bad by our elected representatives, about possible solutions, opinions and debate about the state of democracy in Canada, and about our roles/responsibilities as democratic citizens. We invite your thoughtful and polite comments upon our posts and ask those who wish to post longer articles or share ideas on this subject to submit them for inclusion as a guest post.
Contact us at democracyunderfire@gmail.com

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

The House That Harper Built: Built to Last

A guest post by Pamela Mac Neil
The CONs aren't going anywhere. The absolute key to their staying power and their focus on winning again in 4 more years is their base. Anyone who thinks we've gotten Harper out, so we can sit back and relax is kidding themselves. The CON base does not consist of a group of people who are just political conservatives. It is a tightly knit, dogmatic, religious, entity who'se beliefs are for the most part outside of the Canadian mainsteam. Harper has successfully used faith as an opportunity politically to build a base that he saw working in the US. Canada's evangelicals are highly organized, well funded and much more likely to vote then other Canadians. In a speech to the Conservative think fest, Civitas, he outlined plans for a broad new party coalition that would ensure a lasting hold on power. He said that this can be done by bringing social conservatives of all faiths into the conservative party. What Harper called Theo-Cons. Mainly people of Christian faiths answered the call and of those Christians it was the Evangelical fundamental Christians who were in the majority. The same people who shared Harpers faith. They eventually became the majority of his base. Harpers own toned down Christian fundamentalism, is not some irrelevant belief system, but remains in present day, part of his political legacy. Harper has reshaped the Canadian Government, by the supporting of a covert Evangelical mission. Most importantly they were Harpers vehicle to implementing his Neoliberal agenda. With Harper as Prime Minister, the far right of Canadian conservatism achieved with the seizure of political power, the opportunity to now implement a Neoliberal policy agenda by first dismantling the modern welfare state. Harper and his CONs had developed one of the most extensive and manipulative political machines in Canadian history. They used micro-targeting of ethnic communities and other demographics, they did voter identification including to the poll level and they out fundraised the other parties by a 3.1 margin. Harper had a solid hold on his base and knew how to maintain it.

More then anything Harpers obvious end-game was not to just dismantle Canada's modern welfare state, but also its social democratic and liberal including small "l" liberal legacy and to make that Neoliberal transformation permanent. Harpers fascist, overt merging of corporatism and state power to the exclusion and ignorance of the Canadian majority is one of the wonders of his 9 yrs. in power and achieved mainly because of the complete silence of the MSM. Now that Harper has left, what are the Cons who survived the election and are now the official opposition going to do. Their number one focus will be pleasing their base. It is their base that has the power and it is their base that is in charge. Having had political power, their base will want to taste it again. The Cons know this. They have already started placating them. When Kenney said "We got the big things right, we just have to change the tone" the Canadian majority rolled their eyes and thought what a ridiculous thing to say. We voted them out because they didn't get the big things right! Who Kenney was really talking to though, when he said "We got the big things right" was to his base. He was assuring them. Even if he sounded ridiculous to the Canadian majority, it is only what his base thinks that matters. When the liberals found a deficit instead of the , surplus conservatives promised, Joe Olivers over the top "I'm shocked,shocked" response was for his base. The Canadian public would just put the remark down to a not very bright ex Minister of Finance in deep denial, but like Kenney he was assuring his base. He was saying, I am shocked that these liberals would go so far as to distort the truth by saying we had a deficit instead of the surplus we promised. The Cons cannot afford to have their base know that they were lied to by both Harper and Oliver about having a surplus. If their base were to start to disbelieve what their being told by the leaders of their party, then those same leaders would lose their bases trust, then it would be over, the CON party would be no more.

All political parties have a base. They come from , across Canada, young and old, from all walks of life, all ages, all beliefs, nationalities, and races. The political party base that Harper has built though is more like an antidemocratic cult following. Most of them share the same religious beliefs and most are capitalists politically in one form or another. Their values are from the religious right, such as family values, Law and Order and total support of Israel. They are against homosexuality, same sex marriage, abortion and environmentalism. It was predictable to Harper how his base would think on almost every issue, like a preacher, preaching to his flock, he knew just what to say, he knew how to placate them. Harpers beliefs were their beliefs, so he had no problem with them approving his policies. Harper did not seek out mainstream Canadians to join his conservative party and he excluded them from his governence. They were the real enemy! They were the ones who could stop his climb to power. They must be ignored, excluded, controlled and manipulated. Operating in secrecy was the best way to hold them in check and the MSM complete silence, assisted him in doing this. His bases votes were the votes that gave him the power he so desperately craved and these were the votes he could count on. He had created a living , breathing, predictable human voting machine, that he controlled and used to stay in power, like a laird managing his estate. In 2015 he campaigned only for his base. While they basked in being Harpers chosen people, mainstream Canada had had enough. They voted Harper out and gave Justin Trudeau, the son of the father Pierre Trudeau, the man who Harper had an ongoing irrational pathological hatred for, a majority of seats on which to form a government . My guess is that Harper did not see it coming! Operating in his self-made cacoon along with his base for 9yrs, he had always felt sure of them keeping him into power. He was not worried about mainstream Canadians, because in his mind they had been relegated to non-status, citizens who didn't care about voting. He is still a conservative MP, but that means nothing to him. Like an injured dog he has slunk off to hide and lick his wounds. The Conservatives are now the official opposition. Their base gave them 99 seats.

It is important to note that while the Canadian majority, despised Harper and much of his CON party, on a level playing field the electorate would have demolished the CON party, much like they did to Mulroney in 1993. The power of the CON base prevented that from happening. 99 seats is alot to give to a political party that was completely inept, including completely corrupt, the extent of which we are yet to find out. We will be able to count on the CONs spinning their B.S. to the Canadian public and the MSM still giving them a pass on everything, but what we must be is ever vigilant in making sure they never lead our government again. It's not anywhere near impossible for them to win another election. All that would be needed would be another low vote count from mainstream Canadians. It's that simple. In the mean time the Cons will be continually placating their base and pretending to care about the rest of Canada and pretending to be tough on the Liberals. What they are focused on though, right out of the starting gate, as the official opposition, is winning the next election and they know it is their base that is the key to their winning. Harper has gone, but the source of his power, his base, like cancer cells still intact after chemotherapy, still remain.

Support Democracy - Recommend this Post at Progressive Bloggers


Owen Gray said...

We're in dangerous territory when we accept a state supported religion. Pam.

Unknown said...

I never thought of it that way Owen, but you're absolutely right.

Rural said...

One only has to read some of the comments on recent news articles about refugees or climate change discussions to know that there is no shortage of right wing ideologues still out there. Pamela. We cannot forget what they have done in the past decade or ignore their continued thirst for power.

Unknown said...

I'm glad to see Rural, that Trudeau is ignoring the bigotry toward the refugee's and he's continuing to bring them in. They are the True victims of the wars in the middle east.

Frank A. Pelaschuk said...

Excellent article, Pamela. You observations on the base, the religious tie-ins, and the role of the media (they did, on the whole support the gang) are particularly astute. I feel, however, that his base upon whom the Conservatives are dependent of success are not solely to blame: it’s the wafflers, those voters who wander from party to party without real awareness of the consequences that trouble me more. Hard core believers allow us to know where they are coming from and are easier to combat because of that. When good, sound arguments and solid evidence gain votes, it’s not from that segment. It’s from individuals who actually care. The wafflers disturb me because they may seem to care, but they haven’t a clue; they are easily stampeded by the empty and superficial in too many instances. Not all, but too many. It’s for these I hold particular scorn. As for the media, the mostly Conservative press allows for the occasional liberal voice that somehow seems to convince the populace that the MSM is liberal or left wing. I don’t blame the media but those who unquestioningly accept what they are offered. Anyone wanting to know about anything would be wise to seek information from as many sources as possible. Eventually he will discern the wheat from the chaff.