Not crazy, but hardly benign

Gotta hand it to you folks in the U.S. of A – your country has colorful leaders on the right. And by colorful I mean crazier than a hoot owl.

You have Huckabee, a guy who would hold up assistance to a tornado-ravaged city because he didn’t like how God was being blamed for the storm. I’m referring to the plight of Arkadelphia, Arkansas, in 1997, when then-governor Huckabee objected to a state bill’s use of the phrase “act of God” (a puzzling story recounted concisely here.)

And ya got your Romney with his church’s belief in magic underwear and baptism of the dead. And your Boehner with his propensity for public mewling. And your Paul the Elder with, well, where to even begin?

Up here in Canada, our right-wing zanies rarely reach high leadership positions. But don’t let that fool you into believing Canadian leaders on the right are benign.

Conservative captains in the Great White North seem, these days at least, to be cut from the same political cloth as a Romney or a Huckabee. Granted, not the same as a Paul; but let’s face it – Paul pop and son and are batpoop crazy.

Case in point: the incumbent Prime Minister, Stephen Harper.

Harper (like the current Liberal leader) wanted Canada to help the United States invade Iraq; good thing he wasn’t PM in 2003, or my country would have been part of that shameful episode.

Harper and his government have derided UN peacekeeping, which is practically a Canadian invention for the world, and pursued a more militaristic foreign policy.

Harper, while between terms in elected office, slagged Canada as “a second-tier socialistic country” and “a Northern European welfare state in the worst sense of the term.” (Yet he has the nerve to question the Liberal leader’s patriotism.)

When he wasn’t taking a government salary, Harper headed an organization that hates single-payer public health care and despises labor unions.

Harper dismissed climate change as unproven, and he said the Kyoto Protocol was “a socialist scheme to suck money out of wealth-producing nations.”

He is as much a right-wing ideologue as Huckabee or Palin, but his team has succeeded in marketing him in such a way that many Canadians don’t know it or choose to overlook it. If given the opportunity, he will change my country in ways that would make U.S. neocons very happy.

I mention all this because Canada is on the verge of a national election. A vote in the House of Commons on Friday could bring Harper’s government down, triggering a May 2 balloting day.

The stakes are high because a Conservative majority, unlike the minority they have now in the House, would give Harper and his right-wing apparatchiks the power to remould Canada in the neocon image. That would be crazy bad for my country.

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About Stimpson

A curious chap, indeed.
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20 Responses to Not crazy, but hardly benign

  1. oso says:

    Mike,
    I think the “Canada Radio Act” speaks to the basic benevolence of Canadians, and the efforts to amend it using that holocaust denier lawsuit here in the US as precedent speaks to the threat of the right wing ideologues to your country.
    Question – are Canadians as basically religious as Americans? I mean church-going religious, not spiritual ? Certainly that’s part of our Whackadoo problem here.
    Harper sounds like the Beck type, ideologue/populist with little understanding of the issues but no compunctions about making those misunderstandings public record.

    • Stimpson says:

      A proposed (and, as far as I can tell, almost done) change to broadcast rules is something I think I’ll post on soon. Basically, Canada’s broadcast regulator is changing the rule against spreading false information. It wants to make it an offense only if a lie endangers the lives, health or safety of Canadians. Which sounds like a rule change tailor-made for a right-of-centre “news” channel that’s starting up.

      Canadians are nowhere near as religious as U.S. Americans. Not even close. In fact, Canada is on a list of nations where religion is pegged for extinction. I’m not saying I buy the methodology or conclusions in the study, but surely the fact the U.S. isn’t on the list tells us something about religion’s hold on the U.S.

      Harper himself, BTW, is a church-going guy. And his church is fairly described as fundamentalist, too. Unlike Becky, he doesn’t strike me as loony, though.

  2. Gwendolyn H. Barry says:

    I had never watched Bowling for Columbine / M Moore… saw it on Saturday. I was so impressed with Canadians …. that I thought a what if on moving for a fleeting moment. I’ve done a lot of the fleeting thinking of late with France, Denmark and always, dear old Bimini. But I ain’t never run from a fight. And I do have love for my country, still. But Mike, I had no real idea of the political situation. So , ty for the heads up. Your fella there sounds like a member of the GOP!

  3. The Corporate Media, regardless of the country, does a great job in homogenizing the rightwing nutters. Plus, working people watch the network evening news which only provides them w/30 second sound bites and nothing of substance. For people to actually be informed, they have to look for the truth..and frankly Joe and Doris Middleclass just don’t have the time or inclination to do so….they trust the jackholes in the media to tell them the truth…LOL to that one. πŸ˜‰

    Harper is a real tool ain’t he? Congrats dude!

  4. scaredstiff says:

    I’d still be a resident of Canada in a Bullwinkle moment. You guys have a lot of years left before your as bad as the mucksuckers we have to endure. Unfortunately, they don’t want me. I believe it was Canadians who recently said no to bombing some sort of area in Libya. They refused because of collateral damage. At least that’s what I think and so I’m going with it. Either way it makes a good story…

  5. Dusty, I think people have plenty of time to seek the truth. They vegetate on the couch watching TV, playing video games, watching movies from NetFlix, etc. They are just too damn lazy to look for facts. They’d rather be entertained by media outlets like FoxNews and MSNBC than really figure out what the fuck is going on.
    Meanwhile, the real power brokers who don’t give a rats ass about politics beyond it being tool to subjugate the masses are laughing their ass off as we bicker over left and right and they stuff more and more of our hard earned money into their coffers.
    SUCKERS!

    • Stimpson says:

      I’m inclined to agree, Sagacious, that most people hardly try at all to get the truth. Most are apathetic, for a variety of reasons. Their apathy makes it easy for an elite to exploit them.

    • Most of the hardworking americans I know have little time for video games and watching netflix movies is a treat for them as it requires a few hours of idle time. Raising a family doesn’t happen by itself, it takes a lot of interaction with family members if you are trying to do the job right Sagacious Hillbilly.

      Now that my days as a parent are over, I have the time to sit my ass on the couch and watch hours and hours of MSNBC and scream and throw things at the tv when Tweety waxes poetic. When my son was young..I was too busy trying to raise an intelligent individual that thought for himself by countering all the shit they spewed at him in public schools.

  6. Very bad indeed. Just look at what St. Ronald of Hollywood, and later, George W. “Worst President in U.S. History” Bush did to the U.S. If Harper exudes the right combination of charisma, charm and chutzpah, your fellow Canadians could well go much farther than simply overlooking his economic Darwinism, rejection of science and militaristic proclivities.

    If your fellow Canadian’s deem Harper better than his opponent to go have a Molson’s with, you’re really in for a bad time.

    • Stimpson says:

      Ah, the beer test.

      One plus: Harper is a bit of a cold dweeb, the kind of guy who’ll toss a football around for a photo opp but not take off his necktie first (true story). So he’s not the most saleable product for the beer test.

      One minus: The other main party leader is a stuffed-shirt academic with a patrician bearing. Not easily sold either.

      So I guess it’s a saw-off.

  7. Krell says:

    For some strange reason, Morgan and I have been having the “what country would you move to” conversations as well. Never thought it was even remotely possible, but I am genuinely worried about the sudden collapse that’s a possibility in the future.

    Preventing the spiral will take a lot of people to get out of their comfort zone which seems very unlikely. The MSM is so good here, they will have the ignoramus parading around and protesting against anyone preventing their own demise.

    Sounds like there is some sanity in the northern country. But I am surprised at even those conservative “Huckabee’s” and “Romney’s” you mention Mike.

  8. lynette says:

    Harper dismissed climate change as unproven, and he said the Kyoto Protocol was β€œa socialist scheme to suck money out of wealth-producing nations.”

    Yeah. We can’t have that. After all, that great wealth was sucked out of those same economically disadvantaged nations now being devastated by climate change. Helping them, after they’ve been robbed blind for a century or two, would smack of something atrocious, like… oh, reparations or something. Capitalists do not like reparations. Capitalists are rich because they deseeeerrrrrrrrrvvve to have more. They’re better like that.

    • Stimpson says:

      As you imply (or maybe it’s just what I inferred), a big part of climate change denial and opposition to international corrective measures is just a case of “I’ve got my stuff and I’m keeping all of it.” Global warming deniers want to continue driving gas guzzlers and playing in speed boats. People opposing international measures want to be sure their rich countries stay rich. It’s morally reprehensible, really.

  9. lynette says:

    Actually, I’ve really been shocked at how many Canadians are right wingers. I’ve met a whole bunch of your countrymen (and -women) in Mexico and among that crew (expats wintering in tropical climes) we could almost recruit for the teabaggers. I ASSumed that since y’all have universal health care, you must be a fairly liberal country. Not quite, though your mileage may vary, and my study group was, as noted, quite limited.

    • Stimpson says:

      Your sample group is, of course, composed of Canucks who can afford trips to Mexico. So it is a bit unrepresentative. But there’s no denying that greedy right-wing political viewpoints have made inroads in Canada, which is sad. There was a time when the typical Canadian conservative understood that society is more than a collection of greedy individuals striving for their own material gains.

    • M’dear bud Lynette! Your pov on this issue is much appreciated, you world traveler you! πŸ˜‰

      Seriously though, it’s like when I lived in AZ and the snowbirds were all rich folks that had the rightwing nutter attitude of ‘I got mine, screw the rest of ya’.

  10. lynette says:

    Right Dusty. World traveler. Try this on: Can’t afford to live in the US anymore, so expatriating to a country I love anyway. πŸ™‚ Stimpson, yes. I recognize that’s a select group, those able to spend months out of the year away from home in quite grand beachside villas in Chixculub.

  11. jackjodell53 says:

    Stimpson,
    Always good to read one of your posts! Huckabee, Bachmann, and Pat Robertson are all batshitcrazy! Palin and Pawlenty are just self-centered opportunists, and Gingrich and Romney are hypocritical flip-floppers.

    I see a lot of ideological similarity between Harper and George W. Bush. I sure hope you can get rid of him before he does too much damage, because once you let Fox in up there, it’ll be all over for you. You do NOT a want a Canadian version of Fox “News” – TRUST ME!

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