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 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.