The Socialist Republic of Canada

Stephen Harper may have been a flawed prime minister who did not take sufficient advantage of the majority administration he enjoyed. In my estimation, he left much to be delivered. He did reduce the budget of the left-wing propaganda network, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC), by 10%, but should have had the courage to engineer its privatization, as Brian Lilley argued in his fact-packed CBC Exposed. (The description of the book’s contents is accurate: “From reporting driven by vendettas to outright biases against conservatives, gun owners, Israel and any other group that doesn't fit their vision of Canada, CBC Exposed is a call to action to rein in this broadcasting giant.”) Harper might have taken a more determined stand against Canada’s so-called Human Rights Commissions, politically correct, Soviet-style shadow courts favorable to grievance mongers, Muslims and Social Justice Warriors, that do not admit countervailing evidence, and that rarely if ever lose a case. When I consulted Harper on the issue, he argued that he had no jurisdiction in provincial matters. To his credit, he brought pressure to bear on the national tribunal, which managed to defuse its malign influence, but the anti-democratic provincial bodies continue to flourish. He refused to touch the abortion debate. His mode of governing was too authoritarian for many.

But Harper has been vilified past any conception of good sense and common decency. Pre-election signs and placards attacked “Harperman” for his “crimes”—whatever these might have been. More surprisingly, conservatives, too, have denounced the Conservative Party for utterly trivial or tendentious reasons. Pundit John Robeson, for example, declared he could not vote for the Conservatives owing to their “unprincipled cynicism” in pledging to make a home renovation tax credit permanent—a very minor affair—which I and others like me would certainly have appreciated. Self-published author Fred Litwin, who calls himself a conservative, found he could not vote his party, reckoning that it had exploited “the niqab issue to energize a faction of the Conservative activist base…causing deep divisions in Canada about Muslims” and for spreading “the vilest of lies …about Syrian refugees generally.” Such claptrap almost defies belief.

Then there is well-known columnist Andrew Coyne, who defends Harper against his literary accusers while condemning him for his manifold “sins,” which include shutting out the media and “virtually every other institution of democratic accountability.” Coyne does not seem to recognize that such “institutions” have become so profoundly compromised by leftist bias and anti-Conservative screechiness that they themselves are no longer democratically accountable.

Jonathan Kay, a former editor at the supposedly conservative oriented National Post and a respected columnist, saw no conflict of interest in acting as editorial assistant for Trudeau’s memoir Common Ground. It was “just a paycheque,” Kay explained in an article titled “The Justin Trudeau I Can’t Forget,” before going on to justify his involvement in the Trudeau project with subsequent insights into Trudeau’s “difference,” his having to deal with “maternal rejection” and the “emotional pain” of being “parched of mother’s milk.” What is there left to say after writing such tripe, but Kay soldiers on undaunted. Despite Little Lord Fauntleroy’s difficult childhood, we’re informed, “He’s someone who desperately wants to do the right thing.”

After having read some of Trudeau’s stump texts, I find it hard to believe he would be remotely capable of writing a book on his own steam, but be that as it may, I’m sure Kay’s editorial assistance, in whatever form it might have assumed, would have been welcomed. Kay, whose conservative colors remind me of Robeson’s and Litwin’s, reveals his allegiance in the conclusion to the article.”If election day ends with Justin Trudeau delivering a concession speech, it’ll be a hard thing for me to watch.” Kay’s puff job was, in my view, disgraceful, but very much in line with the conservative backsliding that further prejudiced Harper’s re-election prospects. For a more measured and principled account of Trudeau’s capacities, one can consult Paul Tuns’ The Dauphin, detailing the rise of a self-indulgent and pampered epigone plainly unfit for high office.

A pre-election exchange with an acquaintance of mine was typical of popular sentiment. Harper was non grata and unvoteable-for, but my acquaintance knew next to nothing about the party’s policies and platform. A responsible citizen does not vote personality (Harper) or looks (Trudeau); he or she votes policy. My interlocutor, a member of the musician/artistic community, may have anticipated the far larger government handouts he could expect from the Liberals.