On Stephen Harper, by Haroon Siddiqui

We have a new favourite Star columnist. Here’s why.

Siddiqui’s column (can’t believe I can access today‘s column online today, but I did) is about our Prime Minister and his machinations.

James Travers was, imho, irreplaceable. Maybe I was wrong. This is a well-researched, well-written, wake-up call to all of us. Thank you, Haroon.

For those too lazy to click on the link above, I will provide a few quotes. You really should click through and read Siddiqui’s column. All of it.

First, this:

Governor-General David Johnston’s term is extended for two years by Stephen Harper. He who owes his job to the prime minister will be deciding the prime minister’s fate in the event of a hung Parliament the morning after the Oct. 19 election.

Granted, extensions are not unusual. Also, a replacement would have been a Harper appointee as well. Still, there’s some history here.

Johnston — a well-respected academic, former president of the University of Waterloo — was named GG in 2010 soon after he helped defuse a potential embarrassment for the ruling Conservatives. Asked to help write the terms of reference of an inquiry, he recommended against reopening the infamous Airbus affair, Air Canada’s 1988 purchase of the French planes, and former prime minister Brian Mulroney’s role in it. Johnston dismissed that as “well-tilled ground.” That suited Harper just fine.

Then this:

Two years earlier, Johnston’s predecessor Michaëlle Jean had been rolled over by Harper who asked her to prorogue Parliament, to save his then minority government from certain defeat in the Commons. She caved in, instead of insisting that he go to Parliament to prove that he still had the confidence of the House. The rest is history. She went on to become UNESCO’s special envoy for her native Haiti, and last year was elected — with a major push by Harper — as Secretary-General of the Francophonie, the 57-member organization for the French-speaking world.

Then this:

In keeping with the Conservative penchant for saying one thing and doing another, the government is positing the war plan as non-partisan — after having brazenly used the war as a partisan wedge issue to whip up fear, paint critics as terrorist sympathizers (even possibly “a national security threat,” as Greenpeace has been told), and raise funds for the ruling party.

And in conclusion, this:

The Harperites gutted the gun registry against the advice of police chiefs across the country. Now they have a bill before Parliament to rob the RCMP of the power to prohibit certain kinds of weapons, to let the minister of public safety allow more semi-automatic rifles.

True to form, this flight from common sense is wrapped up as the Common Sense Firearms Licensing Act — like the Fair Elections Act that made elections unfair; Access to Information Act that made information inaccessible; Privacy Act that invaded your privacy; and the non-combat mission in Iraq that placed Canadian troops in combat, just 200 metres from the firing line which, Defence Minister Jason Kenney said, was not the front line.

The Harperites want us to be terrified of terrorists, niqabis, criminals, thieves, etc. Time for us, in fact, to be terrified of the Harperite bigots, bullies and ideologues.

If James Travers is rolling in his grave, it’s to smile and give a big salute to Haroon Siddiqui.

Then it’s time to write: our prime minister, your federal representative, your newspaper, and any other possible source of resistance.

Oh yes, the dumb question. Will you do anything?

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