According to the Globe and Mail, Stephen Harper just yesterday opened the campaign for the 2015 election, warning supporters in British Columbia, on a stop before heading for his annual trip to the Arctic, that liberals will attempt to sell "new" policies without putting any meat on those bones.
Actually, Harper has no need of expressing anxiety about "new" ideas from the opposition parties. He has so radically misshaped the historic traditions of Canada, and not for the better for Canadians, that it will be the job of both opposition parties to attempt to restore Canada's best and most cherished traditions, through turfing the Harper gang out of Ottawa.
Multilateralism, balance, human compassion especially for those at the lowest rungs of the economic ladder, balanced initiatives that preserve and enhance economic growth while balancing the serious needs of the environment, respect for the provincial governments, engagement on health care sustainability and enhancement within the confines of shared provincial and federal leadership, shifting the "wealth" from the most affluent to a more shared and egalitarian approach....these are just some of the "old" and trusted and proven approaches that have stood Canada well, when applied by both "liberal" and "progressive conservative" governments over the last century and a half.
There would be a return to respect for the institutions like the Supreme Court, the Civil Service, the historic role of departments like Statistics Canada whose work has fueled social policy for both academic researchers and social planners in the field since its inception, falling into disrepute through the elimination of the long-form census. Federal support for scientific research of the fisheries, and for significant and long overdue initiatives that would help to push back against the pollutants belching into the Canadian atmosphere by the friends of this government who rape our natural resources for profit while leaving the environment devastated in their wake, as the government turns a blind eye to environmental regulation and oversight.
It is the old chestnut of "common sense" and respect for all regardless of their political or economic status and ideology that Mr. Harper has more to fear than "new" policies without substance.
Demonstrating the capacity to critically self-examine one's performance, as we have witnessed from the White House podium by the current occupant of that office for the last six years is another of the Canadian traditions that could and would return with the removal of the Harper government and the willingness and the courage to work with political differences in Ottawa would be another sign of a return to something Canadians have cherished for the length and breadth of our history.
A willingness and a determination to negotiate honestly, openly and respectfully with First Nations with a view to bringing that population fully into the mainstream of Canadian life and culture would be another obvious change that Canadians could look forward to with the removal of the Harper Neanderthals.
Answering questions posed by the reporters attached to the campaign, as another sign of respect for the role and responsibility of leadership, rather than staged and scripted phoney exchanges with selected reporters and planted questions would be another sign that Canada has indeed returned to something like her former self-respecting status of respect for the deployment of political power with a light touch, and not with the fist of arrogance.
No, Mr. Harper, is it not "new" marketing ideas from the opposition parties that are your greatest enemy. It is the record of your government that has so taken this country off course from the history and traditions that leaders much more successful and treasured than you have engrained into our DNA that poses your most serious threat to re-election. And for you not be aware of that reality is another way by which you demonstrate your existence in your own bubble of the wealthy, the privileged and the 1% whose cash fills your party's coffers and whose authority will be challenged along with yours in 2015.
Mr. Harper said other parties will ask Canadians not to think about the choice between change and the strong economy, safer country and stronger position in the world the Conservatives will tout to win votes.
“You can listen to the liberal elites, and the liberal media pundits and liberal interest groups and you can hear the plan: Tell Canadians there’s something new and exciting,” Mr. Harper said, speaking to an audience of several hundred.
But he suggested there would be no details beyond the plan being “new.”
“They’re going to tell you this. Just close your eyes, dream but don’t ruin it by asking any hard questions. If you want something from the government, whatever you want, they’re going to tell you you can have it. Don’t worry about how it’s going to be paid for.” (By Ian Bailey, The Globe and Mail, August 21, 2014)