By any rational standard, Stephen Harper and his minions should have been obliterated at the polls on May 2; instead, they will form a majority government based on 40% of the popular vote. Canada’s antiquated electoral system has produced many “minority majorities” and managed to survive, but never one so contemptuous of the law, Canadian institutions or Parliament itself. As I said last time, “until now no government had been so brazenly unethical and criminal that Parliament, itself, deemed it unfit to rule.”
To help explain the absurd result of May 2, I have enlisted the aid of columnist Ethan Baron. Before I get to specifics, two things deserve special mention. First, Baron is a U.S.-born journalist who recently became a citizen after living here for 20 years. This was the first time he had cast a vote in a federal election, and maybe his last.
Second, Baron’s column–”a model of sobriety, candour and wit–”appeared in The Province, without doubt the country’s most pathetic excuse for a newspaper. Its editors think so little of their readership, and have such little respect for the craft of journalism, that the front page, I was told, is not for reporting “news” stories but for reflecting what’s topical in the minds of its readers. This explains the endless spate of redundant full-page sports pics replete with inane headlines. I think TheProvince‘s motto is: “No news is good news.”
I would love to reprint Baron’s entire column, which you can read here, but I’ll focus on one exquisite passage:
“The actual explanation for the Conservative majority is more sinister than mere feeblemindedness. Canadians, in droves, turned up their noses at democracy, choosing a party that has attacked it at every turn. These voters made their electoral decision with one hand holding their wallets and the other flailing around from their eyes to their ears, willfully shutting out the endless evidence that it is the people, and not just Parliament, that Harper holds in contempt.”
Pause a moment to take in the breathtaking genius of this passage. Harper’s assaults on Canadian institutions, the rule of law, and the democratic rights of Canadian citizens are public knowledge, which should have told voters that Harper is overtly subversive and a danger to Canadian sovereignty. In view of the Speaker’s finding of contempt of Parliament, Harper should even have been forced to resign his seat.