Survival of the fittest goes to those who cooperate…
In classic Canadian “I’ll play not to lose” rather than “I’ll play to win” Thomas Mulcair and the NDP party have taken that early lead they had in the polls and turned it into muck – and are now trailing both the Conservatives and the Liberals in polls for the upcoming election. (And falling like a rock by the day.)
Uninspired. Unimaginative. Tepid.
Call it what you will. Mulcair has blown it.
That Stephen Harper and his lowest-common-denominator populist racist Islamaphobe conservative agenda has actually gained ground speaks volumes for 1) how little the other leaders have captured our imagination; b) how racist and Islamaphobic many Canadians actually are; and 3) that Harper is a ruthless political genius who knows how to take advantage of these facts while the other leaders dither and like to pretend that they are talking to Canadians who are all world travelers, university educated in Liberal Arts, who all have many moderate Muslim friends.
It is the greater decade-old problem of liberalism in Canada. Too many urban-centric progressives want to either believe that all Canadians think like they do, and/or don’t want to roll up their sleeves and get themselves dirty by getting out into the suburban and rural landscapes of Canada and do some hardwork adult education about these issues. It might cut into their gallery opening, or their wine tasting evening. (Plus, all there is is Tim Horton’s coffee out there! Blek!)
They think that common sense and the Charter are enough to convince people that Harper’s ideas of conservatism are evil and bad for the country.
But all you need to do is spend 5 minutes outside of downtown Toronto, Montreal, or Vancouver to know that the rest of country – in its relative isolation from, and ignorance of, multiculturalism – truly thinks that there is a Muslim terrorist (or a dozen) sitting behind every mosque in the country.
Everyone here thinks that every Muslim woman wears a niqab and that she never ever has to reveal herself in court, at citizenship ceremonies, or to vote.
And that’s just un-Canadian!
Harper knows full well that the majority of people will never actually investigate to see if this is true (it is not – of course they will have to reveal themselves – just not in front of men) – he also knows that the majority don’t know that in the last 2 years and a half million new immigrants, only 2 women requested wearing their niqabs at citizenship ceremonies.
Facts are always the first to fall in an election campaign.
If Mulcair and Trudeau truly believed that the fate of the country lies in this election – then they would bury the hatchet on their imaginary political differences, agree to the best proposals they both have to offer and they would bury Harper’s brand of conservatism in the upcoming election in a landslide.
But that won’t happen – as they are both as interested in power as Harper is.
So they will split the centre and centre-left vote in Canada – leaving Harper needing only about 35% of the vote to possibly create another majority government. (He did it the last time with only 38% of the vote.)
Which means more government surveillance of all Canadians, the continued muzzling of scientists and academics, more anti-immigrant sentiment, the selling off of CBC and Canada Post (see today’s WikiLeaks), more power to police forces, more restrictions on voting rights, more legally determined second-class citizens, more foreign wars, less social services, etc etc…
Fear sells when the average voter votes with his/her heart, and not with their head. Harper knows this and he has no problem feeding that fear.
The Liberals and the NDP don’t seem to get that they both can’t have the pot of gold – and unless one party steps aside, they can only ever share it. Otherwise, the slow slide into a neo-fascist state will continue…