Democracy as war - Macleans.ca
 

Democracy as war


 

Tabatha Southey gives thanks.

God bless Prime Minster Harper for warning us that holding an election would “screw up” Canada’s economic recovery. In part it’s the sheer eloquence of the man that sustains us: “Screw up” the economic recovery, he said, rather than, say, “Totally mess with its head.” And it helps to be reminded that one should never rush headlong to “fight” an election and that, spun properly, living in a democracy becomes a very good reason to feel put upon…

An election, Mr. Harper also said, was the “one thing” that would derail our economic recovery (putting the ball rather firmly in his court, I would say, during what could be a very nasty flu season), and the Prime Minister’s right. That last election, the election to end all elections, has depleted us. And yet, still, still, when the young people ask me, “What was it like?” I smile a little sadly and I tell them, “I’m not sure that you can ever understand, but for those of us who lived and loved in those dark days of the last election, everything else will always seem a bit colourless. Not that I would wish another generation to make the sacrifice we made. Indeed, apparently, we voted then so that they would never have to. But oh, the friendships one made! The songs we sang! The stirring works of the great electoral poets …”


 

Democracy as war

  1. Sums it up nicely. And yet the people lap it up. Repeat a lie often enough…

  2. With the polls what they are, I'm guessing that Harper is currently convening late-night sessions with his advisors to determine how "will screw up the economy" can be re-translated as "is the only way to get the mandate we need to fix the economy".

    Give it time. Like three weeks.

    • I look forward to seeing how they'll thread that needle.

    • Ironically, most of the Conservatives' bump in the polls is probably because Canadians genuinely don't want any more elections. This, obviously, gives an advantage to the party in power. If the Conservatives attempt to exploit this advantage by calling an election, they'll lose it.

      The deep strategy would be to try to figure out how to get one of the other parties to force an election without appearing to have pressured them into doing so.

      • "Tom Flanagan, Tom Flanagan, please report to Calgary HQ." :p

      • Yes. Also ironically, I bet Ignatieff is currently convening late-night sessions with his advisors to determine how "Mr. Harper, your time is up" can be re-translated as "Mr. Harper, Canadians do not need another election during this time of economic uncertainty."

        • The Liberals would be happy to fight an election, provided that they're not blamed for its existence.

          Their strategy sessions – if they have such things – would be on how to get Harper flustered and/or angry enough to display his more partisan side. If Harper can be goaded into an act of outrageous political behaviour or into calling an election, the Conservatives will no longer be able to portray themselves as the stable alternative available.

          What complicates the Liberals' strategic planning is that they can no longer afford to support the government, as they will be accused of being spineless. All they can hope for is not to be blamed for the election if neither the NDP or the Bloc decide to prop up the government. Of course, this is where the Conservatives' "OMG! Coalition! Coalition!" argument comes in: if they can successfully portray the opposition as one unified bloc, the Liberals will then get blamed for the upcoming election that no Canadians really want.

          Wheels within wheels…