rabble blogs are the personal pages of some of Canada's most insightful progressive activists and commentators. All opinions belong to the writer; however, writers are expected to adhere to our guidelines. We welcome new bloggers -- contact us for details.

Culture of defeat? Defeat this!

In the circles I move in, the issue is leadership all right. From my 13-year-old son who disdainfully imitates the ads that channel Mr. Rodgers, to my 95-year-old mother-in-law who says, in no uncertain terms, "I want to see him defeated," the issue is Stephen Harper.

Harper is not popular in the Maritimes. Even some Conservatives will run their campaigns trying not to mention him and depending on local issues and traditional voting patterns to see them through. I'll come back to that another day.

I forced myself to listen to Cross-Country Check-up on CBC Radio today. The invited guests and the callers were - without many exceptions - all on the same page: Stephen Harper is the only leader we can trust to run the country right now, in perilous economic times.

Why do people feel this way about him? He's a mean guy. His ads say, "We're better off with Harper," although I can't imagine any real person saying that. He's presided over the most anti-woman government in recent history. He's led a government that's targeted less advantaged groups and the arts and cultural communities and has deepened our involvement in a war that most Canadians profoundly disagree with.

I ask myself all the time why so many people are so willing to vote against their own self-interest. The people who phone in to Cross Country Check-up - do they consider that the CBC may be sold to private interests if Harper leads a majority government? And that get-tough-on-crime bill that they're always talking about - do they know (or care) that the prisons in a Harper-majority Canada will be privately owned for profit and staffed by minimum wage workers?

Today, I've heard people say that Stéphane Dion is a decent guy, intelligent and has integrity. I've never heard anyone, ever, say that about Harper and yet one of them is considered to be qualified to be prime minister and the other isn't. Go figure.

And so I worry about what will happen in other parts of the country. My mother-in-law - now in Nova Scotia but someone who lived for many years in the notorious 905 zone in Ontario - can't believe that her former neighbours will be guilty of helping Harper realize his majority dream. My husband has reminded her that they twice elected Mike Harris.

Harper has accused Maritimers of living in a culture of defeat. If Quebec and Ontario and points west vote for enough Conservatives to give Harper a majority government, the culture of defeat will have spread far beyond the Maritimes.

Thank you for reading this story…

More people are reading rabble.ca than ever and unlike many news organizations, we have never put up a paywall – at rabble we’ve always believed in making our reporting and analysis free to all, while striving to make it sustainable as well. Media isn’t free to produce. rabble’s total budget is likely less than what big corporate media spend on photocopying (we kid you not!) and we do not have any major foundation, sponsor or angel investor. Our main supporters are people and organizations -- like you. This is why we need your help. You are what keep us sustainable.

rabble.ca has staked its existence on you. We live or die on community support -- your support! We get hundreds of thousands of visitors and we believe in them. We believe in you. We believe people will put in what they can for the greater good. We call that sustainable.

So what is the easy answer for us? Depend on a community of visitors who care passionately about media that amplifies the voices of people struggling for change and justice. It really is that simple. When the people who visit rabble care enough to contribute a bit then it works for everyone.

And so we’re asking you if you could make a donation, right now, to help us carry forward on our mission. Make a donation today.

Comments

We welcome your comments! rabble.ca embraces a pro-human rights, pro-feminist, anti-racist, queer-positive, anti-imperialist and pro-labour stance, and encourages discussions which develop progressive thought. Our full comment policy can be found here. Learn more about Disqus on rabble.ca and your privacy here. Please keep in mind:

Do

  • Tell the truth and avoid rumours.
  • Add context and background.
  • Report typos and logical fallacies.
  • Be respectful.
  • Respect copyright - link to articles.
  • Stay focused. Bring in-depth commentary to our discussion forum, babble.

Don't

  • Use oppressive/offensive language.
  • Libel or defame.
  • Bully or troll.
  • Post spam.
  • Engage trolls. Flag suspect activity instead.