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A week in politics rising quickly to its climax: a report that Stephen Harper wants to abolish the Senate. His creatures there have been giving him a black eye, and only now has he looked in the mirror. Wow, what a shiner!
Will those who have been scolding Tom Mulcair for empty, allegedly unconstitutional threats, please observe a moment of respectful silence? The Senate is toast.
And this followed a mass bribery play earlier in the week, as Canadians with children and young adults were showered with $3 billion of their own money, from coast to coast to coast. The result? A massive bounce for the Conservatives, which has the Toronto Sun in such a frenzy of happy delirium that it originally published the same story twice, back-to-back, literally beside itself. Minister Pierre "Skippy" Poilievre, criss-crossing Canada with a truckload of largesse, denounces "freebies" on his own website. "Government," he intones, "cannot give anything, without first taking it away." "Yup, he's right," chorus the yokels, as they run out to spend their Christmas in July money on new pitchforks.
True, Harper lost yet another court case, this time over his unconstitutional punishment of refugees, but his expanding support might suggest that refugee-bashing is not exactly hurting him in various dank quarters of the country. And the Conservative fear machine is cranking up, too, with Minister of Foreign Affairs Rob Nicholson ordering up three terrorism-related stories a week.
Another court decision, confirming the disenfranchisement of more than a million Canadians, living abroad is expected to shore up Conservative strength in key ridings. Add to that 250,000 or so poor, First Nations, seniors and student voters deprived of their vote by the so-called Fair Elections Act, the curious reluctance of the Commissioner of Canada Elections and the Director of Public Prosecutions to prosecute the perpetrators of the widespread election fraud in 2011, and the hobbling of Elections Canada, and we might see the 6,201 votes that won Harper his majority in 2011 increase substantially.
Politics is easy.
What to do, what to do? The NDP's Nathan Cullen, beating his favourite drum, urges a coalition with the Liberals. After all, the two combined still have the support of a (now bare) majority of the electorate. Enter the indefatigable John Ivison with a fistful of shibboleths. "By suggesting a combination of New Democrats and Liberals should bring down a Harper minority government at the first opportunity, [Cullen] has opened the door to accusations the opposition parties will band together to subvert the will of voters."
Being a trifle old-school, I was under the impression that the "will of voters" bore some relation to majority preference, even if that preference is expressed negatively. Most Canadians reject, and have always rejected, Stephen Harper and the benighted values and policies he stands for. But there remains no end of cheer-misleading in the media, which almost unanimously endorsed him in the lead-up to the 2011 general election, and will likely do the same this time.
Meanwhile, the political landscape has become so surreal that one might soon expect to see the Peace Tower clock ooze down the walls.
A week is an eternity in politics. I can smell the brimstone.
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