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.

The death throes of the Harper Conservatives

Please chip in to support more articles like this. Support rabble.ca for as little as $5 per month!

Chip in to keep stories like these coming.

An animal is most dangerous when it's wounded, they say, and the Conservative Party of Canada has been metaphorically bearing that out for months. Sinking steadily in the polls, it has sought to further impose its brand of sado-politics upon our long-suffering country, even against its own best interests.

In its dying days it has been showing its teeth, snapping and snarling: jamming the union-busting Bill C-377 through the Senate, tearing at the fabric of free collective bargaining with omnibus Bill C-59, spiking a transgender rights bill, and tabling legislation to forbid Muslim women from taking the oath of citizenship in traditional niqab dress. It passed Bill C-24, formally establishing two classes of citizenship.

It introduced an act to condemn some criminals to life without parole. It cribbed American voter suppression legislation to make it more difficult for First Nations, students and the poor to exercise their franchise. And of course there was the infamous Bill C-51, establishing a largely unaccountable political police with the power to override the Charter of Rights.

The Supreme Court is unlikely to allow any of these profoundly unconstitutional measures to last: Harper has already racked up a string of losses before them. But the rule of law, as we have seen during a seemingly endless series of scandals (which began, in fact, even before the 2006 election) and legislative jiggery-pokery, seems to be just a minor annoyance for the Conservatives when they're on a tear.

Like Parliament itself, in fact: since 2011, the Conservatives have shut down debate more than 100 times. Harper earlier distinguished himself as the only prime minister in Canadian history to be found guilty of contempt of Parliament.

Through all this, the Conservatives have been spending scads of taxpayers' cash on nakedly partisan advertisingactivities and personal self-aggrandizement. Harper has surrounded himself with criminals and lowlifes to further his agenda. It all smacks of political racketeering. There ought to be a law.

But now the flailing of this dying regime has begun in earnest. A symptom: rejecting Ches Crosbie's candidacy in the Newfoundland Labrador riding of Avalon, leaving themselves with no candidate at all (the deadline for nominees was June 25). The province has no Conservative MPs at present. This isn't likely to improve the odds.

Then there's the Mother Canada monument, approaching Hallmark levels of kitsch, tearing a hole in a pristine national park; and the planned memorial to the victims of Communism, promising to similarly deface the nation's capital. If those monstrosities are actually built, it will cost the taxpayers millions.

And the attack ads. The Conservatives may even have broken their own law with the latest one, and things weren't made any better with senior Conservative spokesman Kory Teneyke's odd performance on national television.

There is no point trying to apply the rational-actor model to any of this. It defies rational explanation. But this sort of thing is not unknown in nature. We've seen this self-destructive behaviour before -- dealing blow after blow to veterans, who, we might think, should be a solid part of the Conservative base, or alienating senior citizens by raising the retirement age -- but these latest spasms are simply bizarre.

The wounded beast is dying, vomiting venom as life slowly drains away. We can put it out of its misery on October 19. Surely at this point it's the only humane thing to do.

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.


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:


  • 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.


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