On Sunday, Stephen Harper described the Conservative Party of Canada as "centrist." For a man who ran the National Citizens Coalition, and energized the Reform Party and the Canadian Alliance, this is a curious label to pin on the party he now leads. Harper has devoted his entire political life to the honing of a disciplined political instrument that will drive Canada to the hard right. Unlike George W. Bush, who is a frat boy, Stephen Harper is a true ideologue. His goal, which extends far beyond holding office for its own sake, is to transform Canada from a country he can't stand to a lean satrap of America. He won't be ready to hang up his skates until the word "Canada" has acquired a muscular meaning around the world. He won't be content until this country's tolerant, fuzzy, secular humanism has been expunged.
This is not a hidden agenda. But in the mainstream media, it's regarded as bad form to talk about anything Harper said, did, or wrote before he took up residence at 24 Sussex Drive.
Harper's waiting for a majority he would use to:
· Negotiate a much closer economic, national security and military union with the United States.
· Decimate the Canadian social state, with medicare shredded by the emergence of a patchwork system that varies from province to province with a growing role everywhere for the private sector.
· Cut taxes for the rich.
· Open the doors to a much larger role for "faith based" initiatives and the assault on secular values.
· Push ahead with oil sands development, condemning Canada to the role of the first world's greatest per capita polluter.
· Privatize the CBC.
· Complete the militarization of Canada.
Under a Harper majority, the role of the opposition would be worth about as much as a warm pitcher of spit.
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