Okay, it may be too much to speak of one bright shining moment -- but there was a time (late 2008, early 2009) when it looked as if we had a chance to see the end of Stephen Harper and see the beginning of an era when a coalition of progressive and enlightened politicians were going to be able to turn things around.
The day the coalition died, I became so disheartened and deflated that it took me awhile to get back in fighting trim. I have waited patiently for this election campaign to start and I can only hope it's the beginning of the end of Harper and the terrible legacy he has left for our country.
I watched the campaign launch this morning. Harper, sounding somewhat like an insane person, said we have a clear choice to "elect a stable majority government or a reckless coalition." In a pretty long speech, he shrouded the threat of a coalition in almost every pronouncement. His tone was, "If you're not voting for me, you're voting for the Devil."
This was to be expected. I have to say though -- and I try to avoid media-bashing -- the Ottawa reporters are shrill and single-minded in playing Harper's game. They are loudly demanding to know if Michael Ignatieff is planning to form a coalition and, in hectoring him mercilessly, are succeeding in demonizing the idea of a "coalition" just as if Harper had written the script.
It's shocking to stand by and watch as the people running for office and the people covering them knowingly display such a misrepresentation of our system. We don't vote for a majority/minority government or a prime minister or an opposition leader. And while there's absolutely nothing wrong with a coalition, we don't vote for that either. We vote for a single member of parliament who may or may not be a member of a political party.
There are suggestions from some of the media today that the "coalition" threat won't last and will peter out as the campaign goes on. Harper, who has worked so hard to make coalition a dirty word, will try very hard to keep it in the forefront every day. We can only hope the media won't be sucked into his grubby little game.
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.