Harper Majority Would be a Dictatorship

Ask anyone who has lived under a dictatorship and they will tell you of its ugly features: A Supreme Leader who rules with an iron fist; legislation pushed through by a rubber stamp legislative assembly with little or closured debate; government officials ordered into silence or fearful of speaking up; and a press denied the right to even ask questions, let alone get any answers.

That’s how a majority government under Stephen Harper would operate: it has already done much of that, even in minority status.

As I wrote at the beginning of the current election campaign, before others covering the first week on the trail articulated the same, Harper has turned his back on questions … let alone provide open and transparent answers. only TWO questions permitted the day the election was announced; only five ALL day on the campaign trail.

Imagine what Harper would be like with the powers of a majority government!

I know most Canadians are programmed to think very little about our system of government. Many don’t understand that democratic government must also be RESPONSIBLE government for the system to work properly.

And the media’s right to ask questions … not on behalf of the media, but on behalf of the people … AND GET ANSWERS  is a crucial part of an open, transparent democratic society.

Harper doesn’t seem to understand this atl all.  He has disdained not only his responsibility to take questions and give answers; he has also  shut down Parliament to escape the heat of questions there, or even debate.

It’s almost frightening to imagine Canada with a majority government under Harper.

I’d bet  neither he nor his ministers would regularly answer ANY questions, make themselves available for interviews (except to sycophantic media types ); government information would be more difficult than ever to obtain; and public servants would be denied the right to provide any public information other than what day of the week it is ..and even that, only after checking with Ottawa to see if it’s alright to tell.

It wasn’t always this way.

Even in the days of previous majority governments … Conservatives and Liberal … Prime Ministers had fairly regular press conferences, Ministers of the Crown granted interviews and took lots of questions in scrums and senior government officials gave many, many interviews without fear or seeking their minister’s approval … and instructions on what to say …  beforehand.

I was honored to actually get a one-on-one sit down exclusive on-camera interview with Harper in his second election campaign. And he sat still, and ably handled, any difficult questions I threw at him. I think it did his image a lot if good, in BC at least.

Then he became the man in the bubble: appearing only at tightly scripted events attended by tightly selected party faithful; sticking to tightly scripted lines delivering a tightly scripted message.

And no questions, no information, no access, no real debate … and no respect for the public’s right to know.

Is that we want for five years in Canada?

As the election continues, most of the media keep playing the game by Harper’s rules ..covering “official” events, reporting “official” statements etc.

Hopefully more will soon wake up: do stories on Harper’s bubble; throw questions at him and do stories on how he refused to answer; go after his MP candidates on the issue …demand comments, embarrass them and  reveal the dictatorship style for what is.

The type of country we live in depends on the public understanding exactly what is going on and how it would be like to live under a Harper majority for five full years.

Harv Oberfeld

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23 Responses to Harper Majority Would be a Dictatorship

  1. Mr.Mint says:

    I guess we better get used to 4-5 years of Harper majority rule mainly thanks to the useless Liberal Party who are unable to mount any offensive or counter offensive against Harper…The fact is the Liberal party has done dick since Iggy was appointed leader to take on Harper, just stood back and voted with him most of the time or made sure not enough Lib MP’s showed up…The stupid fools should of gone the coalition route and things would no doubt be different not to mention Harper would of been no doubt long gone…

    Thank you Liberal Party as your selfishness and entitlement attitude has allowed Harper to ruin Canada, you just wait and see what happens when he gets his majority and you lose the 2 bucks a vote subsidy etc

    I hope if Harper does sadly get a majority the Libs are wiped out. I actually expect Gilles to be moving into Stornaway..

    Iggy will resign this time next next month, Bob Rae will temporarily take over and in an act of desperation and nostalgic reason elect Trudeau to lead the Libs but with no money coming in and end of the 2$ subsidy (Harper said getting rid of it and if he has a majority no one can stop him) the libs may not be around come 2015 or 2016 election…

    I am not nuts or ranting, just pointing out the facts and what will happen. it is time Liberals wake up and see their miracle aint gonna happen as time has expired and vote for someone else instead…

    (Response: Whichever leader loses … Harper, Ignatieff, Layton …will be gone within a year. I dont care so much as which party gets how many seats…as long as it’s a minority government. I can’t vote for any of them, as a Brtiish Columbian and Westerner, as I’ver blogged before, and Canada has actually done pretty well economically under minority governments, compared ot the US. h.o.)

  2. Henri says:

    Ahem, where did this media concern thing you mention suddenly appear from? You state there will be no questions, no information, no access, no real debate … and no respect for the public’s right to know.
    Nothing new with any of this Harv, things have already been this way here in BC for about 8-9 years now.
    Under a Harper majority , just how bad would it be ? Please elaborate ,EG would all parents have to in by 8pm,or maybe our long gun rights be returned to us?

    (Response: You’re simply not correct. It may make you feel good to say it …but believe me, there is NO comparison between media access and ability to ask questions of Campbell and the Liberals in BC and the way Haper has shut down access in Ottawa. h.o)

  3. Rocker Rich says:

    As a disillusioned Liberal, I’ve voted Reform, Canadian Alliance and Conservative since the mid ’90s.

    Not this time. And for the very reason Harv cites.

    We’ve had no shortage of bully prime ministers (Trudeau, Mulroney and Chretien). Each has further consolidated power in the PMO, making MPs and even most cabinet ministers irrelevant.

    Nobody has had the singular focus of Harper to stifle and distort communication.

    Thus, serious charges laid against Conservative Party officials are simply a procedural dispute
    when Harper deigns to address the press.

    Thus, Harper says the Pentagon must be mistaken
    when it pegs the cost of military fighter jets (ordered by our government without competitive bids) at over $100 million apiece. Canada, maintains Harper, won’t pay a penny over $75 million.

    In Harperland, black is white and down is up. Quite Orwellian. And amazingly unchallenged, for the most part, by a national media that seems petrified of being labelled as “closet liberals” by the right.

    At least I hope that’s why reporters are so supine. God forbid, they’ve been handpicked by editors to relect the corporatist agenda of their bosses.

    (Response: I agree with you. As someone who got the last “Fuddle Duddle” from Trudeau before he left office, I can still say he did take questions, hold press conferences etc; Chretien also gave me a one on one sit down interview, often stopped to take my questions and I think he enjoyed our sparring; Mulroney often ignored me and my BC questions (search the blog under his name for that story) but did stop and take questions quite often from Toronto and Quebec media. And held press conferences. I have never, in Canada, witnessed any leader as isolated and unapproachable as Harper is now ..and that’s with a minority and even during an election campaign. From the point of view of open and responsive government, Heaven forbid he gets a majority. h.o)

  4. Lew says:

    Harvey, your first paragraph reminds me of BC under Gordon Campbell. Except the press wasn’t denied the right to ask; they self-censored or accepted outright lies unchallenged.

    Having said that, you are bang on about what Harper would do with a majority. It would be ugly.

    Last election he was loathe to mention majority because of the “hidden agenda” the opposition kept reminding us about. This time he is openly courting a majority, but hopefully has spooked enough of the electorate with the brazen arrogance and lack of transparency demonstrated throughout the last term and the early stages of this campaign. Not enough to put Iggy in the chair, but enough to deny himself a majority.

    (Response: Well, as I’ve written on the blog, I don’t believe Campbell ever forgave me for asking him … after he tore up those HEU contracts…if he was going to be a Prmier or a dictator. When I retired, after knowing him for 30 years and BC political news for decades, he never wished me good luck, made a call or sent a note. But to his credit, in all the years I covered him, he was very, very readily available …even on short notice…to see me and answer sometimes very aggressive questions. I understand that changed with others in the media as he “ruled” longer and longer…but unlike Harper, Campbell made himself available. h.o)

  5. D. M. Johnston says:

    I am deathly afraid if Harper gains a majority government it will lead to public insurrection.

    Harper will be like Gordon Campbell on steroids and frankly I am tired of dictators who usurp our perilous democracy.

    Canada is a ticking time bomb of fear and loathing and if we elected a government who’s philosophy is one of US tea-bag hate and fear, the Canadian psyche will engage in “F*** You” mode.

    I fear for the future of this country and electing a throw-back from the age of divine rule may excite historians a century from now.

    This great country has fallen from being on the top, to how low can we go.

    Corruption, deceit and pure evil is the hallmark of our Prime minister and I hope the Canadian people see through his thin veil of civility and see monster that he is.

    Sadly ( I actually told a Conservative canvasser this), equate people who vote Conservative, with the same people who voted for that funny little Austrian chap in the late 1920’s Germany.

    At least they don’t knock on my door anymore!

    (Response: Can’t say I agree with you on the pure evil or corrpupt suggestions …or the fact we could face public insurrection. Maybe some protests over time etc …but most Canadians are absorbed in their own lives or too mesmerized by television, sports, or American Idol to really care about things like Parliamentary responsible government. But for those who do, it will be a bleak, dark period. h.o)

  6. 13 says:

    Harvey I guess its your job to stir the pot. A dictatorship might be a lttle extreme. But then when you feel as anti Liberal and despise the NDP as much as I do a Harper majority is okay. I am not disputing any of your facts that he does not make himself available. I dont dispute the thought that with a majority he would be even harder to question. I will agree that as a minority Harper will have to answer and be more open . BUT if push comes to shove as long as we dont end up with IGGY and Jack a Harper gov. works for me. Majority or minority. Doesnt matter.

    (Response: On this one, I’m not so much stirring the pot as sounding a warning. If you analyse the Parliamentary system, a majority government …no matter which party … is a bit like a dictatorship. But what has always separated democracies from other dictatorships is the forum (esp Question Period) of Parliament; a free press that can and does ask questions and gets answers; access to information for all citizens; and a leader who makes himself avaialble to questionning. Haroper fails on all these counts
    these days and that’s why I am trying to warn people how bad things will get under a Harper Conservative majority. h.o)

  7. Mo says:

    Any right thinking logical canadian will be voting for Mr Ignatieff. He will make for a dignified PM that I would be proud of.

    i want nothing more of harperland.

    (Response: What has he EVER done to support justice for BC in Ottawa, eg. to get us our fair number of seats in the Senate? Or what about his support for the NDP move that would change Supreme Court rules to require all future appointees to be totally expertly fluently bilingual ..thereby shutting out just about all Western Canadian and BC judges, giving the court a total bias from Quebec, eastern Ontario, New Brunswick, small area of Manitoba? Just wondering. h.o)

  8. diverdarren says:

    Harvey your worried about the wrong group.

    You can whip up the old specter that an evil Conservative majority will rule us with a iron fist, but so long as elections happen the Gov. will try to work for the people. ( not necessarily all the people, but that’s o.k. you can’t please all the people, nor should you try)

    Holding the government’s feet to the fire is the obligation of the opposition. I say the Liberal’s under the succession of weak leaders hasn’t meet their obligation. I’m not going to reward the liberals poor performance with my vote.

    As for the media, just because they have also not done their job to seek the truth and give an even handed report back to the public doesn’t win my confidence in the 5th estate either.

    Put plainly, Your plan of not placing an X next to the Conservative because the opposition and media are ineffectual is backwards logic. I’m not going to punish Harper because Iggy and newspaper men can’t do their job.

    (Response: I’m not planning to put an X in the box next to the Libs or NDP federally either …due to thier wiilingness to throw Western Canadians’s rights aside (Supreme Court appointments) in their rush to attract Francophone votes back East. I would not mind another Conservative minority…but truly believe a Conservative majority will not bode well for responsible or responsive government. h.o)

  9. mariner says:

    What a horrible mess the people of British Columbia have for a so called democratically elected government – both provincial and federal.
    Remove Harper from the article and insert Campbell and the same message comes across.

    With Campbell the lies, dishonesty, deception and deceit started before 2001 and have continued to this day. Campbell may well have given his time to the media, but he never told the facts – all his comments have proven to be manufactured (lies that suited the situation).

    It is sad but true, that most majority governments think it is their entitlement to do what they want – without any form of accountability. It is so very true with the Federal Conservatives and equally so with the BC Liberals.

    Naive as it may seem, I am sure that most people expect their government to operate honestly, with accountability and responsibility being very evident in the day to day workings of the government.

    Sadly, the uglier side of politics seems to be ever more emerging – where the time held reputation of corruption seems to be the most dominant feature. The lack of accountability being the most obvious – where lies are used to bolster decisions, money takes the integrity out of the rational decision making and governments change to gain ever more power and justify their existance.

    The coming election is long overdue – the Tories continue to be oblivious to the wants and needs of the people, concerned only with spreading lies and misrepresenting the real facts. They “Harper party” continue to dig an ever deeper hole for themselves.

    (Response: Not quite. I too see similarities, but as I said in other responses, believe me, despite all his faults, Campbell was NOWHERE close to Harper in refusing to answer questions, making himself or his ministers available or shutting down government officials from doing interviews or providing information. h.o)

  10. j mac says:

    Harvey get a grip on yourself. You talk as if they’re censoring the press. Lefties like you just can’t bear the thought of a Cons. majority government.

    (Response: Quite funny. Check this blog’s comments over the last year, and lefties have accused me of being a right winger (Did you even read my blog on Horgan/Dix? or those earlier on Carole James?). So you make my day…now I’ve been accused by both sidrs of being on the other! Must be doing it right …ooops, I mean correctly. LOL! h.o.)

  11. kootcoot says:

    Harvey I was almost afraid to come here as the link I followed and the title led me to somewhat expect you would be chiding us for over dramatizing the Harper approach to tyranny ala commenter 13, after all we don’t have dungeons (though he has announced the desire to build them – without sharing the cost) yet and citizens are not being attacked in the streets except occasionally like in Toronto at the G20.

    Maybe Campbell was available to you, back in the day – but the fact is in BC for the most part the media self censor or outright appear to be part of the BC liaR Public Relations machine – indeed too many media types with two household wage earners appear to have one in the media and the other in the PAB or other agencies of government- hardly a situation leading to unbiased reporting.

    The opening sentence of my last post at the House of Infamy is:

    As Spiteful Stevie Harper roams Canada in his bubble, limiting questions from the media and demanding proof of PsuedoCon Loyalty to even attend an election rally, everyone, especially the muzzled and thoroughly tamed excuse for a media, seems to forget to even mention that the actual reason we are going to the polls on May 2 is CONTEMPT

    even uses some of the same terminology as you, and I just read this. Also a good look at the Harper style can be found at Sister Sage’s Musings in:

    Lucky Thing I Didn’t Book Time Off Work And Take a Long Trek To Dollard-des-Ormeaux

    I can’t imagine how Harper expects to expand his base of diehard fundamentalists, corporate pigs and tea bag types by traveling in a bubble and preaching to the choir. On the other hand perhaps it will take a Harper majority (shudder) for him to over reach to the point that Canadians notice and then reduce his stolen reconfigured PsuedoCon party to the rump it deserves to be ala Mulroney and/or Dief the Chief!

    (Response: I suspect his advisers have told him the best way to expand his base is to do exactly what you said: “by traveling in a bubble and preaching to the choir”. That avoids potentially embarrassing or revealing questions and slip ups and the polls show it’s working, but that won’t stop me from warning about the dangers and damage Canadian Parliamentary democracy will suffer under that kind of expanded arrogant majority regime. h.o)

  12. Donald says:

    Harvey,
    whoa…did you ever consider the PM might be “turning his back” on questions that are worded inappropriately? stilted in such a way to elicit a particular response? I do not trust ANY level of the media ANY more…period. everyone has an agenda!!! I caught an interview on “the Link” ,CBC radio, where a human rights activist from GB was castigating Stephen Harper on his “lack of a human rights platform” in this election, and rambled on about the PM’s responses in recent issues in the Middle East. nothing was ever said about the PM’s stance on human rights with China…no other world leader has said as much! or took so much action! I recall Paul Martin claiming that if we snubbed the Chinese they would not want to do business with Canada. I say, that Stephen Harper is a principled man, has represented Canada well on the world stage, and plays a pretty mean piano. if he doesn’t make nice with some reporter in Ottawa(who goes wet to the knees at the mention of Trudeau)…so what. maybe they need to work harder at their “craft”. this country has done just fine with Stephen Harper at the “tiller”. Gawd…even Rex Murphy says so!!!

    (Response: I have also said economically Canada has done well …much better than the US..and have said I would not mind another Conservative minority. BUT as for your suggestion he’s turning his back on “questions that are worded inappropriately” is that what we’ve come to in our democracy? A politician only answers questions he/she likes or thinks are worded properly? NEVER! And how does he know how good or bad the querstions will be when he walks away from the mic without listening to them or brushes past reporters trying to ask them? Admit it..those are repugnant character and/or strategy flaws that should NOT be excused in a democratic society. h.o)

  13. Fred says:

    Any majority is a dictatorship and can act badly -look at how badly Glen Clark and his merry band of proto marxists screwed over BC.

    Harper could govern like an arab potentate but he won’t because he wants to be re-elected four years down the road.

    (Response: Good points. I am sure he does have legislative plans he’s not telling us about before getting eelcted, but all leaders/parties are like that, unfortunately. And he may not be too extreme in introducing changes, for the reason you state. However for a true democracy to function transparently, the leader, the ministers and government officials MUST take and answer questions …not shut down the place like a fortress and make it almost impossible for the media AND the public to get information. After all, the politicians work for us…and it’s simply unacceptable when an employee refuses questions or to provide answers to his/her employer. h.o)

  14. Keith says:

    Speaking about a democratic dictatorship, we had a lot of years of Chretien and Trudeau majorities. If we speak about dictatorship we can even look close to home as well, like the Campbell majority. Its our system of government. An old archaic British system based on a 2 party system. If Canada goes to a proportional representative system, we all will be better served. But dont forget, a coalition government is not the answer as well. Belgium is trying to get a coalition going. 9 month later and still no agreement on governing. Similar for The Netherlands and some other countries with coalitions.

    (Response: Well, the coalition in Britain seems to be working right now…but I’m sure it will fray with time. I think the Greens situation is making the proportional rep look all the more attractive…and fair. The difficulty is getting those in power to introduce a new system which will reduce their power. h.o)

  15. Donald says:

    Harvey,
    you are making the assumption that the media is asking intelligent well thought out questions, and using the answers appropriately to report the news. you know that does not happen. CBC is manufacturing another story as we speak. the CBC Vote Compass is their “online vote selection tool”. the questions are so ambiguous as to elicit certain responses…even as multiple choice. I came out being assessed as a potential Liberal voter…LOL!!! and least likely to vote NDP…in case I was confused about the similarity of platform. turns out most people come out as Liberal supporters. the analytic director at CBC for this site is Peter Loewen, a assistant professor at U of T, and one time Ignatieff worker. so much for sharacter…and strategy, for that matter!

    (Response: Oh no, I’m not making the assumption about the quality of questions. Having covered thousands of scrums and press conferences, I know that is not the case. However who is going to decide beforehand? That’s even worse. Harper and other politicans should take the good with the bad…just as Canadians do with our polticians. Having a Prime Minister living in a bubble is not healthy for us. h.o)

  16. Henri says:

    Harv ,I believe most folks feel that a minority government works best for us, just as long as its not the usless soft on crime Liberals.
    If the Liberals had been the governing power for the last few years, the soft on crime liberal-coalition Judges would have caved on the Procter Killers, first off they would not have been moved to adult status, nor would we know who they are, or of the killers father who killed the young Merritt girl.
    You have to admit its only because of the Harper government that these dirty bastard killers will get their due.
    How about giving some credit where its due, to Harper

    (Response: I agree. As I’ve said, I have no problem with another Conservative minority. At least, when the NDP and Libs were selling out the West on how Supreme Court judges would be appointed in future, the Conservatives said NO. h.o)

  17. DonGar says:

    I think you are describing Mayor Robertson. Shut down media access to City Hall, never available for any questions on any real issues, only scripted responses, bury information (Olympics) and the list goes on.

    (Response: Can’t honestly say much about that. Since I’m retired, I haven’t covered city hall under Robertson. But if he isn’t available…I think that’s a story the media should report. h.o)

  18. Sun Wu'kong says:

    I agree with your conclusions in this post — but to put my geek spin on it: Harper has become like George Lucas.

    Long ago, he collaborated widely and generated memorable (if not always agreeable to all) work.

    Now, surrounded by his own success and people who won’t ever oppose him, he schemes in a vacuum with only his voice as a muse and guide.

    Thus a warning: elect a Harper majority and we will get the equivalent of Jar Jar Binks.

    (Response: What’s scarier is Jar Jar Binks was a fictional character; Harper is real! The comparison past to present is interesting… he indeed was more accessible in the beginning years. What’s that expression…Power Corrupts and Absolute Power Corrupts Absolutely. h.o)

  19. Mo says:

    H.O. I cant believe the myopic comment you made in response to my observation about the dignity of Ignatieff vs Harper.

    Has he, MI, ever been in a position to influence those points? NO! Give the guy a f**in break for gawds sake!!

    We don’t want a lying two-faced dictator in a majority! PERIDO. the rest is moot point. Give yr political head a shake!

    I am proud to vote for Mr Ignatieff …
    BTW i have never given a seconds thought to the chump’s game… west vs ottawa. that is a loser’s point of view.

    (Response: Why would you say he was not in any position to influence the points I raised. Are not aware that Ignatieff, as reported in the press, ORDERED his caucus to support the NDP bid to require all Supreme Court Judges be expertly bilingual?? And that’s why they all went along, even those from BC, like SHEEP voting in favour of the bill that would have delivered Westerners another setback in trying to just be treated as equals in Ottawa. The only thing that stopped the NDP/Liberal/Bloc alliance to screw BC/West was the Tory majority in the Senate, of all things! Anyone who has read my latest blogs knows I’m not exactly enamoured of Harer…but don’t let Iggy or Layton off the hook either. That’s keeping it real. h.o)

  20. Henri says:

    Mo // Apr 6, 2011 at 2:54 am
    BTW i have never given a seconds thought to the chump’s game… west vs ottawa. that is a loser’s point of view.
    ——————————————-
    With your remark in mind your probably more than overjoyed and elated by the suggestion the west coast naval ports be shut down and moved to Halifax.

    (Response: Overjoyed is not the sentiment: this one surprises even me, but is just another step in the screw the west, we’ll tke the rest of all political parties. And how do they get away with it? Because as you say, you don’t give a second thought to the west versus Ottawa. Well, they give a lot of thought about stuiff like that in Quebec. It’s exactly how they get MORE than their fair share… whether it’s: in equalization grants … MILLIONS paid by people in other provinces … that they then use to give their people the best subsidized daycare system in North America and subsidized school and health programs;or in having more seats in the Senate than their population size justifies … while the West … esp BC can’t get it’s fair share; more powerful cabinet posts than we would ever dream of; and, wait for it, a soon to be announced multi-million grant to build a professional hockey arena in Quebec City …after Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal (which does not threaten regularly to separate) were all denied federal funds for theirs. Maybe you should start caring about Ottawa …. and the way they treat YOU.You’re right…it’s a chumps game to Ottawa …and the West is the chump. h.o)

  21. Bob says:

    Sad but very true. I, like you, could never vote NDP or Liberal but we in BC have lived under just this sort of one-man government for the last 10 years and seen the corruption it’s wrought.

    I really don’t know what I’ll do on election day.

    (Response: Just to be clear, it’s not that I would never vote NDP or Liberal: I have voted for both previosly; it’s just that this time, after they turned their backs on the West on a very important issue to curry votes in Quebec and the East …I WILL not support them. h.o)

  22. Michelle says:

    Re “Many don’t understand that democratic government must also be RESPONSIBLE government for the system to work properly.” Yes, but that responsibility starts with citizens being responsible, like going out and vote…with knowledge and awareness. Instead, they often rely on fearmongering, which Harper uses to extremes as this article hilariously points out: http://pepperpot.ca/society-and-politics/stephen-harper-majority-7-more-bogeymen-he-needs-protection-from/. The only thing Canadians have to fear is Harper himself. Bottom line!

  23. Ekremgiray says:

    My cenrocns centre around the anti-science, anti-intellectualism, and down-right mean-spiritedness of the conservatives. They seem to take a perverse pleasure in tarring anyone who doesn’t take up their cause, does not think like them. They seem to imply that if you’re not with them you’re anti-Canadian.As to the whole religious thing, I dislike it myself. Separation of Church and State is a fundamental requirement. Mixing the two is downright dangerous in my view. We have separation for a very good reason and it’s done well by nations in the West for centuries.And what also irks me is that these self-same, self-identifying so-called Christians are anything but. There is no Christian charity within them. They are negative and spiteful. How is that Christian? Where is the love, the compassion, the demand for justice? Instead, what I see is spite, mindful dislike of any dissenting opinions, and cruelty in lieu of justice and liberty.If those espousing their beliefs within the Conservative Party truly were religious they’d espouse love of your fellow man. They’d rail against injustice. They’d focus on the poor, the down trodden. They’d do everything with an eye towards bettering society. Instead many care but for themselves.Ironically, this self-centred approach is more in line with secular attitudes than proper Christian ones. Perhaps these folks should re-read 1 Corinthians 13. Applying what St. Paul proclaims as true virtues of Christianity seem to be missing, such as ? if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. To say nothing of the part most of us recite at our weddings: Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonour others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoice with the truth. It always protected, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. I still don’t know how I’ll vote, but I doubt it’ll be Conservative. Like you, I’ve been thinking a message might be in order and thus a vote of Liberal might get the attention of the Conservatives to behave the way Canadians want them to. Or, put another way, parroting the Americans is not the way I want my parties to behave in either attitude, practice, or policy.

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