Harper gets cozy with his majority

Feeling down about the prospects for the nation under a Harper majority? Wondering if progressive forces will be relegated to the sidelines as a new dynasty takes hold on the Canadian scene? Liberals, outdated and marginalized, can we make it back? Thankfully, right on cue, Stephen Harper delivers a "cheer up" speech which we can only hope isn’t simple rhetoric, but true CONVICTION:

“Conservative values are Canadian values. Canadian values are conservative values. They always were,” Mr. Harper said. “And Canadians are going back to the party that most closely reflects who they really are: The Conservative Party, which is Canada’s party.”

The first sign that you’ve lost the plot is you get COZY. Harper declares the Liberals historical artifacts, says the NDP are blip on the radar, and that we live in a conservative country, this majority is really just the natural order. I can’t blame Conservatives for this sustained "afterglow", this is a triumphant time, but for the rest of us, HOPEFULLY this is the beginning of the cancerous mindset that will lead to decay and detachment. I’m beginning to think that this new attitude isn’t just rhetoric, the whole team behind Harper is also developing this almost smug disposition. When you consider the entire Conservative success to date was predicated on a certain humility, this new found arrogance is a welcome development.

The comparison is quickly made, these Conservatives making the same proclamations as previous Liberal manifestations. This comparison is largely relevant, now one disputes that past Liberal arrogance was their chief undoing. One large caveat though, while both parties have achieved similar popular vote totals, the notion that Canada is a conservative country is less rationale an assertion. Yes, 60% of Canadians had voted for parties other than the Liberals, but many of those votes were directed towards NON-conservative forces. In other words, Liberal is different from liberal, one could still make the case that as a country our instincts still fell within that camp, despite minority majority rule. Taken further, even with the Conservatives scoring 40% support in this election, you can see a clear distinction with where the rest of the support lies, very much liberal in orientation.

Harper’s assertion that the last election merely represnts Canadians "coming back" to the natural point on the compass is delusional in nature. I remain sceptical Harper actually believes this statement, primarily because his past behaviour has ALWAYS taken the underdog form, up against bigger forces, realizing that these Conservatives had to work harder to overcome structural barriers. If ultimate victory- Harper finally achieving his long held goal- is leading to a new thought process, then the rest of us can quietly hope it’s TRUE. The moment these Conservatives take their foot off the pedal and begin comforting themselves with endless back patting, the moment we will see OPPORTUNITY, the moment I begin to sense a soft underbelly.

Eat well Conservatives, look down on your opponents as outdated and nothing more than fads, it is this type of mentality that has brought down almost every single past administration or government in the democratic world. Harper’s words, the new found smugness of the minions, for the first time I’ve found reason for optimism since the election.

Click HERE to read more from Steve Val.

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