Will There Be a Tipping Point?

For years now, those of us who vehemently oppose this Conservative government, and their modus operandi, have been waiting for some sort of tipping point, wherein they go to far, the offend to blatantly and in so doing pay a irrepairable price with voters. You can point to many past examples where it appeared that political damage had been done, only to see the Conservatives rebound, instead of erosion, a GROWING mandate. In many ways, these Conservatives have become the teflon government, nothing sticks, what appears problematic from time to time wanes and never reaches critical mass.

I mention the above in the context of this Bob Rae piece, where he argues that the Conservatives newfound arrogance will be their ultimate undoing:

The lack of civility and democratic debate in Parliament has become a major problem — and ultimately it will come back and bite the Conservative government, says Liberal interim leader Bob Rae.

“I think it’s going to turn out to be a very, very deep Achilles heel on the part of this government,” Rae said in an exclusive interview with Postmedia News on Tuesday. “I think it’s going to be a quality of this government which ultimately will be to its demise.”

The article comes with another warning from The Speaker on civility, the lack thereof, a theme we’ve heard before and frankly one that has failed to resonate beyond the “diehard” crowd. Instead of public outrage with each successive breakdown of democratic underpinning, we get more indifference, more apathy, people tune out, they don’t get mad. This dynamic explains why the Conservatives operate with relative impunity, why political geeks are left scratching their heads when apparent “big deals” generate small ripples that fizzle out, time after time.

Is Bob Rae correct in his prediction, or is this latest bout of outrageous behaviour just a moment in time, with little long term damage apparent? I would argue that we are seeing a different Conservative government, that this majority has brought a newfound arrogance the previous minority configurations tended to blunt. The Conservatives have a different swagger, you see it in how they respond, you can sense it from their MP’s and minions, a completely dismissive tone, that has a distinct authoritarian spirit. This pre-disposition has always been part of the Conservative makeup, but again, without the threat of election, without full control of all levers of power, it was at least muted to a tolerable level. Now, having finally achieved the ultimate goal, Canadians are starting to see the true nature state of the Harper regime and I do see potential for “achilles heels” and some blowback.

At some point, Canadians will say enough is enough, it will come without predictive signs or mounting evidence. Perceived arrogance has brought down governments of all political stripes and rarely do they see it coming and address before it’s too late. Given that these Conservatives simply can’t help themselves, given that I truly believe we are now witnessing the unshackled beast roaming in it’s natural habitat, there is some room for optimism that a true tipping point will be achieved. I would also argue a compelling, “decent” alternative presentation can speed this process along…

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1 Comment

  1. I don’t see this happening. There is a growing apathy towards the political situation in this country because the people just don’t care. One way or the other there is no real effect on the majority. People can be turned off by policy or some sort of misdeed, but as long as it doesn’t really affect them they will be content to ignore it and move on. It’s really half a dozen of one or six of the other. The issues that affect the majority of folks remain the same and therefore they remain apathetic to governmental change. If there is no influence on anyone’s life either way they will be inclined to not care, remain immobilized and accept the status quo.

    The issues, for example, that would mobilize someone like me are generally being ignored. I’m a mcomment_IDdle\working class guy and my life has not been altered or changed in any hugely perceivable way since the conservatives took power from the liberals. I would venture to guess that if the liberals took power back from the conservatives; my life would remain equally unaffected. That is except for one issue… that issue being the federal long gun registry, which affected my life and intruded my rights. Prior to this issue being raised I had consistently voted liberal. Afterwards, I voted conservative. Why? Because this is really the only issue that affected my life that I had any control over whatsoever.

    Either way I still pay the same amount of taxes. Either way the government is still going to come and take my money and spend it however they see fit whether I agree with them or not. Either way the government machine rolls on, inefficiently, wastefully and dictatorially. In essence leaving me with no more or less control over my own affairs, my own money, the fruits of my own labor nor my own contributions to causes I support or lack of contributions to causes I don’t support.

    If there were a party that came forward and sacomment_ID, “Okay. Now we will reduce your taxes to nothing more than what it takes to defend the nation from aggressors and protect the lives, rights and property of the citizens. Whatever else you want or need out of life is up to you to provcomment_IDe for yourself.” That would be a message I could get behind. That would be what I would conscomment_IDer freedom and a cause worth supporting. To me it makes absolutely no practical difference if the conservative government takes my money and spends it on a war in Afghanistan, an unneeded federal prison or 30 fighter jets, or if a liberal government takes my money and spends it provcomment_IDing welfare for a perfectly healthy 25-year-old, a sponsorship scandal or a national childcare scheme. Either way it’s just a drain on me with no perceivable benefit, period.

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