Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Post Debate - Harper diminishes us still

Okay, I'll admit I was disappointed to see Stephen Harper perform semi-competently during last night's election debate. Clearly, his pre-debate prep must have included the meme: ape the calm automaton and you'll present a believable banality that keeps your base happy and will not not send centrist voters running & screaming into the arms of the Liberals. And so he did. But he still lied.

He lied when he stated the choice in this election is all about the economy. Of course, this election is partly about the economy; but mostly it is about his abject CONTEMPT for our democracy and its institutions. He lied again when he accused the opposition of triggering an "unnecessary election". This election is necessary. Now more than ever.

This election is necessary because when we exercise our collective democratic right to pronounce a decision on Mr. Harper on May 2nd, it will inform who we are and what we value. And should we misstep that fateful day, it will see us fundamentally alter our society in a way that diminishes us all as a people. Bottom line, if Harper achieves his much sought after majority on May 2nd, our future will be bleaker. Unencumbered by any real checks and balances on his power, we'll see a man already found guilty of not respecting our institutions take us down a dark path bound to weaken our country, deprive us of fairness, and lessen our freedoms. A Harper majority will, in short, lead to disaster.

So to those of you who thought Prime Minister Stephen Harper of the Conservative Party of Canada performed "okay" in last night's debate, you're right. He did "okay". But "okay" is not good enough... for he still sat there before us and lied.

For me in this election it's not about a one-off debate performance. It's about the principles and values of the different players who are asking for our trust. It's about the merits of their respective visions for our future possibilities. It's about their commitment to us as a people AND how they believe our polity should function.

This election is about what the candidates are are offering Canadians. Will they bring out the best in us? It's not about taking a path borne of cynical calculation and contrived memes. Rather, its about us having the courage to choose a path that balances the needs of the many with the avarice of the few and, a path, that is committed to protecting our rights, laws, freedoms, and the integrity of our institutions. It's about taking a path Stephen Harper is not offering each and every time he stands before us and lies about why we are having this election. We are having this election because it is needed to combat his CONTEMPT. We are having this election to pronounce our judgment on a man who think us fools and who really believes we're willing to overlook his lack of integrity. We are having this election because, frankly, there has to be a better way to run this country called Canada!

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