Friday, December 05, 2008

Americanization in Progress, Please Wait...

The situation here is getting pretty dismal, although the jokes are great, and this is the most fun thing to happen in Canadian politics since either Confederation or maybe this.

LOLitics aside, though, I'm getting worried by the rhetoric coming out of Harper and his supporters. Harper has consistently tried to paint the proposed coalition government as "undemocratic," even though he's the one who promised to (try to) govern as though 37 or so percent of the vote gave him a "mandate."* Also, this morning, on Radio-Canada** (where yesterday, one of the announcers referred to the proposed coalition as "un coup d'etat"), I heard a really rather remarkable exchange, recorded live (and in English) at what might have been a pro-coalition rally. Someone said, ""We need a change," and another, very angry-sounding man started screaming, "We voted Harper in! You can't change that! You're a traitor to our country!"

The number of ways in which a Harper supporter challenging the patriotism of a political opponent is remarkable in the Canadian context is mind-blowing. First of all, I have never heard such a thing said about anybody's political opponent, ever. It's simply not a place where it is normal to go in terms of the Canadian political discourse. People here simply do not tend to frame arguments in the context of appeals to patriotism.

Secondly, since when is the Canadian right about patriotism anyway? Calling a political opponent a traitor is absolutely absurd from a member of a contingent whose leadership has spent the last 20 or 30 years telling us all how great the Americans are (and that we should do everything they say without question), telling us how our quality of life sucks compared to the US (which it does assuming you're rich, and which it most assuredly doesn't if you aren't rich), telling us all how much better off we'd be if we simply allowed them to turn Canada into USA North (and how stupid and deluded we are for not seeing that they're right), working for Republicans (I'm looking at you, Dianne Haskett), cutting shady backroom deals with US leaders (like some of the NAFTA shennanigans), getting cozy with right-wing US think tanks (like Harper's numerous connections to the National Citizens' Coalition), and on, and on, and on.

My reaction is basically thus: Your entire schtick since the emergence of the Reform/neocon bloc in Canadian politics has been that the United States of America does everything better than Canada does and the US should therefore be emulated and obeyed in every respect, and now you're impugning the patriotism of the 60+ percent of the electorate who disagrees with you?! What are you, too stupid to live, completely mind-colonised by the Americanoid thought-virus, just generally contemptuous of Canadians as a whole, or all of the above?!

It would be hilarious if it weren't so tragic.

I for one do most emphatically not welcome our new Americanoid overlords, and you're going to have to drag me out in chains if you expect me to like it. I didn't vote for any Republicans or Republicanoids, and if they want or expect me to want to be an American, they're going to have to let me vote in actual US elections. And then deal with the results.

Author's Note: I'm sorry if the tone of this post comes off as completely anti-American. While I don't object to Americans, I do object to creeping Americanism in Canadian politics, especially as it concerns the blind, fact-free embrace of the premise that everything the US does is better than what Canada does -- even for the Canadian context and in defiance of the will of the electorate -- and that Canada should do whatever the US wants it to do. That is a profoundly anti-sovereignity stance, and I cannot tolerate it. Canada must be allowed to go its own way and develop its own course, not be transformed into a clone of the United States because of the actions of a well-financed ideological minority.

Update: (6 December) A friend of mine has been banned from Facebook because of Harper supporters flagging his comments as spam when he was mocking them on a pro-Coalition forum they were inundating (dare I say "spamming") with their talking points. He says,
I made comments making fun of Harper on an Anti-Harper webpage and Pro-Harper spammers of that webpage decided that instead of addressing me, they would simply report me as 'spam' to the Facebook team. Naturally Facebook being the soulless, faceless, white-washed corporate tool that it is, sided with Harper's fans who were attacking the people on the page and not me, who was defending it.

So let me just take this opportunity to warn each and every free-thinking person online that Stephen Harper and his supporters are actively attempting to ban, censor, out-shout and overwhelm every major discussion forum regarding the subject of Harper or Canadian politics.

Go to and and look at the discussions if you don't believe me. They are not trying to debate, they are not trying to form useful discussions, they are not trying to discuss points or share in ideas, they are simply attempting to overwhelm the sites with their message, trained to repeat the talking points that they have been given by their Right Wing mailing lists.

Which leads to the inevitable question: Who is Canada's Richard Viguerie? There's a name I would dearly like to know. Whoever it is needs a little midwinter sunshine, I think...

* Are there any right-wingers who don't project faster than a Cineplex Odeon on a Saturday night during a school break?

** Radio-Canada has been paradoxically pro-Harper, especially considering that it's a) a public broadcasting station, and therefore will be first against the wall when the neocon privatisation revolution comes, and b) a French-language station, which means it'll get an express ticket to be first against the wall when the Harperoid Alberta-Uber-Alles-English-Only (Bilingualism-is-a-Failure) revolution comes.


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