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Harper's mobs, oaths and long-term austerity plan

On the path "Stephen Harper has chosen for us."

Harper and the Senate scandal - far bigger challenges than this face him and us

Environmental economist William Rees describes the Conservative governments policies as “climate change homicide."   

Ian Brown called the Conservative government “the most hands-on, centrally controlled federal government in living memory” .

Struck by this, one commentator characterized the Prime Minister in an essay “The Early Warning Signs of Fascism”.

Referring to research findings identifying the “fourteen defining characteristics” of fascist leaders like Mussolini and Franco, Harper was seen to embody them all, but especially the lynch-pin attribute, “Controlled Mass Media”.

Canadian Association of Journalists President Mary Agnes Welch said: “He's gone beyond merely gagging cabinet ministers and professional civil servants, stalling access to information requests and blackballing reporters who ask tough questions. He has built a pervasive government apparatus whose sole purpose is to strangle the flow of public information.” 

The author of the blog “Toronto City Life”, exasperated by increasingly invasive and constraining legal enactments (e.g. mandatory minimum sentences, vastly expanded access to personal information, acceptance of evidence produced by torture), wrote a column detailing this pattern bluntly entitled: “F___ you, Stephen Harper”. 

Harper’s obsessive attempts to control – and sometimes abuse – public discourse has led to many verbally intemperate exchanges. When the Jewish Tribune in December, 2012 named Stephen Harper its “Person of the Year” for his support of Israel, the comments section was laced with F-bombs for and against, involving people on both sides of the argument, aboriginal and non-aboriginal, French and English. 

This control only seems to break down when one of his Cabinet ministers is accusing political opponents of “treachery” or James Hansen of the IPCC of speaking “nonsense” and “crying wolf”. Or the Prime Minister is calling Human Rights Tribunals “totalitarian” and “scary”. 

Mobs, Oaths, and Long-term Austerity 

It sounds so familiar.

Its propaganda twin has been posted everywhere since April 26, 2012, when Stephen Harper introduced, less than a year after his May, 2011 majority win, the blandly titled Bill C-38, “Act to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on March 29, 2012 and other measures.”

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