19 May 2009

He's doing it again

By 'he' I mean 'Prime Minister of Canada Stephen Harper'; by 'doing it' I mean running a negative ad campaign against his current rival; by 'again' I mean just that: he's done it before, now he's doing it again.

Canadians tend not to like negative ad campaigns. There was case of the famous ad from 1993 which mocked Jean Chretien by showing his face at its most distorted- he suffers from Bell's palsy- and asking the question 'is this the face of a leader?'. The ad and the outrage is caused, along with Chretien's smooth ability to turn the ad around and make himself look good, were a major cause of the Conservative Party's absolute defeat that year.

And here we are now with Harper. The last time he was on the attack against the former head of the Liberal Party, Stephan Dion. For months upon months, when there was no election campaign on the horizon, he ran ads attacking Dion for 'not being up to the job'. At the time Harper was the leader of a minority government. (For my American readers, a minority government is when the leader of the the party with the greatest number of elected members still has less than half the seats of the House of Commons. It is fairly common in a system with three or more parties.) After months of this aggressive campaign Harper called an election in the hopes of forming a majority government. Dion ran one of the most lacklustre campaigns in Canadian history, and Harper still managed to return with a second minority government, with virtually no change in the electoral map.

After that election Dion got turfed as leader, a new leader has been chosen, and voila, Harper is now using the very tactic which failed the last time. Tell me, what level of intelligence does this show? What kind of man does the same thing over and over, hoping for a different result each time? Who goes to their fridge and says: 'hmmm, this milk is sour. Maybe it'll be better tomorrow.'?

I am sick of this garbage. I never liked the attack ads, not one, from the beginning. I look at these clowns and I want them to tell me why I should vote for them- not why I shouldn't vote for their opponents, but why I should vote for them. What is their policy? Not being Stefan Dion or Not being Michael Ignatieff is not a policy. It is not a platform. it is not a reason to vote for Harper. I am neither of Dion nor Ignatieff. By this logic I deserve a vote. So does the guy who shines shoes at the train station. So does the bum to whom I tossed a quarter on the weekend. So do the thirty million other people who live in Canada. With but two exceptions, none of them are Ignatieff or Dion, and they deserve our vote!

But of course, he can't tell us what his platform is because he has none. He has not taken a stand on any issue, and his most common tactic when an issue arises is to wait for the furor to die down, and then pretend it doesn't exist. On issues of interest to Catholics- abortion, same sex marriage, you name it- we can count on this man to do exactly nothing. But hey, his opponent is a jerk, so we should vote Harper.

This is our Prime Minister's idea of a Smart Thing to Do. This is his level of intelligence, his level of class, his level of purpose. I see pictures of this man, and I used to wonder what went on behind those serial killer eyes of his. I now know the answer: Nothing. I don't like any of the other guys, make no mistake, but this clown will never get my vote.

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