Saturday, September 06, 2008

Harper: Arrogance

The latest Conservative Election Ad.

Oh, wait. It's not an election ad because it was on television today and there's no election call yet. So it's not an election ad. That would be illegal, campaigning before the election has been called. So this is some kind of ... other ... ad ... for something.


It's Stephen Harper talking about how we owe everything to military veterans.

"What you always remember when you meet a Canadian veteran is that everything we have in this country was earned. And those men and women went out and put their lives on the line for this country. Never forget what they contributed. But more important, never forget how precious it is - how precious what we have is."

This is followed by a title screen which says, "Canada. We're better off with Harper"

Okay, let's start with the technicalities. Most Canadian veterans didn't put their lives on the line for this country. No one has attacked us in 200 years. All of the Canadian veterans "you meet" volunteered their lives for this country, but they were used to defend other countries, other people, other resources. Most famously they defended Britain, liberated France, Belgium and the Netherlands in two World Wars. Then they kept the peace in Cyprus and around the world. Now they're in Afghanistan ostensibly to help reconstruct the country though they spend most of their time fighting along the path of a proposed natural gas pipeline.

Now even more seriously. Believe it or not, Mr. Harper, we have never forgotten how precious what we have is. We never forget the war of 1812, the Red River Rebellion, the fight over Representation by Population, the repatriation of the Constitution. We never forget our intrepid veterans of both World Wars or those who are dying in Afghanistan. So why are you using this to make us think we're "better off with Harper"? Are you trying to suggest that those who oppose you have forgotten those sacrifices.

I won't lie to you. This ad offends me on a level so deep that I have hard time understanding what ticks me off the most. Somewhere in there is an arrogance. Somewhere in there is a narrow minded "only conservatives love the military". Somewhere in there Stephen Harper is riding on the coattails of the noble volunteers that make up our armed forces.

The last bit is the worst. "Never forget how precious what we have is".


That from an arrogant politician who hates everything about this country and wants to reshape it in to the United States? That from the man who called his own country "a northern European welfare state in the worst sense of the term"? From the man who only backed away from his plan to privatize our health care system when we told him Tommy Douglas was the greatest Canadian? That from the guy who can only measure foreign policy effectiveness by counting the number of guns we have?

I think not, sir. I think you have forgotten what is precious to us.

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noamzs said...

By constantly framing debate about the war in Afghanistan with patriotic references to our troops and their sacrifices, Harper and the Conservatives are effectively blacklisting anyone who dares criticize the war. For anyone who questions it, obviously doesn't support the troops and is thus not a 'true' Canadian.

Dylan said...

Noamzs, Amen!

I think Harper is treading a dangerous line if he thinks that Canadians are going to start adopting a McCarthyist attitude towards critical thinkers.

I gave this post a Kudos on my blog, Right of Center Ice, and have more exploration of the topic there.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for voicing my thoughts.

Socially Active said...

What Harper is trying to do. Is take indirect credit for the self sacrifice of others. I respect the sacrifice people have made, but it scares me when people take credit like this.

People who do this, don't know when to stop taken credit for old wars and create new wars.

When I hear and read that lag line better by Harper.

I think, what an arragent bastard.

gil said...

Another cheap play from his hand-me-down Republican aka NeoCon handbook: stir a war amongst the public over inane questions of patriotism to distract while they, the government, merrily go about conducting questionable, if not illegal, foreign wars.

In other words, divide the populace and conquer the public will to oppose.