Sunday, September 07, 2008

Harper: Standing up for Nothing

Yet another of these election ads. Can I call them "election ads" now? Now that the Governor-General has violated the law to which she assented and allowed Mr. Harper to call an illegal election?

Yes, let's call them election ads now, especially this one about how "Canada has to stand for something".

Harper says:

"We're trying to do something a little different on the world stage. First of all, we're trying to have real capabilities. But not just military capabilities. But the ability to contribute meaningfully to global security and humanitarian development.

There has been a view in the past among some previous governments that Canada's role in the world has been to go along to get along.

We believe this country has to stand for something."

Nice. Meaningless, of course. It's amazing that his speech writers have managed to isolate rhetoric and completely free it of context or policy.

What are we supposed to get from this? Stephen Harper is different. Stephen Harper wants to contribute. Oh, global security, humanitarian development! Wow! He's not just going to "go along", he's going to stand for something.

And ...

And ...

Oh, and the ad ends there without telling us what he stands for.

The thing is, Canada already has real capabilities on the international stage. We've been recognized for decades as an honest, diplomatic broker. We invented peacekeeping. We already stand for a few things: international law; morality in foreign policy; opposition to torture (at least until Gordon O'Connor started handing over prisoners to be tortured).

What we don't have is the giant cluster-bombing, depleted uranium spreading, aircraft carrying, army of world domination that can be used to force other people in to doing things they don't want to do. And the Conservative party hates that. They want to be back in World War I or II, when Canada had a relatively large military presence - and enemies to go with it.

Is the viewer of this ad supposed to be stupid? Is the viewer supposed to honestly believe that line, "But not just military capabilities" that he threw in there? How can you not be talking about military capabilities when your first example of "capabilities" is "global security"? Believe it or not, we are all already aware that Harper's definition of "global security" is to fight alongside the Americans in whatever resource thieving war they're in this week while using "terrorism" as an excuse.

At last we have to throw in an insult against those pathetic, naive Canadians who still believe in peacekeeping. Yes, let us speak of the gullible majority that thinks peace should be tried relentlessly before acquiescing to war. The veiled accusation here is that peace loving Canadians, the ones who search for diplomatic ways to avoid war, only ever really avoid war by surrendering and appeasing with their habit of "go along to get along". In reality, "go along to get along" is the mantra of the Harper government: go along with the foreign policy of the United States in order to get along with the United States and grab a small piece of the pie. And you can forget morality while you're going along.

So what does Stephen Harper actually stand for? He doesn't stand for any of the things that Canadians stand for. He stands for having a former general and former lobbyist, Gordon O'Connor, as a Minister of Defence. He stands for greed and politics and the collection of personal power.

It turns out consequently that Harper stands for nothing at all. And if we let him have a majority government, we won't stand for anything either.

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Beijing York said...

Let's hope the opposition parties actually get their shit together to attack Harper on specifics, even if it means admitting you were hoodwinked during the 39th Parliament to do Harper's bidding. What a sorry state of affairs.

Ann D said...

I found myself talking to my TV the first time that ad aired. I think I yelled, "Canada used to stand for something." How many articles have appeared in the newspapers in the past 2 1/2 years, featuring comments from Canadians lamenting how embarrassed they were by the fact that Canada didn't take a stand at important international conferences on the environment and other critically important issues.

I know what Harper's standing up for. He's standing up for re-election. That's all.

Ann D said...

I forgot to leave the link to my political blog:

I can never get the toggle thing to work right in Blogger. Sorry.