Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Power Must Be Earned, Not Taken

I wonder if I have to put (TM) at the end of that. It`s the crux of the new Conservative ad campaign to ... well, it`s not quite clear what they hope to do. I suppose the goal is to make people scream, hate and throw rocks until they force the country to violate its Parliamentary rules and call an election for no good reason.

But they tell "Power must be earned, not taken".

I never really thought of a democracy that way. Power isn`t suppose to be taken or earned. Power comes from a mandate from a majority of the people`s representatives. Ideally, it ought to come from a majority of the people, but we have a representative democracy, so that`s how we roll.

But if you`re a Conservative, maybe you think in terms of taking power. That`s certainly how Harper has played it. He had a minor lead over the Liberals before dissolution of Parliament and, seeing weakness, he made every bill he put forth a confidence motion, daring the Liberals to call him on it. He governed in minority like a majority.

It was all about power.

Then he went too far. Then he tried to use his power to defund his opponents. It was a kick below the belt and it galvanized the opposition. Did he assume that Dion, as a lame duck, would not stand up for his party? Did he assume that we would quietly let our democracy die? Did he think we would want a government of the rich?


He thinks in terms of power and went over the edge - and that was with a minority. Imagine what would have happened if he`d eeked out his majority.

It shouldn`t be about power. It should be about service. But Stephen Harper wouldn`t understand that.

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