Harper's not-so-secret agenda

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He never lied about it

In the final days before the 2006 election, Stephen Harper denied that he had a secret agenda and that if he ever got his majority, “Watch out!”  

On May 2 he got his majority and now we are finding out what that secret agenda is all about.

Harper hasn’t brought back hanging yet. He’ll just put more people in jail and keep them in jail for longer time.

He hasn’t abolished the right of women to have abortions; he has simply banned Canadian funding of abortions for Third World women.

He hasn’t abolished bilingualism, only refused to make an understanding of both languages a requirement for appointment to the Supreme Court.

He hasn’t abolished the Canadian Wheat Board; he has just opened the door to the private grain companies to do the job themselves. Give them time.

Step by step, nothing too fast.

Harper hasn’t abolished the Ministry of the Environment. He’s just sacked a couple of hundred ozone scientists and department workers who were making things rough for his beloved tar sand oil companies.

We should have known. Harper’s mentor, Tom Flanagan, said it would be “incremental”-- step by step.  Harper would achieve his long-term goals.

None of it would happen in a rush. Make no waves.

Like the old story about the frog in a pot of water on the stove.

Just before the 2006 election, Harper told reporters, that even if a secret agenda existed, “we will have, for some time to come, a Liberal Senate, a Liberal civil service … and courts that have been appointed by the Liberals.”

A sort of built-in checks and balance.

Now the time has come. Harper finally has his majority government. No more checks. No more balance.

The Liberal Senate is gone, the “civil” service has figured out what happens when they stand up to Harper, and judges discover “mandatory minimum sentences” they will have to impose to fill up Harper’s new  jails.

Is there any croaking from the pot on the stove as the water gets closer to boiling?

Hardly. The last two public opinion polls had Harper’s conservative government at 40 %, about the same as on election night May 2.  

That’s how Harper said it would be – incremental conservatism.

Nobody would notice how things were changing. The Canadian navy becomes the “Royal Canadian Navy” the Queen’s photo goes up, famous Canadian paintings go down. Big deal! Who cares? Just one more step.

Sometimes though, Harper gets carried away and goes a bit too far.

Back in the summer, he bragged that Ontario had given him a majority Conservative government (that’s where he won the 12 extra seats he wanted) that Rob Ford was the new conservative mayor of Toronto, and that Ontario voters would “complete the hat trick” by electing Conservative leader Tim Hudak.

It didn’t work out exactly like that. Okay, so there’s been a little delay. The water in the pot isn’t quite boiling yet.

Give it time. Give it time.


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