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September 8th, 2008:

Why NOT to vote for Stephen Harper – #1

As promised, I will be posting regular thoughts on why giving the Harperites a second mandate – and likely a majority – is a very bad idea for Canada. I will not endorse one alternative over another – but will make the case for ABH – Anyone But Harper.

These will be in no particular order of importance.

#1 Politics of fear

In continuing with the “hard on crime” theme and the need for a solid leader for the troops in Afghanistan, Harper is following the Karl Rove strategy of using fear to win support.

I remember bookmarking this page a few years ago and I think that it applies equally now as it did then:

Stephen Harper knows a good trick when he sees it: the fear tactic. It has worked wonders for George Bush for five years – with yellow alerts, hints of danger and the passing of new draconian laws that convince many Americans that such laws are really necessary.

Harper is doing the same thing with a string of new laws to “fight crime.” This kind of politics is truly despicable not just for deliberately misleading people about how much crime there is in Canada and providing false solutions but for consciously and strategically trying to corrupt the political culture.

As we have witnessed for years in the US, a country afraid of its own shadow is a country that ignores the many far more important issues of everyday life: economic security, health care, the environment, energy costs, the collapse of American public schools, the erosion of pensions, child care, etc.

Keep them scared – and you can keep them distracted.

Unfortunately, the politics of fear works. It worked for the Republicans when a bumbling fool was RE-elected as president. And it may work this time in Canada unless the other parties can somehow counter this message.

I found this Facebook group – and if you share these options, join up and let our opinions be heard!

Next time – the politics of fear and the invention of the “crime” issue.