Of COURSE religion is playing a role in our supposedly secular system of government!! Duh!
Good piece in The Hill Times today about religion, government and why the Harperites don’t really care if those to the left of centre take offence to their stands on such things as abortion or gay rights.
Pandering to the core supporters has always been the ReformCon way of maintaining solid financial legging in the party. By raising the spectre of abortion, the Cons knew that they would get some flak from the Left – but that group wouldn’t vote for them in any case. Worse case scenario – those voters would stay home and the Decepticons could continue to govern even though they may garner only 30% – 35% of the popular vote.
Former MP Garth Turner, who was kicked out of Mr. Harper’s caucus and then briefly sat as an Independent and then a Liberal, detailed what he said are the deep and extensive connections between the Harper Tories and the Christian right in his 2009 book Sheeple: Caucus Confidential in Stephen Harper’s Ottawa. He said Mr. Harper knows that in a multi-party system with increasingly low voter turnout, which hit its lowest point ever at 59 per cent in the last federal election, in 2008, all a party needs is around 30 per cent of the vote to win government.
“It’s about feeding them the red meat they want to mobilize the base,” he said. “That’s what Harper knows and that’s what he does. That’s exactly what Doug Finley has been accomplishing for the last five years. So I’m not surprised at this and I’m not surprised they would do things that are dumb and broad-based social moves such as cutting off gay funding, and this whole abortion debate. It’s very divisive but it’s done in order to make sure they’ve got that narrow constituency sewn up, and in a society where you’ve got four or five parties across the country looking for support he knows this is how to win power and keep it.”
In a related article, Harris MacLeod asks the question: To the divided left: don’t you feel silly?
Today Lawrence Martin eloquently lays out the absurdity of 70 per cent of the Canadian political landscape that believes in climate change, abortion, and same sex marriage being ruled by the 30 per cent who don’t.
Says Mr. Martin:
“In combination, the centre-left and left still have the bulk of the population on their side. In a culture war, they would likely clobber the right. But because of the divisions, there can be no such victory.”
So how bout it then.
Yeah, how bout it?