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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?


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  1. RunnertheFirst says:

    You know this article really got me in the mood for an argument John. Using incorrect figures and quoting, of all people, Garth Turner. But I’m just too tired today.

    1. trashee says:

      I am curious, though, about which figures are incorrect… I usually do take care to ensure that figures have at least some basis in fact…

  2. klem says:

    “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.”

    You need to dump the climate change part of that 70%. I believe in abortion, same sex marriage but not AGW/climate change. And if that puts me in the ruling 30% then so be it. I will fight the AGW crowd to my last breath. I have voted left all my life but I will vote Tory next time even though I can’t stand them, because I cannot abide by the mindless climate alarmism being spread by my environmental brothers and sisters any longer. I have been an environmentalist since 1970 but now I must stand against them. They are now bought and paid for with big green money, and I cannot agree with them that nuclear power is a viable alternative when I spent decades of my life fighting it. So now I will vote Tory, much to my displeasure.

  3. Harper has to be really careful how he plays the religion card. There are plenty of people like me who won’t support the Conservatives if they’re going to start leaning theocratic. Sane people don’t want religious fundamentalists dictating policy.

    Unfortunately, Harper has already let the religious speak far above their station, and that will hurt him in the next election. It’s probably costing him his 40% in the opinion polls now. For every religious wanker he picks up he loses at least one moderate.

    The problem is that for people like me, there’s really nobody worth voting for. The Liberals are at least as dishonest at the Conservatives and they aren’t as brazen about it so we never find out until well after the crimes are committed. Voting NDP is like shooting yourself in the foot and then pouring salt in the wound. Green? Please. When I want crazy, I’ll go to church.

    It’s getting so I’m beginning to understand the motivation Quebeckers have to vote Bloc Head.

    Re Separatists: I am neither federalist nor separatist. I believe that the people of quebec should be able to determine their destiny… stay or go. But I feel strongly that they must make a decision and live with it. Shit or get off the pot. If they stay, then drop the separatist bullshit and play with the team. If they decide to go, then I’m first on the bridge with bricks and mortar for the wall… they get no “sovereignty association” crap, Canada cuts them off and treats them like a foreign country, end of discussion.

    That’s the biggest fear the separatists actually have. That one day Canada will have had enough of their bull and cut them off. Have you ever, as an anglo, spoken with separatists and said that you support their quest? They’ll call you a racist bastard (as if Quebec is a “race”). If you counter with “no, I believe in supporting the right of the people of quebec to determine their own path and live under their own rule” they’ll call you a crazy Englishman.

    Quebec separatism is not and never has been about making a sovereign nation of Quebec. It’s about screwing the rest of Canada to make Quebec and Quebeckers a more privileged class of Canadian citizen than the rest of Canadians.

  4. Ken says:

    No, what you need to do, ck, is demand that the Liberals have a charismatic and strong leader. Chretien “came back” today and pretty much made it clear what a leader needs to do: LEAD. You may not like Harper, but he leads, and people respond to that.

    And when I hear words like “totalitarian” in the context of Canadian politics, the person speaking those words loses all credibility. Also, to say that the ONLY solution you have is to help separatists is just ridiculous.

  5. ck says:

    Leader with no personality. ..and Steve has personality ES?

    And what is this Liberals need a leader with personality? Leader who goes to Timmy’s? Charisma? Excitement? Steve is none of those things yet he proves himself made of teflon…

    harpercon is getting his majority in the next election. NDP will probably bolster that majority.

    What’s sad is the only way for folks like me to escape a Harpercon totalitarian regime is to work toward Quebec sovereignty…odd for a moderate federalist like myself, but it’s true.

  6. trashee says:

    Keep in mind that the moderate lefties (like me) outnumber those further out on the spectrum by quite a large margin. The same can be said for the right… the reason why it often seems that the extemes are more numerous is that they are far louder.
    If you look at the vote distribution and say that the ReformCons represent the right of the spectrum (don’t think there are any lefty Cons), then everyone not a Cons is to the left… and those folks represented about 70% of the vote in the last election.

  7. The problem on the left is that there are basically two camps. There is a moderate camp who are more centrist than left who believe there should be some change and fair progress forward. There is also a douchebag camp that wants to overturn western civilization for some kind of hippie utopia of free love and tree sex where nobody is allowed to have anything that isn’t 200% natural.

    Those slightly left of centre people have to work on the slightly right of centre people to come on board. Fortunately, the farther right are starting to do an increasingly better job of alienating the slightly right of centre, and that helps… but as long as they think the Liberals are going to cuddle up to the NDP or the CraziesGreens, and have a leader with no personality, the Conservatives are going to walk right up the middle of that split vote.

    It’s unfair to say that the left has the the bulk of the population. The left, in the sense that they’re talking about “the right” has about the same level of support as “the right”… the bulk is in the centre, and the smart politicos should be looking there to win votes and the prime minister’s chair.

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