Sunday, January 4, 2009


If there's a foundation that seems built on salt, that's the one of Stephen Harper and his party being leaders of christian beliefs. Sure, they may be mostly Christians, and many may talk about the tenants of Christianity, but I'm finding the proof that they live their beliefs to be embarrassingly slim.

Oh, I'm not calling Harper a heathen or a charlatan of his faith. There is no doubt a very strong group of evanglical christians who believe that their opponents are also the enemies of Christ, who embrace the covenant of an eye-for-an-eye. Perhaps the evangelical stream that Harper has chosen to swim in truly believes virtue is only for suckers, or that the best way to the Lord is through spurning the power of compassion and empathy.

How else to explain the string of stark actions that Harper has personally promoted or condoned?

This weekend a young man went missing in PEI -- hopefully he'll be found safe and sound -- but in the CON war room it rekindled an old 'joke' that Harper let slide just a handful of months ago by one of his ministers.

He's played the weakest card available -- divisiveness -- to gain the upperhand, while cravenly refusing to accept responsibility for his own actions.

Nearly a year ago, one of the lowlight CON 'stars' breached security blackout on politicians flying into a combat area. By commenting to the media of the then-Liberal leader's visit to Afghanistan, not only did she put at risk both the Opposition leader and his staff, but also added to the security risk of all Canadian members of the Afghan mission, who suddenly were in the spotlight and a possible Taliban attack. In fact, four Canadian soldiers were injured in a bomb blast while Dion and Ignatieff were in the region. But did Harper even scold his minister for the act? How close to the line is that to what Cheney did?

There's the unchristian principle behind launching out-of-the-election cycle advertising attacking an opponent, very American. Now that its been done and the media and public has absorbed it as 'almost normal', this unprovoked mode of politics is now the norm. And Canadians are the more cynical for it. Thanks for that, Harper.

There was his act early in his first year where he postponed an announcement on funding AIDS projects, primarily to punish those who would chastize his government for ignoring their issue and for also their 'late-to-the-party' interest. Petty and certainly unleader-like. Pearson set the example of what a real leader does under intense debate, and Harper refused to follow.

And the latest would make Putin proud: threatening Toronto's Zareinu Educational Centre, which includes a school for disabled children, because they dared invite Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff to a menorah lighting ceremony.

What we know of Harper's character, we should be less and less surprised by these turn of events. Taken on their own, they may be just an overplayed political ploy by the man who loves his own image. But scanned as a trend, it is troubling indeed. That the CON support team, of which many claim to be religious and Christian-minded, endorse this tactic is alarming. That Canadians are now experiencing 'salt-the-earth' tactics so many Americans have lived through over the past 12 years (beginning with the radical impeachment play on Clinton) is disheartening.

But what is most disappointed (but perhaps least surprising, considering who pays their lunch) is the acquiescing through silence by the Mainstream Media -- only one outlet reported on the Zareinu Educational Centre incident. Where have their ethics gone? Are they so comfortable, or perhaps in these times too timid, to not see where Harper is leading them? Do they not realize that, today, it may be Quebec voters or a Jewish school, but tomorrow your community, your neighbours' place of worship?
If it is expedience and payola through power, then bankruptcy is too good for them...

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