Opinion » Maxed Out

How much is enough...?



Well, the mean clown is at it again. I've got to wonder about the horrible, traumatic childhood Stephen Harper must have led. Was he forced to attend summer school instead of whiling away the dog days of summer practicing piano and stroking his cat? Did he never get to go to camp? Or, worse, was he sent to camp only to live a waking nightmare? Be the target of short sheeting? Have his sleeping hand dipped in warm water with the inevitable — if embarrassing — results? Be the perennial last kid chosen for any team efforts? Wander the poison oak patches with only his shadow and revenge fantasies for company, a friendless loner who couldn't even paddle a canoe without courting disaster?

What soul-scarring series of events would lead the mean clown to steal Canadians' last month of summer? August. The final, blissful days of warmth and leisure before the grind of back to school, back to work, nose to the grindstone reality. Stolen! Swiped out from under a whole nation in much the same way the Grinch sneaked into homes and stole all the Christmas presents.

That alone should be enough to get his sorry butt tossed out of office. Layered atop the crass, self-serving reasons to plunge Canada into the longest election campaign ever — I've got more money than you guys; oh, look, something other than the trial of Mike Duffy to distract your attention — when we should be sipping the last dry drops of a crisp Pinot Gris as the leaves begin to turn colours, it suggests a tortured man with little other than revenge on his mind.

When we should be discussing how serious the Blue Jays are about making a run for the pennant; how well Canada did at the Pan Am Games; why in the world even Toronto would want to make a bid to host the Olympics' whether Caitlyn Jenner is a cougar; the soundness of a policy that would require bad drivers to only ride in self-driving cars; adding lanes to Highway 99 through Tiny Town to relieve the weekend afternoon congestion; if yoga can get any sillier; and where we can get more Pinot Gris after the liquor stores close, we're bombarded with attack ads, assaulted by debates, polled and punditized and mercilessly distracted from final days of what should be the end to a wonderful summer.

Screw you, mean clown.

I am, however, hopeful this latest outrage will be the final straw for all but the 30 per cent of voting Canadians the mean clown considers his unshakable core supporters. Who knows? There may even be a few of them mad enough about this unprecedented infringement on summer to abstain from voting this time around. But probably not. Even the most egregious of history's dictators and tyrants had their supporters, those who profited from the regimes and those who simply liked the fact someone was willing to inflict pain on their unworthy neighbours.

Still, it makes me wonder how much would be enough to either convince his supporters the mean clown has gone too far in his march to make Canada unrecognizable and not vote for him or energize the vast sea of non-voters sufficiently to get them to vote him out of office or at least into a tenuous minority. Really, people, how much is enough?

On Monday, The Tyee published a list of 70 "assaults on democracy and the law" perpetrated by the mean clown and his cabal of talking parrots. And that doesn't even include this week's assault, proposing to ban Canadians from travelling to countries the mean clown considers hotbeds of terrorism and jihadist germination. But like other "laws" passed by the mean clown and his buddies, this one is likely to run afoul of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. But even if it wasn't, there are at least two good reasons it is — what's the word I'm looking for? — stupid? First, there are always legitimate reasons to travel to even cesspools like, oh, almost any country in the Middle East. Second, if people who grew up in Canada want to go become jihadists, why would we want to stop them from leaving? Better to buy them a one-way ticket to paradise.

The Tyee article, "Harper, Serial Abuser of Power: The Evidence Compiled," is breathtaking in its sweep. Sure, most of us can remember the two or three or 50 reasons we want to rid ourselves of the mean clown, but 70? Wow. Good digging, guys. Helps those of us with a 1960s memory.

I won't weigh you down with the whole list — check it out for yourselves — but a "Best Of" compilation would have to include: the PMO paying hush money to Mike Duffy; being the first government in Canadian history to be found in contempt of Parliament; falsifying reports; lying to Parliament; getting personal over the Chief Justice doing her job; passing retroactive legislation to protect the RCMP; silencing the public service; proroguing Parliament... twice; elevating environmentalists to terrorists; squandering taxpayers' money for partisan advertising; destroying data and ending the long-form census; muzzling scientists; suppressing inconvenient research; using the CRA to intimidate charities opposed to the Harper way; making hand-selected attendees at Conservative political rallies sign non-disclosure agreements.

The list goes on and on and puts a lie to everyone who says, "They all do it. He's no worse than the others."

He's worse. Way worse. Worse enough to overcome the scare tactics at the core of his campaign? That it's dangerous to change governments because the Liberals "Just aren't ready," and the NDP will bankrupt the country? We'll know on Oct. 19.

If you are one of the many who'd like to see the mean clown exit the centre ring, the only way to accomplish that is to vote for the candidate in your riding most likely to defeat the Conservative candidate. Regardless of what you think of the leader of the NDP or Liberals — and no matter what Elizabeth May says, the Greens will split the non-Harper vote — you're voting for your MP, the one who will defeat your possible Conservative MP. This is no election to be black and white, to be hung up on what in other times you might consider a litmus test, like Trudeau's tepid backing of bill C-51 or Mulcair's stand on the clarity issue. There is no knockout reason to dismiss either party as an alternative to another kick at Canada by the mean clown.

Stop Harper!