Do we accept Stephen Harper’s “new Canadian patriotism?” Is his conservatism in economic, environmental and criminal law policies what we truly want? If it is, why is it?
We in the Kootenays, with pacificist traditions from Quakers, Doukhobors, and Vietnam war resisters, surely must be alerted by a prime minister with a vision of Canada standing tall with military muscle beside imperial nations like America and Britain.
His punitive attitude to all types of “crime” such as cannabis use (six plants makes you a trafficker) is ignorant, literally, since Texas now admits its similar policies have been counterproductive.
His worship of economic policies of constant growth in resource extraction at whatever cost to the environment is appropriate to a pre-1960s mindset, a time when we did not know better, when growth was always progress and we thanked corporations for investing in us for job creation. That tired ideology convinces less and less.
Harper admits he rejects what the 1960s represents, in that era’s liberality, environmentalism, and radical challenging of capitalist wisdom.
I fear that maybe Canadians have put this man in charge precisely because he does intend to uphold all the economic methods of the past, when the rich West took what it wanted from the rest of the globe and called itself the most advanced culture. Empire is not a dirty word for him, whether it rules by military might like the Americans use, or capitalist domination as richer nations exercise over poorer.
An assertive presence on a global stage, with our expanded armed forces and more intervention, is his aim.
If we reject Harper’s vision for Canada, we might suffer a decline in material standards of living. I think we know this. I think it is why he can push his agenda. He has a fine harmony with Canadian selfishness.