I hate Stephen Harper. I really, really do. I cannot understand how anyone would vote for his party, with him at the helm. People think "Conservative Party" and then vote without looking at this man's record in politics or the current state of the Conservatives. These are not the Tories of old. This is the Reform Party. Harper was part of Reform, a far-right fundamentalist Christian group.
They were fringe. They were a (scary) joke in this country because we value things like the CBC, Canada Post, healthcare and women's right to choose. Why would any sane Canadian want a party like Reform to run things? Answer: As a majority group, we don't.
Ah, but then there was the merge of the right in Canada, the name Reform was lost and essentially became the Alliance. Remember the Alliance, anyone? Run by Stockwell Day, the dude who doesn't believe in evolution and the one who wanted a referendum for everything? Then led by Stephen Harper?
Moving forward, There were then the PCs and the Alliance, the Alliance being the joke of conservative politics in Canada. They won 66 seats in their one federal election and then afterward there was the final merge with the Tories. Now who are they run by? A former Reform AND Alliance leader, Stephen Harper. Fantastic.
The new merge of PC and Alliance (Reform) headed by Harper won 124 seats, despite the fact they were now being run by a leader whose former party (which encapsulated all his ideologies*) had only won 66.
(*Please note the Reform party ideology opposed homosexual marriage, abortion, public healthcare, and was intolerant to French Canada and bilingualism.)
Shall we take a look at what this man stands for, as evidenced by his record in office?
1. He campaigned AGAINST healthcare. Oh yes. Click on the link. Read all about it.
2. His party is introducing new legislation on jail that will cost an estimated $11.5 billion over five years. Our healthcare needs attention, and he's relying on unproven legislation to reduce crime, even though it's been on the decline anyway for years. Link. Fiscally conservative my ass.
3. He's anti-choice. His party is not funding abortions to women who receive foreign aid. The G8 maternal and child health initiate for developing countries has a Christian moralist agenda, rather than a reasoned look at impoverished women's needs. His government wasn't even going to fund contraception initially. We have abortion laws in place here, but where he can he's helping to detract women in need from their right to choose.
4. He's flouted the laws of parliament. He's dissolved parliament to avoid A. a vote of non-confidence, and then again to avoid the will of the house in answering for Afghan detainee torture.
5. Draconian copyright laws, infringing on consumers (Basically you and me).
I challenge anyone who votes for this party to take a long look at themselves and their lives and values, and then ask themselves honestly if this man and his party speak for you. Are you comfortable with a man who does not play by the rules of our democracy? Who shows intolerance and a partiality to his own personal religious beliefs over unbiased data?
I've voted Liberal. I've also voted NDP and Green. I alter my votes according to who I think speaks for me, who I think is a sound choice based on their platforms and personal history. I think that is the intellectual duty of everyone who votes.
Every week it seems I read more and more angering political news that keeps me up at night. This has just got to stop. The only way it will is if people see past their comfort zone of voting conservative just because they always have and really look at the party as it is today. It's effed up. Get informed!
PS I'm seeing Iron Man 2 tonight. That'll make me happy.