Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Is Stephen Harper Now Sensitive to Accusations of Fascism?

I wrote recently about the tell tale signs of fascism, that have absolutely nothing to do with the Holocaust, which was a separate and horrible issue.

Our local paper, the Kingston Whig Standard, part of Sun Media, has gone to the right, and one of their pseudo-columnists is Michael Coren, a member of the Civitas Society who once said: "While everything human must be done to find a cure for this plague [Aids], it is hard to deny that the majority of sufferers in North America contracted the disease through perverse sex ... Nobody cared very much about these men and women before AIDS was brought to North America and, frankly, nobody cares very much now."

A real peach.

This week he posted this "Opinion": Columnist's attack on PM is plain dumb. It's a little difficult to follow because he references a column in the Halifax Chronicle Herald, so most in Kingston Ontario, would have no idea what he was talking about.

However, apparently this columnist suggested that Stephen Harper was drifting toward fascism, citing the prorogations and overall assault on democracy. Coren quotes the Halifax Herald piece:
"at what point in the 1930s should Germans or Italians have begun to use those terms and to treat their own governments with distrust and suspicion? Hitler was democratically elected after all -- with a minority government -- and then employed what one commentator calls his 'blend of political acuity, deceptiveness and cunning' to transform Germany's feeble democracy into the murderous Third Reich." ..."At what point did the majority of Germans -- who were not Nazis -- definitively fail to stop him?" he asks "And what should they have one? And how would Canadians recognize a similar moment in our own country, if one should occur?

"I am not saying that Stephen Harper is another Hitler, even in embryo. "But as I watch his masterful and ruthless manipulation of his situation as a minority prime minister, I am certainly struck by his blend of political acuity, deceptiveness and cunning."

Coren disputes this claim with the following argument:
Chretien imposed the voting whip on his backbenchers far more than Harper, Trudeau imposed martial law. Are either of them to be compared to a genocidal murderer? It's an old game played by the extreme and the talentless. "I'm not saying he's a pedophile but ... " Good Lord, it's as disingenuous and tendentious as it is anti-intellectual and plain dumb. I like Beaujolais, Hitler liked Beaujolais, therefore I'm a Nazi?

If this was unusual on the left I'd ignore it. But anybody who has argued any vaguely conservative position will have experienced something similar and it's nothing more than political bullying. We are no more like Hitler, Mr. Cameron, than you are like a good journalist.
Now comparing Harper to Trudeau will only upset Harper's "base", while the rest of us say "I wish", but Coren should have mentioned that when Trudeau imposed martial law it was when the Vice-Premier and Minister of Labour in Quebec, Pierre LaPorte, was kidnapped and killed by the FLQ. It was not for an opportunity to sun himself at a "fake lake", while telling the police to leave vandals alone, so he could justify more than a billion dollars for "security".

Harper turned Toronto into a military zone because of a sickness, not to protect anyone.

Chretien may have whipped his backbenchers, but he did not muzzle them.

And then with this comment: "It's an old game played by the extreme and the talentless. "I'm not saying he's a pedophile but ... "", the first thing that comes to mind is this and the second this. So on this I agree with Coren. The actions of Harper and Stockwell Day represented "the extreme and the talentless."

And if we're talking hyperbole, how about Jason Kenney referring to a protest at York University against Israeli Apartheid, as a pogrom. A violent massacre.

Or Harper profiling and stereotyping Canadian Jews.

Or the latest sabotage of Wikipedia, this time comparing Bilingualism to Nazism.

So Mr. Coren, if you don't want your boy compared to Hitler, tell him to stop acting like him.


  1. Excellent post, Emily.
    Methinks that beneath Stevie boy's sweater vest, lurks the vestige of a brownshirt.

    I'm not saying he's another Hitler, Mussolini or even a Franco. I wouldn't call him a Nazi either, which was a political party and not an ideology, but heck, actions speak louder than words. His actions are becoming more Fascist leaning all the time.

    An excellent link about fascism.