Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Canada Now Being Governed by Ideology and Propaganda

When Stephen Harper was first running for the top job, as head of the Alliance Party in 2004, two words were prevalent from the opposition: "ideology" and "agenda".

In 2006, the same two words were common, but were then dismissed as hyperbole.

Now we have a prime minister running our country based on pure ideology and with a frightening agenda.

But first he silenced his caucus, then he silenced the media, the public service, scientists, experts, and advocacy groups.

Now he is silencing us. First by having us beaten up, and now by having us beaten down.

And he is doing that by eliminating a detailed census.

If he has no statistics, then he has no facts getting in his way.

Munir Sheikh, former chief statistician of Canada, rightfully claims that the Lack of census data will imperil policy-making.

But of course, we know the problem was that the census itself imperiled Stephen Harper's policy-making. Those damn facts. If it wasn't for them and those pesky Canadians he could get things done.

And Antonia Zerbisias in the Star, also raises women's issues that will be eliminated with the lack of accurate data.

The dangers imposed by this government are so tangible and yet illusive to the majority of Canadians. Why is that?

Economist Marilyn Waring, a former New Zealand cabinet minister, is quoted in the piece by Zerbisias:
“I see this mirrored in so many conservative governments in the post-recession period. They want to rule according to ideology not according to evidence. So one of the most important things they can do is to obliterate evidence so they can operate on the basis of propaganda.’’
It's absolutely frightening. But I'm not as afraid of Stephen Harper as I am of the current Canadian psyche.

"The force possessed by totalitarian propaganda - before the movements have the power to drop iron curtains to prevent any one's disturbing, by the slightest reality, the gruesome quiet of an entirely imaginary world - lies in its ability to shut the masses off from the real world." - Hannah Arendt


  1. Sadly, Canadians seem to have bought into the discourse of "elites vs. the common man." Instead of bowing to this false dichotomy (like Michael Ignatieff in his plaid shirt, our intellectual elites need to acknowledge their abilities and humbly accept the responsibilities that come with intellect and education. I am really tired of "the right" suggesting that education and the ability to think critically are somehow elitist and therefore to be rejected wholewhole.

    It is really time for thinking people to defend thoughtfulness and concern for societal well-being. The core values of socialism need to be vociferously explained and defended by the centre and the left. These values are not antithetical to a modern economy and we need to stop the right's claim that the values of the left are too expensive, wasteful, etc.......

  2. You're right. I want my prime minister to be smarter than I am. And I expect policy to be implemented after much study and input.