Tuesday, May 24, 2011

A Dictator is a Dictator is a Dictator

Whenever I call Stephen Harper a "dictator" in a posting, I get emails from people telling me that I am wrong and that I don't know what a dictator is.

So I turned to the dictionary, which defines a dictator as "a leader with absolute, imperious, or overbearing power or control." And a dictatorship, as "a country, government, or the form of government in which absolute power is exercised by a dictator".

If you read Lawrence Martin's piece last week: Behold the most powerful PM ever, Stephen Harper now has absolute control of our country. He can even take our country into war, just on his command.

Jack Layton bragged today that he resides over the largest official opposition party in 31 years. But it is also the most powerless.

Harper has Parliament, the Senate and the Governor General was a Brian Mulroney insider. He has the media and will soon control the Supreme Court.

And if that isn't bad enough, we learn today, that he will also soon control the Ontario Court of Appeals. How long before other provinces fall under his sway?

Even before his majority, his government had reached all benchmarks of Fascism, and his determined to be the most secretive in history.

So please don't tell me that I don't know what a dictatorship is, or that Stephen Harper does not currently have dictatorial powers.

It's important for us to realize this, because we are the ones who allowed a single man to take absolute control of our country.

And while you might say that we are still a democracy, given that he was elected, even if it was with less than 40% of the popular vote, another man became a dictator when he was elected with just 43.9% of the popular vote.


  1. I agree I also like to refer to him as a despot - –noun
    1. a king or other ruler with absolute, unlimited power; autocrat.
    2. any tyrant or oppressor.

  2. Yes, we're not the first country to elect a dictator with "overbearing power or control". I cringe to imagine what awful things this man will do with his pretty-much unrestricted power.

  3. "It's important for us to realize this, because we are the ones who allowed a single man to take absolute control of our country."

    I would argue that we have done this in the past, with every other majority Canadian government that we have elected. The difference now, compared with the past, are the qualities of the personalities of the leaders of the parties that we have elected to majorities.

    For example, consider two other majority party leaders who possessed a 'dictatorship'. Mr. Trudeau was an intellectual who imagined, believed in, and created the laws for a just society in Canada, while also respecting the rule of parliament and the rule of law . And Mr. Mulroney (for the most part) also respected the rules of our democratic institutions, however much we might have disagreed with his policies.

    For me, the issue is not so much that we have bestowed dictatorial powers on a single person - as noted, it has worked fairly well in the past - but that we have given dictatorial powers to, in my opinion, a borderline sociopath (with a little help from his borderline sociopath friends).

    But now that we understand how flawed political personalities can entirely skew the democratic principles of this country, it is time for us to build some protections into the system to prevent repeat performances. Enacting proportional representation and an elected Senate might be a start. And public party financing would be a good idea. The only obstacle to implementing these types of changes would be to convince the dictatorial sociopaths that the changes would be beneficial to Canadian democracy. And there's the rub.

  4. Other majority governments have been what Harper himself called benign dictatorships, but as Lawrence Martin reminds us, never before in our history has anyone had this much power.

    But as you say, Harper will not use his power for good.

  5. Next time, just take your answer straight from the horse's mouth. Harper said a prime minister with a majority was a "benign dictator."

    "Only in politics do we still entrust power to a single faction expected to prevail every time over the opposition by sheer force of numbers. Even more anachronistically, we persist in structuring the governing team like a military regiment under a single commander with almost total power to appoint, discipline and expel subordinates."

    Of course, that was back when he wasn't prime minister. He's changed his mind now.