Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Stephen Harper Isn't Socialist But Don't Tell Him That

It would be ludicrous to suggest Stephen Harper is a socialist, because he's not, he is however similar to one.

Creating the biggest government in Canadian history, running the largest deficit, using government programs to dictate where people live and work, increasing spending while reducing taxes, government intervention in labour disputes, and centralizing power in one man, may all seem like the actions of a socialist, and they are, but they are also the actions of Stephen Harper.

Unlike many of our southern neighbours, the association made between the leader of the so-called Conservative Party of Canada and socialism is not meant to slander the man, or the ideology, but instead to show that affiliations in titles and names don't differentiate, substance does, or in this case, substance doesn't.

Stephen Harper is of course not a socialist, but his government is practicing many of the traits similar to the socialist kind, not the fantastic ones that promise a Utopian ideal, but the normal ones where historic deficits are real.

Now Conservatives won't be the loudest in denying the similarities between their party and that of the socialist variety, it will be those on the left who deny it most adamantly, not to defend Stephen Harper, but to defend their ideology. And denounce the association they will, denouncing what is real only to attack what is fake.

A decade ago Reformers and Progressive Conservatives did the same. When progressives besmirched their ideology by associating it to the Liberal governments of Chretien and Martin, it wasn't Liberals who cried foul, it was those conservatives who did most strongly howl.

But the left and centre, particularly the NDP, should keep attacking the Conservatives for being ultra right-wing, for in attacking this government in what it isn't like, they allow this government to be what it is like, socialist.

And though Stephen Harper may not like governing so, in keeping his opponents fighting what is not real, he ensures his government always will be.

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