Thursday, March 17, 2011

Where will he stop?

Gaddafi be damned, we’ve got our own little home-grown tyrant.
You’ve been elected to the highest office in the land. You have the honour (and yes, sometimes the pain) of representing an entire nation of diverse citizens that hail from varied backgrounds. You are top dog, the big banana, and principal for a day, all rolled into one.
But that’s not enough for you. Representing the people isn’t as important as owning the people.
Harper has let it be known (again) that all missives, documents, and departments are now part of ‘the Harper Government.’ Just a little while ago, they were all part of ‘the Government of Canada.’ Notice the difference?
Technically, we still live in Canada. We’re not Harperians (Harperese? Harperites? I’d say Harpers, but I think TSR owns the copyright on that one). But can anyone see the similarity between this and what a military junta might do after it takes power? “No, no, we didn’t overthrow the government of Valagan. We are the rulers of a new nation... Malagan. Yes, Malagan.”
Branding is a powerful tool. Marketers use it to make billions every year. There are legions of people who make their living coming up with slightly more insidious ways to rename things so that you will instantly fall in love with them. Virtually everyone thinks this year will be an election year, including the PM. If he shoves ‘Harper Government’ at you every time you blink, you won’t even know that you’ll come to equate Government and Harper. “Of course Harper should be the PM: he’s the Government!” What's next? Do we have to refer to him as 'your Most High Excellent Piece of Awesome Harper?'
Even if this ploy has no discernible effect, it is a slap in the face to us all. One, it assumes we’re dim enough to fall for it. Two, it is an enormous explosion of ego all over us. Harper has already proven himself to run a tyrannical cabinet and secretive government. He and his people have repeatedly been summoned to the floor of the House to disclose things they refuse to disclose, snubbing their noses at Parliament and its procedures. Under his regime, the Tories have utterly ignored the fact that they work for us. You are elected, you petty thug! Act like it!
But why should he? Harper’s boss has shown that time and time again we refuse to fire him. Sure, we haven’t promoted him, but what will this guy have to do in order for us to give him his walking papers? I just don’t understand it. If I wanted my head of government to be an egomaniacal blowhard and bully, I would move to the States and vote GOP.
And where is the uproar over Harper’s effort to rob us of our identity? The only people upset about it are left-wingers who already hate the guy and wouldn't vote for him if all the other candidates were in persistent vegetative states. No one else is noticing. No one else cares. He’s going to cake-walk his way into another minority (dear God, please let it only be a minority) government and we’re going to stand by and let him.
I guess you do get what you deserve.

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