8 Feb 2012

Is Stephen Harper displaying
fascist-like tendencies?

The stepped-up authoritarian, anti-democratic manner in which Stephen Harper has conducted himself since obtaining his Parliamentary majority nine months ago raises serious concerns about how far right he is planning to push the country in his effort to forever change the face of Canada.

Harper hates many things about Canada – most of all the moderate liberalism that a majority of people have preferred over the years. He has adopted a ‘take-no-prisoners’ attitude, rushing ahead with destructive plans never before discussed in public, as well as doubling cuts to government compared to what he said before the election.

Elected with the support of only 25 per cent of eligible voters, Harper nevertheless is running roughshod over the wishes and interests of the majority 75 per cent of Canadians.

So, just how extreme is Harper’s behaviour?

A few years ago, a former U.S. business executive, Laurence W. Britt, came up with a 14-point description of fascism.
  
In view of Harper`s behaviour of late, I think it’s time to look at Britt’s document again.



But, before proceeding, I want to say that I don’t think Stephen Harper is a fascist. His ideology is neoliberalism, which favours domination of society by laissez-faire capitalism. Interestingly enough, neoliberalism and fascism share some common characteristics.

Why raise this? It is important for the public to be well informed about the beliefs and practices of our government. Democracy is more fragile than we might think. And there`s no ‘law’ that will prevent our democracy from being taken away from us.

Below in italics are slightly condensed versions of Britt’s 14 components of fascism. They are followed by quotes from journalists and other sources concerning Harper’s actions and beliefs.

At the end of this post, you can rate Harper's performance.

1. Powerful and continuing expressions of nationalism. From the prominent displays of flags and bunting to the ubiquitous lapel pins, the fervor to show patriotic nationalism, both on the part of the regime itself and of citizens caught up in its frenzy, was always obvious. Catchy slogans, pride in the military, and demands for unity were common themes.
Lawrence Martin, iPolitics, December 2 2011: “To look now however is to see the dramatic degree to which the political culture is being reshaped. Patriotism pivots on pride in a resurrected military and morality-based missions. Pride in country is now linked to our refurbished armed forces and what Harper sees as moral crusades. National security, law and order, tighter immigration standards and bumper-sticker sports populism are among the features of a new right-wing nationalism. It is an accelerating trend and many Canadians worry that Harper, the anti-Trudeau, is taking it too far. . . .

“The Glorification of the Military: This is the new cornerstone of Harper nationalism. He boasts proudly that Canada is now a warrior nation and uses every opportunity to salute the armed forces. A recent report by the National Defence Department, in contrast to other years, says the Canadian identity should be shaped in good part by the military. It is 200 years since Canada was last invaded, but safeguarding Canada, says the prime minister, is his and foremost priority."

2. Disdain for the importance of human rights. The regimes viewed human rights as of little value and a hindrance to realizing the objectives of the ruling elite. Through clever use of propaganda, the population was brought to accept these human rights abuses by marginalizing, even demonizing, those being targeted. When abuse was egregious, the tactic was to use secrecy, denial, and disinformation.
Jack Etkin, The Bridge, B.C., March 2011: “Mr. Harper is very likely a war criminal. In Afghanistan, he has forced Canadian troops to give innocent civilians to the Afghan police to be tortured. That is a war crime, but it is never mentioned by the corporate media.”

Alex Neve, The Toronto Star, January 3, 2011: “At the end of the day, what transpired within the official summits was overshadowed by the staggering assault on freedom of expression that played out on the streets of Toronto. It still seems impossible to imagine that more than 1,100 people were arrested over the weekend, the overwhelming majority of whom were involved in peaceful acts of protest or were just passing by.

Susan Riley, Ottawa Citizen, January 27, 2012: “He (Harper) was never going to downplay China's human rights abuses in the name of the "almighty dollar," until it became useful to ardently court China as a customer for tars and oil.”

3. Identification of enemies/scapegoats as a unifying cause. The most significant common thread among these regimes was the use of scapegoating as a means to divert the people’s attention from other problems, to shift blame for failures, and to channel frustration in controlled directions. The methods of choice—relentless propaganda and disinformation—were usually effective. Often the regimes would incite “spontaneous” acts against the target scapegoats, usually communists, socialists, liberals, Jews, ethnic and racial minorities, traditional national enemies, members of other religions, secularists, homosexuals, and “terrorists.”
Lawrence Martin, iPolitics, December 2, 2011: “Less Tolerance. The Harperites, while not xenophobic, are less inclined toward multiculturalism and inclusivity than previous governments. They have imposed tighter immigration requirements, narrowed the definition of citizenship and blocked entry to war resisters and other unsavoury types. Their less than favourable take on the United Nations resulted in their being denied a seat on the Security Council.

“The Smearing of Opponents. A favorite Republican Party tactic, Harper Conservatives make frequent use of it with manslayer attack ads and demonization of critics, the latest example being their accusing NDPer Megan Leslie of treachery for opposing, on a Washington visit, the Keystone XL Pipeline. Demagoguery is a favoured tactic of right-wing nationalists. Harperites impugn critics of the military as being unpatriotic.”

Allan Woods, CanWest News Service, September 16 2006: “But Harper's choice of reading material has disturbed even some of his own party members. The senior Tory recounted being told Harper had ‘read and mastered’ the biography and leadership style of Russia's Communist dictator Josef Stalin, and said the prime minister has adopted some of the same tactics. ‘He plays people off against one another, he attempts to inspire fear rather than respect, he is unpredictable and he is 100 per cent focused on eliminating the opposition,’ the senior Conservative explained.”

4. The supremacy of the military/avid militarism. Ruling elites always identified closely with the military and the industrial infrastructure that supported it. A disproportionate share of national resources was allocated to the military, even when domestic needs were acute. The military was seen as an expression of nationalism, and was used whenever possible to assert national goals and increase the power and prestige of the ruling elite.
Murray Dobbin, rabble.ca, September 28, 2006: “In a CBC interview conducted as Parliament resumed sitting this month, Harper showed that he relished the fact that Canadian soldiers were war-fighting, and dismissed Canada's peacekeeping history as virtual cowardice: (Harper) ‘For a lot of the last 30 or 40 years, we were the ones hanging back."

404 System Error (Democracy Not Found), January 14 2012: “Canadians are being asked to spend between $16 and $21 billion of public dollars, according to Department of National Defence estimates, on these U.S.-built fighter-bombers, without a clear explanation of why they are needed for our protection. The Parliamentary Budget Officer says it could be $30 billion, and others have said that even this estimate is too low. The truth is: nobody knows for sure.

5. Rampant sexism. Beyond the simple fact that the political elite and the national culture were male-dominated, these regimes inevitably viewed women as second-class citizens. They were adamantly anti-abortion and also homophobic. These attitudes were usually codified in Draconian laws that enjoyed strong support by the orthodox religion of the country.

Laura Wood, rabble.ca, January 24, 2011: “Harper dramatically cut the funding of what was Canada's most important body for promoting gender equity, Status of Women Canada. Status of Women Canada provided advocacy, research and lobbying on behalf of women's groups. The government closed 12 out of 16 regional offices of SWC and their operating budget was cut by 38 per cent. Changes were imposed to the criteria for funding for the Status of Women Canada's Women's Program that essentially barred advocacy and lobbying groups from receiving funding.”

Informal Feminism blog, February 27, 2011: “Another large change that Harper made was to cut the plans for a government funded daycare program. This is a program that had been in the works before Harper was elected to office, it allotted 5 billion dollars to fund a government run daycare program for Canadian families. Harper pulled this plan from the table and replaced it with a 2.6 billion dollar plan, which instead sends $100 dollars a month to Canadian families with children under six.  This change in the plans was very dramatic and is another way that Harper’s conservative views are affecting women in Canada. By getting rid of the 5 million dollar plan it makes it harder for women to return to the workforce full-time if that is what they want or need to do.

6. A controlled mass media. Under some of the regimes, the mass media were under strict direct control and could be relied upon never to stray from the party line. Other regimes exercised more subtle power to ensure media orthodoxy. Methods included the control of licensing and access to resources. The leaders of the mass media were often politically compatible with the power elite. The result was usually success in keeping the general public unaware of the regimes’ excesses.
Lawrence Martin, iPolitics, December 2, 2011: “Message Control. Central to right-wing nationalism is information control and it is one of this government’s major priorities. A vetting system of unprecedented scope requires all communications to be filtered through central command. Much is done to limit access to information in a government often criticized for its secrecy. Fifteen hundred communications officers are at work massaging the message to fit the governing agenda. Bureaucrats, including those at the Privy Council Office are pressured into becoming propagandists.”

Nick Fillmore blog, A Different Point of View . .  January 11, 1012: “First of all, newspaper corporations strongly support and benefit from neoliberal policies. Second, it appears that all major media companies in the country, with the exception of The Toronto Star, are on the Harper bandwagon. Many of the dailies occasionally criticize Harper for one thing or another, but to allow any of their journalists to describe Harper’s neoliberal policies in full would enrage the vindictive Harper. It also would send an alert to a public that does not realize that many of the things they dislike about the Conservatives are part of a bigger bundle.”

7. Obsession with national security. Inevitably, a national security apparatus was under direct control of the ruling elite. It was usually an instrument of oppression, operating in secret and beyond any constraints. Its actions were justified under the rubric of protecting “national security,” and questioning its activities was portrayed as unpatriotic or even treasonous.
Carl Meyer, Embassy blog, May 25 2011: “Even as Canada's new Cabinet was being sworn in to much fanfare on May 18, a number of other behind-the-scenes changes to the country's governing structure were being introduced. Chief among these was a move to establish national security as one of the country's most important foreign affairs priorities, with Prime Minister Stephen Harper himself overseeing the file.

“To that end, while the swearing in of the new Cabinet captured headlines on May 18, Mr. Harper also rolled out a new Cabinet committee structure. The most notable change was the creation of a new National Security Cabinet committee, chaired by the prime minister himself, which will "provide broad strategic direction for security and foreign policy related to Canada's national interest" as well as oversee "Canada's national security response activities."

Murray Dobbin, rabble.ca, September 28, 2006: “Harper is even more committed to the idea of fully integrated armed forces as part of the Security and Prosperity Partnership, a formal integration agreement between the three NAFTA countries that will see huge areas of government policy “harmonized,” including energy, water, drug testing, security, immigration and refugees and more.”

8. Religion and ruling elite tied together. The fascist and proto-fascist regimes were never proclaimed as godless by their opponents. In fact, most of the regimes attached themselves to the predominant religion of the country and chose to portray themselves as militant defenders of that religion. The fact that the ruling elite’s behavior was incompatible with the precepts of the religion was generally swept under the rug. Propaganda kept up the illusion that the ruling elites were defenders of the faith and opponents of the “godless.”
Marci McDonald, The Walrus, October 2006: “But McVety (Canada Christian College president Charles McVety, one of the most outspoken players in this country’s religious right wing) and others on the religious right are equally convinced that Harper is one of their own. ‘We’ve got a born-again prime minister,’ trumpets David Mainse, the founder of Canada’s premier Christian talk show, 100 Huntley Street. They see him as an image-savvy evangelical who has been careful to keep his signals to them under the media radar, but they have no doubt his convictions run deep — so deep that only after he wins a majority will he dare translate the true colours of his faith into policies that could remake the fabric of the nation.”

9. Power of corporations protected. Although the personal life of ordinary citizens was under strict control, the ability of large corporations to operate in relative freedom was not compromised. The ruling elite saw the corporate structure as a way to not only ensure military production (in developed states), but also as an additional means of social control. Members of the economic elite were often pampered by the political elite to ensure a continued mutuality of interests.

Jack Etkin, The Bridge, B.C., March 2011: “He (Harper) has done everything Big Business could possibly want in terms of environmental destruction with the Tar Sands and climate change, salmon farms, clear cut logging, removal of safety regulations, and everything else. . . . Stephen Harper is a corporate prime minister. He works 100% for big business; and they keep him in power to continue the job of attacking and selling out the rest of us.``

Canadians for Tax Fairness: “In the 1960s, the federal corporate tax rate was 40%. By 2007 it was down to 22% and further cuts lowered it to 18% in 2010. Even more cuts are planned, dropping the rate to just 15% in 2012. According to the Parliamentary Budget Officer, the 2011-2014 cost for cutting the corporate tax rate from 18% in 2010 to 15% in 2012 is $11.5 billion - money that could be better spent on much-needed social programs.”

10. Power of labor suppressed or eliminated. Since organized labour was seen as the one power center that could challenge the political hegemony of the ruling elite and its corporate allies, it was inevitably crushed or made powerless. The poor formed an underclass, viewed with suspicion or outright contempt. Under some regimes, being poor was considered akin to a vice.
Linda McQuaig blog, July 11 2011: “A key part of the conservative revolution has been undermining unions. David Doorey, a labour and employment professor at York University, notes that in the past 15 years, right-of-centre provincial governments have changed legislation in ways that make it more difficult to unionize. With unions weakened in the private sector, conservatives are turning their sights on the last bastion of union power – the public sector, where unionization rates remain a healthy 71 percent (compared with just 16 percent in the private sector).   . . . The conservative revolution has thwarted Canadians in their desire to unionize to protect themselves in the ongoing class war.”

James Laxer blog, February 7 2012: “Keeping the government payroll to a minimum requires weakening unions, and maintaining a steady level of abusive comment against those who work in the public sector as overpaid, too secure and generally pampered, always a useful diversion at a time when people are figuring out how massively remunerated and under taxed the wealthy are. The Minister of Labour has the twin tasks of opposing unions and backing employers who want to shed labour, and hold down wages and salaries.”

11. Disdain and suppression of intellectuals and the arts. Intellectuals and the inherent freedom of ideas and expression associated with them were anathema to these regimes. Intellectual and academic freedom were considered subversive to national security and the patriotic ideal. Universities were tightly controlled; politically unreliable faculty harassed or eliminated. To these regimes, art and literature should serve the national interest or they had no right to exist.
Murray Dobbin, rabble.ca, September 28, 2006: “Stephen Harper's contempt for Canada and what it became in the decades following the Second World War is firmly on the record. Most of his comments — his sneering dismissal of our egalitarianism and sense of community — relate to social programs like medicare. He once declared Canada “...a second-tier socialistic country, boasting ever more loudly about its...social services to mask its second-rate status.”

Dennis Gruending blog: Just ahead of the May 2011 election, Ottawa blogger Dennis Gruending compiled a huge list of progressive organizations that had their funding cut by Harper, including Kevin Page’s Parliamentary Budget Office, the Canadian Arab Federation, the Climate Action Network, and many, many more.

12. Obsession with crime and punishment. Most of these regimes maintained Draconian systems of criminal justice with huge prison populations. The police were often glorified and had almost unchecked power, leading to rampant abuse. “Normal” and political crime were often merged into trumped-up criminal charges and sometimes used against political opponents of the regime. Fear, and hatred, of criminals or “traitors” was often promoted among the population as an excuse for more police power.
Murray Dobbin, rabble.ca, September 28, 2006: “Combatting crime is one of the “core” activities of Canada for Harper and all neo-cons.”

Lawrence Martin, iPolitics, December 2 2011: “A Strict Law and Order Regime. The government’s omnibus crime bill and jail-building program, and its hard line on drugs have pushed our criminal justice system further to the right than anyone can recall. Draconian sentencing standards that have failed in the U.S. are being instituted here. Civil liberties are down and state surveillance is up. Legislation will compel internet service providers to disclose customer information.”

13. Rampant cronyism and corruption. Those in business circles and close to the power elite often used their position to enrich themselves. This corruption worked both ways; the power elite would receive financial gifts and property from the economic elite, who in turn would gain the benefit of government favoritism. Members of the power elite were in a position to obtain vast wealth from other sources as well: for example, by stealing national resources.
Andrew Nikiforuk, The Tyee, April 27, 2011: “In fact, the Bruce Carson affair is a much darker tale about the character of the Harper government and its abuse of the public trust. And it goes like this: Harper's key political trouble shooter and problem fixer (Carson) gets lobbied for money for a new university think tank. He then leaves the Prime Minister's Office and becomes executive director of that same think tank: the Canada School of Energy and the Environment. It's mostly funded by a $15-million grant from the Harper government. The former senior advisor alters the school's mandate to permit government lobbying and policy development on the oil sands.

“He then lobbies for more federal money, $25 million, and gets it. He also works for several of his former associates (three cabinet ministers) and directs a joint industry and government campaign to improve the image of the oil sands industry. With taxpayer dollars he openly runs a partisan Tory energy think tank. He even gives partisan Tory speeches to Tory audiences. In the end, the school becomes a clearinghouse for industrial energy lobbyists working hand in hand with the federal and Alberta Tory government.”

Susan Riley, Ottawa Citizen, January 27, 2012: “Mulroney-style Senate appointments, the unsavoury Chuck Cadman affair, the creative use of G8 funding to help Tony Clement secure re-election, the inexcusable defence of an EI watchdog agency that has done no work, has nothing to do, yet has already cost the treasury $3.3 million, with no end in sight.”

14. Fraudulent elections. Elections in the form of plebiscites or public opinion polls were usually bogus. When actual elections with candidates were held, they would usually be perverted by the power elite to get the desired result. Common methods included maintaining control of the election machinery, intimidating and disenfranchising opposition voters, destroying or disallowing legal votes, and, as a last resort, turning to a judiciary beholden to the power elite.
Nick Fillmore blog A Different Point of View, November 16, 2011: “Referred to as the “in-and-out scandal”, Conservative Party staff used a series of wire transfers to move money from head office into and immediately out of the accounts of 67 of their candidates and back to head office to try to evade the spending limitations on the national campaign. An advertising agency, later issued invoices to the local campaigns. This tactic allowed the party to far exceed legal limits on campaign spending. It is very possible that the well planned $1.4-million burst of advertising that was purchased in swing ridings helped change the course of Canadian political history.”

Keith Jones, World Socialist Web Site, December 31 2009: “Yesterday’s proroguing of Parliament was certainly in the service of reactionary and anti-democratic ends: to suppress exposure of the Canadian state’s complicity in torture, bolster Canada’s participation in the colonial-style insurgency war in Afghanistan, and lay more favorable conditions for the coming to power of a majority Conservative government committed to waging imperialist war abroad and gutting what remains of the welfare state at home.”

The evidence speaks clearly for itself.  It’s not just that we have elected a ‘poor’ leader. This is a leader who has a definite program to rob Canadians of their basic democratic rights and treasured values. He is going to cause irreparable damage. Now that we have a better idea of his qualities and his methods, we need to figure out how to stop him.
-30-  

So how does Harper tally up?

I've ranked, on a scale of 1 to 10 (10 indicating how strongly Harper’s fascist tendencies are), my own impressions of Stephen Harper’s actions and policies. Please share your opinions and score in the comments section.

To keep things simple, just cut and paste the chart with my scores into the comments section and add your own scores.  
1. Nationalism: (Nick: 5) Your score:
2. Human Rights: (Nick: 4)
3. Enemies as scapegoats: (Nick 3)
4. Supremacy of the Military: (Nick: 5)
5. Rampant Sexism: (Nick 3)
6. Controlled Mass Media: (Nick 3)
7. Obsession with National Security: (Nick 4)
8. Religion and Ruling Elite tied together: (Nick 0)
9. Power of Corporations protected: (Nick 6)
10. Power of Labour supressed/eliminated: (Nick 5)
11. Disdain/suppression of Intellectuals: (Nick 4)
12. Obsession with crime/punishment: (Nick 6)
13. Rampant cronyism/corruption: (Nick 3)
14. Fraudulent Elections: (Nick 4)
Nick’s total: 55
Your total:

176 comments:

  1. Here's one to add to your list -- watching playwrights he doesn't like, finding his way into the rehearsal hall somehow (the play had not yet been produced, how else would he know about its content?) and threatening the theatre and the playwright if they continued with a work critical of him. Oh, yea, not just some one-off loser playwright, an award winning internationally recognized playwright.
    http://www.nowtoronto.com/daily/stage/story.cfm?content=185071#comment-428784448

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  2. ummm have you NOT see this ????/

    Ruby Jones explains Fascism ....
    http://youtu.be/uQ5QmWnGI0o

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    1. Yes, a nice funny video! People should check it out!

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  3. you REALLY missed the boat on harper's Evangelical connections; there are some 30 Evangelicals in his party; most of his MP'S are Evangelicals; they named their party; at one time; the "Alliance party"; after his Evangelical "Alliance Church" in Calgary; harper appointed several other Evangelical cronies from his church; one to the head of the national schizophrenia board. Three others to a human rights tribunal.

    harper is 100 percent FASCIST.

    he pled "GUILTY" to election fruad; that's a big fat ten.

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    1. I didn't count his involvement with Evangelicals, because, in Nazi Germany, as far as I know Hitler was involved with religious people from the establishment - not religious right-wingers, even though these folks do have some sway over harper.

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    2. Yup, US "Front Porch Strategies" is working for the Harpies.

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  4. Could you please not allow the anonymous comments. Who knows who they are ... and who cares if they have an opinion? I don't. It does you blog a disservice to have them here.

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    1. I agree. We should have names associated with comments. Even a 'nickname' is better than anonymous.

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    2. Don't like dissenting views, I thought the left championed the group "Anonymous" and the wikileaks sex offender Julian Assange, despite the fact that his leaks can only stand to pose risk to more coalition lives and the lives of Afghan people who choose to cooperate. But that's alright Julian thinks the collateral damage cause by his and Pvt. Mannings actions are "justified".

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    3. Hi, I like logic. What's the point of being concerned whether someone took the time to make a nickname or not regarding their opinion when you don't use your own real name? What possible aspect to anything would that have ever in any reality? Doesn't make a good point as far as your capacity to understand and categorize relevant information. And who cares about your opinion? I do actually, I make it a point to categorize the mental deficiencies of the indigent. Your doing my cause a great service when you speak. And speaking of logic, thanks for bringing up wiki. How can a person with a brain connected to his spinal column skip all that grey matter between his mouth and his colon? Isn't shooting innocent civilians and cutting off their body parts and urinating on their dead bodys to be left in the sun for the locals to see more of a security risk than letting your own soldiers know that we've lost more guys to suicide and friendly fire than on any actual enemy? Based on your stunning capacity to extend a well rounded and thorough viewpoint that in no way echoes a Pavlovian Dog barking mindlessly I must tip my hat to you clever wordsmiths. The world is in safe hands, warm in the glow of your wisdom.

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    4. I prefer anonymous when commenting online, it is no ones business who I am. In this context, what matters is the thoughts that are shared not who said them. I never read the names, I read what the person is saying. To be concerned about who said what is akin to judging someone by the clothes they choose to wear. This is not highschool.

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  5. Anonymous, I would love to not be anonymous but I have already felt the imact of speaking out of the consevartive goverment ( HArper), It's called systemic oppression and it lives well here in Canada and as you can see from above, Harper has enhanced it, epecially for Women and Children.

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  6. Carl Rosenberg9 February 2012 21:18

    Is there a light side?

    Seriously, looking forward to reading your piece. Keep up the good work.

    Carl Rosenberg
    Vancouver, BC

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  7. not only did Harper amend the Aeronautic Act Regulations in July 2011 to create a law that essentially bans transgender and gender-variant people from boarding aircrafts; he did so without any public or parliamentary consultation. his cabinet ministers mocked the ndp and libs when they challenged them in the house, and they voted down a motion to repeal the policy in the transportation committee. harper = anti lgbt = anti human rights.

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    1. I live in Ottawa and worked for the Federal Goverment for all of my career, meaning through many Prime Ministers and to date I have not found one (except Mr. Harper) who decides what is good for the Canadian citizens without citizens input. It is legally wrong for a Prime Minister to make his own choices for Canadians. The world has come a long way in its acceptance of Women in the Workplace. It is sad to see such things happening.

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  8. This is a timely and MEATY blog.

    I might add just a little; remember that when the stage is set beforehand by others is when the tolitarians have the easy time.

    Hitler did not come on scene in a vacuum; rather he recognised problems and dissent that were REAL; initially he said what people wanted to hear. I.e. He was going to DEFAULT on the screwing Germany got from international "financial services" after WWI!

    Unfortunately in a familiar pattern armchair "progressives" sat on their hands and or tut-tuted while he harvested the discontent that should have been THEIR incentive for ACTION. Had it been a "progressives' default the follow up would have been good for the people.

    At this time, "Progressives" need to offer REAL progress and not just the old welfare state that existed at the whim of the then current "Liberal" ruling class. `The 99% more than the deficits and so on that just set them up for first the Bamksters followed by Harper Faiscism.

    A return to Trudeauville" and thus a repeat of the lead up to the present mess, is NOT good enough.

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  9. I agree that named commentators carry more weight than do "Anonymous" but I would not ban them; rather though they ought to privately supply name and mail details privately.

    A relevant blog such as this needs to be careful and prepared to defend against the Fascists it opposes.

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    1. How do you propose to prove to all of mr. fillmore's readers here that you are indeed david tarbuck? Or even just to nick, in such a way that he can honestly vouch for your identity? This "tarbuck" sounds about as made up a name as can be. If you want to carry weight, you should call youself david kennedy, or david rockefeller, isn't that your idea?

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    2. I do happen to know that David Tarbuck is a real person.

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  10. Sorry Nick, you are probably a secular person. As a FORMERLY religious person, I figure you are underestimating the role of religion in Harper's government. Here is my take: http://hey-whichwayisup.blogspot.com/2012/01/conscience-or-lack-thereof-in-canadian.html

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  11. Perhaps I misunderstood, but I thought that you, Nick, prepared the background material above very well ... and then you seemed to let Harper off the hook with your modest ratings! Am I missing something here?

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    1. Well, I didn't want to overdue it. I'm
      more interested in having readers think about how they rate Harper.

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    2. Further note -- I would have felt that a score of 100 would mean that Harper and the Conservatives are full fledged fascists. Of course they are not.

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  12. Ursula Stouffer11 February 2012 01:23

    You've got some good points, some bad ones, and some laughable ones. Like Harper cutting funding to the 'Canada's Climate Action Network' (under point 11, 'Disdain and suppression of intellectuals and the arts').
    Here is an excerpt from the first paragraph on their 'What is climate Change' page:
    " We know that human activity is causing the earth to warm, but we also know that we can solve this problem."
    They KNOW that, do they? They're nothing but a bunch of idiots if this is what they claim. They deserve not only to have their funding cut, but eliminated altogether for spreading those lies. Ever heard of 'climate gate'?

    You are saying that keeping government positions to a minimum is terrible, as it weakens unions etc.
    Actually, the smaller the government, the least laws, the more government stays OUT of people's lives, the healthier a society is.

    Rampant sexism? Really? Here it is said that it is terrible that government paid for daycare fell through (really, universal daycare paid for by taxpayers, whether they agreed or not, even if they themselves were looking after their own children and/or homeschooling). They gave families with young children $100.00 a month a child instead.
    THAT is fair, as it makes it just a little easier for the mothers who CHOOSE to raise their own kids, rather than handing them over to daycare workers, to stay home (and it helped the ones who would rather work to pay for daycare). Like all my daughters and my daughter-in-law.

    Being denied a seat on the UN security council seems an honour to me, as they're nothing but a bunch of hoodlums.

    You've got some good points. The G20 'security' in Toronto was a national disgrace, with them arresting over 1000 people, most of whom broke no laws whatsoever. And there is plenty of proof that they sent in their own people to cause unrest, so they could arrest peaceful protesters.

    So, is Harper a great leader? My opinion is, that he is a puppet to who is REALLY in power, just like all the other leaders in the Western World, and probably in many of the 'developing' countries as well. Meaning, he is playing out the script written for him ahead of time. He isn't as obviously a puppet as Obama, but I think he is one nevertheless.

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    1. |
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      Some sure did pick up quickly on the offering from "other science" that invariably supports the big industry or government, that is generally behind that "science" somewhere, for their own reasons.
      Back in the 1980's I happened to have come into my hands; from a Salvation Army used book section actually; a typed copy of a paper that was someones PhD thesis on the "science" that the tobacco industry had devised to defend their position; that their products are not harmful to people.
      That paper was published and became the catalyst to identify what is now known and defined as "corporate deviance".
      Amazing how readily individuals whose position is indefensible grasp at straws like that in order to avoid the facts that if acknowledged would necessitate their changing their thinking or actions.
      So keep smoking; it's good for you.
      The tobacco industry is still in court appealing and denying what is anything but their position, which keeps their bottom line in the position they want it to be; and keeps people sick and society paying for the ruined health of the believers of the tobacco industries claims.

      As to Ms Stouffers vehement defence of her gate; the transparence of that kind of spurious science is more evident when measurement is made not so much of climate change but of Ph change of the oceans, rain, snow and the planet and the planet's lifeforms generally.
      It's a measurement identifying "fallout" among other things; as in what goes up must fall down, and therefore the fallout itself and the chemistry of it's effects become measurable by various means.
      The reality of acidification and it's effects is much more difficult to deny and much clearer and more easily pegged as an effect of unconstrained human activity.
      Now the activity of 7,000,000,000 (7 billion) humans.
      The fragility of and how narrow the band of tolerance to Ph change for life forms is, must not be taken lightly nor be glossed over.

      I find that most of what the Harper government is selling people who are easily marked as buyers, is spurious.
      I believe we have never had a government nor an individual heading government that merits such close watching and people's scrutiny as much as this one does, in order to hold them to account.

      It's not going to be an easy job to do through all the smoke and mirrors Canadians and the world (considering our PM fancies himself a transformative figure on the world stage) will need to deal with for the next 3 years; barring the unforeseen.

      It's simple to see how people who trustingly swallow the talking points of the day are misled and encouraged to hold fast to misinformation that defends the party line and keeps the simple in the fold for future reference (votes) whether or not these individuals and their best interests are being served.
      This government knows that as long as people THINK they are being served,that is good enough. Enough to keep them in the herd till it's time to go to the market.
      That's when more promises will be made; some of which will be kept; as was the promise to cut the GST. That has been an immense benefit to the people who voted for it and the finances of the country; hasn't it?

      Thanks for cutting through it for Canadians, Nick.
      Let's hope more people can find such an alternative as yours, to mainstream homogeneity of information that misleaders would prefer the "majority" consume, in order to keep them in the fold.

      Excellent collection of open minded sources and their observations.

      We need to watch carefully and prevent our country from being made into an entity that is manipulated by the spurious into becoming a corporately deviant member of the family of nations in the family of mankind, because what is spurious does produce offspring.

      |
      |

      Delete
    2. Ursula, No, I think Harper is more dangerous than puppets like Bush. Harper is clearly intelligent, extremely scheming and manipulative. He has a long term agenda taught to him by Flanagan, and together those two plan to incrementally reformat the country into some sort of oil industry/police state utopia.

      As for your views on the UN and climate change - well, let's just agree to disagree.

      Delete
    3. Okay, so you don't like that one environmental organization, so it's okay to defund it.

      What about the Candian Environmental Network (RCEN)?

      They've received a portion of their funding from Environment Canada for 34 years to do their job helping connect hundreds of local Canadian environmental groups together and to the government.

      Harper didn't just kill their funding although that would be bad on its own. RCEN asked in the spring if their yearly funding would be there as usual, and were told that it would be. RCEN takes the government at its word and budgets accordingly, assigning the EC monies to operations & administration (and larger amounts of money from other sources are budgeted to programs). Months pass while the money is still supposedly coming, but it never arrives.

      Finally in the fall when RCEN really really needs the money they were promised and planned for, the government says "Haha! Suckers!" RCEN did manage to survive, but I don't doubt that Harper would have been happier if they hadn't. Community environment groups, or "Enemies of the People of Canada", would be less effective until there was a replacement.

      Delete
    4. Sorry, I don't follow this at all? I must be missing something.

      Delete
  13. How do you explain so many converts that ape the fascist credo? Kent , Baird, flaherty all seem to copy the econospeak of saying nothing and hiding facts.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, it is very disturbing. This may not be a satisfactory answer, but I suppose out of a population of, what, 34-million, Harper can find 15 nutbars who are not much different than he is. They all have extreme authoritarian personalities.
      All of Harper's men hated the liberalism of Trudeau, and they weren't even satisfied with the slashing of Paul Martin. Their beliefs are based on totally discredited neoliberalism. They have a screwed up vision of how things "should" work, in their minds, but things do not work for the interests of most people. They believe in doing whatever is necessary to achieve their goal of totally removing liberal-minded thought and action from Canada. We are seeing this in our school books, and there is much more to come.

      Delete
    2. the real nazis are you and the NDP if you love socialism so much move to north korea

      Delete
    3. The countries that have the best standard of living , social welfare and support for its citizens, Public education is free , these are the social democracies in Europe ,
      See : Germany, France, , Norway, Austria , Sweden etc etc

      Harper is intent on copying the USA model which is now shown to be a failed model of what not to do with a society !

      Delete
  14. Speaking about the Mainstream Media they never told us the truth about Sunday shopping and what really happened in Nova Scotia. I can see why they have not told us everything about Stephen Harper. It's all about money and power that business has over our governments. You can learn more about our cause by visiting http://www.saveoursundays.ca

    ReplyDelete
  15. Excellent blog post. I think Harper meets or exceeds every one of these points. It's chilling to have an insane right wing fascist for a prime minister - never have I been afraid of my own government until now. Luckily, we have the words of V to inspire us: "People should not be afraid of their governments - governments should be afraid of their people." Resist the Harper regime - resist and Occupy. As the brave paige said, STOP HARPER

    ReplyDelete
  16. I find the larger problem is that the Canadian people for too long, have blindly trusted our politicians. Canadians for the most part haven't taken our governance seriously, and some how feel that their one little vote didn't matter. Heck most know more about American politics and politicians than Canadian government.
    This fact has made it easier now more than ever for a political party to become a power by using headlines and advertisment in a strategic way (because most people only hear sound clips and read headlines now-a-days)to give a public a perception.
    When I see Union suppression, cutting of social programs, build up of military, suppression of liberal minded and socially minded groups, and a whole miriad of other items that are one paragraph in a newspaper of gov. policies geared to keep the public awareness down, it only lends me to think of one other with these tactics ..... Hitler and his facist sneaky politics meant to keep the corporate machine and supremacy over others. In this case it is not a religous as was the Jews during WWII but a class of people, that being the middle class and the loss of well paying jobs and a retirement (pensions).
    This can only lead to one or two things.... revolt on idividual governments by citizens or war.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So the left can make Hitler comments about our Prime Minister but the right can't when it comes to Liberal politicians who talked about the confiscation of firearms from civilians and a re-engineering of the Canadian population. Double Standard much???

      Sorry the military isn't being built up, Canada is still far behind in percentage of GDP spent of military when compared to other NATO countries. If you don't stand behind our troops we'll gladly put you in front of them. When soldiers have to go out of their way and buy their own equipment using their own money you know there is a problem.

      Delete
    2. If anyone said the right can't speak up when fire-arms are being confiscated and natives are being forcibly relocated, they aren't correct. When someone says that they want to put you in front of a soldier if you don't agree with them, well... if you actually said it out loud then you obviously don't know what a Nazi is. Or a tyrant, or a murderer, or a sociopath that's capable of voicing a satanic defilement of what it is to be a soldier without guilt or remorse because they actually enjoy the act of evil. When functionally illiterate fools say "If you don't stand behind our troops we'll gladly put you in front of them." they think what they heard someone else say is clever and because it took them a few days to figure out what it means, it would take a normal person that long. When people that know the meanings of words read your posts they recognize 'nazi firing squad' when they read it, you illiterate fool.

      Delete
    3. Actually, the Russians were famous for this tactic. They would position "special forces" behind their front line troops, it was their job to shoot anyone who attempted to retreat. Our anonymous friend likes ideas like this. He has no idea he and his type are the real communists they so despise.

      Delete
  17. On another site I read a discription of activist Fascists as:

    "Thugs getting paid to do what they enjoy most, ganging up and beating weaker people."

    What and who gives them their start is serious economic and social problems that are NOT being seriously addressed by progressive.

    The world is full of these: banksters, polution, poverty (from skewered distribution), gender bullying, infrastructure. &c. Are progressives up to the task? or will 'thugs' get the job by default?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Very good point. Julius Caesar and Hitler enjoyed the same trick. Champion the underdog and the underdog will defend your cause. One must always be mindful to not chase off Snowball and leave Napoleon in charge when we get rid of Farmer Jones.

      Delete
  18. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I certainly do not mind being criticized, as long as the comments are sensible. Pointless, totally insulting comments will be removed.

      Delete
    2. So you call Harper a fascist whether direct or implied but have problems when similar criticism comes of your own character...

      Delete
  19. Very interesting discussion. While it's important to recognize this type of behavior (and your 14 point checklist helps us do that) one has to wonder why Harper or others act the way they do. I've been reading about how the free market economists managed to get it all wrong leading up to the 2008 financial melt down. One comment may be pertinent. Hayek, a free enterprise at all costs economist said that the march toward socialism would result in the loss of political and economic freedom. Countries like Canada were doomed. One need only look across the boarder to see how wrong he got it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The reason that the free market economists got it all wrong is that very few of them are actual scientists. I don't mean that they don't have the right credentials or qualifications, but that they don't use the scientific method or science-based ways of thinking.

      When a scientist does an experiment, analyzes the data, and finds something striking that doesn't agree with the hypothesis, what does he do? He goes back to his model and changes it to fit with the new information. With something striking, he's probably even excited since he could have found something new and amazing.

      When an unpredicted major economic event happens (data that disagrees with the model), what does an economist do? In general he ignores it, ass-covering, who-could-have-known, black swan, once-in-a-lifetime, etc. Then it's back to business as usual, using economics to sell a politics rather than to try and understand how things are.

      Even after the recent credit-related crises, many economists don't take credit into account with their models. At all. Money in the hands of the lender is the same as money in the hands of the debtor, they say, and handwave away the entire issue.

      Delete
  20. So the "little" blogger who's all about freedom is censoring dissenting commentators. Nick you're out to lunch on this one, you represent everything that is wrong with Canada. This is why the CBC must be abolished.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi - most other people on here do not hide behind a false name. What are you afraid of?

      Delete
    2. probably the truth.
      because
      the truth is incontrovertible.
      malice may attack it and ignorance may deride it
      but in the end; there it is.
      W.C.

      the truth is; this government is dangerous

      Delete
  21. Let's not forget that the actions of the police during G20 came from the Toronto Police Chief Bill Blair and not Harper. Whereas Blair, happens to be just another Liberal/NDP hack. Let's look at the fact that he speaks in overwhelming favour of the long gun registry and he sits as President of the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police and organization that has received over $100'000 from CGI the IT company in charge of building and maintaining the registry.

    Everyone has a few skeletons in their closet, the mainstream media and people like yourself look past the rows and rows of them in the closets of the NDP/Liberals, Trade Unions, and other left leaning organizations that are ruining this country.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The G 20 operation was managed by Alphonse McLean RCMP from Nova Scotia not Chief Bill Blair

      Delete
  22. Oh let's look at the case against sexism, IIRC the funding for women's groups wasn't cut. It was agreed that the government would help fund special projects, upon the completion of these projects funding would drop down to it's regular level. So to say that he reduced/cut funding is a lie and misrepresenting the facts and incredibly intellectually dishonest anyone representing it as such in the media should have their journalism degree retracted if universities cared at all.

    Also I believe the Conservatives have the most female MP's elected out of any party ever in history.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "Also I believe the Conservatives have the most female MP's elected out of any party ever in history."

      Next time please back up your beliefs with facts, especially when a trivial Google search is all it takes to verify them. According to a Globe & Mail article, the Conservatives have 29 female MPs elected, and the NDP have 40.

      If you want to change your belief to refer to a party in government, the Liberals during the 90s had over 30 female MPs.

      There was an episode of Power & Politics this last election about women in politics where the Conservative misspoke (told the truth?) and said that the CPC has fewer women candidates because they always choose the best person (which I guess is somehow usually male).

      Delete
    2. Hi - I don't know what you've referring to. I didn't make that comment in this article, and don't recall ever making it?

      Delete
    3. I'm referring to an earlier anonymous comment that makes the claim about Conservative female MPs. It shows up under that comment's replies for me. Maybe there's a blogspot bug and you're seeing it differently.

      Delete
    4. Sorry I miss spoke perhaps more accurately of the CPC's female candidates they have the highest ratio of elected to candidates out of any party. NDP could run a female candidate in every Alberta riding cause they no their going to lose, does that necessarily make them a champion of women's rights?

      Delete
    5. Oh snap you misspoke, that was incredibly intellectually dishonest of you and anyone representing you in the media should have your journalism degree retracted if anyone cared at all. So more accurately despite their best efforts, the conservatives policy of sexism fails to stop their voters from electing women.

      Delete
  23. Interesting how so many of those here who think Harper is being 'facist' want to censor the comments.

    Of course - they won't see the irony.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Hmm... funny how it only works for Harper, eh?

    How about when the Lieberals won their last majority with even FEWER votes and created a $ 2.2 billion dollar boondoggle (aka a gun registry) and lied about the costs involved to Canadian voters/taxpayers? What about the "Ad Scam", yet another way to steal billions from taxpayers?

    Oh no, we DON'T talk about these things here, do we? Go on, keep jerking off to your left-wing monologues! No one who matters is listening anyway... ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. In the end the amount stolen in "Ad Scam" was about 5 million dollars. No Liberal politicians were involved. One of the three people charged was hired under Mulroney.

      Yet the Conservatives rode it to victory with the help of an apologetic Paul Martin (for what happened under his watch), a compliant media, and a news conference and spurious allegations by the RCMP commissioner just before the vote. The RCMP commissioner was later shielded by the PM from being interviewed in committee, and once everyone stopped paying attention he left to a cushy job at Interpol.

      And the $50 million of Gazebogate and the billion dollar boondoggle of the G8/20? Apologists yell "ADSCAM" even though they should oppose all politicians stealing from them, no matter what party.

      I agree with you on the gun registry setup costs, by the way. Not on the specific $2.2 billion (don't know where that's from), but that there was a ridiculously huge overrun, that it was very wrong for the Liberals to do that, and that they should have been held accountable.

      To an extent, they were held accountable, punished by their voting base for doing wrong, losing votes and seats in subsequent elections, unlike the CPC and its base so far.

      Delete
  25. NEWS FLASH: HARPER'S CONSERVATIVES HAVE WON AND YOU'VE LOST!

    Now suck it up, crybabies. If you want to have a hardcore left wing government so desperately, feel free to permanently move to Kastro's Kuba or North Korea. Rest assured that Canadian taxpayers will not miss you, nor will they miss your economy-ruining ideas.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi I'm a book. If you read me, you'd know Cuba's spelled with a big C, the third letter of the alphabet. And North Korea is a right-wing dictatorship, not a left wing. Since you've already proven how clever you are, I'm sure you wouldn't mind explaining to the class how you've isolated the ideologies of libertarianism vs fundamental conservatism and tied them together with an economic model. Oh you don't know what words mean... right... sorry about that...

      Delete
    2. canadians need a new politcal party that is run by the people of canada we need a leader that is poor that nkows what is going on

      Delete
  26. those who defend our conservative government are either in the 1% or just dumbass racists/sexists who have only hate in their hearts and no empathy for anyone who is different. HARPER NEEDS TO GO!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What's wrong with the 1%, they employ you... if the 1% employes you they can't be that dumb if so what does that make you?

      Resorting to ad hominem attacks is the first sign of a lack of or utterly weak argument/point.

      Delete
    2. No, my skills as a worker employ me. My employer requires an employee, and wants a good one. Facilitating wages for services or products is trade. Trade is only beneficial if its mutually desirable. If I own a business I require skilled workers to run my business. My knowledge as a business owner gives me the authority to demand specific standards from my employees, but without skilled employees I would have nothing. I do not get a medal for providing jobs, because I'm not doing anything differently than anyone else, and I'm certainly not doing it philanthropically.

      Delete
    3. Your skills as worker employ you, sure. but Unions have been losing power, along with strikes. Law 78 in QUebec is a blanket law to shutdown any protest. Yes, its specific, but until youve seen whats actually happened, and realized how little is truthfully reported... its incredible.

      to the point - now there are new labour laws that corporations in bring in forign workers at minimum wage, if the cant find employees. but lets say that corporation isnt offering fair compensation for the work, or some other problem, and so no employee signs their self up. 2 weeks later... here comes the modern slave labour! it still has next to zero purchasing power beyond basic needs!

      by dismantling enviromental programs and under the guise of "new national parks!!" exploration and explotation projects are opening everywhere, to a huge detriment to the enviroment around us. the worst part? they arnt even canadian owned.

      Too often do I feel like we are living slowly evolving modern version of a slave economy. it can have all sorts of fancy names, but thats exactly what it is.

      forgive my grammatical mistakes.

      Delete
  27. In Toronto-Danforth the Cons have formed a de-facto "coalition" with the liberals to try to defeat the NDP in Jack Laytons former riding.

    As I said before there are perhaps more potential "blue" liberals than progressives; in any caase they are unreliable as allies to progressive policies.

    With a little luck enough voters will see through this anti-democratic alliance and support the NDP as a minimum progressive type.

    Of course that does not preclude our muting criticism of "liberals" in favour of directing it to the worst of the enemie; a direction that only requires silence to be MORE effective than any ideas of "coalition".

    ReplyDelete
  28. Good post. What I don't get is how there can still be supporters of neoliberalism when it has been so thoroughly discredited everywhere it has found a foothold.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Because well-connected people made piles and piles of money off of others' suffering. Disaster capitalism is terrible for the country and the majority of its citizens, but as long as the elite get out of the country one step ahead of the noose, then they (and their bank accounts) end up doing quite well.

      The fact that neoliberal countries have all been totalitarian is as tragic as the fact that communist countries have all been totalitarian. Both groups of supporters want you to ignore this.

      Delete
  29. "Elected with the support of only 25 per cent of eligible voters, Harper nevertheless is running roughshod over the wishes and interests of the majority 75 per cent of Canadians."

    I'd like to note that there was a poor voter turn out. Of the voters that SHOWED UP to vote most voted Conservative.

    You can in no way suggest that the people who stayed home and did NOT vote were anti-Harper.

    They did not care enough to vote so likely do not care either way.

    You lost the election to those who care enough to vote, and although I am sure you care and you voted you ARE the minority the the Conservative majority victory.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Voting serves to elect a representative from a political party. Not voting is failing to elect a representative. Voting is not granting authority for a representative to push your agenda on another citizen without their consent, because no elected representative has the power to do that. Failing to vote is not a form of consent. An elected party has the ability to form and pass policy at the request of the people but election is not consent to automatically approve policy. If you voted and I didn't, but I understand voting and you don't, does that have anything to do with the policies we should be adopting to run the country best? Democracy isn't a horse race, the point isn't to pick the one that's going to win so you can cash in on your good choice.

      Delete
    2. bozo doesn't realize far more voted against Harper than for him, among those who "cared" to vote. By splitting those votes, the clown party won by default. Harper and his buddies will be lucky not to end up like Mussolini. Not all protesters are peaceful.

      Delete
    3. I dont know where you learned to count but if the cons only got 25% of votes how can you say the got most of the votes.. When I went to school 75% was 3 times as much as 25%. Ohh well guess I better go back to school..

      Delete
    4. I dare Harper and his cronies to push a new law through parliament that mandates all citizens of voting age to vote at all Municipal, provincial & federal elections subject to a $750 fine for NOT participating .
      No one should be able to form a government without at least 51% of the available public vote .

      Delete
  30. I will do my rating later (but I think it will be 100) but want to say I agree that Harper's fundamental religious views are dangerous. Unfortunately many people will see his going to church, etc. as proof he is a good man. If they would read about the right-wing Christians they would change their minds - it isn't what it seems.

    ReplyDelete
  31. Amazing how you lefties can call Harper a "Fascist", but when the similarity of Canada's gun laws is highlighted as matching Hitlers, all hell breaks loose, hmm, double standards?

    ReplyDelete
  32. Donna Lecht
    “First they came for the communists, and I did not speak out—
    because I was not a communist;
    Then they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out—
    because I was not a socialist;
    Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out—
    because I was not a trade unionist;
    Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
    because I was not a Jew;
    Then they came for me—
    and there was no one left to speak out for me.”
    ― Martin Niemöller

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. First they came for the gun owners and tried to "socially re-engineer" Canadians, they disguised themselves as Liberals by the names of Piere Trudeau, Jean Chretein, and Alan Rock. Left disarmed and defenseless they could impose their radical left-wing agenda and install a communist dictatorship because after all they know what's best.

      Delete
    2. Re "'With us or with the child pornographers"
      I find this Chilling -"The state must declare the child to be the most precious treasure of the people. As long as the government is perceived as working for the benefit of the children, the people will happily endure almost any curtailment of liberty and almost any deprivation"
      -Adolf Hitler in Mein Kampf

      Delete
  33. Do you think there is any correlation between the social uprisings via media outlets and the passing of the new online surveilliance bill in Canada?
    Could this be a guise to enact more power and control over the masses? (I asked these questions on an online newspaper and they were removed, so hopefully I'll get a response).

    ReplyDelete
  34. Hi - thank you very much for this question and for being concerned about this. First of all, people on my blog might like to know which mainstream media removed your question. I think this is deplorable.
    I will do my best to respond to your two questions. While there certainly have been social uprisings via independent media in other countries, I don't think this is happening in Canada. Sadly, Canadians so far are just talking a lot and doing very little about Harper and the right wing. You might want to read my blog next week -- not today's -- as I plan to talk about this.
    Harper wanting to control the masses: I think he is such an oddball and uncomfortable with liberal-minded Canadians that he trusts no one except those reactionary Conservatives close to him. Thus, he probably thinks it is best to give police these powers -- just in case. If the police and Harper feel -- in their warped minds -- that environmentalists are getting money from the U.S. and that this is against the national interest (i.e. having the pipeline), I'm sure he won't mind if the police spy on them. Another possible reason for all of this, is to save money, believe it or not -- while Harper continues record setting expenditures on the things he wants. We are into dangerous times.

    ReplyDelete
  35. I think that we Canadians should all stand together, and to what is taking away from us, and oust this Government out of office unless you are all too chicken to do so!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. harp all you want harper hates canadians he loves the chinese people thus we are all treated as fascist

      Delete
  36. 1. Nationalism: 5
    2. Human Rights: 6
    3. Enemies as scapegoats: 9
    4. Supremacy of the Military: 5
    5. Rampant Sexism: 6
    6. Controlled Mass Media: 8
    7. Obsession with National Security: 6
    8. Religion and Ruling Elite tied together: 5
    9. Power of Corporations protected: 8
    10. Power of Labour supressed/eliminated: 8
    11. Disdain/suppression of Intellectuals: 7
    12. Obsession with crime/punishment: 8
    13. Rampant cronyism/corruption: 7
    14. Fraudulent Elections: 6
    Nick’s total: 55
    Your total: 94

    ReplyDelete
  37. 1. Nationalism: 5
    2. Human Rights: 6
    3. Enemies as scapegoats: 9
    4. Supremacy of the Military: 5
    5. Rampant Sexism: 6
    6. Controlled Mass Media: 8
    7. Obsession with National Security: 6
    8. Religion and Ruling Elite tied together: 5
    9. Power of Corporations protected: 8
    10. Power of Labour supressed/eliminated: 8
    11. Disdain/suppression of Intellectuals: 7
    12. Obsession with crime/punishment: 8
    13. Rampant cronyism/corruption: 7
    14. Fraudulent Elections: 6
    Nick’s total: 55
    Your total: 94

    ReplyDelete
  38. Nick you have a blind spot on religion and harper. To give it a zero, suggests, that you are unaware of his depart of religious freedom, his islamiphobia, is pro -life and pro - punishment, etc or that you are a "christian" yourself, which is a special christian, which is not a follower, but a warrior for Christ and are trying to convert the world.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Okay, you have a point, and it is an important one. However, the fascists of Europe in the 1930s were close to a very powerful religious elite, and this was one of the ways Hitler maintained his authority while at the same time carrying out awful acts.

      Delete
  39. I'm glad there is a tool to measure what is happening in this country. Nick gives Harper a score of 55. Mine is more like 90. I've known about Harper and his cronies since the mid-90's. I'm really glad someone is finally paying attention.

    ReplyDelete
  40. 1. Nationalism: 5
    2. Human Rights: 8 (concerning disregard for impacts on First Nation's communities)
    3. Enemies as scapegoats: 6
    4. Supremacy of the Military: 5
    5. Rampant Sexism: 6
    6. Controlled Mass Media: 6
    7. Obsession with National Security: 7
    8. Religion and Ruling Elite tied together: 7
    9. Power of Corporations protected: 10
    10. Power of Labour supressed/eliminated: 7
    11. Disdain/suppression of Intellectuals: 7
    12. Obsession with crime/punishment: 10
    13. Rampant cronyism/corruption: 7
    14. Fraudulent Elections: 8
    Your total:99

    ReplyDelete
  41. forgive the west coast new agey tip, but,

    did you know?

    Stephen Harper was born on the cusp between Aries and Taurus,
    a time that astrologers call the Crown of Horns,
    a time of " False Charisma " they say.

    guess who else was born then?

    Hitler.

    .

    and actually, me too.

    im always watching out for my ability
    to convince masses of people to do wrong things,
    but some of us arent probably working on our self awareness
    are we?

    ReplyDelete
  42. Excellent blog, Nick. Your analysis of Harper is bang on, although I think you're giving him too much benefit of the doubt in your rankings.

    I, too, consider myself a journalist-activist. My departure from the Ottawa Citizen in 2000 was the only way I could protest the right-wing takeover by Convict Black of Southam, which was the best newspaper group this country has ever seen. Under the Southams, each daily was politically independent and supported quality, investigative journalism.

    Black, and later the dis-Aspers, and now Postmedia, under the Sun-spawned Paul Godfrey, have turned them into right-wing rags that wouldn't dream of letting the public interest get in the way of profits.

    Aside from the Toronto Star and some independent publications such as The Tyee, the only media in this country still practising quality journalism is the CBC. And that's exactly why Harper and his ilk would love to see it disappear. It's ironic that some of his evangelist MPs, like the Sun Media trash-dispensers, snidely refer to it as the "state" broadcaster, because that's what dictators require in order to brainwash the masses.

    In all my 35+ years of journalism, I've never been so alarmed by the actions of a prime minister. Although I left newspapers and now make my living providing online editorial services, I had until Harper came to power continued in the journalistic tradition of political neutrality.

    Harper is counting on this country's abundance of apathy and ignorance to remake Canada according to his demented ideology. It is incumbent on the intelligentsia — including journalists — to stand up together and stop him before it's too late.

    I for one would like to see some serious political reform, such as having the capability to recall a politician (as they can in the U.S.) who has abused power.

    I also believe that, like in Australia, voting in a federal election should be mandatory. If the 75 per cent of eligible voters in Canada who didn't go to the polls in May 2011 had done so, there's no way this despot would have eked out a majority. The ONLY reason he took it was because the left vote was split between the NDP and Liberals.

    I registered two domain names (SaveOurCanada.ca and RescueCanada.info)and would like to develop a website where like-minded Canadians can come together to strategize about how to get rid of this Reform Alliance menace. If anyone is interested in getting involved, please send a note to: webdeb.richmond@gmail.com.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "I for one would like to see some serious political reform, such as having the capability to recall a politician (as they can in the U.S.) who has abused power."

      What a great comment. How do we do that, where do we begin? I'm getting a bit long in the tooth for marches and protests. The apathy & ignorance seems to be the 'norm' and we don't have time for people to wake up.

      Delete
  43. Replies
    1. Ha! Ha! You would like to see the entire country (except for a few Conservatives) locked up in jail!

      Delete
  44. Would be a better and more credible article if you sited some balanced sources. Good try anyways.

    ReplyDelete
  45. better Days
    As the saying goes we have nowhere to go but up after all the damage that we will have to undo. It saddens me to see so many people on so many blogs - angry and despondent. This site is very much like a link I had seen in at least a couple of comments in the Globe and Mail just before the electiom of May 2011 - i went to a link directing us to a book called PONEROLOGY. Ponerology being the study of such fascists and dictators such as Hitler and Stalin. They have been studied to death including how it was that they could come to power and cause such devastation. I was able to read a long preview at Amazon and it was so uncanny to see all the same traits in Harper Do read this preview and you will be astounded. Thank you Nick for this site- also saw it on a GLOBE comment.
    Iknow I am very cynical but me thinks that this online bill that they are bringing out is not at all about child pornographers -the Cons have an army of sheep that read all the blogs everywhere everyday - they read them all and report back that Canadians are getting angry - Harpo is becoming paranoid -and out comes the bill. His enemies - opposition that write very negative stuff- they will be spied on for something - something that they can pin on them. so yes it is the beginning of fear - the slowdown of creativity - the loss of freedom. Heard Ann Cavoukian tonight on the Agenda - she is provincial (ontario) Commissioner of Privacy and she is dead set against this bill.You should be able to see that video after 5:00 am. Let's just say that my instincts tell me that you cannot put anything past Harpo - he is capable of great harm. By the way that book PONEROLOGY WAS A STUDY IN EVIL MEN - They even had BUSH in there along with hitler and stalin. One way that we can start
    planning for the future is to look up FAIR VOTE CANADA.COM - become a member- they are working for possibly PR - Proportional representation - or some other kind of voting so that we never end up with results like the last one.
    Yes Nick I do think you underrated yoursurvey. I would also give it a 100.

    ReplyDelete
  46. Is Stephen Harper displaying
    fascist-like tendencies?


    ha, he's the poster boy.

    ReplyDelete
  47. Is Harper a fascist? Dear God, I SURE HOPE SO. As any serious student of fascism knows, fascism arose in reaction to the destruction wrought by the Socialist and Communist Left.

    If Harper could repeal EVERYTHING that has happened in Canada since the Socialist/Marxist disaster of Trudeau, the Liberals, and the NDP, AND put the Quebecois in their place, Canada would be 110% BETTER OFF.

    As is stands right now a once-great country lies prostrate under domination of a clique of socialists and clipped-haired lesbians with university sinecures.

    Fascism? PLEASE, God, if only Harper turned out to be a Canadian Franco and threw them all in prison, it would be a dream come true.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sicko.

      Fascism's history is incredibly deplorable. Do you not know it?

      Delete
    2. Anonymous' comments must be sarcasm. Or do you want the oppression, death squads and corruption too? Canada is recognized as one of the best countries to live in because of its generous social programs and conservative economic policies. Celebrate the balance we have achieved.

      Delete
    3. Dear Kent - I did not call Stephen Harper a fascist. But if you look at what Harper has said and his beliefs and compare them to political ideologies socialism, social democracy, liberalism, neo-liberalism (which he follows), and fascism -- Harper's traits are closest to fascism and very scary. And how has he performed in recent months?

      Delete
  48. Fascist & dictator are rather strong terms and read like fear mongering, given that the Harper govt was elected, and this is Canada. Certainly Harper seems to run his party and the govt as if an autocrat

    1.
    an absolute ruler, especially a monarch who holds and exercises the powers of government as by inherent right, not subject to restrictions.
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    ReplyDelete
  49. Hitler was also elected, so the idea that being elected means you're not a dictator is absurd.

    Speaking of Hitler. As a matter of public record, Harper has in fact been questioned in the past for his involvement with bona fide neo-Nazi organizations like the Heritage Front. He was questioned by the Security Intelligence Review Committee back in the late 1980s, when neo-Nazi skinheads from the Heritage Front were being employed as security for Reform Party meetings. This all came out because one of the Heritage Front members so employed was Grant Bristow, an undercover CSIS agent assigned to investigate the Heritage Front.

    The Heritage Front itself was created and announced during a meeting of the Northern Foundation in Ottawa. The Northern Foundation was a pro-South African pro-apartheid group during the 1980s. Stephen Harper was one of the NF's founding members.

    Supposedly, the Heritage Front had "infiltrated" the Reform Party back when Harper was Reform's policy chief (between Reform and the Northern Foundation, it is odd how the likes of Al Overfield and Wolfgang Droege can so often be found travelling in the same circles as Harper, through multiple organziations!).

    A story appeared in the Sun in February of '91 outing the HF members within the Reform Party, and they were kicked from the party immediately. However ... Grant Bristow reports that the Heritage Front was still being used as security for Reform Party meetings in June of that same year - many of the same members who had been kicked from the party, in fact. Not to mention that Al Overfield (a high profile Heritage Front organizer) was still director of the Reform riding association in Beaches-Woodbine.

    I think it's safe to assume that Harper himself was never precisely in line with Heritage Front thinking, however, he was never ideologically that far off, which explains such associations. The only major point of disagreement between the two is on the question of Israel. Other than that, it was an entirely natural association and no surprise to see him rubbing shoulders with the likes of Droege and Overfield during this era.

    ReplyDelete
  50. Harper and his ministers have already ignored the Federal court. Justice Campbell called their actions with regard to the Canadian Wheat Board "an affront to the rule of law." Farmers did not get to vote on the future of the Wheat Board even though they are legally entitled to do so. That type of action should be on your otherwise excellent list.

    ReplyDelete
  51. 1. Nationalism: 5
    2. Human Rights: 0
    3. Enemies as scapegoats: 10
    4. Supremacy of the Military: 10
    5. Rampant Sexism: 10
    6. Controlled Mass Media: 10
    7. Obsession with National Security: 10
    8. Religion and Ruling Elite tied together: 5
    9. Power of Corporations protected: 10
    10. Power of Labour supressed/eliminated: 10
    11. Disdain/suppression of Intellectuals: 10
    12. Obsession with crime/punishment: 10
    13. Rampant cronyism/corruption: 10
    14. Fraudulent Elections: 10

    The one guy Harper actively feared? Jack Layton.

    ReplyDelete
  52. Don those tinfoil hats!

    ReplyDelete
  53. The title of the article is "Is Stephen Harper displaying fascist-like tendencies".

    But in this blog, the author says, " I did not call Stephen Harper a fascist."

    Wow! Can you say "weasel", Nick?

    I knew you could! ;-)

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  55. What a totally ridiculous, bizarre article this is. It shows the author's emotion has ruled over rationalism. Weird.

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  56. Well its May28th 2012, and things are only getting worse~ only Lets hope that one big Protest with all the groups as one ~will I believe has the biggest chance of getting Harper to hear us he will have no choice but to listen~ Ive noticed that when Harper feels the people are upset with him he just offers to throw a bone and some people maybe even the majority of people fall for his Con.. I truly hope with all my being that this worry about what will happen to our beautiful Country goes away asap~. I can barley get out of bed so bad is the depression of whats being done to Canada<3 Please people come join us every single voice is needed~





    `..

    ReplyDelete
  57. july 2012! while never a supporter, my contempt for steven harper and his band of incompetents grows daily. family and friends who did support the conservatives in the last election swear they will not do it in the next election because they believe if harper is not a fascist, he is certainly with great relish, employing their methods as defined by your article. regards.

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