Puddle Jumpers

Enjoying life, off the hamster wheel

Canada’s conservatives influenced by Nixon’s tactics

I read an article in Maclean’s at my eye doctor’s the other day, and according to the author, Harper is taking pages from Nixon’s tactics and applying them to Canadian politics. And, it’s working. Harper’s Conservatives knew they wouldn’t win a majority, and the last time the Conservatives held a majority was a very long time ago. However, it served their purposes to call an election anyway and they knew they’d win more seats, although not a majority. They also knew that they could lampoon Dion as a wimp and an intellectual who doesn’t have the interests of “ordinary” Canadians at heart. Harper’s tactics are aimed at the suburban and rural voter, who sees the Liberals as the intellectual elite, and who believes the Liberals won’t govern in the best interests of these voters, and who are inclined to go along with believing the rhetoric designed to undermine the Liberals. Bullying and name calling is working.

Also, by calling the election, the Conservatives further sent the already weakened Liberal party into a tailspin, knowing full-well that they would lose, and then call for the resignation of the leader. The Liberals have apparently traditionally done that after losses, hence Chretien and Martin’s resignations most recently. Now it’s Dion’s turn. But it buys the Conservatives time, because the Liberals will have to do a lot of building up again.

Politics is tradition, and tradition changes. Maybe Canada’s politics should change too, along with the times. Like moving toward proportional representation, perhaps? I’d like to know more about it. I think most Scandinavian countries use that model, and it seems to work for them. It would be great to have more than 2 dominant parties, too. I’d personally like to see something that is a hybrid between the NDP, Liberals and Conservatives. Maybe some progressive people could form a new party called the New Progressive Democratic Liberal Conservative Party, the NPDLC. A vowel is needed there to make an acronym, somehow.

In the meantime, Canada will keep on trucking, literally. We’ll truck things across the border, across our country, up to the tar sands and beyond. We’ll buy more and more stuff that we don’t need, and throw our plastic lined paper cups into the garbage. We’ll drive hither and yon, and keep our heads down and work, work, work, not having time to look up and see how our lives are being compromised by our business. We’ll complain about the governing party, no matter who they are, yet we’ll expect it to change things for the better, without taking responsibility for ourselves. We won’t change our habits, but we’ll expect Big Business to, so we don’t have to. Those of us who will try to change, will sometimes fall off the wagon, or get frustrated that there’s very little infrastructure for us to do the recycle or dispose of waste in a responsible way. We’ll turn to our leaders with puzzled expressions, wondering why they’re not doing anything, or why it’s not happening fast enough. We’ll listen to the various sides of the debate, and get increasingly confused.

Oh well, as a friend of mine said, in geologic time, this is a nanosecond that we’re experiencing, so really, does it matter? Good question, I thought, as I looked at his two year old daughter and wondered what kind of world she’s inheriting.

Time to go to work. I’ll put my head down and plod along with the masses, losing myself in the white noise of the puddle of distractions.



3 comments on “Canada’s conservatives influenced by Nixon’s tactics

  1. Wayne Smith
    October 24, 2008

    Lots of good information on voting reform at the Fair Vote Canada website:


    You can join online and find out how to take action for a better democracy.

  2. ingridandneil
    October 25, 2008

    Thanks for the comment Wayne, most interesting.


  3. barbro
    November 2, 2008

    re: Scndinavia’s proportional vote counting system:
    I sent an e-mail with just that question to our knowledgable relative Per. He is currently working on his thesis and will reply when his stresslevel drops, he says. So, I’m patiently waiting. L/M aka Barbro.

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This entry was posted on October 24, 2008 by in Main and tagged , , , , , , .

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