So we're about two weeks into the election, and for some reason Stephen Harper's Conservatives are not only in the lead, but it's quite possible that they're heading for a majority. Harper himself is certainly capitalizing on that, nowadays. The thing I can't understand is who in their right mind would even want this guy to have virtually unchecked power, especially since another poll says that half of the country think he has a hidden agenda.
Now I can understand people having more confidence in Harper's leadership -- I've said before that I think most of the opposition leaders are pushovers -- but the problem is that Stephen Harper's idea of strong leadership is to run roughshod over anyone who disagrees with him. I've already gone on about how he's filed groundless lawsuits against the opposition in Ottawa, and done everything he could to censor artists who happen to be progressive and left wing, so I'll spare you from a repeat. But we're talking about someone who has shown ever since he became Prime Minister that he doesn't take openness, honesty, accountability to the public, or even obeying the law very seriously. In fact, at recent press conferences he has used the RCMP to remove hecklers and block the media from asking certain questions. Frankly, it's for reasons like this that I don't think politicians should EVER be given "Honourable" as a title. Once you apply it to power-hungry sociopaths who will lie to the public and subvert democracy on a daily basis, the term loses all meaning. This is even more true when some of these people will actually joke about outbreaks that have killed a dozen or so people inside of a month.
For that matter, since we all know that the economy is in shambles right now, trusting Harper to fix it makes no sense at all. His government repeatedly, and openly, sat back and did nothing while factories across the country closed shop -- whether they were losing money or not. His pre-election bribe -- er, I mean, grant -- to auto makers is for them to make large engines for bigger vehicles, when part of the reason they're in so much trouble in the first place is because there's no demand for the damn things! And despite reputation to the contrary, I have to point out that in recent memory it's actually been Conservative governments who've been worse at handling public money, while the Liberals have cleaned up the mess... as much as I hate to admit it.
And another thing, while I have dealt with conservatives who were quite respectful and polite, I really wish more of them would actually respect people's opinions. I can't begin to tell you how many times a right wing pundit has called me an idiot, a brat, a liar, a criminal, or even The Devil himself, just because I happen to disagree with him and have evidence to back up my views. Just because I'm young and have a certain amount of time on my hands, doesn't mean that I'm stupid. I try to give everyone else some leeway and respect, so please return the favour. It's called acting like a grown-up.
But there is some cause for hope -- the other day I saw on the news that two of Harper's news conferences in a row were obstructed by protesters. And while some papers, such as the National Post, have reader responses that sound disturbingly close to endorsements for martial law, pretty much every other paper I've read lately has a ton of complaints about Harper and the Conservatives. I'm not counting on the Tories getting tossed on their asses, like they were after Brian Mulroney had his turn screwing us over, but as long as he's taken down a few notches...