While some of Canada's major newspapers -- The National Post, for instance -- would suggest that a lot of Canada is frighteningly eager to see the (Neo) Conservative party rule this country with an iron fist, thankfully there seem to be far more that are incensed by some of Stephen Harper's totalitarian antics thus far (including, but not limited to, his decision to call an unwarranted and illegal election). Making the matter even worse was the announcement earlier this week that despite having and MP in Ottawa, and considerable public support, the Green Party of Canada was not to be included in the Leadership Debate -- apparently at the insistence of Stephen Harper, and NDP Leader Jack Layton.
Fortunately, some change has already been made.
Yesterday, I called the office of "my" MP, Conservative Dean Allison. I wasn't able to reach the man in question, but I did give some poor sod in his office a piece of my mind. He danced around the notion of the election being illegal, claiming that the opposition indicated not supporting Harper immediately prior to the election being called -- this conveniently ignores the fact that Harper already made up his mind about having an election by then, and that the actual Fixed Date law states specifically, that the only valid reason for an early election is if the government lose a confidence vote (which, needless to say, did not take place here, because a vote was never called). He also tried to bullshit me about how "in the media" it is supposedly clear how the opposition obstructs the government at every turn. Leaving aside that that's exactly what the opposition is supposed to be doing, it's kind of hard to tell what the media says about Parliament these days, seeing as Prime Minister Harper controls exactly what they hear!
Anyway... the better news just came my way a few minutes ago: The Greens are now allowed into the debates, no doubt because of the MASSIVE uproar and legal challenges that have been brought up from their exclusion. Their leader, Elizabeth May, blamed sexism in the "old boys club". Personally, I think that oversimplifies it. From what I've seen, May is a strong-willed, articulate, and reasonably knowledgeable politician. What's more, she also has a lot of public momentum on her side. In other words, she's exactly the kind of person that a control freak like Harper would be afraid of: a formidable opponent.
It will be very interesting to see how this plays out.