While trying to find a proper saying, axiom, or maxim to begin this letter, which concerns similarities between Conservatives in the U.S. and Canada, the following Chinese proverb seems appropriate: "The person who says it cannot be done, should not interrupt the person doing it."
There is precious little that Donald Trump is now saying that Stephen Harper did not utter during those desperate days leading up to the October national election in Canada. Where, despite polling evidence to the contrary, several major Canadian newspapers and broadcasters, even on the eve of the election, continued to predict a positive outcome for Harper’s Conservative Party.
Notwithstanding, the Liberal Party under Justin Trudeau scored an overwhelming victory, such that the term landslide is a proper and fitting description of the results of that election.
It is often said that Canadians spend a lot of time talking about the United States, and yet Americans spend very little time on matters Canadian.
It is important to understand that while the messages and political tactics of a Donald Trump and a Stephen Harper, and those of Rona Ambrose and Paul Ryan are identical, the difference lies in their audience.
For the most part, Canadians are not Americans, and Americans are not Canadians.
While Trump, like Harper, lambastes, Canadians get on with the task of welcoming and settling refugees.
Both Ambrose and Ryan have an opportunity as they assume leadership to project a vision, a statement of destiny for their respective nations and peoples. But each has chosen to revisit what they believe to be the source of their party’s past fortunes, employing the same old tiresome rhetoric and arguments that are out of touch with their constituents, and seem only appropriate for the sounds they make.
For Ryan, it was the go-nowhere attempt to undo health reform in the U.S. and Ambrose’s leadership begins and ends with the majority party’s electoral platform and talk tough mumbling about Canadian airstrikes against the evil ones.
One can only hope that Rona Ambrose will remember that – heavy is the head that wears the crown – and some semblance of a vision and leadership will follow.
Harper blocked a full-scale investigation into less missing and less dead Canadians, could not see that addiction to prescription drugs keeps pace with addiction to illicit ones, while at the same time maintaining that he was doing the best for all Canadians.
A situation not unlike the troubled current mayor of Chicago, who oversees a police force that guns down ethnic minorities in the streets, maintains extra-judicial interrogation and detention centres, and who recently paid out hundreds of millions of dollars in compensation, because for 30 years officers of the Chicago police department had tortured and forced innocent ethnic Americans to confess to crimes they did not commit, some of whom were executed for those crimes.
And, he wants those same ethnic Americans to stop protesting and allow him to remain in office. Canadians sent Harper home, and if things remain as they are, judging from the Conservative Party’s conduct in Commons’ debates, Rona Ambrose and a host of Harper obstructionist appointees are soon to follow.
Much will be made of a recent article in a U.K. tabloid press, which on the surface seems to support the illiberality speak for which Trump is made famous in an ethnocentric America, and Harper infamous in a forward-looking ethnically diverse Canada.
Beneath the surface lays a certain Australian tabloid newspaper mogul, who has made a fortune feeding the anxieties of the ultra-right, and wherever his tabloids have grown so has the ultra-right in those countries, Hungary is a prime example. Former presidential hopeful Mitt Romney in his mistake-less foreign tour was laid low by not being able to distinguish between the proper British press and its tabloid imitations.
Had that article appeared in anything other than a Murdoch-madness tabloid, Prime Minister Cameron would have immediately made a statement to the effect that – it is not the policy of the Metropolitan Police Forces in the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland to not police an area because a police officer might get hurt.
It was not, and he did not so respond.
Eric LaMont Gregory, St. Albert