Canada's real barbarism? Stephen Harper's dismembering of the country - 2015-10-14
The threat of barbarism is grave, insidious and far-reaching. Those responsible are a small group nurturing a foreign-inspired ideology on Canadian soil. They pore over rigid doctrines in cloistered rooms. They scheme to impose their values, attractive only to a minority, on the majority of Canadian people. They have carefully veiled their true selves but their agenda is unmistakable: to erase the country's achievements in security and fairness.
This threat comes not from a handful of niqab-wearing Muslim women. It has always come from Canada's Conservative party. Their imported neoconservative ideology, baked into homegrown resentment toward the federal state, has never been palatable to a country with progressive ambitions. They have risen to power through other means: money and economic clout; a deep network of right-wing media and think tanks that have shaped policy options; and an unreformed electoral system that has allowed a party with only a quarter of the electorate's support to rule unhindered.
They have not been one for grand gestures. Their approach has been a steady accumulation of small, methodical steps, animated by a long-term vision. That vision is to extinguish Stephen Harper's perception of Canada: "a northern European welfare state in the worst sense of the term," as he once described the country. That those Scandinavian governments are the world's best in providing free healthcare and education, redistributing wealth, and guaranteeing political expression: this to Harper is cause for loathing.