Read this before you vote!

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Dispatches from the 148 by Fred Ryan

West Quebec’s John Trent has written a streamlined and succinct tour through the ten long years of Stephen Harper’s regime in Ottawa, “Harper’s Canada”. This is an essential backgrounder for voters before election day, October 19.

Dispatches from the 148 by Fred Ryan

West Quebec’s John Trent has written a streamlined and succinct tour through the ten long years of Stephen Harper’s regime in Ottawa, “Harper’s Canada”. This is an essential backgrounder for voters before election day, October 19.
Trent begins, “Mr Harper demanded transparency – so here it is!”, but it’s not the transparency which our Grand Obfuscator PM had in mind. This study is clear; it cuts through double-talk, and sweeps no crucial details under its rug. Trent’s work is not diatribe, not part of the very mistruth and “mis-speaking” which has powered Mr Harper’s own rise to power. Here is a survey of the major themes not only of this election but of what the Harper regime has meant for Canada so far – and what we can expect to get on our collective chins, if Mr Harper gains another term. Our collective chins include Canada’s once-
honourable democracy,
her public service, and
her once-praised active
participation in the world community.
The booklet, obviously the result of Mr Trent’s great concern for our future, is available free as a download, or for minimal cost as a hard copy
(information below).
Trent begins with a detailed look at the political movement which Mr Harper and his Reform Party have launched into Canada’s political life and into our history books. While the contents of this right-wing movement seem remarkably similar to what we hear from the American Republicans, it is Harper’s closed-fisted methods, his commitment to win at any cost, with no actions, no slander, out of bounds, again reminiscent of American politics (recall Richard Nixon’s nickname, Tricky Dick) that makes his place in history so singular.
Trent looks at Harper’s frontal assault on Canadian democracy; he reviews the anti-science impulse of this government and its efforts to control every bit of
information-flow possible; he looks at Harper’s dismantling of Canada’s strong world involvement in favour of buying the
support of multiple
minorities, and Trent
outlines the incredibly
negative effects of Harper’s handling of our economy – the turn away from
manufacturing and innovation to primary resource extraction. Trent’s facts put the lie to any claim that the Harper Conservatives have managed the economy well, except for the benefit of the largest corporations and the wealthy 1% who fund his big machine.
John Trent’s conclusion, his suggestions of steps toward repair and renewal, are worth reading several times. Every one of his propositions is backed with references.
I have one caution, however, and that is that these arguments are not universally seen as negative. Much of Harper’s support comes from disgruntled people who harbour resentment against any progressive measures, principles, or
people. They are not alarmed, for example, that Harper has removed federal protection from so much of the environment, the rivers, and species-at-risk: they seem to hate “tree-huggers” – or feel threatened by such people and those on welfare, the “intellectuals”, and the LGBT community. They distrust immigrants and aboriginal people. Any appeals to injustices towards these people are wasted against Harper’s supporters. That’s what they want! They don’t see the resulting big picture.
That picture is clear in John Trent’s brochure. I’m biased, so make up your own mind. This will be exceptionally helpful to anyone undecided, even wavering Harper supporters, and it should be mandatory reading for all voters. Isn’t the first condition of a democracy that it have an informed public?
NOTE: The booklet can be downloaded free at:
http://canadians.org/blog/john-trents-new-booklet
harpers-record, or from wwwjohntrent.com. Hard copies can be ordered there.