Monday, December 18, 2006

Harper: Canadian Newsmaker of the Year

Time Magazine has named Steve Harper as its "newsmaker of the year". Well, no shit: as the leader of a newly-elected party that represents an extreme right turn in Canadian governance, it'd be unusual if he hadn't made news. (Nice, but unusual.) Everything he does seems aimed at dismantling every liberal policy ever made. This is the guy who once said "You won't recognize Canada when I get through with it", so no wonder he's making news.

Here Time creams its metaphorical jeans:
"...the prime minister who was once dismissed as a doctrinaire backroom tactician with no experience in government has emerged as a warrior in power." ("Warrior" -- groan. Quick, the barf bag.)

But my favourite part:
"If Harper wins the majority he craves, in the election expected sometime next year, he may yet turn out to be the most transformational leader since Trudeau." (Using the words "Harper" and "Trudeau" in the same sentence? That spinning sound you hear is Pierre in his grave.)

"If he wins the majority"... that's not only a pretty big "if", it's a pretty big "you must be fucking kidding". Win or lose, a majority isn't in the cards for Steve's "New Government". They squeaked in with 36% of the vote, hardly the "great blue wave" that swept Mulroney's conservatives into majority power in 1984, and they've done nothing to broaden their appeal. If anything, it's narrowed -- they're already losing the support of the moderate Mulroney-style progressive conservatives with their pandering to the religious right. Harper win a majority? Not in this life. But he'll always have that "Newsmaker Of The Year" award, and unlike 2004 NOTY Maher Arar, Harper didn't have to get tortured for it. Although some might say he's torturing us.