Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Harper's Amnesia

I have a commentary in the March issue of The Interim.

It's about Prime Minister Stephen Harper's failure to defend free speech in this country.

10 comments:

Brian said...

I agree. Whatever the reason for Harper "hiding under a rock" on the HRC issue , it boils down to fear of losing votes and even cowardice.

The HRC abuses are such a fundamental issue to democracy in Canada , that if Harper continues to ignore the issue , he will eventually wear it forever.

I can understand some of the reluctance , for fear that the left-wing (read most) MSM will attempt to tag harper as anti-human rights , but it is a very strange posture.

Championing Keith Martin's private members bill would force an even greater split within the Liberal party and would make Dion appear even weaker , and would take the heat off all of the parliamentary investigations.

I have refused to contribute again to the Conservative party until Harper addresses the HRC issue.

Anonymous said...

I think Harper just wanted the job of Prime Minister and that we have all been had. He's not hiding under any rock and will do whatever it takes to remain in power. Yuck.

Anonymous said...

I am SO disappointed with your blog entry Mr. Nicholls. I thought that someone of political experience like yourself would know better.

I think that Mr. Harper is playing it smart.

The case against the HRCs is progressing nicely thanks to Ezra Levant and the bloggers who have doggedly pursued things.

It has crept into the mainstream media and has received support from many organizations that would be much less willing to ride along if they were riding in the same bus as Mr. Harper.

The Human Rights industry is huge, widespread, and many powerful individuals are invested in it. The concepts involved are complex and understanding the issue fully requires a significant investment of time and knowledge of present and past history. What seems obvious to us is totally NOT obvious to regular Canadians. I talk to my family about it constantly, and they mostly don't get it, although they humor me.

Canadians do not have the knowledge base to make an informed decision on this at the present. They will be spoonfed by a media that hates Harper with a passion. Look at that ridiculous Fife guy on CTV. He’s just a tiny fracture of the media out there salivating at a chance to tag Harper with something that will stick.

Look, the groundwork is being laid by Levant et al. When the right time comes, and a national discussion is occurring, Harper will step in I believe.

To suggest that he is not principled, or smart, or that he does not see the problem with the Human Rights industry, is just a lie. I don't know who you think got us to the place where we are now compared to 5 years ago, but if anyone thinks Harper's careful leadership and navigation of the infinite number of landmines set by the political establishment and the media was not the single biggest part of it, then I think you are a fool.

And if you say that “a leader’s job is to lead”, then my answer is that the discussion is evolving nicely without him having to take any risks. A leader’s job is also to make sure that he and his army survive to fight more than one battle.

George Pickett was probably a brave leader.

aek said...

"Unfortunately, in his mind, defending individual freedom is just another conservative principle that must be sacrificed for the sake of winning power."

How do you know what Harper is thinking? Did you ask him?

Ezra's case is bringing the farcical actions and distortions of the HRCs to the forefront of public awareness and swaying public opinion, as will the Macleans case very soon.

Perhaps the Prime Minister is interested in getting the issue socialized before taking action?

I don't understand your motivation for taking such cheap shots.

Brian said...

Personally I like Harper , but in response to the Harper apologists I have a simple question.

Is it the responsibility of private citizens to police an out of control bureaucracy like the CHRC ?

Personally I thought that is what we elected leaders to do !

Anonymous said...

As a "Harper apologist", my answer would be that in theory you are right. In practice, we are fighting a war of ideology against an entrenched enemy that has far more weapons than we do, and frankly is far more ruthless (in a gutter fighting sort of way) than we are.

You pick and choose the nature, time, and place of your battles. Frontal assaults are for those who have numeric superiority. Sadly, at this time, conservatives in Canada do not have numeric superiority.

Brian said...

True ... one does need to pick the time and place of the battle , but form the responses I have received from my local Conservative MP and other Conservative MP's , the CHRC issue is not even on the horizon.

Unlike Joe Clark , Harper is very good at counting , so I am puzzled why the lack of official interest in the CRHC issue.

Liberal MP Keith Martin has sponsored a private members bill to at least begin to reign in the CHRC , so it would seem good politics to recognize the bill and let Martin take the initial heat , then when things go well , later jump in and get the credit.

Anonymous said...

The conservatives will gladly let Martin run with the HRC issue.

Every time they remove a Liberal created activist weapon, there is a cry of bloody murder.

The CCP, which was a secretive group of unaccountable, unelected lawyers crafting strategy and manipulating legislation to the exlusion of the majority of Canadians, was axed.

The activist groups cried and moaned. The CBC, Toronto Star, Globe and Mail and lefty press are still bellyaching about it.

The only problem being, there is no reasonable justification that the government should be funding such a narrow program, other than it suited their collectivist causes.

Those media outlets are left and far left in ideology. Had the conservatives set up a program to fund groups sympathetic only to conservatives, it would have been deemed treason.

The HRC is a much larger, more expensive CCP type program. It's decisions are only reported by the left media when they take out one of their pet pinatas.

The minute the conservatives even hinted at touching them, there would be the usual mantra - say it with me now - "hidden agenda."

CTV already has the footage ready ;)

John

Anonymous said...

No offence gerry but you play checkers while Harper plays chess. That why he is where he is, and you are where you are.

As the saying goes, don't hate the player hate the game.

aek said...

Rather than just constantly whining, why doesn't the do something positive, and put forward a comprehensive real conservative plan for Canada?

As with any plan, in order for it to be successful, it also needs to be practical and implementable. Could
he also produce a workable marketing plan to successfully sell his vision to the Canadian public and put it through parliament?