Tonight a brief treasure hunt lead me to a golden nugget: The Man Behind Stephen Harper , which appears in the Walrus — a self-described “Canadian general-interest magazine with an international outlook.”
The hunt began with a Yahoo! link to an article about Jean Charest’s Liberals’ performance in the Quebec provincial elections, which may have been affected by the anti-Quebec rhetoric of our desperate Prime Minister, Stephen Harper.
From that link I leapfrogged to one about the federal Liberals and the person of the hour, Dominic Leblanc. He was expected to quit the party’s leadership race to make way for his opponent, Michael Ignatieff.
Flanagan’s article seemed duplicitous. Furthermore, I thought I’d read about that name before in connection with the fiscal update that’s causing political chaos, so I had to figure out who this person was and possibly his real purpose in writing that questionable article.
Returning to Yahoo!, I found my golden nugget, as crafted by Marci McDonald. Whatever her motives for the piece, she clearly researched her topic.
McDonald links Flanagan to Harper and sheds a fluorescent light on the Conservative party’s reasons for forwarding vague policies; using dogma to trigger the current crisis; the party’s media stance; and its joint, unending quest for political power, to shape Canada and re-write history.
If, as McDonald sates, the Liberals know about Flanagan then why not use it to stimulate public debate and to prop up a floundering brand?
Is it because the Liberals are too kind? Probably not! It is likely that the Liberal party cannot bite the hand that feeds it, as McDonald points out. However, if she’s wrong, the Liberals look like nothing more than self-serving nincompoops.
Then again, maybe all the political parties currently vying for power in Canada are equally unoriginal and feed from the same trough of tainted Machiavellian ideas, or Chimpanzee political theories on powerbrokering.
With Obama inspiring believers worldwide, even amidst serious economic trials, uninspiring, and even lying Canadian politicians have never been deader weight.
Evidence of political doublespeak appears as perhaps the most interesting part of the article, flying in the face of the Tories’ current media posturing about the certain devastation awaiting Canada if our government attempts to function under a coalition including the Bloc Québécois.
Counterintuitive though it seems, the Tories might benefit from misinforming Canadians and creating a national unity and political crisis then blaming it on separatists when, in fact, its party brass has considered partnering with these same separatists.
Fortunately, McDonald provides the following fact to counter partisan pundit passion:
In 1997, Flanagan and Harper made their media debut in the short-lived Next City, arguing coalitions were the only route to conservatives seizing national power. One combo they proposed might make compelling bedtime reading now for Paul Martin: an alliance with the Bloc Québécois, whose core rural Quebec voters “would not be out of place in Red Deer,” they noted. “They are nationalist for much the same reason that Albertans are populist – they care about their local identity . . . and they see the federal government as a threat to their way of life.”
It’s taken a fruitful, amusing, and accidental treasure hunt to convince me that politics is certainly not dull if you’re willing to do some digging. That digging might reveal alliances one never suspected, and truths some would rather keep veiled. Truth is good for democracy, no?