|As you can see, the way out is to the Right!|
How many clichés can I site? It's morning in Canada. Our long national nightmare is over. History judges us all. Hope is better than fear. Hold on there - I sound like the NDP!
Last night, Canada said goodbye to Stephen Harper's Conservative party in a big way, voting in a Liberal majority government under Justin Trudeau that ran a campaign based on a view of federal government as being activist for citizens, job growth and infrastructure investment.
Across the country, the election was a referendum on Harper: A leader who over nearly 10 years consolidated power from Parliament and the cabinet into his own seat of power in the Prime Minister's Office (PMO). Harper was the sole spokesperson for his party - he muzzled MP's in an anti-democratic push to create a federal government with a single point of view - his own.
Harper tried to create a Canada that was non-inclusive, uninformed, complacent and ignorant of the actions of its own government, He did this through the defunding of Stats Canada, elimination of the long form census, defunding of science and research and the cutting of government services to the most needy.
In order to balance his budget and allowing himself to look fiscally responsible in the run up to this election, Harper's government failed to spend federal dollars in critical areas of their responsibility; slowing immigration, limiting access to government services and stalling the economy. Harper's policies and actions were always targeted to his base. He was the first Canadian Prime Minister to run a nearly continuous election campaign for 10 years. Everything he did seemed aimed at insuring his chances in the next election with his so-called "old stock" Canadians, whenever that election was.
On the immigration and citizenship front, Harper chronically understaffed and underfunded the CIC, delaying the processing of immigration applications and increasing wait times for permanent residence and citizenship. More sinisterly, the PMO inserted itself politically in the work of the CIC, asking to review certain files for Syrian refugee claimants.
I am proud of Canadians. We finally stood up to say "enough". We finally showed this despot the door. We do believe in a Canada that is inclusive, not exclusive. We believe in a Canada that has a transparent, not opaque federal government. We believe in a Canada that supports the sciences and the arts. We believe in a Canada that invests in infrastructure. We believe in a Canada that supports the most needy with food, housing and healthcare.
Goodbye, Stephen Harper. The forthright American in me would like to say, with a very un-Canadian bluntness, you will not be missed. You were terrible for this country. You reaped what you have sown. Enjoy the harsh judgement of history as the most oppressive, anti-democratic PM in Canadian history. You've earned it.