Stephen Marche‘s article for The New York Times is entitled “The Closing of the Canadian Mind.” Although many Canadians are aware of Steven Harper’s adverse effect on Canada and Canadians, Marche’s list and discussion of the ways Harper has closed the Canadian mind allow readers to focus on the ones that make them feel the most disgust:
- The prime minister of Canada, Stephen Harper, has called an election for Oct. 19, but he doesn’t want anyone to talk about it.
- [Harper] has chosen not to participate in the traditional series of debates on national television. . . .
- Mr. Harper’s campaign for re-election has so far been utterly consistent with the personality trait that has defined his tenure as prime minister: his peculiar hatred for sharing information.
- He has consistently limited the capacity of the public to understand what its government is doing, cloaking himself and his Conservative Party in an entitled secrecy, and the country in ignorance.
- In the usual give-and-take between press and politicians, the hurly-burly of any healthy democracy, he has simply removed the give.
- Mr. Harper’s war against science has been even more damaging to the capacity of Canadians to know what their government is doing.
- In the age of information, he has stripped Canada of its capacity to gather information about itself. The Harper years have seen a subtle darkening of Canadian life.
- Mr. Harper’s appointments to the Senate . . . have proved greedier than the norm.
There is more, but Marche’s observation
The early polls show Mr. Harper trailing, but he’s beaten bad polls before. He has been prime minister for nearly a decade for a reason: He promised a steady and quiet life, undisturbed by painful facts. The Harper years have not been terrible; they’ve just been bland and purposeless. Mr. Harper represents the politics of willful ignorance. It has its attractions.
is the scariest. While “willful ignorance” may appeal to the uninformed or to those who want “a steady and quiet life,” Marche’s article makes it clear that the prospect of four more years of Harper and the Conservative Part of Canada does not have it’s attractions.