Good discussion over at Scott's Diatribes on Harper's hyper-religious nature impacting all his policy... Thought the issue deserves some more attention, so we'll post our response to the blog here. See Diatribes for more responses on a very good blogpost and discussion - a discussion WE MUST HAVE right now:
We certainly cannot sit back and allow the public to think that some of Harper's wacko right ideas are "okay". By not standing up in Parliament and opposing NeoCon views on human rights, women's and minority rights, immigration, equal marriage, foreign affairs, the environment, and urban issues, and doing it vociferously, we are basically saying "yes, go ahead and move Canada to the right".
The public DOES feel a certain (Centrist) way in Canada, but a whole lot of influence from a government that advertises their views on Canadians' buck, and the relentless nature of it - with no clear dissenting view in Parliament - WILL have the effect Harper and his NeoCon henchmen wish.
The average "Joe Public" will see the only view is the Conservative one (right or wrong). There is enough "dumbing down" in the Conservative message, that makes people without a clue think they'll be helped by them (I've seen people on welfare with Conservative lawn signs - idiotic, yes, but part and parcel of the massive misinformation campaign going on right now. I can tell you that I'm going to eventually kill your funding, bury it on page 1000 of my budget, then pose with your cousin in a Tim's, or in the stands of a hockey game/sporting event, and - voila! - I get your vote.
That's the Harper delusion (over the masses). Don't look at my policy, and how EVERY PART of it specifically impacts you. I'm a "populist". Watch me pose with my Tims (shameless corporate plug by our PM), and believe me (please) when I tell you that I'm a beer and pizza guy... It's a play right out of the US NeoCon movement playbook. False populism.
We need to wake up and do better. We have taken strides with the first step: actually opposing.
We will be taking advantage of our "renewed opposition status", and there is a strong likelihood we will begin to stand up for our moderate liberal ideals on a more regular basis. We can see it in the environment issue. We are seeing it with the Pink Book. Stay tuned for more. We're only just getting started!