It still feels good, doesn’t it?
A week after putting a stake right through Count Harpula’s heart, it seems as though we’ve come through a long, bad storm, dusted ourselves off, looked around and said together: Hey, we’re still here. We made it. The place is a mess, but we’ll all pitch in, clean it up and start rebuilding as soon as we can. Well, at least that’s what the tiny optimist in me hopes will happen.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that we found a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow last Monday night. But, damn it, at least we finally saw a rainbow after nine years of the kind of unrelenting rain that can drain a country of its spirit, soul and identity.
While the historical revisionists are busy thanking Harper for his “service” and suggesting that he might become an “elder statesman” — my goodness, what parallel universe do they inhabit? — I couldn’t care less what happens to the sod.
Like millions of Canadians, I’m glad he’s gone and taken his tawdry ideas — if you can even call them that — about who Canadians are and what Canada stands for with him into political oblivion. I’m not going to waste a nanosecond pondering his ignominious “place” in this nation’s history, his toxic “legacy” or what he’s going to do next.
Look, he’ll be just fine. Chances are Harper’s going to do what other ex-prime ministers have done when voters tell them emphatically to get lost… he will cash in big time. I suspect the make–believe economist will quickly join a high-powered law firm somewhere in Canada or maybe the United States and turn into a make-believe lawyer. He’ll also accept lots of invitations to sit on lots of corporate boards that will pay him lots of money to act as a glorified lobbyist.
Like Brian Mulroney and Jean Chrétien before him, he’ll happily trade in the “noble calling of public service” to become a highly paid gun-for-hire in a pinstriped suit doing lucrative mega business deals with influential politicians and CEOs he befriended along the way. Some elder statesman.
Good riddance, Harper. Don’t let the closet doors hit you on the way out of the PMO.
Now, of course, the country’s lonely eyes turn to the new guy. As many of my readers know, I’m not exactly sold on Peter Pan. I remain convinced that Justin Trudeau is like a nicely wrapped confection: he looks appealing, but won’t be good for you or Canada. And none of his carefully scripted rhetorical bluster during the election campaign has disabused me of that. (Trudeau’s long-winded victory speech was a cliché-ridden abomination that could have easily been delivered by the sophomore member of a debating team desperately trying to impress the judges.)
Still, I’ve got to give it to the new kid on the block. He beat back the smear merchants in and outside the corporate media who tried to paint him as all hair, but no brains, balls or experience. Turns out, Trudeau has the political smarts to win an election, but does he have what it takes to run a country full-time? (By the way, the teacher part of me is pleased that we didn’t elect yet another lawyer prime minister.)
Lest we forget, Trudeau and the people around and behind him are the same Liberals who worship his father, helped get Chrétien elected and got Paul Martin anointed prime minister in what amounted to an insider-engineered coup d’état. That means they’re card-carrying members of the Liberal party establishment, not rabble-rousing outsiders inclined to upset or tinker with the status quo. So spare me the delusions that Trudeau Jr. is his “own man” who will do politics in a “new way.”
For goodness sake, Trudeau wasn’t even elected before his campaign co-chair, Dan Gagnier, quit after it was revealed that his was secretly telling his pals in the pipeline industry who to lobby — nudge wink — in the new Liberal government to shape national energy policy. These guys aren’t exactly tie-dye T-shirt-wearing radicals, OK?
Is it any wonder then that Trudeau and his caucus unanimously supported Bill C-51, Harper’s signature, so-called “anti-terror” legislation? Anyone with working synapses knows the law represents a dangerous affront to our rights and freedoms. Canada’s vast, unaccountable security-intelligence infrastructure will have free reign to do whatever it wants, to whomever it wants, whenever it wants to in the amorphous name of “national security.”
So I take Trudeau at his self-serving word when he told us many times that he and the Liberal party supported C-51 — with a few minor caveats — principally because he didn’t want to damage his chances of getting elected, even though the bill has unquestionably damaged the country.
Peter Pan isn’t going to get rid of C-51 as he should. He will make cosmetic changes to the law and call it “reform.” He’ll trot out the trope that he’s “balancing” our rights in the name of “security.” Indeed, his people are already leaking word to friendly reporters in Ottawa that he plans to “overhaul” C-51 not by ditching it, but by resurrecting old ideas about how to keep an eye on the spooks now armed with it.
You see: new crowd, same old story.