Thirty year ago, the Reagan administration started a
conservative revolution that radically altered American society. It seems to me
that Stephen Harper is attempting something similar here in Canada.
its obsession with marijuana and petty offenses---echoes
Reagan’s war on drugs. Conservative tax cuts and subsidies for oil and gas
companies represent the kind of wealth redistribution that would make old Ron
Harper promises increased military spending and foreign
intervention: militarily, in places like Libya, or diplomatically, as in the government's unflinching
support of Israel’s ethnic cleansing of Palestine. Our Dear Leader intends
to do away with the gun registry, the Canadian Wheat Board, the public service,
and anyone who stands in his way.
Even silly, navel-gazing initiatives---like reinstating the Royal suffix
to the navy and air force, celebrating
the War of 1812, or making it illegal
to prevent people from flying the Canada flag---are
not mere distractions to the Canadian people, but are symbolic aspects of
Harper’s quest to remake
Canada in his own image.
I’m not the only one
thinking this. And it’s not inevitable. He won the last election, but he
didn’t win over the majority of Canadians. We’ll soon see what Harper has in
mind to save
the economy. No doubt the plan will be austerity.
The question in my mind is: how much will Canadians take?
by the mainstream that Canadians are contented. We’ve never had it so good,
they say. Even if that’s true---and
I’m sure it’s not---shouldn’t
we expect more, not less?
In Toronto, Mayor Rob Ford wants to gut services and end the
gravy train. But residents expect to have their snow cleared, their garbage
picked up, and their libraries open and accessible. Average people fought
back, and won. They didn’t even need to try that hard.
Federal politics are much harder to change with popular
protest, but it’s still possible. Given the chaos that exists within the NDP or
Liberals, extra-Parliamentary protest will probably be the only tool we’ll have
to stop Harper’s revolution.
In this issue, criminologist Justin Piché, satirist Lalo Espejo, and the John Howard and Elizabeth Fry Societies
take collective aim at Harper’s omnibus crime legislation.
E-publishing legend Ish Theilheimer reports on the return of the House of Commons, and how the
worst is yet to come, while the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternative’s Hugh
Mackenzie peers into Tim Hudak’s $10 billion budget hole.
York U professor David McNally follows the money pouring into the
European debt crisis, while Truthdig.com editor shows how
state-sanctioned murder is good politics in the US.
Plus the usual odds and ends that make X-Ray what it is. I
hope you enjoy this edition, and share it with friends, family and coworkers.
And as always, let us know what you think
David Julian Wightman
Publisher slash Editor
davidjwightman [at] xraymagazine [dot] ca
Cover image courtesy of the Canadian Association of Elizabeth