Thursday, April 21, 2011

Confederation

Two articles I read this morning that suggest, to me, that the end is nigh:

Paul Wells on Stephen Harper's not-so-hidden agenda
William Johnson on radicalism in Quebec

The two points are obviously related. Harper is dismantling the nation-building (or sustaining) parts of government and the PQ will be happy to demand and receive ever more concessions from his "Conservative" government.

The dream of Canada is more or less dead. There are a few of us romantics hanging around still, believers in the idea that John A. MacDonald had when he was working on the national project, but we're not even outliers. The nationalist cause doesn't register in Canadian politics anymore. It's far more fashionable to accept a new neoliberal Canada, one where Laurier is held up as Canada's greatest Prime Minister, transformed into a Canadian Reagan.

I haven't commented much on this election. I had previously suggested that Ignatieff would surprise folks, that the media had been premature in writing him off. I was wrong. I still like the guy, I think he would make a very good Prime Minister (though the Liberal platform is less than attractive), but I guess I'm just not an "average Canadian". I think he campaigned well, but that apparently doesn't matter much anymore. So we're looking at another Harper government, and I think anyone who believes that an opposition minority government is possible is way off mark. The idea is toxic now, it would be political suicide for anyone to attempt it. Harper succeeded in lying to Canadians about how their government works.

And so we'll continue down the road towards true confederation. Canada will exist as a prison manager and a military that, ironically, is focused on building nations overseas.