“The Closing of the Canadian Mind”

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.

3 thoughts on ““The Closing of the Canadian Mind”

  1. The last quote had helped me understand the appeal of the post Reform Conservatives. The very things that infuriate me the most are virtues to many. Is “not terrible” good enough to earn your vote? Is quiet more important to you than striving to make a difference? If so, maybe the discussion we should have is not about politics, but about living with a purpose beyond ourselves. Funny, since it’s social conservatives who say I have no purpose.

  2. I got this tip from Reddit. One can get past the NYT paywall to view articles by following a googling the title and clicking through. with your browser cookies enabled.

  3. Harper is nothing but a Right wing,Christian Fundamentalist with his hidden agenda. He does not represent the average citizen, he supports the Big Multi National Billion dollar corporationss and the Jewish and Christian instituations and their policies.
    He has mismanaged the country,internally and externally and under his leadership has wasted Billions of dollars in sending our men and women to foreign countries to fight American wars while our country continue to lag behind other progressive countries in ever respect.
    We have one of the worst record among the G7 countries, our Health care,the Homeless,Mental dysfunctional,Education etc.

    WAKE UP CANADA !

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