03 October 2015

Stephen Harper's sad little world of fear

I have tended to think of Stephen Harper's efforts to instill fear in Canadians as largely demagoguery. Governments creating a climate of fear to rally their people around them when they are in trouble is one of the oldest political gimmicks in the book. However, the more I observe Harper, the more I come to believe that he is truly a frightened man.

In an interview with Calgary Metro, he "warned of international financial crises, pandemics, terrorists and explained ... why Canadians can't have the kinder, gentler country the other leaders have been promising." "Fear," the interviewer concluded, "is a guiding factor for this leader."

I agree with the interviewer. Our prime minister is a man guided by fear. Unfortunately, his fear is irrational. We do, in today's world, have financial crises, pandemics and terrorists, but then we always have. The reality is that never in all history have ordinary people been more prosperous—or more secure—than we are in Canada today. If Mr. Harper knew his history, he would understand that. There is, in fact, no better time for a "kinder, gentler country."

If Harper was just an ordinary guy, I would feel sorry for him. It can't be pleasant living in a world of fear. But he isn't just an ordinary guy, he's our prime minister and he's trying to impose his angst on the rest of us. And a fearful society is not a healthy one. Fearful people are suspicious people who tend to isolate themselves from others, other societies, even from their neighbours when they are of a different race, religion or life style. It definitely does not lead to a kinder, gentler country.

If we believe in that kind of country, a country of open, confident and generous people, we have the unfortunate burden of countering Mr. Harper's insidious fearfulness. Or of electing a new prime minister.


  1. I watched him yesterday haranguing away and I thought the same thing - that he is really afraid. That he really believes there are terrorists everywhere. That perhaps we should get together and send him a big stick to keep under his bed.

  2. It's hard to believe he is our PM, with his bogey man spin and anti-muslim bigotry, along with his threat to remove peoples Canadian citizenship and his invitation only campaign, he is actually the most unCanadian PM in thought and action I have ever seen. He is a fearful,cowardly man who is in awe of the power that goes with being PM of a country like Canada. Who is he really? A man who when afraid, hides in a closet.