Stephen Harper's reasons for calling an election one full year before the date he himself chose to fix in Parliament will likely remain his own, at least during the course of the campaign.
Perhaps he hoped to send us to the polls before we follow the US economy too far into the toilet. Or maybe he's afraid of what might be revealed in the coming inquiries into the many Tory scandals that have yet to go before full public scrutiny. Or maybe there's something even worse right around the corner.
Whatever his reasons, the move is typical of a PM obsessed with excercising absolute control since the day he took office. From neutering the national press corps to muzzling Environment Canada's scientists, Harper has done everything within his power (and then some) to silence his critics--except, of course, conducted himself as if the title "Right Honourable" was something other than a nicety that came with his current job.
One of Harper's biggest tentpoles in the 2006 campaign was his US-style War on Daycare, the result of which has been that Canadian working families now have a better chance of having hip surgery before they get their kids into daycare. And when the leader of our nation displays such gross indifference toward Canadian children, how surprised were we that he and his government have no love for an initiative that has been shown to improve drug addicts' likelihood of entering treatment--let alone of living long enough to enter rehab, reduce the spread of Hep C and HIV, and save the health care system some money.
And if Harper's craven disregard (to put it charitably) for the lowest end of the socio-economic spectrum doesn't faze you, how about the fact that while Prime Minister, he continued to debate the existence of climate change even as the polar ice caps receded a little further into oblivion. Not only was he unwilling to do anything about it, he was unwilling to even entertain the thought of doing anything about.
Global Warming just might be the greatest challenge Canadian society has ever faced, and Prime Minister Harper has spent much of his first term in office with his fingers in his ears, singing "La la la, if I can't hear you you're not there! La la la!"
Even when Liberal Leader Stephane Dion drafted his Green Shift policy--which, at best, will slow the accelleration of Canada's contribution to the damage being done by carbon dioxide emissions--Harper chose to attack it on a purely economic level. As if anyone will give a shit about the TSX when the oceans boil, if you'll excuse the hyperbole.
And that's why it's good to know Portland OR's Old Time Relijun will be making their first BC appearance in five years this Thursday, Sept. 11 at the Biltmore.
mp3: "The Door I Came Through Has Been Closed" by Old Time Relijun
mp3: "Sabretooth Tyger" by Old Time Religion
mp3: "Everything Is Broken" by Old Time Religion