Sunday, October 05, 2008

Dissing everybody

Boris describes a case of Election Terrorism -- cutting the brake lines on cars parked at houses with Liberal signs -- and notes how this kind of despicable action follows when a political party adopts disrespect as a deliberate tactic:
The structural mechanism at work here is sinister and very dangerous. With the Harper government, we've seen a calculated campaign to delegitimise the other parties, and the parliamentary process as we know it. Obstructing parliamentary committees, advertisements with birds shitting the Opposition leader, and preventing candidates from participating in all-candidates meetings may seem silly and cowardly, but it serves the purpose of reducing the other parties to a general "other." It ignores their legitimate right to participate in political discourse as equals; it emasculates their leaders not for their ideas, but for who they are. The labels of Liberal and Left become synonymous with weakness. Direct associations between the ABC parties and the Taleban further this viewpoint, and stoke the fires of ultra-nationalists and neo-Nazis. The simple act of suing the Opposition takes the legitimate, public democracy and turns into something bitter and personal. Not firing members and ministers who make outrageous statements furthers the impression among supporters and detractors alike, that these views are acceptable.
I guess it's all in fun until somebody loses an eye. The 22-year-olds who appear to be running the Conservative party these days seem to think all of their ratfucking and chippy tricks are simply hilarious -- but cutting brake lines could kill somebody.
As Boris says, the last time Canada experienced political terrorism, Trudeau called out the army. I don't want to have to go through that again.

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