For the better part of the past week, someone has been knocking down the sign on our lawn supporting our local NDP candidate, Chris Buckley. A little further up the road, another someone (or perhaps the same) took black spray paint to block out the Liberal signs. I suppose for a government with a common practice of redacting huge chunks of publicly released documents, the spray-painted signs are just an extension. Blot out what you don’t want – or don’t want others – to see. I can’t help but notice the Conservative signs on our court are just fine.
I was never able to catch the perpetrator in the act. S/he acted in the dead of night. Under cover of darkness. Really, should I have been surprised?
Stephen Harper recently condemned election vandalism but what did he expect? Aside from being a federal offence under the Elections Act, the lawn sign vandalism strikes me as symbolic of the desperation and fear-mongering of the Conservative party heading into election day. Who would have predicted the NDP surge in the polls, a surge now indicating at the very least official opposition status for the left and perhaps, just perhaps, a New Democratic Party government?
What astounds me are the outright lies and baseless sky-will-fall predictions of the Tories. The Conservatives are a party determined to hold on to power no matter the cost. The mean-spiritedness of the Harper government combined with the unprecedented degree of secrecy about government goings-on and the iron-control over Tory MPs should have been harbingers of an ugly election campaign. Bully politics at its best.
The tactics used in Conservative television ads have been so transparent. This video (American) explains it all:
Several weeks ago, when the Tory attack ads were gearing up, Sweetie wrote a lengthy missive to both the Liberals and the NDP. He suggested that rather than attacking people (Mr. Harper or each other), they should attack the policies of the Conservative government. Attack the problems. Attack the Tory attacks. On health care, pensions, the poor. Attack the failure to tackle tax reform, pharmacare, daycare. (Sweetie has a fine mind for political strategy. For thinking several steps ahead of any opponent he faces. He proved it again last night playing Monopoly. But I digress.)
The Liberals ignored him, continuing to swing wildly at Harper and then in recent days at Layton too. But it seems Jack and company may have paid attention. Suddenly the NDP began using language that is strikingly similar to the language of Sweetie’s letter. Of course we have no way of knowing whether the letter had anything to do with it. And it doesn’t really matter. What does is the outcome.
We’ll know in a few hours. Canadians are finally seeing beneath the Mr. Rogers-like cardigans to the core of the man who has been leading their country. And a lot of them don’t much like what they see. Regardless of whether Stephen Harper remains our Prime Minister, Canadians will wake up tomorrow morning to a new Canada. A Canada with a strong left in a position of unprecedented strength.
I’m thinking I’ll leave my lawn sign up for a while. I might even turn on the winter cheer lights if Mr. Buckley goes to Ottawa. I’m looking forward to it.
- Harper condemns spate of politically-motivated vandalism (theglobeandmail.com)