Facts You Should Know About the Conservative Party and Stephen Harper Before You #VoteHarper
Canadians, I am afraid. To be honest, I am completely terrified of the future where a leader such as Stephen Harper can regain office again in Canada despite the huge outcry against him and the detriments he has caused for all of us during his years as Prime Minister.
I am deeply hoping that Canada’s young voters will not be blinded by the falsities put out by the Conservative propaganda, and will take the time to think carefully about what is really going on here. Surely our young people of today are smarter than to be hypnotized by memes and simple statements that claim Harper’s value to our country without any reliable facts to back them up.
It’s a sad point of government and draws attention to the fact that our current method of choosing a leader that the majority of citizens trust and vote for needs some serious rethinking. After all, most voters put their ballet against Harper the first time around, in the 2011 Canada Elections. I remember the devastation that loomed over the country as the polls announced that the Conservatives had taken the stage.
However, there is still a large following of Canadians that believe, without a doubt, that “Harper is a fine leader for our country”.
When asked why they think so, what facts they might have to share with us to enlighten our thought process on the upcoming 2015 Canada Election, I have been given little more than memes with unintelligible messages, campaign images that claim other parties are lying about the Conservatives (which, if you do a quick and simple Google search for facts from reliable sources, you can quickly see that these “lies” are not lies at all, but worrying truths), but often the most I get is “Harper is a fine leader for our country” or “Harper has made Canada strong.”
So, I started looking. How exactly has he made Canada strong? I really want to know, because I want to cast my vote on facts and with information backing me that will actually help me decide who would be the best leader for the values and Canada I have loved all my life. Canada, the strong and the free.
How Has Harper Made Canada Strong?
We all know that strength comes in numbers. As a child, I’m sure you’ve seen the simple demonstration of a thread tugged at, which immediately breaks under pressure. Hold in your hand, instead, a collection of threads, and there is no way you’re going to break that puppy. When we stand together, and support each other in our needs and dreams, we are so much stronger.
Harper, however, seems to believe that strength comes in division. By passing bill C-24 – The Canadian “Strengthening” Act, Harper became the first Prime Minister in over Century to reverse the progress of every other Prime Minister to broadening the right to vote – something many of us are highly concerned about. Under this bill, Canadians have been divided by demoting citizens that hold ties to or are their selves born in other countries. It’s a terrifying prospect for many Canadians, born in or holding dual citizenship in the US, of having the chance that their citizenship could be stripped and be forced to leave Canada, despite having children, spouses, and elderly family members that may need them here.
But, you know, division makes things stronger. Mistrust has always led to great things. Right?
Is Harper Good for the Economy?
Under Harper’s leadership, Canada has undergone not one, but TWO recessions. The Conservative Party has made claim and claim again that there is no deficit, that everything is peachy keen when it comes to our country’s economic situation. However, if you look at anything besides the focussed campaigning that Harper has been carrying out, it’s easy to see that this is far from the truth, with a projected deficit from the National Bank of Canada being $1 billion for this past fiscal year, and $4-$5 billion for 2016/2017. Which would be funny if it wasn’t fully alarming, because many of the pro-Conservative images being handed out like Halloween candy by the Conservative voters push that we citizens need to stop voting for liars.
Yes. Good point, Mr. Harper. Under this premise, I will not be voting for you.
With highly important data disappearing (if you don’t like the facts, make them go away, right? Take a look at this, too), and shady information or outright lies flowing from the mouths and memes of the Conservatives, is this really a party that should be trusted?
But, surely, Harper’s plan for improving our economy through trickle-down economics will aide in our road to a stronger economy. I mean, it’s worked so well for the USA in the past 30 or so years of testing that theory down there (ha!).
Is Harper Good for the Environment?
I have been shocked to see supporters of the Conservative Party spreading wildly untrue claims that climate change does not exist, and is not our problem. One post in particular claimed that climate change is a hoax. The writer? A lumber contractor. Surely he knows more than the scientists holding masters and doctorate degrees on the subject of the environment and what is really happening out there. I’m so glad he spoke out. Here I was going along with information from intelligences like NASA about how the world’s climate is quickly changing. Silly me.
Did you know that Harper has spent far more on an election campaign than we have ever seen? Let me get this straight. Conservatives are outraged by the possibility of spending tax dollars helping out their fellow citizens (yes, some lean on the system too hardily, something we need to work on correcting, but many truly need the help), but they are fully okay with spending $34 million in tax dollars on campaigning? By calling the election six weeks early, he increased the spending limits, taking advantage of the fact that the Conservative Party has more money than the NDP or Liberals. Fair play? I think not.
So what did he do with all this money? Surely he spent time canvassing neighbourhoods and speaking to the country’s citizens about what it is that he plans to do, has done, and why we should put our trust in him. He must want to explain why he was held in contempt of Parliament two times over his role as Prime Minister (which has never happened even once before by any head of government in the Commonwealth), or why he cancelled the previously mandatory full-length census, the most efficient way of gathering information about our nation’s challenges and how the government is meeting them.
No, in fact, Harper has made a point of speaking ONLY to Conservative voters. Citizens from any other party, interested in what the Conservatives have to say, are banned from any meetings or election debates. We all know that different points of view make a clearer picture. Clearly, Harper is not interested in hearing or allowing to be heard any differing points of view – another terrifying prospect for Canada’s, a diverse country’s – future. This is the first time postwar that any major political party has abandoned the inconvenient tradition of meeting with it’s citizens.
Are we as citizens not entitled to the truth? Are we not smart enough to be privy to important information and make our choices about what we want and who will best serve us? According to Harper and the Conservative Party, it does not appear so.
As Canadian citizens, it is our job to preserve democracy in Canada, and to cast our votes according to facts, rather than propaganda. As Hitler well proved, many people can easily become caught up in campaigning that denies difference.
The first step is to talk about what’s going on. Be the change you want to see in the world. Stand up for what you believe in. Post and share information to out Harper’s lies. Set aside the old rule to never talk about politics between friends and family. Without discussions, without hearing information from both sides that comes from a pure intention to do what is right for our country, how can we come to an enlightened decision? It is always better to have more informative facts when making a decision, than it is to make choices based only on one side’s story.
When Conservatives claim these facts as lies, which they heartily do – without any proof, I might add, saying things like “Look it up. I don’t have all this garbage on my phone anymore. It’s a waste of time trying to convince someone that their religion is a hoax.” (well said, you’ve really added important information to the conversation – not) – politely ask them for their proof. In their digging, they might see. Ask them “Why?” Why do they back Harper? Because of some real hard facts and beliefs based on them? I can respect this. As I said, opposition makes for a healthier, more whole picture. Or is it because of the indoctrination that has been so focussed on blinding our citizens who are eager at the promises of become wealthier?
And for those of us who have come to the conclusion, based on our research of the facts behind what all the parties are saying, that Harper is not worthy of having another unsuccessful shot at governing Canada, make sure to place your vote where it counts. You can check out projected election results using this super simple chart and search engine to see which party in your riding has the best chance of beating out the Conservatives. Sometimes strategic voting can have a very important role to play, and now is the time for this.
I’m not saying that any opposing party is the best choice for our government. I am not saying you are wrong if you vote for Stephen Harper. What I am saying is that, as an intelligent group of Canadians, we should make sure we are privy to all the facts about who we put in charge of our country and ourselves before we vote based on statements from people who have been preached to and blinded by a party that refuses to acknowledge any other information, fact or query.
If you have any differing facts to share about anything I have said here, or you want to share why it is that you believe in Harper, I heartily welcome criticism (unlike the Conservatives). Just make sure to back up anything you have to say with documented facts. With a more complete picture, we can make more intelligent decisions.
Please consider this as you enter the polls this coming week. #VoteHarper ? Maybe not.