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Wednesday, October 17, 2012 by Will Horter

Harper, staged conflicts and the path to victory

Under Stephen Harper, Canadian politics has fundamentally changed in the last few years and civil society and opposition parties haven’t kept up with the changes.

A couple of months ago, a lobbyist with close ties to Stephen Harper and the Conservatives addressed a room full of environmentalists with some sobering news. Essentially he told them they and their organizations were “irrelevant” to Harper because they couldn’t move votes or influence electoral outcomes. His message – that modern politics is not about good policy, but vote counting – was tough love, but accurate.

The lobbyist’s analysis reminded me of a recent quote from an e-politics survey of Parliament. A retiring MP, commenting on the need to build in-riding support, said, “There are only two kinds of people in this world... those who can hurt you at home, and everybody else...”

Later, the Tory lobbyist elaborated on Harper’s vote counting approach, saying that since he became Prime Minister in 2006 Harper has orchestrated “staged conflicts” to advance his agenda. From Harper’s perspective, the lobbyist explained, he has won all these “staged conflicts.”

In a follow up discussion a Tory insider elaborated on the Conservative’s disregard for mainstream media, emphasizing they put much more energy into unfiltered communications streams, particularly segmented individual, e-mail and phone conversations to their base driven by a state-of-the-art constituency database. Harper and the Tories also prioritize local media, which publishes their narrative without fact checking or cynical analysis by pundits.

This “staged conflict” description provides an interesting perspective on the last few years. It explains how Harper segued from embarrassing disclosures about the torture of Afghan refugees through proroguing parliament and into an attack on a NDP-Grit-Bloc coalition government. Successfully managing “staged conflicts” also explains how Harper turned parliamentary censures around democracy and transparency into a majority government.

As with most things, a strength can quickly become a weakness under the right circumstances. But what are those circumstances?

To figure this out we need to dig into how exactly the “staged conflict” approach works. Harper seems to employ it either when he is on the ropes, or feels he has his opponent there.

In the controversies surrounding Afghan detainees in 2009 and then parliamentary disclosure in 2011, his opponents were the other political parties. Although Harper was pilloried by most of the mainstream press over his secretive anti-democratic approach in both instances, the bad publicity didn’t faze him and Harper didn’t capitulate like previous governments likely would have.

Why? Because Harper understood the nature of politics and communications has radically changed in the past few years. Harper knows the news cycle is faster and shorter than in the past and understands if his government doesn’t provide new grist for the mill, the modern media – with 24-hour news cycles, small staffs and few investigative reporters – will burn through the story quickly and move on. Harper has realized if he maintains strict message discipline amongst his caucus, silences public servants and limits information, most stories won’t last beyond a few days.

Like a firefighter battling a wildfire, Harper creates a firebreak by rationing information and press contacts, thus removing all flammable material. With nothing burning and no new stories to tell, the media moves on. Even the largest firestorms will burn out after a few weeks.

Harper’s opponents – facing a “been there, done that” press core – can’t keep the controversy alive and the issue quickly loses steam. Harper, however, not reliant on mainstream media, uses the power of his vast database to saturate his supporters with crafted communications that tell his version of events.

This is why nothing sticks to Harper. It worked on Afghan detainees and it worked when the Harper government breached parliamentary privilege by refusing to provide all documents on the cost of its crime bills and tax cuts.

But this approach is not infallible and examining the situations where Harper lost is illustrative and provides the outlines of the path to victory.

There are at least three examples where Harper’s “staged confict” approach has failed or is failing:

1. Harper’s attempt to allow telecom companies like Bell, Rogers and Telus to charge higher fees, reduce the speed of data to certain users and block certain websites. The campaign for “Net Neutrality” forced Harper to back away from these restrictive Internet policies.

2. Harper’s attempt to increase police powers for online spying and internet surveillance. The campaign against increased “Net Surveillance” forced Harper to abandon his proposed legislation.

3. Harper’s attempt to jam through West Coast oil tanker and pipeline projects. The campaign against oil tanker and pipeline projects has forced the Harper government to tone down its rhetoric about building new pipelines in B.C.

There are large similarities between these three campaigns, which illustrate Harper’s vulnerability.

First, Harper’s opponents were not political parties, but non-profit groups such as Open Media, which led the Net Neutrality and Net Surveillance campaigns, and Dogwood Initiative, West Coast Environmental Law and Forest Ethics, who are involved in the campaign against oil tankers and pipelines.

Second, unlike the NDP and Liberals, groups such as Dogwood Initiative and Open Media use multiples channels — e-mail, social media, video and actions — instead of primarily relying on the media to mobilize their supporters and keep the story alive.

Open Media won their campaigns not exclusively through the media, but by building a vast list of more than 500,000 supporters in the last couple years. This army of supporters, which cuts across the political spectrum, wasn’t reliant on news stories, but rather on e-mail and social media to be kept informed. This allowed Open Media not only to put less than top-of-mind issues such as Net Neutrality and online spying on the political map, but allowed them to keep their army active when the media spotlight subsided.

A similar scenario occurred when Harper attacked Dogwood Initiative and other No Tankers groups as “radicals” getting in the way of progress. This was a textbook attempt at a “staged conflict.” The media attention was intense for a few weeks, but then faded somewhat.

At this point, Harper may have thought he won, but he miscalculated. Harper underestimated the No Tankers movement’s capacity to communicate with British Columbians from all walks of life. In just a few months, Dogwood’s list of supporters more than doubled – from 65,000 to almost 140,000 – and these supporters were linked into a communications system that allows us to connect with them whenever necessary.

Harper’s approach in B.C. is failing. The latest polls show the Tories have dropped support in B.C. by 37 per cent from the May 2011 election to September 2012.

Open Media’s and Dogwood Initiative’s modern communications systems and vast and growing lists allowed them to overcome Harper’s “staged conflict” tactics and mobilize opponents that Harper needs to continue to form government.

These failed staged conflicts provide the seeds of what is needed to both win important victories like banning the expansion of oil tanker traffic on the West Coast and maintaining transparency and access to information. They also provide a glance at the path toward making our governments, no matter the political party of the day, more accountable.

As long as issues-based campaigns rely primarily on the media to communicate with supporters and potential supporters, they will be handicapped in driving public policy. And as long as civil society organizations are unable to move votes or influence electoral outcomes, they will remain “irrelevant” to Harper.

Modern politics is about vote counting, not policy, and the sooner civil society organizations realize this, the sooner we can become relevant again.

This is why Dogwood Initiative is putting so much energy into building a decentralized, engaged, people-powered network. Politicians are followers, not leaders. Together, we need to show them the way and hold them accountable — or replace them if they stray. Frankly, we see no other way to move recalcitrant politicians toward the tough decisions needed to create the just, equitable, and sustainable communities we yearn for.


Filed under:
Mike Fischer says:
Oct 19, 2012 12:48 PM

Well said, Will. Thanks for keeping your eye on the ball and not getting distracted by the noise being constantly thrown out there by this regime. It's one big reason I support Dogwood.

someone says:
Nov 16, 2012 12:28 PM

I think Harper has forgotten that there is more than one political party in Canada. The small way in which I, as an ordinary citizen, influence the vote is by voting for the Green Party. Is it irrelevant that I and others take votes away from his party? If people didn't vote for him maybe we'd have some real change and politicians like Harper wouldn't be able to ram through omnibus bills.

Michael says:
Nov 21, 2012 02:13 PM

Harper is obviously operating Canadian National government as an administrative arm of for-profit corporations instead of a government for the health and welfare of the land and people.
This aberration of government mission isa momentum directed by those for-profit corporations. Their message is "jobs", exerting a thrall upon all people in market societies, unless, such people understand why they work.
Thrall is an old Norse word for slave. Consider this well. For whom or what do you work? First Nations peoples understand that our relationship to the living beings of earth is the most important aspect of life, and understand that failing this ethic is failing all life, including especially one's own. A go0vernment which fails in this is merely assisting in enslavement for the most destructive end, in present case, of the very earth and its living systems.

Denialawareness says:
Dec 22, 2012 11:58 AM

Yes, I am all for the Green Party, however I believe that your implication is that Harper cares whether or not people vote for him; i.e. that he has respect for democracy. I have come to see that the only effective tactic is that Harper must actually lose! And this will only happen if people align together politically.

Leah says:
Nov 17, 2012 08:27 AM

I have always thought that to defeat or neutralize an opponent we have to "get inside his/her head" and figure out where they're coming from. This is what you have done with your very astute analysis of Harper and his tactics. Thanks for the great work you do!

Donna Martin says:
Oct 19, 2012 08:31 PM

Thanks for this great article. This is exactly what should be reported every day, in MSM, sadly we know this won't happen. Keep up the important good work you are doing. Sharing.

Nicole Chaland says:
Oct 19, 2012 10:54 PM

Well said. Keep it up.

Paul Tarasoff says:
Oct 19, 2012 11:13 PM

I'm glad that there is some good coming out of social media, like how I learned about Dogwood Initiative. With any luck this will be a big thorn in King Harpers polices leading up to the next election.

Susan says:
Oct 20, 2012 11:47 AM

Really good piece, very informative; more than most. Thanks.

RockyRacoon says:
Oct 21, 2012 10:56 AM

What we need to do is form a United Front Against Austerity and Make the Banksters Pay. A General Strike is called for; this should also cross borders, we need to take on the entire elite agenda to accomplish a sustainable society. And this is the way to do it.

Susan Eyre says:
Oct 23, 2012 06:39 PM

EXCELLENT READING -PLEASE PASS THIS AROUND. SO MANY ARE LOOKING FOR A VISION INTO A SUSTAINABLE AND RESILIENT FUTURE. I HAVE BEEN PROMOTING THAT THE MAJORITY OF WE ACTIVISTS MOVE OUR MONEY FROM UNETHICAL BANKS (ALL IN CANADA) INTO AN ETHICAL CREDIT UNION - THUS CREATING A WAY TO FUND MASS ALTERNATIVE ENERGY PROGRAMS -SUCH AS SOLAR PANELS/ WATER HEATERS, ELECTRIC TRANSPORTATION, SEWAGE AND GARBAGE INTO ENERGY, and National Dental care. WE DO HAVE THE POWER ESPECIALLY to change WHEN WE POOL OUR $. CANADIAN PENSION PLAN CURRENTLY INVESTS $675 MILLION INTO THE TOP WEAPONS MANUFACTURERS and Trade. Canadian companies make components for cluster bombs. $1 billion is going to be invested into armed drones. Fossil fuels dominate the Harper Vision. No where is there mention of the escalating climate change and the support system needed to adapt and mitigate -so we Lefites must provide the vision and the means. It is a very exciting time full of potential to improve Canadian quality of life and the whole worlds' in general. We must get organized and I thank Dobbins for his clarity and vision.

Susan Eyre says:
Oct 23, 2012 06:41 PM

apologies to Will - somehow I skipped to Will Horters' column and I am certainly glad I did. Now for all of us to unite ourselves amongst the Left interests and open media.

3rd_gen_socialist says:
Oct 24, 2012 03:03 AM

I like it :)

Emily Carr says:
Nov 02, 2012 02:09 AM

If harper rams through FIPA(?) the country is TOTALLY screwed! China will be directing all our policy (perhaps already), and monitoring/disrupting communications as it wants. They will live off of, and profit from the resources that WE should be relying on for our future. For a whole generation, 31 years!
I think what the PM 's doing is probably treason, and there must be a way to PREVENT this. Can the Governor General, the Queen, or military act to protect the country from these risks? We need some immediate action.

Richard A. Cuffe says:
Nov 15, 2012 11:45 PM

Very good perception of our dilemma, this man has got to go! But how do we go about ridding ourselves of this "TYRANT"? I would be interested in joining any resistance group that brought this era of our life to a close (preferably piecefully. Although, my disability pension will restrict my involvement to Letter writing and phone calls. Lets get something started Emily !

Bonnie says:
Nov 16, 2012 02:02 AM

I personally think Harper should be charges with treason. Who else believes it too? The governor general and the military work for Harper, not us. The Queen has no power. That leaves us. Would a class action law suit brought about by Canadian citizens work or has the government implemented laws that leave them immune?

Anonymous says:
Nov 16, 2012 10:58 AM

The designation of Treason holds no ground, in Canada the definition is so loose that it precludes justice. How Canada lost its sovereignty already shows this. If there was any way to hold his feet to the fire it would have been done by the other parties or individual citizens legally. Now the banking cabal owns policy in Canada, worst part of it all is its endemic in our soceity and can only be rooted out by a failure in the finanacial more health care, nor more Canada Pension Plan, no more Federal transfer payments. All these things are supported by the current regime, and one sadly that does not support individual rights, say hello to Stephen the next time you see him and maybe get a straight answer to all your questions.

starfighter says:
Nov 17, 2012 05:09 PM

Great comments. We need another Defend Our Coast rally, and this should also focus on the U.S as well as Canada.
I am saddened but not suprised that the CPP I will start collecting next year invests in weapons manufacturers. Too bad we cannot impeach our Prime Minister.

Anonymous says:
Nov 07, 2012 09:38 PM

When I saw this, I immediately thought 'Staged Conflicts' mean that literally. My mind shot to the violent protesters amongst the peaceful ones back east (who were then protected by the police) just before all those illegal detentions happened. Like an excuse to escalate power and change policing. Many hyped non-stories in the media, leaving us wondering what we are being distracted from. Lots of changes that happen without any media attention or questions. Media too often reports only what is prepared to them. No questions or investigating. Not held accountable for actions, just repeating what's been said already.

Tom Mitchell says:
Nov 16, 2012 10:38 AM

This brought to mind the state of our flagship news source, The National. Two days before the possible implementation of the Canada China trade deal FIPA, peter Mansbridge turned to the AT ISSUE PANEL and said SHOULD WE BE PAYING MORE ATTENTION TO THIS ? My first reaction was Well Dugh, my second response was he is either clueless or comprimised or both.

Donna Chevrier says:
Nov 15, 2012 07:40 PM

Journalists are supposed to be the check and balance on government, holding them accountable. Instead, our traditional corporate media have become a mouthpiece for the government. Thankfully Canadians with principles and ethics have formed organizations and are willing to fight for democracy.

Angma says:
Nov 15, 2012 07:55 PM

Thanks Will - so great to read some considered analysis and insight. What your article also points to, but doesn't mention, is the need to maintain an open internet system - that seems continually under threat (see latest Open Media campaign re: UN action). I also think that we need an on-the-ground network so people are linked physically as well - will reinforce connections and build resilience.

Kimberly Smith says:
Nov 15, 2012 08:28 PM

Thanks for focusing our attention where it needs to be. Strategy is profoundly important. Your analysis is spot on.

alan caplan says:
Nov 15, 2012 08:35 PM

This gives me more hope about opposing so many policies and measures that seem outright fascistic. Its great to know about the cracks and vulnerabilities in Harper's armor.

Anonymous says:
Nov 15, 2012 09:07 PM

well said

Trigonelle says:
Nov 15, 2012 09:56 PM

Thanks to you we can participate in keeping democracy alive in Canada. Harper seems hell bent on destroying our country.

Michael Gilfillan says:
Nov 15, 2012 10:32 PM

Interesting concept; it would explain the outcomes Will noted. I would agree that the msm would need to be complicit for this to work.
It may also explain the Tories reluctance to sign off on FIPA: it's all about the votes, and Canadians have been reacting loudly and negatively.

Ann says:
Nov 15, 2012 10:55 PM

Great article. I believe one of the worst Harper 'staged conflicts' was the G20 fiasco. We need to STOP HARPER!

Kennit says:
Nov 15, 2012 11:04 PM

"This is why Dogwood Initiative is putting so much energy into building a decentralized, engaged, people-powered network."

I wonder if Dogwood is familiar with the Online Party of Canada, they have recently been approved by Elections Canada and plans on operating under similar principles by allowing policy to be discussed equally by all members and chosen by majority vote - all via the online hub.

Roberta says:
Nov 15, 2012 11:55 PM

Of course, Harper has now gone after charitable organizations that speak out in the ways outlined here. So, fight him and lose the ability to raise money to support the organization.

For those looking to help fight the FIPA agreement with China, the Green Party has been doing some good work on that front. Maybe join with them and do as this article says. Unite via email and social media. If the outcry is large enough, the !@#$J!@$!! might just take notice.

Faye Lewis says:
Nov 16, 2012 01:11 AM

I suggest you read Naomi Klein's THE SHOCK DOCTRINE - THE RISE OF DISASTER CAPITALISM. This is all about staged conflicts - since, at least, the takedown of Chile.

Jim Ervin says:
Nov 16, 2012 01:27 AM

I like what the author said about politicians being followers, not leaders. And it's now obvious to me that they're followers of the UN, which is now acting as a one world government. The best example I can think of is our multiculti immigration policy which has divided this country up into many different pieces. Our international trade policy may also be UN driven, That's why Harper emphasizes the export of raw materials over building a manufacturing industry.

Bonnie says:
Nov 16, 2012 01:57 AM

Harper considers himself a visionary, but to whose profit? Certainly not to the the benfit of average Canadians. So if his agenda fails to put a massive pipeline across B.C. with ports along our northern coast, they will then import oil through Vancouver at over 5 times the rate they do now. Either way, eventually they will end up devastating the west coast of Canada. The outcome of all this is not only will Our ocean and tundra be ruined for generations but the loss of wildlife on land and ocean may collapse the north americas completely and we will be the new third world country, unable to provide for ourselves. This is exactly what happens in countries where nothing grows, where wildlife cannot forage and where the seas and all it's life are dead. I read today where once again our oil and gas prices will increase through the winter and continue to increase because politicians are more interested in selling our natural resources to other countries for profit without making sure that we have an adequate supply in Canada, from Canada. Now, Harper is willing to turn basically all the rights of every Canadian business into the greedy hands of China. That could put every single Canadian business out of business and we will be fully dependent on foreign import and that is when you will see the cheap prices they offer now skyrocket out of reach. Men like Harper and likewise thinking politicians will have taken their money and profits out of a doomed country and be living on some tropical island in luxury. The problems we face are not so much that voters don't vote, but they have no one to vote for. We need impeachment laws in place that can be enacted immediately. We need to be able to control politicians wages, benefits and retirement packages. And media needs to be accountable. Too many are controlled by politicians and either don't report ( more often than not)lifechanging proposals by the governments that be. We also need to control the cost of all these rediculous campaigns where nothing of importance is said and if it is, they are not followed through with. It is time if a politician wants to send out fliers tooting the grandness of their decisions to voters who disagree at our cost, that they have to pay for it themselves. Make politicians accountable for what they say and what they implement
both financially and morally and you will see them sing a different tune. Impeachment yes, left wing socialism turning radical turning communist, no.

t says:
Nov 16, 2012 03:53 AM

"press corps"

George Payerle says:
Nov 16, 2012 07:45 AM

Will Horter's patient astuteness in this blog, and in the one about the China treaty uproar weakening Conservative support among Conservatives, set a marvellous example. You been channelling Gandhi, Will?

Lynn Squance says:
Nov 16, 2012 11:19 PM

Amen George, AMEN!

Lydia B says:
Nov 16, 2012 07:49 AM

my grandfather and i are very happy to read and pass on this kind of analysis. well done Will ! we are on a road to disaster if allow policy to be driven by vote getting and ideological pursuits. Information gathering, open communication and an inclusive process that promotes honest consensus building - all employing science and TEK - are key to an ecologically sustainable way forward.

Dave from Wpg says:
Nov 16, 2012 09:46 AM

Great points made here... I like to think that this "irrelevent" outlook is more Harper's style than all politicians in the 21st CE, but there's no denying that organizations like Dogwood Initiative are going to continue to be vitally important... Goal # 1 should be ousting this dictator!

Micheal says:
Nov 16, 2012 10:47 AM

you can tell a lot about a person or society by the way it treats the beings it doesn't think it has to treat well..
protect life, prosecute those that seek to destroy our shared home and our fellow beings
life has value beyond measure
Peace and Love
*********** WALL OF SHAME ************
┬┴┬┴┬┴ The Wall ┬┴┬┴┬┴┬┴┬┴
DEMOLISH ------>>>>> THIS WALL !!!!

Gail Jones says:
Nov 16, 2012 11:41 AM

Yes Emily ,What Harper is doing is TREASON, but to even mention the" Queen" is laughable.She is at the top of the illuminatti pyramid and knows exactly what's going on!!!!

Bill Johnstone says:
Nov 16, 2012 11:47 AM

Thanks, Mr. Horter, for your analysis. I can't help but wonder, though, whether our increasing reliance on and support for NGOs like Dogwood actually undermines our democracy. Every dollar we give to the online NGOs (and they're proliferating) is a dollar we are not giving to opposition political parties. Harper has already taken away their party funding based on vote support. So our opposition parties need our support more than ever; yet these Web-based NGOs are bleeding it away from the NDP, Greens and Liberals.

Chris Armstrong says:
Nov 16, 2012 12:31 PM

As a Conservative, until Dictator Stephen Harper lied his way to a majority (consider his pledge for government "transparency", for example), I believe that he is the most unethical and dangerous PM Canada has ever had. He is a totally spoiled brat liar, in the pocket of sometimes equally unethical Corporate Canada, like Big Pharma (who kill way more people than they cure), and Big Oil who just lie like rugs (Enbridge for example).

Walter Wright says:
Nov 16, 2012 12:32 PM

Harper underestimated the intelligence and will of British Colombians who are wise enough to realize that the Northern Gateway project is not worth the environmental risks. If the rest of the country were as wise, Harper would be shut down in time to save democracy and our precious environment.

Greg Abbott says:
Nov 16, 2012 01:46 PM

Well said; I have been advocationg the power of the consumer to change the path of corporations for years,,, this seems to be similar in context around choice of media; no small wonder they want to control the internet eh?

bonrep says:
Nov 16, 2012 01:57 PM

I wish all this was news to me, but it's not. I was quite aware of Mr. Harpers tactics before his majority government. Hopefully Canadians have learned their lesson. trea·son/ˈtrēzən/ Noun:
The crime of betraying one's country, esp. by attempting to kill the sovereign or overthrow the government.The action of betraying someone or something.I think his actions fit the definition.
Lets remember it is not just Mr. Harper, our MPs have failed us also.

Ray says:
Nov 16, 2012 03:04 PM

At the time of Stephen Harper's last election victory, I wrote a letter to this paper stating that with a majority government, I believed he was now the most dangerous prime minister Canada has ever had. My opinion has not been altered by the political actions he's since undertaken. I believe that recognizing his fundamentalist religious background is essential to understanding his actions. Religious fundamentalism is about power and control; not love, empathy, compassion or conscience. Religious fundamentalists seek to control others because they haven't experienced real unconditional love in their lives. Deep down, there is an unacknowledged terror, a fear that developed early in life from being valued not for oneself, but for what one could DO or BE for one's care-giver. Without the security of unconditional love, we cannot grow into our full humanity. This is a widespread problem in our society, and the situation will certainly not improve when our government leaders actively seek to perpetuate the underlying issue through policies based on power, not love. There is a term for people who are devoid of empathy and compassion: sociopaths. The typical sociopath is exceptionally clever, such that most people do not recognize his destructive potential until the damage is done. Hopefully Canadians are beginning to realize what is at the heart of this Conservative government's mandate in time to avert even more damage.

Rick says:
Nov 18, 2012 05:46 PM

Fascinating comment Ray, which appears to be substanciated by his
Harper's Conservative Government has the potential to nurture in Canada, a vitriol that displayed itself during and after the
American election, from the far-right........disturbing.

Lynn Squance says:
Nov 16, 2012 04:06 PM

There is a lot going on out here in BC re the Enbridge pipeline. Anybody who knows the Kitimat area and the treacherous waters that the super tankers would ply, would be totally aghast. This pipeline is an accident looking for a place to hapen. If it is at sea, the heavy bitumen will just sink to the ocean floor. It cannot be cleaned up in the normal fashion. And I heard yesterday that "they" want to build a pipeline to Montréal for processing the bitumen there. Montréal is not interested because of the environmental consequences.

Also loved this story because it shows just how Mr Harper aka to me (and some of my friends) as the Rt Honourable PM Twit or Harper and his harlots, work. Want to get an idea of how Harper works, read Christian Nadeau's book "Rogue in Power". I have been watching the Amercan election closely because it gives me insigt into Harper --- some of my American friends call him "Bush-lite" and I call him a Baby Bush wannabe. He is just as deceptive as many of the American Republican/Teabaggers.

To all my Canadian friends, keep your eyes open. There is a bull in the parliamentary china shop!

Great article!

Ken Jones says:
Nov 16, 2012 05:43 PM

Thanks to all. We MUST work together to defeat Mr. Harper and the MP'S that support the ultra right wing of Canada. Canadian citizens will vote them out when they are given the facts.I do not believe these extreme positions are Rep
We as Canadians must work together to stop the clandestine attach on all working class people in Canada. Mr. Harper will if given the opportunity reduce the middle class to the working poor by introducing legislation that indirectly affects everyone in the long term,only affecting a small group in the short term. First the public sector then the private sector.

Nan says:
Nov 16, 2012 07:35 PM

Here is how to get involved! Check it out! Elizebeth May only needs 26 or 28 signatures to present a petition in government! She needs your help!

starfighter says:
Nov 17, 2012 05:27 PM

Good advice Nan. Elizabeth May has the guts to stand up to Harper. We need support the Greens. I just donated a sum to help the Green candidates in Victoria and Calgary win in their by elections.

Gail jones says:
Nov 16, 2012 11:25 PM

I agree with rockyracoon, Dump the dept on the Banksters

Mark says:
Nov 26, 2012 06:02 PM

Harper and his ilk only care about money. His entire platform uses economic ideology and job creation promises to trick vulnerable Canadians into supporting him. Sadly it worked since he is in power. He is a fascist whose primary agenda is to ship oil outside of Canada and lobby with big oil to achieve this goal regardless of any consequence to people or the environment.

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