I picked up “The Armageddon Factor” by Marci McDonald several months ago, shortly after it hit the book racks.
For those who are interested in Canadian politics, this is a must read.
McDonald explores many ideas in this book and the central theme that I drew out of her meticulous work is the idea that Canada is being run by a very small group of nihilists and self-righteous Christian propaganda experts.
Besides that, I came to three conclusions as I put the book down:
- It seems the Harper Conservatives could care less about legislation.
- Progressives are fucked.
- Canadians are as blind to Harper as the Jedi were to Palpatine / Darth Sidious.
It Seems The Harper Conservatives Could Care Less About Legislation
In reading this text and observing current events, I now see that Stephen Harper could care less about moving Canada in any direction when it comes to legislation. Time and time again, the Conservatives have ruined their owned agenda and progress by proroguing government or timing actions so that it would be impossible to make them come to fruition before the end of a session.
All they really seem to want to do is maintain their hold on power while they pack little baby chirping Cons into the halls of federal offices, be they the halls of the Public Service, various commissions, the Senate, any level of judicial positions, all non-government organizations that are funded by the government and so on.
Even if a new progressive wave of political and media authorities get elected into office, the battles will last for decades as they do what they can to push Conservatives out of work and office. It will prove to be a holy administrative terror that few will be able to erode.
To make matters worse, the media has not held the Conservatives to task on this mediocre legislative program, which means they’re either lazy or in cahoots.
Progressives Are Fucked
I’m sorry, but I have no other way to explain this nicely.
Another more polite way to suggest my opinion is to reflect on the fact that most progressives – by nature or definition of who they are and what they believe in, myself included – are not quite the ‘A-type’ when it comes to personality.
We don’t run newspaper chains, television stations or tight political campaigns.
We run on emotion, reaction and, in many cases, panic.
There is rarely a plan. There is rarely a vision. We fall for smokescreens and fail to see the big picture.
We need to learn from the lessons that Marci McDonald clearly spells out in the Armageddon Factor.
Case after case, she clearly identifies the driving interest, the tactics used to gain momentum and the key players involved and how they got things to the point of being some of the most influential organizations in Canada and the rest of North America.
Conservative ‘values’ are tied in to nearly every component of every day life that everyone (including progressives) is influenced by, including the media, judges, education, our communications infrastructure (you can’t have the Internet without selling out to Bell, Telus or Rogers), the military, foreign affairs, the UN and other institutions that affect our day-to-day activities.
Conservatives leverage the fragmentation that exists in every single progressive camp. They belittle the bickering that goes on and on and on, while they push forward with single messages and memes that dazzle the general public.
If progressives are ever going to get anywhere in this country, we need to start a process of wearing down every politician in this country from the municipal level right up to the Senate. We need a checklist and/or inventory of people that are available to cross-pollinate educational and investment opportunities. We desperately need our own media that will tell the general population the truth about Canadian politics and the poison that Stephen Harper brings to the Hill.
Canadians Are Blind
Seriously. While watching Star Wars III – the one Anakin becomes Darth Vader – the analogy seemed perfect. For some reason, Canadians have completely blinded themselves to the reality that Stephen Harper and the Conservatives have only one thing in mind when it comes to Canada: endless domination, despite their smaller numbers. And that’s just the starting point.
As I’ve already suggested, most of the cause of this blindness is due to taking media messages at face value, but it’s also related to a very consistent and carefully crafted spin job that comes from the PMO every single day.
Apathy is Comfort – Action is Danger
How do we emerge from the mess that surrounds us?
Neither the Liberals nor the NDP have proven that they are capable of referring to a wider base of Canadian citizens to select their leader, nor do they effectively leverage today’s technology to develop a platform or array of positions that all Canadians want to support.
Our institutions have failed us as well and we need to build our own tools, again leveraging today’s technology. It has to come from the ground up, preferably with our infrastructure. If not, we’re just riding on the backs of people that will sting us to death when we’re not looking. We have all kinds of online tools, like wikis, social tools and other platforms but even with aggregators like Progressive Bloggers, we still only seem to capture the hearts and ideas of the passionate and not the average citizen.
Since progressive-minded people represent the majority of Canada’s population, how do we create a tsunami wave of ideology that our politicians simply can’t ignore?