Last Sunday, after canvassing and lit dropping for TorDan Liberal candidate Grant Gordon, I dropped by my relative’s house near Castle Frank station somewhere in the Rosedale area.
They had invited their friends that day, who thankfully turned out to be crazy Liberals. We had a fun talk, and they argued that Harper was a fascist. I disagreed, until one of them pulled out their iPhone and searched up The 14 Characteristics of Fascism:
Powerful and Continuing Nationalism Fascist regimes tend to make constant use of patriotic mottos, slogans, symbols, songs, and other paraphernalia. Flags are seen everywhere, as are flag symbols on clothing and in public displays.
Disdain for the Recognition of Human Rights Because of fear of enemies and the need for security, the people in fascist regimes are persuaded that human rights can be ignored in certain cases because of “need.” The people tend to look the other way or even approve of torture, summary executions, assassinations, long incarcerations of prisoners, etc.
Identification of Enemies/Scapegoats as a Unifying Cause The people are rallied into a unifying patriotic frenzy over the need to eliminate a perceived common threat or foe: racial , ethnic or religious minorities; liberals; communists; socialists, terrorists, etc.
Supremacy of the Military Even when there are widespread domestic problems, the military is given a disproportionate amount of government funding, and the domestic agenda is neglected. Soldiers and military service are glamorized.
Rampant Sexism The governments of fascist nations tend to be almost exclusively male-dominated. Under fascist regimes, traditional gender roles are made more rigid. Opposition to abortion is high, as is homophobia and anti-gay legislation and national policy.
Controlled Mass Media Sometimes to media is directly controlled by the government, but in other cases, the media is indirectly controlled by government regulation, or sympathetic media spokespeople and executives. Censorship, especially in war time, is very common.
Obsession with National Security Fear is used as a motivational tool by the government over the masses.
Religion and Government are Intertwined Governments in fascist nations tend to use the most common religion in the nation as a tool to manipulate public opinion. Religious rhetoric and terminology is common from government leaders, even when the major tenets of the religion are diametrically opposed to the government’s policies or actions.
Corporate Power is Protected The industrial and business aristocracy of a fascist nation often are the ones who put the government leaders into power, creating a mutually beneficial business/government relationship and power elite.
Labor Power is Suppressed Because the organizing power of labor is the only real threat to a fascist government, labor unions are either eliminated entirely, or are severely suppressed .
Disdain for Intellectuals and the Arts Fascist nations tend to promote and tolerate open hostility to higher education, and academia. It is not uncommon for professors and other academics to be censored or even arrested. Free expression in the arts is openly attacked, and governments often refuse to fund the arts.
Obsession with Crime and Punishment Under fascist regimes, the police are given almost limitless power to enforce laws. The people are often willing to overlook police abuses and even forego civil liberties in the name of patriotism. There is often a national police force with virtually unlimited power in fascist nations.
Rampant Cronyism and Corruption Fascist regimes almost always are governed by groups of friends and associates who appoint each other to government positions and use governmental power and authority to protect their friends from accountability. It is not uncommon in fascist regimes for national resources and even treasures to be appropriated or even outright stolen by government leaders.
Fraudulent Elections Sometimes elections in fascist nations are a complete sham. Other times elections are manipulated by smear campaigns against or even assassination of opposition candidates, use of legislation to control voting numbers or political district boundaries, and manipulation of the media. Fascist nations also typically use their judiciaries to manipulate or control elections.
Save for #5 (which is debatable), this list is pretty spot on, eh?
If you have read one of my earlier posts, I created a challenge for all young politicos to create a “Constitution of Me” as a method to both create a reference point for beliefs you want codified in writing, and to create an enforcement mechanism to help you check yourself before you wreck yourself.
This brings me to anger in politics. Anger in itself is not a bad thing. It serves a purpose, and can create a drive for action. That is all well and good.
However, we now have two leaders, Prime Minister Stephen Harper and NDP leader Thomas Mulcair, who are quite famous for their anger.
When you are famous for your anger, you should know that there something is wrong with the picture. A picture that is wrong for Canadians.
It means that this anger exists in many cases, and I argue that this anger leads to the inability to compromise, which ultimately translate to having an authoritarian streak. It’s a “my way or the highway” mentality, and if they don’t have their way, you’ll know of it. They’ll use their rage to make you conform to their wants and needs.
So I draw two lessons from here for everything, from politics to business:
A real life example from my own life would be when I put forth a policy motion at last year’s Ontario Young Liberals’ policy parliaments. These are competitive events you want to win and boy are they fun.
Rather than intimidating people from the sidelines, I dived headfirst into the fray. I argued in favour of a total revamp of the public transit system in the Greater Horseshoe Area. I made sure I was prepared for every counter-argument. I ended up with almost unanimous support to have the policy go to vote. Ultimately, my policy was voted to the top. I didn’t need to anger nor intimidate anybody.
Of course, this is a simplification. Nevertheless, I think it’s a good example.
Moral of the story: be cool, calm, and collected. Don’t be famous for throwing temper tantrums!
Neither the Conservatives nor the NDP really give me hope for the future of Canadian democracy. Apparently it has become acceptable now to the NDP to muzzle other parties in a debate, as seen by their hogging of most of the response time. Bob is right, this ain’t Jack’s NDP anymore. It’s something different. Something more authoritarian, just as I expected from Mulcair as noted a post or two ago.
Rae isn’t far off the mark when he called Mulcair “mini-Harper” given the budget shitshow. Their excuse for not letting the Liberals speak was that they would apparently agree with the budget.
Whether the Liberals agree with the budget or not, (they are voting against it), does not matter. What matters is that all differing viewpoints are heard. Yes, all viewpoints, and as many MPs as possible; not just Peter Julian.
I disagree with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it, motherfuckers.
Usually in other nations, nationalistic sentiment tends to be joint at the hip to racism, ethnocentrism, and a stringent belief that they are the best because of some claim to a fantastical history. Commonplace when you hear the term “nationalist” is a far-right, hard line individual that wants to get rid of immigrants or marginalize some minority group because they are seen as a blight on their cultural, political, and geographical landscape.
And as a result, when I claim that I am a Canadian Nationalist around those that aren’t Canadian, things get awkward.
I believe that Canada, despite current political grievances, is the best fucking country in the whole wide world. That’s right. The world. Whole and wide. Best fucking country. That’s a mighty bold claim, and probably a worthless one given claims of your nation’s superiority are premised on a framework of thought native to the nation you are from.
For example, American nationalistic sentiment can come from adulation for their powerful military. British nationalism can be derived from its supposedly great past, as with nations such as China or India. Comparing greatness between each is folly, given that the metrics of measurement differ. It becomes not a game of comparing apples and oranges, but comparing apples to vikings (vikings are better).
My claim to Canada being the best is derived from the way it manages to integrate its immigrants into Canadian society. It’s going along pretty well. You often hear of detractors who claim multiculturalism has failed in Canada, but they don’t ever seem to cite immigrants nor first generation Canadians when they make those claims.
There’s also the fact that we’re the best place to do business, we’ve achieved marriage equality, our banks never failed, and most development indicators place us in the top 10 of nearly every positive index.
There are still many shortfalls that Canada faces: R&D funding is abysmal, economically marginalized Aboriginals, shitty telecom infrastructure, Research In Motion (the fact that it has ever existed, to be precise), Dean Del Mastro’s existence, and our Federal environmental regulations are a joke. Our politics is becoming rife with invective and our current Federal Government is suppressing anything they legally can.
We’re still the best, right? Right?
“For CTV to assert as they did last night that the House of Commons was the House that Jack built, was so offensive that I can’t imagine who the hell decided to make that statement. I can think of a few other more deserving recipients of that honor. Some of them liberal, others conservative or new democratic. But none of them was named Layton.”Truth. Layton contributed to a positive discourse, but he wasn’t a major force for what the House is today.
Wow, what sort of fool said that on CTV? The NDP were only part and parcel of building parliament as we see today. A small part, historically. A very small part.