In some people's holy book, despair is a sin. I always figured that idea came from somebody who wasn't quite done with you yet.
Is Stephen Harper the Prime Minister of Despair? Is that his secret agenda, to get Canadians so despairing of their government that they become alienated, detached from the political process and, thereby, no threat to the one guy nobody really likes, Steve Harper?
That's not to say Steve is the sole instigator of this vexing misfortune. It sometimes feels like Steve is playing the disaffected Canadian voters with his left hand at the bottom of the keyboard, while his right hand is busy playing the opposition in the higher octaves.
The future of Canada, to me at least, looks mighty grim if we don't even quest to restore the political centre to its pre-Harper position. Without defending the Canadian left, what remains - the centre, the centre-right and the hard-right? Win, lose or draw that makes Canada a conservative country something with ominous overtones to an emerging petro-state.
I worry that a Canada without a firmly anchored commitment to social democracy will devolve into a country with great inequality and divisive regionalism in which the nation and people are left permanently weakened and vulnerable to powerful interests. This is the Canada that Stephen Harper envisions as ideal.
This is shaping up to be the most challenging and dangerous century in the history of mankind's civilization. It will be a century in which social cohesiveness will be of immense importance to nations and societies. Harper's approach is a body blow to that essential cohesiveness. Why then is the opposition following him in trail? Is the left now truly indefensible? Has it become devoid of utility and meaning? Was it ever valid? I despair of discovering the answer.