One of the great failures of progressive bloggers is our obsession with telling each other, over and over and over ad infinitum, that Stephen Harper is a shit. It's not that there's any reason to give Harper & Co. a pass on their perfidy but surely we have more important fish to fry.
Turfing the Harper government won't mean all that much unless the incoming firm, be that Mulcair or Trudeau's outfit, is prepared to right Canada's political keel and rectify Harper's excesses.
Our progressive cousins in the States hoped for so much when Obama succeeded the truly imperial presidency of Bush/Cheney and they're bitterly disappointed by the results so far. Oh sure there's been a small victory on health care but there's also been the drone war campaign and the "all of the above" rudderless policy on fossil fuels. Guantanamo remains in business and America's domestic spy apparatus has never been so uncontrollably powerful. Obama should have and could have renounced the imperial powers built up by Bush and Cheney but he didn't.
What if our next prime minister finds Harper's excesses to his liking? What if he doesn't dismantle the walls of secrecy that offer so much cover and control? What if he finds our democratic deficit worth continuing? What if he chooses to continue the corporatist state? What if he can't be bothered to restore a free press to Canada by breaking up the corporate media cartel? What if our next leader won't move effectively to reverse inequality and rehabilitate Canada's middle class?
Yes, of course Harper's a shit. I know that. What I don't know is how we're going to ensure his successor isn't just another shit in a slightly better wrapper. 'I promise I'll be better than Harper' isn't enough. We need change we can believe in, real change long overdue, and not merely window dressing.
Time is not on our side and Canada can't endure another, slightly less offensive iteration of Harper.