Saturday, June 26, 2010
Stephen Harper's Sigh of Relief
Watching the news juxtapose images of burning cop cars with images of Stephen and Laureen shaking hands with the G20 leaders, I can't help but imagine him a huge sigh of relief. The fact that there has been violence on the streets of Toronto must have made his day.
It all could have gone so wrong for Harper today. If the non-violent protesters had managed to get their message out, if there'd been a global stage on which frustrated Canadians could have shown the world how our prime minister has defrauded us and sold us out, if we'd been able to show up all those billions wasted on security instead of where the money needs to be spent; if we'd been able to show this whole G8/G20 dog-and-pony farce as politicking at its most cynical... well, I've begun to think that Harper could kick a boatload of puppies in front of the world's press and not drop below 25% support, but perhaps we could have shaken him out of his complacency.
Instead, he has the best present ever: the opportunity to paint protesters as thugs, to ride a law-and-order wave of public opinion, to justify (and perhaps institutionalise) the shocking powers he, or rather the Ontario government, has given police, to make those with legitimate grievances look like the bad guys. A few broken windows, a burning cop car... who knew Harper could claim a victory so easily?