When you Canadians last held an election that would determine your Prime Minister, I tried to warn you not to abandon the Liberal Party in favor of the NDP, or another choice that would tip the election to Conservative Stephen Harper.
I tried to tell you this because I saw Harper for what he was, and is: a true-believing Evangelical with Fundamentalist-creationist leanings- a war-loving, privatizing, gay marriage-opposing person who, if he had his way, would turn the nature of Canada itself into a reflection of his own creed.
I did this because I saw what happened when enough well-intentioned Progressives on my side of the 49th Parallel voted for a man who reflected their own views than for a moderately Progressive candidate who would enable our own version of a President with beliefs as I've described above to take office.
I pleaded with you Canadians not to make the same mistake we did.
Although a few Canadians seemed to side with me, the majority of Canadians who responded to my post issued a common refrain. You called me an American who doesn't realize that we have a Parliamentary system of government with institutional safeguards against a Prime Minister who would try to push too far, too fast.
And for some Liberal Party voters, the issue of your party's institutionalized, fossilized, corrupt entitlement was more than enough for you to abandon the party that brought your nation a well-deserved reputation as a peaceful, tolerant place where people have the right to free or very inexpensive health care as well as the right to marry who they want.
A place that has offered sancutary and refuge and a new life for those Americans who could not abide by some of the wars we Americans have fought where we had no business fighting. Wars fought in the same nation our own President avoided going to when he was of college age, but visited this week in the name of private enterprise.
But now I've just finished an article in the November, 27, 2006 issue of The Nation magazine. Entitled, "Letter From Canada: The New Christian Right," the piece by Chris Hedges describes how the fundamentalist Harper is forging alliances with fellow fundies on both sides of the U.S.-Canada border to undo Canada's nature as a peace-loving, tolerant nation where the weak and poor are cared for.
The article makes a point that he has no mandate to do this. But neither did Bush.
Hedges' fear- and my fear as well- is that Canadians are so complacent they won't wake up until it is too late.
"Harper's hold on power, like that of George Bush, is shaky," Hedges writes. "He too has no clear mandate to transform Canada, but this has not stopped his minority government from steadily undermining social programs and a once enlightened foreign policy that liberal Americans could only envy.
"The tools he is using are familiar to many Americans, who stood sleepily by as Pat Robertson and other religious bigots hijacked the Republican Party and moved into the legislative and executive branches of government," continues Hedges, who adds this visage:
"As I walk the windy streets of Toronto I wonder if those who push past me will wake up and see in Harper's government our own malaise or watch passively as Canada becomes a demented reflection of George Bush's America. "
Welll, here in "George Bush's America," we may have stopped this juggernaut just in the nick of time.
Canadians, don't wait as long as we did to step up and fight these same people. People who would send you off to war, annul some of your loving marriages, make you pay for your health care while big pharma benefits.