Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Harper’s Red-Herrings

Stephen Harper is now widely acclaimed as the master of “Fear Politics”. The twin pillars of his political strategy are the Islamophobia and Xenophobia, which I consider are red-herrings for the inadequacies of his economic policies. 


Bill C-51

The two terror attacks in Canada gave Mr. Harper sufficient political leverage to enact his controversial Bill C-51. However, what Mr. Harper failed to explain and what the public and opposition failed to ask is: How is the bill expected to bring down 'lone-wolf' attacks? Both of these attacks seemed to have been enacted by individuals whose emotional/mental state is questionable. One is a drug addict while the other dreamed of becoming a martyr when his attempt to start a business in Quebec failed. So, does Mr.Harper have methods to predict the acts of mentally/emotionally unstable individuals? With the provisions of the bill, even if the agencies manages to imprison each and everyone who has even accidentally come across ISIS propaganda, it is likely that these type of attackers would likely to take another cause. I believe, psychologically, they want to prove/feel important. If so, wouldn't it require a different approach?

Further, I really suspect, if the intention of the bill is solely to protect the Canadians against terror attacks. It can easily be misused to oppress opposition. I mean what would prevent Mr. Harper to classify Mr. Trudeau, for example,  as a "sympathizer" when Mr. Harper comes to power again?

Niqiab issue

Thankfully, the Federal Court of Canada struck down the ban on Niqiab during the public citizenship oath. This may look like an isolated incident. However, when taken together with the Quebec judge refusing to hear the case of a women wearing hijab, it seems likely a coordinated strategy to harass the Muslim community in Canada. The judge cited the regulation on wearing head coverings and shades in the courtroom. Would the judge apply the same rules to Nuns, who cover their heads? If not, aren't these discriminatory practices aimed at alienating and harassing a community? I also wonder, how are these Niqiab/Hijab bans likely to bring down terrorist incidents? Is this issue more important than the economy that is tanking?

What is more appalling is why no one asked these questions? These issues made the highlights in dailies but everyone seems to forget to ask these questions? And isn't denial of justice in the name of religion against Canadian Values?

Refugee prioritization

Another controversial issue, that should have awakened the conscience of Canadians is the Federal Governments move to prioritize refugee settlements based on religion. This goes against the accepted International norms in the issue. By such acts, the Federal Govt. is acting similar to ISIS and "Boko Haram", whom it claims to act against. Apart from setting a bad precedent in the International politics, these acts are likely to diminish the stature of Canadian values and Canada's role in International politics. I wonder, if the Canadians are aware and OK with this?
Further, what is the reasoning behind this? I wonder, what are the movies Mr. Harper and his MPs are watching before making up policies :)


Harper keep on harping how immigrants are drawn towards Canada for business prospects because of the stable economy while his MPs' were busy making racist comments, "Brownies stealing Canadian jobs". I'm not sure how far is this true or who is being compared to make these statements. But I do know that, from IMF's economic outlook, Western GDP is slowing down consistently for the past few years while the Asian economy is on the rise. In this case, if people are immigrating for economic reasons, they are most likely to immigrate to the Asian countries as many Indians and Chinese had done during recent times. Further, I wonder if the MP was insinuating that their immigration systems are broken. If so, whose responsibility is that?

I have not read any news where Harper or his minions trumping Canada's education prowess. In any case, many Asian countries fair much better than Canada in primary education (when accessible) and US fairs much better than Canada in higher-education and research  (when accessible) . So, if there is exodus for education, it should be towards these countries. Having said this, I believe the immigrants were mostly drawn towards Canada for her values (free thought, free speech, etc.), which Mr. Harper seem intent on destroying. 

Another of Harper's policies, could downright be construed as "cheating". According to his Express-Entry pool for Canadian residentship, applicants are required to have at least 5 years of stay in Canada to realize the category's full points. However, according to his Four-in-Four-Out policy, immigrants should leave Canada after 4 years, and is unlikely to get the full points required to get them an invitation for Canadian Resident status. It also fails to differentiate between the researchers who are exempt from LMO from the general general immigrant workers. Wouldn't this policy create brain drain? Wouldn't that likely to affect economy?

Red-herrings of Economic inadequacies:

Harper didn't stop/reprimand his MP  for his racial comment. He, however, is trying to alienate and harass communities by progressively enacting policies. Since, there were not consistent opposition, I wonder if the Canadians have finally abandoned their values they stood for over the years and were onboard with Mr. Harper. 

I would have at least been happy had some one asked, "Mr. Harper, Could you prove that your policies have worked rationally using data?" I also, believe these pillars of Mr. Harper's political strategy are designed to divert attention of the Canadian public from real issues - inadequacies of his economic policies

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