Wednesday, November 25, 2009

The Mean-Spirited ugliness at the heart of the Conservative Party

OTTAWA–Comments by Conservative MPs deriding homeless people and describing abortion as a procedure that makes women more available to men demonstrate the party's true colours, opposition critics say.

Nova Scotia Conservative MP Gerald Keddy has apologized for describing unemployed Nova Scotians as "those no-good bastards sitting on the sidewalk in Halifax that can't get work."

There has been no such apology from Saskatchewan MP Maurice Vellacott for his unflattering depiction of women seeking abortions, which also applauded Saskatoon doctors for restricting access to abortion services.

"Pro-life feminists have ... come to see abortion as part of a male agenda to have women more sexually available," said the controversial MP in an anti-abortion news release sent out Nov. 20.

Vellacott just this week had to apologize for a flyer wrongly accusing Nova Scotia NDP MP Peter Stoffer of supporting the long-gun registry.

Nova Scotia Liberal MP Scott Brison said Keddy's remarks reflect the kind of mean-spirited attitude that Canadians have come to expect from the Conservative government.

"This is from a Conservative party under Stephen Harper that has referred to Atlantic Canadians as being defeatist," he told reporters.

"This Conservative party has a deep vein of meanness to it. It's a party that kicks people when they are down," he said.

It's not like comments like these are anomalous either. If we actually tried to sit down and catalogue every example of Conservative backbenchers or Ministers saying something hateful and bigoted about natives, gays, immigrants uppity women or anyone who doesn't share their views - we'll still be doing it a month from now.

This is who they are. This is what they are about. As a party, what holds the Conservatives together is scapegoating, contempt and bile.

This is the stuff that comes out while they are being gagged by a leader obsessed with message discipline. This is the stuff they say while they're in a minority and are soft-peddling the social conservatism and trying to accentuate their fiscal and policy positions.

I live in Alberta, anybody who has been around Conservative-Reform-Alliance members and politicians when they are unguarded and believe they are in the presence of like minded believers, knows these kind of comments are only the very tip of a very ugly iceberg.

If they ever got a majority the mask would slip even more, the social conservative block, chafing under the degree of message and policy discipline Harper has demanded would insist on being let off the chain. This kind of seething hatred and contempt would become official policy.

It would become legislation.

Be very clear: If you belong to a religion they disapprove of, if you have sex they think is icky, if you're a woman who thinks you ought to have the final say abut what happens to your body, if you believe we have a responsibility to make painful decisions about greenhouse gasses, if you are poor, if you don't plan to ever vote for them - they hate you.

They fucking hate you.


no_blah_blah_blah said...

The Onion article is half-joking, but it is somewhat similar to what the Conservatives are doing. They remember what their version of Canada was like when they were young, some ~40 years ago, and they've become detached from reality. Instead of seeing the social progress that Canada has made, they see the progress as deviation from their outdated ideals.

It is terrifying how willing they are to abandon all of this progress. Even more terrifying is how much regression they are still trying to inflict while being a minority government.

kirbycairo said...

And most terrifying is that they still are beating the other parties in the polls.

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