At just the time the Conservatives are looking to impose unwarranted internet surveillance upon Canadian citizens, they are evidently also trying to suppress YouTube videos that embarrass them, like the one above. This kind of political double-standard is now pretty much standard issue. Conservatives it seems only talk to one another and are only to be heard by other conservatives. It’s the kind of cowardice that can usually be found lurking behind much guffawing bluster.
God knows what Harper means by his reference to “cleaning up the left wing mess.” His government pissed away the surplus left to them by the Liberals and have run up record deficits ever since. (Like the Republicans, Harper’s Conservatives are vaunted in the business press as “the party of fiscal responsibility” despite astounding feats of fiscal irresponsibility.) There is a smugly triumphal, vanquish-all-enemies taint to Conservative partisanship which is always just one open microphone away, and it appears to be exactly the kind of thing they don’t want the 61% of Canadians who don’t vote Conservative to be reminded of. There seems to be a concerted effort to create a memory hole into which all this trash talk can be dumped. It may just be a coincidence, but try, for example, to find the video we’ve posted here before of Harper at an anti-gay marriage rally on Parliament Hill where he gave full-throated praise to “real Canadian values.” It’s gone (although a couple of tantalizing snippets of it survive embedded in other video compilations). I’ve noticed that other video of Harper we’ve posted in the past has also gone dark. Given that the Conservatives are now dispatching lawyers to force the take down of video they don’t want seen, maybe that’s a trend that will only intensify. It’s a familiar enough authoritarian trait: they want more access to our private lives, while also restricting our public access to them. It is, as Lawrence Martin puts it, the politics of control.
The good news is that the Conservatives are not likely to get their wished-for “hat trick” with the upcoming Ontario provincial election. Rob Ford in Toronto and Stephen Harper in Ottawa are probably more than enough for Ontario voters at this point.
In any event, see the video above while you can. If this one comes down, we’ll try to find other sources for it.