The Politics of Fear

The Conservatives’ Omnibus Crime Bill is working its way through the House. The tax-payer funded Government of Canada television ad above, one of many like it that ran in the weeks before the election was called, is now airing again. The intention clearly is to tenderize the public and put it in the mood for “reform.”

As is typically the case with the Conservatives, it’s about fear. They take a worst-case scenario and make it appear to be the widespread norm. This is a recognizable part of what seems to be a cynical and ongoing propaganda campaign. If anyone can find statistics regarding any significant incidence of middle-class children under the age of ten using “juicy” as depicted in this ad, I’d be grateful.

The Conservatives apparently want to change our attitude toward government on all fronts, and the message is clear: government can’t afford to provide the services we want and need, but it can “protect” us from bogies and bumps in the night. It can’t find the money for expanded health care, but there’s more than enough to build prisons.

Like conservatives in the U.S., Canada’s Conservative Party disdains government as a provider of public service, and has taken hold of the instruments of government in order to undermine it. It is obvious at this point that they do so on behalf of their real constituency, the rich and corporations, who are the only beneficiaries of government policy to any significant extent. The fact that income inequality in Canada is now increasing at a faster rate than the U.S. verifies as much.

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