To the editor:
Re: Stephen Harper A-OK With This Letter Writer, May 29 Capital News.
Thank you Gertrude Sawatzky. I loved your letter; a superb satirical piece if ever there was one. I see the brilliance in your list of Conservative “accomplishments,” each of which in reality marks the hypocrisy, arrogance and failures of the Harper government.
You start off with the myth of “misinformation in the media and general public.” Of course that is a clever allusion to the Conservative government’s massive taxpayer funded propaganda budget, the tax money spent on vanity videos for Pierre Poilievre, and the government TV crew that records every moment of The Prime Minster’s Day.
Then you mention Mr. Harper’s training as an economist. Another very crafty and humorous way of reminding us of how, despite his education, he squandered the surplus he inherited from Paul Martin, then took credit for Liberal policies which saved us from the recession, brought back deficits, imposed tax cuts that seem to benefit few but have imperiled federal finances, and of course how he’s worked hard to move us away from being a diversified economy to one over-reliant on oil; and we all know how well that’s working. Using the term ‘common sense’ to describe this government was without doubt one of the most amusing lines in the letter.
Of course mentioning long past Liberal misdeeds is such a nifty way to call attention to the routine Conservative practice of mentioning the past to distract us from their own recent record.
And then there are the Tory senators. Again, a wonderful moment of mockery in your letter. Three appointed by Mr. Harper (so much for common sense indeed), one a key Tory fundraiser, each defended for as long as ‘politically’ possible, and then cast adrift. Of course in Mr. Duffy’s case it seems great expense and effort was employed by the Prime Minister’s office to fix the problem, but to no avail.
I would never have thought of mentioning the Wheat Board, which I suspect many Tories would like to forget. Hurray to you, and thanks for reminding us. The inanity of getting rid of a Canadian owned and controlled organization that worked on behalf of farmers and had a global presence, and then selling the remains of this proud Canadian organization to Saudi and American interests is beyond compare. Farmers are now beholden to foreigners and have to take whatever price they offer. Farmers no longer have to worry about the pesky Canadian Wheat Board, because the Canadian monopoly the Tories hated so much will soon be a foreign owned one.
As for the assault on the CBC, that of course has so much to do with the Conservative obsession with propaganda and the media, but then in the very first paragraph you smartly alluded to the Conservative use of taxpayer money for partisan advertising.
And then we come to our MP. A nice guy, and I suspect he does have some common sense; maybe it’s been muted by years of sitting in the back benches nodding and clapping. Sadly all I ever read or hear from Mr. Cannan has likely been prepared by the ‘boy’s in short pants’ who run the Prime Minister’s Office. To be fair, on the radio I think I heard trembling in Mr. Cannan’s voice when he defended his government’s sad treatment of Canadian veterans. For a moment I thought he might break ranks and yell “I can’t do this any more, I’m not one of the bobble-heads, I’ll stand up for what’s right, I just can’t say this stuff anymore,” but it didn’t happen.
So, Ms. Sawatzky, thank you for a most clever and witty bit of satire. You didn’t even have to mention the miserable Conservative record on environmental protection, the ideological war on science, research and knowledge, the treatment of our veterans, the excesses of Bill C-51 Anti-terrorism Act, 2015, a parade of Supreme Court defeats, or even our now weakening economy.
You didn’t need to. You gave us a wonderful list of Conservative let-downs, decorated as successes and done with such wryness that for a moment, but just a moment, it made even cynical me (and I’m only 17) think that you were serious. Bravo.