Canadians Reject Harper: Hold the Cheers
by Stephen Lendman
A decade of deplorable Harper-led Conservative governance ended. It gave Canadians endless wars of aggression partnered with Washington, deepened social injustice, hardline support for Israel’s killing machine, and police state harshness against nonbelievers.
On October 19, Canadians swept Justin Trudeau-led Liberals to power, dumping Harper governance resoundingly - winning a 184 seat majority with 39.5% of the popular vote, the Conservatives reduced to 99 (with 31.9%) and New Democratic Party (NDP) a distant third with 44 (19.7%).
Victorious Liberals gained 148 more seats - at the expense of Conservatives losing 60 and NDP 51. On Monday, Canadian politics changed - but sadly stayed the same, the process replicating America’s, triopoly rule instead of duopoly, monied interests in charge the same way, assuring business as usual again triumphed.
Justin Trudeau, Liberal Party leader, eldest son of former Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, is prime minister designate. He’s distant from his father’s ideology - his memoir publicly criticizing “the rigidly anti-Soviet stance taken by Reagan and his ideological soulmate Margaret Thatcher.”
He blamed neocon ideologues for heightened Cold War tensions. He went his own way geopolitically, establishing diplomatic relations with China before Nixon, recognizing Fidel Castro’s legitimate Cuban leadership, having normalized relations unlike America.
The late John Lennon once said “if all politicians were like Pierre Trudeau, there would be world peace.” Political Science Professor Erika Simpson said “it’s hard to parse out Justin…(I)t’s hard to figure out his foreign policy stand on anything.”
He’s “deliberately nebulous,” catering to various special interests. In contrast, Harper is openly hardline, a neocon extremist, shamelessly jingoistic, a reliable US imperial ally, fanatically pro-Israeli, disdainful of social justice, equity, fairness and world peace.
Will Justin Trudeau change things? Not likely. He supports the same business as usual agenda, backs US policy in Ukraine, its anti-Russian militancy and Israeli occupation harshness, abhorrently saying it “has a right to defend itself and its people,” ignoring its ruthless state terror.
Campaigning, he said if elected prime minister he’ll tell off Putin “directly to his face” - calling him “dangerous” in Ukraine and Eastern Europe, “irresponsible and harmful” in the Middle East, and “unduly provocative” in the Arctic.
“Canada needs to continue to stand strongly with the international community pushing back against the bully that is Vladimir Putin,” he blustered during a Toronto campaign rally.
His economic advisors include Larry Summers - a defrocked Harvard University president, notoriously pro-Wall Street. As Clinton's Treasury Secretary, he backed banking deregulation, ignored industry fraud, supported its consolidation, promoted anything goes, and spearheaded Glass-Steagall repeal.
He successfully thwarted Clinton's Commodity Futures Trading Commission head Brooksley Born's efforts to regulate financial derivatives.
Instead campaigned for passing the Commodity Futures Modernization Act - deregulating derivatives trading, legitimizing swap agreements and other hybrid instruments.
It's one of the root causes of today's financial disaster, ending derivatives and leveraging regulatory oversight. A tsunami of trouble followed, turning Wall Street more than ever into a casino, facilitating fraud on an unprecedented scale, harming ordinary people most.
Is Summers’ shaping Trudeau’s economic agenda? The prime minister designate is no antidote to force-fed austerity. He may turn out no different from Harper with a youthful smiling face, wrapped in the Canadian flag.
The Financial Post business section of Canada’s National Post said a Trudeau win likely “bode(s) well for Canadian stocks” - meaning his agenda is business friendly and anti-populist.
His anti-austerity campaign was phony, much like US Democrat presidential aspirants Clinton and Sanders, saying one thing, intending another, reliably pro-business as usual.
Voters have short memories. Canadians forget disastrous pre-Harper Jean Chretien Liberal policies, instituting huge social spending cuts, at the same time pandering to big business.
Expect Trudeau at best to be Harper light, pretending otherwise until voters realize they were again had. It’s always this way in America. New bums are like old ones, usually worse. Canada is no different.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.
Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.
It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs.