When one examines Dr Muhammad Elmasry's Canadian Charger e-zine, one has to wonder if it's supposed to be a political rag or a comedy outlet.
Via Charger contributor Scott Stockdale -- whose previous outing entitled "Dr Tony J Hall is right about 9/11 even when he's demonstrably, factually wrong" was really more of a desperate plea for attention -- we are presented with startling revelations about Stephen Harper: politics is his vocation!
Shocking stuff, certainly. From the author who brought us "The Truth About 9/11" -- an amusing article that contained no truth concerning 9/11, but did offer some "truth" -- comes the truth about Stephen Harper: he is personally and professionally dedicated to his politics.
In his article, Stockdale attempts to present Harper's life-long political commitment as somehow at odds with his belief in the private sector.
"Ironically, although he's had no experience working in the private sector, throughout his political career he's favored the private sector, continuously trying to reduce government influence over it," Stockdale writes.
He continues with what could only be considered an amusing accusation coming from a Canadian Charger contributor: he accuses Harper of being ideologically blinkered:
"In fact, from his high school days as a member of the Young Liberal's Club, to the time he served as chief aide to Progressive Conservative MP Jim Hawkes, in the Mulroney governments of the 1980's, he continued to find the political parties he served were not conservative enough for him.It's certainly amusing that Stockdale would twin Harper's opposition to the Charlottetown Accord with Harper's alleged disdain for the "priorities of Canadians".
Although he ran for the Canadian House of Commons, as a Reform Party candidate in the 1988 election, appearing on the ballot as Steve Harper, not Stephen, in Calgary West, no one has ever accused him of placing the priorities of Canadians ahead of his own ideology.
He lost the 1988 election but remained a Reform Party apparatichik, until his relationship with Reform Party leader Preston Manning became strained over the Charlottetown Accord. Mr Harper opposed the Accord for ideological reasons, while Mr Manning was initially more open to compromise, something that Mr Harper has never been comfortable with."
It's unsurprising that Stockdale would consider himself entitled to allude to the priorities of Canadians, as if he speaks for Canadians as a whole. It's outright amusing that Stockdale seems to have forgotten that Canadians, via referendum, rejected the Charlottetown Accord, and that the Accord was strongly repudiated by Quebec.
Amusing, but probably not unintentional.
Stockdale continues with Harper's involvement in the National Citizens' Coalition:
"He did fit right in as president of the National Citizen's Coalition (NCC) from 1998-2002, a conservative think-tank founded to oppose the concept of a national health care system. The NCC supports privatization, tax cuts, and government spending cuts and opposes laws that limit spending by non-party organizations during election campaigns. It has been heavily involved in advertising, political campaigns and legal challenges, in support of its goals of 'more freedom with less government.'For the moment, allow the sheer comedy of Stockdale, of all people, accusing anyone of viewing the world through an "ideological prism" aside. Such brash hypocrisy can't help but disastrously fail the laugh test.
It's not surprising that someone like Mr Harper, with no practical working experience, can consistently view every issue through an ideological prism, regardless of what's happening in the society at large. It seems that he doesn't just want to govern: he wants to change the way people think."
Stockdale clearly has failed to understand the integral difference between the public sphere and the government -- and he certainly isn't alone in this error.
One of Harper's goals as Prime Minister has not only been to back the state out of the portions of the private sphere in which it has no place, but also to turn back the tide of ideological state intervention in the development of the extra-governmental public sphere.
Moves such as the revokation of funding to various advocacy groups has been denounced by the far left not because of the alleged necessity of their work, but rather because it stripped them of the ability to aportion the state's resources for themselves while denying resources to their ideological opponents.
It took Prime Minister Stephen Harper to turn the tide of the ideological left's colonization of Canada's civil society via the interference of the government.
Far leftists like Stockdale, who have rarely acknowledged that the public sphere doesn't begin and end with the government, have made their resentment of this move quite clear.
"Mr Harper has no problem articulating his ideology, so passionately, in fact that it really borders on being a theology: the idea that government has no business interfering in a free market economy, because the market is divine: whenever possible, let the market decide and we'll all be better off. After all, this modus operandi has worked for Mr Harper and his ilk, so why can't it work for the rest of Canadians, provided, of course, they reject their 'can't do' attitude.While Stockdale is technically correct in noting that Trudeau claimed his policies helped impvoerished Canadians beat poverty, the objective fact is that Trudeau's policies did not.
After Pierre Trudeau's death in 2000, Mr Harper said Mr Trudeau promoted 'unabashed' socialism and argued that Canadian governments between 1972 and 2002 had restricted economic growth through 'state corporatism.'
The fact that Mr Trudeau argued his policies allowed more Canadians than ever before to rise out of poverty, meant nothing to Mr Harper. Issues such as the ever-increasing child poverty rate in Canada means nothing to a man who has never experienced poverty in his life, and probably doesn't know anyone who has."
Stockdale's cohorts in Canada's far left -- individuals such as Maude Barlow of the Council of Canadians -- have noted that Trudeau's policies did not alleviate poverty. In fact, the economically-disastrous effects of policies such as Trudeau's National Energy Policy increased poverty, particularly in previously-prosperous Western Canada.
Then again, it's worth noting that the facts unequivocally do not support the conclusions drawn by Stockdale's cohorts. Barlow et al have always insisted that the answer to socialism's failures to deliver results on sustainable poverty-busting has been more socialism -- regardless of their inability to account for how such spending would be funded.
No topic has ever so amply demonstrated the cluelessness of this cohort as that of child poverty. Stockdale demonstrates himself no less ignorant on the topic:
"Child poverty doesn't have a direct relationship to the market, in no small part, because it's impossible to measure how much more these children, who grew up in poverty-stricken circumstances, could have contributed to society, had they been given a better start in life. "Stockdale in unequivocally wrong about this. Child poverty does have a direct relationship to the market: impoverished children tend to come either from impoverished families or from single-parent households.
The impulse of the far-left is to address the symptom rather than the cause of this: with social programs justified by emotional blackmail. Canadians are told that if they don't support a welfare state that consumes Canada's wealth at an alarming and unsustainable rate, they're selfish.
The alternative policies offered by Harper and the Conservative Party serve Canadians better by generating more wealth. While Stockdale, Barlow et al have always been preoccupied with who reaps the rewards of such wealth, they've always been content to ignore the question of how Canada's economy will grow to support the growing ambitions of Canadian society -- or to support the growing ambitions of progressive ideology.
Of course economics isn't the only topic on which Stockdale wishes to demonstrate his ignorance. He also wishes to demonstrate his ignorance on the topic of crime:
"His 'tough on crime' policy - although the crime rate is decreasing - is another example of a man, who's never had a full-time job outside politics, being out of touch with the realities of Canadian life. His tough stance on marijuana is a poignant example of his ideology trumping reality: The Harper government is proposing automatic jail terms for anyone caught growing five or more marijuana plants. On this issue in particular, Mr Harper is at odds with even his own ideological brethren: columnists in the National Post are calling for the legalization of marijuana, and arch-right-wing ideologue Conrad Black described the war on drugs as 'the corrupt, sociopathic war on drugs.'Of course, what Stockton chooses to ignore are the increasing numbers of Canadians who simply choose not to report crimes of which they are a victim. Stockwell Day was mocked for invoking "unreproted crime" in support of the Conservative Party's move to build new prisons -- replacing prisons that are often as much as 50 years old and accruing maintenance deficits -- only to have his assertions turn out to be largely true.
Ironically, Mr. Harper has no qualms about filling our already overcrowded prison system with marijuana users, at a cost to taxpayers of upwards of $100,000 per inmate, per year, not to mention the reduced job prospects these inmates will face upon being released back into society."
Moreover Stockdale, like many "drug war" opponents, overlooked that the Harper government's anti-drug policies focused as much on treatment of addicts as it did on enforcing stronger measures on the distribution of illegal drugs.
Thos accusing the Harper government of a US-style war on drugs -- in which users are targetted through a "three strikes" policy -- are simply fibbing.
Stockdale goes on to peddle standard anti-war rhetoric so banal that to explore it here would do readers a disservice before concluding with his "surprise" that "a person with such rigid ideological views could manage to become Prime Minister of a democratic country like Canada". He goes on to essentially blame the Conservative Party's success fundraising.
The reasong for the Conservative Party's success is its success. The reason for the Liberal Party's failures is its failures. Brilliant!
But after one gets through vetting all of the factual and conceptual flaws in Stockdale's work, the ultimate irony still presents itself.
Scott Stockdale's LinkedIn profile lists him as being an "Independent Publishing Professional" and...
Try as one might, one will simply never find an "industry" (if one would indeed call it that) as ideologically-insular and blinkered as the independent publishing industry. In fact, the reason why individuals such as Dr Mohammad Elmasry -- the founder of the Canadian Charger -- found such publications is because other publications (such as, say, Macleans Magazine) aren't ideologically-blinkered enough for them.
The irony and hypocrisy abounds. But Stockdale's article begs a central question:
Has Scott Stockdale ever held a full-time job outside of "independent publishing"?