Elected dictator

The Nazis came to power in Germany by winning the most seats in an election. The Muslim Brotherhood came to power in Egypt by winning the most seats in an election.

Okay, the Conservative Party of Canada is not the Brotherhood, and Stephen Harper is not Hitler. I've dropped the name, and according to Godwin's Law this blog post should already be over. But I shall soldier on because I have a serious question. What happens if someone who is fundamentally opposed to the system in which they live manages to win an election within that system?

I dislike when political opponents become "the enemy." That's Nixonian—and Harperian. But I'm afraid Steve has brought it upon himself by making himself an enemy, of the Constitution, of our parliamentary democracy, and of Canada.

Stephen Harper flouts the Constitution. At present, he is refusing to appoint senators. Whatever you think of the Senate (and I imagine that's "not much" at best), unless the Constitution is amended the Senate has to be functional enough to pass legislation. Our system requires it, however undemocratic you might think that is. At this point, the Senate is barely functional. Starving the Senate of funds and members is not the way to deal with the Constitution and in fact could lead to a constitutional crisis.

He also flouts the Constitution repeatedly by passing legislation that he knows is unconstitutional. Time and again, his laws have lost court challenges. No matter how much he has tried to stack the judiciary in his favour, it has continued to do its job. Yet he continues to push through legislation that causes damage until it is tested in the courts and rejected.

Harper despises the Charter of Rights and Freedoms and has no respect for human or civil rights in general. He is one of those who wishes we did not have a Charter so that Parliament could pass laws without regard to our pesky rights. More than once he has played the security card to chip away at those rights. Bill C-51 is only the latest foray in a war that only terrorists and Stephen Harper win.

Harper has no respect for the Westminster System, Parliament, or parliamentary procedures and traditions. He has instructed committees to obstruct any legislation that he cannot simply ram through. He has turned Question Period into a bad joke. He would like nothing better than not to have to deal with the House of Commons at all. He makes a mockery of a system that has served us well for almost 150 years.

Harper does not believe in Her Majesty's Loyal Opposition, He doesn't like any opposition, either outside or within his own party and caucus. He has a personal vendetta against the Liberal Party of Canada. His stated intention is to destroy it. Especially now that the New Democratic Party is looking like a reasonable bet to win a plurality of seats in the House of Commons, I imagine he would like to destroy the NDP as well.

He despises free and fair elections. He manipulates the system as much as he can get away with it. His minions have been charged with and sometimes convicted of electoral fraud. He has made it more difficult for many people to vote, most of whom would probably not be voting Conservative.

Harper despises facts that don't support his ideology. He has muzzled scientists, destroyed the ability of Statistics Canada to do its job, and eschewed any kind of evidence-based policy. He has certainly shown himself to be a proponent of the Big Lie—something repeated loudly until people (who should know better) start to believe it.

The media rarely do their job of holding the government to account, but then Harper almost never talks to them anymore, and only delivers scripted messages and photo ops in tightly controlled situations. He has gutted the CBC and would like it to disappear.

Finally, Harper despises Canada. He has stated publicly that we will not recognize the country once he is finished. We have witnessed the Americanization of our politics, the poisoning of the political process, the fundamental disrespect for Canadians who do not toe his line. He wishes aboriginal people would just disappear.

Preston Manning, the founder of the Reform Party (which the Conservative Party is, despite the pretense of having merged with the Progressive Conservative Party), favoured drastic changes to the system yet understood how it worked. Stephen Harper is much more about scorched earth. We are already paying the price for this, and will continue to pay the price as long as he lives at 24 Sussex.

Is it even proper to allow non-democrats to run in democratic elections? Is every vote for the Conservatives really a vote to help undermine our democracy, rights, and freedoms? Do we have to wait for our own Enabling Act before we realize that we should not elect dictators?