Thursday, August 26, 2010

On defining moments

One could hardly ask for a better example of Stephen Harper's stay in power in a nutshell:
The rogue PM eventually returned to the aircraft where he was surrounded by reporters and photographers, one of whom wondered whether he had a licence to operate the vehicle — especially on restricted space such as an air strip?

“I think I make the rules,” the PM quipped.
And truly he does.

Think he makes the rules, that is. So when he figures it's convenient to break laws, promises or both, or to shut down democratic institutions or fire civil servants for the offence of failing to subordinate the truth to his political purposes, he's consistently acted as if nobody can possibly question his impulses.

And after over four years of carefully insulating himself from anybody who might dare question his infallibility, with an Official Opposition working feverishly to keep him in office until its next turn to exercise absolute power and a media who views his megalomania as the stuff of "quips" rather than an indication that something has gone horribly, horribly wrong, it's half understandable why Harper thinks himself a dictator entitled to make any inconvenient rules disappear on a whim.

But some of us might see reason to disagree that the rule of law has been officially preempted in favour of rule by Harper fiat. And we'll have all the more reason to be concerned about what's happening elsewhere in Harper's regime as a result of his firm belief that he can declare himself to be above the law.

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