Trillium Book Awards Author Reading 2015

What You Won't Read in The Globe and Mail

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With the election of a majority Conservative government, Canadians have opted for what must have seemed to many of them to be the promise of political and economic stability. Much of this will turn out to be an illusion. We are challenged to ask what the next several years are likely to bring as Harper extends his command and control approach to governing this country. To begin, the deficit will take at least a decade or more to be eliminated, as opposed to the four years being put forward. Harper also will appoint four of the nine members of a progressively more conservative Supreme Court. All the opposition parties will be ignored since a majority gives Harper a completely free hand to do as he pleases. The politics of fear and loathing has won the day in this country, and its masters will continue to attack the reputations of those who show the strength of their convictions. People who otherwise might have disagreed with the Conservatives are now even less likely to speak out. Intimidation and public humiliation are now understood to be the reward for those to dare to speak the truth. This parliament will no longer have to worry about what people think as right-wing ideology and manufactured census data will routinely become the measure for funding. None of this is new to the Conservative party which for the past several years has systematically undermined many of our democratic freedoms, or has attacked or vilified those brave enough to oppose them. One day, perhaps a year or two from now, Canadians will wake up and recognize just how repressive their government has become, just how much it has hidden from sight or the things it has done in secret. Our democracy has entered a very dark period in its history, one likely to be affected for a generation or more.


I agree. Harper has taken his majority not only by manipulating the first-past-the-post voting system, but by a whole series of unethical maneuvers bordering on the illegal. It's too bad we don't have consequences for contempt of Parliament, because he'll just do it again. The one good thing that might come out of this election is a unification of the depleted Liberal party and the surging but less experienced NDP, offering a non-vote-splitting alternative in the next election.

Only Quebec as a political community seems to have grasped this and acted.
At least there will be more women in parliament than ever before, whatever good that might do us in the short term. We can only hope that Harper has moved closer to the centre as observers such as Ibbitson claim. On the other hand we've seen the how secretive, manipulative, vindictive and authoritarian they have been. I worry about the influence now of his far right base.

The views expressed in the Writer-in-Residence blogs are those held by the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of Open Book: Toronto.

Edward Carson

Edward Carson is twice winner of the E. J. Pratt Poetry Award in Canada and is the author of three books of poetry — Scenes, Taking Shape and Birds Flock Fish School.

Go to Edward Carson’s Author Page