Stephen Harper must have suffered a few worrying moments, though, as he sat beside Queen Elizabeth and listened to her flattering words of praise:
At 84, the Queen said she has witnessed more than half of Canada's national history and praised what Canada stands for.
"This nation has dedicated itself to being a caring home for its own, a sanctuary for others and an example to the world," she said...The Queen also praised the commitment of the Canadian Forces, and said Canada has reason for optimism, even in trying times.That was dangerous. Nothing turns a "conservative" stomach quite as sourly as the absurd notion that Canada is culturally worthwhile and serves as a global example of social development and civility. To wit, Stephen Harper has made absolutely clear what he thinks of Canada and what he thinks serves as the planetary paragon of everything that is good and true and pure:
Canada is a Northern European welfare state in the worst sense of the term, and very proud of it. Canadians make no connection between the fact that they are a Northern European welfare state and the fact that we have very low economic growth[sic], a standard of living substantially lower than yours[sic], a massive brain drain of young professionals to your country[sic], and double the unemployment rate of the United States[sic]...Your country, and particularly your conservative movement, is a light and an inspiration to people in this country and across the world.Harper must have been rendered speechless by the Queen's ingratiating intemperance, as reports of the event lack any evidence that he responded with words of his own, suggesting that he violated the tradition according to which prime ministers are expected to mumble a few platitudinous words on Canada Day. Of course, reporters may have simply guessed (accurately) that nobody would care to hear what Harper had to say and thus left his limping vacuities unrecorded. More likely, Harper has been drained, over the past four holidays, of the shallow pool of vestigial Canadianism he brought with him into office and cannot now utter a pro-Canadian sentiment, however tepid, without self-inducing a grand mal seizure.
That's a shame. Fortunately, Harper has many friends who can speak on his behalf and utter the fascinating perspectives that he, languishing under the discipline of power, is no longer free to claim as his own. Take for example Ann Coulter, darling of Canada's self-loathing right. Ms. Coulter recently slimed her vile way across our fair land as the special guest of Ezra Levant, rabid Harper supporter, former Reform/Alliance Party operative, and the generous soul who stepped aside so that Harper, newly-minted as party leader, could gain a seat in the House of Commons.
What is it about Coulter's world-view that would lead one of Harper's intimate ideological allies to drag that skeletal shrew across our (unfortunately) undefended border and inflict her Canada-hating diatribes on the country? Is it her view that "only the worst people move to Canada"? Is it her assertion that Canadians "should feel lucky that Americans don't just roll over and crush them"?
Is it her wish to see Calgary become the 51st American state (as if it isn't already), which drew a huge cheer from 900 folks in Harper's hometown? Whatever the reason, Coulter's degrading blitherings, and the "Conservative" Party's sponsorship of them, are depressingly revealing of the "conservative" attitude to the nation of which Harper and his Harperoids claim to be passionate defenders.
For Canada-hating slightly more articulate than Coulter's, we may turn to Mr. Leon Craig, a laughable Alberta separatist whose anti-Canadian rantings were accorded a standing ovation at the 2006 Calgary Conference by the likes of CPC Member of Parliament Jason Kenney and two of Stephen Harper's key mentors, Preston Manning and Dr. Barry Cooper. Here is Jason Kenney bringing the assembly greetings from "Canada's New Government":
The content of Craig's presentation may be gauged by his website, a deliriously gauche monument to paranoid ressentiment that features an on-line store wherefrom one may purchase a T-shirt depicting former Prime Minister Paul Martin as a rat. Here is Mr. Craig receiving a token of gratitude from a beaming Link Byfield, Albertan "senator-elect" and one of the country's most strident Harper apologists:
Yes, indeed: Harper-friendly "conservatives" are the go-to folks for true patriot love. And if you believe otherwise, you're a Taliban-sympathising traitor who clearly doesn't understand how lucky you are that America hasn't yet felt it necessary to crush you.
Now, wipe that smug, self-satisfied smile off your face and go have yourself a wonderful Northern European, second-rate socialistic Canada Day!