There are many labels one could affix to the Conservative Party of Canada: opportunistic, divisive, demagogic, dishonest and principleless are but five that readily come to mind. However, perhaps the most immediately appropriate and withering is hypocritical.
Hypocrisy is to be found in political parties of all stripes, but it appears that the others are mere pretenders to the crown worn by the Conservatives. Cloaking themselves in the self-righteous garment sported by the morally weak, it is surely only the untutored mind that fails to see through their shameful dissembling.
Take, for example, the recent displays of Peter Kent and Michelle Rempel, pretending to channel Canadian outrage over the Khadr settlement as they practised their own political opportunism through American media.
That, according to the Star's Tim Harper, is a damning indictment of their seemingly endless capacity to speak out of both sides of their mouths.
Citing the time that Tom Mulcair went south to express his opposition to the Keystone pipeline, Harper reminds us of the Conservative fury that met his return:
A senior minister of the day, John Baird, accused Mulcair of “trash talking” and “badmouthing” Canada. Another former minister, Joe Oliver, marched to the microphones in the Commons foyer to denounce Mulcair for not leaving politics at the border. He also took to the keyboard for the Globe and Mail to tell the country “a responsible politician would not travel to a foreign capital to score cheap political points.”You can see where this is going, of course.
Speaking specifically of the quisling-like behaviour of both Rempel and Kent, Harper says,
Both Kent and Rempel have ignored an old, time-honoured dictum which has now been repeatedly discredited — you stash your partisan politics on this side of the border.Perhaps the apple doesn't fall far from the tree. They are, after all, only doing what their former leader and master, Stephen Harper, did:
For years, Canadian prime ministers did not take partisan shots at opponents back home while travelling abroad because they were representing Canada, not the Liberals or the Conservatives.
Rempel didn’t need to fly to the U.S. to tell Tucker Carlson on Fox that Canadians were outraged. Kent didn’t need to write an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal to be, as he said, “honest” with our allies and inform them.
Yes, this is the same Kent who, as Harper’s environment minister, attacked two NDP MPs, Megan Leslie and Claude Gravelle, for speaking about Keystone in Washington — yes, that issue again.
According to Kent, they were taking “the treacherous course of leaving the domestic debate and heading abroad to attack a legitimate Canadian resource which is being responsibly developed and regulated.”
As leader of the Canadian Alliance, he and Stockwell Day took to the pages of the Wall Street Journal in 2003 to assure Americans Jean Chrétien had made a mistake in staying out of George W. Bush’s “coalition of the willing” invading Iraq, and to tell them Canadians stood with them. (They didn’t.)Those who follow politics closely are not likely to be surprised by any of this, given that faux outrage and deceit are two of the black arts practised so adeptly by the Conservative Party of Canada. However, even the uninitiated and the cultishly Con Party faithful should at least occasionally put on their underutilized critical-thinking caps to see the massive and shameless manipulation being perpetrated on them.
When he represented Canada at the funeral of Margaret Thatcher, Harper couldn’t wait until his plane landed in Canada to take a poke at Trudeau over the then squeaky new Liberal leader’s comments about “root causes” of terrorism in the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombing in 2013.
No one in the press pack asked him about Trudeau’s comments. Harper raised them unsolicited.
It beats being mindless mouthpieces for a party that hardly has their best interests at heart.