About two years ago, it seemed that Stephen Harper possibly could replace Brian Mulroney as Canada’s most despised Prime Minister.
But now, we are well beyond ‘possibly’, as we witness on social media, and appearing in some mainstream media, an extraordinary uproar of negativity towards Stephen Harper, which seems to be an unprecedented, perhaps unique phenomenon, in this country at least.
Aside from the calmer, troubling analysis and criticism of Harper’s and his party’s policy and practice, and the reporting on the Duffy affair, there is much more. The popular uprising in attitude and expression commonly includes ridicule, abuse, disdain, malevolence, and so on… all manner of ways of saying “I dislike and disrespect that man, and I want him gone.”
What to make of this?
It suggests perhaps an upsurge in interest among Canadians in the governance of our nations. People of some regions and some ethnic and interest groups of this vast, sometimes unwilling, community have felt threatened by interests other than their own, and have expressed such concerns in popular ways. But this ‘Harper-mania’ (a dark reverse of its predecessor of 45 years ago) seems unique in its extent, its content, diversity, and amplitude.
Perhaps we will know ongoing effects from this, in the ways of public involvement in public affairs. Perhaps this begins an awakening from a complacency of which privileged and protected Canadians have been accused.
Stephen Harper: a common threat that unites?
John Mowat Steven