DOBBIN: Bill C-51 Reveals Harper's Inner Bully

DOBBIN: Bill C-51 Reveals Harper's Inner Bully

Postby Oscar » Fri Mar 20, 2015 11:14 am

DOBBIN: Bill C-51 Reveals Harper's Inner Bully

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The need to ramp up civic literacy is 'critical.'

By Murray Dobbin, March 20, 2015

The Harper government's pursuit of its odious Secret Police Act (Bill C-51) is just another chapter in the most through-going, and massive social engineering project in the history of the country.

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Given our shamefully biased media, Canadians still manage to resist Harper's continued assault on our political sensibility. The first polls on the Secret Police Act (don't call it by any other name) were alarming with upwards of 80 per cent agreeing with the need for tougher anti-terror laws. But things are changing very quickly as the result of a determined fight-back by civil society groups, a phalanx of heavy-hitting experts and the NDP.

A Forum Research poll this week showed support for the bill was down to 38 per cent with those disapproving at 51 per cent -- an amazing turn around. The highest levels of disapproval were amongst "...the youngest (64 per cent), New Democrats (77 per cent), the best educated (65 per cent) and the non-religious (70 per cent)."
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Yet the Forum results are decidedly mixed and demonstrate how much work there is yet to be done to neutralize the fear campaign. When respondents were presented with specific parts of the bill the percentage disapproving actually decreased and supporters increased.

The polling will no doubt continue to demonstrate confusion, a desire to deal with the real problem of terrorism and condemnation of the attempt to label environmentalists and First Nations as terror suspects.

Yet a huge effort will be needed to completely immunize Canadians against the next wave of Harper fear mongering. Imagine if all these efforts and similar warning campaigns had instead been put into creating something similar to the Swedish "study circle democracy." That's the only lasting solution to voter manipulation and a healthy democracy. Until we realize that, progressive politics will remain crisis management and we will continue to pin our desperate hopes on coalitions and proportional representation. But without a high degree of civic literacy these institutional fixes will be ultimately dissatisfying.

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Study Circles and Democracy in Sweden
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