Harper and his cronies are exclusionary. We've all heard the accusation before, probably even uttered the words ourselves. But what exactly does this mean? What is it that makes the Harper Cons exclusionary?
Well to start with, we know that Harper is Evangelical Christian. This doesn't necessarily mean that Evangelical Christians are any more intolerant than any other religious group. But we do know that the man tends to form policy based on ideology rather than on facts, figures or socially progressive tenants. And it certainly does seem that his ideals are firmly rooted in his religious beliefs.
Harper also tends to talk a lot about "family values". His idea of family though seems to be firmly rooted in the Christian definition of the word, or at least, is based on some old reruns of "leave it to Beaver" or "Father Knows Best". It certainly doesn't seem to include the modern concept of family which can encompass single parent families, children raised by extended family members, blended families or families with common law parents or two same sex parents. We know that a portion of Harper's political funding comes from The Family Resource Council, a powerful American Christian right wing Lobby. This group by the way, was recently declared a "hate group" by Southern Poverty Law Centre in the States. None the less, these guys must see a kindred spirit in good ol' Steve.
But Harper frequently utters the phrases Canadian Values and Family Values in the same breath. But as illustrated above, he excludes a great many Canadian Families when he does. So he may not be including your family or mine in the shiny new Canada he hopes to create, but hey! "Harper Knows Best".
Taking this family theme a little farther, we also know that Harper and his Funky Bunch define marriage as the union between a man and a woman. He therefore, excludes gay couples in his utopia. In fact, he excludes gays altogether. They are sinners you see.
Early in his tenure, Harper chose to take a voyage to the Arctic to get a first hand look at ice-burgs rather than attend, let alone act as host, for a world wide conference on AIDS held in Toronto. As recent as last week, a Gala for World Wide AIDS recognition and research was held in Toronto. Not a single Harper Con Cabinet Minister attended. So not only does it appear that there is no room for gays in Harper's Canada, it would seem that he would rather see them all die off. He forgets of course, that AIDS is no longer considered a disease exclusive to homosexuals. But I guess any heterosexual person who contracts the virus, regardless of the means, is probably promiscuous and is thus, to be excluded from Harpers brave new world order.
Africa, the continent most ravaged by the horror of AIDS has of recent years, received $14 billion in aid annually from Canada. But it has been recently announced that a sizeable portion of that money will now be diverted to South American countries instead, countries that are on the whole, better off than most of the African nations Canada had previously providing assistance to.
Harper claims the reason for this is to reconnect with our American neigbours. But lets not forget the Con's blatant disregard for the seriousness of the AIDS epidemic. Could it be that reallocation of this foreign aid is rooted in Harpers idealogical hatred of gays or disregard for the scourge of AIDS that is devastating that continent? Could it be that Harper would rather see that money go to countries that are devoutly Catholic as most South American Counties are rather than the mixed bag of religions, including Islam, that are to be found on the African Continent?
And what about abortion? As recently as this past spring, Harper has made it clear that foreign aid will not be provided to countries that use it to fund abortions. The notion of pro-life or anti-abortion is of course, a very Christian one. And since the Catholic Church is so strong in South America, abortions are not condoned. So has Harper excluded vast amounts or financial assistance to impoverished African countries based on the proliferation of the AIDS virus, Muslims and the practise of abortion?
And where do immigrants stand in Harper's idea of the perfect Canadian Society? Recent changes to the standard citizenship exam have been modified to the point where there is now an 80% failure rate. Will this mean deportation for many new Canadians or are we looking at an American type system that forces new arrivals to divest themselves of their culture. It seems that this is what Minister Tony Clement would have in mind. He has said that it "bothered" him to walk into a public place and hear two people speaking in their native language rather than one of Canada's two official Languages.
So it would seem that large numbers of immigrants may well be excluded from Harper's Canada.
And this list of exclusions is certainly not exhaustive. Harper wont repatriate a tortured Muslim Child soldier from our neighbours to the south, but he will go out of his way to repatriate a middle aged White Anglo Saxon woman convicted of fraud in Mexico and subsequently allows her to walk free. And what about people who just plain disagree with Harper. If they are Canadian civil Servants, they aren't just excluded, they are fired. Political opponents are discredited and if at all possible, have their careers ruined.
So it seems that according to Harper's "Canadian values", a huge number of Canadians are excluded from the society that he would create. Though what would become of us is anybodies guess. Put us up in one of his nice new shiny Correctional centres perhaps. But going down the list of groups that Harper would exclude, it would seem that there could be far worse adjectives that could describe this man other than exclusionary. In fact, exclusionary would seem to be nothing more than euphemistic sugar-coating.
I have accused Harper of many evil things in this blog, but even I hesitate to use the adjectives that could be used to describe Harper's exclusionary motives. But I am quite confident that, if he were ever held to account for those motives in a court of justice, most of them would run afoul of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.