Did someone take Mr. Harper’s crayons?

Is Prime Minister Stephen Harper doomed to the sad fate of living in a black and white world? It makes you feel sorry for him. It makes you feel doubly sorry for his cabinet colleagues, to pity his clack of back benchers, a sense of revulsion for his toadies in the Senate and wonder about the proper potty training of the confused Canadians who voted for Harper’s party in the last federal election. It makes you sad that these people cannot see the world in its full Technicolor beauty.

It seems to be a right-wing thing. As Public Safety Minister Vic Toews put it last week, “You can either stand with us or with the child pornographers.” These people cannot even see as far as the middle ground. To them, ‘compromise’ does not exist.

It all started with their attempts to get their attitude about law and order across to Canadians. In their black and white world, they see the law as a weapon of retribution. There is no such thing as justice in a black and white world. They want judges to use fixed sentences for people who are found guilty. The judges’ reaction has been that it does not take a judge to dole out fixed sentences.

In jurisdictions that have tried to use fixed sentences, it has been found that the system does not work. It ties up the courts because it eliminates plea bargaining. It plugs up the jails and raises the costs to the public. Try to explain that to Harper’s sycophants.

You have to admit though that color is complex. It is like watching the four remaining contenders for the American Republican Party nomination this coming summer. They have all realized that they can no longer diss their opponents without alienating some segment of party faithful that the winner will need to carry out an election effort in the fall. That means they are trying to make nice with each other while seeing who can say the nastiest things about Mr. Obama—without once mentioning his color.

What surprises you about this black and white world of the right wing is their intense loyalty—mainly to money. For example the Athabasca tar sands despoilers have the full support of Mr. Harper and friends. It is the same for the pipeline companies who want to take that heavy crude to refineries in Texas or over the Rockies to tankers that will take it to refineries in China. Mr. Harper seems deeply indebted to these people for some reason.

The late John D. Lowry (our brother who died in January) had an app for Mr. Harper. Among his many inventions for the film and television world, John did remarkable work in colorizing old black and white movies. (The technical Oscar, he was awarded posthumously last week in Hollywood was for his work in restoring old movies to a better than new condition.) It is all done with computers. We have to figure out a way to run Mr. Harper through the colorization program. The program is very good at staying within the lines.

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Copyright 2012 © Peter Lowry

Complaints, comments, criticisms and compliments can be sent to  peter@lowry.me

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