If you care about Canada; you hate the Hair.

Adding an adhesive strip with just the name Harper to stop signs is defacing the traffic sign but it is a poignant plea to fellow Canadians. It also shows the extent of the anger that is part of this election campaign. It might also show the error made by Toronto Star reporter Susan Delacourt in her book Shopping for Votes: How Politicians Choose Us and We Choose Them. If there is any justice served in this federal election, we will find that the hard work involved in creating consensus among Canadians can be worth it.

Delacourt’s book is about the cynical use of niche marketing by politicians and particularly Canadian Conservatives. It is no new discovery. Over 50 years ago we were determining individual voters’ concerns and addressing them. The Conservatives combined niche marketing with the Big Lie that was used to advantage by Josef Goebbels in Germany in the 1920s and 30s. We know that it still works on the uncaring. When you hear people repeating phrases from attack advertising, you realize the real corruption of our politics is ignorance.

But you can never give up on hope. It is the one ingredient in politics that the Hair and his sycophants cannot deny us. He cannot stop Canadians from standing in front of a climate destroying pipeline. He cannot deny Canadian generosity when masses of refugees are scrabbling across Europe. He cannot create fear of the unknown that scares children but not adults. And we will never let him attack our rights and freedoms.

Delacourt divides us into those who belong to niche markets and those who do not. She says that there are people who will satisfy their wants first at the expense of others. She must believe that the Hair’s pandering to the Israelis will pay off in a few predominantly Jewish ridings in Toronto and Montreal. We will see if that works.

It will be less evident if the Hair’s niche pandering works with the Ukrainian Diaspora across Canada. While they are many, their votes are not as concentrated.

The alternative to this niche marketing is the tough sledding involved in putting together a broad consensus or a national vision. That might just be the hard way but you will be able to live with yourself in the morning sunlight.

So far in this election, we have seen Justin Trudeau break from the pack to say that some deficits can help our young people get decent jobs, kick-start our economy and address the infrastructure deficit in this country. That is a good start. That takes guts. He needs to stay on that track with verve and vision.

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Copyright 2015 © Peter Lowry

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