Skip to content

VIEW: ‘Conservatives in power, but out of step’, says columnist Jeffrey Simpson

Globe and Mail columnist Jeffrey Simpson writes, ” With our voting system, and with an opposition divided into three parts – NDP, Liberal and Green – a government can be offside the majority of the public and still win. Which is what the Conservatives have done… Reading the latest Focus Canada survey (shows) on many issues the Conservative government is offside majority public opinion.”

He notes:
– “(The Harperites) are gaga about the British monarchy. Yet when asked about the importance of national symbols, Canadians ranked monarchy last, a pitiful 17 per cent.”
– “The $30-million spent by the Harperites on ‘celebrating’ the War of 1812 completely flopped as a way of re-engaging Canadians with that bit of history.”
– “23 per cent of Conservatives are skeptical about the reality of climate change, compared with just 12 per cent of the general population.”
– “The two most important symbols for Canadians remain health care and the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, neither of which the Harper government highlights.”
– “(Support for bilingualism is) up to 63 per cent nationally but is favoured by just 46 per cent of Conservative supporters.”
– “The number of Quebeckers who think they share the same values as other Canadians has never been lower.”

In November 2012, the Boston Globe reported, “Led by Conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper, the Canadian government has fully embraced a vision (of aggressive patriotism), emphasizing the country’s military history and spending millions to promote its image as a nation of uncompromising fighters. …Meanwhile, many Canadians are bristling at the top-down campaign to change their national identity. ‘I think we’re so embarrassed by it, to be honest,’ said Adrienne Silnicki of The Council of Canadians, a progressive organization. ‘We’re watching this happen and it’s so out of touch with the Canadian reality.'”

And in late-January, the Council of Canadians helped to launch Common Causes. It says, “In keeping with the values of the significant majority of peoples who reside in Canada, Quebec, and on Indigenous lands, we provide alternatives to the current Conservative government’s agenda.”

For more, please read:
NEWS: Poll backs public health care, rejects Harper’s promotion of the monarchy
UPDATE: Protest movements popular with Canadians
NEWS: The majority of Canadians disagree with Harper majority government policies
UPDATE: ‘We are the three-quarters majority’, says Barlow