Did the Israel Lobby Lose the Canadian Election?
In the longest election campaign in nearly a century, Canadians have ousted the ruling Conservative party with prejudice. The race was between a party of fear, a party of opportunism, and a party of hope. Hope won, but it wasn’t guaranteed.
As with all elections, people got a chance to voice their disapproval. The desire to fire someone is often an urge that’s more powerful than the desire to hire a replacement. Canada wanted change, and they didn’t want to wait. People from all over the spectrum came out to vote in record numbers, a near 70% turnout not seen since 1993, when another conservative party was ousted. It wasn’t the same rout this time around, the Conservative Party of Canada retained a respectable 99 seats.
The dynamics of the change in the conservative vote is an interesting one. Back in 1993 the ruling Progressive Conservatives only managed to win 2 seats, because many of the hardcore conservative types joined a right-wing protest party. It is that Reform Party that the recently deposed Stephen Harper helped to unify with the other stragglers, to form the new Conservative Party of Canada. Harper was much more the idealist, a product of racist, nationalist, neo-con mindset, more inline with the Reform Party, than the centrist Progressive Conservatives. He managed to “unite the right”, while the New Democrat Party rose in popularity to “divide the left” after their similar defeat in 1993. This is how they got back in the door. It wasn’t magic, or even a wholesale purchase of what Harper’s Conservatives were peddling. The Conservatives and NDP effectively tag-teamed the Liberals out of power.
Many column inches have been devoted to the real sentiments of Canadian voters in 2015, especially from the conservative end of the spectrum, who are still reeling, and scratching their heads for the most part. This october’s election really didn’t have any mystery to it, unless you’re hopelessly addicted to the koolaid. The Conservative Party never represented the core values of Canadians, just like the Reform Party it came from. We might as well called them the Tea-Party of Canada, they were extremist ideologues, centered around a control-freak, that literally wouldn’t stop lying, or hiding the truth by restricting media access. It was a masterful display of authoritarianism, squashing dissent within his party, and making the administration entirely opaque to the commoner who needed to be informed to vote.
In Canada, the saying is, you vote for a party, not for a Prime Minister, and in fact the leader of the winning party can lose his seat complicating things. When Harper won his minority government, it really was Harper’s Party, it was no longer a cabinet of conservatives. His first edict was to eject the media from the cabinet scrums, and to leash his fellow Conservative Parliamentarians from talking to them as well. Messages were to be strictly controlled, massaged, and then only delivered to the press under ideal conditions, with the ideal speaker. Mixed messages were not tolerated, and any slip-ups of honesty were punished.
It was a style of leadership (or dictatorship) that Canadians haven’t experienced before, it was so galling, so unfathomable that people couldn’t grasp the enormity of what Harper had planned. Harper had a mission, to change Canada, to make it “conservative”, by force if necessary, but using every dirty trick he learned from the Brits and Republicans to the south. In this respect he seems like an idealist, but he had a serious grudge against the ruling Liberal Party, ever since the immensely popular Pierre Trudeau in the 70’s upset him. And isolated in his pseudo-neo-con stronghold of Alberta, he became emboldened to right this apparent wrong. Canada wasn’t going to be ruled by those evil Liberals anymore!
Canada wasn’t ready for someone like him. People kept making excuses, “he’s not that bad” was the gist of it, while a few brave voices did speak out in opposition, they seemed paranoid. How could Harper be so bad? You might have asked them how much they really knew of what Harper was doing, because not many people really did, not even the opposition parties in Parliament. Perhaps like Darth Vader, Canadians kept trying to see the “good” in him?
What some of us saw, was precisely that he was cold, inhumane, un-Canadian. His condescension when deflecting criticism suggested you were stupid for not believing his carefully crafted message. His unwavering support for his corrupt Ministers from the start, no matter how many times they revealed themselves to be scumbags, he stuck with them. And no matter how hard his cabinet was pressed by protesters, or even the brave news outlets, he didn’t give them anything, nor did his puppets.
Although in fairness, the previous Liberal government which he defeated did have some entitlement issues from being in power three consecutive terms, and were dogged by some scandals, that made defending them difficult. It was perhaps this anti-Conservative and anti-Liberal sentiment combined that moved Canadians to supporting the third party.
The muted warnings, the hints that he was a problem, were an unrealized premonition, as long as the Conservatives only held a minority of seats. That all changed, when lulled to complacency, the Canadian voters let him get a majority. Something no tyrannical leader should be allowed to get.
We can look at a present-day example in Turkey, where Erdogan has banned some opposition groups, assassinated enemies he labelled terrorists conveniently, and passed reforms that all aim to strengthen his grip on power. Mostly due to the Kurdish population residing in Turkey, they managed to bring Erdogan down to a minority as well for a few years, but he merely stepped up the violence within the country using his loyal NATO-backed operatives. When people feel unsafe, they tend to vote in a stronger government, and authorize them to have more power, to make them feel safe again. Julius Caesar knew this, and you can bet Harper did as well.
There have been a seemingly endless stream of false-flag “terrorist” attacks in America, and a slightly lesser amount in Europe. The early false-flags involved genuinely hurting people, a train bomb, a nerve gas release, a mass shooting, a plane striking a building etc. Later, they changed their methods to faking false-flags, public deceptions with movie effects, paid crisis actors, talking heads in the media parroting the correct lines, interviewing fake relatives, and so on. These days, many of the false-flags don’t even happen, they are entirely staged away from the public, with ridiculous media coverage, replaying looped footage ad nauseum, using only paid actors. Some, like the soldier-boys taking down the Arab-on-the-train hoax even get medals!
The reason for this shift in the methodology behind the false-flags becoming hoaxes is simple. When you had a “real” event, and people were hurt or killed, inevitably families would sue, sue the media and the government, they were a constant source of embarrassment. When events are staged, or stage-managed, you have a lot less loose ends. Anyone perpetrating a mass deception would obviously prefer a simple, well-controlled narrative, with no unexpected camera recording something damning, but even then, they leave so many clues behind.
Sometimes it’s not what you see, it’s what you don’t see, or even that a story is too perfect. A body on the street supposedly mauled by a man with a cleaver, yet the asphalt has no blood stains. The crisis actor that is caught acting at too many unrelated events. The hate filled manifesto posted to some obscure forum, found by police within the time it takes you to eat lunch. The impossibly unharmed passport dropped by the inept terrorist as he walks back to his car for the epic leisurely getaway. Or even the latest craze, the video proof posted to Facebook.
It’s for this reason that Canada’s only false-flag event stands out like a flickering fluorescent light. There was no big production, there were no crisis actors, no confession, just a man with a gun, running into the legislative building in the capitol, firing a few shots, before being shot dead. Two people were killed, the master-at-arms for Parliament also killed the assailant, that much is real. The timing however was completely suspect, both the broader political timing, and the precision of the attack. Canadians don’t like war, or attacking people, and Harper wasn’t getting the consensus he wanted on backing the illegal American-Saudi-Israeli-Turkish missions in Lybia, Syria, or Iraq, and it has all the signs of a shadow partner helping him out with this “problem”.
During his time, Harper’s government had tilted Canada away from being peace keepers, pulled Canada out of the G7 and didn’t apply to the UN Security Council over his irrational hatred of President Putin. His government also heavily campaigned on buying into the under-performing and over-budget F-35 program, to replace the very reliable CF-18 jets that didn’t really have much use besides training, at least until joining the Americans in their adventurism. They found new purpose launching airstrikes in Syria, ostensibly against ISIL, but they didn’t even drop their ordnance on the vast majority of their missions, contributing some fraction of a percent to the illegal war effort. Quietly he also sold off a controlling stake in the Canadian Wheat Board to a Saudi conglomerate, in exchange his government won the rights to supply the Saudis with large orders for a locally made armoured vehicle. He also seemed to disregard Palestine entirely, they were a non-issue to his mind, or to his ideology, since he unfailingly supported Israel. He had picked his allies, he had picked his enemies, and that was that.
Focusing on the attack itself is rather revealing, it was perhaps the first lone-gunman “terrorist” type event in a long time. He was driven to the scene hastily, just weeks after the security guard duty was relaxed, and apparently some weren’t at their posts. This immediately suggests either the schedule was known to him ahead of time, or that events were scripted to happen by decree, either way suggests insider knowledge or collusion. The next bit to look at is that he ran, rather quickly, as if his life depended on it, yet most of the officers or military personnel around the campus weren’t even armed, which suggests he didn’t know what he was getting into. Bizarrely, he managed to be stopped or challenged by a soldier, and gunned him down in the heat of the moment, not an easy task for some untrained jihadist. The Prime Minister and his closest cabinet were not in danger either, all very suspicious isn’t it?
In the end the “terrorist” didn’t have the desired result of supporting Harper’s superpower ambitions, but it did help generate public support for his draconian bill C-51, which was pretty close in scope to the US Patriot Act, passed in the wake of the 2001 attack in New York, with similar anti-terrorist rhetoric. So we could call this Harper’s mixed success, because I believe it was all downhill from there. The NDP by this point were a pointed critic, they were the official opposition party in the House of Commons, but they carried their message into the public space well, they were riding high on having a long list of anti-Harper talking points. The NDP leader, Thomas Mulcair, seemed happy, stern and grandfatherly, but happy.
As election 2015 drew closer, Harper unleashed his next dirty trick, an unexamined clause in what he dubbed the Fair Elections Act a year or so prior, he now had the ability to double the election writ period, that politicians are confined to campaigning within. He did this knowing his Conservative Party had solicited a lot more money than the other two major parties, and doubling the number of days, meant doubling the allowable budget for bombarding citizens with right-wing propaganda. No doubt meeting with various Jewish and Israeli groups throughout his tenure, and more often during the campaign contributed to that.
It started innocuous enough, deriding his enemies on the left with an almost expected snide dismissiveness, his campaign managers seemed to implicitly understand that Canadians aren’t a fan of US-style attack politics. One TV spot said “he’s not perfect”, and his opponent is “just not ready”, but had nice hair. Again, trying to lull Canadians into a false sense of security over Harper’s reign of undemocratic terror, pretending he wasn’t really an obsessive anti-liberal, people should just ignore all the bad stuff, he’s still better than the other guys.
Then things got weird in the campaign, in some unremarkable moment, in a nondescript construction setting, the leading NDP leader made some very strong pro-Israel statements, contradicting some comments from his party members. It was perhaps expected, his position had slowly changed over the previous years, against his party’s traditional narrative of being pro-Palestinian, to being pro-Israel. The NDP had always courted the progressive voter, had always been on the side of unions and the oppressed, so this turnaround was strange to outsiders, and must have been frustrating to insiders. Nevertheless it happened, and no one wanted to abandon ship over that. So it came as a big shock to some people, when NDP members were booted from the party for speaking out publicly in support of Palestine. There was suddenly something seriously wrong with the NDP, but worryingly it exposed Mulcair as another control-freak, just like Harper.
There was no big uproar, or even media stink about this, the Conservatives had been pandering to Israel all along, the rhetoric was all too commonplace to stand out. Something had changed, the wider public would likely not pinpoint this one minor event in what they felt was the longest campaign in history, but like a cancer it had taken hold. The NDP seemed cynical and calculated, this wasn’t Mr. Rogers Neighbourhood anymore. Knowing American politics, this felt all too familiar, the rule of thumb for a lobbyist is to pay off both parties, so no matter who wins, you’ve supported the winner. Up until this point the NDP was actually leading with a comfortable margin over the Conservatives, and the Liberals were still way behind. The Liberals only ever mentioned Israel in one of the debates, when either Harper or Mulcair had brought it up as a wedge, and Justin Trudeau of the Liberals said “of course we support Israel”. The matter-of-fact tone is more telling in hindsight.
The progressive enthusiasm for the NDP had already started to wane, little missteps, and a little pointed criticism by both the Liberal leader and the indomitable Elizabeth May of the Green Party, accusing Mulcair of having different stances on a pipeline depending on the language he spoke in. No home runs hit out of the park, but the tide started turning. The Greens hammered the NDP on their inconsistency, while the Liberals hammered them on their really slow implementation of stimulus and social program promises. Shortly after that, the NDP then made their fatal mistake, they revealed their full budget, a balanced budget, based on figures released by the Conservatives, that most people already realized were fudged and inaccurate.
This move had cornered the NDP thoroughly, on the one hand it made them seem to be too opportunistic, supporting the Conservative ideology of balanced budgets at all cost, which strayed from their progressive base, and in the other, it showed they were inflexible, perhaps even unprepared. The Liberals and Conservatives then took pot-shots at them from either end of the spectrum. They weren’t progressive enough. They weren’t playing safe enough. The fallen price of oil had hurt the Conservatives who banked on it being high, but since the NDP had released their platform on much higher oil prices, suddenly their budget was all wrong, and that’s assuming the Conservatives hadn’t lied about the numbers. Over the coming weeks, Mulcair visibly became frazzled, almost uncertain. He lost much of his luster and he knew it.
The Liberals then pounced with their own master stroke. They had patiently waited to announce their platform and budget in it’s entirety, absorbing vague criticisms and “just not ready” attacks for many weeks at that point. They remained positive, Trudeau remained positive, he promised early on he wouldn’t fight a dirty election with fear and hate. He kept his counsel, he laboured in public, while consulting with his best people, watching the general shift in public opinion on the NDP, and dropped a bomb no one was expecting. The traditionally centrist liberals, who courted social liberals and fiscal conservatives, who typically ran surpluses squirelled away for emergencies, were going to run three years of back to back deficits based on the most realistic figures they could get. with only a few weeks to go, the leftists had swapped place with the centrists, and the center just wasn’t far enough for Canadians to accept. Third had jumped into first. There was no time for the lobbyists to catch up, the players already placed their bets.
Harper was on track to cruise to another victory if the left stayed divided, but when it was clear that wasn’t going to happen, and his extra long campaign actually helped the Liberals, he started to panic. Like any petty dictator, he became protectionist, he showed his true colours, he showed the moderate Canadians that those paranoid rants had some truth to them. He and his party launched racist and bigoted programs aimed at minorities, he may have won points with his faux-republican base, yet became the ultimate fodder for memes for the internet generation. He had brought Australian political strategist Lynton Crosby onboard to help save the campaign, and even he jumped ship in it’s dying days. Despite what the conservative papers like the National Post were saying, it was obvious where this ship was heading, to the bottom.
Canada is a very proudly open country, compassionate and considerate. By the end, he was even reviled by the soft conservatives, they were openly saying Harper had lost his legitimacy to govern. Despite what Harper thought, Canadians only flirt with conservatism. When the advance polls had the highest ever turnout around 3 million, and the main election turnout was going to be millions over the last election that gave the Conservatives a majority, the game was over.
The only people that didn’t see it coming were the assholes.