I’ve never been a joiner.
Mostly that’s because I work as a reporter and would be forced to report on any scandal associated with whatever group I joined, but it’s also because, well, I’m lazy and most groups want you to get up, go out and actually do something.
However, there’s one group for which I’m willing to make an exception.
It doesn’t require me to do anything I’m not already doing now and the group appears to be so large and varied it’s highly doubtful I would find myself in any sort of conflict of interest.
The group holds no meetings, takes no minutes and raises no money for the disease of the week. I would suggest most of its members don’t know each other and probably don’t even know they are members themselves.
Yeah, pretty sweet, I know.
Well … there is one small catch. You have to do something to annoy Prime Minster Stephen Harper or one of his ministers. Then you can join the illustrious members of his official enemies list.
What? Me an enemy of the state? No, no, no. Just because they call it the Harper government doesn’t mean that our prime minister and the government of Canada are synonymous. He just wants us to think they are.
From what I understand, the PMO is drawing up said enemies list for all the new ministers so they know who is a supporter and who is not. It includes environmentalists, non-profits, civic and industry associations, “that had different views than those being advanced by the government.”
Count me in.
I don’t agree, for instance, with the recently-announced program which allows Coast Guard patrol boats from the United States to stop vessels that are plying Canadian waters. The program would see an RCMP officer on the ship, but if I’m kayaking along one fine day and a U.S. Coast Guard vessel pulls up to me and some Yankee starts yelling at me to do this or do that, he’s more than likely to get a Johnny Canuck salute and little else.
Remember back in the day when we were actually a sovereign nation and our government would occasionally take actions that didn’t kowtow to Uncle Sam? I do. I remember Jean Chretien refusing to join the rape of Iraq for instance. It made me proud.
I also strongly oppose the policy of climate change denial. The Harper government, if that’s what we really have to call it, has made Canada an object of scorn around the globe. We’re not a laughing stock, but that’s only because climate change is no laughing matter. The future of our entire species — and many others — is at stake.
I oppose his gagging of scientists or his government’s continued crackdown and incarceration of pot people. I oppose his government’s foreign adventures in places like Libya and Afghanistan. I oppose his government’s plan to fill and then overfill our prisons with his bogus crackdown on crime. I oppose his government’s proroguing of Parliament every time it looks like he’s in danger of losing his grip on power. I oppose his government’s bundling of enormous numbers of disparate bills together in one omnibus budget bill, in order to stifle debate.
I could go on and on, or maybe I already have. The point is, if Stephen Harper has an enemies list, I would be proud to be on it.
I love my country — deeply and fiercely and proudly — but I do not love Stephen Harper or his government.
Sign me up!