WEB EXTRA: Harper ‘doesn’t seem to appreciate spontaneous questioning’

Dear editor,
I felt it was necessary to respond to the astounding article in last Friday's Record in anticipation of Mr. Harper's visit.

Dear editor,

I felt it was necessary to respond to the astounding article in last Friday’s Record in anticipation of Mr. Harper’s visit.

Again, we were treated to their ‘Politics of Fear’ approach with the North Island president announcing that those who wanted to attend the gathering had to be registered by Friday noon (interesting deadline considering the paper didn’t come out until Friday), and that they had to be vetted before being allowed in. “They’ve got to be sure that terrorists don’t get in.”

We’ve heard those lines before, thanks to ex-president Bush, but I don’t think that’s the real reason for the security checks. Mr. Harper doesn’t seem to appreciate spontaneous questioning.

In fact, it appears that some of his staff are now grabbing the microphones away from journalists who have the audacity to ask more than one question, and his supporters aid and abet by shouting down the people who want to ask the questions he obviously doesn’t want to answer! The statement that he’s being kept in a ‘bubble’ is becoming quite obvious, but what’s he afraid of?

When he does answer, he can be cunningly creative, but now that the scandals in his party are becoming an almost daily occurrence, why aren’t his supporters waking up to what’s happening to Canada under his watch. Surely they must read the newspapers and watch the news.

At this point Mr. Harper has more people guarding him than the Pope, but believe me, the PM is not spreading peace — he’s spreading an ugly form of fear and division, something not seen before in Canada.

Another first for a Canadian government?  The Conservative government being found in contempt of Parliament, and, I believe, the first time in the Commonwealth!

I was at the airport on Saturday and saw two large, very blue buses (no markings that we could see) obviously waiting for an important group to arrive, and when I spotted the security men it wasn’t difficult to put these two stories together.

Mr. Harper was about to land in Comox, then be driven to Campbell River — obviously trying to travel incognito to meet his hand-selected audience.

Contrast that with the bus we saw downtown a few weeks ago, Jack Layton’s bus was covered with his image, the party logo’s and splashes of colour — it was quite obvious he wasn’t hiding from anyone, in fact, he appeared to relish meeting people as he went along.

Years ago, I remember Peter Lougheed, who was running to be the premier of Alberta at that time, knocking on doors in our neighbourhood — in fact I have a lovely photo of my mother and father chatting with him at their door.

Mr. Lougheed was a much respected politician, then and now, and he was walking and travelling without bodyguards. Sadly there appears to be  only one Canadian politician ‘out of step’ in Canada, not to mention internationally.

If I were one of those North Island Conservatives who organized that meeting, I’d be ashamed to be seen falling for the ‘terrorist’ propaganda — but then it does work to make a population more docile, doesn’t it?

And I truthfully think that’s what Mr. Harper wants!

Rosemary Baxter,

Courtenay

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