How Did This Happen?

VoteI've spent the past week or so coming to grips with reality. Stephen Harper will soon be my Prime Minister. Join me in my time machine as we revisit an entry I wrote on June 11, 2004.

June 11, 2004 / 19:13 EDT

I fear the Conservative Party will win the election on June 28th and Stephen Harper will be my new Prime Minister.

Harper's Conservative Party is starting to show its stripes. Comments are being made by Conservative Party candidates that suggest they are homophobic and anti-abortion. Anti-abortion is itself a misnomer because nobody is actually pro-abortion, but pro-choice. I believe it's essential that a woman in Canada retain the legal right to abortion. Furthermore, I believe homosexuality is a characteristic one is born with and not a lifestyle or choice. As such, we must protect the rights of homosexuals in much the same manner we must protect the rights of minorities or women.

Harper has vowed to reverse the decision made by Quebec, Ontario and B.C. courts of appeal to give gays and lesbians the right to get married. In the latest remark, Frank Luellau, the Conservative candidate for Kitchener-Conestoga, told The Globe and Mail that homosexuality "is not a natural kind of relationship" and that it is the "constitutional right to freedom of religion and freedom of association" for a religious group to fire or refuse to hire gays and lesbians. Leullau's comments follow those of Cheryl Gallant, the Ottawa-area MP who last week said the Conservative caucus wants to repeal legislation that places sexual orientation in Canada's anti-hate law. Later, she was quoted at an anti-abortion rally equating abortion to the beheading of American contractor Nicholas Berg.

On top of all of this, Harper promises Canada will pull out of the Kyoto Protocol. He claims it's irrelevant and unworkable. Everything I've read about Kyoto suggests it's not only relevant but necessary. Kyoto calls for a 6 percent cut in the emission of greenhouse gases from 1990 levels by 2012. The environment is the lowest of priorities for this party.

This is not a party I could ever support. One of my favourite things about Canada is the fact that we're an open minded progressive nation. I've always considered us to be proactive rather than reactive and our liberalism a trait admired by the free world. I wrote this almost one year ago and it says a lot about what I want my Canada to be. I fear the Conservative Party will win and I see that as one giant step backwards.

For all their faults, the Liberal Party is indeed the best option for Canada. Please put aside your issues with Dalton McGuinty or your anger at the sponsorship scandal and envision a Canada with Harper at the helm. Better yet, look down and check out Dubya. Their politics are eerily similar.

I won't be writing a similar entry this year. I, too, have lost faith in the Liberal Party. I didn't like my options back in April and I don't like them much better now, but the writing's on the wall. My only hope is that we stick with the plan and limit this imminent Conservative victory to a minority government. I no longer fear the Conservative Party will win, I now fear they will win a majority and I'd rather not find out the hard way precisely what that entails.

How did we come to this? How did this happen? It was only one month ago I joked about the gift to the Liberal Party from The Washington Times. "Does the average Canadian want a "pro-free trade, pro-Iraq war, anti-Kyoto, and socially conservative" leader? No. Do we really want our Prime Minister to become "Mr. Bush's new best friend and poster boy for his ideal foreign leader?" Absolutely not."

It seems I was wrong. I mis-read the general will. You're actually going to do this, aren't you?

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