RossK has decided to take a hiatus. As he says:
I just found myself losing my sense of humour with the poli-blogging a little…And when that happens I’ve learned it’s time to take a bit of a break
This is too bad. Ross’s blog, The Gazetteer – along with Norm Farrell’s and Ian Reid’s – are my favourite stops for B.C. politics and he has provided many good insights. But what about his lament that the “Codswallopanarianists might actually winning.” Ross points to City Caucus’s Mike Klassen aping Ezra Levant’s “money-laundering” libel as the straw that broke his camel’s back (with a mention of the much more serious issue of the Tory Government using the RCMP and the Canadian Revenue Agency to intimidate and silence legitimate criticism).
Two very much related things come to mind. The first is the parable of the scorpion and the frog1. If you believe the facts are on your side, that the evidence is overwhelming that our democracy is being eroded in a significant fashion, that our economy has been rejigged to favour the most privileged…well there’s a reason for that. And that is it’s in the very essence of those responsible to make those choices. Thus they are simply being true to themselves and won’t one day wake up and say “oops…boy was that ever crazy!” and reverse course…
They simply can’t help themselves.
The Conservative Party of Canada, no longer held in check by minority government, is showing us its nature. Shutting down independent voices, silencing dissent, that’s its nature. It cannot be anything else. Stephen Harper built this party and filled it with people like him. The British Columbia Liberal Party is an extension of a faction of our “business-overclass” and we see, even now at this late date with its polling numbers in tatters, it repeating the patterns of the past. It cannot be anything else.
And the facts, in a can’t fool all of the people all of the time kind of way, are revealing this. And this forces them to take ever more extreme positions in order to avoid addressing or provide a diversion for what the facts reveal.
For me, the “Tyee hid it’s Donation Button” post was high-comedy, but I can see how it might depress. Repeat a lie often enough, etc. But note how this story has evolved. First it was, well, perhaps some charities are violating some regulations. Now we’ve moved from there to money laundering accusations -> which no matter how you try to parse is a suggestion of criminal activity.
It’s an extreme charge, an easily refuted charge, and to me it signals weakness not strength.
Whether it’s Mike Klassen/City Caucus or the Vancouver Province, they are going back to the well with retreaded canards that have already decisively failed to sway the civic electorate. Or it’s Ezra Levant, pushing (and in his case often exceeding) the boundaries of truth to enter the realm of defamation and libel.
The second thing is we have a precedent for all this, in our neighbours to the south. Roy Edroso notes:
Once upon a time these guys were a fringe, of the sort that any political movement would need to lose if it were going to be taken seriously; now, they’re an important part of the Republican base.
This isn’t good news for the Republican Party. It’s very bad news. People are waking up. Rush Limbaugh’s ratings are tumbling. The Heartland Institute shoots itself. This is the Canadian right-wing’s future.
Ezra Levant is not an upgrade.
It’s not sustainable over the long haul – eventually they’ll collapse in on themselves, as they have before. The right-wing spent a decade in the wilderness at both the Federal level and at the provincial level here in B.C.. I believe it will happen again.
I don’t know RossK personally, but I have a sneaking suspicion he’ll be back blogging sooner rather than later. The facts are on his side.
1 Yes, the frog died too. Don’t push fables too far!