It saddens me that the Jewish community in Montreal is set to honour Prime Minister Harper with its King David Award tonight for one reason only: Harper’s strong solidarity with the State of Israel.
I’m a fan of Israel: this is one country with a creative vision, particularly in the field of science and scientific research and innovation.
But what has happened to my community’s idealism and respect for democracy?
Over the past three or four years, Harper’s conservative government has shown a disrepect for Parliament in particulary and democratic ideals in general.
Using its majority, the government has passed several omnibus bills, hobbling many divergent policies into one bill, giving Parliament no time to throw out, change or even really analyze terrible legislation.
Our present-day government has muffled scientists, punishing them if they should speak to the world, as they have always done, and who must now have every thought vetted by the government’s overseers.
Harper, due to our three-party (five if you count the Greens and the Parti Quebecois) system, was elected with, what? about a third of the electorate?
And now he has one of the worst records of any prime minister when it comes to being in the House of Commons to answer questions from the Opposition, however bland and unanswering the “answers” really are.
Yet, because of his love of Israel, Jews in Montreal will ignore all of his faults and misdeeds to give him an award.
Getting an honourary degree at Tel Aviv University I can understand. Israel doesn’t have many outspoken friends in the world. But celebrating our prime minister for one policy is nothing more than tunnel vision.
Let’s hope that in the upcoming federal election Canadians somehow vote him out of power and that it is not too late to undo the many mistakes that he has made to democracy and to our democratic institutions.
When a conservative newspaper like The National Post writes editorials criticizing Prime Minister Harper for his lack of transparency and his obvious contempt for openness in government and lack of respect for democracy, you know that something is terribly wrong.