I was listening to CBC's Sunday Edition this morning, and they had a group of people in speculating on how the newly elected parliament was going to function.
I only heard a few minutes of it, but the CPOC representative made the most irritating whiny statement: Why is it when a Conservative is pursuing a majority, everybody talks of dictatorship?
Once I got past my initial reaction, I sat back and thought about it. Of all the party leaders, Harper is by far the most autocratic and authoritarian. His tactics in the last parliament spoke of a petulant, thin-skinned leadership that could not, and would not, tolerate anything other than having his way. Negotiation boiled down to making everything a confidence vote - forcing either an election or mass abstention on the part of the opposition. Then there is the deliberate silence of his MPs when you contact their offices to do anything other than lick the MP's boots. I've had more responsiveness from Liberal and NDP MPs from across the country than I have had from my local Conservative MP.
But that is far from the only evidence of Harper's autocratic ways. Let's consider his StealthCon campaign this past election, where his candidates were ordered to shut up and not say anything - lest it upset Big Daddy's applecart. Or perhaps we should consider Harper's notorious micromanaging style which basically insisted that his cabinet could say nothing without his go ahead; and back-bench MPs were clearly ordered to tow the party line at all times - lest they find themselves sitting as independents.
Or perhaps, we should look at how Harper's spending cuts attempt to silence groups most likely to be critical of his policies and laws? Yet another common tactic among dictators is to silence opposition - at every turn if possible. Of course, throwing more people in prison for longer is another favourite tactic of dictators - what better way to silence people than with the threat of prison?
Lastly, Harper is so full of his own wisdom that dares to claim that Canadians are too stupid to understand things - especially something as complex as Afghanistan.
If Harper is seen by Canadians as a wannabe dictator, then perhaps it's a result of his own behaviour.