Canada's Conservative party - that is, Steven Harper, because I don't think there are any other people who get a say in anything Canada's Conservative party does - decided it was a good idea to have an 11 week election campaign rather than a normal 5 or 6 week one because they have more money than anyone else, recently passed a law that says they can spend more money if the campaign is longer, and think that no one will be annoyed with them for such shenanigans.
Now, before they decided on this 11 week election campaign, they probably sat around and thought about what they were going to do with those 11 weeks. What would they announce week 1, what would they announce week 2, and so on.
Well, we are starting to find out. So far they have announced that they will make it illegal to travel to certain terrorist hot spots - that is, they will make it illegal for Canadians from certain parts of the world to visit their birthplaces and their families - and that they will pledge $9M to promote religious freedom in the Middle East.
That first one may or may not violate the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. It may or may not violate the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. I'd say that it probably doesn't, from a very technical reading of the law sense, but given Harper's track record with our Supreme Court, if betting on the side of a Harper government in a charter challenge you should probably ask for odds.
But violating the human rights of Canadians in an effort to "fight terrorism" is nothing new for our Conservative government and wouldn't really be that novel for any government. On the other hand, $9M to promote religious freedom in the Middle East...
What the hell does that even mean? How is the money being spent or who is it being given to? Why $9M, why not $10M or $15M or $6M? If you want to solve all of the religious strife in the Middle East you're probably looking at more like $9T rather than $9M if any amount of money could possibly accomplish that. The Americans are trillions in the hole on creating democracy - and religious freedom - in just one nation and the results aren't fantastic.
Beyond my complaints, I just can't understand who that pledge is supposed to target. Who is going to vote for the conservatives based on them sending $9M abroad for this cause? Who will think $9M is enough and not too much? Who will think that "promoting religious freedom" is worth spending money on and simultaneously think that "their tax dollars" are the way to do it?
From what I've read, so far, no one. Sure, there are lots of people who would defend Harper no matter what he said, but they are mostly saying that left wingers are dumb, not actually saying why they think this is a good idea.
Usually when ruthless assholes win we say they are smart because we need to cling to some explanation of why that ruthless asshole won. I think reality is that people win elections because they are in the right place at the right time and that Steven Harper is not the master strategist that he is credited as.