* This post originally appeared on QuietMike.org, republished with permission from the author

It’s amazing how Canadians elect politicians who refuse to analyze the country’s problems, but that’s what we did when we handed Stephen Harper and his Tories a majority government. The Conservatives try and pride themselves as being the party of action (just look at those tiresome action plan ads), but the Conservative Party of Canada could better be described as the party of reaction.

Every so called action they’ve taken in the past two years has been a quick, but simple reaction to an otherwise complicated problem. Not once have they stopped to analyze the situation in order to address the core of an issue.

Last week, following the arrests of two terrorist suspects, newly elected Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau said “There is no question that this happened because there is someone who feels completely excluded, completely at war with innocents, at war with a society. Our approach has to be, where do those tensions come from?”


Trudeau’s comments were perfectly reasonable. We shouldn’t be satisfied by humbly thwarting a terrorist attack, we need to get to the crux of why they want to attack us in the first place. The best way to fight terrorism is through understanding their motives. If we merely cut off the head of the hydra, more heads will keep taking its place.

Prime Minister Harper and the Conservatives weren’t having any of this. Harper said “This is not a time to commit sociology, if I can use an expression.” That statement was dumbed down even further a few days later when Conservative MP Pierre Poilievre said that “the root causes of terrorism is terrorists.” Poilievre even repeated the declaration to make it abundantly clear that this is what the party believes.

At the time, I remember thinking to myself that it was as if George Bush’s brain had somehow been embedded into Poilievre’s skull. I realized soon after that this kind of nonsense was nothing new, their conservative views were just never explained so bluntly before.

No one has ever accused the Conservatives of being the party of intellectuals, but taking a look at their policy decisions over the last few years, one has to wonder if they think at all. They rule in the present without consideration for our future; you would think they don’t plan on staying in power for long.

They believe the root cause of crime is criminals. Instead of investing in crime’s source, such as poverty and drug addiction, the Tories decided to dish out harsher sentences to criminals and drug offenders. It won’t be long until we need more prisons.

They believe the root cause of global warming is the globe. The earth is warming itself so why try and fight it.

Instead of investing in green energy and technology, Harper gutted Canada’s environmental assessment laws, expanded oil sands development and now plans are in the works to have an equal sized mining project near Thunder Bay. The media has already taken to calling it “Tar Sands 2.0”

They believe the root cause of unemployment is unemployment. With the jobless rate still hovering around 7.5%, the Conservative government decided to revamp the unemployment system. Under the new rules, even seasonal workers will have to prove they are actively looking for work. Forcing seasonal laborers to take menial jobs a few months in the summer or winter will take jobs away from students trying to pay for school.

Harper and his pet Pierre

I’m sure there are other tautologies I could find to illustrate my point, but you get the idea. Quick fixes and short sighted thinking is no way to run a government.

It’s why they try and silence everyone from scientists to members of their own party. God forbid the word should get out about how thoughtless and unproductive their policies really are. I always thought Conservatives wanted a smaller government not a more foolish one.

Future generations are going to have to live with this government’s decisions, making statements a five year old child can make and holding to them doesn’t exactly fill me with confidence.

The root cause of the Conservative Party of Canada has clearly become stupidity.

The crime: littering

I’d like to report a crime. It happened during the Anti-Police Brutality March in Montreal last Tuesday.

I’m not talking about breaking windows or anything so violent. Instead I’m talking about a crime that is a dire insult to the people of this city. The crime is littering. In particular, horseshit. Horseshit left on the ground in the brand-spanking new Quartier des Spectacles.

While no one can be certain just who’s responsible for leaving this mess, a good guess would be the horses ridden by some members of the Montreal Police Riot Squad. Since horses can’t be held responsible for cleaning up their own mess, it falls to their human companions to pick up after them.

So why did these cops miss so obvious a responsibility? Were their riot helmets on too tight? Maybe they were worried because their commanders had issued an unprecedented statement warning people to stay away from the QDS. Surely upon witnessing the rather calm scene at the beginning of the march they must have realized that the warning was just an elaborate PR stunt by their bosses to minimize the amount of people who might, by accident, see some of the signs condemning the SPVM for brutality and start to question the force.

The culprits? Montreal cops on horseback

So how could they have missed such an obvious infraction? Maybe they were preoccupied with the preventative arrests happening just down the street and hoping that they would get away with it like they did during the anti-Charest budget demo. What was their ruse again? Oh yeah, arrest people for breaking a municipal bylaw. Wait, isn’t littering also a municipal bylaw? So I guess that’s not the reason they missed the mess.

Sign of the times? Protest placard at the march

Maybe they were thinking about how the march would end and whether or not they’d get an excuse to round up a couple of hundred protesters as they have done several times before. If so, would the mainstream media take the bait? Would they justify the arrests based on windows broken by a few? Would suggestions that the damage was caused by agent provocateurs that came from behind police lines and disappeared again behind those same lines be relegated to activist websites and the twenty-sixth comment from the top under a quite biased CTV article on the event? Well, duh. That’s pretty much a given, so why worry about that when there are turds to be removed from the ground?

So maybe they just didn’t care. After all, when they get away with beating, killing and arresting people for no good reason, what’s a little littering? Or maybe it’s intentional. What better way to show the protesters and the city just who’s in charge than by letting their horses discharge in public and do nothing about it.

Either way, I’d like to report a crime, I’m just not sure who to report it to.

Photos by Jason C. McLean