Last October, I wrote a post about my city being attacked. I live in Ottawa and it is our capital city. Last fall one man, who was apparently living with a mental illness, succeeded in killing a reservist on ceremonial guard duty at the National War Memorial and then made it to Parliament Hill and into our Parliament Building before being shot and killed by security personnel in the building.
In that post I argued that there are many greater risks to our personal safety from car crashes and the like than terrorist attacks. I also asked that our politicians show restraint in responding to this attack on the home of our democracy. Sadly they took a different route. That post was and still is my most read post ever and there was a healthy discussion in the comments
Our current Prime Minister is running an election campaign based on fear. He wants us to be afraid for our lives. He wants us to see boogeymen, criminals and terrorists hiding around every corner. He wants us to believe that the other parties represent a threat to our personal safety. He wants us to believe that our fellow Canadians could attack us at anytime.
He and the conservative party introduced and passed numerous pieces of legislation that were apparently tough on crime, although many of them turned out to be unconstitutional and were struck down by the courts.
He is now promising to restrict another of our constitutionally guaranteed rights. He is promising to restrict travel to places the government deems to be a terrorism hotspot. This means that Canadians who have family or business in those countries face a possible charge if they choose to travel there. The assumption is that people travelling to those countries are likely to be terrorists.
I’ll repeat what I have written before. we in North America are far less likely to be killed by a terrorist than we are as a pedestrian, cyclists or driver commuting to work. By Stephen Harper’s logic we should be charging drivers for getting in a car because they are getting into a weapon that could be used to kill people. It doesn’t matter whether they intend to kill someone, they could still do it. By stopping potential drivers from driving we will save thousands of lives every year.
Harper is going to beat the terrorism and fear drum throughout this entire election campaign. He wants us to be afraid. He wants us to believe that sacrificing our right to travel freely or legal due process is worth more than the potential risk of harm from the boogeyman. He wants us to cast our votes based on fear.
I want my kids to grow up in a free society. I want them to have hope and see opportunities for a better future. I want them to live with a realistic view of the world and a sense that the law is fair and just. I believe in the basic goodness of my fellow citizens – regardless of their origins – and I believe that Stephen Harper is doing us all an injustice by using fear to divide us.Harper and the Conservative Party are using our irrational fear of terrorists amongst us to distract us. Click To Tweet
Stephen Harper and the Conservative Party are using our irrational fear of terrorists amongst us to distract us from the crappy job they have done managing the economy, the criminal activities of elected and appointed Conservatives and the failure of their domestic policies.
This is an election about hope versus fear. It is about what you want this country to be for yourselves and your families. It is about pushing back the negative and fear. It is about re-establishing fairness in our legal system. It is about a vision for the future as opposed to fear of the unknown and of the other.