Almost 20 years ago, American humourist P.J. O’Rourke produced The Enemies List: A Vigilant Journalist’s Plea for New Red Scare. It sought to revive the best traditions of McCarthyism by fingering people with silly and/or dangerous ideas, from Yoko Ono to the “entire country of Sweden.” Most targets were on the left, although O’Rourke included Donald Trump because he didn’t like him. As he wrote, “if McCarthyism isn’t good for settling grudges, what is it good for?”
O’Rourke’s brilliant concept came to mind when perusing a new book of essays: “Canada After Harper: His ideology-fuelled attack on Canadian society and values, and how we can resist and create the country we want.” Its contributors – ranging from David Suzuki through Maude Barlow to Linda McQuaig, with guest appearances from Harper haters in rationalists’ clothing, such as former Clerk of the Privy Council Alex Himelfarb and former Parliamentary Budget Office Kevin Page – would form a reasonable basis for a Canadian enemies list. Indeed, the book’s introduction is even written by one of O’Rourke’s chief targets, Ralph “Unsound on any topic” Nader.
For O’Rourke, the distinguishing feature of his “cluster of dunces” was silliness rather than political subversion. However, Canada After Harper presents not just examples of comprehensive Harper Derangement Syndrome but a forewarning of what we might expect should Tom Mulcair wind up in Sussex Drive.
This week, at Niagara Falls, Mulcair promised to spend $30 million to advertise the benefits to Americans of year-round vacationing in Canada, but what would the tourism message be once the NDP was in control? “Come visit the socialist paradise to the north: the land of crippling personal and corporate taxes, where we are as against Canadian resource development as your president”?...