Friday, May 13, 2011

Canada’s Cold New Dawn

This is the title of Heather Mallick’s comment in the Guardian on the stunning electoral triumph of Canada’s Conservative Party. She describes Stephen Harper, the slightly awkward Conservative leader who is now Prime Minister, as “a Canadian version of George W. Bush, minus the warmth and intellect.” Mallick may be a bit biased here, but this is clearly a stroke of rhetorical genius. The Liberals, the country’s traditional governing party which once helped beef up Canada’s image as a more humane little brother of the US, were trashed. Their leader, prominent intellectual and non-fiction writer Michael Ignatieff, resigned immediately. Another reminder, if one is still needed, that would-be philosopher-kings and socially ambitious intellectuals have been dispatched to the proverbial trash heap of history. So they won’t cause historical mischief any more.