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Why is Stephen Harper so intent on making Chief Spence a martyr?

Stephen Harper, for all his shortcomings, is a shrewd strategist. He is known for his astute surveying of the political horizon and coming up with a precise show to please the public and fool the media. This immaculate playing of the publicity game has been the primary reason he has stayed in power for so long.Leading the media by the nose has been easy but the public is a tougher game. Lucky for Harper, the economy is doing comparatively well so he’s been able to parlay the Liberals’ groundwork to make it his own and scrape by with the approval of the 39%.
So one could be excused for wondering, why is Harper being so tone deaf when it comes to Chief Theresa Spence? The more he ignores her, the more power he gives not only to Spence but to Natives and the left. Does he have something up his sleeve?
The longer Theresa Spence starves herself, the friendlier the press is becoming to the cause of First Nation rights. Her stature is building her into a kind of Ghandi martyr figure. Some of the media, dim as they are, seem to be finally catching on. Now that the Globe & Mail has relented, how long will Sun Media continue to singly shoulder the Harper disdain for Canada’s original residents?
Could a First Nations woman be Stephen Harper’s undoing? That remains to be seen. Judging by the temperature of the sloth-like media, the PM’s stock is sinking while Spence’s is rising. All Harper would have to do is visit the chief. That’s all. Think of the photo ops, Conservatives!Does Harper hate our indigenous people so much he would rather lose face with Canadians than give in and visit her for an hour? He is making a heroine into a martyr. What does Stephen Harper have up his sleeve? His behaviour is puzzling to say the least.
X-posted at Let Freedom Rain

3 comments to Why is Stephen Harper so intent on making Chief Spence a martyr?

  • It seems to me that Harper is so egomaniacal that he sees himself as a kind of king and the citizens are all at his behest. The idea of “stooping” down to a “mere” woman (and a native woman at that) is inconceivable to him – it is a reversal of the power relationships as Harper sees them. I just don’t think that he will do it unless his PR people can convince him that failure to do so will be a serious risk to his career.

  • Troy

    Chief Spence’s, and Idle No More’s, message has been simple, consistent, and powerful. It’s been, “Show us what you will do, not tell us. Words have no more meaning to us.”
    Show by doing. A simple lesson we all learn in English class.

    However, Harper has been showing by doing. He’s been showing off how he’s been doing nothing.

    So far, he’s had some race traitor senator bad mouth Spence, and had one of his cabinet ministers write a letter that said a whole lot of nothing by wasting a great many words.

    My own demands are relatively simple. Bring an end to the severe austerity Canada has been forcing onto reserves. Bring back to life the Kelowna Accord, which was merely the beginning of Canada’s reconciliation toward First Nations. (The Kelowna Accord, I should mention, was the result of the last time Canada picked a fight with First Nations (and lost, naturally).

    I guess Harper has to learn the hard way as did Trudeau, Mulroney, and Chretien, that First Nations ain’t giving up their land nor their sovereignty. Not without a goddamned fight, at any rate. And he will lose just like those Prime Ministers who’ve come before him.

    I gotta say, I’m relishing the thought of fighting against Canada, myself. But I’m willing to restrain myself, in deference to Chief Spence, who’s chosen a non-violent protest. But I must warn Harper, I’m here, waiting. And I’m not alone.

  • Beijing York

    Nice to see you posting, Troy. I love your fighting position. Let’s hope Chief Spence doesn’t have to sacrifice her life.