Secretive, Authoritarian and Undemocratic

These three adjectives have all been used to describe Conservative Party Leader Stephen Harper during the current election campaign. In particular, opposition politicians and political have accused Harper of centralizing power in the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) and limiting the independence of cabinet minister. Especially with some of Harper’s more competent ministers declining to run again (Think John Baird, James Moore and Shelly Glover) pundits have argued that if he wins another mandate, Harper will only centralize more power in the PMO, leaving cabinet to rubber stamp his decisions.

Political Cartoonists have used such speculation to humorous effect as seen here in this June 2015 cartoon from Graeme MacKay of the Hamilton Spectator:

By Graeme MacKay, Editorial Cartoonist, The Hamilton Spectator - Tuesday June 23, 2015

By Graeme MacKay, Editorial Cartoonist, The Hamilton Spectator – Tuesday June 23, 2015

But if we rewind to 1931 the exact same critiques were leveled at recently elected Prime Minister R.B. Bennett, a Calgary millionaire and political neophyte. Like our current Calgary inhabiting PM, Bennett viewed himself as an outsider and was distrustful of Ottawa’s political classes. Combined with a Conservative Party that had been out of power for a decade and lacked any front bench talent, Bennett was quick to centralize power and to limit delegating important decisions.  Political cartoonists of the day pretty quickly picked up on these tendencies and lampooned them in the editorial pages of Canada’s major dailies.

Cartoonist Arch Dale in the Winnipeg Free Press in 1931

Cartoonist Arch Dale in the Winnipeg Free Press in 1931

Notice the similarities?

 

Advertisements

2 thoughts on “Secretive, Authoritarian and Undemocratic

  1. Pingback: Kevin O’Leary Can Learn a Lot From Canadian History | 1930s or Today?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s