Get to know the signs of the Conservative dog whistles
Dog whistle politics have become the hallmark of Conservative politics with the sole aim of dividing Canadians and toppling government.
Dog-whistle politics is the use of coded or suggestive language in politics to garner support from a wider audience. Dog whistles serve the purpose of attracting the intended political audience without garnering ire with opposing audiences, similar to ultrasonic dog whistles used in sheepherding.
During the 2015 Canadian federal election, the Conservative party led by incumbent Prime Minister Stephen Harper was accused of communicating “code” words in a debate to appeal to his party’s base supporters.
Midway through the election campaign the Conservative Party hired Australian political strategist Lynton Crosby as a political adviser when they fell to third place in the polls behind the Liberal Party and the New Democratic Party. During a televised election debate Stephen Harper, while discussing the government’s controversial decision to remove certain immigrants and refugee claimants from accessing Canada’s health care system made reference to ‘Old Stock Canadians‘ as being in support of the government’s position. Opposition leaders, including former Quebec Liberal MP Marlene Jennings, called his words racist and divisive, as they are used to exclude Canadians of colour. Read more…
Here are your top 5 Conservative Dog Whistles
6. Ethics Commissioner
The kettle calling the pot black is the perfect analogy for this Conservative dog whistle. For any party, especially the Conservatives to self appoint MP’s as halo wearing saints are the reason why Canadians mistrust the political system.
Under Stephen Harper and Andrew Scheer, the Conservatives were habitual offenders for ethics violations. 70 of them are well documented at The Tyee.
- Harper Government Spied on Aboriginal Critic
- Conservatives Use Unheard of Tactic to Force through Anti-Union Bill
- Harper Smears Liberal Sikh MP, Insinuating Tie to Terrorism
- Veterans’ Advocates Smeared
- Conservatives Run Undercover Sting Operations
- Conservative Convicted on Robocalls Scam
- Harper’s Ex-Parliamentary Secretary Jailed for Breaking Election Law
- Conservatives Unfix Their Own Fixed Date Election Law
- Guilty Plea on In and Out Affair
- Copyright Grab for Attack Ads
5. Yes or No Questions
These closed ended questions known as traps or baits. Regardless of the answer given, it will always be the wrong one. Conservative politicians are notorious for using these types of questions to badger, berate and humiliate Canadians. Outgoing leader of the Conservative Party Andrew Scheer and Pierre Poilievre MP for Carleton, Calgary use the Yes and No line of questioning as the corner stone of their attack on Canadians.
4. Emergency Session
What better way to instill fear in Canadians by having the media do their bidding. “The sky is falling, the sky is falling.” said Chicken Little. That is precisely the message Conservatives want Canadians to hear knowing it will dominate the media headlines.
So what exactly is an emergency session? It’s a Caucasus meeting. To be more precise, it’s a caucus meeting used by the Conservative MP’s to further fan the flames of fear and division. Whether these meetings are held in camera or under the watchful eye of the media, they make for great optics seeing as a portion of Canadians have a negative view of elected officials.
3. Call for an Inquiry
Inquiries are often long and drawn out proceedings that leave the Canadian tax payers on the hook for the costs. They are one of the tactics Conservative politicians love to use because they garner unprecedented media coverage. Conservative politicians are skillful at using the National media to do their bidding.
Scheer served as speaker of the House under then Prime Minister Stephen Harper who ignored repeated calls by the public to call for an inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Woman and Girls.
“We should not view this as a sociological phenomenon, we should view it as crime.” Said Former Prime Minister Stephen Harper referring to the countless loss of lives within the Indigenous community.
If there was every a time to call an inquiry, that should have been it.
As the leader of the Conservative Party, Scheer has picked up right were his former boss left off, which is why he is often referred to as Baby Harper or Harper 2.0.
Scheer said “the ramifications of the term genocide are very profound. That word and term carries a lot of meaning. I think the tragedy involved with missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls is its own thing, its own tragedy, and doesn’t fall into that category of genocide.”
That was Scheer’s disgraceful response to the final report from the inquiry into the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls. Inquiries have a useful purpose and were not designed to be used as dog whistles to settle political scores.
2. Calling for an R.C.M.P Investigation
Can anyone think of a more reckless and dangerous way for the Mounties to spend their time? Calling for the RCMP to conduct any form of investigation should be based on actual merit and principles. Instead, the Scheer led Conservatives insist on using them as a political tool for personal gains.
1. Call for the Prime Minister’s Resignation
The ultimate Conservative dog whistle is calling for the resignation of the Prime Minister. When all else fail, go nuclear. Calling for the resignation of an elected MP is one thing, calling for the resignation of the Prime Minister without cause is Scheer lunacy.
The Scheer led Conservatives are not only the official opposition, they are obstructionists. Opposing any motion by the Federal Government without merit, lacks the maturity and temperament of good leadership.
Under the Harper Government, Scheer had a front row seat to a tsunami of egregious abuses of power. Yet, neither he or Harper tendered their resignations. This is well documented at The Tyee that list 70 significant abuse of power the Scheer/Harper Conservatives.
Dog whistles are not only hurtful, they divide the country among racial, religious and economic lines. While the country is in the middle of the deadliest pandemic in modern day times, the Conservatives are more focused on bringing down the government. A government that has done an exceptional job weathering the storm and keeping Canadians safe and the economy stable.
The Conservatives have elected to use the Ethics dog whistle to try and topple the Federal Government due to the awarding of the student loan management contract to the WE Foundation.
The Conservative used the media to in sue the WE Foundation received close to a Billion dollar contract to for their services, when in actuality, they received a contract to oversee the student loan distribution of close of $900M.
The optics and phrasing paint a different picture and the media has their part to play in being willful participants of the Conservative political dog whistles.