Saith Mr. Racicot:
"Is Stephen Harper too scary for you?" I ask.
"Yeah, he is. Weird. Scary. Whatever. He makes me nervous."
"What's scary about him?"
"He just looks and seems strange. I don't trust his eyes. Who knows what he's got in mind to do. He's also too dull. We need someone with fire. He comes across too perfect and you can never trust somebody like that."
"So despite all the years of Liberal corruption and scandals to do with your money, you still like Martin better, you'll vote Liberal, you trust them?"
"Martin's dealing with the corruption. The Liberals aren't perfect but I forgive them because overall we've done well under them. My worry is that Harper will screw the country up."
Naomi Heller, 40, jumps in: "Look, Martin's kind of creepy, too, but Harper, he's like those Christian nuts who always vote for Bush. He's got a secret agenda. He'd probably try to bring back the death penalty and ban abortion. Stuff like that. And with Harper, you'll never see him taking shots at the Americans like Martin does. He'd want us to be in bed with them."
There are many cogent arguments to be made against voting Conservative and for voting Liberal, but this couple is apparently incapable of making them. They appear to believe everything they watch on TV and hear second-hand from equally uninformed and apathetic people, and that's enough for them.
This goes far beyond a mere passive lack of interest in political matters. They have been brought to believe that the king can do no wrong, and that if even if he can, it is wrong to oppose or depose him.
That is not the attitude of a free citizen, but of a dependent subject.
I am reminded of the quote attributed to the Scottish historian Alexander Tytler:
"The average age of the world's greatest civilizations from the beginning of history, has been about 200 years. During those 200 years, these nations always progressed through the following sequence: from bondage to spiritual faith; from spiritual faith to great courage; from courage to liberty; from liberty to abundance; from abundance to complacency; from complacency to apathy; from apathy to dependence; from dependence back into bondage."
If this couple is typical of the Ontario populace, then Ontario is well into the latter stages of decline, and bondage cannot be far off.