One of the many online encyclopedias defines “siege mentality” as “a shared feeling of helplessness, victimization and defensiveness” which “refers to persecution feelings by anyone in the minority, or of a group that views itself as a threatened minority.”It's not just his political opposition that's questioning the Harper government's character. It's been quite the successful week, I'd say, when typical media allies are also chiming in on that front, questioning the government's ethos.
It goes on: “Dictatorships have been known to encourage this point of view among their own people, since it justifies the continuance of those in power. A contemporary example is North Korea. This is also very commonly used in the field of sports, where coaches or managers often create a siege mentality in their players by highlighting an environment of hostility from outside the club (whether or not the hostility is real or exaggerated doesn’t matter).”
Hmmm. Stephen Harper as Kim Jong-il, the pint-sized Korean despot? I don’t think so. I’m also not sure the Prime Minister feels especially helpless, given the feebleness of his opposition. But there’s something in those two paragraphs that sounds a lot like this government, and may explain its chronic need to identify and destroy enemies, real or imagined.
If there’s anything that typifies the Conservatives under Mr. Harper, it’s the notion that anyone outside the party is to be viewed with suspicion, and even within the party trust is to be handed out sparingly. Beyond the fortified redoubt of the Prime Minister’s inner circle, everyone is on permanent probation.
But then again, just because you're paranoid, you know, it doesn't mean everybody's not out to get you...:)