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A Canadian Electoral Primer

An object lesson for western democracies.

by
David Solway

Bio

March 27, 2013 - 12:00 am
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Stephen Harper has his flaws. He did not gauge the extent of Quebec’s passion for the arts as an expression of its unique Francophone character when he cut peripheral funding to several arts organizations to check a tendency to parasitism, which led to a greater than usual Conservative drought in Quebec where Conservatives needed to boost their representation. This strategic error was not offset by granting Quebec “nation within Canada” status as a concession to pacify separatist fervor (possibly, language aside, on the model of the Freistaat Bayem, the “free state of Bavaria” inside the Federal Republic of Germany, with its own constitution and where the clocks are said to run differently). He has not acted against our faux Human Rights tribunals, claiming to this writer in an informal conversation that he lacked jurisdiction in the matter. He continues to fund special interest sects that drain the public treasury. He has not responded to the recent and shameful Supreme Court decision that delegitimizes the concept of truth, freedom of speech and freedom of religion “in favor,” to quote columnist and radio host Rex Murphy, “of new more politically correct axioms [and] transient fashions.” And I believe Harper should have re-opened the abortion debate rather than flee from controversy, since Canada is the only Western nation without an abortion law on the books.

Nonetheless, this must be said in Harper’s defense. A strong supporter of Israel, he does not pander to the Islamic bloc and has recalled his ambassador from Iran while expelling the Iranian diplomatic corps from the country. Though constantly accused by Liberal media shills of nursing a “hidden agenda” and by some of his erstwhile supporters of abandoning true conservative precepts and ideals, he has enacted a number of important pieces of legislation: reducing the GST (value-added tax), strengthening the Criminal Code, simplifying the census form, promoting oil exploration, seeking more international trading partners, tightening immigration and refugee provisions, and redrafting the citizenship handbook to unequivocally assert Canadian values and reject certain barbaric cultural practices — in the words of the document, “In Canada, men and women are equal under the law. Canada’s openness and generosity do not extend to barbaric cultural practices that tolerate spousal abuse, “honour killings,” female genital mutilation, forced marriage or other gender-based violence.” Unlike his competitors, he has placed a particular ethnic community on notice. (Interestingly, Justin Trudeau initially objected to the adjective “barbaric,” which he said made him “uncomfortable” and would put newcomers on the “defensive” — and later backtracked when faced with a mounting critical reaction.) Stephen Harper has many ideas — most, if not all, predicated on sound empirical principles. He has been on the whole a worthy prime minister and, in the present political context, he is the best man for the job.

The forthcoming election in 2015 promises to be a watershed event. An NDP victory would propel Canada down the same ruinous slope charted by the U.S. under the suzerainty of Barack Obama. A Liberal ascendancy under Justin Trudeau would resurrect the same hackneyed policies of earlier Liberal administrations, entailing the bankrupt “honest broker” stance in foreign policy (e.g., Palestinian partiality, UN compliance), soft socialism on the home front, multicultural relativism, indiscriminate immigration, and, naturally, higher taxes — in many respects, not all that different from the NDP platform. (Liberal candidate Joyce Murray has suggested an electoral cooperation with the NDP to defeat Harper, an idea nixed by Trudeau — to his credit or out of confidence in his charisma and electability?) It follows that, despite an unfortunate timidity before an out-of-control Supreme Court, the re-election of a majority Conservative government, with its emphasis on free enterprise, resource development, expanded markets, greater national homogeneity and fiscal viability, is indispensable to the health and resilience of the nation, so that Canada, unlike many other Western democracies, might remain a country still reasonably good to live in.

(Thumbnail on PJM homepage based on a modified Shutterstock.com image.)

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David Solway is a Canadian poet and essayist. He is the author of The Big Lie: On Terror, Antisemitism, and Identity, and is currently working on a sequel, Living in the Valley of Shmoon. His new book on Jewish and Israeli themes, Hear, O Israel!, was released by Mantua Books. His latest book is The Boxthorn Tree, published in December 2012. Visit his Website at www.davidsolway.com.

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Top Rated Comments   
Sadly, we in America have this reciprocal in common with our brethren in Canada, New Zealand, and Australia. The arts, academia, and the media always, without exception, embraces a leftist agenda. Worldwide the record of the left has never yielded anything but failure, sometimes truly grotesque failure, but it draws the embrace of the arts-academia-media cabal like a magnet. I doubt that it will be possible to live long enough to completely understand why the “intelligentsia” of the most successful nations on the planet are drawn to such stupidity and ignorance.

Very good summation, author Solway.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Canada, although seemingly a prosperous nation, lacks a core identity, and is more of an economy than a nation. Their cherished value of tolerance comes at the expense of individual rights and allows for the erosion of whatever distinct culture they have.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (12)
All Comments   (12)
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To Conservacanuck , Canada was born in fields of Europe during the the WWI, at palces like Ypres, and Vimy (very large monument to what Canada did when France and England could not.)

By the way the Jack Layton Roadway is short and only goes to a major jail/prison in Toronto. Speaks for itself.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
The Bloc Quebecois is a "National" Party? News to me.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I agree that Stephen Harper is the best of the lot. (I do have one reservation, which I am almost reluctant to mention, but I'll do so briefly. It is his policies with respect to China. I think his policies are dangerous, and ultimately not in the best interest of Canada).
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
"According to surveys, 68% of my countrymen would vote for Obama if he were contesting a Canadian election."

David, sometimes gender-neutral language won't do.

And BTW, Justin's turn as a drama teacher was in a private, not public, school in a wealthy Vancouver enclave. Public schools hereabout are largely an NDP culture. Liberal voters tend to be or identify with wealthy urban elitists, which is why a merger is unlikely. Liberals do not want to join the ranks of the unionized and socially suspect.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Blows my mind that almost 70% of Canadians would vote for Obama in a Canadian election. Why? He's done nothing but harm America and everything else he's touched in the world. What is wrong with us white Europeans???
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Great article!!!
Until the electorates' votes are controlled and counted by peoples of honest integrity and voter id is mandatory mass fraud will continue, peoples right to vote are exploited and will continue to be exploited; elections manipulated. These may be only part of the electroates' problems but no doubt they are huge problems -- which needs desperately to be made a trust worthy process. Also I think ~internet voting~ should not an option and probably never a option. The election process is being attacked more and more every election cycle. Our existing processes need to be fixed. We do not need another election problem that will have greater potential for fraud and hacking. There is a reason for human counting by pairs of two (one each of both parties). Outside computer voting machine are out sourcing unfornately not owned or operated bi-partisans.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Sadly, we in America have this reciprocal in common with our brethren in Canada, New Zealand, and Australia. The arts, academia, and the media always, without exception, embraces a leftist agenda. Worldwide the record of the left has never yielded anything but failure, sometimes truly grotesque failure, but it draws the embrace of the arts-academia-media cabal like a magnet. I doubt that it will be possible to live long enough to completely understand why the “intelligentsia” of the most successful nations on the planet are drawn to such stupidity and ignorance.

Very good summation, author Solway.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
It's a matter of whose on top of the heap. even if it's a smaller heap.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Whups. "who's"
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Canada, although seemingly a prosperous nation, lacks a core identity, and is more of an economy than a nation. Their cherished value of tolerance comes at the expense of individual rights and allows for the erosion of whatever distinct culture they have.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I agree with you on that. Canada was not born in blood like America was. I marvel at the patriotism that I see when I travel to the US. Since Stephen Harper has been the PM, I have seen more Canadian flags flying. His record at the UN puts America to shame. The tightening hold that government has on the peoples of America today makes Canada look like a Libertarian state by contrast.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
As an American who believes our electorate has gone nuts and sees our future as the world's greatest fiscal and educational basket case, I tend to agree with you. But then....the Mark Steyn type of experiences with the human-rights tribunals, the First Nation fiascos, and your nationalized health care failings aren't much to be too proud of either.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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