A nation displays its values most specifically and most obviously through its laws. The things we ask our governors to enshrine in legislation are the things we believe are important. Our national character doesn't grow from legislation, legislation is derived from our national character.
Paul Martin says the 'fundamental difference' between him and Stephen Harper is that Stephen Harper's values coincide more closely with the 'far right' in the US than anyone in Canada. Martin believes that there is but one vision of Canada, and he is the arbiter.
"I don't believe that Canada was built on American conservative values," said the Prime Minister. "It was built on compassion, on generosity, on sharing and understanding."The implication is, of course, that compassion, generosity, sharing and understanding are antipathic to American values, to conservative values and to Canadians who share their values -- particularly when a Christian Republican lives in the White House.
The first negative ad in this election campaign aired on December 2nd. Bardish Chagger, Liberal, said:
"(the Liberals) allow Canadians to express their voices and they provide rights to people and to minorities that otherwise would not be granted rights."The governing party of Canada believes and promotes the idea that they are responsible for its citizens having rights -- which implies that these rights don't exist outside the framework of their governance. The Liberals argue that they doubt the Conservatives would preserve, protect, or recognise our rights, but that is both ignorance and arrogance. Conservatives have a long history preferringing smaller, less intrusive government and of valuing individual over collective rights.
When the power structure of society believes it has endowed 'people and minorities' with rights, it seems unlikely that the actions of those in power will reflect the values of the people they supposedly represent. More accurately, they see themselves as the purveyors of Canadian values, and maybe as they have anticipated, public opinion has actually followed their lead.
The following is a sampling of Canadian values as defined by the Liberal hierarchy:
- Marriage is a legal recognition of commitment of people who copulate and are financially inter-dependentant. Number and gender, irrelevant.
- Human life begins when a full-term baby takes its first breath outside the womb, or when a pre-term fetus is wanted by its host.
- Paying other countries money in exchange for not reducing our greenhouse gas emissions means we are doing something about the environment.
- Elected representatives should not be able to put any limits on rights or freedoms. Rights are whatever the Supreme Court of Canada says they are - their opinion supersedes the Constitution.
- Supreme Court Justices should not be subject to a serious vetting process because we implicitly trust the governing party to do the right thing. Nine people, in a country of 30 million should make all rights and freedoms determinations.
- All laws passed by elected representatives should be subject to the approval of a Senate, comprised of political appointees whose credentials are not subject to public scrutiny or confirmation. At least some of these Senators should give up their seats in the House of Commons if they involved in scandal, so that someone better could run in their riding.
- Taking guns out of the hands of law abiding citizens will prevent crime. We are just one break-in away from a murder. We are also one drawer pull away from murder. Maybe we should ban steak knives too.
- Health care is free. No one should be allowed to receive diagnosis or treatment from a 'for-profit' facility. Health care is free, but Canadians should not be free to opt out of the public system.
- Tax cuts are only good when Liberals propose them. Conservatives are mean, therefore the tax cuts they propose aren't nice and won't benefit anyone.
- De-criminalizing marijuana will reduce crime because government can control it and criminals only deal marijuana, not crystal meth, crack or cocaine.
- National unity can and should be bought.
- There is no Canadian. We are a nation of nations. We are a nation of minorities. The majority is a tyranny (and must be conservative).
I have changed one word. 'displays' used to be 'defines'. A commenter questioned the statement's original form, and he was right. We don't define ourself through the constraints we put on our society, but legislation is an outward indication of our priorities or values. I've changed the word to clarify the thought --canadianna