Saturday, August 18, 2018


I started writing this blog because I felt that my Canadianness was being attacked. I don't remember specifics, but if you go back in my archives, it was right around the Sponsorship Scandal and the Gomery Commission and the election that followed.

Throughout that time, the values of the Canadian right were being assaulted (seemingly more than usual) by the supposedly centrist Liberals and of course, the unabashedly far-left NDP. As the Liberals attempted to court 'mainstream' voters, they painted formerly middle turf values as extreme far right, evangelical, unCanadian. This was long before Donald Trump and the apparent rise of the alt-right in the US. Our Conservative Party and our conservatives thinkers were being painted as bigoted, racist, homophobic, misogynists even then in 2005.

I started writing because I felt excluded from the debate. I've always considered myself pretty middle-of-the-road politically, with a slight tilt to the right. None of my personal opinions on things like gay rights or abortion or immigration seemed radical to me, but here I was, nearly every day, reading about some Liberal saying that my opinions were held only by Neanderthals. I wanted to express my point of view.

After scary Stephen Harper was elected, I guess the need to write fell off a bit. I was no longer under attack. There was always yipping from people who hated him in particular and conservatives in general, but for the most part, I felt like all Canadians now had the right to think as they pleased without the government bashing them.

During Harper's time as PM, gay rights advanced, and immigration increased and life went on and no matter what the other side thought about anything, I don't remember any Conservatives telling the other parties or other points of view, that they were unCanadian or unwelcome. Sure they argued and said they were wrong, but not unCanadian. Not even when those people were interfering with the economy by blocking pipelines etc. Everyone was entitled to their opinion. Non-conservatives were not vilified by the government for their opinions... am I wrong?

Here we are, not three years into a Liberal term and here I am again being told that my views and opinions are unCanadian and unwelcome. Not even worthy of discussion. Just objectively wrong. Take the Summer Works Programme attestation requirement. I'm anti-abortion. Oooops. UnCanadian. Can't even discuss it. Can't even suggest that there might be another reasonable point of view beyond the status quo which is absolutely no abortion law whatsoever, so no protection for the unborn at any stage of gestation. Nope. Nope. Shut up. You're wrong - so wrong, that unless you believe how we do on this controversial life and death subject you are ineligible to receive government money (even if your business has nothing to do with your beliefs-- you as a business owner/service provider CANNOT BELIEVE CONTRARY TO THE LIBERAL PARTY OF CANADA ON THIS) and you must sign a values statement as proof.

Canadian values. Liberal style. One thought fits all.

Remember what Justin Trudeau said:

"And I'll give you the quote so that you guys can jot it down and put it in an attack ad somewhere, that the Liberal Party believes that terrorists should get to keep their Canadian citizenship," said Trudeau, in an audio recording first reported by CTV News. "Because I do. And I'm willing to take on anyone who disagrees with that. Because the question is, as soon as you make citizenship for some Canadians conditional on good behavior, you devalue citizenship for everyone."
Trudeau said he's "envious" of new Canadians because they "got to choose Canada".
"The idea that we would say that we'll give you your citizenship, but for the rest of your life you have to be on your best behavior ... that principle that says the government can decide what you did means you no longer get to be Canadian is a very, very scary one," he said.

Read all that carefully -- *the Liberal Party believes that terrorists should get to keep their Canadian citizenship because I do.*

That's why they think it. Because Justin Trudeau does. And they think as they are told.

And, let's just let it sink in that Justin Trudeau does not comprehend the difference between say, murder in a gang fight or domestic situation and treason. Not that murder in other contexts is not bad, but there HAS to be a distinction between generic crime, and crime against country. Has there ever been a real debate on this? A national conversation? It's important and timely, but just another thing that has been done, but will not be discussed because there is no other valid point of view.

And that brings me to the Maxime Bernier situation. Do I think he should have tweeted what he did? NO. But not because I think he was wrong. I think he made some valid points and those points are worth discussing. I think they need to be discussed. But he was wrong to tweet because it's unsafe again for conservatives to voice their opinions.. even if they're carefully worded, nuanced, respectful... Maxime's in my opinion, were borne of frustration with Justin's rah! rah! rah! at the opening of Taste of the Danforth, which, considering the situation, should have been more circumspect... so -- Mr. Bernier was tweeting passionately and perhaps it came across as rejecting diverse peoples rather than rejection of the fake, vapid, costumes-and-flavours diversity that is the only kind of diversity Mr. Trudeau has ever experienced. So, for that reason, if some reading those tweets took them as being directed at new immigrants or at differing cultures... it seemed rude. But if you parse it down and stop reading it from the perspective of someone who WANTS to anticipate antipathy towards minorities by conservatives, you see Bernier is just expressing that he wants our culture, Canadian culture to be respected -- and for that to happen, we first have to acknowledge that there is, in fact, a Canadian culture. Trudeau does not believe that and for some of us, that's difficult to swallow.

Andrew Scheer and other prominent Conservatives have distanced themselves from Bernier, and understandably. We live in a climate where it is again, unsafe to hold opinions contrary to those of the guys in power, and particularly now, with Trump to the south, no one here wants to be equated with that. Innocuous talk by the likes of Lisa McLeod and Michelle Rempel has been called Nazi and alt-right, which of course is meant to quiet discourse and frustrate people on the right who simply hold a different point of view--and maybe push them to the point of tweeting passionately on the subject of culture.

Right now, I don't know the best course of action for Conservatives. Most people aren't following the twitterverse, and are unaware of the level of animosity that exists for all things right-leaning -- most people, voters, are concerned with our borders, but don't *feel* they are racist because of that, but their main issues are always going to be money issues... taxes, jobs, health care etc. But when it comes to an election, a wedge issue like immigration can move people who are otherwise ambivalent -- that's what happened in 2015 when the Syrian crisis heated up and the Conservatives went a little weird with their cultural abuse hotline that had everyone wondering who was running the show... THAT was extreme and weird and creepy -- and utterly unconservative. It made a lot of people uncomfortable, and tipped the vote in Justin's favour. While I don't see Bernier's opinions as being that kind of extreme, the climate has changed and people are very sensitive to the perception of racism, discrimination and bigotry -- in part because you have media like Rosie Barton of the CBC accusing Bernier of using the anniversary of the alt-right Charlottesville Rally as his impetus for tweeting and thereby inciting violence... and later CBC suggesting that his tweets caused the destruction of a sign for a park in Saskatchewan named for the founder of Pakistan. When you have media suggesting that a person's tweets are inciting violence, how close a proximity are you going to keep when you want to win an election in fourteen months?

Sadly, I think Conservatives are going to play it safe. I think all of the things we can't discuss in Canada will remain things that can't be discussed. They're important issues, deserving of our time and energy and even our passions -- because they mean life and death and future. But even when Stephen Harper came to power, we didn't talk about them, because even when it was safe to think them, it still wasn't safe to say them --- or else you might not get re-elected.

If that's what it's all about, just about being elected but then following the liberal status quo once you get there, I don't know why we even bother with the charade.


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