The Canadian Red Ensign

The Canadian Red Ensign

Thursday, November 14, 2019

Lorne Gunter and the Pod People

I think that perhaps one of the pod people from Don Siegel’s 1956 The Invasion of the Body Snatchers has replaced Sun Media’s Lorne Gunter. That is the only way I can make sense out of his November 12th column, arguing that Sportsnet was right to fire Don Cherry.

“As much as it pains me to say”, Gunter wrote, “I think Sportsnet was right to dump the long-time namesake of Coach’s Corner on Hockey Night in Canada.” Nota bene, Gunter did not say “had the right to” but “was right to.” Gunter is not merely defending Sportsnet’s right as an employer to terminate their contract with Cherry but their actual decision to do so.

This is the opposite of my own position, articulated here, and therefore obviously misguided, dunderheaded and just plain wrong.

How does Gunter or his pod person doppelganger justify this expression of mental flatulence?

By saying that this time Cherry “went too far.”

How did he do that?

By excoriating “’you people’ – meaning immigrants – for not wearing poppies to honour Canada’s veterans on Remembrance Day.”

Gunter went on to talk at length about the distinction between what Cherry said to Joe Warmington in his post-firing interview on Monday, i.e., that everyone in Canada should wear a poppy and what he said on Saturday night. Yes, the two statements are very different, and yes, saying that everyone should wear a poppy would have been a lot less controversial than singling out immigrants for criticism. Just because the latter is more controversial, however, does not necessarily make it wrong, much less an offense worthy of losing one’s position.

Gunter maintains that by identifying the group he was talking about as immigrants Cherry was “criticizing them for their national origin.” This is palpable nonsense. Cherry may have been criticizing immigrants, but he was not criticizing immigrants qua immigrants, id est, for being immigrants. He was criticizing them for not wearing poppies. This negates what Gunter then had to say about the words “you people.”

Gunter wrote:

But “you people” is a lumping term. It lumps together all people with a specific characteristic and blames them equally, whether or not as individuals they deserve a particular accusation.

That is pure drivel. In hermeneutics – the discipline of Scriptural interpretation – class, we were taught to distinguish between exegesis and eisegesis. Exegesis is when you take your interpretation from out of the text of Scripture itself. Eisegesis is when you read your interpretation into a text. That is exactly what Gunter is doing here. “You people” in the context of Cherry’s Saturday night harangue, clearly does not mean “all immigrants” but only the ones who don’t wear poppies.

In my last remarks on this matter I made reference to the 2000 comedy by the Farrelly Brothers, Me, Myself and Irene. In the introductory scenes to that movie, Jim Carrey’s character, Rhode Island state trooper Charley Baileygates has just married his first wife and brought her home. As he prepares to tip the limousine driver, portrayed by Tony Cox, he asks if “you people” take cheques. By “you people” he obviously means the limo company, but Cox’s character takes it to mean “black people” and gets combative. Baileygates’ wife intervenes – on behalf of the limo driver – and excoriates her new husband for his racist talk, and when he denies having said anything racist, the driver switches gears and re-interprets “you people” as a reference to his diminutive stature.

What Peter and Bobby Farrelly saw as a hilarious joke nineteen years ago, has become the sad, sober reality of the present day.

Having disposed of the ridiculous assertion that the words “you people” turned Cherry’s remarks into a swipe at all immigrants regardless of their personal behaviour, the question becomes one of whether or not it was justifiable to specify them as a group in addressing the problem of neglect of poppies on Remembrance Day. Gunter’s colleague Tarek Fatah, who similarly reads volumes into Cherry’s words, but disagreed with Gunter’s conclusion that the firing was justified, answered this question in his column.

If there was any doubt about Cherry’s assertion, it was removed the next evening by Mississauga-based-Pakistani-Canadian broadcaster Tahir Gora. He tweeted: “I attended 2 events Nov 10th evening organized by two diaspora groups in which I couldn’t find a single person wearing poppy – I can’t name those diaspora groups otherwise I would be called a ‘racist’ by politically correct media and politicians. But Don Cherry makes a point.

Fatah then went on to describe his own observations on Monday, in downtown Toronto, of how few people were wearing poppies.

Cherry did not say that immigrants were the only ones not wearing poppies nor did he say that all immigrants were not wearing poppies. It would seem, however, that neglect of the poppy is a problem in certain immigrant communities, and this more than justifies Grapes’ mention of them in his commentary.

Unless, of course, we believe that immigrants are a sacred class, above criticism and reproach. This appears to be Justin Trudeau’s belief, but I never took Lorne Gunter to be in Captain Airhead’s camp before.

While I have disagreed with things that Gunter has written several times in the past, those disagreements were all of the type that naturally occur between an old-fashioned Tory and a neo-conservative. He is a republican, I am a royalist and a monarchist. He thinks of the heritage of Western civilization in the modern terms of classical liberalism, whereas I would emphasize more our heritage from classical antiquity and Christendom. He is an enthusiastic supporter of capitalism and the free market, I merely dislike these things less than I loathe socialism. It is very rare, however, that I have disagreed with him on matters pertaining to the politically correct suppression of words and ideas that offend and the crusade of the woke to destroy the lives and careers of all who disagree with him. Indeed, this is the first such instance of which I can think.

Which is why I am leaning towards the hypothesis that he has been replaced by a space alien look alike. What other theory could possibly explain his having become someone who thinks like a woke social justice warrior overnight?

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Grapes, You are an Inspiration to us All!

It was greatly to my disgust that I learned, yesterday, that Sportsnet had fired the legendary Canadian institution, Don Cherry, over remarks he made on Coach's Corner this past weekend. Here is what he said on Saturday:

“You know, I was talking to a veteran. I said ‘I’m not going to run the poppy thing anymore because what’s the sense? I live in Mississauga, nobody wears — very few people wear a poppy. Downtown Toronto, forget it! Downtown Toronto, nobody wears a poppy.’

He says, ‘Wait a minute, how about running it for the people that buy them?’

Now you go to the small cities, the rows on rows.

You people love — that come here, whatever it is — you love our way of life, you love our milk and honey. At least you could pay a couple of bucks for a poppy. These guys paid for your way of life, the life you enjoy in Canada. These guys paid the biggest price.

Anyhow, I’m going to run it again for you great people and good Canadians that bought a poppy.”

There is absolutely nothing wrong with that, it needed to be said, and kudos to Grapes for saying it.

Of course, the lily-livered whiners, the woke snowflake mob, got all triggered by the words "you people" and started throwing conniptions. (See the opening scenes of the 2000 Farrelly Brothers film Me, Myself and Irene staring Jim Carrey and Renee Zellweger for a hilarious satire of those who read all sorts of ridiculous things into just this phrase).

For a day and a half these modern day Salomes were all over the social media demanding that Don Cherry's head be given them on a platter. Corrupt mainstream media outlets, such as the CBC which for decades carried Hockey Night in Canada in which Coach's Corner was featured, provided them an additional platform to make these demands. Finally, on Remembrance Day, the sniveling scoundrels at Sportsnet, issued a statement about how Cherry's patriotic call to respect and honour our veterans was "divisive remarks that do not represent our values or what we stand for" and so he would no longer be appearing on their program.

In an interview with Joe Warmington, Cherry said that this was not a problem and that "I know what I said and I meant it. Everybody in Canada should wear a poppy to honour our fallen soldiers."


This is exactly how everybody ought to respond when some politically correct mob takes offence at his words and calls them "racist", "sexist" or some other of the growing list of -ists and -phobics. If there were more of these refusals to grovel and apologize, there would be a lot less of these politically correct mobs.

Don Cherry is an inspiration to all of us who are sick and tired of wokeness, political correctness, cancel culture and all the rest of that nonsense. Let us follow his example.

Thursday, November 7, 2019

No, Andrew Scheer’s “Social Conservatism” Did Not Lose the Election

In light of the public discussion that has taken place since the Dominion Election on October 21st, a point that I made in my reflections on the outcome of that election deserves reiteration. The views which Andrew Scheer, Conservative leader, was said to hold on abortion and same-sex marriage, are not the reason the Conservatives failed to win the election, nor are they even a significant contributing factor to the loss. The evasive, wishy-washy, manner in which Mr. Scheer handled these matters when they were raised during the campaign may have been a contributing factor, but the right-wing views attributed to him were not.

The vast majority of commentators in the mainstream media, being overwhelmingly progressive, maintain otherwise, of course, but in this, as in most things, they are completely wrong. Indeed, on some level they know that they are wrong, which is the very reason they insist so strongly and so frequently on their mistaken notion that social conservatism cannot be sold to the Canadian public. They want it to be true and believe that if they tell Canadians it is true often and loudly enough that will make it true. The principle they are operating upon is one famously spelled out by an infamous, Austrian psychopath in the tenth chapter of his memoirs, ninety-four years ago.

Andrew Scheer in an interview with the Canadian Press shortly after the election said that he believed it was possible for someone with conservative views on abortion and same-sex marriage to be Prime Minister of Canada. He was right, but it would have been better if he had been saying this firmly, strongly, and consistently prior to the election. A few days later, NDP leader Jagmeet Singh responded by saying “You cannot have Mr. Scheer’s beliefs and be the Prime Minister of Canada. It’s pretty clear.” One wonders if he was able to say this with a straight face. Of all the electable parties in Canada, Mr. Singh’s takes the position furthest to the left on issues like abortion and same-sex marriage, and they were the biggest losers in the election, dropping from third to fourth place in total number of seats, and going down four percentage points in the popular vote. Mr. Scheer’s party, by contrast, increased their number of seats and their percentage of the popular vote. If the election results say anything about social conservatism, and it does not, it is not what Mr. Singh thinks.

Let me put it to you plainly. Some people claim to believe that it is every woman’s right to terminate the lives of her children, at least prior to their births. Of these lunatics, the number that would have voted Conservative had someone other than Andrew Scheer been leading the party is miniscule. It is probably not enough to make the difference between the win or the loss of a single seat.

Conversely, there are sane people in our country, a lot more than the mainstream media would like you to think, who rightly consider it to be morally outrageous that in Canada women are legally able to obtain abortions right up to the moment of birth. This includes people with a wide range of differing opinion as to what legal limitations there ought to be on abortion. Some would like to see it prohibited only in the third trimester, others would like to see it restricted to the first, and others still would ban it altogether. There are those who would make an exception in cases where the pregnancy is the result of rape, while others would say that to do so is to punish the innocent for the crimes of the guilty. Some maintain that abortion should be permissible when the pregnancy threatens the life of the mothers, others would say that while saving the life of the mother is certainly a priority, termination of the pregnancy is permissible only as an unintended consequence, never as the intended outcome. There are also differences of opinion as to who bears the burden of criminal guilt over abortion – the doctor, the mother, or both – and what the penalty ought to be. Those of us who take the most hardline anti-abortion position possible and would ban any and all abortions from the moment of conception with no exceptions but with strict penalties for all involved are, sadly, a minority but those who think that there should be legal restrictions of some sort are much larger in number, almost certainly the vast majority.

Let us make two unwarranted and absurd assumptions about such people. The first is that these are all aware of the difference between their own position and the post-1988 status quo and therefore of the fact that Parliamentary legislation would be necessary to arrive at the place in which they want the country to be. The second is that they view everything other than abortion through the lens of ceteris paribus and so choose whom to vote for based solely on this one issue. How, given these assumptions, would Scheer’s campaign have appealed to such people in the last election?

The answer is that while Scheer’s pro-life and socially conservative background would not have driven them away, like it would all the hard-line pro-choicers who would never vote Conservative anyway, his insistence, in response to progressive badgering, that he would not re-open the issue, would have given them no incentive to vote Conservative. What Scheer was saying was that the Conservatives, under his leadership, would in practice, act no differently than the Grits or the Socialists. In which case there was no reason whatsoever for pro-life, socially conservative, people to vote for the party that has long taken their votes for granted, while doing nothing to deserve them.

The conclusion is inevitable – while Scheer’s stated views in the past on abortion and same-sex marriage were not a significant contributing factor to the Conservative loss his waffling on these same issues during the campaign was. The weasely, mealy-mouthed, evasive manner in which he conducted this waffling, did not help things much either.

For decades progressive politicians and pundits have been telling the Conservatives that they need to limit their platform to fiscal conservatism because social conservatism loses elections. For far too long, the leadership of the Conservative Party has been listening to them. The exact opposite is the case. How many people practice rigid, self-denying, austerity in their private lives? Of these, how many make it their political priority that the government do the same? Fiscal conservatism is rational, sensible, and responsible, but it appeals only to economic eggheads and not the public. For most people, the immediate benefit to themselves of government spending programs will always outweigh their portion of the collective cost of government. This is the obvious political application, perhaps even more valid than the original ecological application, of Garrett Hardin’s famous parable of the “tragedy of the commons.” Nobody has ever won an election on fiscal conservatism alone. It has to be packaged with other, more appealing, policies. Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan were no exceptions to this rule.

This is the lesson that Andrew Scheer and the Conservative leadership ought to learn from our last Dominion election.

What are the odds that they will learn it?

Saturday, October 26, 2019

The Greta Syndrome – A Diagnosis

It is sad to see what has become of the Kingdom of Sweden. At some point in the twentieth century, I think around the time of the Second World War, their political class developed a naïve and superstitious faith in the ability of social scientists to improve their customs and mores through radical experimentation. Perhaps the Nazis slipped some mind-altering substance into their water supply during the war that has been producing this lingering effect. Whatever the cause, the result has been that they have taken progressive social engineering to an extreme beyond what can be found in most other Western countries. This is most obvious when it comes to their policies and laws with regards to gender identity and the raising of children.

Sweden boasts of the fact that she was the first country to pass a total ban on corporal punishment. This happened back in the 1960s and about sixty countries have followed their example. Many other countries have passed partial bans, prohibiting it in schools but not in the home. From the über-progressive Swedish perspective this is something in which their country can take pride – they were ahead of the times, trend-setting, fashionable and forward-thinking. From the proper perspective, that is to say, my own, their being ahead of the times, trend-setting, fashionable, and forward-thinking is something of which they ought to be deeply ashamed. What it really means is that they have gone stark, börking, mad.

King Solomon, who was a far more trustworthy authority than some wacko sociologist or psychologist, wrote “He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes.” (Proverbs 13:24)

Everywhere you look today you will find evidence that Solomon knew what he was talking about and that progressive social engineers are full of a nasty-smelling natural fertilizer. A few decades ago they took the strap out of the schools and now, at least in large urban centres, it has become necessary to go through airport-style security checks in order to enter them. At approximately the same time, quacks purporting to be experts on child-raising began peddling the message of permissiveness in cheap books and on bad television shows. They condemned methods that have been tested and proven over the course of centuries as barbaric and cruel. Spanking in particular, they likened to child abuse. As parents – and legislators – began listening to them and taking them seriously, authority in the home collapsed.

The anti-corporal punishment message caught on due to its superficial appeal to the feelings of parents. Parents love their children, people do not want those they love to suffer pain, corporal punishment inflicts pain, and therein lies the temptation to believe those who preach against spanking. Note carefully, however, the wording of King Solomon’s proverb quoted above. True love is not the empty, sentimental, feeling that is so often called by that name in the age in which we live. It also includes a commitment to meet one’s obligations towards those one loves. At the very minimum, parents have an obligation to their children to raise them – to instruct them in the right path and correct them when they go wrong. What the progressive and liberal theory of child raising really amounts to is the idea that parents should let children raise themselves. While this is certainly in keeping with the liberal ideal which makes complete individual self-determination out to be the highest good it is not consistent with genuine parental love.

It can hardly be surprising, therefore, that the country that took the first step down this path of utter madness is also the country that produced the most celebrated case of juvenile delinquency in the world today. There are many who would object to this description of Swedish enfant terrible Greta Thunberg but consider the actions that made her famous and then tell me that the träsko doesn’t fit.

After bullying her parents into depriving themselves of essential nutrients by going vegan she launched her career as a youthful rabble-rouser by encouraging children to play hooky from school in order to attend protest rallies demanding that governments ruin the lives of all the families that depend upon the petroleum industry – or raising livestock – for their livelihood. Her justification for all of this horrendously bad behaviour is her fear of climate change. Not real climate change but the bugbear of the eco-socialists.

Real climate change is a matter of long cyclical patterns of warming and cooling that have been going on since the beginning of time and will continue until the end of time. A multitude of factors, most if not all of which are beyond human control, contribute to it. It is not a bad thing, it is a part of the way things are. Periods of warming are nothing to be feared. People thrive in warmer periods. One thousand years ago, Thunberg’s Viking ancestors were able to farm Greenland thanks to one.

The eco-socialist version is a fictional horror story in which carbon emissions produced by human industry are the principle driving factor in climate change which threatens all life on the planet with extinction. It was thought up to serve the libido dominandi of men like George Soros and the late Maurice Strong who seem to have taken the supervillains in the movies based on Ian Fleming’s James Bond novels as their role models.

A lot of people have been duped into believing this nonsense, of course, but they do not all go around encouraging truancy and rebellion, throwing temper tantrums before assemblies of world leaders, and stirring up strife in other countries. Some would try to explain Thunberg’s aberrant behaviour by pointing to her having Asperger’s Syndrome and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder but I think that it is unfair to lump all who suffer from these conditions in with peace disturbing troublemakers like Greta.

No, I think the explanation is to be found in Sweden’s spanking laws. Had Sweden allowed Greta’s parents to discipline her properly, she may still have been taken in by the eco-socialist propaganda, but they would have been able to exert their authority to prevent her from acting on her fears in such an inappropriate, socially destructive manner.

We have not yet banned corporal punishment entirely in the Dominion of Canada, although it is probably on the Liberals’ agenda. Only parents are allowed to exercise this kind of discipline, however.

That is, perhaps, a pity. Had it been otherwise, when Greta recently travelled to Alberta to demand the total destruction of the province’s economy, their premier Jason Kenney could have turned her over his knee and publicly given her a lesson that would have done her a world of good.

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Aftermath Reflections

The Canadian Dominion Election of 2019 is now over. Since disappointment consists of hopeful expectations being shattered I suppose my response to the results is one of disgust rather than disappointment. As I said in My Druthers prior to the election I did not expect it would turn out in the way in which I wanted.

The Grits, led by Captain Airhead, survived the election. They no longer have an absolute majority. They won 157 seats in the House of Commons, which is twenty less than they had when the last Parliament was dissolved and twenty seven less than they received in the last Dominion election. Most of the mainstream media are hailing this as a victory for Airhead. Andrew Coyne of the National Post, who is often more perceptive than the average MSM commentator, has argued to the contrary, that the Liberals “didn’t win the 2019 federal election, they just lost less than the Conservatives.” This is an interesting perspective, but I doubt that Captain Airhead himself sees it that way. Others have said that this reduction from majority to minority status will be a humbling experience for the Prime Minister. I think it is safe to say that it will be nothing of the sort. Trudeau has never shown the slightest capacity for learning from his mistakes. Having won the most seats, even after the Kokanee Grope, SNC-Lavalin, and blackface scandals, among his other huge embarrassments, he will be more insufferably smug and cocky than ever, and will treat his minority mandate as a blank cheque to do whatever he wants.

The ancient Greeks had a word that describes Trudeau’s attitude perfectly - ὕβρις. Hubris was an intense, overweening, pride, in defiance of the limitations of divine law, especially, at least as Aristotle describes it, by humiliating those one sees as his inferiors for his own pleasure. In Greek thought, hubris inevitably led to the destruction of those who practiced it. Nemesis, the dread daughter of Nyx, goddess of the night, was the figure whom their mythology assigned the task of wreaking divine vengeance upon the proud and arrogant. This concept was not limited to the pagan Greeks. In the Book of Proverbs it says “Pride goeth before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall” and the falls of both Satan and man illustrate the point. It may not have come this election, but eventually Trudeau’s arrogance will be his own undoing.

Of the three major parties, the biggest loss in this election was that of the New Democrats. They won only 24 seats, fifteen less than they had at dissolution and twenty less than they received four years ago. This is despite the fact that around the time of the blackface scandal the progressive media dumped Trudeau and threw all their resources into promoting the NDP and their leader Jagmeet Singh. Indeed, they even tried to make the blackface scandal all about Singh, as if Captain Airhead somehow owed Singh a personal apology for his clownish antics. There was, of course, no demand that he apologize to those whom he truly owed an apology, id est, all those whom he has himself labelled “racist” for disagreeing with his hyper-progressive, “woke” agenda. From this point on it was almost impossible to turn to any of the major news networks on television and not find Singh either giving an interview or speaking at some rally. Polling companies began reporting that Singh’s popularity was on the rise, and even the neo-conservative press got in on the action regurgitating the progressive talking point about how “likeable” Singh was, which, frankly, I never understood as I find the man to be quite unbearable. Despite all of this, the NDP ended up going down almost four percentage points in the popular vote which translated into a significant seat loss for them. I am not sorry to see this happen, even though it contributes to the Grits winning the plurality. It shows that the progressive media cartel’s ability to mold Canadian public opinion is not as infallible as is often assumed. It is also nice to see a man who has displayed contempt for the constitutional monarchy of the country he wants to lead and contempt for the customs and protocols of its Parliament fall flat on his face.

I have mentioned that the NDP went down almost four percentage points in the popular vote. The Grits went down almost six and a half percentage points. The Conservatives went up by two and a half points and, in fact, came out of the election with the largest percentage of the popular vote. Had Captain Airhead kept his 2015 election promise and brought in proportional representation the Conservatives, rather than the Liberals, would have won the plurality. This notwithstanding, I still support the traditional first-past-the-post, for the reasons I have given in the past. The principle of having Members of Parliament represent the actual realities of particular locations (first-past-the-post) rather than the fictional construct of partisan percentages (proportional representation) outweighs, for me, my preferences with regards to the outcome of elections.

Andrew Scheer and the leadership of the Conservative Party are undoubtedly now asking themselves how they failed to defeat an incumbent Prime Minister who seemed to be hell-bent on self-destruction. They will be hearing an awful lot of misguided, foolish, and downright wrong answers to this question from the mainstream media. For what it may be worth, the following is my answer to the same question.

First, in this election the Conservatives relied far too much on the hope that other parties – the NDP, Greens, and the Bloc – would draw votes and seats away from the Liberals instead of focusing on presenting a superior alternative to the Liberals and thus increasing their own percentage of the vote. This is a bad strategy, and in the end the “orange wave” did not materialize, the Greens gained only one seat, and the revival of the Bloc was not large enough.

Second, the Conservatives attempted to sell their leader, Andrew Scheer, to the public as a fiscally responsible, average Canadian husband and father, who would be a more reliable alternative than the irresponsible, privileged and cosmopolitan Trudeau. Their efforts to do so were undermined because Scheer contradicted the image they were trying to present with his own evasiveness. Consider the way he answered questions about his views on abortion and same-sex marriage. I have seen several commentators suggest that Scheer’s answers hurt him because he failed to dispel the fears of those with liberal opinions on these subjects that he was secretly pining to turn Canada into the kind of theocratic caricature that can be found in the pages of a bad Margaret Atwood novel. This is nonsense. His answers hurt him, not because the electorate was afraid of someone whose opinions deviate from the politically correct party line of the Liberals but because they were evasive rather than straightforward. Evasiveness is not a quality that suggests trustworthiness but rather the opposite. This is why all of the scandals the progressive media raised over Scheer – his insurance broker career before politics, his dual citizenship, the bizarre last minute allegations that he hired Warren Kinsella to wage a smear campaign against Maxime Bernier’s People’s Party – hurt him more than the sexual harassment, corruption, and racism scandals hurt Trudeau. They struck at the very quality on which the Conservatives were trying to sell Scheer to the public. Worse, they did so in a way that turned the Canadian public’s conservative instincts, which the Conservatives needed in order to win, against Scheer. Trudeau may be the devil, but as the old adage and the Kylie Minogue song say “better the devil you know.” Scheer could not afford an image of anything less than 100% straightforward honesty.

Every time that the Conservative Party has lost an election in the past, it has been beset with counsellors offering the advice that their platform was too right-wing and that they needed to move to the centre. Their having listened to this bad advice so often in the past is one of the reasons that the centre has moved so far to the left. This time these advisors will be pointing to the People’s Party and saying “see, they ran on a platform considerably to the right, and failed to win a single seat, lost even the seat of their leader Maxime Bernier, and won a mere 1.6% of the popular vote.” The exact opposite of this is true. The Conservative Party cannot win elections by moving further to the centre and helping move the centre further to the left. The only message this sends is that the Conservatives have nothing to offer that is different from the Liberals and the other progressive parties. Canadians have no good reason to vote for a Conservative party that offers only centrist, progressive, liberal, and leftist policies. The fact that Maxime Bernier was unable to sell the public on a more right-of-centre set of policies does not mean that the Conservatives would similarly fail. They will never be able to sell right-of-centre policies to the Canadian public, however, if they do not try, and certainly not if they continue to undermine themselves by wasting their resources in the sponsorship of progressive, anti-racist, attacks on those further to the right.

One thing that the outcome of this election shows is the foolishness of the proposal that the CBC seemed to be seriously pondering last Friday, namely the lowering of the voting age to 16. What we ought to be considering is the opposite of this – raising the voting age. Wisdom is the most desirable quality in an electorate, enthusiasm and idealism are the least desirable qualities. As a general rule, the former increases with greater maturity while the latter decreases. This same point can also be demonstrated by noting the most obvious example of foreign interference in the election, the way the wealthy foreigners, probably mostly American, who wish to sabotage Western Canada’s energy industry, brought an ignorant teenage twit over from Sweden and sent her and her crowds of adulating youthful fans, even more clueless than her, on a celebrity tour that not-coincidentally coincided with the election.

Things are looking extremely grim for the Western energy industry now as Rex Murphy has superbly explained in his post-election remarks in the National Post. The talk of Alberta or even Western separatism – “Wexit” – began pretty much the moment the outcome was declared. This talk of separation disgusts me as much as the election results that provoked it and reminds me of nothing so much as the way Hollywood liberals respond every time the Democrats lose the White House. As much as I admired the late Doug Christie in his role as a crusader for freedom of thought and speech I never had any use for his Western Canada Concept and all of this talk of breaking up Confederation and forming a – ugh – republic, makes me want to puke. The blame for the revival of Western separatism, however, belongs entirely to that smug, arrogant, filius canis, who is willing to sacrifice the economy of an entire region of the Dominion in order to win the accolades of eco-socialists around the world.

God save the Queen – including from Her Prime Minister – and Heaven Bless the Maple Leaf forever!

Saturday, October 12, 2019

My Druthers

While I am, for the most part, opposed to the vulgar, Americanization, of the English language, the phrase I have chosen for the title of this essay, a late nineteenth century drawled American contraction of the words “would rather”, expresses the subject of this essay perfectly.

In the unlikely event that I have my druthers and the upcoming Dominion election turns out exactly the way I want it to the following is what will happen on October 21st.

First, Captain Airhead will be turfed out on his rear end in the most decisive negative vote in the history of Canada. I am talking zero seats being given to the Grits in the next Parliament.

Second, the New Democrats will also be reduced to non-party status and be finished once and for all.

Third, the Greens will form Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition and will from here on out take the place on the left made vacant by the decimation of the Liberals and NDP.

Fourth, the Conservatives will receive a minority government. Nota bene, I said minority, not majority. The Conservatives wasted the last majority government they received under Stephen Harper and I have not the least doubt that they would do the same under Andrew Scheer.

Fifthly, holding the balance of power and propping up the minority Conservative government, will be Maxime Bernier’s People’s Party of Canada. My reasons for wanting this to happen rather than for Bernier to form the next government are twofold. First, I suspect that he and his party would drift left-ward if they actually formed the government. This would inevitably be the case if they received a minority government – any other party, including the Conservatives, holding the balance of power would exert a left-ward pull. Second, I think that by exerting the leverage they would hold in this position they could accomplish more of the excellent goals in their party platform than if they formed the government.

Remember, all of this is what I would like to see happen, not what I am predicting will happen. I doubt that anyone will be able to accurately forecast the outcome of this election and I think the likelihood of it turning out exactly the way I want is extremely slim. It would require, for one thing, that the Canadian right develop overnight a capacity for strategic voting that it has given no previous indication of possessing, unlike the Canadian left which used that very method to straddle us with Captain Airhead in the last Dominion election.

It provides me with no small amount of amusement that so many of those who would share the first and second of the above set of druthers get so irate at the suggestion that anything less than an outright majority government by the Conservatives – or People’s Party depending upon which sort of partisan they happen to be – would be acceptable, much less desirable. Obviously the leaders, candidates, and campaign teams of the parties cannot make anything less than a majority government their goal, but there is no good reason why right-of-centre thinkers outside of the aforementioned groups should not prefer a different outcome. It is the job of right-wing politicians to win elections by selling a right-wing platform to the electorate. It is not the job of the right-wing portion of the electorate to put those politicians into office in an unthinking manner, without asking hard questions and making hard demands of them. The attitude that the electorate owes them their votes has always been one of the most obnoxious aspects of smug, Grit, arrogance. It ought not to be imitated on the right. It is the duty of right-wing commentators of the fourth and, like this writer, fifth estates, to constantly remind right-wing politicians of right-wing principles and hold them accountable. It irritates me that those who think otherwise regard any criticism of the leaders of their preferred parties as being akin to campaigning for the left. I have even seen such nincompoops describe Ezra Levant, the same Ezra Levant whom the mainstream media equally absurdly labels a “right-wing extremist”, as a Liberal agent because of his criticism of Scheer. These fools think of elections in terms of salvation and cannot bear to hear anything negative about their would-be Messiahs. This is the way progressives view politics and there ought to be no room for it on the right.

Of course the sort of people I have been talking about are “conservatives” of a highly Americanized type. Over the last two to three decades I have watched them jettison virtually every principle that has historically and traditionally been considered right-wing to the point that only capitalism seems to be indispensable to them. Which is ironic because capitalism is not right-wing. The true right is anti-socialist not capitalist. It is anti-socialist because it is hierarchical and socialism is egalitarian and it is anti-socialist because it is strongly pro-property – even more so than classical liberalism – and being anti-property is the very essence of socialism. The true right, while anti-socialist, has always been willing to condemn the vulgarity and Philistinism of capitalism and its erosion of social and cultural mores.

The same people, I would point out, are often the ones who insist that if the Liberals win again the Western provinces, or at least Alberta, ought to separate from Canada. While they are right to believe that Ottawa has treated the Western provinces unjustly, especially whenever the Liberals headed by a Trudeau have been in government, I have no sympathy with this kind of separatism whatsoever. The separatists all talk about forming a republic, proving themselves to be liberals. Alan Clark, the military historian turned Tory statesman, best remembered for his Diaries, who served as a junior minister in the ministries of Trade and Defence under Margaret Thatcher, was a Powellite and Eurosceptic who after the vote on the Common Market told the Labour MP Dennis Skinner “I'd rather live in a socialist Britain than one ruled by a lot of f***ing foreigners.” To paraphrase the sentiment, and apply it to the matter at hand, I’d rather live in a socialist Canada with her traditional constitution than in any sort of ******* republic. (1)

This, by the way, is why I would like to see the Greens replace both the NDP and the Grits on the other side of Canada’s political spectrum. Elizabeth May, however crazy I think her climate-change alarmism is, and however annoying I find her other progressive twaddle like that nonsense about “white privilege” she was spouting at Monday’s debate, is sound on the constitution. (2) Jagmeet Singh, like most NDPers, (3) is not.

Allow me to conclude by returning to the subject of my druthers and pursuing it a bit further than the outcome of the imminent election.

First, Canada would undergo a major revival of sound Christian religion.

Second, to summarize paragraphs nine through twelve above, the Canadian right would abandon American neo-conservatism and return to genuine British/Canadian Toryism. This would mean that both the preservation of our constitution – the preservation of our constitution, mind you, and not the adoption of one more like that of the Americans - and opposition to moral, social, and cultural decay would take precedence over any economic and fiscal concerns.

Third, the Canadian right would make it a top priority to break the control of the progressive cartel over the majority of the fourth estate.

Fourth, they would make it another top priority to repeal the Canadian Human Rights Act and abolish the Canadian Human Rights Commission/Tribunals. Despite the name of the Act/Commission/Tribunal these do nothing to protect people from the arbitrary abuse of government power but rather enable that abuse by allowing the state to police the thoughts, intentions, and motives of Canadians. To demonstrate this to the public, all that needs to be done is to encourage them to actually read the Act. Then explain the difference between a non-discrimination policy – Her Majesty’s government will administer the law and justice fairly and justly without discriminating on the basis of X, Y, Z – and an anti-discrimination law in which the government unnecessarily interjects itself into private transactions and tells us that we cannot have certain thoughts or allow them to influence us in our interactions with others.

Fifth, they would work through the provincial legislatures – which have jurisdiction over the matter – to ensure that a Canadian civics in which our constitution, history, and heritage are respected becomes part of our educational system so much so that parties that want to destroy our constitution, turn the country into a republic, or break up Confederation, become completely unelectable.

Sixth, they will put Sir John A. Macdonald back on our money where he belongs, and restore any other monument to the leading Father of Confederation that has been removed for politically correct purposes.

I could probably add others but that is enough wishful thinking for now.

(1) In response to a recent post by Will S. at his Patriactionary blog about how the West should have recognized the Republic of China (Taiwan) as legitimate rather than the People’s Republic of China (Red China) I said: “Neither Republic is legitimate, as no republic is a legitimate form of government (I would allow for the possibility of two exceptions to this in all of human history – Switzerland and the defunct Confederate States of America). The West should have told all of China that until they restored the Quin dynasty and put the rightful heir of the House of Aisin Gioro back on the throne we would not recognize any Chinese government as being legitimate, with the People’s Republic being even less legitimate than the other one. Sadly, the West let the bloody Yanks do all the talking for the rest of us.”


(3) Tommy Douglas and Jack Layton, both deceased, are the only exceptions that really come to mind off the top of my head. Eugene Forsey, who in his heart was really a Conservative all his life regardless of which party he was nominally associated with at the time was a strong constitutionalist but he was never an NDPer. He left the CCF when it became the NDP.

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Election Time Grumbling

During the last Dominion election, four years ago, I made the remark that the three major parties were offering us a choice between the Dragon, the Beast and the False Prophet. After the election I added that the False Prophet had won. I think the last four years have justified that assessment rather well.

To make the above joke about the last election, of course, required speaking as if a misconception, that has lamentably become almost universal in Canada, were in fact true. Dominion elections are not about who the next Prime Minister will be. They are about who the next Parliament will be. You and I do not vote for the Prime Minister. We vote for who will be the Member of Parliament for our constituency. The job of our Member of Parliament is to represent our constituency, the portion of the country that includes the neighborhood in which we live. If our MPs remembered that their job, first and foremost, is to speak in Parliament on behalf of the constituencies that elected them – the places and the people living in those places whether they voted for or against the winner, they would do that job much better. Note that if we were to adopt the electoral reform that the Liberals promised four years ago, mercifully reneging on that promise, this would not help our MPs to do that job better, but rather hinder them from doing it. Proportional representation would make for a more partisan, more ideological Parliament. Only fools would want this, which is why proportional representation is so popular. The eponymous principle of Terry Goodkind’s Wizard’s First Rule, the first in his Sword of Truth fantasy series and the last before these books achieved the unachievable and became an exposition of Ayn Rand’s ideas even more tedious and tiresome than her own, is “people are stupid” and this is absolutely correct. But I digress. In an election, we choose the representatives for our constituencies, these make up the next Parliament, and the person who becomes Prime Minister, who leads the government in the sense of the Cabinet, the Crown Ministers who carry out the actual day-to-day administration of the Queen-in-Council, is the person who has the most support in Parliament. That we have come to treat every Dominion election as a nation-wide plebiscite on who would make the best Prime Minister is an unwelcome intrusion of Americanism into our system.

I also declared during the last Dominion election that I likely would not be voting in it at all. The Conservatives, I vowed, would never have my vote again as long as Stephen Harper was their leader. Harper, while admittedly the best Prime Minister Canada has had since 1963 – this is not saying much as the entire lot of post-Diefenbaker Prime Ministers were horrid and rotten and abominable – had ticked me off one too many times. He had capitulated to the liberal-left on abortion and immigration and was absolutely horrible on freedom of speech. While Section 13 was abolished on his watch, he deserves no credit whatsoever for that fact, for the bill that repealed it was a private member’s bill that a Conservative MP had introduced and which had received enough support from both Conservative and Liberal Members to pass, despite the active opposition of the Prime Minister. It was that crazy bill, authorizing the government to invade the privacy of ordinary Canadians in the name of “fighting terrorism” that finally made me wash my hands of Harper altogether. Since the usual alternatives to the Conservatives in my riding were the NDP and Liberals, neither of which I would ever consider voting for, the Greens, and fringe parties even further to the left, I thought I would have no-one to vote for, and was fine with that, citing the precedent of Evelyn Waugh, who, after years of voting Conservative and having them fail to turn the clock back by even a second declared that he would abstain in the future on the grounds that it was presumptuous for a subject to advise his Sovereign in her choice of ministers. In the event, the Christian Heritage Party ran a candidate in my riding, for probably the first time ever, and as the candidate was a friend, I had someone to vote for after all.

This Dominion election is not shaping up to be any better than the last. The Liberal Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, aka Captain Airhead still has an astonishing amount of support considering that he has accomplished nothing in the last four years except something which should not have been done, i.e., the legalization of marijuana, that he has spent Canada hopelessly into debt, has aggressively sabotaged the economy of one of our provinces and seriously undermined national unity, has gone out of his way to sour our relations with India, the Philippines, China, the United States, and perhaps other countries that I don’t remember off the top of my head, has been found guilty of major ethical violations, been hit with three major scandals within the space of a year any one of which by itself would have ended the career of virtually any other Prime Minister, and been proven to be a total hypocrite on three matters that he is constantly preaching to other Canadians about.

When the Conservatives were contemplating whom they would choose to replace Stephen Harper as leader I offered my opinion that they should pick Don Cherry. Granted, he was not actually seeking the position, but I said they ought to draft him. Had they followed my semi-serious suggestion they would be way ahead in the polls right now. They did not, of course, nor did I expect them to and they put in Andrew Scheer instead. Commenting on that at the time, I said that it was a mix of the good and the bad, the good being that Scheer, in a survey of the potential leaders, had taken the strongest royalist stand, and that he was a staunch opponent of the carbon tax by which Trudeau pretends to be saving the world from “climate change” while in reality doing nothing but unnecessarily increasing the cost-of-living for those least able to afford such an increase. The bad was that Scheer was a Harper-style neo-conservative, which meant that he would probably wimp out on social issues and on free speech. Look at his performance in this election campaign so far and tell me that these predictions have not been borne out.

Consider Scheer’s response to attacks from the left on the issues of abortion and same-sex marriage.

With regards to abortion, Scheer has told the press that while he, a Roman Catholic, is personally opposed to abortion, a government that he leads will neither move to limit abortion nor support any efforts by backbenchers to do so through means of private bills. This is the very definition of wimping out. Saying that you are personally opposed to abortion means absolutely nothing if you not only will not initiate any legislation on the matter but will deny your support to members of your party who wish to do so. Indeed, there is no difference between this and the position that Justin Trudeau has held until very recently when, realizing that it was self-contradictory, he rejected the personal opposition to abortion and came out as being entirely pro-choice. Trudeau’s position, although it amounts to openly declaring his allegiance to the forces of evil, is the more honest of the two.

What Scheer should have told the press – and the Liberal, NDP, and Green leaders when they all ganged up on him and tried to pressure him into affirming the Satanic dogma that a woman has a right to choose to have an abortion – is the following:

You claim to be worried that I am going to re-open the debate on abortion but the truth is that there is nothing to re-open because the debate on abortion never occurred in the first place. Abortion was completely illegal in Canada until 1969, and I affirm what previous generations of Canadians believed, that taking the life of an unborn, innocent, baby is nothing less than cold-blooded murder and nobody, man or woman, has the right to commit murder. The present status quo, in which there are no legal restrictions on abortion whatsoever up to the very moment of birth and the taxpayer is required to pay for it, would have been regarded as abhorrent by previous generations of Canadians, and would be rejected by most living Canadians if they actually understood what the status quo is. We did not arrive at this status quo by means of a debate in which the pro-murder side, as the so-called pro-choice side ought properly to be called, won. We arrived at where we are today, because the father of the current Prime Minister changed the law in 1969 to allow for abortions in exceptional circumstances, and then turned our Supreme Court into an American-style kritarchy in 1982, which then used the changes he had made to our abortion laws as a pretext for ruling those laws to be unconstitutional. That Parliament, which the Supreme Court in the same ruling said ought to pass new abortion legislation, has failed to do so for thirty-one years, is not due to there being any sort of general consensus in favour of the status quo but to the bullying tactics of the leaders of the progressive parties and their echo chambers in the media. These tactics are designed to prevent the debate that you falsely claim is over from ever happening. It is your tactics and not my views that are unacceptable in a civilized country like ours and I am and here and now calling you out on them and demanding that you cease and desist immediately. We are going to have that debate whether you like it or not and the fact that you are so desperate to prevent it from happening shows that you are not at all as confident of the claims of your own side as you pretend to be.

That is how Scheer ought to be talking. The same speech, mutatis mutandis, is also the appropriate response to the progressive attacks on him for his views on same-sex marriage.

Michael Wharton, who wrote the “Peter Simple” column for the Daily Telegraph for decades, frequently referred to what he called the “Great Semantic Shift” by which opinions on several matters “which were once held by the majority and described as ‘moderate’, ‘of the centre’ or merely ‘patriotic’ have gradually come to be described first as ‘right-wing’, then as ‘extreme right-wing’, then as ‘lunatic fringe’ and finally as ‘fascist’” (1) Others would describe the same phenomenon as a leftward shift in the Overton Window. The kind of bullying described above is the means by which this shift has been accomplished and right-of-centre parties have a duty to confront it head on and call it out for the thuggery it is. Otherwise, they will themselves be constantly drawn further to the left. As John O’Sullivan famously put it “All organizations that are not actually right-wing will over time become left-wing.” (2)

The leadership of the Conservative Party evidently believe that doing the opposite of what I have been suggesting is the strategy that is going to put them back into government. That is absurd. Either you present the electorate with a real alternative to progressivism or you end up competing with the Liberals, NDP, and the Greens for the progressive vote which would far more naturally go to one of these other parties. With Trudeau’s dismal record as Prime Minister, the humiliating collapse of his reputation from one of international celebrity to that of the laughing stock of the whole world, and scandal after scandal after scandal, the Conservatives ought to be so far ahead in the polls as to make their victory in the upcoming election a foregone conclusion.

Of course, it does not help matters that Scheer has gotten himself embroiled in a scandal of his own with regards to his citizenship. When the Toronto Sun’s Lorrie Goldstein asked him recently “On dual citizenship, why wouldn’t you have dealt with that before the election?” he answered:

Honestly, I didn’t think it was that big of a deal … I know many, many people have dual citizenship for many different countries … The very first time I was ever asked that question I answered it truthfully and honestly.

I believe Scheer when he says he didn’t think it was a big deal. Sadly, that is the problem. For most of my lifetime (3) Canada has permitted dual citizenship with the United States. This change was made by a Liberal government – the government of the present Prime Minister’s father – and is an example of the decay of the very national principles for which the Conservatives, of all parties, ought to stand.

Here is how I worded the problem in a comment on a post at the Patriactionary blog the other day:

The law should not allow for someone to have this kind of dual citizenship. It is a contradiction. Canada is a parliamentary monarchy built on the sound, pre-modern, Christian principle of allegiance to our reigning Sovereign. The United States is a republic built upon the evil, Satanic, and thoroughly modern anti-principle of rejection of that allegiance and arrogant assertion of the “sovereignty” of an autocratic “people”. (4) No one can be a true citizen of both. Dual citizenship between Canada and any other Commonwealth monarchy is no contradiction. Dual citizenship between the United States on the one hand and any Communist country on the other, is no contradiction, shocking as that will be to most Americans to hear. Dual citizenship between these two sets of polities is an absolute contradiction and the Conservatives, of all parties, ought to look on this particular kind of phony dual citizenship with repugnance. (5)

I don’t have much else to add on that subject and so will leave it at that and move on to my final observation about this election.

Two weeks prior to the last Dominion election I posted an essay entitled “The Election Issue That Wasn’t”. The issue in question was immigration. In it I said the following:

It is not an election issue for the same reason it has not been an election issue in previous elections – no party dares raise the issue for fear of being labelled racist…The only way this matter will ever be brought to a vote is if one of the parties breaks with the consensus of the others and makes it an election issue. Despite there being plenty of reasons for the Conservative, New Democrat, and Green parties to do so, none seem to possess courage enough to weather the accusations of racism that would come their way if they did, and so immigration remains the election issue that wasn’t.

This time around someone has decided to make it an election issue. That someone is Maxime Bernier who was narrowly defeated by Andrew Scheer in the Conservative Party’s leadership race. Subsequent conflict between Scheer and Bernier over the latter taking far more right-wing positions than the former was comfortable with led to Bernier leaving the Conservatives and founding a new party with an unfortunate, Communist/American-sounding name, the People’s Party of Canada.

On Sunday, someone slipped a card outlining the party’s platform under my windshield while at church. Which is good, because the media have been conspiring to keep the public uninformed as to that platform. The entire platform on the card is exactly what I would have liked to see from the Conservatives. Here is the section on immigration:

“On Immigration the PPC will:
*keep Canada safe and say “no” to illegal immigration;
* focus on what unites Canadians instead of on diversity;
*respect Canada’s constitution, history, and heritage;
*focus on Canada’s economic needs when setting immigration policy;
*reduce immigration to 250, 000 per year; and
*increase resources to vet immigrants.

To all of which I give a hearty amen.

My church is in the next riding over from the one in which I live and vote and in which I have seen no sign of a PPC candidate. It is nice to know that someone is finally taking a stand for all the right things however, whether I have an opportunity to vote for them or not.

(1) I have taken the words quoted from a column entitled “Extremism” reprinted on page 36 of Peter Simple’s Century, The Claridge Press, 1999, but he made this observation far more than once.
(2) John O’Sullivan, “O’Sullivan’s First Law”, National Review, October 27, 1989. Also extremely relevant is (Robert) Conquest’s Second Law, which O’Sullivan cites in the article “The behavior of an organization can best be predicted by assuming it to be controlled by a secret cabal of its enemies”
(3) I am five years younger than Justin Trudeau and three years older than Andrew Scheer. The law recognizing dual citizenship went into effect a couple of months prior to my first birthday.
(4) This is very strong language but I stand by it. Fr. Seraphim Rose, the American Russian Orthodox hieromonk wrote the following “We have already seen, in the preceding chapter, that the principal form government took in union with Christian Truth was the Orthodox Christian Empire, wherein sovereignty was vested in a Monarch, and authority proceeded from him downwards through a hierarchical, social structure. We shall see in the next chapter, on the other hand, how a politics that rejects Christian Truth must acknowledge ‘the people’ as sovereign and undertand authority as proceeding from below upwards, in a formally ‘egalitarian’ society. It is clear that one is the perfect inversion of the other; for they are opposed in their conceptions both of the source and of the end of government.” Nihilism: The Root of the Revolution of the Modern Age, St. Herman of Alaska Brotherhood, 1994, 2018, p.28. This entire book was originally the seventh chapter of Rose’s never-completed magnus opus The Kingdom of Man and the Kingdom of God. The “preceding chapter” and “next chapter” referred to in the quote are the preceding and following chapters in the larger work. This was written before his ordination and so the book is credited to him as “Eugene (Fr. Seraphim) Rose”.
(5) Upon further consideration, I would have to revise the statement that “Dual citizenship between the United States on the one hand and any Communist country on the other, is no contradiction”, for while the principles of the American republic and Communist “peoples’ republics” are far closer to each other than either is to the sound, royalist, Loyalist principles on which our country was originally founded, it occurs to me that with republics of any sort, it is probably a contradiction to be a citizen of more than one.