The Canadian Red Ensign

The Canadian Red Ensign

Friday, April 22, 2016

Hic et Ille

Happy Birthday Your Majesty!

Congratulations to our divinely anointed and appointed, Sovereign Lady, Queen Elizabeth II on the achievement of her ninetieth birthday. While I am not ordinarily in the habit of apologizing for things I am not personally responsible for – and indeed, consider it to be one of the most reprehensible and contemptible forms of the liberal virtue signaling that plagues the age in which we live – I nevertheless thought it appropriate on Facebook yesterday to offer Her Majesty an apology on behalf of my countrymen for “the narcissistic, empty-headed, megalomaniacal humunculus we elected to head her government in Ottawa last year, proving ourselves unworthy of the privilege of electing her ministers.” Of course, as I had voted neither for Justin Trudeau nor any of his underlings, it is other Canadians who truly owe Her Majesty this apology.

Good Riddance!

If my fellow Canadians proved themselves unworthy of the voting franchise last fall, those here in Manitoba partly redeemed themselves this past Tuesday. The NDP, which had governed the province since 1999, and disastrously mismanaged its affairs under Greg Selinger, has been tossed out on its backside. It was reduced to 14 seats, losing a number of seats that had been regarded as safe for the NDP for decades, while a majority of 40 seats were won by the Progressive Conservatives. It was a humiliating defeat that the socialist party had certainly earned. It had raised the Provincial Sales Tax by a percentage, ignoring the law that says that this could not be done without holding a referendum first, and despite this and other tax increases, ran massive deficits during each year that Selinger was premier, ignoring another law that required him and his cabinet to take pay cuts if they could not balance the provincial budget. Meanwhile the quality of government services, most noticeably in health care, declined all over the province. The most disappointing thing about the outcome of Tuesday night was that Selinger retained his own seat, leading us to ask what judgement impairing chemicals might be in the water supply of St. Boniface.

Meanwhile at the Federal Level…

Greg Selinger had inherited the leadership of the Manitoba NDP from Gary Doer after the latter, a much more popular and capable premier than his successor, stepped down in order to accept an ambassadorship to the United States. Thomas Mulcair, who had been the official Opposition Leader during the premiership of Stephen Harper, had also inherited his leadership of the federal NDP from a more popular leader, the charismatic Jack Layton. It was Layton who had led the NDP into the 2011 election, winning them a record number of seats, only to step down shortly after the election, and to die of cancer soon after. Mulcair lost over half of these seats in in the 2015 election, a sizeable chunk of which loss can be attributed to his decision to take up cudgels on behalf of the niqab, alienating much of his support base in Quebec. Earlier this month, at the NDP convention in Edmonton, the party voted to hold a new leadership race, essentially doing what the Manitoba NDP had attempted but failed to do to Selinger two years ago when the handwriting on the wall had become apparent and turfing him, although Mulcair will remain in the position until the new leader is chosen.

Duffy Exonerated

Apart from his boneheaded defence of the Islamic face veil, perhaps the stupidest thing Thomas Mulcair had done during the last federal election campaign was to make the abolition of the upper chamber of Parliament a key plank in his platform. Canada is very fortunate to have inherited the Westminster parliamentary system of government from Great Britain, a system of government that developed over centuries to be the very embodiment of the idea of the stable, balanced, constitution that is a mixture of monarchy, aristocracy, and democracy that Aristotle theorized about twenty three centuries ago, and the Senate, as I have argued at length in the past, is an essential element of that system. Mulcair’s contempt for our constitution and traditional institutions is reason enough for any patriotic Canadian to rejoice that he will not be leading a federal party much longer, not that his successor is likely to be much better.

Mulcair’s attacks on the Senate had arisen in the context of the scandal surrounding Senator Mike Duffy. The initial accusation against Duffy, was that he, despite having been a television journalist in Ottawa for years before his appointment to the Senate, had falsely claimed his home in P.E.I., the province he represented in the Senate, as his primary residence in order to claim living expenses from the Senate. The scandal grew as the CBC and its echo chambers among the privately owned media stations, seeing in it a noose wherewith to lynch then-Prime Minister Stephen Harper, whose office made things worse in a clumsy attempt to make the scandal disappear, piled on accusation after accusation. Other voices in the media sought to impugn the institution of the Senate itself. With an irony of which they themselves were undoubtedly ignorant, in many cases the same voices that could frequently be heard accusing Prime Minister Harper of trying to Americanize Canada, condemned the Senate for being unelected and undemocratic, implying that it was therefore also unaccountable and illegitimate, drawing upon the theory that the legitimacy and accountability of government institutions depends upon their being elected and democratic, a theory that belongs to the American tradition of republicanism and not to the Canadian tradition of parliamentary monarchy. It is also utter nonsense, as if the worst culprits for abusing expense accounts and fleecing the taxpayer have not always been our elected Members of Parliament, who recently voted themselves a significant salary increase.

Eventually, after the RCMP were hounded into an investigation, they charged Duffy with thirty one counts of fraud, bribery, and the like. Yesterday, he was acquitted of all charges. The verdict came as no surprise to anyone with better sense than to believe a word spoken on the CBC, but to the extent that this scandal contributed to Justin Trudeau's attaining power, the damage has already been done. Perhaps the RCMP should investigate the CBC over their role in imposing the madness of Trudeaumania on Canada a second time?

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