The Canadian Red Ensign

The Canadian Red Ensign

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Evelyn Waugh's Excellent Example

Evelyn Waugh, English novelist, satirist, Roman Catholic convert, and High Tory anarchist, stopped voting around the time of the Second World War. Christopher Sykes, his friend and biographer, wrote that he did so “on grounds of conscientious objection”. Waugh, according to Sykes, “maintained that it was disloyal presumption for a subject to advise the sovereign, even in the most indirect way, on the choice of ministers.” (1) In “Aspirations of a Mugwump”, his contribution to a symposium of election comments published by the Spectator in its October 2, 1959 issue, Waugh published this sentiment himself, expressing his hope “to see the Conservative Party return with a substantial majority” but saying that he himself “shall never vote unless a moral or religious issue is involved”. “In the last 300 years” he wrote “the Crown has adopted what seems to me a very hazardous process of choosing advisers: popular election” adding that by “usurping sovereignty the peoples of many civilized nations have incurred a restless and frustrated sense of responsibility which interferes with their proper work of earning their living and educating their children”. Ultimately he concludes that if he voted for the Conservative Party he would feel “morally inculpated in their follies” if they won and that he had “made submission to socialist oppression by admitting the validity of popular election if they lost” and so declared that “I do not aspire to advise my sovereign in her choice of servants”. (2)

As a lifelong royalist Tory, my sentiments are largely in accordance with these but I have long been reluctant to follow Waugh’s example in practice. This year, however, Stephen Harper has finally decided the matter for me. Without denying the good accomplished on his watch – such as the restoration of “Royal” to the air force and navy and the scrapping of the long gun registry – the most important good accomplished in Parliament under the present government, the abolition of Section 13 of the Canadian Human Rights Act, was accomplished through a private member’s bill without the help of the Prime Minister and his Cabinet and, I must say, they gave every impression that it was against their wishes. Now that the Prime Minister has had his way, and Bill C-51, authorizing CSIS to invade the privacy of Canadians has passed the House and Senate, the evil this government has accomplished has so outweighed the good that I cannot in good conscience ever vote for them again.

This means that, barring a Libertarian or Christian Heritage candidate running in my riding – and neither party has run a candidate here in the last twenty years – I will never vote again. The Liberal Party will never, ever, ever have my vote. Founded as the party of free trade and continentalism – which the Conservative Party have adopted to their shame – it is the party of the so-called “Canadian nationalism” that would have our country turn its back on and forget its Loyalist heritage, its British traditions, institutions, and connections. It is the party that made an admirer of Communist dictator Mao Tse-Tung – Pierre Trudeau – its leader and then introduced political correctness to Canada when he and his sycophants in the media began accusing everyone of “racism”, “sexism”, and all other sorts of nasty-sounding “isms” for opposing his policies. While it calls itself by a name that suggests a belief in freedom, it launched a war against the basic freedom of Canadians to think and say what they want, and associate and do business with whom they want, when it passed the Canadian Human Rights Act in 1977. It partially legalized abortion in 1969, introduced same-sex marriage in 2005, and the present leader of the party, Justin Trudeau, son of the aforementioned Pierre, cracked the whip on his members last year declaring support for abortion to be mandatory for Liberal Members of Parliament. No, this party will never receive my vote, especially with a Trudeau at the helm.

As for the NDP – no thank you! Everything I most object to in the Liberal Party including its disrespect for Canada’s Loyalist heritage and British institutions and its political correctness is magnified to the nth degree in this party. Its supporters keep telling me that it speaks for “the working class”. If that is the case, why is it even more dead set against traditional morality and social arrangements, which have their strongest support in the working class, than the Liberals? When Justin Trudeau announced that nobody who is opposed to abortion would be allowed to run for the Liberals he made an exception for MPs already seated, and the creepy leader of the NDP condemned him for making this exception, saying that no NDP MP would ever vote against abortion. If the NDP speaks for Canadian workers why is it even more determined to replace them with immigrants than the other parties? Its platform calls for a quicker immigration process, with less hurdles, and with increased financial support for settlement, to be paid for from the taxes of those workers who the NDP supposedly speak for, and the NDP would like to see any worker who vocally objects to this charged with a hate crime. No, I would sooner die a terrible, excruciating, death from some horrible lingering disease than cast a vote for the NDP.

No, I think the time has come to follow Evelyn Waugh’s example and refrain from voting. As P. J. O’Rourke, adapting an old anarchist slogan put it in the title of a book a few years back, “don’t vote, it just encourages the bastards.” I will remain, as always, a loyal subject of Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II, but the ministers who abuse the powers they exercise in her name in Ottawa will never again be able to say they do so with my vote and approval.

(1) Christopher Sykes, Evelyn Waugh: A Biography, (New York: Penguin Books, 1977), p. 365.
(2) “Aspirations of a Mugwump”, reprinted in Donat Gallagher, ed., The Essays, Articles and Reviews of Evelyn Waugh, (New York: Penguin Books, 1983, 1986) p. 537.

1 comment:

  1. I have also probably voted for the last time. I officially declined my ballot at the polling station during the last Ontario provincial election (not that it even makes a difference).

    It's not like the half-dozen Canadian reactionaries could ever affect anything via voting either way. Plus, the whole system is geared towards the Left in and of itself- by voting you are giving tacit approval to the idea that humans can redefine fundamental truths based on their subjective desires. To use the old cliché, a square doesn't become a circle because 51% of the population thinks it should. Even by voting for the CHP, you give the left a victory in conceding that such matters can even by voted upon at all.