Skip to comments.Popular delusion
Posted on 07/09/2004 9:26:05 PM PDT by Clive
Now comes the real test of Conservative Opposition leader Steve Harper's convictions.
He said yesterday, in the wake of last week's electoral defeat in eastern Canada, that the Conservative Party must be more "moderate" in what it says and stands for.
Heaven knows, there are enough people in the media telling him so. But what does it mean?
For people in the media, more "moderate" means more "liberal," pure and simple.
It's a euphemism for, "OK, we'll root out and denounce everything to which Canada's huge contingent of excitable, left-liberal political journalists might object to."
We kept hearing during this election about "gaffes" committed by various Conservative MPs.
Now the same journalists who identified the "gaffes" are advising the Conservatives to "get rid of," "dump," "evict," "expunge" and "purge" the MPs who made them.
It is extremist, in their view, to suggest (as Lanark MP Scott Reid did) that bilingual services ought to be confined to areas of significant demand, not splashed across the country where no demand exists.
It is extremist, in the media view, to suggest it would "valuable" for women to be given voluntary medical counsel before choosing abortion (as Rob Merrifield did early in the campaign -- along with Paul Martin), or to equate dismemberment of a defenceless human fetus with the Iraqi decapitation of an innocent human hostage, (as Cheryl Gallant did one month before the election campaign began).
It is unacceptable to the media for an MP (Randy White) to say that Parliament should use its powers under the Charter of Rights when MPs believe judges have exceeded their authority.
It frightens Ontarians, say the media, when someone (Steve Harper) proposes that Air Canada should have the same bilingual service requirement as all other Canadian airlines, and points out that Liberals have supported the courts' "artistic expression" exemption for pedophile pornography.
But perhaps all these purging and expunging Stalinesque media deep-thinkers can explain why Cheryl Gallant won her Ontario riding by a margin of 12,000 votes, Rob Merrifield in Alberta by 21,000, Randy White in B.C. by 20,000, Scott Reid in Ottawa by 10,000, and Stephen Harper in Calgary by 26,0000.
Are all these thousands of Canadian voters, urban and rural, and millions like them across the country, now to be abandoned, disenfranchised, cast beyond the pale?
Are they ALL "unCanadian"? Apparently so. The media says so.
That would also apply, one presumes, to that treasonously pro-life Liberal Tom Wappel, who tromped his Conservative rival in Toronto with almost 10,000 votes to spare.
Kick him out of the party! Kick him out of Parliament! Kick him out of Canada!
There's a widespread delusion in Canadian media that somehow politicians can completely separate "economic" policy from "social" or "moral" policy.
Why not simply campaign for low taxes, and against Liberal corruption, and nothing else?
After all, so it's said, it's the money issues people care about -- not nonsense about fetuses and French and Charter rights.
Well, voters aren't that stupid.
They know the central question is whether (as the Liberals believe) the state should be in charge of the people, or (as Conservatives believe) the people should be in charge of the state.
If you agree that the state should control the citizens, you will have big government, high taxes, and no democracy. You'll get Liberal Canada.
If, however, citizens control the state, you end up with lots of democratic debate, lots of checks and balances, and only as much taxation and government as most people actually want.
Social policy is left to Parliament, not judges. And the more debated it is, the less of it there is.
If Harper now "moderates" the Conservatives by introducing skilful new ways of expressing the old conservative principles of limited government and democratic decision-making, he'll come out far ahead.
If, instead, he listens to the media and goes liberal, the party will die.
There's already one Liberal Party. We don't need two.
Good warning. If the Conservative Party moves left, Canadian conservatives will stay home. Why have two Liberal Parties? If the Conservatives morph into a me-too clone of the Liberals, Canadians will prefer the genuine article. Stephen Harper would be better off reaffirming conservative principles AND providing a responsible alternative to the Liberals.
When will anything change in Canada?
It sounds as though Canada has the same disease that is afflicting the US. Republicans are supposed to run to the left to please the middle after the primaries. The Democrats hold secure at the left for they know the Republicans will soon be there with them. Politics before principle assures there will soon be no principle.
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