Category Archives: Conservatives

Losing Faith

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To be honest I have found Faith Goldy a bit much on The Rebel. Cute as a button but a little over the top.

And she made a rookie mistake speaking to The Daily Stormer in Charlottesville. Pretty dumb but, perhaps, understandable given that an idiot had just killed someone behind her.

But Ez, champion of free speech, takes this as an excuse to fire the woman. He’s scrambling on all fronts, he’s lost his cruise, his access to the new leader of the PC’s, he’s being “extorted” by a couple of Brits and his staff list is dwindling by the hour. So, of course, the smart move is to fire one of his most engaging reporters.

Ez needs to be in front of the camera and let smart people run the business. But, I fear, it is too late for that. Holed below the waterline The Rebel is going down.

Pro-tip Ezra. Saying “fuck” a lot does not make you tough. As I say to my boys, it makes you stupid. The audio is out there and, I fear, you sound like a suburban kid trying to use foul language to sound tough and hip. You are neither. I realized that when we had our wee moment vis a vis Richard Warman’s bluster and your capitulation. The f-bombs were flying and I was bemused. I knew you could do better but, sadly, you didn’t.

Faith was very nice. Forgiving. Down right Christian about you firing her for simply speaking.

You are about to be pushed into a very dark place. Unfairly for the most part. But arrogance and hubris are their own rewards. You never understood Breitbart’s essential truism that culture is upstream of politics. You wanted to be political without the plinth of culture.

And now you’re done.

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We Saw What You Did There

rebel media, ezra levant

As my readers know I have very little time for Ezra Levant and RebelMedia. However, the SJW bullies are now well offside.

From the remarkably self-rightous Independent:

Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) has bowed to pressure and cancelled a booking for a “neo-nazi” conference which was set to take place on one of its ships.

Rebel Media, a far-right group based in Canada, had planned to hold a week-long meeting on-board a NCL Caribbean Cruise. The trip was scheduled to leave in November from Miami and would take in Honduras, Belize, and Mexico. link

The quotes around “neo-nazi” don’t disguise the move. It is a move we are seeing a lot of recently.

Step 1: Ask if a person or organization was on the “right” side on something like Charlottesville. The right side here being unwavering support for the people who “opposed” the Nazis/KKKers/white supremacists who were, if you are woke, the only people who were demonstrating for the retention of the Robert E. Lee statue.

Step 2: If there is a hint, an inkling, of anything less than full Maoist denunciation of the obviously evil alt-right creeps, take that as an indication of support for Nazis. (Same applies to any less than full support for the antifa thugs confronting the alt-right creeps.)

Step 3: Where Step 2 has been successful, you are now able to call the person or organization “Nazi supporters” or “neo-Nazis” and then, and here is where the brilliance of the manoeuvre becomes apparent, you can then ask decent people – such as Norwegian Cruise Lines – if they want to be associated with Nazis, neo or otherwise.

It is a page right out of the Joe McCarthy playbook. Take a lie, turn it into a smear, spread it around.

Is Ez a Nazi? Hardly. Is RebelMedia “neo-Nazi” and is it correct to characterize any conference or cruise put on by RebelMedia as “neo-Nazi”. No and no. And is it correct to repeat the libel as Warren “Lying Jackal” Kinsella did this morning?  Frankly, calling a news organization “neo-Nazi”is libelous on its face. Ez has been known to be a bit trigger happy on the litigation front but filing in Ontario and in London might sober the smearers up a bit.

I suspect RebelMedia is going down in any event largely because it has been seduced into pushing right wing causes of the moment rather than building a solid reportorial reputation. Ez seems to think that, having got his name in the news with an epic rant what is required are epic rants on every topic which pops up on the right wing radar. Combine that with endless fundraising and you will begin to lose the audience you have worked hard to build.

But RebelMedia should not go down as the result of a nasty, fascistic, smear campaign.

Update: It may, however, go down if anything in this video is true.

Upper Date: Which, Ez says is not true and simply an attempt at extortion.

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In Which Ezra Jumps The Shark

Ezra Levant

Not actually Ezra

I don’t actually watch Rebel Media. A bit too over the top for my taste; but I do get their emails and today Ezra went over the top.

There is no question that the prog Silicon Valley people are sharpening the knives for the less than PC people. And there is no question that alternatives to Google, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube are needed.

But this is just nuts:

But making high-tech apps is expensive — all the different parts of it will cost us $302,000. From the app itself, to the video player, to the bandwidth for the hundreds of millions of video views a year that we broadcast.

Ez wants to ride the alternative horse to 300K. So dumb.

Gab got off the ground for about $3000 bucks.

There comes a point where a good idea – The Rebel – needs good management. Ez has his moments as a provocateur but The Rebel, and all who sail in her, would be best served if the “Rebel Commander” was kicked upstairs and smart people came in to run a lean, hard dollar, operation.

Update: In the comments Kathy Shaidle suggests I look at the cost breakdown of Ez’s app palace. Ok, you can read it here. But here are the line items:

Developing the app is going to cost us a lot of money. $120,000, for it to have all the functions I mentioned — all the fun notifications, all the social media, play all the video content.

To integrate it with our video hosting system, and with our payment system, that’s another $19,000.

$90,000 to build a proprietary video player, that runs the videos in the app. That serves up all the gigabytes worth of videos, on demand, quickly, in high def, to replace what YouTube gives us now free.

To move our 6,500 videos over from YouTube to the app, now, is about $13,000 — or about two dollars a video.

To upgrade our existing TV apps for Roku and Apple TV is $20,000.

And $40,000 to upgrade our computer software and servers at our headquarters, to make all of this work.

Together, that’s $302,000. I know that’s a lot. It’s the biggest expense we’ve ever had in our history.

Couple of points. Why bother migrating the entire Rebel catalogue of 6500 videos? Rebel is on the news and, like any other news enterprise, its output fades to irrelevance very quickly. The last couple of hundred vids would be more than enough. Building a “proprietary video player” – what the heck is that? There are dozens of off the shelf video players available for various devices. In terms of video hosting there are dozens of outfits who provide much the same service as You-Tube and some are happy to do so on a “white label” basis.

However, the larger question is why Ez is so convinced the Rebel needs to have proprietary apps and players. It would be a lot smarter to get together with Breitbart, Daily Caller, Gab, GoDuckGo, wikileaks, The Intercept, Kim Dotcom and a host of other “right wing”, no censorship, entities and actually construct the necessary backbone on an open source, distributed basis. The Rebel building its own little walled garden just isolates it from the general conversation on the right. Useful for fundraising, perhaps, but bootless if the objective is to build a work around for SJW and liberal censorship.

 

 

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Damn

I suppose the Conservative Party of Canada is where libertarian dreams go to die.

Scheer is respectable. Nothing wrong with him.

But he is not going to change much.

Too bad. Bernier would have actually represented an alternative to the endless middle of the roadedness of Canadian politics.

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Mad as Hell…

Boris Johnson, BrexitBoris Johnson threw his support to the “Out” campaign in England’s referendum on exiting the European Union today. In a stroke he added legitimacy to Brexit, dismissed the wet Tories under Cameron’s weak leadership and positioned himself as the next Prime Minister of England in the event of an “Out” victory.

Perhaps more importantly, Johnson underscored a revulsion with establishment, business as usual, squishy middle politics which has been occurring all over the world.

The rise and rise of Donald Trump and the collapse of the Republican Party establishment is one manifestation of this. But, more interestingly, the challenge mounted by Bernie Sanders – seemingly quixotic – has rattled the Democratic Party establishment. Unlike the Republicans, the Democrats have an effective firewall in the form of super-delegates to push Hilly over the top; but the fact she is being so effectively challenged from what, in America, could be termed the radical left has been a shock. (It will be even more of a shock if Obama does the right thing for once and lets Hilly be charged with the crimes she so obviously and selfishly committed against the national security of the nation she was sworn to protect.)

On the left in England all of the candidates of the squishy center, whether Brownian or Blairite, went down to total defeat at the hands of Jeremy Corbyn and a rabble roused in its hundreds of thousands.

In each case, and there are more examples in Europe with assorted outre parties of the left and the right running up significant voting and polling numbers, what has happened is that large numbers of ordinary people are no longer content with the “offend nobody, do nothing” approaches of mainstream politicians.

What, precisely, was the trigger for this insurgent attitude varies from nation to nation and party to party but my own sense is that unfettered immigration played a huge role in focusing discontent. At least it did on the right. As well, the sense that the office holders were unwilling to stand up for much of anything created the conditions in which Corbyn, Bernie and The Donald could flourish. Finally, the bien pensant‘s endless attempts to shut down debate about immigration with accusations of racism have not been appreciated.

Watching the lines of migrants snaking through the Balkans or landing in Italy or flooding the Southern United States has not gone down well with people who are already struggling to make ends meet. For the English, the Blairite/EU project of largely open immigration has meant that schools, hospitals and benefits programmes have been overwhelmed. Housing has become hard to find. For the Americans, Obama’s abandonment of the enforcement of the southern border has raised the question of just how many people America can absorb on a yearly basis. And it has also raised the question as to whether America should be selective about who it lets in. Again, when the middle class is being hollowed out by economic forces apparently beyond the control of Washington, putting out the welcome mat to millions of migrants is not attractive.

At the same time, the office holding establishment’s dismissal of these concerns as racist or ignorant or both is a stone in the shoe of many voters on the right. While on the left, the unwillingness of the office holders to make a principled case for a more welcoming immigration strategy for fear of alienating the more traditional working class voters destroyed their legitimacy in the eyes of the activist, progressive and very vocal minority. A Saunders or a Corbyn, while they may not have much appeal for the general electorate, are rallying points for the anti-racist, anti-facist, anti-white, anti-Christian, anti-Isreal progressive core in both the Labour and Democratic parties.

At the height of the Middle Eastern refugee hysteria, a poor little boy was washed up on a Greek island. Like a reflex hammer, the sad little child caused every leftie knee in the world to jerk and jerk hard. Suddenly the left at large was demanding “action”. Even the squishy middle seemed to think that “something must be done”. Then, a few months later came first Paris and then Cologne. Oddly, in terms of reaction, I think the rapes and gropings in Cologne were more significant than the slaughter in Paris. Paris was the work of “terrorists” and only tangentially – in so far as several of the perpetrators were carried in on the tide of refugees – related to the migrant crisis.

Then, a few months later came first Paris and then Cologne. Oddly, in terms of reaction, I think the rapes and gropings in Cologne were more significant than the slaughter in Paris. Paris was the work of “terrorists” and only tangentially – in so far as several of the perpetrators were carried in on the tide of refugees – related to the migrant crisis.

Cologne was different. The rapists and the gropers were not “terrorists”; they were plain, ordinary, Muslim migrants. The Germans and, rather quickly the rest of Europe, woke up to the realization that letting millions of people from an alien – if not actively hostile – Muslim culture into your country was going to have big consequences, mostly unpleasant. They also realized that their government was pretending otherwise and, perhaps worse, attempting to censor the media and the internet to keep their citizens ignorant of the real costs – social, cultural and economic – of migration.

In England the EU referendum is very likely to turn on how best to keep the migrants on the other side of the English Channel. Cameron is pitching European co-operation in the face of a Europe-wide crisis. The Outies will say that until and unless England reasserts real control of her borders, Europe’s migrant crisis will become England’s problem. (And, of course, the leftie luvvies will yell “Racist” and will, I suspect, be ignored because overuse and misuse has rendered that term nugatory.)

In the United States the Trumpian Wall is and will be “Yuge”. It is a concept which will attract support from large numbers of non-elite Republicans and, I suspect, large numbers of working class Democrats who are sick of the endless stream of illegal immigrants clogging the social systems they depend on. Major media and the official Democratic party will continue to pretend that only racists object to unfettered immigration. A position which will alienate the white working class and, if Trump is skillful, annoy the struggling black and Hispanic populations. (Saunders, meanwhile, will have the bully pulpit at the Democratic Convention to decry the inhumanity of deportation of illegal immigrants. A position unlikely to sit well with people who live a little closer to the Mexican border than Vermont.)

Perhaps the most important thing which seems to be happening on the left and the right is that people are willing to look at radical action rather than meandering along the pointless path of the status quo. I may think Corbyn is a dangerous lunatic but I also think that he stands for something rather than nothing. Saunders has a healthy dose of the crazy old left wing uncle about him but he too stands for something no matter how impractical. The main objection to Trump is that he is a vulgarian with only a very limited understanding of the nuances of politics. Which may be true; but many voters may prefer that to the warmed over meatless gruel served up by his competition.

Boris Johnson, old Etonian, journalist, Mayor of London has cultivated an image as an endearing, deeply English, buffoon who rides his bike around London getting into scraps. He is, of course, a very sophisticated politician who can read the signals and gauge the political mood as well or better than Cameron. He is placing a huge bet that the English have had enough of rule from Brussels and that the grossly incompetent handling of the migrant crisis will push them over the edge to Brexit. If he is right Cameron will almost certainly have to resign and any member of the British Cabinet who supported the “Inners” will be disqualified to run for the leadership simply because they will be open to the charge that they cannot be counted on to properly negotiate the terms of Britain’s exit. That leaves the Leadership between Boris and Michael Gove and that, I suspect, is an easy win for Boris.

The next few years are going to be about a fundamental political realignment. The current stock of politicians are going to be kicked to the curb by populations unwilling to let their nations be overrun by people with whom they share nothing in common.

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Timing

A fair number of the louder conservatives are already calling down the Furies on Justin Trudeau and his Cabinet. It turns out the Stephan Dion is just as Green as he ever was and that the Libs are going to throw their shoulders into bringing the 25,000 Syrian refugees to Canada ASAP. And lots more besides. As Lance over at SDA points out:

“I hope the incrementalist Conservatives are paying attention. The liberals are slashing and burning their way back to Trudeaupia and they’ve only been in power for what – a week?”

With 39% of the vote the Libs are doing exactly what they said they were going to do and, of course, the media party is cheering them on.

Whining about the Libs doing what they said they were going to do is dopey. At the moment, and right through the winter and into the spring, the Liberals are going to push their agenda. They are also going to blame the Conservatives for anything which goes wrong. Conservatives who don’t get that are just firing blanks at an indifferent enemy.

Now is an excellent time for Conservatives to think clearly about why, in four years, Canadians should vote for the Conservative Party. Make the assumption that all will go reasonably well for Trudeau. (Over estimate his strength.) Assume further that there is presently no potential Conservative leader who will come close to Trudeau in terms of straight leadership appeal. Now, why would someone vote for the Conservative Party?

It is not enough to shoot at the inevidable “carbon tax”. Conservatives have to go out and actually say why a carbon tax is an expensive, ineffective way of making very little change to a non-existent problem. They need to push back against the dwindling, but loud, anti-scientific, economically illiterate warmists. On migrants they need to actually articulate why it is a bad idea to allow more than 25,000 into Canada while be conspicuous in helping to settle the poor people already in the pipeline.

Conservatives also have to think seriously about their own economic platform. Trudeau is promising 10 billion a year for infrastructure to be financed with deficits. Throughout the campaign there was no coherent response to this bit of economic candy. Was it wrong? If so why? Did the Conservatives have an alternative? What are the pillars of a Conservative economic vision for Canada? That needs to be hashed out before there really can be a coherent response to Trudeau.

Just as every new government has a honeymoon lasting at least six months and often up to a year, a defeated party has a period of reflection. While Ezra and the gang at the Rebel are pouncing on every Liberal announcement and appointment as evidence of Liberal prefidity, they are wasting their breath and annoying the fair minded Canadians who tend to think the new kids should have a bit of a break as they take over.

Winning the next election is going to be touch for the Conservatives, there is no reason to make it tougher by substituting rants for constructive policy. Give Trudeau room to make his mistakes. Give him time to hit the various potholes the world is putting in his way. Most of all, get to work to give Canadians a real alternative to the Liberals.

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The Burbs #ELXN42

Harper, CPC, Rob Ford

Who has let those dreadful people in?

The night before E-Day and the campaigns are pushing, hard or not, to hit the last few swing seats. Smart war rooms have closed down the news cycle and are throwing what resources they have left at GOTV efforts for the Day. (Really smart campaigns have been working the advanced polls to get as many of their committed voters “in the box” before E-Day as possible.

The media seem to be hedging a bit as the polls are pretty inconclusive – JT up a bit, but then there is EKOS… – but they are all pretty sure Harper screwed himself being seen at a Ford Brothers shindig on Saturday night.

Chris Selley marked the desperation:

And then, there was Saturday night — a brand new low for a conservative party that has abandoned so very many of its conservative principles. Drugs or no drugs, the Fords’ politics is a flailing, nihilist mashup of spite, fantasy and delusion masquerading as “Respect for Taxpayers.” The Tories wear that now. If they lose on Monday, they will have utterly debased themselves doing so. national post 

Young Justin, fresh from discovering that one of his key campaign aides has been peddling advice on how to reach out to the new Prime Minister, went deep Annex on Harper:

Trudeau, asked during an appearance in Montreal about the prime minister’s association with the Ford brothers, said Harper should be “embarrassed that he’s having to count on the support of Rob Ford for his re-election.” national post

The Fords touch a very deep-rooted snobbery which lies at the heart of Canadian politics. Rob Ford’s fall from a weird sort of grace was, from the Annex and the deep bunkers of the CBC and the Toronto Star all the way to the languor of the virtual common room which the Globe and Mail effects, a much needed correction in the Canadian universe. People like the Fords, brash, uncouth, beer-drinking – Labatts not artisanal – get up the noses of the decent people who recycle, cry for refugees and are convinced global warming is the moral challenge of our age.

Oddly the people whining about Harper sharing a stage with the Fords were not going to vote for Harper. The question is will Ford Nation turn out? Harper probably has very little time for the Fords; but he needs the votes they can bring in order to win the suburban ridings which ring the orange and red ridings of downtown Toronto.

Like most Canadian elections, this election is not going to be won in the downtown core of Toronto or Montreal or Vancouver or Calgary: it will be won in the burbs. Burbs where Ford Nation and the bluer sort of Tory feel right at home. The years that Jason Kenny has invested in the Sikh and Chinese and Hindu communities have made whole tracts of the burbs winable CPC seats. An ethnic strategy which recognizes the social conservatism of many ethnic communities is about to be tested.

The Canadian “middle class” does not live downtown. It lives in cul d’sacs and townhouses and Vancouver Specials. For a decade Harper and the CPC have been weaning it away from the Liberal Party. Ford Nation is about aspiration.

Aspirational, middle class, voters are a huge part of this election. Either the CPC strategy has worked and these voters will stay aligned with Harper and the CPC and their pocketbooks  or it will have failed and those voters will take a flyer on JT.

Chris and Justin are “shocked and appalled” that Harper would take seriously these sorts of people. It will be interesting to see if Harper has made an astute political bet or if Ford Nation is just déclassé bluster.

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Splits #Elxn42

So, here we go. Last few days of the campaign. Mulcair dropping, JT rising, Lizzie May ready to double her seat total – Victoria is in play.

Will the kids with the smartphones show up? The Lying Jackal figures that if they do JT wins. But will they?

As I drove down the highway with my buddy the Mad Monk we were talking about the election. He is NDP to the core. The question is the splits. This election has been about getting rid of Harper. The Libs and the NDP are both pitching themselves as the ABC party. But neither have closed the deal. Strategic voters, whose numbers are impossible to determine, are supposed to vote for the non-CPC candidate in their riding who has the best chance of beating the Tory. But tribes are strong. For a Dipper to vote Liberal is more than a little problematic. Perhaps the younger ones. A Liberal, carried away by Trudeau’s weird version of hope and change? Voting NDP is voting for no hope and no change. They probably get that.

The Cons have abase and then they have a halo. People who do not identify as Tory but who are not attracted to either the NDP or the Libs. They may not actively like Harper but they don’t hate him either. They are the difference between 33% and 39%. Third place or a majority. The CPC knows this.

I told the mad monk that, all things considered, the CPC have managed to keep hope alive for both the NDP and the Libs. They have to because a sudden shift to the Libs or the NDP will sink a hundred CPC seats. The media are so far in the tank for the Grits that actual information has more or less ceased to flow. They want the bandwagon effect to kick in. Will it?

I am awful at predicting elections. I am up at Kate’s prediction pool with 183 seats for the Tories. I don’t think the kids will show up and those who do will be just as likely to vote Green as make a difference. I think the niqab will win Harper seats in Quebec – and the rest of Canada. I think that the idea of JT as Prime Minister is not all that attractive to a serious fraction of the voters, even the ones who hate Harper. And I think that the NDP and the Liberals are going to come second, by a hair, in thirty to fifty seats simply because neither of them is an overwhelmingly attractive, electable, ABC choice.

Harper is not dumb. Nor is is warroom. They have kept Trudeau and Mulcair in this. The collapse of Mulcair in Quebec means seats for the Tories and, perhaps, for the BQ who will likely support Harper in Parliament.

Outside the Annex, Ontario is shifting to a two party race. Mulcair is essentially sunk beyond a few, public servant rich, ridings in Ottawa and a couple of hipster enclaves in TO. Now we see if Trudeau can break out in the burbs. If he can’t Harper has, at minimum, a minority.

Do the kids show up? The mad monk tells me that as he scrutineers the advanced poll he’s seeing lots of kids. Could happen. My bet is against.

But I am usually wrong.

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Islam is a Race?

islamicbritain-walthamstow-muslim-Jamaal-Uddin-assault-072013-400x266

“Islam is a religion. But “Muslim” is a signifier, and the signified is not your reassuringly white neighbour. Let’s dispense with the disingenuous distinctions of Muslim-baiters and see their xenophobia for what it is—racism in another guise.”  Dr. Dawg

I commented….

What a silly position.

“When I use a word,’ Humpty Dumpty said in rather a scornful tone, ‘it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.”
“The question is,” said Alice, “whether you can make words mean so many different things.”
“The question is,” said Humpty Dumpty, “which is to be master— that’s all.”

—–

The Dawg wants xenophobia to be racism (which is, presumptively, just so damned evil). And he deems Islam to be a religion which, amazingly, is the only racialized religion on the planet. (Oh, and by the way, in other contexts, race is simply a social construct which, I suppose, allows it to be applied, like whitewash, to any instance where it might be useful.)

Now a reasonable person might query, “Why does Dawg want Islam to be a race?” What is useful about converting a religion into a race? How does this assist our understanding of that thing? Or, cynically, is racializing Islam designed as a last ditch attempt to prevent us from understanding that thing?

—–

Here is a suggestion. Try running the argument that Islam is only superficially a religion; scratch the surface and you find a political ideology as fully elaborated as conservatism, liberalism, socialism or fascism. Rather than trying to fit up Islam as a race – which either does damage to Islam or to the common sense idea of race – why not pay attention to its distinctly political elements.

Do races have “law”? Islam does. Do races have a singular position on the Jews? Islam does. Do races have specific views of homosexuality? Islam does. Do races have injunctions as to how to treat non-members? Islam does. Do races have strictures as to how to treat women? Islam does. Do races proselytize? Islam does.

—–
One may be xenophobic or racist with respect to an actual race; but rejecting a political ideology is neither. It may be prudent. It may preserve political positions which are the basis of our society and culture; but it cannot be racist.

For the “progressive” left the defence of Islam should be a deep and enduring embarrassment. Every progressive principle, from basic human equality, feminism, anti-discrimination, anti-slavery, anti-imperialism is violated repeatedly and doctrinally by Islam.

Yet you excuse it. You accuse people who want to fight the evil politics of Islam of the very worst of progressive sins: racism. Because, for some reason, you seem convinced that it is somehow your duty to welcome the agents of your own destruction to your own country and culture. You have this weird need to prostrate yourselves before a politics of brutality, conquest, rape and subjugation.

You’ll have to excuse me if I can’t join you in your political and cultural surrender.

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Enter the Dragon

001The French language debate – a rite in which each leader demonstrates his or her grasp of French and Quebec issues – turned up something interesting. Mulcair and Trudeau think the niqab is perfectly suitable attire for taking your citizenship oath: Harper and Duceppe don’t.

Neither, it turns out, do 80% of Canadians and 90% of Quebecers. There’s a fine old fight going on at Dawg’s blog in which Dawg himself says,

The niqab, after all, is just synedoche for the Muslim presence in Canada. In the service of hatred and fear, articles of ethnic clothing are completely interchangeable.

The electorate has become a mob. And how easy it was. dr.dawg

While I certainly don’t agree that the electorate has become a mob, I think Dawg is exactly right when he says that the niqab has become “synedoche for the Muslim presence in Canada” (synedoche means a part which represents the whole (yes, I had to look it up too)).

All of a sudden the people of Canada have the opportunity to express their views about Muslim immigration. Perhaps not directly – after all the niqab is not a particularly good proxy for Islam as it is not required religiously and not all Muslim women feel compelled to wear it – but far more overtly than the topic has ever been broached before.

Dawg ascribes all manner of sinister motives to Harper, his Aussie advisor and the CPC in bringing this up at all. For all I know this may very well be an exercise in wedge politics. If it is then it is about time that this wedge be tested.

Immigration policy in Canada has never really been put to any sort of popular test. Nor has the ruling class’s conviction that the only thing which matters about Islam is Islamophobia. Dawg lines up nicely with the ruling class and, in the lively comments, states,

There IS no legitimate debate about the degree a government should be prepared to extend human rights to minorities. Rights should never be up for debate, and frankly I don’t give a damn what Chantal (Hebert) says to the contrary. dr dawg

Apparently, well over 80% of Canadians disagree with this position.

Partially, I think, the debate turns on whether one sees Muslim immigration as just another instance of immigration or if one sees such immigration, particularly from the Middle East, Africa and parts of Asia, as potentially more problematic than other sorts of immigration.

There are thousands of Muslim immigrants to Canada who lead rich, full integrated lives as Canadians. I am thinking particularly of the several hundred thousand Ismailis who arrived as refugees in the 1970s and have gone on to build vibrant, integrated communities all over Canada.

However, there is a growing minority of Muslims who have moved to Canada but who seem incapable of leaving their old countries, customs and culture behind. The burkas at Walmart are one thing, the demand for segregated swimming times another, the terrorism and support for Sharia law yet another.

Over at Dawg’s the argument seems to be that even noticing that there are Muslim immigrants who do not integrate well into Canadian society is bigoted or racist. Which it may well be; but Canadians have the right to at least discuss how they would like their country to evolve. Should we welcome immigrants from parts of the world where anti-Semitism is matter of fact? Where women are treated as chattels? Where support for the barbarity of Sharia law is a religious duty?

Harper – perhaps by design, perhaps by accident – has given Canadians the opportunity to discuss and, maybe, vote based upon their particular answer to the question of whether, in general, we should accommodate the religious, cultural and political demands of Islam.

I suspect he has won the election by giving Canadians that choice.

[And, as a bonus, I rather doubt that there are any Canadians other than the editorial board of the Globe and Mail, who don’t take a certain satisfaction when convicted terrorists are stripped of their Canadian citizenship. Just as few Canadians lamented when various Nazi war criminals lost their citizenship.]

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