Category Archives: NDP

Endgame for the Left

When AfD won 13 percent of the vote in Germany the immediate reaction of the very,very, hard left was to attack the victory party.

Of course it was. Because the antifa people are, frankly, idiots. Idiots with fascist tendencies and a propensity for random street violence if they think some icon of the left is under attack.

Viewed on any sort of time horizon, antifa, BLM, SJWs and the rest of the Left’s storm troopers will fade into obscurity in a matter of a year or two. But the damage they will do to the “respectable” left will last for decades.

Radical minorities, splinters, if they are violent enough, will ensure that the left is tainted as violence supporting for a very long time. The more intelligent of the antifa idiots are willing to see this as a very good thing because it will drive the frail, democracy supporting, lefties out of the left.

For the moderate left antifa presents, along with vicious identity politics, the endgame for Progressivism. Empowered, deeply ahistorical, children with no impulse control will deliver election after election the centre and to the right. Which will be fine with antifa; but which will kill a hundred years of serious socialist infiltration. The normals will wake up and begin to fight back.

The most delightful part, from a right-wing perspective, is that the moderate left can’t figure out how to disown the lefty babies of antifa nor can it quite unwind the identitarian idiocy it has done so much to nurture. The wilderness looms large.

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Islam is a Race?

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“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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Debate, eh?

Elizabeth may, leaders debateWell I watched pretty much the whole thing. One of the 30,000 or so people who did on YouTube.

Justin showed up. Wore pants, albeit short pants, and sounded like a really quite good university debater. Tom was unctuous. Lizzie was, sorry to say, drowned out. And Steve looked very much like the sort of adult one would want to have as Prime Minister. (And I don’t like Steve.)

No one landed a zinger. No one ran over time. Everyone was quite polite and very Canadian. On my Twitter feed one American who was watching the Republican Gong show could not help but compare and contrast and wish the US had something like the pretty solid debate we had tonight.

My one note is this: Trudeau, Mulcair and Harper all talked over Lizzie May. It grated. I kept hoping that Harper would “white knight” Liz and say something simple like “let her finish”, or “Miss May was speaking”. It would have made Mulcair and Trudeau look like the bullies they so clearly are. It would have been smart politics too. Liz put up a credible performance tonight. Yes, of course she is a lunatic; but she was not wrong on C-51. She is a weirdly decent person and that came through.

Harper could easily have called the other boys to order and demonstrated the real leadership his campaign is trying to project. He didn’t.

It was not a fatal error, but it was an opportunity missed.

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Dog Days

In my business summer is quiet, very quiet, too quiet. Exciting as it is that there may be an election called tomorrow it does nothing for that sense of sleepy summer days.

So I threw a proposal out yesterday which could make for a good deal of fun. And there are two others waiting for people who are also doing the long weekend thing.

But summer time is about spending a bit of time actually off duty. Relaxing. Having a beer in the hot afternoon. Taking most of Friday off. Swimming in the lake. Watching the full moon rise all orange with a bit of smoke and cloud.

If Harper calls an election tomorrow he knows virtually the entire country will ignore the call until after Labour Day. All he is really doing is shutting down the third party advertisers and bleeding the campaign treasuries of his opponents. It is a shitty thing to do but it is one of the prerogatives of the Premiership.

This promises to be a very odd election. Going in Harper has an economy in a weird form of freefall, a decent but deeply unexciting record, a dollar which is oversold and an electorate which is mildly hostile. The last is the most interesting thing. For all of the “I hate Harper” sentiment reported in the media the word “hate” is likely too strong. A better way of putting it might be that the electorate wish there was a better, more inspiring, leader on offer. Justin looked hot until people actually listened to him. Mulcair has never looked hot.

The Harper haters are legion and they win the social media game going away. However, there are all of a couple of thousand people who check in with #cdnpoli with any regularity and while this and other hashtags will inform the dimmer sections of the MSM it is unlikely to have much actual effect. If, as I suspect, JT is destined to be an also-ran, the question in this election is whether or not Mulcair can fit together all the Canada’s into an “anyone but Harper” wave. It is a difficult trick. It is not enough to hit 35% of the popular vote, that vote has to translate to seats. Somehow the NDP has to reach the aspirational middle class out in the burbs.

Harper has made a study of the burbs. He knows the hockey mad dads and the security mums. He knows all about New Canadians who want to get on the ladder to success and, if they can’t make it, make sure their kids can. In a sixty day campaign Harper can hit the burbs and talk about lower taxes and better government. He can paint the NDP as the public service unions’ poodle. He can run against the insanity which is the Wynne government.

The Tories have been a deeply uninspiring governing party. In a sense their principle claim will be that the ship of the Canadian state has not yet sunk under their command. Which, realistically, is an accomplishment but it is not extraordinary. Harper is not going to suddenly become a “great Prime Minister” in the next sixty days. Instead, I suspect he will run a cautious campaign in which he and his government will make something of a virtue out of their blandness.

I can’t imagine any voter going to vote will be fired by a great passion for Harper or the Tories; rather, this election will be won if voters see the alternatives to Harper as riskier than he is. In choppy seas there is a lot to be said for the patient, cautious captain who knows his ship and crew intimately.

What this election lacks is an actual issue. There is not a single thing which, in the dog days of summer, will grab the electorate. Senate Reform? Please. Climate Change? Over. The Budget? Plus/minus a billion it’s balanced. National Unity? Is that even a thing any more? Immigration? What are you, a racist? Gay Marriage? Done Deal. Jobs? Not yet. Scandal? Only if you live in the Annex. Security? Cuts Harper’s way and will be ignored.

So the only actual issue is whether or not people “hate” Harper enough to vote for the unknown. Can’t quite see that myself.

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