Tag Archives: CPC

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.

Advertisements
Tagged , ,

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.]

Tagged , , ,

Betrayed: Stephen Harper’s war on principled conservatism – A Review

51i7c9ikkIL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_Various people have asked me why I will not vote for Stephen Harper and the Conservatives in this election. While the Cons’ failure to seriously tackle the deficit, reduce the size of government and begin to dismantle the Liberal state are all good reasons, I probably would hold my nose one more time if it were not for one, fundamental fact: C-51. And I might have even given Harper a pass on C-51 if I didn’t know the Conservative record on free speech, the perversion of the Human Rights Commission and the legal thuggery which attended it.

Connie Fournier and her husband Mark are not going to be voting for the Harper Conservatives either: Connie has detailed her reasons in Betrayed: Stephen Harper’s war on principled conservatism.

Full disclosure: I’ve met Connie and Mark once and I provided an affidavit in their defence when Dr. Dawg sued them for libel (a case which they won at great personal expense). Connie and I chat on Google and, in so far as it is possible to have friends you only chat with on the internet, I’d like to think Connie is one of mine.

The Fourniers are ordinary, middle class Canadians – Mark drives long haul trucks, Connie was a homeschooling stay-at-home mum – who were politically involved as far back as the Canadian Alliance. They started a website called Free Dominion in 2001 where conservatives of various sorts could post topics and comments and have a good time arguing among themselves. Continue reading

Tagged , , , ,

Security

Tom Mulcair

NDP leader Tom Mulcair 

Apparently the Lying Jackal is stuck in an airport and he writes,

Bottom line, as noted above: most of the job in politics, now, is simply getting people to pay attention. My hunch is that the hue and cry about that CPC/ISIS/JT ad has helped to achieve the mission’s key objective: i.e., to get the electorate to pay attention in the sleepy Summer months and agree, yet again, that Justin Trudeau “just isn’t ready” to deal with the Satanic horrors that seemingly occur daily in this world.

That may make you mad. That may leave you outraged. But it’s unlikely you were ever part of the audience the CPC had in mind when they did the thing up on some staffer’s computer, for about ten bucks.‎

Oh, and why was I stuck in the WestJet waiting area, for hour after hour?

Because the airline had been targeted by a bunch of bomb threats in recent days, that’s why. ‎People getting hurt jumping out of planes, planes getting grounded so the cops can search for bombs.

Hope and fear: they work.

Fear works particularly well when, you know, it corresponds with reality. lying jackal

He is referring to the now notorious CPC ISIS ad. Which will, having done its job, be forgotten by October. But there is a larger picture emerging which the CPC will be mining for the next few months. It is about headlines.

Greece Collapses/China’s Markets in Freefall/Vancouver Housing Prices in Orbit/Ontario Bond Rating one grade above Junk/Fire Engulfs West/Drought!/ISIS battles Egypt/Refugees Flood Italy/Iran Outwits Obama/Putin outwits Obama/Mexicans outwit Obama/Missing IRS emails found on Hilary’s Private Server (OK, I made that one up)….

Write your own. If they are not true they soon may be.

At the moment the world is a rather hostile and confusing place. Central banks and governments are out of bullets when it comes to the next financial crisis. Canadian housing prices – in Vancouver and Toronto – have hit heights where even the people who own the houses are beginning to wonder if this is all a bubble. There are real terrorists in the world and they certainly have the capacity to land on European and likely North American soil.

Much as Canadians may loathe Harper, and many do, the question of security, broadly defined, is a huge factor in the next election. Taking a flyer on Justin is emerging as a non-starter. Mulcair? Perhaps if the economy was booming or the terrorists back in their caves he’d be a grand alternative to Steve the Dull. But right now?

The oil patch is trying to adjust to $50-60 oil prices. We’re running a significant trade deficit. The Canadian dollar is weak. We’ve had a couple of lone-wolf, ISIS inspired, if not directed, terrorist attacks. Is this the time you want to trade the bland, but largely competent, Harper for the untested Mulcair and his band of one term MPs?

The CPC does not have to sell Harper. We know exactly what we are getting. But the NDP has to sell Mulcair and, as they do, they open up his flanks to the doubt ads the CPC will run. We know Justin isn’t ready. Is Mulcair? Plant that question in the minds of a nervous population and Harper wins in a romp. Not because people like him, not because people embrace the CPC’s limited vision for Canada, rather because in conditions of uncertainty “change” is terrifying.

 

Tagged , , , ,

The Divide

Justin Trudeau

Canadian, eh?

“Canada’s diversity is our great and unique strength,” Trudeau said in an interview with The Canadian Press.

“We are the one country in the world that has figured out how to be strong, not in spite of our differences but because of them. So, the prime minister of this country has a responsibility to bring people together in this country, not to divide us by pandering to some people’s fears.”

Harper’s approach “frays away the edges of our multicultural fabric … (by) stoking and pandering to fears rather than allaying them,” he added.
What’s more, “it’s unworthy of someone who is prime minister for all Canadians.” justin trudeau

Trudeau is reflecting a view that somehow Canadians who oppose special treatment for Muslims are afraid of Muslims.

The alternative view is that Canada should treat all of its citizens equally and pander to none.

By making unnecessary – the veil is not a religious requirement of Islam – accommodation for particular classes of citizens and potential citizens we are creating the conditions in which there may well, in time, be something to fear as there is in France, England, Denmark, Holland, Germany and many other European nations.

Refusing to allow a Muslim woman to take her citizenship oath wearing a political statement is making it easy for a political cult to infest Canada. There are many Canadians who are uneasy with the demands political Islam makes. Excluding a woman who refuses to unveil will make Canada seem a bit hostile to political and cultural Islam. Good. Let people who want veiled women and sharia law go somewhere else. Canada neither needs nor wants them.

Trudeau thinks we have figured out how to be strong in spite of differences. We have; but none of the differences which prior groups of immigrants have brought to Canada include explicit political loyalty to a supremacist cult. The veil is an explicitly political act and, frankly, a direct insult to the nation the veiled woman and her family wish to emigrate to.

The divide in Canada is between those of us who see Islam as an overtly expansionist political organization with a thin veneer of religion and those, like Trudeau, who deny the express teachings of the Koran, the Wahabbi supremacy and the anti-asimilationist rhetoric that is modern Islam. Trudeau seems to be under the impression that there is nothing to fear, nothing to reject in Islam. He is wrong and by attacking Harper for recognizing the profound political importance of the veil, he is demonstrating just how unfit he is for office.

Tagged , , ,
Advertisements
%d bloggers like this: