The Canadian Political Landscape


A recent discussion prompted me to outline my understanding of the Canadian political landscape.

There are only two coherent views of government, two coherent ideologies. One sees the state as like a family. Everybody is responsible for everybody else. The government is in the role of parent. It has a moral duty to do whatever it can for the good of the whole, in trust, and to help everyone in need. This is the classic conservative view, as articulated by Edmund Burke. 

The other is that the government is in the role of a contractor. There is a social contract, under which the government has specific responsibilities. The government is not our parent, because all men are created equal. We freely hire it to do a specific job. Whenever possible, we decide for ourselves, because we are all adults and free will is the reason we exist. This is the classic liberal view, as articulated by Jefferson or Lord Acton. 

I am a liberal, and have always been a liberal. My views have not changed since adolescence. Then, these views seemed to put me on the left; now, they seem to put me on the right. Left and right have lost all meaning, it seems.

Liberalism has often been confused with sexual libertinism, which is something else. The proper liberal definition of liberty is that given by Pope St. John Paul II: freedom is freedom to do what is right. After the right to life, the prime and essential human right is the right to conscience; because without free will, we cannot act as moral beings. Sinful acts are not expressions of freedom, because we become enslaved to the sin. That is what vice is.

Government must not decide for us on moral questions.

The liberal will not want laws against sodomy or pornography, for example, unless their exercise can be shown to infringe on the rights of others. But he or she will certainly not want the state endorsing sodomy or pornography, or giving them special privileges, or a public forum. Forcing others to endorse sodomy, pornography, or the like; publicly funding them; or teaching them to children in state schools as positive values; is profoundly illiberal, as it forces some to go against their conscience. Laws against sodomy or pornography are less problematic, since nobody is bound by conscience to engage in masturbation or homosexual sex.

Liberalism requires opposition to abortion. The right to life is fundamental.

“Hate speech” laws are profoundly illiberal, as well as antidemocratic.

The entire edifice on which liberalism is built, is the doctrine of human equality and the importance of free will. These are Christian principles; you could also say Jewish. Without Christianity, without ethical monotheism, they collapse. Any government that does not acknowledge this and support the Jewish and Christian religions is illiberal. This does not mean obstructing freedom of religion for any citizen.

The rap against liberalism is that it does not provide for the less fortunate, as conservatism argues for. The liberal response is that government entitlements subvert morality by supplanting charity. Private charity is a moral act; there is no morality in paying taxes. Government entitlements also subvert free will by teaching dependence; they violate the doctrine of human equality; and they violate property rights.

That said, nobody should be left homeless or to starve or to die from lack of medical care. This is no departure from liberal principles; a basic social safety net follows from the right to life. The idea, currently popular, of having a Guaranteed Annual Income actually originated with Milton Friedman’s “negative income tax.” There is also a liberal argument, made by Friedman, that education should be free to the individual, including college or university, on the principle of human equality and no inherited privilege.

A liberal position logically calls for a strong defense. Government exists to protect our rights from being infringed. This includes protecting us from foreign enemies. It also implies support for alliances, the concept of collective security: that is exactly what government is for on the individual level.

As a liberal, I do not want government legislating morality, because that interferes with the exercise of free will, and therefore with the human mission to become a moral being.

Moreover, it violates the principle of human equality. There are no superior beings competent to know better than the individual what is best for every individual. Were there, there is no mechanism to ensure they are the ones that end up in government.

But I can respect the conservative or Red Tory position. Sometimes, with an ill-educated or ill-informed electorate, or in times of social chaos, when the structures of civil society are absent, it is perhaps best.

Now, given this definition, the Canadian Liberal Party is not liberal. The liberals, as opposed to the Liberals, are now what in Canada are called “Blue Tories.” 

But the Liberal Party is not conservative either. Those are the “Red Tories.” Like the conservatives, the Liberals want big government, and want to restrict free will and the individual–liberty. But the Liberals, and the modern left generally, are a third thing, not a coherent philosophy of government but a collective madness, inchoate rage, an urge to control everything, kill everyone and then commit suicide. Nazism, Marxism, wokeism, postmodernism, Mao’s Cultural Revolution; it is all the same thing. There is no God, nothing is real, there is no right and wrong, gimme.

I believe Justin Trudeau is the worst prime minister Canada has ever had. The first qualification for office has to be wanting what is best for the country. Trudeau has no allegiance to Canada; he is on record saying there is no Canadian cultural mainstream. Canada to him is no more than a geographical location. The second qualification is mere competence; Trudeau has no relevant experience or education and no idea what he is doing. He is only play-acting. The third qualification is honesty, and Trudeau is as corrupt as he thinks he can get away with. Scandal after scandal, and no remorse.

All this before even getting to his political ideology, which is just the aforesaid collective tantrum; and then his specific policies. He has Canada on track to join the Third World. I suggested this to colleagues in New Blue six months ago, and to them that seemed hyperbolic. Now everyone in my feeds online seems to be saying it. The figures on falling productivity are obvious.

Trudeau has also done a remarkable job of destroying Canada’s international standing, built up with blood, sweat, and tears over the years. I am particularly sensitive to this, as a Canadian who lived for so long abroad. Our reputation abroad was one foundation of our prosperity, vastly underestimated. Canada had widespread and favourable brand recognition. Trudeau is an instinctive bully; he likes to pick fights and try to dominate. And he is too stupid not to pick fights with international leaders he encounters. Nor does he care about the damage he is doing.

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