home > archive > 2003 > this article
Canadian conservatism needs relationship rescue: " and how's that working for Canada's neighbour?" - Part 2 of 3
By J.L. Jackson and Lisa
Canadian conservatives have become political refugees. That is why more and more of Canada's top conservative thinkers continue to pack their bags and move south.
Real live, full-out, traditional conservatism is so traditional it is revolutionary. America's freedom has allowed conservative ideas to come back into vogue. Great writers and thinkers like David Frum, author of The Right Man: the surprise presidency of George W. Bush, are Canadian conservatives who are bi-national in their approach, bringing a new North American perspective to conservatism.
Judging by the sheer volume of Canadian emails read each day on CNN's Crossfire, it appears that Crossfire, and other American political shows like it, may soon be replacing hockey as Canada's national pastime (Canadians do not receive FOX News as it has not been approved by the CRTC). In November, Crossfire host Robert Novak, had the good sense to call Canadians "weenies". This comment was following the "moron" fiasco, when the Chretien's aide Francois Ducros, was heard calling Bush a moron to a CBC reporter. Incidentally, it was not the state sponsored CBC reporter who reported the scene (indicating an incestuous relationship between CBC's political reporters and Liberal bureaucrats): the National Post's Robert Fife blew the lid off the story by reporting what was said, and which Liberal bureaucrat said it. Quite revolutionary in Canadian journalistic circles.
Ducros turned out to be just one left-wing Liberal in a long line of Liberals who like the Germans and the French, plan on riding anti-American sentiment as an electoral ploy. We have Carolyn Parrish, Liberal MP from Mississauga, Ontario, caught on tape exclaiming, "Damn Americans, I hate those bastards." When questioned in Mexico, Prime Minister Chretien easily dismissed Parrish's statements as merely part of a "love-hate" relationship. Even going so far as to justify Parrish's outburst, "We should have somewhat the right to have a personal reaction toward something," Chretien told Canadian Press. On the eve of the United States going into Iraq we even had a government minister, Herb Dhaliwal stressing his opinion that Bush failed as statesman in the Iraq process. Chretien, by this time has tried to put the brakes on the growing rabid anti-Americanism that is breaking out in his caucus, but this is difficult when it has obviously been encouraged behind closed doors up to this point in time.
Are Canadians weenies?
In frustration with a seemingly indiscriminate Liberal voting preference, many Canadian conservatives might agree with Novak's weeniness assessment. But Novak's "blame Canada" analysis is rather South Parkishly simplistic. It neither helps Canadian conservatism or American homeland security. Novak would be more accurate in saying the Canadian Liberal government and its bureaucrats a bunch of "weenies". That is a statement a great many Canadians would agree with.
Even though Canadians are becoming increasingly disenchanted with the Liberal government, for many, there is apparently no alternative to the Liberals.
Why should Americans care if Canadian conservatism is having trouble finding its voice? Americans need to care because conservatism is Canada's last defence for a free and democratic future. In examining, " and how's that working for Canada's neighbour?" Americans will find that the Canadian Liberal government's weeniness and the lack of a real conservative alternative is pulling the United States down.
Canadian border security and Hillary Clinton
You just know things are bad, when Hillary Clinton points out that Canadian border security and immigration policy is ''pretty liberal''. Ottawa, of course, demanded an apology, and Clinton rightfully refused to give one. Michael John Hamdani tricked Canadian Mounties into thinking that five men supposedly infiltrated the United States from Canada over the New Year's holiday, hoping to cut a better deal after being caught operating a fake passport business. "In fact, because of the real deficiencies in security along our northern border, this hoax seemed all too believable,'' Clinton said.
Rather then buying into Canadian nana booboo' vindication regarding the fact that these five didn't cross, Senator Clinton is quite right in pointing out that they could have. And considering the Canadian raid uncovered hundreds of fake passports, immigration documents, and counterfeit traveler's checks for hundreds of thousands of dollars, one wonders how many have crossed already?
Toronto police agree with Senator Clinton. Mid-February, Toronto police called Canada a "sieve". The comment was related to two Jamaicans accused of violent robbery and hostage taking, re-entering the country. Phillip Snead, an American charged with drug offences, was also once again caught in Ontario this same week, he has been deported to the United States and re-entered Canada a total of 12 times.
The Canadian military's decline a concern for Canada's neighbour
The Canadian military has been so effectively gutted, many wonder if Canada were attacked, what kind of defence the Canadian military could realistically offer. This of course, opens up a giant, yawning northern hole in United States homeland security.
The impetus for the moron' debacle was President Bush's suggestion at last year's NATO summit that Canada needs to increase its defence spending. This struck a raw nerve in Canadian Liberal circles for all the right reasons.
Still not having come to grips with the reality that Canada too, has made Bin Laden's hit list, the Liberal's whine they cannot afford to finance the army. It is true that military spending is expensive, and since Canada can cheaply ride on America's coat tails, why bother wasting money? It is much better to spend Canadian tax dollars fighting "child poverty" -- a cause that is empathetically vague and abstract -- a great excuse to create new government departments to study the issue. Bigger government, not a bigger army is always the Liberal agenda.
The current Liberal budget delivered in February, supposedly increases military spending to $800 million per year. But first a little arithmetic -- minus $200 million (recent military spending cuts) from this year's defence budget, and don't forget to include Canada's Leopard tanks being scrapped, bringing this year's spending actually to less than $600 million. The Liberals brag that this much has not been spent on the Canadian military since the 1991 Gulf War, but that offers scarce comfort in a dangerous world where gutting Canada's army has been a long-term, ongoing Liberal project.
The state of the Canadian military is bad and getting worse. In September, Lewis MacKenzie, Major General (ret'd), wrote an open letter to President Bush asking if he wouldn't mind donating a spare billion or so to the Canadian army. Published in the National Post, the letter was satirical, but it was also prophetic. In November Canada's homeland security received the short shrift when the Coast Guard in Newfoundland ran out of gas. The federal minister in charge told them to dock their ships "unless they are needed".
Paul Martin, Canada's supposed Prime Minister-in-waiting, will hopefully endorse higher defence spending, but he is expected to also streamline Canada's military and focus on areas of expertise. Translation: Martin will follow Chretien's gutting as much as he can get away with.
Canada's isolationist stretch is increasing in all policy, but nowhere is this current Liberal regime's isolationism more stubbornly noticeable than in its drug policy. Canada should be working with its North American allies to combat the traffic of illegal drugs, if for not other reason then organised crime and drug trafficking money is helping to finance terrorism. But instead Canadian Justice Minster Martin Cauchon has pledged to decriminalize marijuana in the early part of 2003. Logically he will try to sneak this Liberal legislation through while Americans are preoccupied in Iraq, hoping President Bush who has already placed Canada on the United States drug list, will not notice.
And if Mexico, Nigeria, Thailand and twenty other countries made President Bush's "majors" list, Canada and Holland made the minors'. Canada was singled out as a "primary source of pseudoephedrine," exported to the States for the illegal production of synthetic drugs like Ecstasy. In January, Health Canada approved new policy regulating pseudoephedrine (also used as cold medication). Losing patience with Canada's ongoing foot dragging, however, the US proclamation stated the regulations "should be stronger."
President Bush is also concerned Canada is becoming an, "increasing source of high potency marijuana." Canadians should also be concerned.
The US Drug Enforcement Agency reported in 2000, "Canadian law enforcement officials estimate that [hydroponic] cannabis cultivation in British Columbia now yields a billion-dollar annual profit." This is the infamous "BC Bud," biogenetically altered through plant hormones and steroids: potency is between 15 25 per cent THC (active cannabis ingredient) while pot smoked in the 1970's was 2 per cent THC. Add this to a RCMP report explaining how some trafficking groups are smuggling cocaine back into Canada in payment for their illegal high-grade weed. In February, a Globe and Mail article also reported three men caught smuggling guns back into Canada in a likely guns-for-drugs deal.
According to the US State Department, 11 Canadian federal departments are only spending approximately $500 million to combat illicit drug use in Canada. A very paltry amount, considering the Liberal government flushed over $1 billion down the toilet chasing duck hunters and farmers who haven't registered grandpa's rusty old rifle. Compare this also to the $2 billion the current Liberal regime has put aside for Kyoto's vague pre-implementation needs in the recent budget added to the $1.6 billion already spent prior to Kyoto's ratification.
In decriminalizing marijuana, Canada is following a European drug policy, but is physically situated in North America. The United States would not be blamed if it were to wonder if in following Holland's freewheeling 30 grams decriminalization policy, Canada's goal was to reach for Holland's dubious achievement of now rivalling Morocco as the principal source of European marijuana. Decriminalization in Holland combined with other liberal drug laws has encouraged a lucrative home grow pot industry that has given growers the financial leverage to move into the synthetic drug industry, manufacturing drugs like Ecstasy and amphetamines mostly for export. Holland has also become the primary world supplier of Ecstasy and other synthetic drugs. Even well known appeaser, French President Jacques Chirac has harshly criticized Dutch drug policy, demanding Holland get tough on drugs and crime. Thanks to a proliferation of socially Liberal judges, Canada is already well on the way to following all the failures of this Eurosocialist drug policy even before decriminalization is passed in Parliament.
Many Dutch people now see their rapidly burgeoning post-modern organised crime rings tied not only to prohibition but also to immigration. In a pre-September 11 Dutch Parliamentary report, excerpts published on the Amsterdam Daily's website claimed, "Immigrant and foreign groups play a big role in the drug trade which is directly linked to the drugs economy in the country of origin. This is especially true of groups in the Surinam, Moroccan and Turkish community." According to the same report, the money is not laundered in Holland but rather sent back to the countries of origin to finance radical political movements that partake in what we refer to as terrorism. Also mentioned in the report were Colombian cartels, the Italian Mafia or the Moroccan hash groups: all alive and well in Holland.
Canadians are illogical if they think decriminalizing marijuana, slack immigration policy, judges refusing to implement laws already on the books will not lead to greater organised crime activity -- with export to the United States being the lucrative goal.
By looking at Canada's non-role in Iraq war one would think that Canada holds the United Nations opinion in the very high regard. Not so, when it comes to multilateral drug policy. Not only has the United States warned Canada to not go down this potentially disastrous path, the United Nations has warned Canada as well. Canada, however, is not afraid to take a unilateral position when defending their left-wing ideals that are more at home in old Europe than in North America. Even though it may help finance terrorism and could hurt Canada's neighbour with whom we do 85 per cent of our trade, Canada must exert its sovereignty. Although it must be acknowledged that increasing availability of weed and decreasing military spending is a peculiar way to defend a country's sovereignty.
In relation to our falling dollar, as a defence mechanism, amongst ourselves, Canadian conservatives often joke about Canada becoming the Mexico of the North'. The burning question is why do the Liberals want to replace Bob and Doug McKenzie, nice beer drinking, touque wearing Canadian comedic icons, with Cheech and Chong?
In trying to "sell" a conservative message divorced from any "social" stigma, both the Progressive Conservative party and the official opposition, the Canadian Alliance are surprisingly in favour of decriminalization. With no political party in Canada willing to provide full-out opposition to decriminalization, legislation will be rammed through Parliament similar to how the Kyoto Protocol was rammed through Parliament before Christmas. But this time, there will be no opposition whatsoever.
From within the Alliance and the PC parties, certain individual full-out conservative MPs strongly oppose this issue. A full-out conservative message is muted, before it can find its voice, however, due to both parties' hierarchies shunning controversial issues of this nature. It is Canadian "economic conservatives" (code name for half-conservatives who follow politically correct propaganda so as to not provoke controversy) who are in favour of decriminalizing marijuana. Their excuse falls under the auspices of "libertarianism," for the Alliance or being "progressive" for the Progressive Conservatives.
The Alliance party in particular, has taken a defeatist, non-combative and decidedly un-conservative approach, hoping to avoid controversy by subscribing to a 5 grams is better than 30 grams policy. Strangely, it seems that Canadian conservative politicians are chasing the same 50 per cent that will vote Liberal anyway, while half of Canada is against decriminalization.
A Maclean's, Global Television and CanWest poll conducted December 2002, shows public opinion against decriminalization to be 47 per cent plus (3.1 per cent of error and 3 per cent without an opinion). This, of course, is the un-trendy, full-out conservative crowd that believes in absolutes. This is a national issue, but no political party in Canada desires to claim the unrepresented 47 per cent plus.
If Americans believe that drug money is financing terror, they must be very wary of what is happening in their unfenced neighbour's backyard. With no clear conservative opposition, decriminalization of marijuana will undoubtedly sail through Canadian Parliament unrestrained. In this, Canadian conservative politicians will share the blame with the Liberals they are trying to defeat.
Next week, Canadian conservatism needs relationship rescue: what's the pay-off?
Other related stories: (open in a new window)
Get weekly updates about new issues of ESR!
© 1996-2019, Enter Stage Right and/or its creators. All rights reserved.