A comparison of the prospects of the "broader right" in Canada and the United States (Part Four)
By Mark Wegierski
The Conservative Party was finally able to win a strong majority in the federal Parliament in the 2011 federal election. This was the first putatively conservative majority in the federal Parliament since that won in 1988.
However, it should be well noted that left-leaning infrastructures such as feminist groups (who are indeed often tightly enmeshed with governmental bureaucracies) outweigh in resources such right-leaning infrastructures (such as, most notably, the Fraser Institute think-tank) by astronomical factors.
Although there is a quite substantial amount of debate about economic issues and economic conservatism, as far as social conservatism and right-wing patriotism, these have almost no register on the Canadian political scene. Left-liberals are quite content to allow the presence of a soulless "managerial Right" that manages the economy – so long as they themselves get to control all the social and cultural issues.
Some Canadian newspapers, notably The National Post (formerly owned by the Canadian-born conservative press baron Conrad Black – who is now in near-total disgrace), have some degree of right-wing content, including a few surprisingly acerbic columnists. There are a handful of prominent conservative academics, especially in Alberta. There has also arisen a right-leaning news outlet on television – the Sun TV News Network.
However, this is all very, very little, compared with the comparatively massive right-wing presence in the United States.
The presence of a large, organized, political Right in the U.S., and its absence in Canada, will probably lead to increasingly divergent futures for both countries. Many of the more pleasant aspects of life in Canada are likely to disappear with the increasing triumph of ever-more-insistent, utterly unchecked and unimpeded left-liberal and left-wing policies. The political situation in Canada, with the virtual non-existence of an intellectual and cultural Right, cannot be described as healthy for Canadian society.
Persons of traditionalist or conservative outlooks in Canada are faced with the unappealing prospect of the spiraling into oblivion of many congenial aspects of Canada, about which they can do virtually nothing. Their feelings of chronic hopelessness may perhaps to some extent be assuaged by looking to more hopeful developments in the United States in 2012, or perhaps in East-Central Europe and Russia.
If Harper is now badly stymied in his efforts at systemic reform through the federal Parliament, there will almost inevitably come increased calls for regional devolution, so that, for example, Alberta or all of Western Canada may carry out social and economic policies more congenial to itself. If Harper will, over the next four years, decisively fail, such scenarios of regional devolution may, ironically, become the best hope for some fragmentary survival of traditionalism and conservatism in Canada.
It should be noted that the more furiously and immoderately the Left opposes Harper, thwarting the work of the current federal majority government, the more it creates the preconditions for the frustrated Conservative voters to turn to devolutionist scenarios.
Mark Wegierski is a Canadian writer and historical researcher.