In search of an independent left and right (Part Two)
By Mark Wegierski
One might well ask why there must be such an extensive vacuum on the spectrum (in Canada, for instance) between the generally publicly acceptable and prevalent liberal and left-liberal views, and the tiny neo-Nazi groupuscules, who have sometimes been credited with a much exaggerated power and influence by the mass media? Are there no basically decent Canadians, who could organize themselves in the direction (for example) of tempering Canada's high immigration policies (Canada's immigration rate is twice as large per capita than that of the United States, and is likely to remain at a comparable level for many years to come). Even at the height of the alleged "boom" taking place in the late-1990s, Canada by some measures was still manifestly in the midst of a continuing economic crisis, with over a million persons unemployed, in a country with a total population of about (at that time) 30 million. It would be the height of myopia to assert -- as various government and academic pontificators, secure in their cushy positions, tell us to believe -- that burgeoning immigration numbers do not significantly increase Canada's economic stresses and strains. The conventional view – that high immigration is Canada's engine of economic growth – seems palpably absurd. It is certainly interesting that Canada's highest-immigration province, Ontario, has now slipped into "have-not" status in regard to federal equalization payments (meaning that it now qualifies for equalization funding), whereas Newfoundland and Labrador (the perennial "have not" province) – which has had a long time outflow of population and near-zero immigration from abroad -- will now not be receiving federal equalization payments, as it has finally achieved success on its own.
It might also be pointed out that government reports of some years ago had uncovered all manner of grotesque fraud in the Province of Ontario's health-care and workplace injury-compensation systems, to the tune of one-and-a-half billion dollars (Canadian) per year. The generous Canadian health-care system (envied by many Americans) is simply being run into the ground because of the refusal to enact even the slightest stringencies, public insurance payments, or small user-fees -- presumably out of a distaste for the tiniest modicum of social discipline or self-sacrifice. The result is that the system almost literally equalizes misery for all of its users – and hence the sacred principle of equality is preserved. And when the provincial Liberal government of Dalton McGuinty introduced a significant healthcare levy on middle to higher income earners in Ontario, the medical system appeared to have gulped down all the money with very little improvement in healthcare provision. Meanwhile, the Canadian media has typically whipped up public fury for weeks on end over such comparatively insignificant government expenditures as the sale of the ex-Prime Minister's personal furniture to the state, or about the ubiquitous jet-trips by politicians.
Might there be some sort of convergence between the true right and the better aspects of social democracy?
The conventional right in Canada, now represented by the Conservative Party, leaves much to be desired, as a party claiming to represent the country. It may be remembered that the Reform Party, often unfairly condemned as a "far right" party, had sharply repudiated what is now already itself a very attenuated concept of "the two founding peoples of Canada" (i.e., the French and the English) in the name of individualism. This could have been seen as part of a decidedly antiquated anti-French (anti-Québec) strategy, and also presumably as a desperate attempt to undercut the "group-rights" of the new, gender and minority-based "new social movements". In its "Statement of Principles", the Reform Party had a whole raft of constitutional proposals which would have further americanized Canada's political system, which is probably the last obstacle to a wholly amalgamated North America (amounting to the end of Canadian independence). The Reform Party had declared itself as wildly pro-free-enterprise (whatever that may mean today), pro-American, and pro-global free trade. It could be suggested that the Reform Party had generally preferred to argue for Enlightenment positions, to try to strengthen individualism at the expense of the gender and minority-based "new social movements" (i.e., to seek to dissolve them purely into individuals) -- as opposed to arguing for more authentic collective or communal principles.
To be continued.
Mark Wegierski is a Canadian writer and historical researcher.