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Sunday, October 24, 2004

Self-hating Constitutionalists

Linda Williamson in the Toronto Sun remarks on Stephen Harper's Belgium proposal with a note of world weariness:

"Is it just me, or are we having an '80s flashback?

Duran Duran has returned, the Canadian dollar is high again and fuel prices are higher. And--heaven help us--our politics is veering back into a constitutional quagmire."

The Belgium thing aside, it seems to be a Canada media article of faith that the public is sick of constitutional talks; they/we don't want the constitution re-opened. Let us never again discuss the constitution lest the hoi polloi yawn "Oh no, not that again!" Meech Lake... Charlottetown Accord... ARRGH! Not that swamp of ideas! Keep the status quo. Just leave the Constitution alone.

If there is truth to that article of faith, then it only demonstrates our rank civic ignorance and distain for how we are governed. In the debate about Canada's potential role in the war in Iraq, those who favoured joining the Americans--and so criticized our government--were mocked by those who opposed that participation as "self-hating Canadians." I would apply that term to those who groan whenever there is a suggestion constitutional talks being reopened. And only a short time ago, I could count myself as one.

Why? And why the change in me? Because I now see what is in front of my nose (must be the new bifocals). The constitution is already open. It’s always being tinkered with. It's open whenever we talk about health care. It's open when Paul Martin talks about sending federal dollars directly to municipalities. It's open when the Liberals talk about setting up their Big Babysitting Service (national child care). Every time the federal government dreams up a way to bribe Canadians with their own money and increase their bureaucratic power and interference in our lives by taking over a jurisdiction rightfully, constitutionally, given to the provinces, the constitution is open. It's open when the judges of the Supreme Court make up stuff out of whole clothe and stick a new concept into the Charter of Rights based on their political and personal prejudices.

Who looks after us when we get sick and how well they do it, the roads we drive on, who looks after our kids, what we can say and what we can't say. The Canadian Constitution is always being opened, folks, and our lives are being directly affected on a daily basis by the changes made to it. Let's admit it and let's stop our phony bitching and groaning and maybe take on a bit of responsibility for our country.

(Note: maybe it’s time for me to get cable TV again and let blessed football squelch my urge to write hectoring, nationalistic Sunday morning manifestos.)

Posted by Kevin Steel on October 24, 2004 in Canadian Politics | Permalink


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Very good points you made.

The Canadian constitution is so wide "open" in the ways that you enumerate, that we might as well not have a constitution at all. Year after year, people think of new ways to change or subvert the constitution, or the criminal code, or common law, or simple human decency as it is generally understood. It's simple, really. Start with a noisy lobby group, promote your cause through the back pages of the paper, work your way up to the front pages, get your workers out to help swing the vote in a couple of ridings, make donations to the Liberals, and like magic, the leftie-educated, Liberal-appointed, "children of the 60s" judges will support anything you want. Parliamentary and voter condemnation will be bludgeoned into silence with cries of "racist", "homophobe", "dinosaur", etc.

Myself, I don't really care what happens to Canada anymore. The last nail in the coffin was when the Liberals came to my door to solicit my vote in the last federal election. They were literally covered with Canadian flags from head to toe, and carried armloads of literature that was likewise festooned. My kids saw them through the window and ran up the stairs screaming with happy excitement. "Papa, Papa, someone is here from Canada Day!"

That was when I realized, in a flash: Diefenbaker, bernard Landry and Samuel Johnson were right. The Canadian flag is nothing but a "Pearson Pennant", a "red rag" being waved in my face by the biggest scoundrels in the nation.

I don't believe in all that Maple Leaf Waving, Expo 67, Canada Health Act, Multicultural Mosaic, Bilingual, Overtaxed, Corrupt, Trudeaupian B.S. any more, and I won't lift a finger to preserve a nation which feels that those concepts are what defines it. But I can be stirred to action to defend what I really believe in: freedom.

So if it's all the same with you, I would rather just sit back and watch the whole thing crumble - as such an economic, geographic and political absurdity is bound to do sooner or later - and then when the opportunity presents itself someday, work as hard as I can to ensure that my own little corner of whatever country I end up in is as free and as comfortable as I can possibly make it.

Posted by: Justzumgai | 2004-10-24 7:21:52 PM

Wow. My long-lost twin brother.

Posted by: lrC | 2004-10-25 2:54:30 PM

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