As one of the precious
few “social conservatives” writing in the Canadian
mainstream media, I am deluged with mail from disenfranchised
There are, I would
estimate, many million people in this country who still hold views
that were fairly universally held a couple of generations ago
-- against abortion on demand, same-sex “marriage”,
pornography in public places, among many other issues. Who think
men are men and women are women, and that both are degraded when
they are forced to exchange their natural roles. Who are more
favourably disposed to the United States than to the average fashionable
Third World dictatorship. Who are not instinctively offended by
the existence of our military, or our police. Who understand risk
and reward. Who are proud of what their ancestors achieved in
this country. Who work for a living, and resent the fact that
most of the high taxes they pay go to purposes and programmes
they find abhorrent.
These are people who
fear and love God, and try to raise their children “properly”,
and keep them away, as much as possible, from the spectacle of
moral degradation that has become a commonplace of urban life.
Who in fact have children. Who, for the most part, long since
moved away from “downtown”.
Many of them are New
Canadians. Many of them came to this country for a chance to raise
their children in freedom, as Christians, or as observant Jews,
or Hindus, or Sikhs, or Muslims.
No mainstream political
party will dare to represent these people. The Conservatives condescend
to be polite to them, on the condition they will not say anything
“embarrassing”. But the other three major parties
contesting tomorrow’s election play directly to the elites
-- to the "urbane" and "enlightened" -- going
out of their way to mock the "dinosaurs" in the "backwaters"
as a class, and accuse one another of catering to them.
Nor have these people
any outlets in the city-based media, for even journalists who
associate with the “Right” through their belief in
the efficiency of free markets, ritually roll their eyeballs at
these allies among the “rural” (and immigrant) “hicks”.
Nor is their worldview welcome, even for a moment, in the universities
to which so many of their children are sent (after long years
of cutting corners and saving).
The Republicans in
the United States tried the experiment of listening to the people
rather than to the elites. They have now dominated American politics
for a generation. The Democrats keep themselves out of power by
continuing to sneer at all those imagined snorting reactionaries
in the "Red States".
is a strong word, but I am convinced it is used fairly to describe
the Canadian equivalent of this non-urban or ex-urban constituency.
It is on the backs of these largely unrepresented taxpayers that
a social revolution has been mounted through the last two generations.
Their job has been to earn the money to pay for the fallout from
that revolution -- through government programmes that consistently
reward irresponsibility and failure -- while keeping their opinions
to themselves. And this, when they are not actually deprived of
their livelihoods, by tax policies that bankrupt small businesses,
or employment policies that discriminate against Canadians of
Canadian ancestry, or ignore immigrants’ real qualifications.
I refer to a “silent
minority” -- it may well still be a majority up here --
who are the natural constituency of the Conservative Party. Many
in fact vote Conservative, many still vote Liberal from past family
or ethnic associations, or are conned into doing so when they
fall for various rhetorical and tactical tricks. But a considerable
number, and those among the toughest, seldom vote in elections,
for the simple reason that no one represents their views. Or else
they vote for small hopeless outfits such as the Christian Heritage
Party -- among the several that will split the Tory vote tomorrow,
letting the Liberals hold on to closely-contested seats.
I’ve heard from
so many of these people, who will not vote for the Conservatives
tomorrow, because they are disappointed, even disgusted, by the
Conservatives’ attempts to distance themselves, or by a
local candidate’s “progressive” posturing. Most
often, it is the Conservative commitment to the status quo on
abortion that is costing them a crucial swing vote.
But the best is often
the enemy of the good. Real policy options are not on the table
in this election, and we must therefore choose among the modest
goods that are available. That is in fact sound Christian doctrine.
And once it is understood, I consider it our moral duty to assist
in removing the Liberals from power, and replacing them with something
a little better. That is the primary thing, tomorrow, and it means,
unambiguously, voting Conservative.
I would vote for my
local Conservative if he had two heads and five elbows and was
married to a same-sex yeti in Tibet. And I would vote for him
with a clean conscience.
2006 Ottawa Citizen