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Canadian conservatism needs relationship rescue: "How's that working for ya?" Canadian conservative agenda?

By J.L. Jackson
web posted December 22, 2003

Note from the writer: My co-author and I began this Canadian conservative series several months ago, finished the third instalment, but did not publish as it was just too depressing. In the midst of the merger vote and the forthright comments by Larry Spencer that have been converted into a 'scandal' by the Canadian thought police within the mainstream media, a more positive angle has emerged. It is ironic, if more conservatives were open to examining the tactics of homosexual activists, it would help clarify what is missing in Canadian conservatism today. Finally able to concentrate on principle rather than process to achieve the end result: elect-ability and more importantly ultimate success in a conservative agenda.

I know Dr. Phil would agree.

Supposed 'homophobic' comments made by Canadian Alliance Member of Parliament, Larry Spencer, have created a rip-roaring brouhaha in the Great White North.

In a tightly-controlled, politically correct Canadian media that is devoid of alternative opinion, Spencer has been forced to walk the plank, for daring to speak the "c" word that durst not be spoken. National Post columnist Colby Cosh almost gave a stunning defence of Spencer explaining the proclivities of a poor doddering "older mind" unable to keep up with the times. Out of a plethora of editorials condemning Spencer, for his beliefs, only two editorials I found have taken the time to examine the content of Spencer's reported comments, showing the "poor old guy" to be not entirely dotty (Gunter, Warren).

I am uncomfortable with the word "conspiracy" (coincidences do occur sometimes). And being a "nice" Canadian I am even a little squeamish with "agenda" although the word is often used to describe the aspirations of the homosexual community in American conservative circles.

But even if you dislike the "c" word or even the more commonly used "gay agenda" phraseology, since pirouetting Prime Minister Pierre Elliot Trudeau legalized sodomy in 1969, a scant 34 years ago -- no one can deny the homosexual movement has come a long way. Contrary to the collectivist horde of social-Liberal pundits, no matter how you express it, I think homosexual activists actually plan to advance their goals and more often than not they are victorious in their agenda.

And homosexual victories have accelerated as of late. Victories like hedonistic displays of public nudity in most major cities' streets in the sacrosanct name of Gay "Pride." Last summer, the Mayor of Edmonton, Alberta was intimidated into allowing "Gay Pride Week" under the threat of persecution by the Human Rights Commission. It seems that in Canada mayors and city councils no longer have the right to refuse public exhibitionism as long as it is done in the name of "Gay Pride."

And then we have the ongoing, purposeful deconstruction of one of our culture's central pillars, changing the definition of marriage: an anthropologically sound heterosexual social contract. Two provincial courts in Canada have now overturned Parliamentary law regarding marriage being a sacred union of one man, one woman, ruling homosexuals now have the "right" to marriage.

Other homosexual victories in Canada include the courts forcing primary age children to read books explaining the homosexual lifestyle in the classroom, the courts forcing a Canadian printing press to print a brochure promoting homosexuality against the will of the private business owner, a teacher fired for writing a letter to the editor stating homosexuality should not be applauded, a man and a newspaper fined for printing a Bible verse condemning homosexuality.

Of course this is all pre-Bill C-250, hate crimes legislation that many opponents argue will make religious scripture that criticize homosexuality criminally illegal. Bill C-250 is a private members bill put forward by MP Svend Robinson (the bill has passed in Parliament but is currently stalled in the Senate with Parliament currently prorogued).

Interestingly, homosexual activist and MP, Svend Robinson, was reported by World Net Daily and the New York Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute to have spoken at a United Nations sponsored conference in August, strategising how to re-launch the UN same-sex marriage resolution that failed. At this conference, a San Francisco based group named the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission circulated "fliers" listing lowering the age of consent as one of the laws it wants changed. Noteworthy, is the fact that Canada's age of consent is only fourteen.

Some might see speaking at a conference where one of the UN affiliated group's published goals includes lowering the age of consent, shocking, but this is hardly radical compared to Svend Robinson's many activist projects. Another of which includes Robinson graciously donating the use of a nude image of himself to an environmental charity for an internet fundraising attempt. The full-monty Robinson, had seashells covering his nude body and interested parties were to pay an internet fee to the website to remove one seashell at a time. Unfortunately for the environmental group, but thankfully for all posterity, the fundraiser bombed.

The amazing amount of success the homosexual movement has had in recent years, including homosexual marriage being so close to becoming federal law in Canada in spite of half of Canada not supporting same sex marriage, is all evidence of a well organised movement.

What is really shocking is Canadian journalists who are so ill-informed of the many homosexual victories that they feel the need to create a gauntlet atmosphere. Of course the gay community are good organisers. They plan ahead and then move ahead towards the plan. That is why they are successful.

At this point the question should not be why Spencer chose to walk the Canadian media plank. Neither should it be whether or not a "gay agenda" exists (although I have briefly identified that a successful case can be made to its existence). The question all conservatives need to ask in the midst of merging the Progressive Conservative Party and the Alliance is: why can't Canadian conservatives have an agenda of their own?

An "agenda" is not a bad thing if winning, not loosing is the goal. Why let agendaphobic, politically correct dogma demonise what is actually common sense? In fact, having a cohesive message and an agenda with specific goals is necessary for a movement to progress. A movement without an agenda is a rudderless ship cast upon the rolling waves of ideas, soon to crash and break up on the rocks just ahead.

Sound peculiarly like the Canadian conservative movement? For over a decade now (a generation outside of the Mulroney blip) some might say that to be a conservative in Canada you have to be stark raving mad or a masochist. More than anything, it seems you have to like to apologise and like to lose. At the turn of last century, arguably the greatest conservative of all time, Winston Churchill, commented on the drifting British Conservative party:

"We live in an age of great events and little men, and if we are not to become the slaves of our own systems or sink oppressed among the mechanism we ourselves created, it will only be by the bold efforts of originality, by repeated experiment, and by the dispassionate consideration of the results of sustained and unflinching thought."

The shocking part of the 'Larry Spencer affair,' should not be that Spencer thought there was a "gay agenda" but rather that he was seemingly so ill prepared to talk to reporters regarding the same-sex marriage issue specifically, and homosexuality generally. Especially considering he was the "family critic" making issues of this nature his portfolio.

Policy, policy, policy.

Good policy cannot be dominated by "single issue" politics focussing only on the economy. Economics is no longer enough to hold back the floodgate of radical, Left-wing, extremist ideologies that are barking at the Canadian government's door demanding their "agenda" be adopted within the Liberal's multi-cultural, or more precisely multi-"agenda" mosaic.

Social issues are the solid foundation upon which conservatism finds its base. That is because all issues including taxation are social in nature. Excessive taxation in the form of the government taking more than its fair share off your pay cheque deprives your family from buying things you need to survive and if that is not a social issue, I do not know what is. Because conservatives are generally reactionary in nature, many are uncomfortable talking about what is portrayed as "hot button" issues and become trapped in the "easier sell" area of cutting taxes and lowering deficits.

Unprepared social policy is no longer acceptable. The old Reform tactic of avoiding controversial topics by continually repeating, "moral issues should be decided by referenda" is seen as a cop-out by anyone (including the media) who realises that Canada has no law to initiate referenda. Regardless, it does not seem to be working as an effective political strategy today, if it ever was.

No policy on controversial topics is the very worst policy possible. It is only a good way to go, if a "hidden agenda" label (an oft used phrase Canadian conservatives let themselves be vilified with all too regularly) is sought. There are two routes: Liberal policy that half the country is unhappy with or alternative policy, that is conservative and better thought out than the Court usurping Parliament methods, the Liberals are employing on controversial issues.

To avoid positions on difficult subjects like traditional marriage vs. same sex marriage, limits on late term abortion vs. abortion on demand, free speech vs. hate law legislation, fighting organised crime vs. marijuana decriminalization and many other issues; has become counter-productive. The agenda only appears hidden because no one knows what it is. Well researched facts, talking points and even practised sound bites are the pragmatic solution to help all Members of Parliament deal with cultural areas that have been let slip off the Canadian conservative radar screen in the last decade or more.

Many of those who excitedly endorse the urge to merge oversimplify Canada's "Grit-lock," (characterized by the book with the same title written by Adam Daifallah and Peter White) by claiming the key to beating Paul Martin is in the number game (read Daifallah's recent National Review editorial on Canadian conservatism here). Hopeful optimism holds many back from realising uniting conservatives is much more than a mathematical equation.

Conservatives in Canada don't lose because the numbers don't add up, they lose because a cohesive conservative agenda currently does not exist. It is time for a cultural conservative shift.

What Canadian conservatives need is a multi-lateral, "never give in" Canadian conservative infrastructure to thwack down the dark and dangerously deep weeds proliferating out of the swamp of Liberalism that is strangling free thought and new ideas in Canada.

Where is the Canadian conservative alternative press to boldly advance new ideas? Now that the lone Canadian conservative magazine – the Alberta Report has bit the dust where do we turn to find an empathetic and yet analytical voice? True, there are a handful of mostly economic-conservative think tanks populated by old men. And a sprinkling of other conservative non-government organisations, do in fact exist. But, considering the airplay any or all of them receive, an average Canadian (including an average conservative) would be hard pressed to name a single one. These days you can count a handful of Canadian conservative websites such as Freedom Institute and Enter Stage Right, the world of the blog and a few what might qualify as conservatish radio talk show hosts. And truth be told radio and the internet are the least expensive method of reaching the most people. It is a beginning, but deeper penetration, on a national scale, is needed to distribute the conservative message directly to the Canadian people. .

Canadian conservatives desperately need these tools to cut through the nefariously nihilistic Liberal agenda that permeates our mainstream media, our academic institutions, our Parliament, and our Liberal appointed courts. More dangerously, Liberalism has even sunk its tentacles into how Canadian conservatives think about conservatism.

While the Liberal government subsidises many radical Left-wing causes (that usually end up challenging Parliamentary law through the courts), for some strange reason conservative Non-Government Organizations seldom receive federal funding (read more on the Court Challenges Program here). Canadian conservatives need to realise that to create a conservative infrastructure that challenges the long held and deeply entrenched Liberal establishment, conservatives need to finance these tools themselves and we need more of them!

If winning rather than loosing is the end goal we need these tools to expose rampant, ongoing Liberal corruption and to hold far Left radicals like the violent pacifist movement (called antiwar protestors by some) accountable and yes Virginia, as scary as it will seem to some, Canadian conservatives also need to hold Svend Robinson accountable.

Canadians will only be able to choose an alternative to the Liberals when a wide enough Canadian audience is reached with a cohesive conservative message. This is a long-term "conservative agenda," that won't happen overnight. But if Canadian conservatives are ever to ride "the wave" into Ottawa, they need to start rowing against the surf now.

J.L. Jackson is a freelance writer and conservative activist from Calgary area.

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