With the U.S. presidential election lastly over – the Electoral School having pressed its rubber stamp and given Donald Trump his discover of termination – pundits have been handed yet one more alternative to opine on what the final 4 years have been about, and what the longer term holds for American politics.
What pursuits us is one thing completely different: What does it imply for Canadian politics?
Let’s begin with some breaking information, recent since 1776: Canada isn’t the US. Our historical past, although associated and intertwined, isn’t their historical past. We dwell in the identical neighbourhood, however not the identical home. We’re siblings who attended completely different faculties.
That’s why Canadians needs to be very cautious about what they soak up from the political tradition – half genius, half bedlam, half freak present – to the south.
Each proper and left in Canada can be taught from U.S. politics. However loads of that studying needs to be a cautionary story. As a result of irrespective of the place you sit on the ideological spectrum, the American political weight loss program, whether or not left or proper, incorporates many substances whose common consumption is certifiably dangerous to our nation’s well being.
Let’s begin with Canada’s Conservatives, the federal get together and their provincial cousins, and the American dishes they should assume twice earlier than serving on the breakfast desk.
Underneath Mr. Trump, the Republican Celebration has devolved into an anti-government motion, and COVID-19 exacerbated its worst tendencies. The difficulty of whether or not a masks is useful in combating the virus, which needs to be a scientific and nonpartisan query, turned for a lot of the Republican Celebration and voters an ideological purity check. Many turned satisfied that carrying a masks, or practising bodily distancing, or acknowledging the virus’s gravity, are by some means un-conservative, as a result of they infringe on human freedom.
These sentiments resonate in conservative America. And since Canada’s cultural weight loss program is essentially American-made, that view is broadly consumed by Canadians conservatives, too. Many fairly benefit from the style.
However keep in mind, the roots of Canadian conservatism come from a unique place. Our Tories have been the individuals who didn’t make a revolution, and who didn’t assume capturing your neighbours over a minor tax dispute was the definition of “freedom.” Our authentic conservatives knew that, whereas order with out freedom is tyranny, freedom with out order is chaos.
Canadian conservatism’s cornerstones are issues equivalent to free speech and freedom of thought and faith. However the freedom to hazard different individuals, since you’re a “sovereign individual”? That’s no a part of the peace, order and good authorities conservatism that made Canada potential. It’s an import from a U.S. pressure hostile to authorities itself, and which treats it not as one thing to be improved, however one thing to be sidelined.
Canadian conservatism, like Canada, was based not in opposition to the existence of presidency, however fairly on its necessity. One Canadian conservative who all of the sudden received old-time faith on this time of pandemic is Doug Ford.
Ontario’s Progressive Conservative Premier has a protracted historical past of espousing the rhetoric of presidency as waste. However when COVID-19 hit, the nation’s most outstanding conservative instantly realized that authorities motion was a necessity, and that eradicating authorities from the equation wouldn’t end in extra human freedom however extra human distress, sickness and demise.
Mr. Ford, to his credit score, reacted rapidly to the primary wave with shutdowns and bodily distancing orders. He’s regretted each enterprise shutdown – and they’re regrettable – however he’s by no means backed down from blasting anti-maskers or others who refuse to take easy precautions, although many come from his voting base.
Ontario has made errors in combating the pandemic. However Mr. Ford’s errors have by no means been these of Republican politicians within the reddest U.S. states. The main right-wing authorities in Canada hasn’t at all times made the fitting selections, however its chief has by no means been a denialist. As an alternative, the pandemic-era Mr. Ford has supplied a non-Trumpian tackle how you can be a Canadian conservative populist.
However what in regards to the different facet of Canada’s political spectrum? What ought to Liberals and New Democrats be studying – or rejecting – from their siblings in American politics? Extra on that, later this week.
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