The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter. – Winston Churchill
Frank A. Pelaschuk
Abandoning Allies & Abusing Democracy
Justin Trudeau doesn’t even talk a good game. For the Afghani interpreters and their families numbering in the thousands, there is doubtless a profound sense of betrayal by the US, Canada and allies who have set August 31, 2021 the final day of hope for those seeking help in escaping the Taliban who have marked them for torture and death.
For Trudeau, who has called an unnecessary, unpopular election in the midst of a pandemic that is on the upswing with the Delta variant, just two years into his second term, the fate of the Afghani men and women, women in particular, who have worked, suffered and risked all alongside Canadian and American troops, is of less importance than that Trudeau gain his Liberal majority.
He may have miscalculated in that.
By offering little more than a token gesture, begun eight years too late, he likely weighed the costs and determined the risks of working to rescue those people who helped Canadian troops when they were needed. He likely has determined he risks and gains little by doing nothing; he will allow Americans to bear the burden and do the work.
When Canada, under Harper, pulled out of Afghanistan seven years ago, the Taliban was still seen as a resurgent threat and even then, there were calls to assist those who had worked with western nations hoping to stabilize the country because they were clearly at risk as were their families. The calls fell on deaf ears and Harper and crew, waged the 2015 election exploiting the suspicion, fears and bigotries of Canadians against Muslims from Syria which would eventually extend to almost all Arab speaking states. For Canadians, the Harper-fed bigotry has run deep and still flourishes unable to differentiate friend from foe or, more likely, indifferent to such nuances: all Arabs look alike and must be Muslim and will threaten our good Christian way of life. Trudeau understands this. If he is one consumed with his public image (the saintly, heart-on-sleeves, politically correct, embracer of all safe, feel-good, societally approved schticks) and winning, he is also a pragmatist who finds it very easy to discard and kick aside all that has lost public favour or that proves useless to him embracing even what he once ridiculed. Trudeau loves nothing but the image of Trudeau intact and polished to eye-burning sun-dazzling extremes. He will do as much and as little possible to ensure that his star is the one that is ascendent and witnessed and draws the loudest gasps of awe. For a politico of his stripe, everything is of less importance than what offers the best chance of securing his political survival. He has no soul, harbours no real beliefs and is adept at moving whichever way the wind blows.
Canadian veterans have begged him to act; he has made a pretence of doing so but much, much too late. Men and women and their families are hiding, they are frightened and they are being hunted down. Many will die. But Trudeau will have his election.
And, like all federal elections since Canada became a nation, the outcome will be as it always has been because we have a revolving door that only allows Conservatives and Liberals to win. In spite of claiming to want change, to want something new, better and more transparent, Canadians will vote as they have always done, wanting more of everything while holding tight to their wallets. And the politicians will promise more of everything waving bright, shiny trinkets as bribes and we will snap them up and believe them as we have since 1867. We say we want change but that is a lie. We say we want honest governance. That, too, is a lie. When we keep on voting for the same parties offering the same lies, it’s clear we do not want change or honesty. We are not even honest to ourselves.
We just want to be stroked, lied to and led. We have always wanted that. If not, why don’t we try something new and yet not that new. What do we really risk by voting NDP? There is no risk. We don’t like what they do, we vote them out.
But at least, we will have opened the revolving door enough to accept one more member. That’s a start. Maybe one day, Canadians will actually do what they say they want to do, that is, hold fair, democratic elections.
Maybe the day will come when Canadians will actually embrace Proportional Representation as a model. But I will not hold my breath. And I will not hope. I’ve seen this charade too many times and know voters really do not want change, or have vision or even have wisdom. Politicians, when they lose will utter this platitude: The voter is always right.
They don’t believe that. Neither do I. And, if you are honest, neither do you.
But such is the irresistible nature of truth, that all it asks and all it wants, is the liberty of appearing. – Thomas Paine.
They that can give up essential liberties to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety. — Benjamin Franklin