December 26, 2009

Awesomely awesome, if true!

My opinion of Canadians is not terribly high. I suspect that the men of Vimy are gone for good. But this piece is at least a small counter-indicator... Jonathan Kay on the triumph of conservative values in Canada: This is how we got our country back:

...It's odd being a Canadian conservative these days. Because the Liberals were in power for so long, and because Stephen Harper still doesn't have a majority, we spend our days in silent fear that all the Tories' reforms comprise a kind of mirage - that we'll wake up tomorrow with the Liberals back to power, and everything reversed in an instant. Most of us haven't allowed ourselves to sit back and appreciate the very real changes that have taken place since Jean Chrétien left the stage.

My big idea as the decade comes to an end ... well, it's more of a commendation: Take a bow, Canadian conservatives. You got your country back.

The roll of honour starts, of course, with Stephen Harper. I wrote a column five years ago arguing that Harper was too cranky to lead Canada's conservative movement. (Scott Brison, I argued in a separate piece, was the man for the job. This explains why I don't write about politics much.) Which is to say, I massively underestimated our current prime minister — just as everyone else did.

We can argue all day about the extent of Harper's fidelity to small-c conservative values. But overall, he provided the conservative movement with something absolutely indispensable: ruthless professionalism. Without that, nothing else matters. As the Reform Party demonstrated, voters can smell amateurism.

The supporting-actor award goes to Jason Kenney. If you told me 10 years ago that a religious, unapologetic, hardcore conservative like our current Citizenship Minister would have a prominent role in government, I wouldn't have believed you. But there he is, doing his thing. And in today's Canada, he gets away with it.

Last month, Kenney released a new citizenship guide for immigrants — a document that symbolizes, more than anything else, how much Ottawa has changed over the last decade. It contained this line: "Canada's openness and generosity do not extend to barbaric cultural practices that tolerate spousal abuse, 'honour killings,' female genital mutilation or other gender-based violence. Those guilty of these crimes are severely punished under Canada's criminal laws."...
Posted by John Weidner at December 26, 2009 1:31 PM
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