I am researching the origin of the title of this post and will report any interesting bits. It does perfectly encapsulate Canadian politics since Diefenbaker, at least. And given the Avro Arrow, maybe before.
To the point:
I’m not going to rehash the incredible range of corruption now being detailed in Canadian politics everytime I write on it, so, if you are not aware already, you can either check the previous comments on Canada from The Other Club – or skip this post.
I do want to present some comment on the topic from Mark Steyn, who is truly “The One-Man Global Content Provider.”
Here he tells us something about why the Grits (that’s the nickname for the Canadian Liberal Party, for those of you in Blue states and for the more recent Canadian immigrant) may still win re-election over the Tories (Canadian Progressive Conservative Party, ditto).
… On the other hand, [Toronto based lawyer, consultant and Liberal Party spin-doctor] Warren Kinsella does nicely distil what passes for sophisticated thinking in the political establishment: everybody does it, as Bill Clinton’s defenders used to say, and, to judge from the call-in shows I’ve heard, far too many Canadians are saying today. One day, years from now, these supposed sophists and cynics who can’t wait to dial their local radio host so they can shrug insouciantly “Everybody does it” will realize that if anyone in this wretched tale cuts a more pitiful figure than Jean Brault publicly sobbing or Jacques Corriveau claiming that he doesn’t remember any of the salient points because he stood next to a fellow with Alzheimer’s, if anyone’s more pitiful it’s them–the “everyone does it” crowd. If you’re stopped in the street by a CBC reporter and you tell him, “Oh, everyone does it. That’s politics. What’s the big deal?”, you’re not being worldly and cynical, you’re being played like a violin by the Liberal party fiddlers. In the diseased Dominion, our rulers are so cynical they’re cynical about cynicism: they understand that once a political culture reaches a certain point of decay a large segment of the population is content to take refuge in the pose of cynicism
Entire article here.
The way I read it is that the Tories are thoroughly, if genteely, vilified; and Canadians are complacent about graft and suchlike behavior from politicians. They’ve been so completely bought with their own money that a working plurality can always be assembled to maintain social programs that demand confiscatory taxation.
In this expectation Canadian voters have much in common with the US choice between Democrats and Republicans.
What are minor, and increasingly tenuous, differences in outcome may be attributed to the more diffuse power centers in US government and the fact that Americans are thus far willing to consider gross corruption and malfeasance as at least barely more significant than regional and philosphical differences over pork and entitlements.
Canada is presently manifesting the worst aspects of a parliamentary system, and this must be laid at the feet of Canadian voters.
It probably will be once again so laid in mid-summer. Good luck Grits.
Fianlly, Canadians do have a legal remedy not available in the US – secession. A worthy topic we will pursue in future posts.