Canada`s National Question: The Answer Is No


Tuesday`s results suggest a
sure-fire winner in a

Most Boring Headline
contest:
"Little Change in
Canadian Election."

But the big change in Canadian
politics remains gradual yet ineluctable: the emerging
answer to Canada`s version of the National
Question: whether it can survive as a nation-state, the
particular expression of a particular people.
Canada

as a single polity—A
mari usque ad mare
[from sea to sea] as it says
on Canada`s

coat of arms
—is doomed.

Admittedly, its dissolution is
taking longer than I predicted in this space two years
ago. (In my

defence
, I hadn`t
counted on Quebec`s separatist

Parti
Québécois
choosing an
openly homosexual coke-sniffer
for its leader. Guess
how that

worked out
.) But now more than ever,
Canada

is not a nation (with one caveat, of which more later).
Neither is it a
"community of communities,"
as former PM

Joe Clark
once

claimed
. No, Canada is an ongoing blackmail/bribery
game, a mere political contrivance, a conglomeration of
seven increasingly dissimilar and fractious regions—Newfoundland,
the Maritimes (New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward
Island),
Quebec
, Ontario, the Prairies (Manitoba,
Saskatchewan, Alberta), British Columbia and the Arctic
(Yukon, Northwest Territories,
Nunavut).

And if that weren`t enough,
our three largest cities, Vancouver,
Toronto
and Montreal, will soon to be majority


"visible minority,"
in a country where over 80% of the population remain
members of the barely-tolerated white majority.

Stephen Harper`s Conservative
Party was re-elected to another minority government
Tuesday. The numbers:


  • Conservatives 143 (of 308
    seats, 12 short of a majority), up 19; popular vote
    37.6%, up 1.3%
     

  • Liberals 76, down 23; 26.2%,
    down 4.0%
     

  • New Democratic Party
    (socialist) 37, up 8; 18.2%, up .8%
     

  • Bloc Québécois (Quebec-only and

    "sovereigntist"
    ) 50 (of 75), down 1; 10.0%, down
    .5%
     

  • Green Party 0, same; 6.8%, up
    2.3%
     

  • Independents 2, up 1

Newfoundland
(seven seats) dumped its three Conservatives, because
Premier Danny Williams demanded it. Williams hates
Stephen Harper because he won`t let the province keep
all its newfound oil royalties
and continue to grab its eternal annual fortune in transfer payments
in recognition of its
"have-not"
status.

The Maritime Provinces (25
seats), despite their history of selling their seats to
the highest bidder, elected a bare plurality of
Liberals, and the plunge in the Liberal popular vote
presaged a disastrous showing country-wide. Given local
jealousies, it is entirely possible Maritimers voted
against
Newfoundland
`s Danny Williams,
who is remarkably arrogant for a man who leads a
province where barely half the population (51%)

holds a job
.

As its leader Gilles Duceppe
boasted, the Bloc took a majority of
Quebec

seats for the sixth straight election. Politically,
Quebec

(75 seats) has already left
Canada
.

The Liberal Party did not win
a single seat in Francophone Quebec, a complete change
from the days of Pierre Trudeau, suggesting that the
party`s historic
raison d`être
has disappeared.

The Conservatives, however,
gained no seats in Quebec, despite Harper`s
unprecedented pandering: giving the province (now only
22% of Canada`s population) its own seat in UNESCO,
guaranteeing it a permanent duopoly in the agency that
regulates the broadcast media, offering it a separate
Criminal Code (blatantly unconstitutional) and
compelling his party to recognize Quebec as a
"nation"
in the House of Commons.

Of course, Francophone Quebec
is a nation, albeit without a state—it`s the caveat I mentioned
earlier. But equally recognizing English Canada as a
"nation" would be

unthinkable
. That would be
"divisive,"
even "racist".

As Peter Brimelow declared
back in 1986
in
The Patriot Game,
the

real question
for English Canada is not whether
Quebec

should separate—but
whether it
should be expelled.
(Since he wrote, of course, this
is exactly what the

Czechs did to the Slovaks
).

The Conservatives made their
largest gains in Ontario,
Canada
`s most populous
province (106 seats). The Liberals were reduced to their
ethnic redoubt of

Toronto
,
Ontario`s largest city. My friend Jay Currie
has dubbed the Liberals
"the
Toronto Party
"
. But
"the Immigrant
Party"
is closer to the truth. Between Toronto and
Montreal, their other ethnic redoubt, the Liberals
garnered 41 (54%) of their total seats.

The Liberals were almost wiped
out on the Prairies, taking two of 56 seats. Leader
Stéphane Dion`s climate-change
"Green Shift" (think Al Gore with
carte blanche) succeeded only in shifting Liberal votes everywhere
else.

And the Liberals did almost as
badly in British Columbia (32 seats), taking only five
and running behind the Green Party in no fewer than 10.

Dion was the big loser on
Tuesday. He is easily the worst
Liberal
leader
of my lifetime. A peevish academic, he
manages to be both effete and epicene. His own people
despise him, and his

obstinate refusal to master English
—despite spending
a year at

Brookings
in Washington—made him an
obvious non-starter in English Canada. His party is
broke and crippled by internecine feuding.

But Conservative leader Harper
was not a big winner. For the third time in a row, he
failed to win the majority that seemingly should have
been his for the asking. Why not? Well, it`s not simply
that he rejects the

Sailer Strategy;
it`s more that he`s the

anti-Sailer candidate
. Harper is a Bush clone, an
unregenerate neocon whose only known enthusiasms are
Israel and American global hegemony. Like Bush, he has
worked assiduously to attenuate the Conservative base.
His ethnic pandering reached a new low: apologizing (and
paying redress for) the

Chinese
head tax, which

ended in 1923
; apologizing for turning back a
boatload of

Sikhs
(in

1914
!); promising even-higher immigrant levels, even
as the proportion of skilled immigrants falls to 17.5%
of the total; promising to force the provinces to
recognize
immigrant medical and other credentials
; standing
foursquare behind

Canada`s totalitarian
"hate speech"
law.

Harper`s

immigration enthusiasm
certainly hurt him in Quebec.
Harper`s ethnic
capo
, junior immigration minister Jason Kenney,
condemned the Bloc for sending
"dog
whistle
messages"
to those who
"are against the
growing ethno-cultural diversity in

greater Montreal in particular
and in
Quebec
in general."
[BQ
desperate, Tory minister says Playing to xenophobia,
intolerance,
by Elizabeth Thompson,
The Montreal
Gazette,
September 17, 2008] But the benighted group
who responded to the whistles plainly includes the

entire French-speaking nation
in the province.

But perhaps even embracing the
Sailer Strategy in Anglophone
Canada

wouldn`t have been sufficient. The Canadian
"National Question" is peculiarly complex. Kenney`s
faux pas
reveals the impossibility of the task Harper—or any
federal party leader—faces in the confederation of
regions that is
Canada
. He cannot both
suck up to immigrants and appeal to a Quebec that is

openly rejecting multiculturalism.
He cannot stand
as the champion of the West while continuing to shovel

unearned billions
to feed the inexhaustible
appetites of the East. He cannot claim to stand for
"unity" while
insisting that one linguistic group gets to be a
"nation,"
while the other gets to pretend it doesn`t exist.

Canada
is a

political circle that can`t be squared.
The
people(s) of Canada are coming to realize it. On
Tuesday, voter turnout reached an all-time low of 59%.
The reckoning is soon at hand.

Kevin
Michael Grace (send him

email)
lives in Victoria, British
Columbia. His blog,


TheAmbler.com
,
features original
commentaries.