Navonim - The Ramblings of Garnel Ironheart

Navonim - The Ramblings of Garnel Ironheart

Monday, 25 January 2010

Singular Worldview

Years ago a prime minister of Canada, seeking to create a historical legacy for himself, sought to bring Quebec into the Canadian constitution.  As only historic fanatics seem to recall nowadays, when Pierre Trudeau patriated Canada's constitution from Britain in 1981, the province of Quebec refused to sign unless a clause was inserted identifying them as a superior form of life, language and culture.  In one of the few good decisions Trudeau made during his tenure (retiring was the other), he refused and had the constitution signed without French approval.  The subsequent prime minister, Brian Mulroney, hungry for a legacy other than "2nd most hated prime minister in Canadian history" (curiously, no. 1 at the time was Pierre Trudeau) sought to remodel the constitution so that Quebec would sign on.  His first attempt, the Meech Lake accord, was torpedoed by a single native member of the legislature in Manitoba who refused to give unanimous assent to his province's approval of the deal.  The second, the Charlottetown Accord, was sunk after Mulroney was forced to put it to a popular referendum and Canadians across the country, including Quebec, rejected it 60-40.
One could understand the government's disappointment with the failure of Meech Lake.  After all, the national parliament and the legislatures of all the other provinces had approved it.  One vote in one legislature sank what seemed to be the will of the people.  But with the rejection of Charlottetown by the people themselves there should have been no question as to what Canada, as a democracy, wanted in terms of special accomodation for the enfants terribles of Canada.
This is not how some saw it though.  In a classic remark, Joe Clark, a former prime minister himself and then a senior minister in Mulroney's government was asked what he thought about the referendum's result.  His answer?  "I think the people made a mistake."
Whoa, hang on.  The people made a mistake?  Listen, there are lots of cynical comments one can make about democracy.  One can ask about the wisdom of leaving the choosing of the government to people who still buy Toronto Maple Leaf tickets and merchanise.  One might note such pithy sayings as "People always get the government they deserve".  But to say the people made a mistake?  In a democracy, the electorate does not make a mistake.  It chooses the government it wants irrespective of what elistist politicians think it should desire.
This comment has always stuck with me as an example of the difference between left wing and right wing reactions to political defeat.  For the right wing, there is always self-condemnation.  After John McCain was defeated by BH Obama, the Republicans began bashing themselves in a thrashing attempt to discover where they had gone wrong. 
The left wing, on the other hand, doesn't seem to understand the concept of defeat.  If they are rejected by the electorate, their first assumption is that a tremendous mistake has occured.  Was there gerrymandering of districts?  Possible ballot box stuffing?  Perhaps the electorate was high on pot (ironically it's the left wing that wants to legalize that).  But the thought "No, the people rejected our agenda" simply does not occur to them.
Inevitably after a defeat, the left comes up with its signature belief: "The people weren't choosing the right wing.  They really wanted to elect us but we've become arrogant so they wanted to punish us.  Well, message received.  Now can we go back into power?"
This singular worldview, "Democracy only works when we win" isn't confined to politics.  Rights activists on the left also limit their interest in defending the oppressed to chic causes.  As this article in YNet notes:
Yehuda Glick, one of the most prominent rightist activists in the struggle for equalizing the rights of Jews and Arabs on Temple Mount, indeed expressed his protest. He distributed a very harsh condemnation of Elad’s arrest among rightist activists. By doing so, Glick adhered to the democratic principle whereby even if one does not agree to anything another person says, one would nonetheless fight for the other person’s right to speak up.
Yet does the Association for Civil Rights in Israel also adhere to this principle? Not at all. On most days, it does not offer legal and moral assistance to citizens who do not share its worldview on the matters of peace and territories....
In fact, these associations barely made a sound when the rule of law abused rightist protestors during the period of the Gush Katif uprooting operation. Shamefully enough, these groups endorsed the uprooting operation, thereby making their current struggle in Sheikh Jarrah seem ridiculous.
It is up to thinking people to speak out and remind so-called rights activities that not just those people with politically correct views or ethnic/gender backgrounds are entitled to enjoy support.  A right for one is a right for all and until the left realizes this, they must be called out on it.  They are just as discriminatory and biased as their opponents they accuse of similar crimes.


Shalmo said...

Hashem contacted me last night. Told me I am the navi we have been waiting for for 2000 years. Here's the revelation he provided me...

God created mankind and gave them the intellect to function all levels of morality and intellect.

But there was this serpant (argh! I mean Satan) who didn't go along with. So he invented religion to counteract God's perfect plan.

yup tis the truth. God made mankind, but Satan invented religion!

Lets all join together and kick Satan's ass by ending superstition altogether :)

Shalmo said...

"As only historic fanatics seem to recall nowadays, when Pierre Trudeau patriated Canada's constitution from Britain in 1981, the province of Quebec refused to sign unless a clause was inserted identifying them as a superior form of life, language and culture. "

Garnel I know you tend not to know much of anything on any topic you discuss whether its politics or your own holy books, but this is seriously looney even for you.

What the francophones asked for was recognition that Canada is a bi-national country between French and English. It has nothing with believing they are a superior race (you are juxtaposing your Judaism on them).

What they wanted was insurance that they would have their civil rights preserved against the English majority that had been trying for so long to assimilate them into non-existence. Something I might add many people have also tried doing to the Jews over the centuries!

Garnel Ironheart said...

Shalmo, your view of Canadian history is about as accurate as your view of Judaism.

The French wanted:
1) special recognition in the Constitution as a "founding people"
2) a veto over any future constitutional changes, even if 100% of the Rest of Canada (ROC) wanted it
3) 25% of the seats in Parliament even if their share of the Canadian population fell far below that proportion
4) Legal protection to enforce French unlingualism on their province while expected the rest of the country to be fully bilingual.

Civil rights? Since when have their civil rights ever been threatened? Ah, but you think there's a mitzvah for us to eat our children if we find ourselves in a beseiged city.

As for the comparison with the Jews, yes by all means compare how, without any special legal protections we sustained our religion and our language in the fact of unremitting hostility for the last 2000 years and the French, with half the Canadian treasury at their disposal can't seem to do the same.

Shalmo said...

The French ARE a founding people doofus! that's why they wanted the new constitution to reflect that. The French came to Canada long before the Brits. There is no special status involved here.

Trudea made the compromise that all of Canada would be bilingual to accommodate both English and French dissenters.

Again you REALLY need to learn the history. Most of my professors would laugh at you for claiming the French were not fighting off attempts at exterminating them through assimilation into english society.

The very reason they have asked to be allowed to keep their french language and culture is because they want to preserve their heritage. Kinda like how Israel was created for Jews to do the same.

You are as usual building an argument on a straw-man, which is no more believable than your Sinai/Holocaust nonsense.

Garnel Ironheart said...

First of all, the French may have helped found Canada but can we recall that the British won that war a couple of centuries ago now?

There is no English Canada. Go to Brampton where everyone is from India and tell me about English Canada. How about the Chinese-only mall in Markham?

As the ROC continues its transformation into a multi-cultural morass, the French want their little corner of the country to ignore the obvious trend in favour of some kind of racial purity, or pur laine as they call it.

If the Protestant English in small-town Ontario protested the number of Indians in the province they'd be tarred as racists. If the Quebecois complain about too many black people having babies (Lucien Bouchard, 1995 referendum) it's all about fighting assimilation. Please!

Once again, you lie. I never claimed theFrench were not fighting off attempts at exterminating them. I said they're not able to despite all the money and special programs at their disposal.

Bartley Kulp said...

Shalmo said...
"What the francophones asked for was recognition that Canada is a bi-national country between French and English. It has nothing with believing they are a superior race (you are juxtaposing your Judaism on them)."

The supporters of "Le Parti Quebecois" are just a bunch of extorsionist uber idiots who think that speaking French is the most important thing in the world.

This is not preserving their heritage like the "First Nations." They think that they are culturaly superior to everyone else. Their French chauvanism does not allow them to get over their defeat on the Plains of Abraham.

When they ruled the roost until recently, they maintained the most insane, fascist language laws. These laws and the way they were enforced speak volumes of their inferiority complex.

E-Man said...

WHy are you guys arguing with a holocaust denier?