The Chicago Sun-Times, not known to be a conservative-loving newspaper, has one of the best roundups of Canada’s election from their outside-of-Canada, objective point of view. (Hat tip: “conservativegal”)
John O’Sullivan writes:
In 1945 Canada was the world’s fourth-largest military power. Its soldiers, sailors and airmen had played a major part on D-Day and in finally defeating Nazi Germany. And its national image was that of a tough, self-reliant, stand-up guy whom you would like on your side in a barroom brawl.
From 1945 to the present the history and changing national image of Canada was brilliantly summed up in the Monty Python song that begins “I’m a lumberjack and I’m OK” and gradually develops into “I put on women’s clothing and hang around in bars.” In other words, not necessarily someone you would like on your side in a barroom brawl.
This new Canada was the child of the Pierre Trudeau and the Canadian Liberal party. As the government in power for most of the postwar period, they remade Canada in their own image: left-liberal in politics, tightly regulated in economics, welfarist in social policy, officially bilingual and multicultural as regards national identity, allied to the United Nations and the Third World in foreign policy, and therefore self-consciously different from (and sometimes even hostile to) the United States.
In one significant respect, however, the new Trudeaupian Canadians imitated America: They ditched their British-style parliamentary constitution and introduced an American constitution with both a Charter of Rights and Freedoms, broader and more collectivist than America’s Bill of Rights, and a U.S.-style Supreme Court to adjudicate and enforce it. By making the courts the all-but-final political authority, the Liberals hoped to ensure like-minded judges could continue to impose Trudeaupian liberal policies on Canada even during the brief intervals when they were out of office.
[…] But there is a real prospect of a minority Tory government and a slim chance of an outright majority one.
The Liberals are going into overdrive to prevent this, hurling a series of charges against the rising Tories.
Their all-purpose portmanteau slander is that the Tories are a sinister force who are secretly planning a series of radical attacks on Canada’s current multicultural-welfare state. Their latest television ad warned that the Tories intended to deploy the Canadian armed forces in urban areas, implying that they would be used not to help in Katrina-style emergencies but to impose martial law. This invited a raucous response from, among others, the shrunken Canadian military. “Where would we get the soldiers? Where would we get the guns?” asked one officer, who asked not to be named. “Haven’t these guys been reading their own policies?”
The ad was quickly withdrawn amid Liberal embarrassment.
[…] The voters—who last year were frightened away from voting Tory by a similar last-minute scare campaign—have had 12 months to become accustomed to the possibility of a Tory majority. It looks a good deal less “scary” than legalized polygamy.
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