Tuesday, October 4, 2005

Well, as a matter of fact, I am bitter…

Outside the country's universities and the beer halls of the teachers' and public employees' unions, and aside from the deeply inculcated bugaboos of health care and the environment, most Canadians I meet appear to me to be disinclined to credit our governments with the ability to solve anything except the problems of their own pensions, golf memberships, vactions, etc… And yet elections appear to hold no better prospects than holding patterns for "the more bitter conservative sympathizers of all ages." The inclination of many of those "bitter conservative sympathizers" to opt out of a strong paternalist and interventionist state is of course opposed by the legal imperatives to contribute materially and by credential to their own injury. Gods of the Copybook Headings, counselling patience, suggests that material and intellectual contributions of another sort may serve to redress the disservice and directs our attention to the possibility through historical examples:

The modern lie that Canadians are inherently statist, and thus reform impossible, is matched by the lie that Canadians are inherently "moderate." The concept "moderate" is meaningless outside of its narrow understanding, something between two extremes. The issue in Canadian history, and the history of every nation to have a functioning public debate on social and political issues, is not who defines what is considered moderation, but who the extremists are and what they are fighting for.
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