Popular Articles

Does politics have to be all vanity and no substance?

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on email
Share on print

Click an icon above to share, email, or save this article

“For the past six years, we’re been ruled by a government specializing in gestures and posturing – whose very signature is vanity.” (Image: michaelhyatt.com)

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on email
Share on print

Click an icon above to share, email, or save this article

Canada is such a wonderfully successful country that our politics are increasingly about vanity; that is, the important business of admiring oneself in the mirror and making easy gestures. The practical business of running the country can be left to the civil service.

Yes, with the pandemic, the government had to turn its attention to shovelling billions upon billions out the door. But for most politicians the pandemic seems to have been an annoying commercial break. To the public, maybe not so much.

This is not entirely new. Canada has long had a vanity party. A vote for the NDP has always been a vote for one’s mirror reflection, unsullied by fear that one’s beautiful policies might be put into practice. Mostly. Because there was always the dream of a breakthrough and often a realistic prospect of holding the balance of power. The same can’t be said for our newest national parties.

Perhaps the less said about the PPC, the better. The party seems to exist so that Maxime Bernier can look in the mirror and ask who is the most beautiful fiscal conservative of them all.

The Greens have even less support. Yes, they serve the function of tolling our environmental doom, but we already pay the CBC $1.2 billion a year to do that, so even as doomsayers, the Greens are redundant.

Not to mention that the environment is a vanity issue to start with. Yes, science tells us the earth is getting warmer. The same science tells us Canada can do nothing about it. Some years ago, scientists estimated that Canada’s share of greenhouse gasses totalled 1.6% a year – a wholly insignificant number. Moreover, our share of CO2 emissions has fallen year by year. Not because of our efforts, but because the rest of the world’s output continues to rise.

“Well, at least we should do our part!” people say. But we cannot. To do our “part,” we have to be part of a larger effort that might succeed, and such a worldwide effort doesn’t exist. Is China reducing its CO2 emissions? Quite the opposite. Moreover, the Chinese government is financing new coal-fired generating stations throughout the third world.

I feel the attraction of the environmental movement. People need a noble quest. And  what could be nobler than saving the planet? But Canada’s ambition to slow down climate change is like a beaver getting out in front of a 20-ton earth mover. 

The result has not been pretty. Yes, safely at home in Ottawa or Montreal, Toronto or Vancouver, we may not have noticed the destruction of Alberta’s oil industry, (though sadly, I have heard more than one person gloating over the loss of jobs and hope).

More generally, those of us who make a comfortable living haven’t felt the pinch of higher electricity costs and higher gas costs and higher everything costs. Nor have many of us noticed that other people are feeling the pinch. How could we? You will not hear the CBC or The Toronto Star or the Globe and Mail reporting that a good income ensures that the pain of our noble quest is felt by someone else.

It’s also no coincidence that supporters of our two main vanity parties have an unhealthy obsession with Israel. Does the Israeli-Palestinian conflict matter in any material way to Canada? Maybe, if we consider that Hamas’s and Hezbollah’s attacks against Israel are part of Iran’s efforts to dominate the middle east. That is a large conflict brewing, engaging every state in the region. Foreign policy mavens throughout the world are watching that.

But the little conflict, the on-going effort of the Palestinians to replace Israel with a Palestinian state? On the scale of serious conflicts in the world, that has to come in somewhere around 127 ½th. It matters if you’re Israeli, or Jewish, or Palestinian. But to Canada?

Not at all. Yet activists in both the NDP and the Green Party preen their anti-Israel obsession before a mirror daily. It’s the hatred du jour.

Get thej.ca a Pro Israel Voice by Email. Never miss a top story that effects you, your family & your community

The professionals running their election campaigns know how icky this obsession appears to many Canadians, so they keep it out of sight, but anyone paying attention will recall how popular anti-Israel resolutions were at the NDP convention.

As for the Greens, earlier this year, they publicly melted down over Israel. The party leader Annamie Paul is a moderate. Like any sane person, she supports peace and Israel’s continuing existence; also, she’s Black and Jewish – all of which makes her an outlier in the Green Party.

During Hamas’s most recent war against Israel, Green Party MP Jenica Atwin went ballistic when Annamie Paul made a mild statement about wishing for an end to the violence. Atwin tweeted: “I stand with Palestine! There are no two sides to this conflict, only human rights abuses! #EndApartheid.” Then Atwin crossed over to the Liberals.

Atwin and other denizens of the left can afford to side with terrorists because this is pure vanity politics. If Hamas were firing thousands of missiles at Fredericton (which Atkin represents as an MP) her constituents would burn her at the stake.

“Adjusts position on Israel”, “regrets her comments'', “walks back anti-Israel rhetoric” was how the Liberal-friendly media struggled to avoid describing Justin Trudeau’s prize floor-crosser, Jenica Atwin, as an antisemite. (Image: Google)

Of course, vanity politics aren’t confined to our minor parties. For the past six years, we’re been ruled by a government specializing in gestures and posturing – whose very signature is vanity.

In 2019, a national inquiry concluded that Canada was perpetrating an ongoing genocide against Indigenous peoples. Justin Trudeau accepted this conclusion. To be sure, Canada faces no harder issue than the plight of our Indigenous peoples.

But if Trudeau thinks Canada is currently committing genocide, why is he running for re-election? He should be turning himself in at the Hague for crimes against humanity.

It drives me crazy. If any issue in Canada requires seriousness, surely it is the Indigenous issue. But no. From Trudeau, we get empty words, empty gestures, and eternal preening. I believe Canadians are growing weary of vanity politics.

The Pandemic has shaken us.

Many Canadians are holding on by their fingernails, and many, many more are nervous. We’ve been reminded that we’re vulnerable. Some 60% of Canadians are worried about inflation. Obviously, inflation erodes our savings and makes everything more expensive. But also, we fear the re-emergence of inflation is an omen – a strong recovery isn’t guaranteed. Indeed, unlike other advanced economies, Canada’s recovery may be slipping. And with the country a trillion dollars in debt, how much of a backstop do we have left?

A pensive Justin Trudeau approaches the microphone in Winnipeg on Sept. 19, 2019, after photographs emerged of, as CBC called it, his “blackface scandal”. (Photo: Marty Gold)

Even more than that, Covid – and the political response to Covid – has created societal discord unlike anything in recent memory. Some Canadians are anxious about the vaccine. They worry about side effects and about vaccinating children who face little risk of serious disease.  But the rest of us are anxious, too – so the backlash against the vaccine doubters has often been anger and ridicule.

And anger has sparked more anger. It’s a vicious spiral. We even have a couple hundred jerks harassing health care workers. But that’s a fringe phenomenon. The doubters number in the millions, and sneering hasn’t convinced anyone.

From the start of the election, Trudeau has tried to build the anger. Everyone noticed his irresponsibility in calling a needless election during the Pandemic. But beyond that, he’s tried to use  ‘Pandemic’ as a wedge issue. Politically, this hasn’t worked. At most his wedge politics have succeeded in giving Bernier’s People’s Party momentum as the one anti–Vaccine Passport party. The PPC seems to have at least double the Green Party vote.

But it’s Trudeau’s intent that disturbs me: to use the pandemic to divide Canadians against Canadian so that he might possibly win a majority. It’s all about him.

Vanity politics is a luxury item, and right now, as a country, maybe we can’t afford it. Right now, it would be comforting to have a serious leader, concerned with actually getting things done and calming things down.

Brian Henry is a writer, editor, creative writing instructor, and publisher of the Quick Brown Fox blog. He’s written opinion pieces for the National Post and the Toronto Star. He was also a regular contributor to the (now defunct) Jewish Tribune and the Engage and Harry’s Place websites in the UK.

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on email
Share on print

Click an icon above to share, email, or save this article

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on email
Share on print

Click an icon above to share, email, or save this article

Read More

Thank you for choosing TheJ.Ca as your source for Canadian Jewish News.

We do news differently!

Our positioning as a Zionist News Media platform sets us apart from the rest. While other Canadian Jewish media are advocating increasingly biased progressive political and social agendas, TheJ.Ca is providing more and more readers with a welcome alternative and an ideological home.

We revealed the incursion of anti-Israel progressive elements such as IfNotNow into our communities. We have exposed the distorted hateful agenda of the “progressive” left political radicals who brought Linda Sarsour to our cities, and we were first to report on many disturbing incidents of Nazi-based hate towards Jews across Canada.

But we can’t do it alone. We need your HELP!

Our ability to thrive and grow in 2020 and beyond depends on the generosity of committed readers and supporters like you.

Monthly support is a great way to help us sustain our operations. We greatly appreciate any contributions you can make to support Jewish Journalism.

We thank you for your ongoing support.

Happy reading!

Thank you for choosing TheJ.Ca as your source for Canadian Jewish News.

We do news differently!

Our positioning as a Zionist News Media platform sets us apart from the rest. While other Canadian Jewish media are advocating increasingly biased progressive political and social agendas, TheJ.Ca is providing more and more readers with a welcome alternative and an ideological home.

We revealed the incursion of anti-Israel progressive elements such as IfNotNow into our communities. We have exposed the distorted hateful agenda of the “progressive” left political radicals who brought Linda Sarsour to our cities, and we were first to report on many disturbing incidents of Nazi-based hate towards Jews across Canada.

But we can’t do it alone. We need your HELP!

Our ability to thrive and grow in 2020 and beyond depends on the generosity of committed readers and supporters like you.

Monthly support is a great way to help us sustain our operations. We greatly appreciate any contributions you can make to support Jewish Journalism.

We thank you for your ongoing support.

Happy reading!

cOMING SOON…….

Breaking News

Recent

Features

News

Current Events

Opinions

Politics

Religion

Culture

Memoriam and Obituaries

PodcastS

Terms and Conditions

Privacy Policy

About Us

Advertise with us

contact 

Subscribe Now

Receive the latest in community & international Jewish news direct to your inbox

© 2020 THEJ.CA, All Rights Reserved

Terms and Conditions

Privacy Policy

About Us

Advertise with us

contact 

Subscribe Now

Receive the latest in community & international Jewish news direct to your inbox

© 2020 THEJ.CA, All Rights Reserved

Subscribe Now

Receive the latest in community & international Jewish news direct to your inbox

Terms and Conditions

Privacy Policy

About Us

Advertise with us

contact 

© 2020 THEJ.CA, All Rights Reserved

Previous
Next