Canadian conservatism shouldn’t be scary


Right-wing political movements are gaining momentum worldwide, with the public expressing their opinions on the most recent political phenomena, such as Brexit, or the new, very Republican government in America. We’re due to see how this plays out in Canada, and to pray that the sort of insidious hateful thought seen in these movements doesn’t take hold here too; our right wing doesn’t need to look like the one seen elsewhere.

One clear revelation of these events is that people are dissatisfied with globalism and liberal elitism. Nationalism is gaining ground, and erosion of economic sovereignty and culture was seen as such a threat that the United States turned to a dangerously unqualified candidate as their champion.

Right-wing America has scapegoated illegal Mexican immigrants, radical Islam, and Washington insiders, among other things. Canada doesn’t have the same issue with illegal immigration that America does, so our political fodder for the right wing won’t focus on Mexican immigrants taking away low-paying jobs, but rather, the obscenely wealthy who buy up real estate and drive up prices, without interest in working in Canada.

Still, immigration is a hot topic in Canadian politics. The Conservative Party leadership race in progress has MP Kellie Leitch calling for anti-Canadian values screening for immigrants — an alarming sentiment, to be sure. This campaign season may have rejuvenated the racist underbelly of the United States, but that doesn’t have to be the case here.

The unelected, life-tenured upper house of Canada has been the subject of recent expense scandal, and many Canadians hold the Senate — and our current politics in general — in disdain, placing the government body in the crosshairs. Trudeau’s new “independent” appointment process may not be enough to quell Canadians’ Senate resentment.

While the US continues to deny climate change, they won’t be making any meaningful strides toward climate action. Canada’s right, like Brad Wall in Saskatchewan, will take advantage of this, and claim now is not the right time for action. Our next election will certainly see discourse regarding the Liberal’s climate plan. They are spending $2.65 billion in other countries to develop clean energy, and implementing a carbon tax in Canada. Political opposition could take advantage of this foreign spending through nationalist economic policies calling for increased spending at home.

I like to believe the negative energy that’s engendered conservative campaigns elsewhere doesn’t exist in Canada. It isn’t lying in wait for a firebrand to ignite into an inferno, and I hope I’m not proven wrong.

I hope anti-establishmentism and nationalism’s energy in Canada will result in a viable alternative for voters who don’t agree with the direction of the Liberals’ policy, or with liberal elitism overall, without resorting to hateful rhetoric. I believe that in a Canadian fashion of compromise and respect, politicians and media personalities can address the dissatisfaction that is dividing nations right now, and keep Canada great.