[Previously by Kevin Michael Grace: Breakthrough In Canada!]
Much to my bemusement, an article I wrote three years ago for the now-defunct Report Magazine has become an issue in Canada's current federal election, due June 28. The ruling Liberal Party is using moi in an attack ad [click here and look at bottom right], claiming that Stephen Harper—leader of the opposition Conservative Party and under the parliamentary system in effect the alternative prime minister—is an immigration "extremist."
If only it were true!
Harper did start off as a policy wonk and ideologue, even reportedly admiring Peter Brimelow's The Patriot Game (the 1986 book that made Brimelow as popular in Canada as Alien Nation did a decade later in the U.S.). But, since Harper became Conservative leader, he has been moderating madly. In all honesty, I cannot determine what Harper now believes about immigration—or even whether he holds any opinions on the subject at all.
The Liberal Party attack ad was based on an interview I conducted with Harper after the 2000 federal election. The Liberals had prevailed with a campaign asserting that Western Canadians were "different," not really Canadians at all, and that the Canadian Alliance, the Conservatives' Western-based precursor party, was in bed with "neo-Nazis."
This may have helped in Central Canada (equivalent to the "Blue states"). But the West was, not unnaturally, unimpressed. Even so, the Liberals won 14 seats out of 88 Western seats. I asked Harper to explain who there had voted Liberal—and why.
He told me:
"West of Winnipeg the ridings the Liberals hold are dominated by people who are either recent Asian immigrants or recent migrants from eastern Canada: people who live in ghettoes and who are not integrated into Western Canadian society."
Harper's analysis was true—in fact, a truism. But Canadians invite disaster by stating the obvious. So I was terribly excited that Harper had done it. It seemed to me that Harper was not only one of the handful of Canadians prepared to speak truthfully about immigration but also that he was prepared to do something about it…if ever he had the chance.
Harper got his chance. Because of unforeseen circumstances, he was able to run and win the leadership of his party. But when I next asked Harper about immigration, what he said was quite different:
"I'm pro-immigration in principle. I think the biggest concern in the immigration system right now is the refugee-determination process, which has become such a boondoggle. It not only threatens the integrity of the immigration system; it threatens national security. I've been saying for years that the most important thing is that this country make its own immigration selection and that this policy be consistent with Canadians' views…But I'm very supportive of a significant level of immigration and always have been." ["Stephen Harper: The Report Interview," The Report, January 7, 2002]
What does Harper mean by "a significant level of immigration"? One of his predecessors, Preston Manning, once called for Canada's annual intake to be lowered to 150,000 annually. (It has hovered between 225,000 and 300,000—1% of the population, highest per capita in the world—for more than a decade.) Manning, despite multicultural groveling, was excoriated as a "racist," and his party won few non-white votes. In 2000, according to the Canadian Election Survey, [PDF] the Liberals took 72% of the "non-European origin" vote; Harper's party took only 14%. Like the GOP, the Canadian Conservative Party seems paralyzed in the face of policy-induced demographic doom.
But if nothing else, Stephen Harper is lucky. He has become leader of the new Conservative Party simultaneously with a collapse of confidence in the Liberals, now led by Prime Minister Paul Martin. A scandal involving the Liberals' bribing of Quebeckers with tens of millions of dollars in illicit contracts has flared up. Martin is now being punished for his predecessor's sins. Polls reveal the Liberals could easily be reduced to a minority government. Some even suggest that Harper could become prime minister.
However, Harper's response to Liberal disarray has been to "moderate" further. He has abandoned a "Triple-E" (i.e. American-style) Senate and direct democracy (initiative, referendum, recall). He fully supports Canada's communistic "single-payer" health-care system.
And he has declared that continuation of Canada's ridiculous coast-by-coast federal bilingualism policy will be a "national priority." To prove it, he fired as Official Languages critic MP Scott Reid, author of the 1993 book Lament For a Notion which demolished the intellectual case for bilingualism.
What, now, is the official position of Harper's Conservative Party on immigration? According to its website, it is this:
"The Conservative party will fight for immigrants. We will work to ensure speedier recognition of foreign credentials and prior work experience."
That's all, folks!
It is possible, of course, that Stephen Harper is an immigration reformer at heart but has prudently decided to disguise this position.
It is also possible, and more likely, it seems to me, that Harper has simply been spending too much time with professional politicians. (Or maybe he's one of those unfortunates who actually believe the Wall Street Journal Editorial Page—he also supported the Iraq War, a grave political liability in Canada.)
Even Harper's talk of reforming the refugee boondoggle is just that—talk. He knows full well that true immigration reform will require, for a start, the repeal of the Supreme Court of Canada's ruling that anyone on Canadian soil (or in Canadian waters) has the full legal rights of citizens. It is the courts, not Parliament, that determine who stays in this country. Wresting back control would require a constitutional counterrevolution. Harper has demonstrated no interest in such a course.
For a year now, Harper has reminded audiences time and again he is a native of Toronto. i.e. not really one of those neo-Nazi Westerners. His opposition to Canada's increasingly totalitarian "hate laws," and to the radical gay agenda that sweeps all before it here, has been pro forma at best.
So determined is Harper to appear "moderate" that he even boasted in a speech he had called the RCMP to demand criminal charges against a Canadian Indian leader who had made anti-Semitic remarks.
Yet Harper stood silent as numerous Conservative local nomination meetings were swamped, in the recent Canadian fashion, by "instant members" from ethnic minority groups.
If Harper had anything to say after it was announced that 87% of HIV-positive immigration applicants are admitted to Canada, I didn't hear it.
Two years ago, I was told by an unimpeachable source that it had been put to Harper there were two issues he could use to polarize the electorate and destroy the Liberal hegemony: immigration and Indian affairs.
His response: "Nah."
This is a curious situation. Two years ago, I described on VDARE.COM how three monographs from eminently respectable sources had abruptly destroyed the intellectual basis (such as it is) of Canadian immigration policy.
"The intellectual battle is over. In one blow, the immigration reformers have won. The political battle, however, is not yet begun." [Breakthrough In Canada! November 26, 2002]
Amazingly, the political battle has still not begun—even though a "Conservative" Party would have everything to gain from it.
Meanwhile, immigrant gunmen have turned Toronto and Vancouver into shooting galleries, despite Canada's Draconian gun-control regime. Synagogues and Hebrew libraries are bombed, immigrant Muslims are arrested. Immigrant adolescents race their "rice rockets" through city streets at speeds up to 100 MPH, terrifying natives and flattening the luckless.
And, despite a complete lack of political and media leadership, polls continue to show that Canadians want immigration reform.
At times of crisis, such as the Camp-of-The-Saints type "boat people" invasions in 1999 and after 9/11, this desire is almost unanimous.
Canadians, like Americans, will one day get immigration reform. But they can't count on it from Stephen Harper and his falsely-named Conservative Party.
At least, not until the wind changes.
Kevin Michael Grace (send him email) lives in Victoria, British Columbia. His blog, TheAmbler.com, features original commentaries.