Saturday, March 24, 2007

The Minority Report

Okay, quite possibly the cheesiest title I've ever used for a collumn, but it's apt. Canada has become obsessed with minorities; two kinds of minorities, specifically, and both of them are political.

About three years ago we got our first taste of decent, moderate government in a very long time when we elected a minority liberal party into office; when it was revealed that the liberals had run an elaborate "screwing taxpayers" program for several years, we booted them out of office and elected a conservative minority. Neither government has been bad for the country, which is a new and interesting result which caught many a Canadian off-guard.

For the first time in two decades the government is accomplishing things; the face of the country is changing. There is actual progress - which is supposed to be the mot d'ordre in a democratic society but which has been sorely lacking in ours for a very long time. The reason for this is that our parliamentary system allows a majority party virtual dictatorship of the country - there is no hope of genuine opposition or discussion when a majority government presents a bill; it's rammed through without hesitation or consideration. Minority governments are different; discussion and opposition are natural and constructive elements in such governments and our entire country is better for it.

So we've decided that we like it, and we'll probably get another minority government when the feds call their election this summer. In fact, we like the results so much that, on monday, for the first time in over a hundred years Québec will find itself with a minority provincial government. Hopefully that might bring an end to the unpleasantly stagnant state of la belle province's legislature.

Which brings us to the second Minority which has Canadians obsessed of late; visible minorities. It seems, lately, that if you aren't white and christian, and you have a complaint, well all you have to do is whine a bit and a politician will be there to pander to your needs. It is insulting that equality is no longer viewed as equality under the law but rather as different social groups bowing to each others' practices in an attempt to avoid offending them.

Minority politics have invaded and they are devastating to the progress we've tirelessly pruned our majorities to achieve. Freedom of religion has poisoned the social discourse; it is one of two things (the second of which I won't deal with right now) in the Charter of Rights and Freedoms that must be changed; what we need is Freedom from religion.

It's been stated in countless collumns and discussions all over this province and city, but I think it bears repeating: there is no Right to Comfort nor is there any Right to Freedom from Offence. If our steadily multiplying legislative minorities keep that in mind, we may yet see our way clear of the quagmire that the religious whiners have dragged us into.

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