What does it say about the government of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau when it repeatedly suggests the vast majority of Canadians are Islamophobic, bigoted and racist?
Time and again, Trudeau and the Liberals try to come up with divisive wedge issues for the Conservatives to slip on -- which is politicking, not governing -- and time and again it blows up in their faces.
The latest is the Liberals’ so-called “anti-Islamophobia” motion proposed by MP Iqra Khalid but, more importantly, backed by Trudeau and the PMO, the wording of which a recent Forum Research poll found 71% of Canadians surveyed oppose, with only 14% in support.
Forty per cent said the motion should not single out one religion, while 31% believed it should reference all religions.
Even 71% of Liberal voters oppose the current wording of the Liberal motion, compared to only 16% in favour.
Same goes for Trudeau/Liberal denunciations of Conservative leadership candidate Kellie Leitch’s proposal to screen would-be immigrants, refugees and visitors for anti-Canadian values.
A recent CROP poll conducted for Radio-Canada, the French-language service of the CBC, found 74% of Canadians surveyed agree with this idea. A Forum poll last year showed two-thirds of Canadians surveyed agreed with it.
Leading up to and during the 2015 federal election, polls showed Canadians favoured the Harper government’s now-defunct policy requiring people to reveal their faces while taking the oath of citizenship (the so-called “niqab ban”) by margins of 61%, (Mainstreet Research), 72% (CBC-Vote Compass) and 82% (government-commissioned poll by Leger Marketing).
The issue is not that the government should govern by polls.
Edmund Burke, the founder of modern conservatism, was correct when he told the electors of Bristol in 1774: “Your representative owes you, not his industry only, but his judgment; and he betrays, instead of serving you, if he sacrifices it to your opinion.”
But what the Trudeau Liberals do, by contrast, is to argue repeatedly there is only one “correct” opinion on these issues -- their opinion -- and that all other opinions are Islamophobic, bigoted, racist, ignorant and on and on ad nauseam.
That’s light years away from what Burke was advocating, who in the same speech said the opinions of electors should be treated with the highest respect by parliamentarians, who must then apply their “mature judgment” to them.
That’s not what Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale did when he sarcastically accused Conservatives of wanting to turn “fire hoses” on migrants illegally pouring across our unmanned border with the U.S., in order to avoid addressing the legitimate issue of border security.
That’s because Trudeau and the Liberals only raise these issues in the first place to try and out Conservatives as bigots, not to have a genuine societal debate about them.
Liberal tactics today are similar to the “you’re with us or with the child pornographers” accusation they justifiably levelled at the previous Harper government when it mocked legitimate concerns about whether its proposed legislation to combat child porn violated online privacy rights.
While the Trudeau Liberals are ever on the alert for alleged examples of “Trumpism” taking root in Canada, the irony is they are fuelling it.
When people feel their legitimate, honestly held views are being ignored and mocked by political elites, they’re apt to throw an atomic bomb into the status quo just to shake things up.
Someone should remind Trudeau and the Liberals that’s how Trump got elected.