Silencing of Dissent Reveals Insecurity in the Inner Circles
There’s a pandemic of aggressive bullying in Ottawa, and it has infected several political parties. We all are well aware of Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau’s warnings—early in his tenure—that only individuals supporting abortion rights would be accepted as Liberal candidates and that all Liberal MPs would be expected to vote in favour of unfettered abortion.
His position has only hardened since then and incumbent Liberal MPs who had previously identified as pro-life have obediently kept quiet during the few debates on the topic. In fact, on almost any topic that has come before the House, Liberal members have stuck together, come what may. It is not a sign of courage or confidence that every individual—unique in his or her experience and representing very diverse constituencies—should coincidentally present exactly the same talking points and opinions on a multitude of issues. Rather, it is a sign of submission to mandated thoughts, which must serve as a beacon shining its light on the sad state of our democracy.
Another revelation of Mr. Trudeau’s need for complete, complacent complicity was when, on January 14, 2019, he demoted his Justice Minister, Jody Wilson-Raybould, shifting her to Veterans’ Affairs, a less prominent portfolio. Ms. Wilson-Raybould had become very critical of the Prime Minister’s Office and outspoken about the pressure she had been placed under regarding her handling of the SNC-Lavalin affair. The PM’s shuffling her out of the Justice role was understood by many to be in retribution for her public criticism and an attempt to silence her. She quit his Cabinet in February, and on April 2nd, the PM expelled both Ms. Wilson Raybould and former Health Minister, Dr. Jane Philpott, from the Liberal caucus.
That may be why, since then, most Liberal MPs have been loyal to a fault. They don’t want to be fired. They don’t want to lose the favour of the PM, whose approval they must have to register as Liberal candidates. The reckless spending, the casual imposition of draconian measures in response to COVID, the arrogant and careless dismissal of calls for accountability, the ramping up of carbon taxes and the hostile and belittling comments about those who disagree with him—all these flawed actions are tolerated and defended by his caucus.
Unfortunately, this tendency of an insecure party leader to control and manipulate rank-and-file members of the same party in order to present a united front is not limited to the Liberal Party. This past year, we saw the Green Party damaged by internal conflicts over leadership style and expectations.
Even the Conservative Party, with its stated goals of a “Big Blue Tent” where “conservatives of all types are welcome” (presumably including pro-life, pro-traditional-family social conservatives, fiscal conservatives, and “progressive” conservatives), has seen its share of bullying and thinly-veiled threats.
Two or three recent events underscore the kind of pressure that is exercised whenever the CPC Leader and his inner circle feel threatened. Longtime Conservative Senator, Denise Batters, was kicked out of caucus for launching a petition calling for a leadership review. It’s well known that thousands of Conservative members blame Erin O’Toole for failing to unseat the unpopular Justin Trudeau in the recent election. Senator Batters gave party members a platform on which to express their opinions—and for that she was dismissed.
Most Canadian social conservatives will remember former MP Derek Sloan’s expulsion from caucus and from the party for expressing his strongly-held views on carbon taxes, open borders, and the government’s pandemic overreach. The excuse for his dismissal was his leadership campaign receiving a minor donation of $131.00 from a racist whom none of us had ever heard of (and which the CPC itself had processed). But, this is where the thin-skinned reactions of the CPC leadership are counter-productive. Instead of rejecting Derek Sloan on a flimsy excuse, Mr. O’Toole might have strengthened his party by including him in his shadow cabinet. The fact that Mr. Sloan had been a leadership contestant may have made him seem a threat to the man who wants to remain Leader. Going back a few years, former CPC Leader, Andrew Scheer, seemed to have fallen into the same trap. He could have incorporated his leadership rivals, Maxime Bernier and Brad Trost into his shadow cabinet. Instead, he made it so uncomfortable for Mr. Bernier that he quit and Mr. Trost was squeezed out by party insiders who were able to outmaneuver him during the nomination battle.
The reality is that social conservatives are really not welcome in the Big Blue Tent. Not if they speak their minds. Not if they fail to tow the party line. If that were not so, we would have seen a handful at least, of men and women standing to speak against Bill C-4 (the Conversion Therapy Ban) this past week. But all were silent. What were they told behind closed doors? Is the Leader’s approval so valuable that one would abandon so important a battle without even a fight?
It’s not surprising for one man to be cowed, intimidated, threatened, cajoled, shamed or bribed into an act about which he may feel morally conflicted . . . but when a whole roomful of people are drawn into an action that violates their collective and individual consciences, there’s something very sinister going on . . . and it cannot end well.
“The wicked flee when no man pursueth but the righteous are bold as a lion.”
The Christian Heritage Party stands for Life, Family, and Freedom. These are core values, understood by every candidate who chooses to carry our banner. On other matters we believe in free votes and free expression for our candidates and future MPs. We believe every individual is unique and has unique gifts and understandings. We want to hear from our members. We won’t always agree on every matter but when dissent is silenced, tyranny is afoot.
For a stronger democracy, we need a party that has stood on the foundation that made this country strong . . . our Christian Heritage. Join CHP today and defend your freedom.
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