Opinion

GOLDSTEIN

Doublethink in Canada’s Conservative Party

By Lorrie Goldstein, Toronto Sun

Kellie Leitch.

Kellie Leitch.

I have a question for the current and would-be leaders of the federal Conservatives, who have denounced Kellie Leitch’s proposal to screen potential immigrants for anti-Canadian values.

If you think, as Interim Conservative Leader Rona Ambrose has stated, that Donald Trump’s values should disqualify him from being a conservative, let alone president of the United States, why don’t you think the values of the people to whom we grant Canadian citizenship are important?

You can’t have it both ways.

You can’t argue in one breath that Trump’s values are anti-Canadian and then say in the next it’s hard to know what Canadian values are.

You can’t simultaneously denounce Trump’s values as racist and sexist and then say it’s unimportant or irrelevant to screen for values when considering applicants for Canadian citizenship.

George Orwell summed up what you’re doing in his satirical dystopian vision of the future, 1984.

It’s called doublethink -- holding two contradictory ideas at the same time, unaware they’re contradictory.

A series of polls have shown a clear majority of Canadians -- including Conservative, Liberal and NDP voters -- agree with Leitch.

Most Canadians think her proposal is just common sense, despite Ambrose abandoning what was supposed to be her neutrality in the leadership race to criticize Leitch.

As for those Conservative leadership candidates who, among other things, have hysterically accused Leitch of “dog whistle politics” -- alleging she’s appealing to racism -- how did you end up so disconnected from the views of the Canadian people you want to lead?

Do you think of yourselves as what the great American conservative thinker Thomas Sowell describes as “the anointed”? That is, do you see yourselves as self-appointed “wise elites” who believe the views of ordinary people are suspect, and that they must be led to the correct opinions by you?

Why do you basically have the same views on this issue as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and the Liberals, which will be fatal to Conservatives if one of you happens to win the leadership race?

The reason is it won’t do you any good. Trudeau has the political constituency that believes in moral relativism locked up.

This despite the fact it was Trudeau’s father who put into constitutional and legal language the values we say we share as Canadians in the Charter of Rights.

The point is, if people are going to vote Liberal, they’ll vote for real Liberals, not fake ones.

Further, as Conservative leadership candidates, has it occurred to you that these days you spend almost all of your time aping Trudeau on immigration, while he spends zero time aping you?

In last year’s federal election it was your Conservative party that made a big deal of standing up for what you said were the Canadian values of openness and transparency, by requiring niqabi women to unveil their faces when taking the oath of citizenship.

The majority of Canadians also supported you on that, by the way. Plus, you attacked Trudeau at the time for saying you were being divisive.

So what’s changed post-election, other than that Trudeau won, to account for your about face?

What makes you now say the values of those who apply for citizenship to Canada aren’t important, or that there’s no way to determine them?

Perhaps you could inform Canadians of your views on these issues in your upcoming leadership debates, instead of just accusing Leitch of dog whistle politics, which is what the Liberals accused you of in last year’s federal election.