Monday, April 22, 2013

FLASHBACK: Political Theory?

Background: The following entry was posted to the IslandCatholic blog on September 20, 2005, just two months after Canada became the fourth country in the world to legalize same-sex marriage nationwide and about four months prior to the Conservative Party victory on January 23, 2006.

Political theory?

Yesterday’s local paper, The Telegram, carried the front page news of the latest Leger poll showing the Federal Liberal party has rebounded to about 40% popularity. The thought flashed, “Unbelievable! Canadians have such short outrage quotients and memories too.” Then I thought, “Liberals gaining, Conservatives losing, what’s the chance the conservatives will resurrect the same sex marriage issue when they’re so low in the polls?” Not that I really placed any hope in turning back the tables on that issue. It took a fifty year sexual slide in Canadian society to get us to that point so how likely is it that one election issue is going to turn back that kind of momentum?

(Sorry all you fellow hard working right-up-to-the-last-minute Christian resistance fighters. We fought valiantly but really it was like Katrina and the Big Easy…we got clobbered. And just like Katrina, we’ve been warned for years. Just like the weak levees, we left ourselves open and asked for a pounding when we started in the 30’s through 60’s to defy God’s sexual order. But that’s all fodder for another posting maybe.)

Ok, so it seems the Leger polls have a history of bias in favour of the Liberal Party, and other polls show lower numbers but the point is that the Liberals don’t seem to be all that diminished, even after the incredible record of scandal, corruption, and political conspiracy. Who else would get away with it?

Yesterday’s paper also carried comment by Richard Gwyn, in an editorial entitled “The Permanent Party of Canada.” He said that Canadians “don't want anyone other than the Liberals to win an election, particularly not the Conservatives, who might have a "hidden agenda. This distinctively Canadian political expression means that in power they might do something different from the Liberals. At the same time, though, Canadians don't want the Liberals to be in power forever. This would be embarrassing. It would mean that we've become a one-party state.”

In proposing the solution to this dilemma by Canadians, Gwyn says,   “We leave the Liberals permanently in power, essentially because we feel comfortable with them. But we still must keep the Liberals on their toes by periodically scaring them with the prospect of a loss of power.”

Such a solution for Canada means that “the Liberals would become a kind of extension of the civil service, which, indeed, they just about are now. We'd rely upon the other parties for political creativity and originality. That, surely, is about as close as it's possible politically to have your cake while still eating it.”

If all this wasn’t so pathetic and downright dangerous it might be kinda laughable. Is it just me or does anyone else wonder why we don’t have a credible political alternative in Canada to the Liberals? As Gwyn says, Canadians are scared of Conservatives. Yesterday’s news also told us that Preston Manning is proposing a new school of conservatism in order to generate a viable conservative party that stands a chance against the Liberals.

I’m no political analyst and so it may be a dumb question but isn’t it about time the voice of Canadians opposing the Liberal party found an organization to belong to, i.e. a party? I mean, the Liberals are looking at a possible fifth win in a row. Is everyone else asleep at the wheel?

To answer my own question, I think not. It’s just that there’s simply not sufficient steam to turn any other wheels. The conservative ideology and sentiment in Canada seems reserved to a small number of agencies, journalists, and religious organizations. It’s definitely in short supply. Look at Stephen Harper. Nothing personal against Stephen, but he’s not much of an alternative to the Liberals because he seems only slightly less liberal than the liberals. Sorry but I don’t see any real expression of conservative values in his leadership.

Life Site News quotes Jim Hughes, National President of Campaign Life Coalition, as saying that without a firm foundation of objective moral standards, development of conservative public policy is going to be very difficult. Yes, Jim has hit the nail squarely on the head! He’s talking convictions here folks! And no amount of political strategy and think tanks in a nation can make up for a lack of moral strength. Democratic politics is about strength of values and convictions. Sure, you find political corruption and selfish human nature in the mix too but if there’s a dearth of contrary convictions there will certainly be a dearth of parties. Voila Canada!

If you’re following me, I have a question for you, fellow Christians, and fellow Canadians. Where do these convictions come from? To make this simple, let’s restrict the answer to a historical one. Conservative convictions in a Judeo-Christian society come from a biblical worldview. Yep. That’s right. That’s history. And who is the primary champion of the biblical worldview? Is it think tanks, journalists, and institutes? No. It’s the Church. The Church saves souls, teaches (catechizes) souls and sends them out into society, fully convinced of Christian truth, and ready to evangelize. They find jobs and other callings in society; some of them turn out to be teachers, doctors, lawyers, artists, journalists, etc. They bring their convictions with them. The stronger and purer the Church, the stronger the convictions. These convictions find their way inevitably into a political arena, in the interests of preserving and protecting the truth, which ensures a healthy future for posterity. Sorry if you didn’t know this but really there’s no excuse for you not knowing. After all, this has been the pattern of the Church for about 2000 years. You’d think we’d all know this.

Lack of conservation conviction in Canada is nothing other than a failure of the Church to do its job, to fulfill its calling. The Church has failed Canada. Miserably. The Church, with a capital C. Yet not the Roman Catholic Church per se, since the teachings of that body remain inviolable and unchanged due to supernatural assistance from God.

No, the fault lies with Catholic Church in Canada, which being a branch of the true Church headquartered in Rome, and this Church being the true Church of Jesus Christ, is called therefore to be the true light of the world, the true light in Canada. But failing in its duty and calling because of dissent, heresy and apostasy, it has destroyed and scattered its own sheep, as well as lost all privilege and every ground to inspire fellow separated brethren in the other denominations to return to the sheepfold. As the Church goes, so goes sour society. It’s the salt and light thing again, the thing that Jesus spoke about, remember? And if the salt has lost its saltiness, what’s it good for? No salt, no truth, no conservative conviction. No conservative party. Voila, Canada.

It’ll be a shock maybe to Preston Manning, but his plan won’t work. It can’t. You can’t squeeze juice out of a raisin. It’s already taken leave of the grape.

The juice that Manning seeks must come from a renewal and reformation of the Catholic Church in Canada. A good old fashioned nation wide conversion to Christ, to Christian virtue, and to the Church. Of course the evangelical Protestants in Canada could possibly make enormous gains to that end if they were to find the strength of Spirit of such forefathers as Johnathan Edwards, George Whitefield, and Dwight L. Moody.  But given the extreme fragmentation and moral laxity caused by apostasy in Protestant circles, this seems unlikely. We’re in trouble folks.

Perhaps you can think of a better comparison, but my thoughts go to Ezra and Nehemiah, Ezra was called to rebuild the temple, Nehemiah was called to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem. It took them 100 years to complete the work.

Nevertheless, God have mercy! Let’s start with an Ezra.

Posted to islandcatholic 9/20/2005

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