Finding Canada

I know politics is a highly controversial and sensitive subject. Some people will most likely consider this article offensive, and some people will disagree with me completely. It is not my intention to offend anyone, but rather, to take a stand for freedom of speech and expression. I often hear the saying “there is no right not to be offended.” While it is true that freedom of speech without the right to offend wouldn’t be free speech; I am not one to deliberately offend, and also recognize that people have a right to not be disrespected. This is why I write this article with great care and moral sensitivity. What does being Canadian mean? If you ask this question to Canadians, you will get an answer like: “Canada is a beautifully landscaped country with snow, poutine, and free healthcare; who is politer than our southern neighbour—and we love hockey!” For me, being Canadian means I get to live in a democratic society where each voice is just as important as the next. In Canada, all levels of Government are open and transparent, without media manipulation. As a Canadian, I have the right to be free. Canada is a truly great place to live. Now all we need to do is find that place once again.

“Canada: The Road to Democracy.” As per the Parliament of Canada website, the word democracy is defined as such: “In a democratic country, all eligible citizens have the right to participate, either directly or indirectly, in making the decisions that affect them.” (1) Essentially, democracy means that we, the people, have a right to make decisions as a majority about our leadership. There was recently an online vote about whether or not we wanted to accept Prime Minister Trudeau’s plan to resettle 25,000 Syrian refugees. The result showed that 60% of Canadians were opposed to his proposal with major concerns, and fear that security checks will be limited in order to hit Trudeau’s timeline. Wait a minute. That’s not how this democracy thing is supposed to work? When questioned why he is moving forward with this he responded: “It has nothing to do with politics and everything to do with being Canadian.” But doesn’t being Canadian mean being democratic, and listening to the people? Aristocracy is an autocratic government. Like the nobility era of Kings and Queens, one person or group holds all the power without the participation, or sometimes even the consent, of the people they are leading. This seems to be the Canada we now live in. In my opinion, if we truly want to find Canada, we must listen to the majority as this is what democracy is all about.

We all know that there is a crisis happening in the Middle East. Thousands of people need help. In no way am I trying to deescalate the situation happening over there; I will however express my concerns. According to the Washington times, United States and Canada are not the destinations of choice for Syrian refugees looking to escape the violence within their nation. In fact, only 6% cited North America as the place they would prefer to live in—according to a new Gallup poll of Syrians released a few weeks ago. That means that 94% of Syrian’s who are in a crisis don’t wish to move here! Is it because other countries are offering them more then what we are? The Liberal Government is offering free housing and in some cases a $3000 gift card to accessorize their new apartments. Meanwhile, low income seniors who have paid taxes their whole lives are still waiting for affordable housing.

According to Daily Mail in the U.K, only one in every five immigrants claiming asylum in Europe is from Syria. The European Union logged 213,000 arrivals in April, May and June but only 44,000 of them were fleeing the Syrian civil war. Why aren’t Syrians willing to relocate anywhere they can? If we want to find a free Canada, we must find a government who is open and transparent. There are too many questions still left unanswered.

It is my greatest wish that you, the people, have not just the sense of freedom, but actual freedom. Our government is slowly changing the meaning of freedom at a pace that most do not notice. Social learning theory considers the development of one’s identity to be a learned response to one’s social environment. This theory suggests that your identity is not the product of the unconscious, but instead a result of modeling yourself in response to the expectations of others. That our behavior is in fact developed in reaction to the strengthening and reassurance of the people around us. By concentrating reports in the media about what they want us to think, we slowly conform to what is considered the norm. By creating this “politically correct” society, we are imprisoning ourselves not with walls but with what is accepted.

To find Canada, all we need to do is wake up, listen to our neighbours, learn to accept we may be wrong, demand transparency from our elected government, and break free from our artificial thought parameters. I encourage all of you to write your reviews as it is your right, and freedom of speech that you are exercising. Let’s stand together and be Canadian.

 

Crystalogy

Featured Image Credit:
http://shottec.com/history-of-pond-hockey/

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6 thoughts on “Finding Canada

  1. Steve says:

    Hmm. Interesting.
    In my experience, when people speak about ‘Canadian values’ or ‘Canadian identity” they are usually applying their own personal/political bias to an issue. And, they’re often about to say something shitty. There are many types of Canadians and the’ll never all agree on much of anything.

    You mention the fact that, when polled, about 60 percent of Canadians opposed the plan to resettle refugees by a given date. The only reasonable objections to the plan (my opinion) are the arbitrary timeline and perhaps the economic argument (new immigrants tend to under-perform economically, though their children prosper). All other objections are rooted in racism, xenophobia or ignorance.

    That’s actually fine. To say that you’re opposed to the plan because Muslims freak you out is at least honest (as someone who is disturbed by all overly religious people, I get it).

    Back to the sixty percent thing. I’m pretty sure if you look at public approval of waves of immigration over the past, say, 150 yrs., you’ll find that most Canadians were opposed. Be it the Irish, Italians or Ukrainians in the late nineteenth/early twentieth century or the Vietnamese boat people or the Lebanese in the late seventies/eighties. In all of these cases, the popular opposition was ultimately unfounded.

    This is why rule by plebiscite doesn’t work. If you leave all decisions up to the majority, you’ll probably end up making terrible decisions, because the majority, collectively, are dumb, or self interested etc. Let the majority decide how we’re taxed and watch how quickly the country falls apart. If you polled the southern U.S. a few hundred years ago, you would likely find well more than 60 percent in support of slavery. Fortunately, intelligent people made unpopular decisions then.

    This is why a majority or plurality of Canadians elect a government to deal with complex and nuanced issues. We just aren’t quallified to take part in the decision making. The best we can do is try and vote for competent and intelligent people and hope that they make competent and intelligent decisions.

    As far as your last three paragraphs go, it seems to me to be more about cherry picking facts, applying pretty broad generalizations and masking prejudice than saying anything of value. “I want a united, free Canada and a transparent government, as long as it agrees with me”.

    I’m sure the media would love to have the mind altering powers that you’ve attributed to them, but the fact that the majority of Canadians disagree with the PC/multicultural angle as applied to Syrians suggests that they don’t, at least regarding this issue.

    TL/DR Discussions of Canadian identity are almost always bullshit attempts to promote one’s own particular point of view.

    -Cheers

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  2. Sebastian says:

    I like how people always run to the “you do not like Muslims” its like if someone says “i hate Canadians” are they implying they hate Christians? no? some peoples hatred towards racism is making them see it everywhere that it is not! if i say i hate pointless violence and beheading, are you going to say i am racist? its funny how people automatically think Muslim, Muslim, Muslim any time a problem in the middle east arises. Put race, sex, age whatever aside and just look at the problem. and remember, most Canadians did not vote Liberal.
    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/federal-election-2015/
    about 60%…hmmmm sounds like a familiar number. i wrote to our government recently and the reply i received was “its not about politics, its about being Canadian” being Canadian mean : Democratic Government not society… Good read Crystalogy keep em coming!

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  3. Steve says:

    Good comment, Seb. The response that you received from the liberals perfectly illustrates my point that those who presume to speak for Canadians are mostly pushing their own agenda. A more honest response from them would have been: “We think that it’s the right thing to do”.

    No party speaks for or represents all Canadians, though every party pretty much pretends to. You’re absolutely correct that most people didn’t vote for the Liberals. I can’t recall a national election where an actual majority voted for any particular party. This is why electoral reform is an important idea to explore and implement fairly. It is also why any discussion of a singular Canadian identity is balderdash.

    You’re right to point out that racism may not be applicable here (particularly since Muslims are not a race). That’s why I included it as one of five potential reasons. Just pointing out that popular opposition to any new wave of immigrants is usually rooted in fear of ‘the other’ and usually turns out to have been unfounded (in Canada).

    I agree that the PC/SJW stuff is getting out of hand. I certainly wouldn’t call you a racist for being opposed to pointless violence and beheadings. I’m right with you on that one, as are, probably, all the Syrian refugees fleeing pointless violence and beheadings.

    I still maintain that conflating ‘majority rule’ with democracy demonstrates a fundamental misunderstanding of the term. I also still maintain that dressing up ” I am uncomfortable about the Syrian refugee situation and my argument is supported by popular opinion” with “finding Canada” is at best disingenuous.

    -Cheers

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  4. Leslie W says:

    I feel like some people are pushing the masses to be more prejudice. Shoving things in our face and making us accept there views. We are being split as a society. The ones who see and the ones who hide because of fear of there perfect world coming to an end. Unfortunately the louder voice is the one that won’t be scilenced by the law. But is it the right one?

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