Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Radical Left Wing?

Blogging Tory Dust My Broom is all in a tizzy over George Stephensons op ed piece in the Winnipeg Free Press about the influence of the conservative blogs on the federal election. Now Mr. Stephenson is a rep for the Manitoba Teachers Society, the teachers union and editor of their newsmagazine where he has a regular column. And he is by no means a radical or a left winger. He is liberal and a social democrat, indeed a trade unionist, none of which I would define as being a radical leftist. Cause I are one. So are these guys. Heck so are these folks and these folks and even these guys.

Now what I find hilarious when I read these guys like Dust My Broom is their slavish devotion to the American right. For them Liberals are ranting left wingers. They caricature Canadian politics of the left and right as their Yankee mentors do.

What they forget is this is Canada and our social and cultural political milieus is left wing. Compared to the U.S., and they know this cause they rant on and on about it usually quoting some rightwhingnutbar from south of the border, we are bloody damn well socialists up here. Which doesn't mean we really are. We are a liberal social democratic culture. But of course that's so far to the left of the U.S. we make Democrats look right wing.

During the Free Trade Debate back in the eighties the Economist called Brian Mulroney and the Progressive Conservative government Bleeding Heart Tories. The editorialized that though Mulroney was friends with Reagan and Thatcher his PC party was to the left of the Democrats!

The Radical Left Dust My Broom whines about is to the Left of the NDP. For instance the Radical Left in Canada is well represented in the pages of Canadian Dimension magazine published in Winnipeg, which is Dust My Brooms stomping grounds. So these Blogging Tories have no excuse for not knowing what Radical Left Wing really is.

But like all the majority of their ilk that populates the Blogging Tories aggregator they view classical liberalism as a threat to their Americanized ideology of the right. Which is rather funny when you consider that the historic right wing is actually liberal. The Whigs who were the Liberals of their day in England stood for what today are considered classic conservative values of individualism, private property and
Laissez faire.

Today's American style Right Wing at best represents the old English ideology of Edmund Burke, the Toryism of the elite and the declining English Aristorcracy. At worst the theocratic evangelical aspirations that have dominated American history, the urge to make America into a New Jerusalem for their particular protestant sect. See my Whigs and Tories

The fact remains that in the federal election last week, Canadians elected a majority of liberal, social democratic MPS from three parties. None of them socialist or particularly left wing. But by Blogging Tories and the Fox Network standards all would be considered raving Marxist Leninist. The BT broadly paint Canada's centrist social democratic politics as Left. As if it was a prejorative. True it is Left in the classic ideal of social democracy of the turn of the 20th Century. And it is the majority political and social ideology in this country. Which just drives these wannabe American nuts.

The reality has still not dawned on them that they live in a social democratic country, that while we are to the left of the U.S. Canada politically is actually closer to the classical liberalism of Bentham, Mills, and Godwin. Even our social conservative right wing Conservative party under Stephen Harper had to move to the classical liberal centre, darn even towards the social democratic consensus that makes up Canadian Real Politicks.

Canada's federal election
The Conservative leader's move to the centre, and the Liberals' weary bungling, have combined to change the political landscape

Alberta health-care reforms must obey medicare, Tories say

So when these right wing Canadian wannabe American Right Whingers whine about the left remember it's not the Canadian Left they are talking about. It's anything to the left of Attila the Hun they are ranting about.


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