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“I am a Canadian, free to speak without fear, free to worship in my own way, free to stand for what I think right, free to oppose what I believe wrong, or free to choose those who shall govern my country. This heritage of freedom I pledge to uphold for myself and all mankind.” ~~ John G. Diefenbaker

FELDSTED: Political parties and their strategists fear independent thinkers. Such people are self-assured and not swayed by social divisions or by the mainstream and social media

We hear more and more about the dangers of populism. When our Prime Minister utters the word, he manages to spit it out as if he just took a bite of something exceedingly vile.   
Populism: noun; a political approach that strives to appeal to ordinary people who feel that their concerns are disregarded by established elite groups.

Politicians like to divide us – by age (seniors and youth) colour (any non-white group), economic strata (homeless, middle class, working poor) by ethnicity or religion (Hindu, Jewish, Muslim, Sikh – Christians need not apply) and then promise to be the protectors and saviours of each group.

Political parties are established elite groups. They hold themselves up as separate tribes and seek to have electors and people of influence promise allegiance to their tribe. Unfortunately, that does not translate into representing electors, heeding their pleas or acting in their best interests.

Each tribe has its own political intrigues, hierarchy and power struggles. Promotion within the tribal hierarchy is required for plum positions such as Ministries for the winning tribe and critics for the losers. Even the consolation prize – Official Opposition is important in the overall power struggle.

Political parties and their strategists fear independent thinkers. Such people are self-assured and not swayed by social divisions or by the mainstream and social media. They are generally not joiners or volunteers unless they see a benefit to their family or community. They are ‘wild cards’ who can upset a carefully planned (and expensive) election campaign.

The run-up to the next election will commence in May. The volume will be turned up sharply. Political parties will be battling for your hearts and minds. Take your time and look closely at what they are offering. Ignore the junk about how bad the other parties are. We are already aware of their failings and none pass muster. We don’t need someone to tell us what our problems are. We need people to propose practical solutions.

Election campaigns don’t appeal to your common sense, logic or reason. They aim for your emotions. They try to make you angry over some issues as angry people don’t use reason. They appeal to your empathy and sympathy to gain support.

Our Prime Minister is shocked because some of us oppose his signing Canada on to the Global Compact for Migration. The Global Compact consists of 9,894 academic institutions, non-government organizations and corporations from 161 countries. There are about 78 Canadian entities involved – 8 academic institutions, 10 Non-Government Organizations and 60 corporations. None of them are elected or accountable to Canadians or anyone else.

Why would Canada choose to legitimize the aims and policies of academics and corporations? What did we elect them for if they are going to allow unaccountable third parties to set policy for us? If the aim is not to impose the terms of the Global Compact, why did we sign on? Our government is making a large effort to assure us that the Global Compact policies will not override our own, in which case a polite ‘no thank you’ is the proper response to a request to sign on. No responsible person or nation signs an agreement he or she does not intend to honour.

Our government is referring to those who question Canada’s involvement in the Global Compact as racists or white supremacists. Those attacks are a scurrilous, reprehensible evasion of government accountability and an attack on our freedom of expression. That must never happen.

With each month that passes we have more evidence that the IPCC and Canadian effort to convince us of pending climate change doom are far-fetched. Instead of dealing with our legitimate concerns, the Environment Minister McKenna says she has no time for ‘climate change deniers’. We need not accept her condescending and degrading assessment and evasion of accountability. We do not need her or the Liberal horse she rode in on. We are not her version of Hillary Clinton’s ‘deplorables’.          

Dare to be different ... part 4

Political parties do not serve the public interest; they have their own agendas, which is to win and hold power. Political parties are irresponsible. They want power, but ignore the responsibilities that power entails, much like teenagers who want freedom from parental control without assuming personal responsibility for their actions and behaviour.  

We don’t make threats. We change the narrative by shining a very bright light on what the federal government is not doing for the benefit of Canada. We make them as uncomfortable as possible by raising awareness and demanding answers. We can and must set all provinces against federal government manipulations.

Initially we focus attention on four areas where the federal government is failing its obligation to the people of Canada. They are:

  • Equalization;
  • Bilingualism;
  • Federal unlawful intrusion into constitutional provincial autonomy and powers; and ...
  • Federal failure to act in the best interests of Canada.

On Equalization, the federal government has failed to act in good faith by refusing to meet with premiers to negotiate a renewal of the equalization process. In June of 2018 the feds arbitrarily and cowardly extended the existing formula until 2014 without discussion with or the consent of the provinces. We need to raise hell and demand to know why our government has taken to cowardly including an equalization extension in a budget bill (Bill C-74).

On bilingualism, costs are estimated at $2.4 billion per year. We have no indication that Quebec is paying its 23% share or that Ontario is paying its 36% share. I am sure that Ontarians will be giddy to discover that Quebec is expected to pay $552 million for a program to support her citizens while they pay $1,512 million (2.74x) for the bilingual program. We need an official inquiry into the costs of bilingualism and how it is funded. Time to stir the pot with vigour.

The federal government is screwing over Alberta by infringing on her authority under Section 92A of the constitution to exclusively make laws in relation to . . .  development, conservation and management of non-renewable natural resources and forestry resources in the province, including laws in relation to the rate of primary production therefrom . . .

The federal government is avoiding its responsibilities under Section 92 (10) of the constitution - Local Works and Undertakings other than such as are of the following Classes:
a)  Lines of Steam or other Ships, Railways, Canals, Telegraphs, and other Works and Undertakings connecting the Province with any other or others of the Provinces, or extending beyond the Limits of the Province:
B)  Lines of Steam Ships between the Province and any British or Foreign Country:
C)  Such Works as, although wholly situate within the Province, are before or after their Execution declared by the Parliament of Canada to be for the general Advantage of Canada or for the Advantage of Two or more of the Provinces.

The federal government is given authority over these works precisely to avoid allowing provinces to interfering with works that benefit one or more provinces or Canada as a whole.

The federal government cannot avoid its power and responsibility to push through pipeline construction that will benefit Canada irrespective of what British Columbia and Quebec may say on the issue; and
The federal government cannot avoid its responsibility to ensure works that will benefit Canada are carried out without delay or hindrance by environmental or other concerns not specifically listed in the constitution.

Quebec has to join the battle in good faith and face contributing to equalization rather than benefiting from it. No one gives a damn if Quebec threatens to succeed. We are done with supporting Quebec and she can act like a sister province or face the consequences. The clock has struck midnight for our French Cinderella. 

John Feldsted
Political Consultant & Strategist
Winnipeg, Manitoba


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