Saturday, December 06, 2008

This is the Hour

Time for Canadians to show where they stand

Today, I attended a rally of approximately 1,000 people at the Alberta Legislature.

It was a heart warming show of concern for the perilous direction in which Stephane Dion, Jack Layton and Gilles Duceppe would take this country's democratic institutions.

Edmonton-area Conservative MPs Laurie Hawn and Tim Uppal were in attendance, as well as former Reform party MP Deborah Grey.

While the rallies taking part across the country today are an encouraging demonstration that Canadians do indeed care about what will become of Canadian democracy, they also serve as an opportunity to do some serious soul-searching.

For those attending the anti-Coalition rallies today, we need to ask ourselves an important question:

Were we rallying today merely in support for a Conservative government?

Or were we rallying today because we understand the utter folly of Dion and Layton attempting to forge a Coalition government with the Bloc Quebecois as an ad hoc member?

Wrapping ourselves in the flag while defending our own narrow partisan and ideological interests is unequivocally not what Canada needs at this time.

If indeed those rallying across the country today can say the latter -- that the proposed Coalition risks perilously mortgaging the country to Separatists than those Canadians can hold their signs -- and their heads -- up in pride.

Not all Canadians can say the same.

Pro-Coalition rallies were, likewise, held across the country today. But it's hard to credit them with anything other than narrow partisan and ideological fervour. Not if one understands the consequences of this agreement with the Bloc Quebecois.

Of course, they believe they have all the answers. They insist that the Bloc won't be part of that government, and has merely promised to support the Coalition on confidence motions. They insist that the Bloc has promised to take sovereignty off the agenda for a period of 18 months.

But those of us who haven't chosen to forget Canadian history know very, very different.

After all, these are people who, during the 1995 sovereignty referendum, posed a question to Quebeckers that was ambiguous by design. They intended to mislead and confuse Quebeckers into separating from Canada. Suddenly, the pro-Coalition crowd insists, we're supposed to trust them now.

We're supposed to trust people who lied to their own people to suddenly do the right thing for people with whom they feel no bond.

It is the apex of farce and folly.

Those who legitimately love and care for this country unconditionally cannot allow this to come to pass, and certainly not unopposed or unanswered.

At this moment in Canadian history, it is up to each and every Canadian to show where they stand. Not merely for their fellow citizens today, but for all of Canadian history.

Those who cannot -- those who will not -- put this country before their narrow partisan and ideological demands will be remembered. Those who understand the stakes will make them famous, and history will know their names.

History will know the name of Stephane Dion, and it will know him as a man who not only betrayed national unity in exchange for a brief interlude with political power, but ultimately betrayed himself and his own legacy. This is the man who gave us the Clarity Act -- a piece of legislation that was necessary because Quebec separatists could not be trusted to be honest with their own people -- suddenly insisting that Canadians can trust the Bloc so long as it's to help him govern.

History will know the name of Jack Layton, and it will know him as a man who wanted to mortgage the government to separatists so he could pursue a few baubles for the auto industry. History will remember him as a man who couldn't stand by his own demands -- the vanishing elimination of $50 billion in corporate tax cuts -- while making a deal with separatists. Who hatched this deal for power, and nothing else.

History will know the name of Gilles Duceppe, and it will know him as a man who procured for his movement the ultimate trump card: the ability to bring down a federal government from within, and the opportunity to make all kinds of demands that were previously inconceivable.

But history will learn the names of many individual Canadians as well: the only question is how.

This is the hour in which Canadians will show Canadian history where they stand: for a united Canada that does not give Separatists the pry bar with which they can tear the country apart, or for a Canada in which we betray the demands of national unity for political party.

This is the hour in which we will choose our Canada.

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