Friday, April 23, 2010
A Losing Proposition for All Canadians
Frank Graves calls for "culture war" in Canada
EKOS pollster Frank Graves recently offered some advice to Liberal Party leader Michael Ignatieff that should make the blood of all Canadians run cold.
“I told them that they should invoke a culture war. Cosmopolitanism versus parochialism, secularism versus moralism, Obama versus Palin, tolerance versus racism and homophobia, democracy versus autocracy,” Graves is reported as having said. “If the cranky old men in Alberta don’t like it, too bad. Go south and vote for Palin.”
Once upon a time, as many Canadians will recall, it was the Liberal Party that accused the Conservative Party of divisive politics. Now, it's the Liberal Party's favourite pollster encouraging them to do the very same.
Then again, this is really nothing new.
Under Jean Chretien, the Liberal Party thrived off of false chariactures of their principal opponents. In the discourse offered by the Liberal Party, Preston Manning was transformed from a forward-thinking conservative on matters such as language policy (his proposed Fair Language Policy would have been a multi-cultural upgrade on official bilingualism) into a thinly-veiled bigot.
Nothing could have been further from the truth. But under Chretien, the Liberals were willing to do anything -- anything -- to gain or keep power. Even if it meant stealing hundreds of millions of dollars from Canadian taxpayers.
To make matters worse, Lawrence Martin -- who brought Canadians reports of Graves' commentary -- seems to think that Ignatieff has taken this advice, and that his attempt to exploit issues like the long gun registry and abortion as ideological boilerplate mark the first steps in a stark turn down the low road of politics.
This can only serve to transform Canadian politics into something darker, more divisive, and dishonest.
It takes a particularly dangerous brand to ideologue to look at the divisive and destructive political canflaguration in the United States, then tell one of Canada's political leaders that we need that here. Canadians cannot afford to turn their back on Frank Graves.
His advice to Ignatieff would make for a losing proposition for all Canadians. Hopefully, any attempt to spark a culture war will make like everything else Michael Ignatieff has attempted to date -- and blow up in his face.
Other bloggers writing about this topic:
Montreal Simon - "Frank Graves and the Way to Beat the Cons"
Sort of Political - "Kory Teneycke ROCKS!!!"
BC Blue - "Stunning Advice to Iffy by Liberal Pollster"