For some time now, politics, as practiced in Western Democracies, has increasingly become fixated on personalities and not policies. Everything is personal these days. Disagree with those in power, or dissent from the status quo or official narrative, and you are immediately branded as a “nutter” or “dangerous denier”—someone who should at the very least be pilloried or better yet, cast out of society into the outer darkness.
Strategy to Isolate Dissenters
The strategies of isolation and marginalization are all too familiar tactics found in the playbook of the Left. Unfortunately, Conservatives have been adopting these same tactics recently.
The latest example of the isolation tactic has been Erin O’Toole’s shameful banishment of Saskatchewan senator Denise Batters from the Conservative National Caucus for the “crime” of having had the temerity of launching a petition seeking a leadership review within six months, due to O’Toole’s unilateral core policy reversals during the 2021 election campaign and the Party’s subsequent loss at the polls. Being critical of what purports to be the “leadership” of the Conservative Party is now grounds for being expelled. Moreover, it should be noted that O’Toole didn’t even have the decency to meet with, or speak to, Batters but rather left a voicemail message informing her of his decision. Fortunately, Batters’ colleagues in the Senate refuse to be bullied and continue to welcome her as part of the Senate Conservative Caucus.
Others banished for having views differing from the prevailing political groupthink, include: former Senator Lynn Beyak; MPs Derek Sloan and Maxime Berneir; Ontario MPPs Rick Nicholls; Roman Baber; Randy Hillier; Belinda Karahalios; and member of the Conservative National Council, Bert Chen who had previously launched a petition, seeking a review of O’Toole’s leadership after the failed 2021 election.
There is a disturbing pattern here. It is the pattern of “salami tactics”—take the opposition out, one person at a time. The same salami tactics are being used to limit and eliminate our rights and freedoms one right/freedom at a time. As the 18th Century Enlightenment Philosopher, David Hume, once observed, “It is seldom that liberty of any kind is lost all at once.” Here we are in the 21st Century, witnessing Hume’s observation in “real time”!
Ordinary Canadians are being Bullied
And it’s not just politicians who are the subject of bullying tactics and isolation! Increasingly, ordinary Canadians are being bullied into submission and denied their most basic and fundamental rights, such as: freedom to earn a living; freedom of speech; freedom of thought; freedom of conscience and religion; freedom of association; to say nothing of those “fundamental freedoms”, the “right to life, liberty and security of the person.”
In Canada the fundamental rights are supposedly guaranteed and protected by the Charter of Rights and Freedoms but are subject to limitation ONLY “to such reasonable limits prescribed by law as can be demonstrably justified in a free and democratic society.”
Stopping the Bullying
It is time for us to wake up when being pushed around by the bullies in Ottawa and the various provincial capitals. We know who the bullies are; sanctimonious, smug politicians, bureaucrats and their sycophants, special interests and media enablers who create nothing, but insist that they know better than anyone else how to solve problems—problems all too often of their own making.
It is time for us to wake up and when our rights are being limited or infringed. We must demand of those who would limit our rights to show why these limits are “reasonable.” Where is the law that allows for this limitation? What is the justification that can be demonstrated? How are the limitations consistent with a free and democratic society?
In demonstrating why the limitations are justified, it is not good enough to simply say “follow the science” or “because we say so!” Show us the facts and the assumptions. What data are they relying on? Whose “facts” form the basis for your conclusions?
Lack of Transparency
There is a complete lack of transparency and critical thinking surrounding government decisions which raise serious and legitimate questions surrounding the legitimacy of policy decisions, if not the government itself.
Tyrants and bullies hide behind ignorance and manipulation—that’s why they fear open, reasoned, and transparent discourse. Tyrants and bullies hide behind “confidentiality” and cabinet privilege, rather than share with the public the information they are using to make decisions adversely impacting our rights and our lives. Tyrants and bullies want to control and limit access to information to prevent us from thinking for ourselves.
Limiting our Rights
Today, all levels of government are more concerned with limiting our rights and freedoms than with respecting and enlarging them. All of the controversial legislation coming down the pipe if passed, will have an adverse impact upon our rights and freedoms, and give government more control over our lives and the lives of our children and our children’s children. From massive deficits to attacks on the family to internet censorship to bogus carbon taxes, to failed energy policies to the denigration of Parliament—our rights and freedoms are being curtailed and made meaningless by people who do not care about us, but only about themselves and the system that perpetuates their power and privilege.
How long do we put up with Bullies?
How long do we allow ourselves to be bullied and browbeaten? Are there any “redlines” we are willing to draw and hold? When do we say: “Enough is enough”?
Those “in power”—whether elected or unelected, work for us. They only have power because we consent to give them that power, not for life, but for a limited time and for a limited purpose.
It is said that the first step in dealing with a problem is naming it. Very well, let’s name it: the bullying must stop…now! Bullies invariably backdown once challenged. We the people, whose consent is the only legitimate precondition for the exercise of government power, need to stand up to the bullies. We do, and will, have differences on which policies are best, but we should all be united in rejecting bullies and their salami tactics of divide and conquer: united we stand, divided we fall has never been truer than it is today.