Monsieur Harper et l’éléphant dans la chambre

As this past March for Life resoundingly demonstrated, abortion is not a settled issue.  Just ask Joe Who?  He still gets nervous and skidaddles when he’s cornered about it.  Abortion has never been a settled issue and never will be a settled issue until it is defeated.  No culture can live a lie forever.  The lie will end or the culture will end.  It’s one or the other but not both. 

For four years now, Stephen Harper has repeatedly stated that he will not “reopen” the abortion debate.  But does he really believe that he has the ability to keep the abortion debate dead permanently?  He’s already shown all of us that,  in light of the recent controversy surrounding his government’s decision not to fund abortion in its international maternal health care program, sooner or later, he has to deal with the issue. He can’t avoid it forever because he does not always get to choose which political questions to answer.

Stephen Harper may believe that he has the power to shut down the abortion debate in Parliament.  But his belief and reality these days are two very different things. If the question is burning in the society around him, in the press, on the blogs, in the international community, and even outside of his window on the Parliamentary lawn, is he really so naive to think that he (or the next Conservative leader) will be able to shut it down indefinitely?  Until now, the political scene in Canada did not favour a loosening of the strict muzzle placed on the abortion question.  The mythical reason, of course, was that being pro-life or proposing restrictions on abortion would cost votes.  That myth, however, is starting to erode very, very quickly.  And the time is quickly approaching that a future Conservative leader will not be able to keep the muzzle on this question or keep the social conservative element out of Party policy.  Pro-life activists – young, growing, zeaolous, and hungry – will simply not let that happen in the electoral district boards, in the nomination fights, or in the delegate selections.

That scenario is still a number of years from coming to fruition.  But it is coming.  There is absolutely no doubt about it.

And what about Stephen Harper?

If Stephen Harper wants a chance at a majority, he needs to make bold moves.  Simply treading water like he’s been doing the last four years is not going to cut it during the next election.  If he is content with another minority government, political mediocrity, and a footnote in history, he just needs to keep doing what he’s doing.  Nothing will change.  But if he wants to have a chance at that elusive majority and rise above the pedastrian politics of the age, he has to make bold moves and propose bold things.   First of all, he needs to get past his math problem. He cannot win a majority without Quebec.  And Quebec doesn’t like him.  So, he has to challenge Quebec to rise above its own socialist mediocrity.  One way to do that is to paint himself as someone who cares more about Quebec culture than that anti-Christian bigot-buffoon, Gilles Duceppe

Quebec culture? Yes, Quebec culture.  That is the ticket to his electoral success.  It’s a hot button topic and it’s bubbling inside of Quebec right now because their culture is  crumbling and falling apart. It’s disintegrating in large part because of excessive immigration and not enough home-grown Quebecers.  Too many hijabs and not enough habitants.   And guess what?   They all know it.  But do they know the real reason for it?  A politician who tells them the real reason will be rewarded.  Quebecers are like that. They reward bold politicians who cut through the politically correct line, as long as what the politicians say is valid and resonates with them. Tell them the truth, Mr. Harper: 

Abortion and sterile sex is killing Quebec. 

They’re just waiting to reward a politician who calls out l’éléphant dans la chambre.  La Belle Province wants to stop importing the hijabs, but they will soon discover that the prostitution of their culture served a useful purpose in supplying them with a workforce.  And where is this workforce going to come from? Certainly not from Mr. Duceppe’s loins.

That’s where Harper has a chance to level with Quebecers and tell them that their sex lives, entitlements, and big government ideas have made them weak, worn out, old, dependent, and within a generation or two…quite dead.  As long as he is pitching it in a way that comes across as being genuinely concerned for their survival as a people, he will win a lot of votes.   He doesn’t even have to mention abortion.   He just has to level with them, and tell them that his government will work hard to foster an environment where the Quebec family and its culture can recover.  All of Gilles’ condoms will not save Quebec, but a public policy which puts the family back at the center of its focus will

Healthy families and religion are ultimately what protects and passes on a culture – not nationalism, not government, not entitlements, not band-aid and transient laws, and not language.  All the French signs in the world are not going to save their culture.  Mais, oui! Je m’appelle Muhammed. Je parle français aussi. Only a return to their traditional Christian and family roots will do what is necessary: less government, more independence, more accountability, more faith and more family

If Harper has the foresight, and if he makes the restoration of the family (in Quebec and in Canada) an election platform, bringing his economic and social policy to recognize its importance, he’ll win enough votes in Quebec to get his majority.  Family for the sake of family will not sell in Quebec.  But family for the sake of preserving their identity as a people has political gravitas.  Because for Quebec, it’s either culture or free sex, but it can’t be both.  My bet is that Quebecers will choose culture over free sex.

To the extent that Harper recognizes this vacuum in Quebec and is able to fill it is the extent to which Harper will be successful.  It will not be an easy sell, but it’s true and if it’s true, there is always a chance – a good chance – that it can score politically.

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