JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: ONCE HAVING RISEN TO AN IMPORTANT CABINET POST (IN WHICH HE SERVED WITH NO DISTINCTION) UNDER THE CONSERVATIVES, CANADA’S MAXIME BERNIER HAS FORMED HIS OWN PARTY – HE’S HAVING TROUBLE GAINING TRACTION AND SO HE ATTACKS IMMIGRATION AS A WAY TO MAKE LOTS OF NOISE   Leave a comment

John Chuckman

COMMENTS POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN CBC NEWS

 

“After outcry, company to remove pro-Bernier billboards that criticize ‘mass immigration’”

[MAXIME BERNIER’S BILLBOARDS READ: ‘SAY “NO” TO MASS IMMIGRATION’]

 

Bernier’s signs offer a strawman argument.

I’m not aware of any politician in the country advocating “mass immigration.”

So, he’s arguing against something which really doesn’t exist.

What that does, though, is allow him to have signs with the words “no” and “immigration” together on them. Those are the words on which the eyes of xenophobes will focus.

Without the “mass” inserted, the billboards of course would be immediately and totally unacceptable.

So, it’s really a dirty little game of playing with words.

And how do you even define what constitutes “mass immigration”?

His use of language tells us something quite unpleasant about Bernier.

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All advanced countries have birth rates which point to declining future populations.

All of them, and for many reasons, including low infant mortality compared to years ago and the fact that modern women have careers they don’t want to be away from.

Children are also more expensive to raise than ever, pinching budgets for ambitious families.

It’s all part of a well-known economic and social phenomenon called Demographic Transition.

So, some rate of immigration is needed just to have a long-term future as a country.

A country like Japan, for example, is actually heading into population decline, an extremely serious long-term problem.

That country historically has little in-migration. Its “isolated” language, some of its cultural attitudes (strong racial views and rigid social norms are part of its history), plus crowding and high costs have all militated against it as a destination for migrants.

Key policy matters governments need to determine are the quantity and quality of that future inflow of migrants, and the methods for evaluating them.

The ugly dishonesty of Bernier’s billboards is that they speak against “mass immigration,” something that in fact no one advocates.

Again, that’s just a shabby way to have the two words “no” and “immigration” put together on a big sign.

Also, please do not confuse “immigrants” with “refugees,” as some comments here very much have done. They are two different matters entirely.

Apart from moral considerations, Canada has international treaty obligations around accepting people who are proven to be genuine refugees (and not just would-be migrants trying to jump the queue with false claims).

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Response to a comment saying, “I wonder what opportunities my children will have in 10 years when 3.5 million people have been brought into Canada for votes”:

Population growth is an important factor in economic growth.

Check any Economics 101 text.

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Response to a comment, saying “It used to be. With the world’s current rate of population growth, it will become unsustainable in the very near future”:

I just do not agree. Basic economics doesn’t change with population growth.

That’s a bit like saying that, at some point, two plus two equals five.

And that word “unsustainable” is a very squishy one.

It’s used now a lot, but I’m not sure what it means in any context, beyond meaning that the speaker doesn’t like something.

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Response to a comment saying, “So again. If the “right” has an opinion, they are drowned out and screamed at by the “left”. This is crazy”:

Sorry, the billboard really isn’t just the expression of an opinion.

It’s a form of name-calling.

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“Totalitarian leftist mob” – quote from Maxime Bernier describing those who insisted his billboards come down.

Those are the words of an angry 16-year old spouting slogans he’s seen on Alt-Right sites.

But recall some of the stunts Bernier pulled as a Harper’s foreign minister, however briefly.

One, in particular, spoke strongly to the quality of the guy as a responsible leader.

He had a batch of secret NATO meeting papers that he forgot, leaving them at his girlfriend’s house for an extended period.

And who was his girlfriend? She was described in the stories of the time as a former biker gang associate.

Apart from a serious security breach, he obviously never read them.

This is a man who wants to head a government, any government?

I think his situation is best characterized as ambition without any of the required supporting skills.

 

Posted August 27, 2019 by JOHN CHUCKMAN in Uncategorized

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