“You have nothing to fear but fear itself.”
That line has been consistently used throughout history, but most notably by US President Franklin D. Roosevelt in his first inauguration on March 4th, 1933. Roosevelt’s speech wraps up the context of the political debate we currently find ourselves in here in Canada regarding the politics of fear.
This is preeminently the time to speak the truth, the whole truth, frankly and boldly. Nor need we shrink from honestly facing conditions in our country today. This great Nation will endure as it has endured, will revive and will prosper. So, first of all, let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself—nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance. In every dark hour of our national life a leadership of frankness and vigor has met with that understanding and support of the people themselves which is essential to victory. – Franklin D. Roosevelt
At the time, Roosevelt was speaking to the US’s economic crisis during the great depression, but the political message behind this and the politics of fear reign true today. Dishonesty, and unjustified fear inhibits our ability to move forward with progressive laws that advance Canadian beliefs. It’s only those that stand up to fear that show true strength in leadership, and create men and women who become revered and admired as great leaders.
Nothing could be more of an example of rejecting fear politics than the outcome of the Alberta election in which the people of the province rejected fear and lead a normally conservative province to an NDP majority victory. The lesson most progressive leaders should have taken; rejecting fear as Roosevelt put it, is essential to political victory. If you can’t speak the truth and stand up to fear, you shouldn’t be leading this country at a time of war.
Bill C-51 (Canada’s new anti-terror legislation) passed yesterday with Liberal support. This piece of legislation proposes to suspend the charter rights of those “suspected” of terrorist activities, and those who are causing dissent within government policy. This has created unjustified fear for political gain.
The Liberal position is that they believe it’s needed, and will fix the constitutional issues with it once elected. They propose doing this by putting in more oversight, and throwing in “sunset clauses” to ensure that the suspension of charter rights is only temporary. This position abandons the very evidence based approach the Liberals have traditionally taken with law and legislation, and has thrown the Liberal base under the bus as a result.
There is no evidence to suggest the type of mass surveillance is needed under the new anti-terror legislation, and the Liberals have yet to come out with an evidence based sustainable approach to terrorism. That’s a whole different blog for another day (and believe me that blog will come), however in over 14 years of this exact policy being enacted by different governments around the world, there is no evidence to suggest that the powers given in this new anti-terror legislation will do anything to catch terrorists, and mass murderers. In fact, what has surfaced is the abuses by law enforcement and government when these new powers are enacted even with political, judicial, and civilian oversight. All anyone has to do is look at the Snowden documents.
Some in the Liberal Party are justifying the support of C-51 by way of political maneuvering (here’s Jeff Rock who is the federal Liberal candidate for Red Deer-Lacombe on the subject) :
— Jeff Rock (@JeffreyTRock) May 7, 2015
If in fact the Liberal party is afraid of their political opponents; what kind of Prime Minister will Justin Trudeau be? What’s more surprising is how Jody Emery (the princesses of pot) is justifying her continued support for the Liberal party after the C51 vote yesterday and months after the Liberals considered her riding nomination (which she lost) poisonous to the party:
Problem is Ms. Emery shouldn’t be fearful at all. C51 has been put into place through fear. Being less fearful, is still being afraid. Bill C51 needs to be scrapped and re-written with the lessons of the past 14 years of this failed policy put into place. If we continue down the road of fear, than we make Canada less safe as a result, and paralyze the efforts of advancement in policy that will make a difference in Canadian national security, and ensuring that Canadians #rejectfear.
The Liberal support of C51 has created fear and distrust among the electorate towards the party. If the Liberal position is based around fear of attack ads, the Liberals need not fear the conservative attack ads, but fear those who #rejectfear and will ultimately prevail in political victory.
The Liberal party is full of fear. Fear of being attacked, fear of being irreverent. Trudeau for the longest time has been afraid of making a mistake, often reading talking points in speeches and during question period. What they don’t realize, is that fear has put them on a very steep hill to political victory, when the electorate is sending a strong message of rejecting fear. Liberal supporters should be afraid after last nights Bill C51 vote, but not by way of the Conservatives or NDP:
I’ve got a feeling Justin Trudeau’s Liberals are going to pay a heavy price for supporting #C51
— Peter Nowak (@peternowak) May 7, 2015