An important distinction

Thanks, yet again, to my friend The Regimental Rogue, for posting the bit of very wise philosophy that needs to be kept top of mind in a liberal democracy …

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… here in my blog and in many others and in media outlets and, indeed, in pubs and in living rooms across Canada we express “honest dissent” from many, even most of the policies and actions of the government of the day. I, and many bloggers and most journalists do not advocate “disloyal subversion.”

But …

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… there is subversion in Canada, In Britain, in America, throughout the West. There are people who openly take up arms against Canadian troops and against the countries we are trying to help. There are even more who advocate for changes to our established, traditional, culture and legal system, against liberal, parliamentary democracy itself …

… but we must be careful: there is a line between dissent, even violent dissent, on one hand, and enemy propaganda and active subversion, on the other, and we need to protect ALL the dissenters, even, perhaps especially the one with whom we disagree most, while we help the government, even the one we do not support, to root out real subversion …

… and sometimes it is difficult to draw that line.

I am unhappy with the current, Liberal government. I think the government is weak, poorly led, and is pursuing too many policies that are, at best, inimical to our national interests. I want it replaced with a more conservative, preferably a Conservative government that will provide more effective, less intrusive, and less costly government. But I recognize that a plurality of Canadians voted for change and I accept that … albeit not with all the good grace that some might wish.

Modern social media, unencumbered by the need for “good manners” that media supported by commercial advertizing must practice, has made the line between “honest dissent” and “disloyal subversion” a bit harder to identify, but the line is still there and while I might disapprove, very strongly, of many of the things that many social media ‘commentators’ call Prime Minister Trudeau, for example, I recognize that bad manners ≠ subversion. Nor is a “loyal opposition” subversive .. it is not the enemy. The official opposition is the “government in waiting,” the people’s visible alternative when (not if) they become tired of or disenchanted with the government of the day. Ditto the unofficial opposition in the media and here, in the blogosphere: not disloyal, not subversive just (sometimes rudely) critical and impatient for change.

There is subversion in the world, and in Canada … but it is not here.

 

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