Canadian’s are saying their goodbyes to Brian Mulroney – most with more than a little joy in their voices. They might be wise to restrain their enthusiastic voices alleluias. Mulroney’s replacement as Prime Minister will be essentially the same. And the leader after that, and the leader after that, will be cut from the same mould—unless we are willing to make some fundamental changes to our political system.
Brian Mulroney was the hollow man of Canadian politics—a man devoid of principles, other than the desire to please the powerful elite which largely controls Canadian political and economical life. This is the very sort of leader which our political system is sure to produce.
His positions on the vital issues of the day did not reflect any deep-rotted belief if his own; they simply reflected what was expedient. During the 1984 election, at the leaders’ debate, Mulroney announced that he was pro-life. In his years as Prime Minister, he did nothing to promote protection for the unborn.
In 1983, Mulroney ran for the leadership of the Conservative party, attacking Joe Clark for favoring free trade with Americans. When the business community endorsed free trade shortly thereafter, Mulroney did a complete about face and became a free-trade advocate. The list goes on without end.
Canadian leaders emerge from a system which rewards those who are without principles—other than the principle of pleasing those who are powerful. A politician advances only if he or she shows a willingness to please the political elite—and does nothing which might embarrass it. Even winning the nomination as a party’s candidate usually requires subservience. Endorsement from the party’s bright lights, money and organization, are all delivered only to candidates who are willing to toe the party line, to those most willing to ingratiate themselves to the party leadership.
The story is the same for the rest of the person’s political life: a seat anywhere except on the back bench in Parliament, a Parliamentary Assistantship, a cabinet post, a senior cabinet post. Each of these steps up the political ladder is granted by the Prime Minister in his sole discretion.
This creates a closed club of leaders as can be seen already in the Tory leadership race. The only people regarded as serious contenders are those who hold senior cabinet posts. The choice of leaders is selected from this small pool of individuals who have become masters at the art of selling out their principles. Any person of principle, anyone who has stood up for what he or she earnestly believes, has long ago been confined to the obscure ranks of the back benches.
In a leadership race, all voices in the party are united in one thing—what is most important in selecting the next leader is what he or she must represent the party’s best chance of winning the next election. It is only in this way that public opinion exerts any influence on the process of deciding who shall be the next Prime Minister.
Dramatic changes are needed to restore rule by the majority. Reforms in party discipline, Parliamentary procedure and election financing are all needed.
Rescuing politics from the hands of the elite is absolutely necessary if we hope to restore the protection to the unborn. Make no mistake about it, Canada’s elite is both pro-abortion and in fovour of radical lifestyle changes which have swept society.
It may seem daunting to suggest that political reform will be necessary in order to protect the unborn. But we shouldn’t grow discouraged. There is widespread alienation from the present political process; millions of Canadian’s stand prepared to fight for the kind of political changes which are needed.