02.08.2017 08:49 AM

Great White North

…which is the working title of my next book, by the by.

Anyway.  To get your morning off on a thoroughly depressing note, read this:

Almost a third of Canadians said the government should discriminate against Muslims when selecting foreigners to move to the country, and a third want to discriminate against people of colour to prioritize white immigrants. More than 65 per cent think immigrants have a responsibility to behave “more like Canadians.”

“Whatever is driving Canada’s exceptionally positive history of immigration … it does not appear to be an exceptionally tolerant public,” the study read.

The poll is here. Don’t want to say “I told you so,” but I told you so, here and here and here.

What does it all mean? It means:

  • Trump and Brexit, racist and bigoted though they may be, were not outliers or flukes
  • Leitch and O’Leary are cynical and despicable, but they’re not stupid
  • Trudeau and most Premiers are to be applauded for their courage and integrity – but all of them should keep an eye trained on the political rear-view mirror

Why is all this happening?  Well, (a) war and poverty and climate change are displacing people around the world (b) which has led to a massive influx of refugees and migrants in developed countries (c) whose pink-skinned citizens are reacting to globalization and joblessness by blaming the newcomers with brown skin, when the blame actually belongs to microchips and their own lack of job skills.

But I could be wrong about all that.  What I’m not wrong about is this:

The Beast is awake, and he is among us again.


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    Tom Adams says:

    I agree with your general concern, notwithstanding your unsupported claim that climate change is a causal factor.

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    Tired of it All says:

    Warren, had an interesting chat with an old boss on Monday night. We got hung up on the solidity of institutions. Neither of us were particularly optimistic.

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    Nasty Bob says:

    Polls …?? Like Latin – Dead ! Today they are like fortune tellers only with a slightly better +\- accuracy

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    Bill Templeman says:

    Warren, most of us on this site appreciate your respect for free speech and tolerance of opposing opinions. If I kept posting rants about “Gravity is a corporate hoax! Don’t let our schools teach our kids to believe in corporate propaganda! Tell Trudeau to stop promoting Gravity. Gravity is a Wall Street/Bay Street Lie!”, I assume that sooner or later, while you wouldn’t block me, but you might invite me to post my delusions elsewhere. Why? Because there is no debate among scientists about gravity. Newton got it right. My bizarre rants, while initially interesting, would eventually wear thin. Readers would stop chuckling and just scroll down. “Enough, already”, they would say. My sense is that we are reaching that point with climate change and global warming. That climate change is one (not the only) of the casual factors in Middle East instability, including ISIL and the Syrian civil war, is well documented. Just as you shouldn’t be expected to post links verifying the existence of gravity in response to my nutcase anti-gravity rants as described above, so too you shouldn’t have to post responses that climate change / global warming is real, no?

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      Warren says:

      Agree. But he’s a serious guy and (to my surprise) asked about the climate change/refugee link. It’s there. I didn’t mind. Once.

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    Kelly says:

    Ironically a very large chunk of refugees to Europe are there as a direct result of illegal invasions amd meddling by the West… especially the US and UK. Meanwhile places like Sweden and Germany have taken in the bulk of middle eastern refugees over the last decade. Why this is so rarely mentioned beats me. The UK and US seem to be trying hard to lose friends.

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      Miles Lunn says:

      I would also include France since although they strongly opposed the Iraq War, much of the problems date back to when WWI ended and the Middle East was split up between British and French mandates thus much like Africa you had arbitrary boundaries that had nothing to do with ethnic lines unlike in Europe where they largely followed Woodrow Wilson’s fourteen points (Europeans were very racist then so only white nations were seen as deserving to manage their own affairs at that time). Most of the Middle East was part of the Ottoman Empire until 2018 and the Ottoman Empire sided with Germany and Austria-Hungary who lost WWI thus all their territory except Turkey was given to the victors (Britain and France). Now UK unlike the US is taking some refugees although one could argue not their fair share and France to be fair is taking them despite the threat of the far right winning.

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    Gord says:

    I’m intrigued by the “behave more like Canadians” question. What an oddly open-ended question. I don’t think the 65 percent positive response rate is necessarily a problem if “behave more like Canadians” means believing in an open, tolerant, pluralistic, egalitarian society. I don’t like the “us-versus-them” implied in the question which suggests that immigrants are somehow not “real Canadians”. But I do think integration (note: NOT assimilation) is a worthwhile goal to strive for.

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    Tiger says:

    What’s different about Canada?

    Immigrants live disproportionately in the swing ridings that swing elections, and are swing voters as new citizens.

    So it means politicians up here have a specific electoral incentive not to do that stuff. But these things can change.

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    Charlie says:

    What an utterly shoddy poll.

    1522 respondents is not representative of the entire Canadian population. I’m getting tired of pollsters passing off extremely slim sample sizes with highly suggestive analysis as being broadly valid data. In a country of 35 million people, the answers of 1522 people aren’t accurate depictions of nuanced opinions held by all Canadians in different regions and socio-economic circumstances. Even weighting the results doesn’t do anything to address that gap.

    Furthermore, the questions — as Gord alluded to above– are highly suggestive in nature and presuppose particular assumptions. Its something that pollsters continue to do to this day and is highly misleading. Assuming that this was conducted by telephone (doesn’t state in the study), the parameters of the conversation are similar to an interview, in which respondents feel compelled to answer according to the preamble of the question.

    We need to learn how to exercise more caution with surveys in general. Polls are a decent way of weathervane-ing certain generic topics, but are bad at capturing the complexity of public opinions; and are especially horrible at predicting behaviour.

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    Ronald O'Dowd says:


    French presidential election polls seem to indicate that the National Front’s Marine Le Pen will be trounced in the second round. So, of course, we all know what that probably really means…I’m already praying.

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