ICYMI: Canadian and U.S. right not that different | Supriya Dwivedi 

Interesting to see this kind of commentary in The Sun:

The Canadian right also seems to be just as allergic to the term political correctness as their American counterparts. When former Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced the election was underway, he made an overt reference to political correctness, stating, “now is not the time for political correctness”.

Several commentators noted it was an odd remark to make at the onset of the election, but as the campaign started to unfold it became clear why Harper made the reference. As much as conservative pundits might opine that those on the left are merely afraid of being anything other than politically correct, I’m not sure that the repudiation of things like the Barbaric Cultural Practices Tip Line, reference to “old-stock” Canadians and obsession with what Muslim women are allowed to wear during a citizenship ceremony was the embracing of political correctness as much as it was the rejection of veiled xenophobia.

More recently, in an interview with Embassy News Conservative MP Marilyn Gladu (Sarnia-Lambton) stated that Trump’s rhetoric has been positive for free speech advocates: “The only bright light is that he has sort of restored freedom of speech to America”. Gladu went on to assert that many people in Canada are fearful of saying what they think out of fear of being accused of “breeding hatred and fear”.

It’s worth asking where Gladu thinks she lives, considering Canada is still indeed a free state, and people are free to think, believe and say what they choose. Similarly, people with opposing viewpoints are free to say they disagree. That is what freedom of speech is. Evidently, confusing freedom of speech and freedom from consequences of that speech is something that Conservatives and Republicans have in common.

The Conservatives were not completely off-base in trying to appeal to nativist politics. The support is there. It just won’t win you a majority anymore. Canadians may not be as comfortable in the overt displays of racism as our American brethren, but we are inclined to dabble in our homegrown brand of racism that tends to be framed in a more palatable manner. It’s coded, it’s often implicit, but it’s there.

Perhaps we’re not the enlightened, toque-wearing citizenry that we like to make ourselves out to be, eh?

Source: Canadian and U.S. right not that different | DWIVEDI | Columnists | Opinion | To

About Andrew
Andrew blogs and tweets public policy issues, particularly the relationship between the political and bureaucratic levels, citizenship and multiculturalism. His latest book, Policy Arrogance or Innocent Bias, recounts his experience as a senior public servant in this area.

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