I’ll grant you that. That Harper guy is clever. Trailing in the polls, he got the services of a certain Crosby to come and help him out. That guy knew exactly how to shift the focus from the important elements (aka the economy) to the element where he knew Stephen Harper would score the best: scaring people with immigration.
I have a problem with this. First of all, we’re not talking about what’s important to us anymore. Rather, what we’re doing is talking about our deepest fear, the fear of the stranger we don’t know. That would score high at any time and it was clever. I’m here to set the balance back tough.
First, is it justified to be afraid of all immigrants and adopt a tough line? In some cases, making a stand for our essential values as Canadians is not bad. Fortunately for him, Harper was the only one that was clear with this. However, does it justifies forgetting all the other important aspects of the different programs for that fear alone? When accepting immigrants, there is a tendency to observe. First generation immigrants will hold on to the values of their country of origin far more than the 2nd and 3rd generations of immigrants. This is a constant we have seen countless times. Observe the conflict the parents have with their children because they don’t want to follow tradition anymore. Furthermore, sometimes, the influence these children of immigrants have on our society in general are all for the better. Therefore, to solve the problems we observe and disturb us, is a tough line on immigration the answer? Is it even that necessary considering that the differences fade out with the passing generations. Those 2nd and 3rd generation influence positively the different communities of immigrants as well. Perhaps it’s with the local laws and enforcement where we should focus.
I will always completely agree with standing for our own values which we have as Canadians. On this, I agree with Harper. My support however stops there. I don’t believe however that excluding someone from our country will solve the problem. You see, the basic problem we’re being faced with here is violence against women. The niqab is perhaps the most representative symbol of that violence (or at least we perceive it as violence against women). Then, what we should do is to accompany those women so that they can truly make a choice of their own without the influence of a controlling or violent husband. And we have countless forms of violence against women in our society where Harper will not want to lift a finger to do something about it. The aboriginal women problem is one which he’s completely missed the train. Other forms of violence such as rape or a husband beating his wife are also to be looked at. Punishing the husband or the rapist goes without saying. But, we should also perhaps look at preventing these problems in the first place. This is where Harper is wrong. He’s basically cutting funding to many programs that would assist these women get a better life. He’s not focusing on the economy right now, which would make sure these women could get better jobs and be free from those controlling husbands. He’s not investing in education in making sure women victims of agressions are ready to speak out.
Therefore, Harper is working on your fears right now, not addressing the real problem at the base: violence against women. In a sense, I’m comforted to see that Canadians are sensitive to the conditions women live in. This is a sign of a progressive country. Just don’t be fooled by the Wizard of Oz on this one and consider the problem in a more complex way, not just focussing on immigration, making you believe this is going to solve everything. It will not. Perhaps the other parties have a position that is worth considering. The Green Party has a position that is worth looking into. Yesterday, Elizabeth May was bang on with her comments saying that the niqab is a false problem and that violence against women was the real problem. Mulcair was also on the right track. Harper is for all intents and purposes focusing on immigration right now, leaving aside the essential of the problem.