Courting our ethnic friends - Macleans.ca
 

Courting our ethnic friends

Paul Wells on how the political fight for support from new Canadians is as old as the country


 

The title of this blog post is the title of a chapter in a curious book by C.P. Champion, published last fall, called The Strange Demise of British Canada: The Liberals and Canadian Nationalism 1964-1968. I’ve been meaning to write about this book since I saw it. Now, in an election when the votes of immigrants and ethnic minorities are one battleground, is as good as any time.

Chris Champion is a senior advisor to Jason Kenney. His book is a complex argument about the Pearson Liberals’ relationship to the British component of Canada’s heritage. I won’t try to sum it up here. But what’s interesting is the chapter where he traces an earlier attempt by one political party to break into ethnic communities another party had considered a captive market.

In the late 1950s and 1960s, Champion writes, the party with the greatest success among new Canadians was the Conservatives, and it was the Liberals who needed to catch up. 

Champion goes on to recount, in fascinating detail, the story of a young Liberal organizer in the 1960s, Andrew Thompson. In 1961 he was 37 and an Ontario MPP for Dovercourt. He “packed his suitcase and moved in for a month with a family of Toronto immigrants,” Champion writes, ‘to discover ‘how the Italians live.'” It was not, Champion says, Thompson’s first foray into courting the non-British vote in English Canada.

“Three weeks before the 1953 [federal] election… Thompson raised the alarm that the ‘ethnic vote’ was shifting toward the Progressive Conservatives under George Drew. The Tories, Thompson warned, had seized control of the ethnic press.” When the Liberals lost 22 seats that year, “Thompson believed that ethnic voting had influenced the outcome.”

Champion finds a lot about Thompson in Jack Pickersgill’s memoirs. Pickersgill was the Liberal immigration minister in the 1950s. A branch of that department, the Canadian Citizenship Branch, was designed to “encourage” newcomers to “take their place as citizens of their new country,” Pickersgill wrote. Thompson, as a Liberal party operative, “worked closely” with ethnic organizations through this Canadian Citizenship Branch. Soon enough, in 1967, Thompson was appointed to the Senate by Lester Pearson.

That’s why Thompson’s name may sound familiar. More than a decade ago his failing health led him to take long vacations in Mexico for treatment. The Ottawa Citizen reported he was still drawing a senator’s salary while not even doing a senator’s work, and soon the Reform party was hiring a mariachi band to play on Parliament Hill to mock him. He eventually left the Senate. But even the most washed-up among us has a past, and Andy Thompson was the guy who built the Liberals into an electoral powerhouse among immigrant Canadians.

By the late 1950s he had his work cut out for him. “The Diefenbaker slogans ‘One Canada’ and ‘unhyphenated Canadianism,’ the Conservative rhetoric of equality and anti-discrimination, and the promise to enact the country’s first Bill of Rights, appealed to many members of ethnic communities,” Champion writes. “Conservatives also turned the tables by portraying the Liberals as the Anglo-Saxon party, an elitist organization that discriminated against ethnic groups and preferred to recruit candidates of British descent.”

Thompson set to work. “It was a long and painstaking courtship. Lists were compiled of ethnic contacts, organizations, churches, editors, newspapers, and radio stations that should be cultivated. Thompson wrote briefings on ‘annual ethnic ceremonies’ and events that Liberals should mention in speeches and, if possible, attend in person.” News organizations were identified by their allegiance to Liberals or other parties; “the Czech Novy Domov ‘seems to have gone CCF;’ Vilne Slovo was Tory, ‘controlled by Mr. Boyko.’… Thompson attended the studio opening of a CBC television program on ethnic music, and actually took the phone numbers of musicians who could provide ‘entertainment at Liberal functions.’ Clearly, he was working every angle to make new friends.”

There’s a lot more. Soon Thompson’s leader has started to pick up on these techniques. “When Pearson, campaigning as opposition leader in 1963, repeated his wish to bring in what he called a ‘distinctive Canadian flag,’ he made the anouncement in Winnipeg to a group of ethnic newspaper editors, at an event that went unnoticed by local newspapers.” And so on.

When I asked Kenney about Champion’s book several months ago, he said Champion did not have responsibility for ethnic outreach in Kenney’s office and that, while Champion had shared his research with Kenney, none of what Andy Thompson did 45 years ago served as a direct model for what Kenney is doing today. Times have changed, anyway, Kenney told me: in Thompson’s day, the immigrant vote was largely Central and Southern European. Now it’s far more diverse. The media landscape and the electoral maps have changed too.

The value of Champion’s book, or at least of these passages, is that it shows that the political fight for support from new Canadians is as old as the country; that Liberals have not always been the big winners in that fight; and that advantage is almost always fought for, not merely bestowed by the electoral gods, in this arena or any other.


 

Courting our ethnic friends

  1. Jason Kenney: setting treatment of minorities back 45 years? :)

  2. Jason Kenney: setting treatment of minorities back 45 years? :)

    • That was really funny M. Troll. You are the funniest troll ever.

      • I'm not to sure about his sidekick, however.

  3. That repellant TV ad about "protecting" us from smugglers has probably undone much of Kenney's work. I'm not sured if the ad is technically racist, but it sure sounds like it wants to be.

    Wells, you are wrong about Harper's strategy; he mainly wants to scare Canadians into voting for him.

  4. Perdio, che è stata una buona lettura. Grazie!

  5. Perdio, che è stata una buona lettura. Grazie!

  6. Well, when I wrote "wrong" before going back and rereading your previous post, I meant not blunt enough about Harper's main message of fear (backpeddling quietly).

  7. Well, when I wrote "wrong" before going back and rereading your previous post, I meant not blunt enough about Harper's main message of fear (backpeddling quietly).

  8. I think it would be disingenuous of the Minister to suggest that he hasn't been consciously attempting to court the many different ethnic communities in Canada, just because it is more difficult today, with a far greater number and breadth of communities involved. That being said, there is an "element" within his party that is perceived to be against courting or understanding these communities. Think Small Dead Animals, Freedominion and Kathy Schiedle.

    For this reason, I think it is a healthy and progressive strategy for the governing party to be having a dialogue with ethnic communities. The offical line for consorting with the Chinese and other non-democratic human rights abusing governments has always been that exposing them to our values and systems might have an enlightening effect on them. One can only hope that consorting isn't a one way street and that all can benefit.

  9. I think it would be disingenuous of the Minister to suggest that he hasn't been consciously attempting to court the many different ethnic communities in Canada, just because it is more difficult today, with a far greater number and breadth of communities involved. That being said, there is an "element" within his party that is perceived to be against courting or understanding these communities. Think Small Dead Animals, Freedominion and Kathy Schiedle.

    For this reason, I think it is a healthy and progressive strategy for the governing party to be having a dialogue with ethnic communities. The offical line for consorting with the Chinese and other non-democratic human rights abusing governments has always been that exposing them to our values and systems might have an enlightening effect on them. One can only hope that consorting isn't a one way street and that all can benefit.

  10. Paul, what is the thesis of C. P. Champion's book The Strange Demise of British Canada: The Liberals and Canadian Nationalism 1964-1968?
    For readers to make sense of what you are saying we have to know the author's central argument.
    Please enlighten us because this issue is central to the current election. Mansbridge had a pretty good shot at unraveling the immigration conundrum yesterday evening but still missed the mark.

  11. Interesting perspective Mr. Wells. After Thompson was thrown under the bus do you know if any Liberals picked up the torch? Curious that a sense of "entitlement" permeated even to taking their base for granted. It is kind of sad that the LPC has been taken over by day dreamers and schemers who are so smart they forgot what made them successful in the first place.

    ps, will this comment survive?

  12. Interesting perspective Mr. Wells. After Thompson was thrown under the bus do you know if any Liberals picked up the torch? Curious that a sense of "entitlement" permeated even to taking their base for granted. It is kind of sad that the LPC has been taken over by day dreamers and schemers who are so smart they forgot what made them successful in the first place.

    ps, will this comment survive?

    • Sometimes a comment one makes seems to stick and shows up later.

  13. Sometimes a comment one makes seems to stick and shows up later.

  14. What is this crap!! I want something written about people not allowed at CPC events.

  15. What is this crap!! I want something written about people not allowed at CPC events.

    • You need to tune into Wherry's ABC blog, hosted by Macleans. News and facts don't matter there, just a permanent Haper hatefest, reminiscent of Orwell's minute of hate, only endless.

      • Exactly.

    • You mean the 'you people' !

  16. "….. and that advantage is almost always fought for, not merely bestowed by the electoral gods …. "

    Interesting that there was time when immigrants favoured Cons, had no idea. Makes sense tho, most immigrants coming to Canada would actually be to the right of Harper/Kenney when it comes to most social issues, at least. People are attracted to liberal nature of Canada but it also unsettles them.

    I would like to see papers/research on how influential money was for Libs in courting ethnic vote. Seems Lib vote has plummeted since they lost power and no longer had access to easy money to court ethnic groups with. Now Libs have to attract people with their ideas and it is not working out so well.

    I really enjoyed this post, Wells. Enjoy history, more things change/more stay same type stories. I have been thinking that this campaign seems particularly boring in that there are few new policies to be irked by or shocking behaviour to tsk-tsk about. Policy and scandals are rather milquetoast this time around, I am afraid.

  17. "….. and that advantage is almost always fought for, not merely bestowed by the electoral gods …. "

    Interesting that there was time when immigrants favoured Cons, had no idea. Makes sense tho, most immigrants coming to Canada would actually be to the right of Harper/Kenney when it comes to most social issues, at least. People are attracted to liberal nature of Canada but it also unsettles them.

    I would like to see papers/research on how influential money was for Libs in courting ethnic vote. Seems Lib vote has plummeted since they lost power and no longer had access to easy money to court ethnic groups with. Now Libs have to attract people with their ideas and it is not working out so well.

    I really enjoyed this post, Wells. Enjoy history, more things change/more stay same type stories. I have been thinking that this campaign seems particularly boring in that there are few new policies to be irked by or shocking behaviour to tsk-tsk about. Policy and scandals are rather milquetoast this time around, I am afraid.

    • Certainly the last time Conservatives and the minority vote was in the news was when conservatives were hoping to pit one minority against the other by trying to stir up anti-gay feelings around the time of gay marriage.

      I wonder if immigrant Canadians ever get tired of being treated as props, esp. by Kenney and co.?

      • And M. Troll shows again that he is not interested in anything that resembles conversation. M. Troll, perhaps you should start wondering if anyone else cares about idiotic statements. I'll give you a hint: no.

        • You must be Mrs. Troll!

          • I think more of a 'Shadow Troll'.

    • "What might he have replied to the conclusion found here that "the Maple Leaf … became the quintessential icon for a Pearsonian conception of Canadianism," except, perhaps, to note that the sugar maple does not grow west of Ontario"____

      Quite a read. Although i don't know if Mr Smith is only technically correct. We certainly had no shortage of big leaf maples in our neighbourhood on VI.

  18. You need to tune into Wherry's ABC blog, hosted by Macleans. News and facts don't matter there, just a permanent Haper hatefest, reminiscent of Orwell's minute of hate, only endless.

  19. Certainly the last time Conservatives and the minority vote was in the news was when conservatives were hoping to pit one minority against the other by trying to stir up anti-gay feelings around the time of gay marriage.

    I wonder if immigrant Canadians ever get tired of being treated as props, esp. by Kenney and co.?

  20. That was really funny M. Troll. You are the funniest troll ever.

  21. And M. Troll shows again that he is not interested in anything that resembles conversation. M. Troll, perhaps you should start wondering if anyone else cares about idiotic statements. I'll give you a hint: no.

  22. Excuse me but are we talking here about the Progressive Conservative Party of Canada? The one that only once in its history, by default, had a leader of French-Canadian ancestry, a man named Jean Charest when it found itself with Charest and Elsie Wayne as the only two MPs in the house of commons in the early 1990's?

  23. You mean the 'you people' !

  24. Excuse me but are we talking here about the Progressive Conservative Party of Canada? The one that only once in its history, by default, had a leader of French-Canadian ancestry, a man named Jean Charest when it found itself with Charest and Elsie Wayne as the only two MPs in the house of commons in the early 1990's?

  25. David Smith (Nov. 2010 Literary Review of Canada) in his excellent review of C. P. Champion's book The Strange Demise of British Canada: The Liberals and Canadian Nationalism 1964-1968, has this to say about Champion's strange chapter on Courting the Ethnics.
    "As Champion tells it, in the 1950s, the Progressive Conservatives with their "one Canada" appeal made converts among ethnic voters. But by the mid 1960s, Diefenbaker's "stubborn defence of the Red Ensign is thought to have alienated much of this new support." The Liberals, seeing an opening, set out to "[Court] Our Ethnic Friends" (the title of chapter six). No electoral or demographic evidence is provided to support this narrative, and in its absence there is good reason to doubt the claim. Who is an ethnic voter, and do all ethnic voters respond electorally the same way? Are there differences between urban and rural voters (ethnic or otherwise)? Are there variations in voting behaviour across regions? These questions are not raised by the author, let alone answered." And there is much more to chew on in his thoughtful review of what is a very stilted and rather strange book.
    Clearly, Champion's work cannot be relied upon to make a helpful analysis of Kenny's "Courting of the Ethnic Communities."
    What happens if Kenny's "Courting of the Ethnics" does not pay all political dividends that are expected and needed?
    Will he or Harper on election night pull a Jacques Parizeau and blame the "ethnics and money" for the failure to get a majority?
    Let's just wait and see, OK.

  26. You must be Mrs. Troll!

  27. The Social Sciences are so interesting – everything based upon self interest – hence being courted/bribed/lied to. How much is after the fact myth making?

  28. I think more of a 'Shadow Troll'.

  29. The Social Sciences are so interesting – everything based upon self interest – hence being courted/bribed/lied to. How much is after the fact myth making?

  30. I'm not to sure about his sidekick, however.

  31. Very interesting read Paul, thanks.

    Never new Thompson's involvement in attracting the 'ethnic vote'. Kenney is pretty much following the same model, just different ethnic groups. He even lived with Indian immigrants for a while. I can't remember where I read that many of the ethnic
    groups he has been courting are surprised to find they are really Conservatives (must not have tried the Vote Compass on the CBC site, lol!!)

    "one of them was an Indian family that we helped to immigrate to Canada as skilled foreign workers. For the first year or so, they lived with me in Calgary while they were getting started. So, I got to know this family very well"

    “Basically, I have been on a three year listening tour with cultural communities since January 2006. And not only inviting people, but also attending events – hundreds and hundreds of events, like summer picnics or religious festivals – developing relationships. Now I can pick up the phone and talk, on a first name basis, with key opinion leaders and virtually all of the major culture communities in Canada.”
    http://www.cnmag.ca/issue-26/632-jason-kenney-get

  32. Based on their usual practices, they would be more likely to blame certain ethnic groups and do their best to drive wedges between the various groups.

  33. Based on their usual practices, they would be more likely to blame certain ethnic groups and do their best to drive wedges between the various groups.

    • And they would never ever blame "money" for anything.

      • …as the Liberals have done for years. Good point!

      • Not true! Harper wants to cut public funding to all political parties because this funding keeps the opposition parties competitive! If Harper does not win big in Kenny's so-called Ethnic enclaves he will blame it on Canada's Election Act and the grants to all parties.

  34. And they would never ever blame "money" for anything.

  35. "What might he have replied to the conclusion found here that "the Maple Leaf … became the quintessential icon for a Pearsonian conception of Canadianism," except, perhaps, to note that the sugar maple does not grow west of Ontario"____

    Quite a read. Although i don't know if Mr Smith is only technically correct. We certainly had no shortage of big leaf maples in our neighbourhood on VI.

  36. It's not at all a bad idea to break down the walls between the older Canada and the new. So kudos to JK for that. But of course it wont end there. The temptation to pander, play favs or attempt to influence such communtites is going to be enormous [ arguably the letter head mix up is already an indication of that] No sour grapes here, i sure the libs found the same temptations irresistible as well.
    There already seems to be a backlash in some communities owing to the cons restrictions on family unification; of course the libs will jump on this post haste.

  37. It's not at all a bad idea to break down the walls between the older Canada and the new. So kudos to JK for that. But of course it wont end there. The temptation to pander, play favs or attempt to influence such communtites is going to be enormous [ arguably the letter head mix up is already an indication of that] No sour grapes here, i sure the libs found the same temptations irresistible as well.
    There already seems to be a backlash in some communities owing to the cons restrictions on family unification; of course the libs will jump on this post haste.

    • Entering the 21st century i wish the ethnic question was off the table for all parties. They need to be treated as individuals just like the older Canadians. Naive i'm sure. But i also know i'm right. For one thing you quote Kenny here as if all new immigrants were intrinsically conservative. A lot – sure. But in indivdual famlies there will be many of the same difs that there are between you and i. Kenney wont listen to me of course – neither will the libs – but the price of treating diverse groups of human beings as voting machines will be high for everyone. So much is unknowable. The PM himself was avictim of that the other day when assumed his anti-coalition rhetoric would resonant with a S.Asian audience – it didn't.

      • JMHO but getting newcomers to learn English (or French) ASAP is the biggest barrier. As someone who taught ESL to new immigrants for a dozen years or so, as a volunteer through a community program, there is no excuse. Had the pleasure of getting to know some very lovely people who were so happy to be here, thus I agree with you on not treating them as just a vote.

  38. Entering the 21st century i wish the ethnic question was off the table for all parties. They need to be treated as individuals just like the older Canadians. Naive i'm sure. But i also know i'm right. For one thing you quote Kenny here as if all new immigrants were intrinsically conservative. A lot – sure. But in indivdual famlies there will be many of the same difs that there are between you and i. Kenney wont listen to me of course – neither will the libs – but the price of treating diverse groups of human beings as voting machines will be high for everyone. So much is unknowable. The PM himself was avictim of that the other day when assumed his anti-coalition rhetoric would resonant with a S.Asian audience – it didn't.

  39. JMHO but getting newcomers to learn English (or French) ASAP is the biggest barrier. As someone who taught ESL to new immigrants for a dozen years or so, as a volunteer through a community program, there is no excuse. Had the pleasure of getting to know some very lovely people who were so happy to be here, thus I agree with you on not treating them as just a vote.

  40. Paul, you forgot an important point. Many immigrants seem to 'stick' with the party that is in power when they arrive. Maybe it is physiological, but there are studies that have shown it.

  41. Paul, you forgot an important point. Many immigrants seem to 'stick' with the party that is in power when they arrive. Maybe it is physiological, but there are studies that have shown it.

  42. And where did the Liberals find their way back into the immigrant vote – Alberta! Some Liberal MP (he would definitely be a Conservative now) was the one who insisted that idea of Canada include more than the French and English – Ofcourse, Trudeau mutated it into something to be engulfed by his ego.

  43. And where did the Liberals find their way back into the immigrant vote – Alberta! Some Liberal MP (he would definitely be a Conservative now) was the one who insisted that idea of Canada include more than the French and English – Ofcourse, Trudeau mutated it into something to be engulfed by his ego.

  44. …as the Liberals have done for years. Good point!

  45. I get tired of both parties chasing different cultural groups as though they weren't all just Canadians. Canadian multiculturalism is failing when we have big isolated ridings full of one nationality all grouped together trying to recreate their home country instead of melting pot communities where we a nice blend of people from around the world. So frankly I find the ethnic vote chase nauseating as someone who defines themselves as a Canadian, not where my ancestors came from.

  46. I get tired of both parties chasing different cultural groups as though they weren't all just Canadians. Canadian multiculturalism is failing when we have big isolated ridings full of one nationality all grouped together trying to recreate their home country instead of melting pot communities where we a nice blend of people from around the world. So frankly I find the ethnic vote chase nauseating as someone who defines themselves as a Canadian, not where my ancestors came from.

  47. Not true! Harper wants to cut public funding to all political parties because this funding keeps the opposition parties competitive! If Harper does not win big in Kenny's so-called Ethnic enclaves he will blame it on Canada's Election Act and the grants to all parties.

  48. The only real Canadians live in Scotland and have yet to move here.

  49. The only real Canadians live in Scotland and have yet to move here.

  50. Interesting comment if true. But a closer look at the 1953 election notes some problems. Using the Parliamentary Guide, which admittedly is often full of misprints, the Liberals lost 21 seats (191 to 170). But the conservatives only made a net gain of 10 (41 to 51), and 8 of those were in Ontario. Yes, they had won seats in Hamilton and Oshawa in byelections, but other seats in Bruce, Halton and Oxford weren't very "ethnic" in 1953. In Manitoba, the tories also won a net gain of two seats, but the seats they won, Brandon, Winnipeg South and Winnipeg South Centre were at the time the most English in the province. The other losses the Liberals faced were mostly from the CCF (up 13 to 23), in Saskatchewan and British Columbia.

  51. Interesting comment if true. But a closer look at the 1953 election notes some problems. Using the Parliamentary Guide, which admittedly is often full of misprints, the Liberals lost 21 seats (191 to 170). But the conservatives only made a net gain of 10 (41 to 51), and 8 of those were in Ontario. Yes, they had won seats in Hamilton and Oshawa in byelections, but other seats in Bruce, Halton and Oxford weren't very "ethnic" in 1953. In Manitoba, the tories also won a net gain of two seats, but the seats they won, Brandon, Winnipeg South and Winnipeg South Centre were at the time the most English in the province. The other losses the Liberals faced were mostly from the CCF (up 13 to 23), in Saskatchewan and British Columbia.

  52. Exactly.

  53. I landed as politicals journalist and awarded artist in 1995 from Iran my life turn here to loser and five times homeless in Canada , Canada is not right place is not safe place is not friendly place to people landed here in any way is sucks

  54. I landed as politicals journalist and awarded artist in 1995 from Iran my life turn here to loser and five times homeless in Canada , Canada is not right place is not safe place is not friendly place to people landed here in any way is sucks

    • I'm sorry to hear about your experience. You may not have met the right people who respect persons from every country. I'm glad you took the opportunity to voice your opinion. All the best.

  55. Courting our ethnic friends

    Interesting post. Lousy title. For it suggests somehow that Canadian citizens of voting age are to be divided into US and THEM. They are not only our friends, Paul. They are us. Period.

  56. Courting our ethnic friends

    Interesting post. Lousy title. For it suggests somehow that Canadian citizens of voting age are to be divided into US and THEM. They are not only our friends, Paul. They are us. Period.

    • Might want to re-read the first half of the post's first sentence.

      • Thanks, but I did catch that. Still, I accept your implied point that "comma-space-Paul" is misplaced in my comment, and I apologetically withdraw it.

  57. Might want to re-read the first half of the post's first sentence.

  58. Thanks, but I did catch that. Still, I accept your implied point that "comma-space-Paul" is misplaced in my comment, and I apologetically withdraw it.

  59. Immigrants need to fear a Reform/Alliance/Conservative coalition which is what is in power now (note Conservative is last and least). The real Conservatives had respect, ideas, plans. These CONS respect nothing and no one except the god of Power/Control/Contempt/Corruption! Every Canadian – new & old wither under their dictatorship. Canada can no longer afford the 'Harper' govt.

  60. Immigrants need to fear a Reform/Alliance/Conservative coalition which is what is in power now (note Conservative is last and least). The real Conservatives had respect, ideas, plans. These CONS respect nothing and no one except the god of Power/Control/Contempt/Corruption! Every Canadian – new & old wither under their dictatorship. Canada can no longer afford the 'Harper' govt.

  61. I'm sorry to hear about your experience. You may not have met the right people who respect persons from every country. I'm glad you took the opportunity to voice your opinion. All the best.

  62. A friend who works with immigrants had a discussion where this newcomer said he was afraid of a coalition…(this person was an engineer in his country), my friend asked why…and this newcomer hadn't thought it out simply accepted it as fact as it has been repeated so often. When my friend pointed out how there are many coalition govts (Britain as one example) working extremely well, the newcomer recognized he had accepted something as fact without thinking it through. A very large percentage of newcomers come from dictatorships so haven't seen democracy at work and see Harper less severe (that is with a minority) than the govt they came from. Canadians know the truth of the matter and see democracy eroding under Harper's brand of govt. Newcomers would be better off to integrate themselves into Canadian society (i.e. talk with more people who have lived here under many govts in power to get a perspective) to understand why Harper's such a danger to Canada.

  63. A friend who works with immigrants had a discussion where this newcomer said he was afraid of a coalition…(this person was an engineer in his country), my friend asked why…and this newcomer hadn't thought it out simply accepted it as fact as it has been repeated so often. When my friend pointed out how there are many coalition govts (Britain as one example) working extremely well, the newcomer recognized he had accepted something as fact without thinking it through. A very large percentage of newcomers come from dictatorships so haven't seen democracy at work and see Harper less severe (that is with a minority) than the govt they came from. Canadians know the truth of the matter and see democracy eroding under Harper's brand of govt. Newcomers would be better off to integrate themselves into Canadian society (i.e. talk with more people who have lived here under many govts in power to get a perspective) to understand why Harper's such a danger to Canada.