Why I Support the People’s Party of Canada
Updated: Nov 10
BY: Francis Finlayson
"Nostalgia is underrated.” Originally stated in a partially facetious manner by indomitable conservative philosopher Sir Roger Scruton, this sentence references what I believe to be the most pernicious lie underpinning Canadian political discourse. That is, that looking to the past for guidance, and seeking to reinvigorate the values that built Canada, is somehow regressive, or even malicious. This idea is widespread, I would go so far as to say ubiquitous amongst our infallibly enlightened political class. No matter the debate, whether about the legacy of Canadian soldiers or about the right to freedom of speech, to name just two, this lie poisons the well, rendering any conservative position futile, dismissed on the grounds of romanticized nostalgia. In mainstream Canadian politics, only the People’s Party of Canada offers a stalwart rejection of this premise and in doing so provides the sole option for protecting Canadian values.
With Remembrance Day approaching, it is fitting to remind ourselves of an often unspoken but exceedingly evident characteristic of the Canadian nation. That is, it is a nation built on sacrifice. Each of the Parliament buildings was constructed at the expense of the sweat of labourers, each student was taught with the patience of a teacher, and of course, each conflict, including two World Wars, was won by the blood of Armed Forces members. Some may take the aforementioned view and scoff at these examples of Canadian sacrifice as a nostalgic romanticizing of past actions that could have been executed by others. However, the point is, these sacrifices were not made by others, they were made by Canadians.
The People’s Party recognizes this and seeks to reemphasize sacrifice as the Canadian value it is. Nowhere is this more obvious than in their commitment to “enshrine in legislation the country’s obligations to our veterans in a Military Covenant between the government and those who serve in the Armed Forces.” Put simply, the People’s Party will legally codify the Canadian value of sacrifice, thus paying tribute to the past while proposing a humble path forward. No other party has proposed anything similar.
Individual freedom has been deliberately whittled down to a shell of its traditional self by politicians and professional opinion-makers. Arguably the crux of individual freedom, free speech is often selectively discarded on the grounds that it is simply a tool to espouse backwards, old-fashioned convictions. Contrary to what those people believe, free speech is a sacrosanct Canadian value. Free speech allowed Prime Minister Diefenbaker to deliver a rousing speech on his National Policy, without fear of reprisal from Quebec nationalists, and more recently, it allowed Professor Jordan Peterson to eloquently expose federal compelled speech legislation, Bill C-16.
Rather than perceiving it as an aspect of a nostalgic past when one could invoke old-fashioned morals, or a tool to invoke such beliefs today, the People’s Party, once again, is grateful for the historic nature of Canadian individual freedom, and seeks to cement its rightful place as a core Canadian value. Upon examining the party’s free speech platform, the sole of its kind in Canadian politics, this is conspicuous. It states “history and social scientific research show that freedom of conscience and freedom of expression, when maximally protected, advance the intellectual life of a nation,” and advocates for the repeal of Bill C-16 the compelled speech legislation just mentioned. In addition, the platform reiterates the right to freedom of expression as outlined in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
Maybe my upbringing in a small Newfoundland town inculcated within me the vital importance of each of these two Canadian values. Aside from the peculiar quirks of Newfoundland culture, like the dialects or the folklore, it was an upbringing that resembled many fellow Canadians. It involved my parents waking up at dawn and braving the ice-covered roads to bring me to the bitingly cold hockey stadium, where my teammates gathered in anticipation of our game. It also involved the Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners where family members would unabashedly proclaim their opinions, and as any Newfoundlander can tell you, you were liable to hear them. Far from dismissing them as romanticized nostalgia, I cherish these experiences, as they display the Canadian values of sacrifice and individual freedom that form Canada’s foundation. The People’s Party agrees.
By rejecting the premise that an appreciation of these Canadian values is simply regressive nostalgia or unrealistic romanticizing, the People’s Party displays, as is apparent in its policies, a commitment to the future with a salute to the past. This stand for Canadian values inspired me to found the Carleton University PPC campus club two years ago, to take the position of PPC Campaign Manager in Ottawa-Centre during the 2019 federal election, and to assist with the ongoing PPC campus clubs initiative. Undoubtedly, this stand for Canadian values will continue to solidify my support for the People’s Party of Canada for years to come.
*All arguments made and viewpoints expressed within Youth In Politics and its nominal entities do not necessarily reflect the views of the writers or the organization as a whole.
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