Saturday, July 09, 2005

Monte Solberg loves Canadians

In his column today in the National Post (subscriber only), Adam Radwanski pulls one quote from Monte Solberg's blog after the same-sex marriage vote and uses it to suggest that conservatives don't like Canada, and that this attitude is responsible for their not achieving 'power':

June 28, 2005

Its a route
Its over. Gay marriage is now on the fast track to becoming the law in Canada.
The new Canada. You can have it.
posted by Monte at
7:06 PM

Radwanski doesn't seem to understand the subtleties of the English language -- or perhaps he is being deliberately obtuse in order to force Solberg's ideas to fit his premise that 'Conservatives dislike Canada'.

I read Solberg's posts that day -- all of them -- which one really should do if you want context (which obviously Radwanski doesn't want to give his readers). I never took from any of it that Monte was 'Canada-bashing'.

Radwanski describes Solberg thus:

He's considered a comparatively moderate conservative --thoughtful, funny and well-liked on the other side of the House. So, far from being an isolated rant from the party's fringes, his outburst presumably came from a common perspective within the Tory caucus -- one that has come to largely define the Canadian right.

So Radwanski not only uses the one post quoted above to decide that Monte Solberg doesn't like Canada, but extrapolates to conclude that in his dislike of Canada, he is representative of both the Conservative caucus and all right-thinking Canadians. If Radwanski can jump to that giant conclusion, you'd have to bet he can leap tall buildings in a single bound, too.

Radwanski pulled this one brief post, from a wealth of blogging by Solberg, and implies that Solberg doesn't like Canada. Never mind that throughout his posting, Monte consistently expresses concern for, and understanding of, the average Canadian -- and not just the fleas who nip the dog and who through sheer irritation factor, have set the agenda and the course for our nation.

What Radwanski forgets as he sits in that ivory tower of his, is that the average Canadian might vote Liberal or NDP more often than he votes Conservative, but the average Canadian is not part of the liberal elite who determine what 'Canadian values' are and should be. A good lot of us were offended by the government telling us that our values are 'unCanadian' and that our religious or personal convictions are 'against human rights'. Their 'outbursts' -- which vilified over half of all Canadians -- are perhaps justifiable to Mr. Radwanski because he agrees with their ideology. Just remember though, every time Paul Martin or Jack Layton told us that SSM was a human rights issue, and that people who disagree with it don't hold Canadian values -- we know that they were referring to ordinary people. Solberg was obviously referring to the government. Which POV is more offensive to Canadians?

This column is typical Radwanski. Taking a snippet of the truth and twisting it to fit his theory. His column continues by equating Solberg's lament over the passing of the SSM bill with Michael Coren's and David Frum's Canada Day columns, both of which examine the failings of our nation at this juncture.

What Radwanski has failed to grasp is that Coren, Frum and Solberg share one thing -- and that thing is not political ideology. Frum is an avowed 'neo-Con' far to the right of almost anyone in Canadian politics. Coren, though socially conservative, is far more in line with the NDP on issues like foreign aid, the environment, affordable housing etc. -- I've read him for years and I wouldn't presume to say which way he votes -- he would probably be insulted to be called a 'conservative commentator'.

These men don't hate Canada, nor does anything they've put to paper convey that sentiment to someone who isn't looking to 'expose' them as anti-Canada. No, the one thing these men share is a disdain for our governance. They despair for the Canada that could be -- that might be -- if not for Liberal corruption, ineptitude, cowardice and arrogance. They talk about the democratic deficit, the lack of accountability, the smug liberal attitude of entitlement. That is not Canada-bashing -- that is government bashing. It is Liberal bashing. And it's true.

The Liberals were voted in with three successive majorities and one minority -- so one might conclude that to criticise their policies and programs is by extention, criticism of the very people who voted them in. Perhaps the answer is for all conservatives to refrain from commenting on the direction this country is taking. Radwanski seems to think we should be silently accepting of the governments flaws, and just be grateful that we live in such a pretty country. Radwanski would likely say he didn't mean that -- that these men he's quoted criticised Canada -- but then, why is it inferred by liberals that when a Carolyn Parrish says: 'Americans, I hate those bastards' that she meant only George W. Bush and his crowd, but when Solberg says: 'The new Canada. You can have it.' it must mean he hates Canada and all Canadians?

Radwanski has likely read Monte Solberg's Canada Day post. He didn't bother to comment on it, I expect because it doesn't fit his theory of the Canada-bashing man he's trying to portray.

Here are some quotes from the post -- read it, then tell me Solberg doesn't like Canada.

The oil patch goes strong 24/7, and so do the businesses that support it. They will work right through the Canada Day weekend and most will not reflect for two seconds on what it means to be Canadian.They will not watch the ceremonies from Parliament Hill today. They will not listen to CBC radio and fret over Canadian culture and heritage. They won't sit around telling each other how much better we are then the Americans.

They will work. They will look for opportunities to make life better for themselves and their family.

(. . .)

What strikes me is how typically Canadian this story is. I'm saying that the vast majority of Canadians practice a set of values and a way of life that is unrecognizable to official Ottawa, to too many journalists and to that squishy class of people who simultaneously revile and live off the backs of that Tim Hortons crowd.

(. . .)

But most amazing of all is that the overtaxed and despised Tim's crowd are the ones who would volunteer to stand in the breech first if, God forbid it, there was ever again a whisper of war. The thumb suckers would head for the bunker before you could say conscientious objector. But the Tims crowd would be there to fight. They would fight furiously, like they've always done. But they would not fight for King and country, for the CBC, or for the Department of Canadian Heritage. They would be there to fight for their little platoons, for their families, and their friends in the trenches.
The ordinary, garden variety decency that makes them the head of the Rotary Club in New Glasgow, Nova Scotia or Taber, Alberta would make them a VC winner on a foreign battlefield.

Maybe what Radwanski finds offensive about Solberg's brand of patriotism is it that is celebrates the average Canadian -- the ordinary people who are not part of the left-leaning liberal elite that fill out the ranks of the press gallery or who inhabit the inner sanctum of the PMO. Guys like Radwanski who are part of Ottawa's connected crowd -- they don't like us -- the regular folk.

What Radwanski doesn't say is what conservatives, and I would guess most Canadians know to be true: although Monte Solberg dislikes 'Canada' (read the government) he loves Canadians -- whereas Paul Martin loves 'Canada' (read, the government) he really doesn't much care for Canadians. Does Paul Martin even know any Canadians? Real Canadians? Can he have lived that kind of sheltered, rarefied existence, and really have his finger on the pulse of the nation?

Radwanski is part of that network of people, who know all the people, who are the people, who decide what matters. He speaks for them.

Monte Solberg speaks for me.



Les Mackenzie said...

If this post was made by your kids good show! A great look at media bias - I will stop the cheerleading now ;)

Myrddin Wyllt said...

Scathing, cutting and beautifully written.
Score one for truth.

Dallas said...

Monte Solberg like many Conservatives in Canada do in fact hate our country and the progressive values we stand for. Many Canadians have picked up on this which i believe is why they are doing so poorly at the polls and will be punished come next election.

Civitatensis said...

Excellent post exposing R's assumptions and intellectual dishonesty. Subtext: If this is a "moderate," just imagine how much the other knuckle-dragger's hate our country. Subtext: Alberta's "moderates" are really so in appearance only! And that was in a "conservative" newspaper!

The idea that Monte hates Canada is so far out there, it makes me wonder whether R has been living in this side of the universe in the last few years. But as you point out, it has nothing to do with evidence.

It's a sad reality that the idea of Canada has become so enmeshed with the Liberal ideology that to be critical of Liberal policy is anti-Canadian, Canadian bashing or Canada hater. The depth of and the continuous support for the Liberals also speaks to that.

As Dallas here represents, there is a wide constituency who accept that nonsense without blinking. It's downright depressing sometimes. I need to find some other country to hate!

eastern capitalist said...

I see Dallas has the new attack line down already.

Too bad more Canadians will not be like most people who vote Conservative...pissed off at the lack of leadership in this country.

Its one thing to regret how far this country has fallen and another thing to hate, but see the new lines have already been drawn as the "progressives" and Liberals wrap themselves in the flag...

49erDweet said...

Terminal thinkers like Radwanski and Dallas have to believe that Monte Solberg hates Canada. Otherwise, Solberg makes so much sense at what he says that if he weren't demonized too many of them would like him too much - and eventually come to agree with his POV. It is a liberal survival tactic. No more, no less.

Solberg is dangerous to the dithering intelligentsia because he is everything they are not - logical, honest, likeable, ethical, personable, did I say honest? and on top of that has a great sense of humor. (I'd love to have him run as a candidate against the Boxer/Feinstain matriarchy, but that ain't gonna happen).

Solberg is obviously attracting too much national attention from too many people, according to the infantile minds of the permanent ruling party. So the best they can do is trash him! (They obviously couln't buy him off, as has happened with others).

If the votors in the royal duchyness of canuckistan ever get their act together and move to restore it's greatness by actually electing people who have ideas, rather than those who merely covet everything they see, I would be extremely pleased (and not surprised) to see Monte Solberg accorded a prominate role.

BTW, don't you guys have someplace like gitmo where you can send all the ditherers afterwards?

PS Can't help commenting on my support and admiration for the London transportation and emergency response workers. You have some awesome Commonwealth mates!

W.L. Mackenzie Redux said...

Anna: I belive that Paul over at Celectial Junck has summarized the media bias technique you are talking about here. In his serise "media Bias 101 part 2" Paul rightfully identifies the biased journalist's technique of lying by contextual omission.....they way Solberg's blogging was taken out of context to give the false impression that he or CPC "hate" Canada. I think this journalist and his paper should be taken to task and held accountable for this.....its time Canda has a media watchdog like trugh in media...they'd be running their workers overtime keeping up with all the sloppy and malevolent scribbling in the Canukistan MSM.

Tim said...

This is why I've become so disillusioned with Canada - SSM. abortion, socialism, politial correctness, secular fundamentalism, official multiculturalism and bilingualism - you can have it. Give me the Canada, imperfect though it was, before Pearson and I'll take it. Monte was commenting about what this new Canada stands for - and he was right - it is abhorrent. In a democracy this never could have happened.

The Exile said...

Well, I can tell you that Conservatives in America don't exactly hate Canada, but we are disgusted by the Socialist turn that you've taken just as the Conservatives in your country are.

Why is it that the Left always seems to confuse "disgust" with "hate"?

I think it's because "hate" is considered extremist,while "disgust" is justifiable in light of their views.

Sue said...

Couldn't have said it better myself.

Paul MacPhail said...

Excellent post. 49erdweet seems to have described Monte to a "T". I guess that's why he keeps getting re-elected with such a high percentage of the vote. He represents not just what we look for in a candidate, but what we wish we could find within ourselves.

Candace said...

You hit the nail on the head - if only we DID have a media watchdog, but unfortunately, we don't.

We need way more Montes & Harpers and far, far less Radwanskis & Martins & Pettigrews...

49erDweet said...

Did I say Monte was decent? When I read his blog I envision a Canada that is great and good. One that would make any honorable person proud to call their home.
Not so with the other louts.

And in case I missed it, he is also honest!

Jason Monteith said...

Good post Anna. People like Monte Solberg make me proud to support the Conservatives.

Linda said...

If you could see me, C., you'd see that you were getting a standing ovation!

Can CC said...

Great post. I have a sick feeling in my gut when contemplating these subject matters. It is both heartening and alarming to finally see the gloves coming off.The future will require much moxy as we are forced to further polarize this country.

Andy Clark said...

If you want to comment on Adam Radwanski's riposte, check out

Comments Please

Canadi-anna said...

Thanks Andy - of course, Radwanski picks the one line of my post about himself, rather than anything about Solberg -- but then that's kinda what you'd expect.

Anonymous said...

Since R. was "kind" enough to point his readers here, I found your fine post.

I've asked it before, and I'll ask it again: if we conservatives are supposed to hate Canada, why is it the Left who want to change it?

Dale said...

I read Radwanski's column (which, if you don't have an NP subscription, you can read at if you want) on Saturday, and almost jumped out of my seat. But not in anger.

Canadianna's post, Solberg's post that she quoted at length, and many of the comments here are excellent examples of exactly what he was talking about. Some terms used: "infantile", "squishy class of people", "thumb-suckers". On his blog on 27 June, Solberg makes fun of Jack Layton's HAT, for God's sake. The majority of people who write, comment, etc on the web, seem unable to discuss politics without mocking and insulting "the other side". Especially troubling is how many Albertans are willing to dismiss eastern Canadians as a group as [insert any of the above insults]. Is it any wonder that many people, even the "Tim Horton's crowd" who live in Ontario, are uneasy with this?

The sad thing is, I'm starting to think this is not so much a conservative problem as a politics problem. If you follow Andy's link above you'll see Radwanski's reply to the backlash against his column (good again, I think), but the comments supporting him are at least as rancourous as those above.

Why can't we talk more about policy, about issues and values, instead of just attacking those who we disagree with?

Paul said...

But, Daddy, he started it! waaah. waanh.


Canadi-anna said...

dale - You're right -- this isn't a 'conservative' problem.

Especially troubling is how many Albertans are willing to dismiss eastern Canadians as a group as [insert any of the above insults]

And it is equally troubling that eastern Canadians are willing to dismiss Albertans as a group . . .

The east (Ontario/Quebec) has enough of the government advocating for them, and enough of the media pandering to them -- don't begrudge the west a straight-talking MP.

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