Stop Catering to Our Worst Impulses

The arrival of the MV Sun Sea carrying @400 potential Tamil refugees has given our media an opportunity to start fanning the flames of our worst natures. This is a symptom visible across the political spectrum. Please let me give a considered rant for a moment.

 

From the "Right":

  • Immigrant/illegal/refugee/economic refugee – we want immigrants. The rest can screw off.
  • These queue jumpers!
  • Want to suck on the public teat
  • Taking money and jobs away from Canadians
  • Send them back immediately!
  • Confiscate or destroy the ship
  • Damn Trudeau
  • Damned CBC makes us sound like Nazis
  • $80k to process each one. Damn that federal government.

 

From the "Left":

  • Immigrant/illegal/refugee/economic refugee – if you even dare to make an nuanced argument, you are a RACIST!!!!!
  • Poor brown babies, it must be all our fault
  • We owe them so much for having been lucky enough to be borne in a better country
  • Canada is a land of refugees. Oops, meant immigrants. No, perhaps I mean refugees.
  • When the following words start to appear, scream RACIST!!! and describe the effort it took for them to get to Canada
    • Economic, rather than political refugee
    • Should be immigrant, rather than refugee
    • Not the level of immigrant Canada wants
    • Why is Canada paying for all this
    • Immediate access to Canada's services

There are, of course, many more but you get the idea.

I tend to be a bit more pragmatic. As I listen to the above silliness, I tend to classify:

"Right" – Knee jerk, sloganeering morons

"Left" – Louder knee jerk, sloganeering morons

Some pragmatic observations (if you find them moronic, please feel free to address in the comments section below):

  • Of course, the boat is full of Tamils looking to leverage the Canadian system. Even if they don't qualify, they are our of the post war Sri Lankan cesspool
  • It is too late for the government to change the law to address these folks. But change the law they shouldl
    • Both electable parties (with the agreement of the NDP) have spent years pursuing immigrant votes
    • Both are terrified to change the law in any way which might offend even one voter
  • As usual, for politicians, the best plan is to prattle on now knowing no significant change is coming
    • They know that in two weeks, most will not remember where the boat landed or the exact nationality of the passengers
  • We need immigrants. Refugees are not immigrants.
  • We need to be generous and assist some refugees. Some people really do live under the kind of threat we would consider unacceptable in Canada.
    • While we try to be nice about accepting the cultures of people from other lands, we tend to agree that refugees would not be such unless their countries were horrific.
    • If their countries are not horrific, then get thee back whence thee came
    • We are not animals, if you are under threat we want to help
  • Common sense is often wrong
    • $80K sounds like a lot to process these possible refugees. It really is not.
      • We demand of our civil service that they be correct in their assessment.
      • We demand that they eliminate or minimize risk.
      • We excoriate them if proven wrong
    • It costs extra to minimize risk. Is it worth it? Up to you.
  • There are obviously terrorists amongst them.
    • There likely are. There, I wrote it. I expect there are Tigers in that group.
    • Best efforts to identify the terrorists are expensive and not guaranteed to be 100% certain.
      • 100% certainty does not exist
    • A balance of risk should be found in the range from
      • They are all terrorists and criminals. Send them all home!
      • They traveled so far from such a bad place, let them stay.
    • The process can be made better but it does allow that a balance can be struck, finding as many of the bad guys as possible

 

This is a complex issue, badly suited to slogans. It requires a philosophical foundation and the courage to implement it. And yet, in Canada (and most of the western world) the politicians are too cowed to take anything away.

1 Comment

  1. Teens a growing proportion of Toronto homicides (http://www.cbc.ca/canada/toronto/story/2010/08/18/toronto-teen-homicide-rates487.html#socialcomments</p&gt)

    Here are some more worst impulses. The stats on the article above indicate the number of total homicides, and the number of teen homicides are declining. Homicides are down, no matter which group you look at. BUT, since the total number is decreasing than the teen segment, the percentage of teen as total increases, and every goes online and shouts about black immigrants when in fact crime is falling, and not the sky. CBC should get censured for the manner in which this was presented.

    (Editor’s Note: I cleaned out some web artifacts from this comment. No change to comment, simply removing some stray HTML which was appearing as text.)

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