Pat Buchanan has just published a column speculating that if the Beltway Establishment does not soon respond to the immigration issue, it will provoke a new political party in the U.S., as it has all over Europe.
As it happens, Peter Brimelow's 1986 Canadian book The Patriot Game specialized in predicting the emergence of new parties, also because a federal elite was overriding cultural realities. Canada has traditionally been ruled by three parties, center, lefty, and even lefter, so the conservative third-party Brimelow predicted actually materialized as a fourth party. He also predicted a new Quebec separatist party would enter the House of Commons. It did, so then there were five.
The conservative third/ fourth party, now called the Canadian Alliance, has just elected a new leader, Stephen Harper. Canada has a parliamentary system, which means, because the Alliance is the second-largest party, that Harper has the official title of Leader of the Opposition and has an excellent chance of becoming Prime Minister.
William Johnson, one of Canada's leading journalists, has just reported in Toronto's Globe and Mail the shocking news that Brimelow's The Patriot Game was a major influence on Harper. In effect, Brimelow's prediction of a political revolt against Canada's liberal Central Canadian Toronto-Ottawa-Montreal (= U.S. Eastern Seaboard) elite is coming true. When Brimelow wrote The Patriot Game in '86, the Canadian political class thought he was crazy. But within five years, another leading Canadian journalist was arguing that he was being proved right.
And, as Johnson also points out, politicians with actual principles have been successful all over the world.
U.S. immigration reform moral: Change happens – but it takes time. My timeline of the "thirty years war" that it took to pass the 1924 immigration cut-off after the founding of the Immigration Restriction League in 1894 suggested we can a expect a second cut-off around the end of this decade – i.e. thirty years after the founding of FAIR in 1979. Brimelow's immigration book Alien Nation was published in 1995. So this measure also suggests we can expect a major party Presidential candidate influenced by its arguments to be nominated in 2008…or certainly by 2012!
But will there be a Republican Party for the candidate to lead? Canada's former Conservative Party was more or less ruined by Brian Mulroney, who may be thought of as the Dubya of the North. Republican strategists who value their cushy jobs should take note.
(What does Harper think about immigration? He's been discreetly silent – we hope to publish a report soon.)
(p.p.s we also hope to publish an updated e-version of The Patriot Game later this year.)
Globe & Mail, Toronto Thursday, May 16, 2002 – Print Edition, Page A17
Canadians wanting to know what to expect from Opposition Leader Stephen Harper should study a portrait of the leader as a passionate young wonk. The youth was true father to the man.
The man is committed to the politics of conviction. Like Pierre Trudeau, like Lucien Bouchard, unlike Brian Mulroney or Jean Chrétien, Stephen Harper's chief goal is to change the country rather than wield power. He'd rather be right than Right Honorable. [VDARE.COM note: i.e. in government]
Indeed, were such the alternatives, he'd prefer to reform the country from the Opposition than become prime minister by joining the Liberessive Conservile [VDARE.COM note to puzzled American readers: this is a joke!] consensus. Some say that condemns him to failure, that "Canadian values" are centrist and exclude conservative policies. Could be. But in the past, conviction politicians have won unexpected successes in Canada, the United Kingdom, the United States and New Zealand.
Stephen Harper, who just turned 43, came from a family that can count. His father and two brothers are chartered accountants. On graduation from Richview Collegiate in Etobicoke, he won the gold medal for the highest marks.
He took off for Edmonton in 1979 and for three years worked at various jobs — notably computer programmer — for Esso. [VDARE.COM note: i.e. a U.S. firm – anathema to Canada's "nationalists"] He saw the devastation to the petroleum industry and Alberta's economy caused by the Liberals' statist National Energy Program.
He then attended the University of Calgary for a degree in economics, and soon was youth campaign chairman in the Progressive Conservative Association of Calgary West for the 1984 Tory sweep. The following year, his bachelor degree obtained, Mr. Harper was invited to Ottawa as the legislative assistant for his member of Parliament, Jim Hawkes.
He stayed only a year. Disillusioned with Prime Minister Brian Mulroney's wheeling and dealing and failure to curb the runaway deficit, [VDARE.COM note: c.f. George Bush Senior…or Junior] he returned to Calgary to enroll for a master's degree in economics.
He was barely back when, in October of 1986, the Mulroney government awarded to Canadair of Montreal a rich contract for servicing the new CF-18 fighter jets, though the evaluation team had found that Winnipeg's Bristol Aerospace offered a lower price and technical superiority. The following year, Mr. Mulroney negotiated the Meech Lake accord giving Quebec special status and a perpetual veto over the Triple-E Senate that Western provinces saw as their salvation.
As an undergraduate, Mr. Harper had formed two relationships that became central after his return to graduate school. Economics professor Robert Mansell became his mentor. Fellow student John Weissenberger was to become an ideological soul mate and lifelong friend.
Prof. Mansell, now dean of graduate studies, did a pioneering investigation into the "federal fiscal balances," measuring the net difference between what each province contributed fiscally to the rest of the federation and what it received in return. He demonstrated enormous disproportions. According to his more recent figures, Alberta, between 1961 and 1992, had been drained of $138-billion, while Quebec had gained a surplus of $167-billion.
These were powerful challenges for the student to come to terms with. But he was obsessed with grasping their meaning and finding a solution, as Dean Mansell recalls: "Stephen had a passion for public policy and politics. He loved to chat in the hallway about something that was in the news, and he would ask: 'If you're going to do it right, what would you do?' I introduced him to Preston Manning [VDARE.COM note: first leader of the new third/ fourth party] and they hit it off because Preston Manning is kind of a scholar, he's widely read and he spent a lot of time thinking about these things. And that's exactly the way Stephen is."
Mr. Weissenberger, from the Montreal area, attended the University of Calgary in 1984 to work on a PhD in geology. He'd taken an undergraduate degree at the University of Western Ontario where, during the elections of 1979, he'd campaigned for Tory leader Joe Clark. After graduation, he returned to Montreal to take his master's degree in geology at l'École Polytechnique — in French. He was there when Mr. Mulroney was preparing his coup at the 1983 Tory convention in Winnipeg.
"I was in Montreal through that whole signing up the rummies [VDARE.COM note: bums] to vote as delegates in a riding," [VDARE.COM note: without U.S. style primaries, Canadian leadership conventions are notoriously easily packed] he told me. "I was supporting Mulroney because it was clear that Clark was not going to do it."
In Calgary, he became active in the '84 Tory campaign with his new friend, Mr. Harper. They discovered a common interest in the conservative political philosophy that was then triumphant with Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan, and wondered why Canada was stuck with statist policies that were leading to ruin. They kept in touch while Mr. Harper was in Ottawa and became close after his return.
"Those were the days when the kernel of our political ideas was formed as a reaction to the failure of the Mulroney government," Mr. Weissenberger recalled. "We both started reading — in graduate school we had a fair bit of time," he laughs, "so we read.
"We used to have a lot of political discussions and trade books that we were reading. Stephen got me interested in F. A. Hayek and the Austrian school of economics. And we used to get together, sit down and watch William Buckley's Firing Line once a week. [VDARE.COM note: conservatives in Canada get really desperate!] We were both philosophical conservatives, and we were both interested in public policy."
[VDARE. COM note: This is the part we really like!] They were impressed by the radical critique of Canadian institutions and Canadian political culture by Peter Brimelow in his 1986 book, The Patriot Game. The author predicted that Canada would become a Third World country or break up if it did not reform radically.
"We were so impressed," Mr. Weissenberger recalls, "we actually went to one bookstore and we said, 'Okay, we want to buy 10 copies of this book, what deal will you give us?' So we bought, like 10 copies, and gave it to all our friends."
Mr. Brimelow predicted that the Western provinces "may lead some sort of rebellion against the Liberal hegemony, perhaps by supporting a right-wing, fourth party."
A year later, Preston Manning launched the Reform Party, and Stephen Harper and John Weissenberger were among the founders.
June 5, 2002