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Canadians who are proud to be Egyptian should be…Egyptian. Canadians who flee Lebanon at government expense and then return as soon as the coast is clear should be…Lebanese. Canadians of Muslim descent who attend radical mosques and plan jihad against the country that has welcomed them, and who have no compunction profiting from its social, medical and fiscal services, should not be tolerated but deported. They have no place in the dance hall. As Hungarian-born and National Post columnist George Jonas said somewhere, he came to Canada because Canada needed more Canadians, not because Canada needed more Hungarians.
Several European politicians have declared, however tardily, that multiculturalism is a failed social experiment. Whether they will act on their belated discovery or not is another issue, but Angela Merkel, David Cameron and Nicolas Sarkozy appear to have heard the beat. Certain rules apply if chaos is to be avoided and a measured harmony to prevail. You dance with the one who brung you and you dance to the music that is playing. There is a rhythm to the history, customs, practices and civic expectations of a country—what is loosely called the “national character—that needs to be honored in the observance and not in the breach, even if one is not, to cite Hamlet, “native here/And to the manner born.”
This is not to say that the newcomer must slavishly adhere to every single cultural demand and practice or that he or she cannot lobby for change and amelioration. Canada at one time refused women the vote. Before and during WW II, Jews were not welcome in this country—“None is too many,” advised a minister in the Mackenzie King government. Such aberrations should be—and were—addressed, and nothing prevents an immigrant from participating in the social discourse to bring about needed reformations.
But the point is that Canada, like other Western nations, comprises the sort of political environment in which gradual and meaningful improvement is possible and perhaps even inevitable, within the framework of the larger cultural parameters established by the tradition of parliamentary democracy, the rule of law, and the intellectual breakthroughs of the Enlightenment. And it is these traditions and advancements to which the newcomer must adapt and remain faithful, irrespective of the discrete imperfections that pertain at any given time. The orchestra may hit wrong notes or one’s native partner may stumble from time to time, but the pattern is discernible and needs to be followed.
In short, it takes two to tango; it takes only one to wreak havoc on the dance floor, especially if he is new to the dance and decides to cavort as he sees fit. The conclusion is obvious. The multiculti tango needs to be abolished or at the very least reconfigured, and the open space where the hyphen inserts itself closed. Will Canada’s leaders have the courage to adopt the necessary steps?
Otherwise, the eventual sequel does not seem especially promising. Last tango in Canada, anyone?
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