Prime Minister Stephen Harper of Canada has happened upon the John Howard confidence trick. In the shell game of electoral politics, it is important to get the audience to focus on the pea marked "bogus refugees" rather than the one marked "unsustainable immigration". That way corporations get the policy they paid for. The growth of the cheap labour pool and legions of new consumers. We clap our hands at the crackdown, and are none the wiser for it.
I seem to recall that Australia's one-man wrecking crew (lest we forget) John Howard, successfully exploited public anger over incoming boat-loads of refugees by making a show of his hardline crackdown, then using that stance as a screen to jack up immigration levels to stratospheric heights. Right? Well it seems that the Stephen Harper government is taking the same tack. Use the refugee issue as a decoy and a lightening rod so that an even higher number of migrants can be waived through the airport. This is not about curbing immigration to more sustainable levels, levels that would permit cultural integration and ecological recuperation from the two-decade demographic assault Canada has suffered since 1990. It is about quelling growing public anger so that it does not threaten the great unquestioned project of unsustainable economic growth, which all major parties wrongly believe is dependent on population growth.
It is not just Canada's refugee system that is out of control. Immigration is out of control. Making scapegoats out of phoney refugees and the slime who smuggle them takes the heat off an immigration policy based on economic folly and cynical political empire-building. And the Prime Minister knows it. He wants more immigration, not less. And if the opposition parties, who share his mad dream, were smart, they would accede to his inadequate bill, because it appeases misplaced public wrath. Canadians could then be given the false assurance that everything is now "under control", when in fact immigrant-driven population growth will be more out-of-control than ever. While I support the government's half-measures---as far as they go---- I wonder if by applying a band-aid we might forget that we need major surgery. We need to stabilize and reduce our population, and to accomplish that, we could double or triple the intake of legitimate refugees while slashing the immigration quota to modest and reasonable totals. Cleaning up the refugee mess is not sufficient.
Harper's comments, recorded in this news report, "Human smuggling threatens Canada support for immigration: PM"
http://ca.news.yahoo.com/s/afp/101020/canada/canada_srilanka_politics_refugee_immigration, makes his motives clear.
"A failure to act and act strongly (against human smugglers) will inevitably lead to a massive collapse in public support for our immigration system.... Not only do we have relatively speaking the largest immigration program in the world; not only do we have the most generous system of sanctuary for refugees in the world -- we also have a level of public support for immigration that is unparalleled elsewhere in the world," Harper said. "And that must continue, because our economy will need even more immigrants." The strong new laws will provide incentives for would-be immigrants to enter the country through "legitmate channels".
October 22/ 2010
Background stories: http://www.nationalpost.com/news/Tories+take+refugee+fraudsters+smugglers/3706309/story.html