The Canadian Commonwealth eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 231 pages of information about The Canadian Commonwealth.
because he is rich.  If he loots a franchise and unloads rotten stocks on widows and orphans and teachers and preachers, they call him a thief and send him to jail a convict.  Three decades ago the premier’s own nephew misused public funds.  It could have been hushed by the drop of a hat or the wave of a hand.  The party in power was absolutely dominant.  The culprit was arrested at nine in the morning and sentenced to seven years in the penitentiary by six that day; and he served the term, too, without any political wash to clear him.  Instances are not lacking of titled adventurers ostracized in Winnipeg and Montreal going to Newport and capturing the richest heiresses of the land.  These instances are not mentioned in invidious self-righteousness.  They are mentioned purely to illustrate the underlying, unspoken difference in essential values.

V

Set down, then, two or three premises!  Canada is under a monarchy, but in practice is a democratic country.  Canada is absolutely impartial in her justice to rich and poor.  Have we dug down to the fountain spring of Canadian loyalty?  Not at all.  These are not springs.  They are national states of mind.  These characteristics are psychology.  What is the rock bottom spring?  One sometimes finds the presence of a hidden spring by signs—­green grass among parched; the twist of a peach or hazel twig in answer to the presence of water; the direction of the brook below.  What are the signs of Canada’s springs?  Signs, remember; not proofs.  Of proofs, there is no need.

Perfectly impartially, whether we like it or dislike it, without any argument for or against, let us set down Canadian likes and dislikes as to government.  These are not my likes and dislikes.  They are not your likes and dislikes.  They are facts as to the Canadian people.

Canadians have no faith in a system of government, whether under a Turkish Khan or a Lloyd George Chancellor, which delegates the rule of a nation to butchers and bakers and candlestick-makers and “the dear people” fakers.  They do not believe that a man who can not rule his own affairs well can rule the nation well.  They regard government as a grave and sacred function, not as a grab bag for spoils.  If a party makes good in power, they have no fear of leaving that party in power for term after term.  The longer their premier is in office the more efficient they think he will become.  They have no fear of the premier becoming a “fat” tyrannical king.  Long as the party makes good, they consider it has a right to power; and that experience adds to competency.  Instantly the party fails to make good, they throw it out independent of the length of its tenure of office.

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The Canadian Commonwealth from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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