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Monday, March 20, 2017

How Demographics Impact Politics

How Demographics Impact Politics
 Given a recent exchange I had regarding the last election in The Netherlands, I thought it worth illustrating the point about the significance of demographics a little more precisely. In terms of looking at the monarchy alone and nothing else, some demographic changes have not been bad for the cause of monarchy. However, the nature of these examples does not bode well for the future of traditional authority in western civilization if one considers the basic facts on display and not simply isolated situations. There are a couple of cases I can think of immediately that make the point quite well and may be more relatable to most readers than that of the Kingdom of The Netherlands in which case the worry is about the way things are going rather than the way they are. The two specific cases that first jump to mind are those of Northern Ireland in the United Kingdom and the province of Quebec in the Dominion of Canada. The situation in these two places make the case quite clearly about how important demographic changes can be. In both, certain changes happened to benefited the monarchist cause but they nonetheless make the point that birthrate and immigration have political consequences.



In Northern Ireland, for example, most are well aware, I am sure, that the Protestant population favors continued union with Great Britain and thus the retention of the British Crown in Northern Ireland. The Catholic population, on the other hand, favors republicanism and have traditionally supported the reunification of Ireland under a republican government. Most will also be well aware that, traditionally, Catholics had much larger families than Protestants, particularly after the Protestant churches began to accept the use of birth control whereas the Catholic Church remained staunchly opposed. However, it is also common knowledge I think, that in recent years the Catholic opposition to birth control has become mostly nominal. Today, Catholics, at least in Europe and the Americas, tend to divorce and use birth control at roughly the same rate as Protestants. Finally, we must also keep in mind that, according to the Good Friday Agreements, the issue of Irish reunification was left up to the will of the voting public of Northern Ireland.

Today, Catholics are less likely to favor unification than in the past, though most still hope for it eventually. When one considers how many fewer children Catholic Irish families have today, compared to decades past, one can easily see that if the Irish Catholics had carried on having families as large as they once did, the six counties would today be part of the Republic of Ireland and it would have taken no military campaign or terrorist attacks in order to bring it about. It would have happened peacefully, by the democratic process, simply because the Catholic population would have overtaken the Protestants to become the new majority in Northern Ireland. So, as far as the six countries of Ulster are concerned, the monarchy was saved because Catholics started using birth control and their rate of reproduction drastically decreased. Of course, by that same measure, if Protestant, loyalist Britons had moved in sufficient numbers into the Republic of Ireland, they might have brought the whole island back into the United Kingdom with no other weapon but the ballot box. If it works for once side, it can also work for the other. The change in the Irish Catholic birthrate has meant that the Queen still reigns in Northern Ireland. Birth rates matter.

Moving across the pond to Her Majesty’s Dominion of Canada, the province of Quebec, traditionally Catholic, ethnically French and habitually disgruntled at those who speak English, secession and establishing an independent “Republic of Quebec” has been quite popular in recent years. Quebec separatists were able to garner sufficient public support for the issue to be put to a vote in 1995. As we know, the secessionists did not get their way and the Queen continued to reign over the province of Quebec thanks to 55,000 more votes opposed to independence. The premier of Quebec at the time, Jacques Parizeau, (who of course supported secession) caused some controversy when, in his concession speech, he attributed the loss to, “l’argent et des votes ethniques” (“money and ethnic votes”). He later apologized and many accused him of being drunk. However, as Canadian commentator Mark Steyn recently pointed out, Parizeau was not wrong as the non-ethnically French population of Quebec did vote to remain in Canada rather than in favor of an independent Quebec.

The next premier of Quebec, Lucien Bouchard, who also favored secession, caused similar outrage by stating rather gloomily just before the referendum that the decline of the French-Canadian birthrate could harm their cause. “We’re one of the white races that has the fewest children”, he said and, indeed, French-Canadian women have just about the lowest birth rate of any White women anywhere. In other words, if French-Canadian women had still been having as many children as they had been even in the 1950’s or if the non-French ethnic minorities were not so numerous, the secessionists would have won and Quebec would today be an independent republic. Mr. Bouchard also, years later and more carefully, warned again about the declining numbers of the French-Canadian population. So, again, birth rates matter and immigration matters, these things have very real political consequences. They are not, however, of equal significance because while birth rates can always be changes, demographics cannot. Once one population is replaced by another, it cannot be brought back. No one likes to deport people these days and, even if they did, once a population gains sufficient numbers they will not allow themselves to be deported.

None of this should come as a surprise. It makes perfect sense that ethnic minorities in Quebec should wish to remain a part of multicultural Canada rather than be part of a uni-cultural French-Canadian nation-state. What reason does a Haitian have to be outraged over the defeat at the Plains of Abraham? Why should an Arab wish to preserve the Catholic culture of the Jesuit missionaries? Is there any objective reason why a family from China should prefer the French language to the English one? There is none. In fact, the Chinese family may wonder why the French language is given preference over their own Mandarin in Canada when English-speakers outnumber them both. In British Columbia, the Chinese-Canadians outnumber the French-Canadians after all. Again, in the two cases, the outcome was good for the cause of traditional authority but ‘sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander’. This shows how demographics can and do affect the politics of a given place and the results will not always be the same.

In the monarchies of western Europe (as in the United States), racial minorities tend to vote for the most left-wing of the major parties (far left fringe parties tend to be limited to well-to-do Whites). For the first time in European history, an election was determined by a non-European minority group. This happened in France with the election of the socialist President Francois Hollande. Minorities tend to vote as a bloc and this was certainly the case in France in which 93% of the African and Arab Muslim population voted for Hollande while only 7% voted for his opponent Sarkozy. This amounted to 1.7 million votes and in an election that was decided by 1.1 million votes, that means that the non-French population determined who the leader of France would be.

This is clearly shown to be based on what the socialists oppose rather than what they support. The domestic agenda and values of the socialists are totally opposed by most Muslims but they tend to vote for socialist parties because these parties oppose the once dominant Christian culture of Europe and any limitations on immigration. Quite sensibly, they vote for the party that supports multiculturalism as well as moral positions they despise since the multiculturalism part will allow them to change the moral policies easily enough in due time. But, it is the French Republic so, perhaps readers here may be inclined not to care. How about a monarchy? How about the most venerable monarchy in Europe? How about the Kingdom of Denmark? In 2011 the Socialist Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt won the parliamentary elections by only 8,500 votes. This socialist, woman politician, of a party whose motto is “Liberty, Equality and Fraternity” (sound familiar?) was supported by 89.1% of the African & Asian minority, meaning that the Danish parliamentary elections could easily have been determined by people who are not Danish at all. Again, this makes sense for them given what the Social Democrats of Denmark vigorously support but it is hardly a good thing for the oldest kingdom in Europe that this fastest growing segment of the population overwhelmingly backs a party whose slogan is that of the French Revolutionaries.

This is a pattern that holds true in most every monarchy in Europe with a sizable non-native minority population. In the United Kingdom, minorities have overwhelmingly voted for the Labour Party which has certainly been the least friendly of the two major parties to the monarchy (and witness what they did to the House of Lords). In the Kingdom of Belgium, a quarter of the population of Brussels in now African or Arab and in a country in which the traditional unifying factors have been the King and Catholicism, the capital city is already more Islamic than Catholic. In the Kingdom of Spain, the Socialist Party tried to pass a law allowing the half a million Moroccans in the country to vote in Spanish elections. The effort failed and it is probably not a coincidence that in the following 2011 elections the socialists were ousted from power. It should go without saying that the socialists in Spain would not be doing this if they expected the Moroccans to vote for anyone but themselves. This party formed part of the government of the Second Spanish Republic, was banned by the Franco regime and while today more friendly toward the monarchy (so long as the royals do as they’re told), their youth wing is still openly republican and a party congress did declare support for what they termed “civic republicanism”. Given that, where they stand seems clear enough.

All of this is to show that things like birthrates and the demographic makeup of a population has a very real effect on the politics of any country. Minority groups tend to overwhelmingly vote for leftist parties in any country and leftist parties, by their very nature, tend to be opposed to all things traditional. Even people who would vote for more conservative parties in their own country tend to support the more leftist party in another country in which they are the minority. In the United States, for example, Black, Hispanic, Asian and Jewish Americans all tend to vote for Democrats by very large margins. However, I know plenty of Mexicans who support the more right-of-center PAN in Mexico but support the Democrats in America. This is a matter of self-interest. All of these groups are voting for the party that best serves their collective self-interests, which makes perfect sense. The problems we see today and coming tomorrow, however, arise because people in Europe and the European-descended populations around the world tend to recoil from the very idea that they have collective self-interest at all. This is something that should change, for if it does not, western civilization will either cease to exist or it will require extremely unsavory and drastic measures to save the longer the issue is postponed.