Many readers are probably asking: why?
Why did we feel it necessary to sit down and create a conservative newspaper for Canadian universities?
There are a lot of reasons that go into this answer. But to summarize, we were tired of campus politics.
For months, we had felt ostracized as conservative students. The evidence was all around us that our ideas and our values had no forum to be heard. SSMU Council has, semester after semester, been a repository of centre-left moderates to the most radical and far left ideologues university can offer. This Council used their own repressive “Equity” policy as a bludgeon to silence a pro-life student group who dared to speak what they believe.
In a close race for last year’s presidential election, a political liberal and moderate won against an individual closely tied to McGill’s all too powerful radical community.
The McGill Daily continues to happily opine against not simply the right wing, but against capitalism, democratic institutions, the Israeli state, and anything remotely related to the right wing. One Daily reader once claimed that the McGill Tribune, a paper with a moderate and centre-left outlook, was the equivalent of Fox News for McGill. This trend has been allowed to continue across Canadian campuses without, at least, center right commentary.
All of these elements are held together by a small community of radical activists, tiny communes of those who do not reflect the values of Canadians or even Canadian students. Despite this, they have managed to control the direction of student life. In this goal they have gone almost totally unopposed.
This paper is for the moderate. In a country that has elected a Conservative government, conservative values of free speech, democratic reform, and small government are not simply debated. They are widely accepted, and a large part of the Canadian electorate comfortably supports them. Conservatives have forever shaped the course of this nation’s history: from the Old Toryism of Sir John A. MacDonald to the libertarian economics of Sir Wilfrid Laurier, from the provincial rights movement of Oliver Mowat to the civil rights reforms of John Diefenbaker. Conservatism continues to shape and mold this nation, playing a key role in creating Canadian greatness as it stands today.
Why then do our values have no place in the debate? Why are conservatives yelled out of the room at our college? When Choose Life (McGill’s only pro-life student association) hosted Jose Ruba, a controversial pro-life speaker who compared abortion to the Holocaust, he was quite literally yelled down by a small cabal of activists who sought only to deny their fellow students the right to hear their guest speak.
Universities are meant to be the playground of ideas. While it is fair and reasonable to be offended at the comparison Ruba sought to make, it is monstrous to deny him the right to make the comparison. The bully of our playground of ideas wanders the schoolyard, and allows no home for those who think outside the box.
This is an intellectually bankrupt state of reality. Our society is shaped and molded by those who challenge the status quo and dare to bring forward new and innovative ideas. Students are the future of Canadian society. Now should be the time when we are exposed to a wide spectrum of politics so we can better understand our own values. When a small group seizes control of the debate, everyone loses.
This then is why Canadian campuses need the Herald. We are under no pretense that students will always like what they see. But that is the entire point of what we are doing here. We want a real and honest intellectual conversation on our campus and yours. While you will read many conservative articles in these pages, the Herald is happily hosting columnists from a variety of political perspectives. Diversity of thought will be our hallmark, and we will work to be both controversial and thought provoking, never backing away from a debate that needs to be had.
In the end, we hope to provide you, the Canadian student, with the conservative standard in analysis and debate. We want you to bring your voice to the conversation, and we want to empower you to speak your mind without fear of backlash by the schoolyard bully of radicalism on campus. This is where moderates of all sorts can finally have their say.
Please never hesitate to send your comments to us. We hope that this paper will evolve to better reflect the needs of Canadian university students, and we always want to hear feedback about the job we are doing. You can send your comments to email@example.com.
We look forward to hosting a real discussion with you on all the issues that are important to you. Most importantly, we look forward to a real and honest campus debate.
Brendan Steven & Kevin Brendan Pidgeon
Founders, The Prince Arthur Herald