After her second failed attempt to enter the “Common House”, Green Party leader Elizabeth May might consider selling her wares in another market. And I know just the challenge for her. The United Arab Emirates. The UAE is Ms. May’s kind of country. It has one of the highest population growth rates in the world at 5.6% and it will likely stay up there with 45% of its population under 15 at the beginning of the millennium.
This population growth fuelled an astonishing 10% GDP growth rate in the same period and generated “wealth’ which made its religious values and small town traditions quite expendable to the government. Suddenly the needs and desires of western ex-pats and tourists and Asian migrant workers who served economic growth took precedence over the sensibilities of those who always lived there.
Dubai became an oasis of liberal entertainment amid the conservative Middle East. Nevertheless the Islamic legal culture is still intact and public displays of sexual affection are illegal. They remain on the books for the very good reason that they sill represent the popular will of native residents.
This became evident last July (08) when a British tourist couple was arrested for having sexual intercourse on a public beach. Emiratis complained that such was the number and rapidity of the foreign influx that blatant disregard for local customs and laws was so manifest that “they (Emiritis) no longer felt at home in their own country.”(know the feeling!) What feeds their desperation is the demographic trend. Since Dubai is determined to push for even more economic growth, the projected rise in the expatriate ratio of the projection is expected to be 81.7% in 2009. It is tough for 18.3% of the population to defend, never mind “shape”, its culture within that kind of isolation.
So here is where our Elizabeth May should take her road show. Let her go to Dubai and tell Emeritis to lie down and roll over and surrender their traditions to those of outsiders in the interests of the corporate agenda. Only, just don’t tell them about whose interests it is in, just as she doesn’t in Canada. Tell them growth is good. It is not whether you grow, but how you grow that is important. It is not how many people there are but where they live, and it is not even where they live but how they live. If they choose to live like Ghandi, then the UAE can invite the whole world over for tea, but if they chose to live like Bill Gates, then even Bill Gates would be one too many. But know in your heart that your preaching will never get people to reduce their consumption.
May would make these proud Arabs understand that it is important that our Holy Text decrees that all cultures are created equal, and are therefore equally deserving of respect, and that one set of moral values, or lack of values, is as good as any other.. So it is therefore important that touring British couples be made to feel comfortable in practicing their customs of copulating on public beaches in Dubai. Emiritis need to follow her Canadian prescription, that is, be sent to Diversity Awareness Training workshops to learn to become sensitive to the customs of foreigners so that they may pander to their needs, because the God we are now serving is Economic Growth. And to serve Economic Growth, we need more and more foreigners, foreigners who feel comfortable being here. That is what Multiculturalism is all about. It is not about “cultural” enrichment, about savouring “the rich texture of varied cuisines and music”, it is about corporate enrichment, the enrichment of the those who don’t give a damn if they turn a quiet traditional country into a middle eastern Las Vegas whose streets are lined with hookers.
And time passes, foreigners are winning the demographic horse race. In 2009 the expatriate population is projected to grow at more than double the rate (6.9%) of the native population (3.4%) , gaining an even tighter grip on the land. If Elizabeth May was to parachute into such an environment, she just might find fertile ground to plant her Green Party message of unlimited population growth. The ideology of “Secular Multicultural Growthism”. A new kind of theocracy that allows no challenge or criticism. And to think that is an ideology incubated and tested right here in Canada.