NDP leadership candidate Niki Ashton feels entitled to teach your children

By Jonathon Van Maren

Like the rest of Canadians, I haven’t been paying much attention to the federal NDP’s leadership race, especially as much of what the candidates have to say appears to be indistinguishable from your average mob of angrily bewildered student activists. One candidate especially appears determined to prove that she can beat the most fervent devotee of any Women’s Studies program in her dedication to fringe left-wing politics: Manitoba MP Niki Ashton.

Ashton, as some of you might remember, has utilized most of her time in the House of Commons to loudly insist that abortions should be way easier to get than they already are and accusing other lefties of being insufficiently radical on a wide array of issues. Her platform looks like a fusion of left-wing student politics and undisguised communism: She’s declared solidarity with Palestine (there are some fundamentalists she’s willing to find common cause with), claimed that Justin Trudeau isn’t a “real” ally to the LGBTQ community, and actually put out the slogan “You privatize it, we nationalize it. You deregulate it, we regulate it.” Now, I wonder where she got that from….

Her favorite endorsements all herald her impeccably progressive credentials. One MP noted that “Niki is an authentic activist feminist who has always put others ahead of herself,” highlighting the well-worn truth that abortion enthusiasts are usually also paragons of selflessness. And then there’s her endorsement from comedian Charlie Demers: “Niki gets that our party’s socialist legacy is no burden but an asset, as free market orthodoxy and carbon-intensive colonialism collapse around our ears.” So there you have it, then. Hang on to your ears.

But especially indicative of the totalitarian streak inherent in Ashton’s socialism is an exchange she had with fellow leadership candidate Jagmeet Singh, a member of the Sikh community. Sikhs are generally a socially conservative bunch, which is why immigrant communities made up the bulk of the opposition to Premier Kathleen Wynne’s new sex-ed curriculum for Ontario, and Singh had responded to the opposition in his community by registering vague protest about how the curriculum was implemented. This prompted Ashton to wheeze into her homophobia dog whistle immediately, demanding to know why Singh had done something so repulsive:

I want to ask you about your stance on the sex-ed curriculum in Ontario. You described it as “disrespectful to parents.” And “It must respect the diversity of beliefs when it comes to educating our children.” That’s the kind of language I expect from Conservatives. Why did you take this position on sex-ed when it was strongly supported by the LGBTQ community?

I’ll give Miz Ashton this, she’s not subtle. She genuinely finds the idea that government has a responsibility to respect “the diversity of beliefs” in society to be appalling. In her view, government’s role is to enforce her progressive ideology from the top down, and those stupid immigrants and their throwback supporters can catch up to her level of enlightenment later—at least their kids will be re-educated and they won’t be able to pass on any of their own traditions or beliefs effectively. She also indicated that her loyalty is not to parents—their opinions on the curriculum taught to their children are irrelevant. Rather, Ashton wanted to know how Singh managed to summon the courage to make a few mild statements on the curriculum when it was so strongly supported by the LGBTQ community. It seems that on the oppression hierarchy, brown people are out and drag queens are in.

Singh attempted to respond by saying that he’d supported the curriculum but found it “offensive” that the government hadn’t provided translated explanations of the curriculum to “racialized communities,” although I suspect he knows that if that had happened, there wouldn’t be a lot of Sikhs overjoyed to discover that their children were being taught the mechanics of masturbation and alternative sexual lifestyles in school. In fact, such translated material probably would have increased opposition from immigrant communities, which is why Wynne and the rest of her social engineers preferred not to do so. Singh even managed to pull off a neat about-turn and complain that the lack of translated materials allows “the right” to disseminate horrible “misinformation.”

This, as you might suspect, did not impress Miz Ashton one bit. In a tone that was equal parts condescension and contempt, she demanded to know if Singh could be trusted:

So Jagmeet, I entered politics because of the issue of same-sex marriage. Our NDP MP was against it, and I stood up against those who would impose their beliefs on society. But you called the curriculum “disrespectful to the diversity of beliefs.” What beliefs come ahead of the needs of our children, particularly so many kids who are discriminated against because of their gender identity and sexual orientation, and how can we trust that you’re not going to take a position like that again?

I don’t mind that progressives take themselves so seriously, but it is irritating and slightly worrying that they expect the rest of us to do the same. Ashton, fresh from her opening salvo where she excoriated Singh for indicating that there is a “diversity of beliefs” in this country, championed her own noble goal of disallowing those who do not share her ideology from championing their ideology, which gets in the way of her goal of ensuring that everybody else’s children get taught what she believes. Like most progressives, she believes that the state has just as much right to children as their parents do—she demanded to know whether Singh was going to let the parents get in the way of progressives indoctrinating “our children.”

I can speak for thousands of parents when I interrupt Miz Ashton’s arrogant blathering to inform her that our children are none of her business, and that the contempt she shows for parents who have spent their lives sacrificing for their children rather than strutting about the House of Commons championing the right to abort others illustrates precisely why she is the sort of person we would like our children to stay away from. Ashton does not understand the deep-seated cultural and religious beliefs of other communities, and perhaps it would be nice if she realized that we feel about her worldview the exact same way that she feels about ours.

While leadership campaigns are often long and boring, occasionally there are moments of value. Ashton’s exchange with Singh was one of them, because it gave parents a good look at what so-called “progressives” actually believe about them, and highlighted that Ashton feels entitled to our children. That reason alone is good enough to ensure that she never holds the reigns of power—because one of the first things she’ll do is embark on the nationalization of the country’s children.

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For anyone interested, my book on The Culture War, which analyzes the journey our culture has taken from the way it was to the way it is and examines the Sexual Revolution, hook-up culture, the rise of the porn plague, abortion, commodity culture, euthanasia, and the gay rights movement, is available for sale here.

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4 thoughts on “NDP leadership candidate Niki Ashton feels entitled to teach your children

  1. McCarlie says:

    I believe that we, the parents, who have kept our children instead of aborting them, have the right and responsibility to teach them and be involved in the kind of education they will receive. Overwhelming the education system with sexual indoctrination reaching even to the youngest students is horrific. Children are no longer allowed to be innocent boys and girls. Sexual immorality is not something that needs to be pushed on our kids. For all those abortion lovers who want to be able to kill their unborn babies, stay away from mine that were allowed to live. As much as you say we have no say over your decisions for your bodies and your unborn children, you have no right to any ‘say’ over mine! Factual science is one thing, but that is even being hacked away and replaced with feelings that are taught as fact.

  2. Gronk says:

    What a load of twaddle this post is. Talk about confusing this with that. No surprise – the loudest critics usually espouse the same principles they denigrate in others. Pomposity abounds on all sides. About all I got from this post was that you seem to believe you’re correct about what YOU think. Great, that helps a lot. Wrapping yourself in the hot button issue of how we educate children, i.e, ramming ideas into their heads from some blinkered POV left or right rather than allowing them to think for themselves just pisses me off.

    I am not a supporter of any mainstream Canadian political party at the moment, and I’m ancient – a retiree. All I know is there is a resurgence of religious nutcases trying to rewrite society into believing what the Pope was dishing out circa 1880, in fact insisting on it. I fail to see that this is any different from Ashton trying to legislate us into being progressive. It’s all some rabble-rousers trying to inflict their point-of-view on the rest of us. So you’re a nitwit for criticizing someone else for the same propaganda effect you’re trying on us, just 180 degrees out of phase. Talk about the pot calling the kettle black.

    What I used to think decades was the centre and the Liberal party is just people trying to capture the middle ground by saying whatever they think is flavour of the day, yet filling their own pockets is their main goal while pretending to care about the average plod on the street. All propped up by the very wealthy who want a dumbed down acquiescent population who pay their bills faithfully on time, and hopefully pay a lot of interest to keep the big boys happy, while they offshore jobs tocut costs.

    I object strenuously to the right wing attitude of pretending they’re full of social rectitude. Give me a break. All I see is thinly disguised racism issued under the guise of free speech. The old white man theme of saying we conquered this country, so bugger the indigenous people, hail the Israeli government for ripping off the Palestinians, blah, blah, blah, refugees are trash, we can’t trust brown people. Just about the official policy of the province of Quebec in other words, an xenophobic place if there ever was one. Does the average Canadian wander around acting like a political arsehole? I think not. We want a stable, prosperous friendly society to live in and enjoy without idiots who are polarized to one extreme or the other telling us what we should believe. I can make up my own mind thanks all the same.

    On the progressive side, I see nothing but neoliberalism, the worshipping at the foot of companies “who provide” jobs, and promotion of free trade deals that always have investor review mechanisms to override national sovereignty. Plus a general attitude that inculcating their idea of what’s right as somehow being the only outlook worthy of pursuit is the way to go because it’s somehow self-evident. Not to meand many I know, who don’t find the right’s message palatable either. Nobody poltical cares what the citizen thinks, they’re all off on some higher plane of idiotic self-indulgent hooey.

    In other words, I see no promising political trends at all.

    Who is actually out there promoting a decent deal for the little guy? None of them, the main parties I mean; all they do is rant about this and that from their perspective which rarely means bugger all to the citizens who pay for this place to run at the whims of radicals left or right trying to highjack agendas for their own narrow interests. Screw you all, we don’t need blinkered views from either side of the political spectrum which is what we get fed at the moment. I need no top down government from either the left or right claiming they’re the bees knees. In fact I’m fed up with all the general bullshit, fake arguments, intolerance of each others ideas as if they were all poison. Right now we live in a giant bullshit zone, and you’re not helping.

    Now approve this. I demand free speech, you dozy beggar.

    • Jonathon Van Maren says:

      I will approve this, simply because this is an amusing word salad that is an interesting glimpse into the psychology of the left-wing mind. You hit all the highlights, too–Israel and Palestine, the evil colonizers–and all under an article about education! Bravo, sir.

    • Andy Doerksen says:

      So, Gronk, obviously you believe YOU’RE right, don’t you? If you didn’t, you wouldn’t be “pissed off.” No rational person actually cares what you approve or don’t approve. A rational person wants basic liberties and to be left alone by the state.

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