We Should Abolish Canada's Military

November 11th, 2018  | J. Hodgson
abolish military

Remembrance Day is a day to honour the memories of the men who fought and died during World War I. It has since been broadened to include respect for veterans who fought and/or died since then, but it originated with the soldiers who made the ultimate sacrifice between 1914-1918. Sixty thousand Canadians died during the war... this at a time when Canada’s total population was less than 8 million.

What did they die for?

That’s never really a question we’re supposed to ask, partly because deep down we know the answer is... nothing. In fact, Canada has never fought in a war that has mattered to our own interests. As much as we like to pretend that World War II was a comic-book styled showdown between good and evil with the fate of the world hanging in the balance, the reality is that we could have sat it out and the outcome would likely have been much the same. Korea and Afghanistan were the only other two big conflicts of note and we may as well have not bothered with those places either.

Canada is an inconsequential nation and our involvement is largely symbolic and subservient to whatever major geopolitical power we’re attempting to please. 

Firstly, we as Canadians don’t truly care about the military. If we did then it wouldn’t be in the state it is today. Sure we can blame politicians, but it’s us who vote for them and nothing ever changes regardless of which party is in government. The degradation of the military continues apace.

Secondly, we’ve never gotten anything out of participating in wars. We show up and participate, but it costs us a fortune in lives and blood and capital, but we get nothing in return.

Thirdly, we could save a lot of money by abolishing the military altogether. We should join other nations like Iceland and Costa Rica and just forgo the pretense of a military. Have a coast guard for the oceans and a national guard to help out with forest fires and ice storms and keep a couple of patrol planes on standby, but no more submarines and tanks and expensive jet fighters. We’re just not that type of country.

Fourthly, in case of any big emergencies... we’ve got the United States right next door. It’s in their own interests to protect us, so let’s stop pretending that they won’t.

In conclusion, war has taken much from Canada and provided little. If we’re going to be a pacifist nation we should embrace it and stop pretending it isn’t so. After World War I, people were so disillusioned with war that they celebrated the slogan, “Never Again”. It’s time we lived up to this ideal and this Remembrance Day let’s begin working towards making it happen. Let’s abolish our military.