After much prodding by other bloggers, I set this up for my own writings. The name is in honour of the two women that mentored me throughout my life on politics and intelligence issues, as well as being wonderful family members, now alas deceased. I hope to live up to their standards at this site.

Monday, April 03, 2006

This is Harper's idea of respecting the military more than Liberals did?

This is a short entry, and one being posted thanks to A BCer in Toronto posting about it first here. However, unlike him I am willing to show a certain degree of political outrage over it, after all it is what the CPC has been doing with the military throughout its history in Opposition and apparently since becoming government enjoying using them as political props by PM Harper and a political shield by Harper regarding the Afghanistan deployment. To be fair I do not know why the policy suddenly changed with the new government, but I do find it remarkable that both Chretien and Martin had flags lowered for the death of a Canadian soldier in Afghanistan out of respect (save one time in Nov 2005, reason not given although given the chaos Parliament was by then I suppose it could have slipped through the cracks) yet there have been three deaths since Harper was sworn in and no flag lowering for any of them. I cannot see what was wrong with honouring our dead this way and I would have thought this was a Liberal policy that he could in good conscience continue given the supposedly strong respect and commitment to our military Harper claims he has and his party represents. For a PM and party that made such a big deal about the contempt Liberals have been showing the military while a Conservative government would be far more respectful this is very bad symbolism indeed. The question is whether this indicative of things to come or simply an isolated case, and only time will tell on that one. so far Harper's rhetoric is there but the real test will be in his actions and the actions of his government. Rhetoric is something the military has heard time and again from both Liberal and Conservative governments in the past, what they want to see is actions that match the rhetoric, and this unfortunately does not.

Is it a big deal? I suppose that depends on your POV. I suspect that it matters to those in the military and their families though as proof of the regard for the sacrifices made by our men and women in uniform, and for a military that is supposed to be so demoralized by years of Liberal neglect and abuse this seems particularly odd for the Conservatives and Harper in particular to have allowed to happen. Unless of course they were unaware of the tradition Chretien and Martin had going with the flag lowering, but then that would mean that Harper paid far less attention and respect to our military in Afghanistan and especially those that have fallen in that mission to date than he made himself out to be doing. Either way this is something Harper should explain why he didn't continue upon takeover and either implements again or explains why he feels it should not be continued. This was a cheap and easy way to reaffirm the idea that the CPC and Harper are more supportive of the military than the Liberals and they blew it. Indeed, it was a cheap and easy way to remind Canadians that the CPC and Harper support the military more than the previous government.

Yet again Harper demonstrates his appalling inability understand basic political symbolism, just as he showed on his first day as PM with Emerson and especially Fortier's unnecessary Senate appointment and the double whammy of appointing that unnecessary Senator (who just happened to be Harper's leadership campaign chair in Quebec as well as the CPC election chair in Quebec in the last election) to run the Ministry of patronage and corruption, also known as Public Works. This time though it is the military that gets disrespected, something Harper and the CPC claim to truly care for more than any other party and leader. Well actions speak louder than words, and here the Liberals clearly showed more respect in this action than Harper. Not smart, not wise, and if Harper has any sense at all will be something he corrects as soon as possible.


Post a Comment

<< Home