Saundrie

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.

Friday, March 30, 2007

Since when are Canadian War Memorials partisan political tools? Answer: Now that Harper is PM

This is going to be a short post because I am trembling with fury. I was raised by those that had lived through WWI, and the battle of Vimy Ridge is considered one of if not the most significant events in Canadian history that defined us as a Nation and was seen as something *ALL* Canadians shared equal pride and respect for. Not under Prime Minister Harper though. No, unlike the courtesy shown Harper by Prime Minister Martin when he was to attend the 60th anniversary marking of VE day when Martin invited all the opposition leaders to come along with him as is usually the norm/traditional for such ceremonies, Harper has not invited any Opposition leaders to the 90th Vimy Ridge ceremonies where a new monument is being unveiled. It (having reps from all political parties, usually the leaders) is done in part to show the respect that all Canadians hold and have for the event in question as well as to prevent politicization of something that actually transcends any partisan politics and did, until PM Harper that is. That Harper is choosing to use one of the most significant heritage elements in the establishment of the Canadian nation like this underscores his total lack of honour, his total commitment to all politics all the time, and his complete inability to not turn anything he can into a political tool/advantage over his opposition/opponents regardless of whether it was previously considered off limits for such political partisanship such as these ceremonies honouring all Canadian war dead of all political affiliations which therefore deserves honouring by all political affiliations via their respective leaders!!!

This is wrong on so many levels. I mean, I am no fan of Harper, as I have freely admitted to many times. I want him gone from power because I consider his policies and his style of politics to be inherently destructive to the way politics in this nation traditionally works (as in not total war all the time politics and especially not culture war politics like Harper has embraced). I also do not think he understands Canadian culture, and worse he holds it in contempt as his own past commentaries of the past 2 decades show in abundance.

This though, is a level of contempt and disrespect even worse than usual from him, and should underscore why anything he says about anyone cannot be trusted. Any PM willing to use the Vimy Ridge honouring ceremonies for partisan political purposes instead of for the good of the whole nation has shown exactly how unfit they are for the office of PM regardless of their political persuasion IMHO. At least if one actually has any sense of pride/respect/honour/love where this country is concerned that is, which might go a long way to explaining not only Harper and those that agree with him in the CPC but the wider base he has in the populace.

There are several other bloggers also very offended by this, Dave here at The Galloping Beaver, Ted here at Cerberus, Jeff here at A BCer in TO, Paladiea here at The Stormy Days of March, The Canadian Cynic has it here, and Scott Tribe has it here at Scott's DiaTribes. I suspect that if this decision is not reversed very soon you will see many more joining the hue and cry of disgust at our PM for his urinating and voiding his bowels all over the honour of the Canadian military, veterans, their families and indeed all Canadians with this disgusting act of placing politics above all else, including the honour of this nation itself.

*Update*

(Story link here)


After the leaders of the Liberals and NDP complained about their lack of invitation it appears to have occurred to our hyperpartisan Prime Minister and his fellow partisans that maybe, just maybe, this might end up hurting them, because now they have sent out invites to the various party whips to put together lists of who should go from each party. While this is a faster reversal/flipflop from Harper than is usually the case when he flipflops his positions because of potential/actual political damage being done to him and his party, it does not negate one whit the fact that he and his fellows saw nothing wrong with using Vimy Ridge for partisan political uses instead of respecting it as a non-partisan matter which is after all exactly what it is. That any PM would even consider, let alone actually demonstrate a willingness to use any war memorial so, let alone this one, only shows what I have been saying all alone. Nothing is sacred or above politics for this Prime Minister and CPC, nothing. They will lie about criminal allegations against sitting PMs to score political points and then lie in covering up the wrongdoing as Harper personally did repeatedly throughout the summer of 2005. Harper and the CPC will proudly claim to love and support the military, but they are the ones that stopped the lowering of flags whenever a Canadian soldier dies in Afghanistan, he tried to close repatriation ceremonies of Canadian military dead from Afghanistan to the media/public (claiming the families wanted it that way, yet it turned out not only was that not the case but that the families were not even asked in the first place) and did so for about a months and a half before reversing himself and claiming it was all the fault of his Minister of Defence, and now he has shown himself willing to use one of the most important of all war memorials in Canadian history for his partisan purposes until there started to be some backlash against the idea when he yet again flipflops and suddenly invites opposition leaders.

While I will grant him the credit for quickly changing this policy, that is still minimal compared to his willingness to do this in the first place. He did start off making it a partisan event and the fact he changed it does not change the fact that Harper showed that he placed his partisan needs above even respecting Canadian war dead, and worse that he is willing to use that war dead for his partisan political purposes. Somehow I rather doubt those that died at Vimy Ridge would find that acceptable, I suspect they were fighting for much more than the success of any particular political party but rather for freedom, democracy, and liberty for all. Too bad that concept of placing country/nation before party affiliation/needs is not something Harper understands, and it underscores why he is unfit to hold the office he currently does.

7 Comments:

Blogger Red Tory said...

I’m afraid my take on it is a little different. Probably a point of view that won’t do me any favours, but one that perhaps has some merit.

Sat Mar 31, 12:11:00 PM 2007  
Blogger Aeneas the Younger said...

Scotian:

See my thoughs over at RT.

I'm with you, Friend.

Red is dead wrong this time.

Sat Mar 31, 12:12:00 PM 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Scotian,

I think Harper is doing the right thing in inviting the nationalist federal leaders.

I like the way Aeneas described the protocol, and although i know nothing about government protocol, would tend to think his assessment of who represents Canada is the best I've seen.

I hope the media does not try to play partisan politics with this. The political leaders should not be asked partisan questions while in Europe this event.

Tomm

Sat Mar 31, 09:52:00 PM 2007  
Blogger Scotian said...

Tomm:

Fair warning, you can make comments here on my posts all you want, but you will not be getting any response from me. You have already proven to me at RT's that you are not willing to argue in good faith, and I refuse to waste my time with those that will not disagree in an intellectually honest and consistent manner. However, I do not believe in censoring unless extremely hateful and/or disruptive patterns of behaviour have been demonstrated. However, just because I do not believe in silencing voices arbitrarily does not mean I feel any compulsion/obligation to respond to just anyone that comments here either.

So please, feel free to offer your commentary, and if anyone else wants to discuss it with you, well that is fine by me. However, I will not be one of them. If this disappoints you, well too bad, you made this bed so you get to lie in it. So have fun, as aside from warnings that you are being overly disruptive/offensive to others here you will not be hearing directly from me again in my comments section.

Sun Apr 01, 12:55:00 PM 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Scotian,

Fair enough.

I'm sorry you feel that I have been disingenous.

I will post if the topic and discussion interests me.

Tomm

Sun Apr 01, 04:34:00 PM 2007  
Anonymous counter point said...

Scotian, do you feel you are not represented at an event like this if the Prime Minister of your country is the only one there? Why is it that all opposition members must attend before it becomes truly "Canadian". Are you sure it is not your own partisan politics that prevent you to feel proud of Canada regardless of who is there? You go on to define the war dead as political war dead, not simply Canadians. Does it matter what their political stripes were? Might I suggest you have a good look in the mirror and ask yourself why your choose to always see things in left and right and not simply as a whole.

They are all going now so the whole thing is a moot point, except those that want to continue to politicize this story....

Wed Apr 04, 04:41:00 PM 2007  
Blogger Matt said...

"It's not fair!", Dion says, "do you think it's easy to buy a plane ticket?"

Being a citizen of Franch and a very prominent French-Canadian citizen, if the Vimy Ridge celebration meant anything at all to Dion, he could have damn well used his leverage to get himself there.

Wed Apr 11, 01:16:00 PM 2007  

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