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.
(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.