Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Ezra Levant takes the low road

Ezra Levant's reprint of the Mohammad cartoon is rude.

Ezra Levant has the right to publish pictures but just because he can doesn't mean he should.

The world has been debating the issue of printing "pictures" of Muhammad for more than a week. To some, the pictures are blasphemous; to most, publishing them is rude.

Being rude does not mean you are right or wrong; it is about how you are treating others when debating. The general point of being rude during debate is either to deliver hurt, or grab some attention to display ego, and sometimes merely to be inflammatory.

Is rudeness truly about "free speech"? No. There are other ways to make a point and Ezra Levant chose to take the low road regarding a long-standing religious debate.

Monday, February 06, 2006

The Honeymoon is over

Monday morning you could have been forgiven for believing that Stephen Harper's honeymoon with the press might last for at least a couple of months. The media knows we are all sick of political negativity from a very long election campaign. But by Monday lunch a better guess, as to how long the media honeymoon will be, was just two weeks .

Monday February 6th 2006 showcased the first executive decision by Stephen Harper as the new Prime Minister. Then the media gloves came off as the Canadian press flatly accused Mr. Harper of blatant hypocrisy. The new Prime Minister campaigned on the premise that the Liberals are corrupt but he then appoints a senior Liberal to the new Conservative Cabinet. If that's not hypocrisy it certainly is a flip flop. And, Stephen Harper appoints a conservative to the Senate for no less reason than political expediency - something Mr. Harper said he would never do.

Oh my!

The press caught Harper's obvious hypocrisy and called it out. The public was enjoying the political quiet of the last two weeks but now Mr. Harper gets to wear the prize for ending it. The honeymoon with the press is over, which means the media ruckus of a minority parliament begins again - now.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

You are sick of elections now, but in nine months?

Canadians are sick to death of hearing from electioneering politicians and the Liberals are leaderless; Therefore, the Harper Conservatives can do whatever they want until probably the spring of 2007. Or can they?

All levels of the CPC party believe they’ve exhausted the public’s interest in elections and that Stephen Harper has deflated their opposition. CPC party activists are chatting that they have a free pass to govern for the next 18 months because neither public sentiment will tolerate objections that will lead to an election nor are the Liberals capable of mounting an opposition.

Are you old enough for this to sound familiar? Minority government leader Joe Clark thought the same; but after only nine months as Prime Minister, a weakened opposition rose to force an election and form a majority government.

Nine months from today could take us to a Fall election – an eternity of eternities from now in political time – with a new Liberal leader and a public that has long forgotten about elections past.

If the Harper conservatives are wise, which neither myself nor the public are convinced they are, they would do well to remember that 64% of Canadians do not trust them. So, think not from your own perspective but from the point of view of those whose respect you still have to earn.

Mr. Harper, you were elected to a weak minority government. The only mandate you have is to cooperate and collaborate – not go it alone.

However, not even two weeks has passed since the Harper Conservatives won the weakest minority government in Canadian history and already CPC party activists believe they have a free pass for govern as they see fit. Of course, in the real world, a swing vote of 11 or more seats in any future election would change everything in parliament. So, don’t count on any kind of free pass from the opposition.

Mr. Harper you are still on a very short lease.

Harper’s Conservatives will last 18 months if they can restraint themselves from trying to use power they do not have for changes there is no mandate for. On the other hand, election timing is in the opposition’s hands, not Mr. Harper’s, and the first move Mr. Harper makes that the people do not like will make the opposition move – they out number Harper’s Conservatives nearly 2 to 1.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Stand Up For Canada

On Wednesday in Baghdad US Soldiers shot at Canadian officials. Our officials said the American account of the story is false and that the US soldiers acted irresponsibly. In response the Prime Minister designate of Canada said, there is apparently a difference of opinion here.

Shame on the new Prime Minister.

Stephen Harper, your job is to "Stand Up for Canada". Tell the Americans you believe our own and that Canada expects the US to behave more responsibly. Mr. Harper, you were not elected to "Stand Up for the US".