The Shotgun Blog
Friday, May 28, 2004
No truth, please, we're Canadian
What was Scott Reid thinking? How dare he criticize the other sacred cow of Canadian politics? Doesn't he know that the 100% bilingual population of this country will not tolerate such heresy? We are deeply aggrieved, offended and enraged by his gross insensitivity to the cultural realities of our great country. From coast to coast, we are of one mind in our condemnation of his wilful blindness to the fact that each and every one of us speaks and loves both of our noble official languages. Just give us a few minutes and we'll come up with a way to intimate that his remarks are somehow racist.
All kidding aside, what the heck was Reid thinking? This is Canada, big fella - the truth will definitely not set you free here, well, except in the sense that it will leave you free to pursue other interests after you lose the election. Get your muzzles out, Mr. Harper. No more of this.
Posted by Alan Rockwell on May 28, 2004 | Permalink
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Oh well, at least those of us who are sympathetic to Mr. Reid's concerns can take heart that Mr. Harper did not follow the example of Robert Stanfield, who vetoed the Tory candidacy of Leonard Jones in 1974 because the latter was viewed as anti-French.
I do not know exactly what Mr. Jones said to annoy Mr. Stanfield, and thus cannot defend him. However, it should be noted, by those who lionized Mr. Stanfield for making the decision, that Mr. Jones then ran as an independent for his seat in Moncton N.B. and won.
I would respectfully disagree here. Telling your MPs "Shut up, we have to win the election!" strikes me as something that the federal Liberals are already infamous for doing.
Posted by: Rick Hiebert | 2004-05-28 9:11:17 AM
As I recall, the unpardonable sin committed by Leonard Jones was voting against the Official Languages Act because his constituents opposed it. Stan Schumacher of Alberta also voted against it, and he also enjoyed further electoral success.
Posted by: Charles MacDonald | 2004-05-28 9:57:58 AM
The Liberals, God love them, are also infamous for winning election after election. I hope my position on official bilingualism was fairly clear from the first paragraph, by the way.
And they only have to shut up until after the election, so it shouldn't be that much of a strain. You get to move the goalposts after you're in power. This is a concept conservatives have trouble with - honest to a fault, I guess.
Posted by: alan | 2004-05-28 10:38:58 AM
Sorry folks, but Harper called it right. If support for official bilingualism was an understanding of the merger, it is Harper's job to support it. The agreement should be honored in detail and in spirit. His views, your views and my views are irrelevant.
To act as though the issue is still unsettled would be duplicitous to the PCs who merged in good faith. If some material event happens, the debate may restart. If membership presses the issue at a party convention, the debate will restart. It is even fair to disagree on the specifics of the official languages act. Otherwise the party must defend and support its policy in good faith.
As for Reid, he misrepresented or misunderstood party policy on a core part of his portfolio. That is a perfectly fair reason to fire him (as critic, not as MP.) It is the critic’s job to defend party policy, not his own ideas.
Posted by: Pete E | 2004-05-30 2:29:21 AM
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