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Wednesday, June 30, 2004

Sad, but true

If you want some insight into a certain segment of urban Ontario check out this column by Earl McRae. He interviews three people at a McDonalds in Ottawa:

Given the Liberals' record of corruption, scandal, mismanagement, and squandering of taxpayers' money, why in the world would they vote Liberal rather than send them a message of integrity and accountability and vote against them?

"I've always voted Liberal," was Heather Whelan's answer. "Besides, all that garbage, if it even happened, took place under Chretien, not Paul Martin."

"With me, it was Harper," said her husband. "The guy scared me. He gave you the feeling he was up to something he didn't want you to know about."

Like what?

"I'm not sure, but Martin said he was and that was good enough for me."

"Martin," said St. Clair, "is a good man. He came across very honest. He wanted a chance to clean up all the s--t that happened under Chretien. I just didn't trust Harper. He came across too oily."

"Exactly," said Heather. "The scariest part for me about him is that he wanted to cosy up to the Americans. Can you believe it? The bloody Americans. I hate the Americans."

What do you hate about them?

"They're warmongers," said Don. "They're out to take over the world. They remind me of the Germans in World War II."

"They're not our best friends, they're our worst enemies," said Heather. "You can't trust them. I wish we had some other country as our neighbour, not those bullies. They're ignorant. They don't know anything about any other country. They'd just love to take us over if they could."

"I don't think they're all bad, I've got American friends," said St. Clair, "but Harper would've had us kissing their ass instead of telling them to screw off like Martin will do."

No, not all urban Ontarians talk like that. But enough do that these people don't feel embarrassed to say such things with full attribution to a newspaper reporter.

Posted by Kevin Jaeger on June 30, 2004 in Canadian Conservative Politics | Permalink


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Kathy has asked that people link to the following story posted at the Western Standardin order to shame her fellow Torontonians. Shame a Canadian? How can I resist? Kathy writes: I thought you'd "enjoy" sampling this newspaper column, in which... [Read More]

Tracked on 2004-06-30 10:23:11 PM

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July 1 - I feel somewhat ambivalent about a request from Kathy to link to this post at the Western Standard's Shotgun blog mostly because it makes Torontonians looks as ridiculous and hateful as they really are. But there is... [Read More]

Tracked on 2004-07-01 7:46:34 PM


I meet people like that in Toronto wherever I go, which is why I try to avoid leaving the house!

I used to work with 100 of them every *&%$ing day! My ex-colleagues represented a typical cross section of educated middle class Torontonians, from pretty much every nationality.

Then the poor people imitate what they hear them say, as usual, in their aspirational attempts to "better themselves."

If there are a hundred non-idiots in Toronto I'd be surprised. We've talked about forming a support group. Anybody??

Posted by: Kathy Shaidle | 2004-06-30 11:12:00 AM

I'm in - I've been swimming through this muck since college. Try challenging them - you've never encountered such hostility; real intellectual openness in action.

Posted by: rick mcginnis | 2004-06-30 11:45:16 AM

You cut off the good stuff, Kevin. All the brilliance about how terrorists would never dream of attacking Canada, 'cuz, you know, everyone loves us and it's only America that people hate.

Evidently not everybody got the "we're on the Al-Qaeda hit list" memo.

Posted by: Kelvin | 2004-06-30 12:16:01 PM

And of course everyone who votes conservative has only done so upon deep reflection, having gone through a dark night of the soul.

We liberals, ah, how terrible we are, with our head in the sands. Going though the motions, lives of quiet desperation, looking only for comfort and security, I'll stop with the overwrought literary allusions because they're as tired as your whining.

In terms of the popular vote the conservatives didn't even come close. Even in the West it wasn't exactly overwhelming support for the C-A.

Stop blaming the electorate, or at least consider that they don't trust your message! Either moderate it or understand you can't win.

But of course the C-A should be able to win, you've got a first-rate leader in Harper, but he's got to get those on the far right end of the curve out of the party. Canadians will accept a centre-right party, not the Republican party.

Incidentally, have any of you ever looked at the platform of the Texas Republican party - it's a hoot.

Posted by: Tom | 2004-06-30 12:19:05 PM

As Einstein said, "Only two things are infinite, space and human stupidity...and I'm not sure about the former"

Nice how the media is blaming the Tory loss on Ralph Klein, when the truth of the matter is, if the Tories had run a flawless campagin without one gaffe or misplaced step they STILL would have lost. And the media would have been blaming it on Stephen Harper's Kennedy haircut (too American...therefore too "scary" for Ontario)

Gimmie a break!

Posted by: R.Penny | 2004-06-30 12:30:58 PM

It is interesting that the couple interviewed called all Americans "ignorant" when they (the couple) could only offer weak and ignorant answers to questions posed to them.
Paul Martin was Chretien's finance minister for several years, yet the couple interviewed think that he has no responsibility in the sponsorship scandal and let me get this right- Harper is SCARY?
I have only lived in the GTA for 4 years so I guess I haven't reached the level of intellectual superiority that left wing Ontarians possess. I might be in need of the support group soon.

Posted by: Sarah | 2004-06-30 12:32:05 PM

Yeah, Kelvin, I know I cut some pretty juicy bits but I didn't want to reproduce the whole thing. But we have to be realistic about just how much support any party that is even remotely Conservative will get in urban Ontario. Many of them are simply beyond reach, you just can't appeal to them without becoming something you don't want to be.

Posted by: Kevin Jaeger | 2004-06-30 12:58:41 PM

"Even in the West it wasn't exactly overwhelming support for the C-A."

Check your numbers again. Conservatives picked up 61.7% of the vote in Alberta. That's pretty impressive.

Posted by: Sean | 2004-06-30 1:37:06 PM

You don't suppose the Whelans are any relation to Susan Whelan, lately MP for Essex (Windsor) and defeated on Monday by Tory Jeff Watson?

No, alas, I don't think so either.

Posted by: David Mader | 2004-06-30 1:40:26 PM

Full credit must go to Earl McRae for not punching out his interview subjects. Just reading their nonsensical ruminations made me want to hurt myself!

I love the juxtaposition of their blithe anti-Americanism and their choice of breakfast joint, McDonald's. Next time they engage in know-nothing U.S.-bashing, they might want to save face and do it at Harvey's or Tim Horton's.

Nevertheless, these three are a useful reminder as to why Canada Day will not be celebrated at my house this year.

Posted by: Sean | 2004-06-30 1:41:09 PM

Good link, Kevin.

There were a number of interesting comments by the interviewees in McRae’s column. But I found two in particular to be instructive.

First, the statement that “Our history is one of peacekeeping, not fighting”. That statement would be true if by “history” one meant Canada’s post Korean war history. I think a review of Canadian history would show that Canada has over-contributed to fighting in major wars in the 20th century. The comment suggests the person has bought into one of the Liberal Party myths that Canada has always been a peace-keeper. It’s a legitimate position to say that, in the present and future, one would prefer that Canada’s military was involved in peacekeeping, not fighting, but to support that view with a reference to “history” is wrong.

Second, the statement that “My life's comfortable under the Liberals.” That pretty much sums up the attitude of those who vote Liberal. It’s likely a true statement. Most people are comfortable living in Canada, a relatively affluent, prosperous nation. The “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” attitude is the biggest obstacle to the Conservatives attracting a greater percentage of the popular vote.

Posted by: mungroo | 2004-06-30 2:15:31 PM

"If there are a hundred non-idiots in Toronto I'd be surprised. We've talked about forming a support group. Anybody??"

Kathy, come on over to our house. Tea is on every morning at 8 am when we talk about what we are going to do when we make David Warren Pope and John Muggeridge the founder of a new line of kings of England, Scotland, Wales and France, with affiliated scions in Spain, Portugal and Germany. If I recall a few weeks ago we were going to make Jackie Chan Viceroy of Hong Kong until he turned out to be a commie-symp.

I don't like going about Toronto much either, but someone has to go out for milk once in a while.

Posted by: hilary | 2004-06-30 2:35:14 PM


I said 'the west' - not Alberta. BC had 61.5% vote for left-of-centre parties (Lib, NDP, Green), and Sask was 53.3%. We surely robbed the West again of their rightful place in the sun.

Posted by: Tom | 2004-06-30 2:59:07 PM

Somebody please tell me McRae was making all that up.

[Insert primal scream here.]

How do people get these ideas, and how in the hell can some of those ideas even coexist in a functioning brain?

Ah, sorry -- "functioning" is an unstated assumption, I guess.

Posted by: Jim Whyte | 2004-06-30 3:53:39 PM

What exactly about the platform of the Texas Republican party does he find to be comical? I just read it, and it looks to me to follow almost exactly the Federalist papers, an early commentary by our founding fathers on interpreting our Constitution.

Little digs like that without specifics aren't helpful, nor can they be rebutted without writing a tome. That is, I suppose, the point. The real message here, is the growing devide between how the different sides of this debate see the world. but I have to tell you, as an American from the south, it is mind boggling to me to read comments about American Imperialism.

Americans are, by and large, the most anti-imperial people I know. There is a basic mistrust of goverment here rooted in our founding. We don't totally trust any goverment, why should we want to spread ours around the world. The truth is, that most Americans couldn't give a damn about anything outside of their own borders. We are all FAR too busy living our lives,working our jobs, and paying our bills to care about taking over anybody. The only general exception to that is when our citizens are murdered in cold blood on a mass scale, or when our allies get into trouble.

We are the only country I know, in the history of the world, who gets attacked by foreign forces, spends billions of dollars and countless lives to defefat our enemy, spends billions more to rebuild their civilization, then pats our then on the head and leaves voluntarily. As Imperialist, we really suck. No wonder Canadians think we are stupid.

Posted by: Chad Cooper | 2004-06-30 5:29:53 PM

Robert McClelland, Sleep Viking.

Posted by: Kathy | 2004-06-30 6:02:08 PM

Heh heh. Sleep Viking.

Posted by: rick mcginnis | 2004-06-30 6:40:35 PM

I think I know what's being referred to, but I've never heard of it referred to as "sleep viking".

Posted by: Kelvin | 2004-06-30 7:18:27 PM


If I make a disparaging comment about the Texas Republican Party platform I'm not equating it with Americans. And you probably just read the Preamble. Because they want to recriminalize sodomy!, revoke the disability act for those with infectious diseases and learning disabilities, do what they can to get evolution taught only as theory, and the list goes on. Essentially it is the social conservative platform par excellent.

They want to renege modernity. Let's just say I'm probably opposed to every one of their clutural positions.

But hey, there's probably a tax cut or two I'd agree with.

Posted by: Tom | 2004-06-30 8:44:08 PM


"Because they want to ... revoke the disability act for those with infectious diseases and learning disabilities"

Here's what the platform says:
"The Party supports amendment of the Americans with Disabilities Act to exclude from its definition those persons with infectious diseases, substance addiction, learning disabilities, behavior disorders, homosexual practices and mental stress thereby reducing abuse of the Act."

So the point seems to be eliminating abuse of the Act - either by things avoidable by the individuals involved, or things like "learning disabilities, behavior disorders, ... and mental stress", whose existence are easy to fake.

"Because they want to ... do what they can to get evolution taught only as theory, and the list goes on. Essentially it is the social conservative platform par excellent."

What does evolution have to do with social conservativism? This has more to do with Protestantism/evangelicalism, frankly.

"They want to renege modernity."

Not quite, but a lot of what is called modernity will eventually be "reneged", one way or another. Some people consider socialism to be part of modernity, but that fell and will fall. The same is true with many social liberal ideas.

Posted by: Hamilcar | 2004-07-01 6:57:51 AM

Robert is so stooopid he doesn't even watch The Simpsons. Proof that he's a loser.

Posted by: Kathy | 2004-07-01 8:00:52 AM

Is this the same Kathy Shaidle that wrote an article in the Dallas Morning News a few years back? I remember reading it.

Would someone please explain to me how Toronto has become a city filled with hate? How did Toronto become a place consumed with stupidity and insensitivity? After all, in the United States we more or less have an open-hearted affection for our Canadian friends.

So how is it that compassion and caring are no longer part of what used to be a great city?

Posted by: Greg | 2004-07-01 2:53:26 PM

The Whelans sound like a charming couple, although maybe they haven't quite thought things through yet:

"You can't trust them. I wish we had some other country as our neighbour, not those bullies. They're ignorant. They don't know anything about any other country. They'd just love to take us over if they could."

If that's what they REALLY think, then perhaps they might want to reconsider their later statements:

"Our soldiers," said Heather, "go into situations to keep the peace, not to shoot people. They have all the equipment they need, they don't need American-style weapons."

"We're not a warrior nation," said St. Clair. "Canadians don't want our military over-armed."

Those U.S. troops being withdrawn from Germany and Korea have to go somewhere. We're probably waiting for Canada to disarm completely before we pounce on Alberta. After all, it's always about the oil.

Posted by: LB | 2004-07-01 7:32:25 PM

Not a "warrior nation," huh? Dieppe, anyone? How about Juno Beach? Or has 40-odd years of brain-washing finally borne fruit?

Posted by: Paul | 2004-07-02 7:31:46 AM

You can go back further, Paul, to the Boer War, and forward to a more recent conflict: Gulf War I.

An aside: I am so darned tired of the paranoid belief that the USA is just itching to take over Canada. Why on earth would Canadians believe that we would do such a stupid thing?

Trust me, it is far cheaper to buy Canadian oil than it would be to take over the debts and adapt to the self-entitlement of Canadians, and the seemingly easy acceptance here (Ontario) of government corruption so long as elected officials mouth the correct platitudes violates every single American political value.

Absorbing Canada into the USA would be a really bad idea, so I'd be more than happy to fight with you all to keep it from happening.

Posted by: Debbye | 2004-07-02 1:04:36 PM

Interesting, just heard an exchange between leftie "journalist and author" Gail Sheehy and leftie-though-sounding-like-a-conservative-in-this-discussion Christopher Hitchens on "Topic A with Tina Brown" on CNBC. The topic was GWB and how he dropped the ball on 9-11 because he's dyslexic or something. But then the Bush-bashers brought up an even more idiotic idea: that GWB actually knew that the attacks were going to happen. Gail Sheehy: "Even our friends like Canada don't trust George W. Bush. 63% of Canadians believe that the White House had prior knowledge of the attacks on September 11th, and these are our friends!!" Christopher Hitchens: "Well, then that's their problem, isn't it, because they believe something incredibly stupid."

63%?? Could the number be THAT high??

Posted by: Joanne | 2004-07-04 7:19:23 PM

Paul: You cite Dieppe and Juno Beach as examples to support your contention that Canada is a "warrior nation"? You got your asses handed to you at Dieppe. A complete and utter failure. Compared to Omaha Beach, Juno was a cake walk. The Yanks and the Brits did the heavy lifting that day. Thanks for your help, though. Instead, maybe you should have made reference to the sucker punches you tough guys like to throw from behind on the NHL ice rinks. "Warrior Nation." Oh, yeah.

Posted by: Kevin | 2004-07-21 12:53:10 PM

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