"Where else would you go when you have an ax to grind?"

Saturday, February 20, 2010

The politicization of everything

Kudos to Tom Oleson of the Winnipeg Free Press for hitting the nail on the head when it come to the Conservative Party of Canada's work to politicize, well, everything.

THERE is, apparently, no tragedy too heart-rending, no political situation too fraught with danger, that you can’t find a politician eager to exploit it for political advantage.

In Haiti this week for what seemed like little more than a prolonged and expensive photo-op, Prime Minister Stephen Harper regaled the Haitian army and the Haitian people with heart-warming tales of how his Conservative government had rebuilt the Canadian Armed Forces from a rag-tag embarrassment under former Liberal regimes into a slim-trim, fighting-fit military machine.


Meanwhile, back on the home-front, junior foreign affairs minister Peter Kent was telling a Jewish magazine that any attack on Israel would be considered an attack on Canada and elicit an appropriate response, calling up shades of the mutual defence provisions of the NATO treaty. Canada has no such treaty with Israel, and the threat of waging war against Iran in its defence -- while noble in intent -- hardly puts Canada in the big league of negotiators it aspires to and that Iranians might listen to.

There was nothing untrue or dishonest -- usual political exceptions being allowed for -- in what the two Conservatives said. But both comments were unnecessary, untimely and unhelpful. Kent used defence policy to play to the Jewish vote; Harper played to the domestic audience rather than the Haitian one that had come to hear a message that hit closer to home. That's political, but it's not politic.

...so apparently we are going to war in the Middle East the next time Israel decides to bomb some Palestinians or finally carries through on their threat to attack Iran to keep them from getting the bomb. Oh goody. Maybe I won't apply for Canadian citizenship for my kids after all, since we seem heading for perpetual war and thus inevitably, conscription.

and also to Canadian Cynic for this video about the CPC's efforts to keep the Olympics from being tainted by partisan stupidity. This, apparently, is part of a video that was sent out to for party fundraising purposes.

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