Thursday, 27 March 2003

The Honourable Mr. Ernie Eves is a buffoon, and his government is full of idiots for supporting him

I e-mailed this message to several friends five years ago, with the subject: "Difficult times, do not read if easily angered by anti-dubya Bush sentiment". The title above was the title I gave the message.

It was still early in my "active" political life, and goings on in my world could still incite me to write an angry missive and forward it to people I though might care.

I didn't have a blog at the time, or I might have posted it there. And now, I found it languishing in my e-mail archive, and I thought I'd offer it a more worthwhile place.

Below is the full (but newly edited for typos) text.

Mr. Eves and his cabinet, unfortunately in power in Ontario, have gone the route of the Honourable Mr. Ralph Klein, Premier of Alberta, by sending word to the American Ambassador Mr. Paul Celucci that they fully support the United States war effort despite the federal government's condemnation thereof.

Although all the members of the Tory government will no doubt deny it, it is difficult to erase the perception that this support is based entirely on monetary concerns. Indeed it is nearly impossible to miss or mistake this notion, as the economies of Ontario and Alberta rely significantly on investment by our neighbours to the South.

Certainly we are all allowed to have a difference of opinion with our national government—this is the hallmark of proper democracy—but it is at times like these that further divisions of opinion at the higher levels of government reveal all the more cracks and leaks in our country’s political well being.

Why would any provincial government go out of its way to officially state its support for an illegal war that is none of our business? The answer, if it is not the one I described above, may be difficult to ascertain.

The Canadian (and American) public has spoken overwhelmingly against the war, and has supported the Liberals’ decision to remain outside the arena of war, so this is a tough issue to stand by on the electoral front, especially with a provincial election looming.

Mr. Eves said, in a letter to Mr. Celucci, “I want to reiterate that I share your expression of disappointment in the response of the Canadian government. Having grown up in a border community, I appreciate the close relations we in Ontario have with our American friends.”

Obviously, neither of them understands that close relations imply honesty, trust, support, and maybe even friendship; all of which we are more than willing to give of ourselves. Indeed our support and hospitality following the attacks on the WTC and pentagon was enormous, and if that is to be so quickly forgotten…

We cannot be guilted into joining an illegal, immoral offensive. The same rules that apply to us regular folk should apply to our higher-ups, and most would agree that we should not be cajoled into joining a compatriot in a theft or vandalism or a murder.

It is our duty as “close relations” to confront and challenge our friends, not to be yes-men. Those who play that role are merely adding to the perception of the U.S.A. as an international bully.

Apparently Mr. Celucci suggested that if Canada were to go to war, the United States would lend all the help it could. But this statement is foolish in this circumstance (and perhaps any) because the likelihood of Canada declaring war, especially under illegal conditions, is next to nil.

It seems clear that all of this talk of support for the war from select provincial cabinets really amounts to a lot of political grandstanding; but if not for the general population—those who will elect our next governments—who are against the war, then for whom? It is all for the industries who take advantage of our plentiful resources and our lax environmental enforcement; who lay off thousands while their CEOs take home record-setting bonuses; whose products we don't need…

There are plenty more problems fomenting and fermenting in Eves' Ontario these days, many of which seem to aid the rich (supposedly for the good of us all). So why, Mr. Eves, are you and your cabinet giving your official support to the U.S. government and its war?

As a related aside, one of my favourite cabinet ministers (and my preferred candidate in the Tory leadership campaign ;), the Honourable Mr. Jim Flaherty, said, Americans “were expecting us to act like friends in this time of crisis, that we would be there for them.”

This doublespeak seems prevalent among certain groups of our elected representatives these days, but what exactly is the “crisis” that he is speaking of? And if indeed there is one, of whose devising is it?

Also, it has turned out that Mr. Klein was premature in his letter to Mr. Celucci. In his letter, he suggested that he and his entire cabinet was behind the U.S., but not long after he was chastised by several members of his caucus who did not want their names attached to any such declaration.
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