Nunc Scio
Friday, February 18, 2005
  Never send an Accountant with an $8 haircut to do the job of a Statesman
Stephen Harpers cavalcade of cynical political opportunism rolls on.

Yesterday, his attack on the Liberal Party for barring Jewish refugees from Canada and interning Japanese Canadians was a dazzling political move, earning top honours for being simultaneously stupid and offensive.

First, blaming the current Liberal gov't for the crimes of earlier leaders is pretty idiotic. Its like suggesting the Libs are actually some ancient, giant organism with static values. Actually, that might actually be what they think, judging by some of their more hysterical rhetoric. Seriously though, Canada's racist crimes are a blackmark on our history. But I'd like to think the Canadian people- and that includes the Liberal Party- has come a lone way since then.

Of course, I'm writing this in context of an attempt to constrain the rights of certain Canadians, so maybe we haven't come as far as I think.

Second, Harper's appropriation of one of humanity's worst tragedies to curry more favour with the social conservatives so important to his political survival is disgusting. I'm glad to see the Canadian Race Relations Foundation was quick to condemn Harper's tactics:

It's just trying to score political points and I don't think that it's appropriate to do that with this particular issue," said Pat Case of the Canadian Race Relations Foundation.

"For Mr. Harper to try to use the internment of Japanese Canadians in a partisan attempt to criticize a political opponent is simply embarrassing."

and, from the educated (ie: not Stephen Harper)...

"I don't think that the memory of six million should be exploited to political advantage today," said Harold Troper, a historian at the University of Toronto.

"And I don't think that human-rights [violations] of the past should be used to justify human-rights [violations] today."

Prof. Troper noted that Conservatives at the time did not speak against the policy.

"One could argue that if the Liberals were bad, the Conservatives at that time were either just as bad or worse."

Read more about the controversy in The Globe and Mail.

So, to sum up: Mr. Harper, your strategy is nonsensical, offensive and not grounded in reality. If this is the best you can do, I'd better start clearing my schedule for when my gay friends start getting married this Spring.

I love it when your political opponents make everything so easy.
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Jack of all trades, master of none, Graeme is many things to many people. Unfortunately, none of them find him very life-affirming in any capacity. He is a freelance writer, broadcaster, amateur cryptozoologist and occasional political commentator late of London, England and now based in Toronto. Most of the time, he's confused. And a little hungry. But mostly just confused and somewhat uncomfortable writing in the third person.

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