Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Looking Back In Sadness

I have, on more than one occasion, expressed my admiration for the work of James Travers. On this Remembrance Day, he wrote of his father who "learned to be a soldier at Kingston's Royal Military College" and his uncle who "died soon after wearing pilot's wings for the first time."

They would, he wrote, not recognize the Canada of 2010. "They wouldn't understand a country where patriotism is partisan, where men and women in uniform are used as political props or where death and sports are shamelessly conflated on Hockey Night in Canada."

For we have become a mean spirited country and -- according to the prime minister -- we have done it as a matter of principle. But, as Lawrence Martin made clear this week, the prime minister's principles are pure piffle -- whether they be government accountability, fiscal frugality, a firm commitment to an end date in Afghanistan, or the free market sale of Canadian assets like potash.

Many of us never accepted those principles. What is remarkable is that Harper is still selling himself as a Conservative. For the truth is that he is no such thing. His convictions are totally malleable and are easily altered by his quest for power.

He seems to have befuddled Canadians. But the rest of the world has his number. Under Harper's leadership, Travers wrote:
Canada fell from global grace because it is no longer a modest but constant light among nations. Rather than holding steady, it flickers in the gusting winds of great challenges -- among them Arab Israeli peace, African poverty and climate change -- that are to this generation what world wars were to our parents and grandparents.

Canada, like its prime minister, has become puffed up by its own self importance. It is worth remembering that we used to be a much different -- and a much better -- country.

This entry is cross posted at The Moderate Voice.


ChrisJ said...

We definitely have a much different country than the one most of older our veterans fought for.

Interesting how "conservative" in both Canada and the US comes more and more to equal "power monger at any cost."

Here in BC we will have the referendum on the HST and one MLA's website is quite astounding. The MLA John Rustad and many of his commenters believe the people are useless and anything they don't "understand" should be forced on them for their own good. The will of the people can be discredited and thwarted when it is, in these folks view, wrong.

Those who served in WWI and WWII would be appalled that anyone in Canada is not thoroughly ashamed to believe this and to put it in print.

Owen Gray said...

There will be some who will claim that Mr. Harper is like any other politician, and that expediency is the name of the game.

But Harper is more than a hypocrite. He governs with the conviction that he is the smartest guy in the room. As Caesar told Mark Antony, "Such men are dangerous."