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Harper plays politics with patriotism

People smarter then I have described Harper as being one of the most partisan Prime Ministers in recent memory.

Paul Wells account here of the fact that none of the opposition leaders or a Senator whose father fought at Vimy Ridge were invited by the PM to attend the unveiling a new memorial at a 90th remembrance ceremony on Vimy Ridge is just another example of this over-the-top partisanship that Harper displays. This is as disgusting as his smearing of Liberal MP’s in Parliament or accusing Liberals of hating cops, albeit its a more subtle snub this time.

Remember, Prime Minister Martin invited all 3 opposition leaders to attend the 60th anniversary of V-E Day. Harper apparently decided such a gesture on his part would be beneath him.

11 comments to Harper plays politics with patriotism

  • “It’s not fair!”, Dion says, “do you think it’s easy to buy a plane ticket?”

    Being a citizen of France and a very prominent French-Canadian citizen, if the Vimy Ridge celebration meant anything at all to Dion, he could have damn well used his leverage to get himself there.

  • garhaneg

    Let’s suppose there is something called a “Stephen Harper”. Let us further suppose its operating manual was written by Leo Strauss. If that were so, then many of the Harper decisions should not be read as projecting “visceral hatred” of the opposition, since there is a very big gulf between what motivates a Straussite, and ordinary humans. This creature does not at all hate the opposition, it just wants to surpress it so it can have its way. This is done, mainly, by governing in way that populates the poitical landscape with fearful situations, mainly war. And if you cannot have a big war, have a little one and gather around it all the war-talk propaganda you can. The War 1 memorial is just such an occasion and the only possible response in order to cancel the intended effect of the Harper decision is to do nothing at all. When he comes to brag it will soon be seen he has subordinated the nation to his party politics. That will not be accepted.
    He, or it, will do lots of stuff like this and the opposition will have to learn to stick to principle no matter how futile it may seem at the moment. Dion seems to have this down pat. Though he will be severely tested when the Cons throw money into another publicity campaign of personal attacks on him.
    What Harper has done is everything you say, but I believe the long view is best in dealing with a government consisting of people who despise the electorate and believe it is quite OK to lie about anything, to get to power.

  • Military granddaughter

    Canada.com is reporting that Harper has reversed his decision.

    Party whips have been invited to compile guest lists.

    Another flip flop, but the first time I’ve seen Harper do the right thing.

  • slg

    1. The GG isn’t invited – Adrienne Clark is.
    2. Harper planned to bring the government down during the 60th Anniversary ceremonies. He couldn’t let strategy and tactics get in the way of what is right. He couldn’t wait a few days.
    3. Yes, Dion, Layton and Duceppe represent 70% of Canadians.

    4. It’s a hit in the face for war veterans who may support other parties. This is not a “conservative” issue – it’s a Canadian issue. ALL Canadians of ALL political stripes fought in that war, not just conservatives.

    5. Harper needs to grow up. This whole Johnnie hit me first nonsense is immature. He’s been PM long enough now to take responsibility like a man for whatever goes right or wrong during his tenure.

    6. I do hope his mother is ashamed, she should be.

  • Lord Kitchener's Own

    I suppose Lance may have a point that government-only delegations are SOP, and the VE+60 commemoration was a departure from that.

    That being said, I think the departure is the way to go, and SHOULD be SOP, and it’s sad the Tories didn’t use this opportunity to set another precedent, and show that honouring our troops is COMPLETELY separate from partisanship, and the role of ALL parties in Parliament, not just the government.

    Should the Tories change course, I will simply applaud and give credit where credit is due.

  • My point is that it isn’t partisanship to include or exclude opposition leaders from an international event . . . it’s standard operating procedure.

    I brought up the history of VE+60 to illustrate that with the exception of the minority it wouldn’t have happened then either.

    That this is being read as “partisan” is just silly. Dion, Duceppe, Layton, May do not represent Canada. GG Jean and PM Harper do.

    FWIW, Scott, I’m not a BT but I would be a bT. (no membership though).

    Cheers,
    lance

  • Lord Kitchener's Own

    Lance,

    So your point is, Paul Martin had to be SHAMED into doing the right thing and that he came to the proper decision too late.

    What’s Harper’s excuse again?

    Perhaps Harper will bow to pressure and do the right thing at the last minute too. Another stunning example from the Tories of “It’s OK that we did something bad, the Liberals did it first”.

  • Talk about obfuscation, Cat. Tell me anywhere in that statement you’ve just made how that justifies Harper’s decision.

    Even Wells calls it “over-the-top” partisanship.

    Seriously.. there is something wrong with Blogging Tory blogs based in Saskatchewan.

  • Naturally you neglect to mention the circumstances and timing that lead to the leaders all going to Holland . . . a day late.

    Remember? Martin didn’t want to go for fear of a snap election. He didn’t want to share the spotlight either as was obvious when the opposition parties all offered to offset anyone away during that time and Martin declined.

    There was a backlash and Martin then decided to allow all the leaders to go, but they couldn’t get there until after the main ceremonies had been done for a day because . . . wait for it, he dithered in making the decision.

    Do try to be truthful, Scott.

    Cheers,
    lance

  • Ted

    Un-freakin-believable.

    My take is here.

    Is there no low to which he won’t dig?

  • knb

    It seems to go beyond partisanship. There seems to be a visceral hatred there, which is disconcerting and it has trickled down to some, (not all), conservative MP’s. I suspect we’ll see it quite clearly during an election.

    This particular incident is tragic, imo.

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