I have long had my own thoughts about the political direction of this country, and thought it prudent to keep (most of) them to myself and off this blog. However, the recent idiocy in Ottawa has driven me to break from that tradition.
My intention was to write a diatribe, but nothing I could write would improve upon a letter sent by a retired admiral to two MPs, Minister Gary Lunn and Liberal MP Keith Martin. It was a heartfelt (if probably futile) appeal for help in getting our politicians to display some maturity and dignity, as well as respect for their office and fellow Canadians.
A copy arrived in my email box yesterday shortly after I heard the author read it on the Roy Green Show on a local radio station yesterday (Saturday, Dec. 6). It was also written about here.
I was discussing it today with a dear friend, a retired senior officer from the Canadian Reserves, who also received an email copy of the letter.
He has a message for the instigator of this disgusting debacle: "Jack Layton, stop pulling Dion's strings."
He remarked that Layton has been planning a coup d'état since October when we last went to the polls. I checked around and found that he was right... although this article (and some of the comments) gave me the distinct impression that this isn't the first time the flamboyant NDP leader has cooked up a coup.
I have a message of my own for Mr. Layton, but it is not polite and definitely not printable. Suffice to say that his comments on air gave me a distinct feeling of déja vu ... right back to the election campaign trail.
To me, there is something inherently chilling about a politician who has no respect for any electoral outcome that doesn't favour him or his preferences. (It's also chilling that even after supporting the government's decision to declare the Holodomor a genocide, some of his party's most fervent supporters appear to be genocide-deniers mourning the death of Stalin(ism), but that's another story.)
Then there's the Man-Who-Would-Be-Prime-Minister. Another one who can't accept the will of the electorate when it is not to his liking. A few weeks ago he threw in the towel as leader of the Liberal Party, but jumped at the offer of a plummier job...especially as it came without the need to subject himself to the nuisance of winning an election. What a patriot.
As for the third member of this destructive, self-serving troika, all I can say is that as a Canadian nationalist, I have never had much use for the Bloc
In the end, tho, the fault for this mess really lies with the Canadian electorate. And especially, those Canadians eligible to vote who chose to avoid the polls on October 14th. Of any of us, they have the least right to complain about the government they left the rest of us to collectively decide on.
And as for the current chaos in Ottawa, those on either side of the coalition debacle who did vote do have a right to complain. But big deal. Why not do more than complain? Why not, regardless of your support for or opposition to this coalition, at least closely consider the single issue that succeeded in getting such politically disparate parties in bed together?
Ask yourself: what momentous national concern could unite staunch centrists, socialists, and separatists? Was it a human rights violation? Fiscal irresponsibility? Abolition of unions and/or universal health care?
Heavens, no. Nothing so trivial as any of the above.
It was the earth-shattering prospect of losing a few million tax dollars allocated to their collective political troughs. (Quick, can anyone say "corporate welfare"?)
Just remember, tho, that Canadians voted these jokers into office, either by voting or by abdicating that civic responsibility. Furthermore, some of us even approve of paying for their campaigns with the hard-earned tax dollars of our fellow Canadians, some of whom definitely don't support them.
You want a taste of genuine love of country and democracy? Then read this letter written by someone who truly believes in serving his country, rather than his own ambition and political ideology.
Read it and weep. Because if the leaders (and backers) of this coalition have their way, a taste may be as much democracy as you and I will be enjoying in the near future.
As you both may be aware I contributed financially towards your recent re-election - not because of your Party affiliations but because I know and respect both of you.
Regretfully, I am too old now to serve Canada in any political capacity. However, I did serve faithfully for 38 years in the RCN and the Canadian Armed Forces - including in NDHQ, as a Rear Admiral and Vice Admiral, where I had the honour to serve both under Liberal and Conservative Ministers of National Defence. In every instance they received my complete respect and loyalty regardless of Party.
My father also served in Canada's Navy for 37 years from 1909 to 1946. He commanded several RCN ships and both coasts, and was ultimately the Commanding Officer Pacific Coast during the last three years of World War II.
His father was Speaker of the House of Commons, during the Laurier Government, then was Minister of Inland Revenue, then Minister of Marine and Fisheries (in which capacity he became the founding Minister of the Royal Canadian Navy), then served as Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada, and ultimately died in office as Lieutenant Governor of Quebec. He devoted his entire life to Canada.
On behalf of three generations who have devoted their lives to Canada, I unequivocally condemn the power grabbing political charade now taking place in Parliament.
We are witnessing a deplorable and juvenile scene which demeans its participants, and also further erodes the residual prestige of a Canada which in both World Wars achieved greatness and international respect.
Politicians and their sycophants delude themselves into believing that Canada has influence and prestige in the modern world. Compared to the Canadian international influence and prestige I witnessed in the 1950's we have become moralizing nonentities who are recognizably no longer even capable of constructing our own warships, submarines and military aircraft; and will soon become totally dependent on other nations for even our means of defence
When a terrorist crisis hits Canada - and someday it undoubtedly will - the politicians will scurry about seeking who to blame for lack of capability or preparedness. I can save them the trouble - look in the mirror! Make it a long look if you come from the NDP - the political party which has consistently opposed defence spending over the past three decades.
So this obviously dysfunctional consortia is about to approach the Governor General seeking her concurrence to form the next government? Ask yourselves how Her Excellency will be able to reconcile the fact that Canadian soldiers, of whom she is the Commander-in-Chief, are fighting, and dying for Canada in Afghanistan; while Canadian politicians are obsessed with power grabbing. Our military are not stupid - how long can they be expected to put their lives on the line under those circumstances
There was a stunning contrast yesterday between the statesmanship displayed by President-Elect Obama with his National Security Team and the complete lack of statesmanship in Canada's Parliament. A great many Canadians will have noted that contrast and be disgusted with Canada's politicians.
I realize that you are only two Members of Parliament among many. I can only hope that my words and my respect for you may assist you in bringing your colleagues to their senses.