Sunday, March 25, 2007

Kennedy Calls Harper A Bigot?

According to Second Thoughts, which was picked up by National Newswatch, Gerard Kennedy made the following charge on Question Period, as it relates to the Prime Minister:
"Why was he picking on people that wear turbans, that look different?"

The context, Kennedy was responding to the "extremist elements" accusations made by the Prime Minister and his penchant for "drive by smears":
Harper again noted the Liberals who want the special powers extended and accused Dion of "being led by extremist elements in his own caucus."

"For the first time in history we have a leader of the opposition who is soft on terrorism," the PM alleged.

"The Liberal Party opposes the change we made, which is to give the police a voice in this process," Harper said.

"I'm not surprised, given what I'm reading in the Vancouver Sun today, when I read this is how the Liberal Party makes decisions."

His MP's use the same attack lines:
"We know there is an extremist element in the Liberal party generally that has been very vocal in opposing measures that are designed to combat terrorism," Ottawa Tory MP Pierre Poilievre told a radio interviewer last week.

In the radio interview, Poilievre was asked whether he thought Bains was an extremist. Poilievre would only say that he doesn't comment on individuals.

"A lot of them are in St├ęphane Dion's caucus."

Navdeep Bains (Mississauga-Brampton South) and Omar Alghabra (Mississauga-Erindale) called a press conference today to denounce Poilievre and the dubious undercurrent to his references about "extremist elements."

If there is anyone who is sensitive to this issue, it's Gerard Kennedy, who is currently dealing with his own smear by a Conservative hack, masquerading as a journalist. Everyone knows the inference in Harper's comments, and everyone knows the ethnic group he points too with "extremist elements". After all, it was within the Air India debate that Harper decided to make the comments and read from the Vancouver Sun. Isn't Kennedy just doing away with the inference and asking the direct question?

Kennedy should have chosen different words, but I have no problem with the context of the comments. The Conservatives have raised the ethnic question, hurled innuendo and suggested "extremist elements". Within the realm of Harper's divisive tactics, it would appear that he is generalizing about an ethnic group, making Kennedy's comment less inflammatory than first blush might suggest. For all the Conservatives who will cry foul, you don't have a leg to stand on, with the Right Dis Honorable at the helm. Maybe the blunt talk is something Harper can understand.


Miles Lunn said...

I wouldn't go as far as calling Harper a racist, but I do think he is insensitive to minority rights and racism. I also think his gutter politics is way over the top. And those Tories who claim the Liberals did it in the past, so Harper can do it, is no excuse. I condemned the military ad last year and I still condemn it as do most Liberals.

Besides this is not an isolated incident as the military ad was, this is a repeated pattern by Harper including his accusation of Martin supporting child pornography.

Steve V said...

"And those Tories who claim the Liberals did it in the past, so Harper can do it, is no excuse. I condemned the military ad last year and I still condemn it as do most Liberals."

That military ad was the last straw for me. Having said that, when will Conservatives stop with the dodge and weave, compare and contrast, to justify horrible behavior from a Prime Minister. Is it possible for any Conservative, on any issue, to complete a sentence without the Liberals as relative backdrop. It is simply amazing, it's like the entire new Conservative Party is predicated on only one theme, we hate Liberals.

A BCer in Toronto said...

Gerard never said Harper was racist or a bigot, Con bloggers seem to be inferring what they want to infer. Ironic, given Harper's history of outrageous comments of late that have required absolutely no inference. Frankly, Gerard said nothing wrong, factually or otherwise. Good to see us hitting back. Wonder if Harper really can take a punch? His blogging friends sure can't.

knb said...

He did NOT call Harper a racist. If we play into this, bad news.

What Kennedy said was factual and Steve as you have pointed out, Harper will say anything to get votes.

His motive is not racism, his motive is divide and conquer. He'll use race, weighing all the while which will give him more seats, (and of course that is racism in another context), but we must not play into this latest labelling of Lib's by them.

Kennedy said nothing wrong today, in fact he spoke the truth.

Don't defend the label people, defend the point.

Steve V said...

Hi Jeff:

You may appreciate Paul Wells retort on the "taking a punch" angle:

Tom Flanagan

24, March, 2007 | 12:18 am
Stephen Harper got it right in the last campaign when he said, "I can take a punch."
Paul Wells

24, March, 2007 | 12:22 am
Really? That's reassuring, because he's proven he can't take a scrum under anyone's rules but his own, or a first ministers' conference, and he has ministers who used to be grownups cancel meetings with their provincial counterparts when a premier dares to be mean to him. So since there's a lot of things he can't take, it's good to hear he can still take a punch.

"Good to see us hitting back."

Kennedy seems to be a regular on the shows, which is great, because he is a calm assassin.

Steve V said...


I posted the title as a question, but maybe I shouldn't even give the allegation any credence.

Anonymous said...

Well, I certainly hope that from this point on, the Liberals do not squeal in indignation and ask for an apology whenever they are attacked.

burlivespipe said...

You mean like someone makes the mildest suggestion that a work-out would benefit the Prime Minister? Who can't take a slight?
Hmmm, must by the blue anonymooses.
Now, i'll give those Harpor-oids credit for bellowing loudest, because everyone knows that people bellow are the kind of leaders that work best. Ralph Kramden, Mr. Mooney, Archie Bunker all were examples of supreme leaders. Forget the Dwight D Eisenhowers, the Lester Pearsons, the Olaf Palmes of the world and give us politics WWF-style!
Stupid Harpo-crytes.

Koby said...

If Harper wants to play dirty, then the Liberals should take the gloves off and play dirty. If the Conservatives want to drone on about Kennedy than mention the following again again again.

Stephen Harper: "west of Winnipeg the ridings the Liberals hold are dominated by people who are either recent Asian immigrants or recent migrants from eastern Canada: people who live in ghettoes and who are not integrated into western Canadian society.”

In addition, to spice things up they can throw in Harper's defense of Betty Granger's right to muse about an "Asian invasion".

Granger warned a bunch of Manitoba university students of an "Asian Invasion". When asked to explain herself, she said this: "Have you been to the West Coast? Oh about five years ago I was out there actually on school trustee business and found myself staying with friends that live there. I call it the Asian invasion, but that might not be the best wording, but nevertheless, the Asian students that have come over to Canada pressured the university system. Our own Canadian students actually could not even get into some of our university programs in Vancouver and Victoria. The land prices, apparently they're buying up blocks and blocks -- a well-monied population buying up blocks and blocks of real estate, building ... like there's a whole economy that (U of W political science department chair) Alan (Mills) was referring to that could occur in Manitoba that is occurring there. I wanted to talk to you also about what was happening once Hong Kong shut down with the boat people, the highly questionable people wanting citizenship in our own country. Our own due process had to go into play. We've actually interred some Asian peoples for a year before they were sent back to their homes. I think that problem has been addressed to some degree, but this is problematic not only for immigration, but also for justice issues because there was a realization that what was coming off these boats was not the best clientele you would want to come into this country." When Harper got back into politics he went to bat for Granger. According to Harper, people's anger at Granger was misplaced. It was Granger who was the victim; on one occasion he said she was the victim of a "slur" campaign and on another occasion he likened opposition to her remark as a "kind of low-level form of McCarthyism."

Anonymous said...

I watched and Kennedy DID NOT call Harper a bigot or racist.

When Harper uses extreme and racist leaning remarks about a member of Dion's caucus just to hurt Dion then we have to look at the quality of the man (Harper). He has no quality.

Kennedy didn't call Harper a racist, he simply asked a question.

I find the hypocracy in Harper's caucus a joke (i.e. Diane Ablonczy was an "active" member of a group/party that wanted to separate Man/Sask/Alta/B.C. and NWT from Canada to maintain "European and Christian values" - I think the group was called Western Concepts). Did she suddenly flip-flop?

Joan Tintor said...

Did Caplan ever apologize for calling the CA "bigots and holocaust deniers"? Not that I was every in the Alliance. Just askin'

Joan Tintor said...

Excuse me ". . . EVER in the Alliance."

Steve V said...

"Did Caplan ever apologize for calling the CA "bigots and holocaust deniers"? Not that I was every in the Alliance. Just askin"

Just askin, what does that have to do with anything, besides distracting from the point?

BTW, I wouldn't go too far back, lest we have to rehash all Harper's controversial statements.

Sheeple said...

WEll played

DivaRachel said...

"Kennedy Calls Harper A Bigot?"

IF THE SHOE FITS..........