Thursday, July 26, 2007

"Political Stunt" Backfires

In an overt attempt, to try and embarrass the opposition over "human rights", the Tories apparently out-spin themselves and come off looking foolish:
Applause erupted in a packed meeting on Parliament Hill as a rare, midsummer Conservative bid to push through contentious legislation was derailed by united opposition MPs.

The Tories want to extend human rights law to First Nations, but native leaders say they weren't properly consulted and don't have the cash to comply.

Conservatives accused their rival MPs of delaying human rights for vulnerable native people, while opposition MPs assailed the government for staging what they called a calculated political stunt.

The meeting ended after just more than an hour when opposition MPs passed a Liberal motion to suspend debate on the bill until the government formally consults First Nations.

If you are trying to paint yourself as the defender of native human rights, it would stand to reason that you would have the backing of said natives:
A long line of native witnesses who appeared last spring before the committee almost unanimously called for proper consultation and more time to get ready...

Why the government took the extreme step of recalling the Committee is beyond me. All that has been achieved, a united opposition that decided to consult with the people involved. Sounds like a reasonable position, one that gives the government zero in the way of political mileage. As a matter of fact, the Conservatives appear isolated and out of touch with mainstream opinion. Who's brillant idea was this political gaffe? Backfire, and rightfully so, given the true motivations.

35 comments:

Gayle said...

This is one of the points that concerns me:

"Concern was also raised that the Conservatives are trying to stress individual rights as a legal end-run that would undermine the collective land rights and communal practices of aboriginal people."

But then I frankly do not believe this conservative party cares about our First Nations people, so it is easy for me to believe that this is more about defeating land claims than it is about assisting individuals.

Steve V said...

Another point, that I find odd, the Tories stage this emergency showdown, and Prentice is away on holidays. Surely, the government must have anticipated resistence, why not have your point man in Ottawa to argue the case to reporters? You call people back from summer recess, but you're away at the beach. Nice optics.

northwestern_lad said...

gayle... you are right about the Conservatives not caring about First Nations. I suggest you read their election platform from the last election on Native Issues. It talks about not having "special rights" based on race and whatnot.

Also, the idea that they are "protecting poor natives interests" by not even consulting them just reaks of the old paternalist approach that the government took for over a century. That approach worked soooo well, right??? As a native person, I am insulted at this approach by the Conservatives. This is being done not to improve the lives of First Nations, but so that the Tories will appear to the general public to care about improving the lives of First Nations.

Olaf said...

Steve, Gayle, et al

I think we're all jumping the gun here a bit. I mean, if you just think prejudicially that "conservatives don't care about Natives", there's not much I can do to change your mind, and you can carry that bias with you.

But, if you're willing to look beyond your bias and take the current case at face value (I'm sure at least a few of you are), then I have a few thoughts.

If you are trying to paint yourself as the defender of native human rights, it would stand to reason that you would have the backing of said natives

Clearly, Steve, there's a disconnect between aboriginal leadership and the actual band members. There are a number of reasons why the chiefs of band councils would oppose this legislation, and it has to do with the fact that it has the potential to weaken their stranglehold over aboriginal governance. It's the same reason they promote the collective "self-governing" provisions in the UN declaration (which would have a profound affect on the ability of Canadian constitutional rights to apply to aboriginal citizens), and aren't claiming that there should be more consultation in that regard.

It's important to note when you flippantly conclude that this bill doesn't have the "backing of said natives", we're not witnessing widespread popular protests from poor, native women demanding that human rights not be applied to them, you're seeing native leaders with power to loose claiming that they weren't consulted and don't have enough time to implement the changes (even though the CPC recently extended the period from 6 to 18 months).

Strangely, there were a "long line of witnesses last spring" during committee hearings, and yet this did not constitute "proper consultation". But could it be possible that no degree of consultation would be "proper" enough for native leaders to agree to a bill which allows aboriginal citizens to take them to court in the case that their human rights (usually an important staple of the left) have been restricted or abrogated entirely?

Perhaps there wasn't "proper consultation", I don't know. I assume, none of you do either, although you're content to assume the worst as if it were fact.

It should also be noted that "proper consultation" is a constitutional doctrine (via Supreme Court ruling) that government lawyers are well familiar with, and which applies to many legislative changes that disproportionally affect aboriginal groups. If the government did not properly consult aboriginal groups, they could expect a court challenge quite soon - and I can't imagine worse political optics for the Conservatives. So if there wasn't proper consultation (as defined by the courts) with Aboriginal groups (who have become by necessity highly letigious) prior to making this decision, it would be a very, very dumb move by Harper (again, a possibility).

Giving all Canadians, including aboriginals, access to the courts to defend their human rights is something that I, and many conservatives, support. I have a feeling that if Trudeau had his way, he would as well.

If you want to take the word of aboriginal leaders (some with alterior motives) as gospel and spin this as a brave stand on the part of the opposition in difiance of a "political stunt" without knowing all the facts involved, fine. I'd love to hear you defend not giving aboriginal Canadians access to human rights on "progressive" grounds.

JimBobby said...

Olaf, it would seem that the majority of MP's are also unsure of whether there was proper consultation. That's what they voted for and why we should now be more assured that such consultation will, indeed, take place.

Why did Harper recall parliament if not as a showcase stunt?

Many people do have a preconceived notion that the Cons are unsympathetic to native concerns. The notion comes partly from the Con rhetoric but mostly from their actions vis-a-vis Kelowna. The cons earned their reputation and with foamin' at the mouth BT SDA anti-Injun campaigners on their side, they don't do nearly enough to shake the image.

I live less than 20 miles from Caledonia. If the feds gave a flyin' f*** they'd have sorted out that situation a year ago. As it is, lawn signs have sprung up all over our riding. They read, "Where's Diane Finley? Leadership?"

So far, I'm with Steve V on this. It was a dumbass stunt an' it didn't work.

JB

Steve V said...

"I'd love to hear you defend not giving aboriginal Canadians access to human rights on "progressive" grounds."

Olaf, it really is quite simple. Forget the Liberals and Bloc, from what you know of the NDP, do you think they would be against the Conservatives, if what you apparently swallow is true? Think about that for a second, because that fact speaks volumes. You're accusing me of buying into the opposition propaganda, and yet you spout verbatum the Tory talking points. Bias?

There are many "urgent" matters that were left on the table this summer, most of which Harper will just abandon when he tries to re-invent himself in the fall. The fact that the government, found it necessary to call back the Committee, in unprecedented fashion, when they knew full well the opposition would resist, amounts to a political stunt, by any definition. Either that, or they are so tone deaf, that they can't hear the obvious play. The record to date shows little evidence of "principle", particularly on this file, so only a partisan would see the motivations as entirely genuine. It was gamesmanship, and it flew in the government's face. Perfect.

Anonymous said...

Well, Kate O'Mally of McLeans was there and has blogged about it - you can get it at "Steve thinks about stuff".

LOL - what a bunch of dumb clowns.

I shake my head.

northwestern_lad said...

Olaf... the problem with this legislation, outside of the lack of consultation, is the fact that this law is designed to work against traditional native culture. Native culture is built around collectivity, not the individual, and this legislation does not take that into account. It's basically an attempt at assimilation, which is the policy of this government (read their policy on this). While I believe in human rights, the legislation needs to be written so that it respects that tradition, not just ignoring it in the paternalistic manner that these Conservatives are trying to do.

As for the Chiefs and leadership, there is no more of a disconnect between them and their constituents as there is between a mayor and his/her constituents. This is not about alterior motives or anything like that, and to say so is showing a true lack of knowledge on the issue.

knb said...

Steve, I think you're my long lost twin...we seem to write about the same stuff.

Olaf, all parties support the bill, there is no dispute what so ever about that. Where they disagree is with it's implementation.

If you want to take the word of aboriginal leaders (some with alterior motives)

The dissention is far broader than that.
Not one group that presented to committee, thought that it should go forward as is. The majority of dissenters apparently are womens First Nations groups. The call for witnesses was wide and even expanded.

The consultation they are looking for, is input into the bill. They are not interested in another paternalistic law being foisted on them.

The committee agreed in May and June, that they would come back to this issue in September. So why the emergency meeting? What has happened that makes it so urgent to push it through right now?

The opposition is trying to avoid unintended consequences, by passing a flawed bill.

I watched the meeting and overall, it was about painting the Liberals as being against Human Rights for aboriginals. It was an embarassment to be frank.

You make some interesting observations Olaf, but you don't address what the sudden rush was that led to an emergency meeting.

Steve V said...

blogical twins ;)

Knb makes a great point, the Committee agreed to re-convene in the fall, what urgent matter has transpired since that agreement? With that lack of genuine impetus, it is reasonable to conclude that this is all politically motivated.

wilson said...

What happens to the Bill with a new Throne Speech (pirogue parliament) in the fall??

Olaf said...

Jim,

Olaf, it would seem that the majority of MP's are also unsure of whether there was proper consultation. That's what they voted for and why we should now be more assured that such consultation will, indeed, take place.

The majority of opposition MPs are also interested in making Harper look foolish. Whether that desire trumps any desire to pass this bill with any expediency, is an open question.

Steve V said...

"The majority of opposition MPs are also interested in making Harper look foolish."

And the kicker, they don't really even have to try hard :)

Olaf said...

Steve,

Olaf, it really is quite simple. Forget the Liberals and Bloc, from what you know of the NDP, do you think they would be against the Conservatives, if what you apparently swallow is true?

The NDP is no unflinching supporter of individual rights, from what I know. Quite the contrary. The NDP is more concerned with "social" and collective rights than those of the individual, from my reading.

I don't swallow anything. My comment was based on conjecture and possibilities which many here wouldn't have otherwise allowed.

The record to date shows little evidence of "principle", particularly on this file, so only a partisan would see the motivations as entirely genuine.

I do not, by any means. I do think there is justification for this bill, and for it's passage, as do I see reason to believe that the opposition to it by the opposition might not be terribly genuine in itself, and the opposition by some native groups may be driven less by the best interests of their individual citizens as by what they deem to be either the mercurial best interests of the collective, or certainly in some cases, the best interests of their leadership.

Just providing a different perspective that doesn't get much play around here. Seriously, you folks would eventually get bored bashing Harper without having your assumptions challenged. Or at least I hope you would.

As for the recall of the Committee, I can't and won't attempt to answer for it. Personally, I'm not sure what they were trying to accomplish, because in my imagination there's no conceivable political or genuine benefit to it. Usually, political stunts have some perceived potential payoff, although I don't see one in this case, so am at a loss.

Personally, I don't care, and never in my life have I seen so much opposition on the singular basis that the government wants to work for it's citizens during the summer. :)

Dana said...

I see the "dialogue with Olaf" delusion is alive and well.

Clearly you'd enjoy "dialoguing" with David Frum too, or Tony Snow. Olaf is no different. Do you really think there's an upside?

At least he clearly payed attention in his Flanagan seminars but he really oughta take a few more ventriloquism workshops. I'd swear I saw his lips move.

And I must say I adore Wilson's allusion to the Throne Speech being paddled down the Bayou with Yvonne, my sweetest one.

Olaf said...

NWL,

Olaf... the problem with this legislation, outside of the lack of consultation, is the fact that this law is designed to work against traditional native culture. Native culture is built around collectivity, not the individual, and this legislation does not take that into account.

I'm aware of the arguments against applying individual rights to aboriginals. The way to alleviate this potential draw back is to include in the bill an exemption in the case of "traditional practices" which may violate individual rights, which would all but nullify its entire purpose.

Personally, I believe that rights and liberties should be applied to all citizens. If aboriginals want to freely give up those rights, and are willing to allow violations thereof (by not bringing them to the attention of the courts) in the maintenance of traditional practices, I fully support their decision. But even more so, I support the fact that it's their decision to make.

If these traditional practices are so fully supported by the band populations, the very extension of these rights should cause no irritation or apprehension for any member thereof, as traditional practices will be in no more peril than before.

As for the Chiefs and leadership, there is no more of a disconnect between them and their constituents as there is between a mayor and his/her constituents. This is not about alterior motives or anything like that, and to say so is showing a true lack of knowledge on the issue.

First of all, all mayors are elected, not all band councils are (the Indian Act allows them to opt out of the election guidelines). Second of all, are you suggesting that a Mayor, or Premier, or Prime Minister is incapable in acting towards preservation or expansion of their own power? I certainly hope not.

Olaf said...

KNB,

You make some interesting observations Olaf, but you don't address what the sudden rush was that led to an emergency meeting.

Indeed, I don't; see my response above to Steve. And I'm less defending the decision for an emergency meeting as I am the bill itself, and attempting to show that there are perhaps other parties and groups than the CPC who are acting out of something other than genuine and altruistic conviction for good governance. I know, an insane idea, but an idea none the less.

Olaf said...

Dana,

Kick rocks already. I swear I have never seen you contribute to a conversation here that I've been involved in, all you do is insult me and run. It's gutless and annoying. It's like you feel as though because others talk to me that I'm a threat to you, which would be quite sad.

I don't know why you feel the need to speak for everyone: if people want to engage me, they can, if they don't, they wont. It's not really your place to intervene each and every time, especially when it's not your blog.

Why don't you and CC go for a pint and talk about your mutual (and completely unjustifiable) Olaf-obsessions?

Olaf said...

Steve,

And the kicker, they don't really even have to try hard :)

Harper's generous in that way.

Steve V said...

It's fair to say the primary role of the opposition, in our parliamentary system, is too make the government look foolish. It really is an odd dynamic when you step back and think about it. Democracy is now a manifestation of the Hagel dialetic, without the synthesis.

lance said...

I'm with Olaf. This isn't some gun law that First Nations can take to court, it's human rights.

The right for _all_ humans to live, work, and play in a non-discriminatory environment.

I can't believe the Opposition is defending the idea that some people aren't entitled to those freedoms. . . because we haven't "consulted" enough with them.

Are we going to consult with those in Darfur before bringing human rights there?

"Excuse me Miss...I understand you're being raped, but could you answer a couple of questions for me?"

Did we not raise holy-hell with the military, and the CPC when the terrorists human rights were ignored in Afghanistan this spring? How come we didn't recognize that their "traditional culture" recognizes torture and murder as acceptable?

Jesus, and you people don't want to bring these protections to First Nations? Why?

Because the existing power structure says it needs education (the original excuse in 1977), that it'll be too expensive (only if there are infractions that result in fines), that we haven't talked enough (1977 . . . .)

Pathetic. Excuses.

Dana said...

Y'know what Olaf. You're a threat to my country. You and your fellow Harper Conservative fellow travellers. That gives me all the reason I need.

That there are still bloggers of the 'ahem' "progressive" persuasion who still perceive that there is something to be gained by conducting repectful dialogue with you reminds me of the 18 months I spent at Washington Monthly blog reading the posts of supposed American liberals who thought there was something useful to be gained by attempting respectful dialogue with Bushites.

It's taken them till recently to figure out that's it's a no win situation.

I'm just saving time.

But you're right about one thing - I won't post to this blog in response to you anymore.

Making Steve very happy I suspect.

TTFN.

Tomm said...

Dana,

You're narrow minded and vindictive. Everybody says so.

Just because somebody dares show some support for a conservative agenda doesn't make them cretins, or mean spirited.

In regards to native rights. If the CPC didn't care it would have ratified Kelowna. Kelowna was the 5 years of relative peace. It was the status quo + cash. It was the nonsense speech that sounds good but doesn't solve anything. It was $5B of new money shared with aboriginal leadership.

If the CPC wanted to address native issues, it is best done by turning down Kelowna. We can't wait 5 years. Settle land claims. Rip up the Indian Act. Address off-reserve native issues. Apply human rights protection to ALL canadians.

In regards to the debacle today. No question it was a debacle. But that being said, argue against human rights applying to aboriginal Canadians in their reserve homes. Go ahead...

I'm waiting.

I thought not.

Tomm

wilson said...

Over 50% of of children living in poverty, in Canada, are Native.

Native women have NO RIGHTS,
where are the 'womens equal rights' crowd, the Status of Women of Canada??

Why hasn't the SWC said boo about this national shame?
It isn't as if they don't like being in the news.

What good is the Status of Women Canada when they turn a deaf ear to REAL inequality?

Anonymous said...

The Liberals/NDP/Bloc are being courageous in their stand against universal human rights for everyone, not many people would admit to being against basic human rights.

That's sarcasm for anyone who does not understand.

It is atrocious and unbelievable that the Liberals/NDP/Bloc would be against allowing aboriginals to have basic human rights protection! It is absolutely disgusting that they don't already have protection under law!

Aboriginal Chiefs, band councils, bureaucrats and all their lawyers appear as though they are desperate to protect their comfortable empires while ordinary aboriginals are allowed to suffer. Disgusting.

Gayle said...

"I can't believe the Opposition is defending the idea that some people aren't entitled to those freedoms. . . because we haven't "consulted" enough with them."

That is simply untrue - please stop parrotting conservative talking points.

ALL parties favour the intent of this legislation. It is simply a matter of ensuring that this legislation accoplishes that intent, without compromising collective rights, or without over-reaching its target.

It is not just the opposition parties who are concerned - the Canadian Bar Association has also come out and said this legislation may have unintended consequences.

It is much easier to have an intelligent discussion when you stick to the facts.

Olaf - there is a reason why I stated my position as being one of "belief". I still believe that - I do not trust Harper.

Aside from that, though you speak of "Native leaders" it is unfair to assume ALL Native leaders do not want to have their power reduced. While I am aware there are some situations where Band leaders are corrupt (which is because they are leaders and not because they are Native), I do not believe ALL Bands are in the same boat. You are the one assuming - you are assuming that all the consultations thus far have only been with people who are looking out for their own self interest, rather than the interests of the Native community as a whole.

Scotian said...

So, it is acceptable to question the integrity of native leaders and whether they want to surrender any power, yet to question our PM and his government on the same basis is somehow a smear attack. Interesting.

Dana:

Not everyone at PA thought dialogue was the solution, although I will concede Drum certainly did, although even he seems to have finally come around recently. I am not sure I agree with you regarding equating Olaf with Frum or Snow though, as those are who strike me as understanding exactly what they are doing while Olaf strikes me more as a young earnest believer of his political philosophy. While I do not tend to debate with him for my own reasons I would not do as you did in this thread nor would I equate him with those that you did. That I think is being too harsh based on what I've seen of him online. Now, that via his approach he aids those who are equivalent with Frum/Snow in our system I could agree with, but that he is one, no.

canuckistanian said...

wilson:

"where are the 'womens equal rights' crowd, the Status of Women of Canada??

Why hasn't the SWC said boo about this national shame?
It isn't as if they don't like being in the news.

What good is the Status of Women Canada when they turn a deaf ear to REAL inequality?"

umm, the gov't slashed their funding and took "equality" out of their mandate. the SWC can no longer advocate "equality"...duh. your last question goes right to the heart of the matter actually:

"What good is the Status of Women Canada when they turn a deaf ear to REAL inequality?"

umm, not much good actually. don't blame SWC for our retarded gov't's moronic policies.

just like industry canada can no longer advocate (or mention) "innovation", "innovative", "innovate" etc...cause, you know, canada's new gov't just knows our industry shouldn't be "innovative" (shaking head in disbelief).

olaf,

the more posts of yours that i read, the less credibility you have. the unsubstantiated polemical assertions, usually based on partisanship, are really tiresome and quite unproductive. judging from the turds you've left here, i'm almost forced to agree with dana. too bad.

"I mean, if you just think prejudicially that "conservatives don't care about Natives", there's not much I can do to change your mind, and you can carry that bias with you."

such a view cannot be "prejudicial". indeed, anyone who has judiciously observed the rhetoric and actions of this gov't and its supporters must conclude that they have a visceral antipathy towards first nations peoples and first nations issues. the only biased view, is the one that cannot see what is plainly in front of them.

wilson said...

canuckistanian,
the SWCs mandate is SUPPOSE to make Native women a priority.

They (swc spokespersons and Belinda Stronach) were all over the front pages when they got funding cut from office space and RE-DISTRIBUTED to actual programs.
But not a peep now.
Did the SWC appear at any one of the 16 hearings already heard?

Didn't know there has been 16 hearings, and 30 years for Band Council to prepare for Human Rights inclusion? Not surprised.

govt website, SWC Funding:
''The mandate of the Women's Program (WP) is to facilitate women's participation in Canadian society by addressing their economic, social and cultural situation through Canadian organizations. ... The WP funding is, therefore, an important investment to bring about real and demonstrable change in the lives of women.

The WP objective is to achieve the full participation of women in the economic, social and cultural life of Canada. ... By using funding priorities, SWC will ensure that the WP resources are invested WHERE THE NEED IS THE GREATEST and where project outcomes are aligned with its strategic priorities to promote the full participation of women in society. ...The following issues, as they affect the following target populations, have been identified as priorities for 2007-2008:

Priority Issues:
Economic Security
Violence Against Women

Priority Populations of Women:
Aboriginal
Immigrant
Visible Minority
Senior

Olaf said...

Gayle,

Olaf - there is a reason why I stated my position as being one of "belief". I still believe that - I do not trust Harper.

That's fair. Personally, I don't "trust" any politician in any meaningful sense.

ALL parties favour the intent of this legislation. It is simply a matter of ensuring that this legislation accoplishes that intent, without compromising collective rights, or without over-reaching its target.

You do understand that the collective rights of aboriginals are guaranteed constitutionally, right? And you understand that the Act in question is legislation that would be easily trumped by s. 35 in the case that collective rights were materially undermined thereby? Not to say that the legislation shouldn't be as "safeguarded" from this legal clash as far as possible, but I'm not sure that it's entirely possible.

Aside from that, though you speak of "Native leaders" it is unfair to assume ALL Native leaders do not want to have their power reduced. While I am aware there are some situations where Band leaders are corrupt (which is because they are leaders and not because they are Native), I do not believe ALL Bands are in the same boat. You are the one assuming - you are assuming that all the consultations thus far have only been with people who are looking out for their own self interest, rather than the interests of the Native community as a whole.

I'm not assuming anything, I'm allowing for the possibility. And I did not say "all", I said "some"; I did not say "are" I said "perhaps". I was deliberately noncommittal because I don't know for a fact, I just wanted to raise the (in my opinion likely) possibility that some aboriginal leaders, like most other leaders, are at least as concerned with maintaining and even expanding their own power as they are with their constitutents.

Olaf said...

Scotian,

So, it is acceptable to question the integrity of native leaders and whether they want to surrender any power, yet to question our PM and his government on the same basis is somehow a smear attack. Interesting.

Since when is it not permissible to question the PM or his integrity? I have never ONCE said that, if you were referring to me, and I have been a defender of those who want to question the PM on a number of issues where conservatives often have a desire to suppress dissent (eg. Afghanistan and "supporting the troops"), regardless of how strongly I might disagree with the opposition.

Now, that via his approach he aids those who are equivalent with Frum/Snow in our system I could agree with, but that he is one, no.

Who do I "aid" that is equivalent with Frum or Snow? What does that even mean? And thanks for the "poor little fella just doesn't know any better yet" defence - not condescending at all, that.

Whatever, you all can continue your little culture war against anyone who doesn't self-define themselves as "progressive" if it suits your purposes and makes it easier for you to categorize those into "good" and "bad" piles and treat them accordingly.

I'd suggest to you and Dana that you find out a lot more about a person and what they actually think and believe before you start to psycho-analyse them and their intentions. It's truly shocking to me how much people think they can ascertain about a person from a few short conversations.

lance said...

I wrote: "I can't believe the Opposition is defending the idea that some people aren't entitled to those freedoms. . ."

Gayle wrote: "That is simply untrue - please stop parroting conservative talking points.

ALL parties favour the intent of this legislation. It is simply a matter of ensuring that this legislation accomplishes that intent, without compromising collective rights, or without over-reaching its target."


Gayle, character is defined by actions, not words.

True or false: the CPC tried to have the House modify the CHRA and eliminate the exclusion clause so that it covers First Nations within 18 months? True.

True or False: the opposition parties blocked it? True.

Ergo: the Opposition is defending the idea that some people aren't entitled to those freedoms.

Cheers,
lance

Scotian said...

Olaf:

First off, when I am referring to a specific person I identify them. Since I did not identify you in any way in that first paragraph I must conclude you are being overly touchy again.

As to your complaints about my practicing "culture war" politics, again I remind you that it was Harper in 2003 that wholeheartedly embraced that approach as the path for the new Canadian Conservativism, and it is he that has been employing the tools and rhetoric of culture war politics, not I. I don't debate you anymore because while you are a nice enough person you are unable to look past your own ideological limitations. Before you accuse me of this I should point out that I have no specific political ideology nor party preference, which also undercuts your accusation of my playing culture war politics. Just because I strongly oppose the CPC does not mean I am automatically a supporter of another party/political philosophy despite the constant assumption of such from so many CPC/Harper defenders, including it would seem from you.

I am opposed to the Harper CPC and anyone that supports Straussian political beliefs, which is any Harperite and whether they know it or not too many CPC supporters. I have never made a secret out of it. However, for you to claim that my doing so is practicing "culture war" politics shows you clearly do not understand the terms/concepts involved despite thinking you do. My problem is not so much rooted in ideology where the modern Conservative is concerned; it is the mindset (and the tools of character assassination and smear by association and false analogy/anecdotes) that all those that do not agree are somehow not true patriots/citizens and are out to sell out the nation to sinister cabals of evil lefties/socialists/terrorists and therefore any and all means of defeating them is legitimate. This despite these folks simply being fellow citizens with differing political POVs, and we have seen how successful the GOP was for a couple of decades with that approach AND the cost to the American political culture in being able to function honestly/fairly as a result.

Harper certainly admires this approach given his constant references to it throughout his leadership of the CA and CPC until after the 2004 elections where running openly as such was clearly rejected by the electorate therefore requiring the stealth approach Harper has since used since then as well as his radical reversals on positions and principles he publicly espoused for two full decades (which means it is not excusable as a youthful indiscretion/position from which he grew out of despite all attempts by Harperites to portray it as such).

In case you haven't noticed this by now Olaf, I do not lump all Conservatives into one category, not even those I strongly disagree with and/or do not debate. So you might want to be a bit more careful about making the aspersions you did here since they are not rooted in the reality you clearly think they are, which incidentally is an example of why I don't debate you.

One last thing, you took offence at my saying you were aiding those in our politics analogous to Snow and Frum but not like them yourself. Have you ever heard of the concept of being a patsy/dupe out of good intentions and in good faith by those that are less principled than yourself higher up the political food chain than yourself? For it is in that sense I was referring to, and in that respect Olaf your history has shown you to be too often doing exactly that. Now, I don't agree with Dana about needing for all to ignore you, just because I choose not to debate you anymore does not mean I think that should be true for everyo9ne else, I leave that decision to each person and don't try to enforce it. At most I will say that I chose not to talk to person "X" anymore and that personally I think it is a waste of time for others to do so, but that does not mean I think they have any requirement to do as I suggest/ask, it is like in so many of my beliefs rooted in the free will of each person to make such decisions for themselves.

In this comment you posted at me in this thread Olaf you again demonstrate why I found it necessary to no longer try to engage you in political discourse. You clearly assumed facts not in evidence (accusing me of practicing culture war politics being a biggy) and then claimed I was the one with the narrow mindset and acting in bad faith, ironically enough because I chose to disagree with Dana where you were concerned and thought Dana was being far too harsh. Or did you miss that in your misunderstanding of my writing yet again?

Olaf said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Olaf said...

Scotian,

I think your latest comment did me a disservice, as I did to you. If you're willing to hear my response, please send me an email at olafraskolnikov@gmail.com so that I can email you back.

I wrote you a lengthy response here, but as I don't figure our own disagreement is of any concern or interest to this thread, it was deleted from here and saved elsewhere. If you send me an email, I will gladly send it to you. I'd very much like for you to agree to hear my response, but if you haven't the time or patience I won't protest.