Friday, September 19, 2008

Stephen Harper: Friends Before Country

Harper’s continued refusal to do what’s right and fire Gerry Ritz is really just one more example in a long line of Harper doggedly putting the interests of his friends first. More and more voices are speaking out that not only was Ritz completely out out of line with his pale comments, but he’s badly mismanaged this crisis since the beginning. But it doesn’t matter to Harper, you can count on him to stand by his friends no matter how badly they mess up. We can’t ignore that this is a pattern…

- When Maurice Vellacott was found to have made derogatory comments about both Aboriginals and our Supreme Court Justice was he disciplined? Nope, in fact defended to be the Chair of the Aboriginal Affairs Committee. Friends first.
- When Jim Flaherty called Ontario the “last place to invest” and Peter Van Loan called McGuinty the “small man of Confederation” were they disciplined? Nope. Friends first.
- When Tom Lukiwski made extremely offensive remarks about homosexuals and evidently did virtually nothing to make amends with the gay community like he promised, was he disciplined? Nope. Friends first.
- When Pierre Poilievre gravely insulted Aboriginals by questioning whether we are getting “value for our money” was he disciplined? Nope. Friends first.
- When Tony Clement was AWOL during the Listeriosis crisis and had the nerve to make jokes about the meat he was being served was he disciplined? Nope. Friends first.
- When Tony Clement called the majority of doctors in this country unethical was he disciplined? Nope. Friends First.
- And when Gerry Ritz bungled the listeriosis crisis and joked about the deaths of Canadians and the death of his chief political critic, was he disciplined. NO! Friends first.

I’m sure there are many more, people can feel free to add their own.

Taking strong disciplinary action would have sent a signal that Stephen Harper will stand up all groups in this great country. It strengthens the fabric of this country to know that no matter which group to which you belong, or no matter what province you are from, your Prime Minister will go to bat for you just as strongly, but we haven’t seen that with this PM. It is good for the country if a minister badly bungles and mocks a public health crisis that he/she be relieved of his/her duties, but we haven’t seen that from this PM.

This is sharp contrast to Stéphane Dion who has always put his country first. Even those on the far right realize that. Take this quote from the Toronto Sun from the time of leadership: “Which brings us to Stephane Dion, our choice for leader because he was willing to fight for Canadian unity when it counted, despite the fact most of his academic peers in Quebec were separatists, who made his life hell. That took courage. While we think he's out to lunch in his support of the pie-in-the-sky Kyoto accord, we also think he's smart enough and tough enough to be a leader. And that's rare these days”(h/t)

Stephane Dion was out fighting for his country while Stephen Harper was off writing about firewalls in Alberta and slagging Canada is almost all his writings.

When someone steps of line in Stéphane Dion’s party he takes the appropriate action, he’s shown that already with the candidates he’s dismissed in this election. We won’t see similar leadership from Stephen Harper. His own people have even admitted that Ryan Sparrow will be welcomed back to the fold after the election. That’s real leadership?

On October 14th, I hope Canadians come to think of who has the best of interests of the country at heart, because when comes to comparing Stephen Harper and Stéphane Dion on that front there’s really never been any contest. I want a Prime Minister who will put the interests of his country before his friends, not the other way around.

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am said...

Goes to show Harper's statement "Anyone gets in their way will get walked on.