"Cowardice asks the question...is it safe? Expediency asks the question...is it politic? Vanity asks the question...is it popular? But conscience asks the question...is it right? And there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular but one must take it because it is right." ~Dr. Martin Luther King

Saturday 11 October 2008

Continuing the Dialogue

To my Anonymous correspondent - thank you for continuing the dialogue. I've reprinted you last comment here, and my response is below.

Anonymous said:

I'm sure we can agree to disagree 'til the cows come home on the merits of a Conservative vs. Liberal government. After all, that's what democracy is all about.

I must however, take issue with a couple of points. First of all, it was Martin's Liberal government that committed Canadian troops to the NATO Afghan mission. The Liberals also voted with the Harper government to extend the mission to 2011. The cost of 18B released in the Page report refers to the estimates for the period of 2002 to 2011 when our troops will be withdrawn. Apparently Jack Layton feels the Harper government has tried to fudge the numbers but that's hardly proof of a conspiracy and is more likely a case of how you read the numbers. Of course we grieve for our fallen, as do I'm sure, the citizens of 21 other coalition nations that have lost troops. The hope is that the Afghan people will be able to stand on their own but time will tell and critics should remember that the "war cost" includes estimates for reconstruction as well.

Harper did stand in favour of our involvement in Iraq which in hindsight has proven to have been unwise. On the other hand, Chr├ętien’s reasons for refusing to send troops to Iraq are open to debate and may very well have been based on political expediency as much as wisdom and forethought. Incidentally, the Americans have lost just over 4000 troops killed in action, not a half million. Iraqi casualty estimates, while much higher, are a subject of vigorous debate.

I certainly do wish Tim well but we are casting votes that will determine the next federal government where party politics always trumps individual MPs. We've seen what the Liberals had to offer for many years and Dion hasn't convinced me it won't be more of the same.

Harper is certainly not without faults (although I'm not so sure aversion to the media is one of them) but overall I like his style and the fact that so far he hasn't tried to bribe me with my own money.

So I guess we'll agree to disagree.

And my response:

I am prepared to concede the accuracy of most of your points. Yes the Liberals sent our children into Afghanistan. I saw that as the Martin compromise for not falling into lockstep with the Americans in Iraq.

Yes, they all voted to extend the mission. Now they are saying they wouldn't have if they had been aware of the cost. As if dollars are more important than lives.

I do not argue that every decision made in Ottawa is apolitical. How silly would that be?. But Canada is not an easy country to govern. Politics is never simple. Strong leaders are sparse on the landscape. I have often thought the best Canadians can hope for is a government that will do no serious harm.

Stephane Dion does not inspire me. I have not been inspired since Pierre Elliott Trudeau was our country's leader. I recognize he was focused on one issue. His main effort was to bring Canada's constitution home. Only history will record the significance of that great accomplishment.

Stephen Harper's election promises are not likely to be less political than the others. Why should you believe they are not designed to meet with your approval? How else could they win your support?

The only real influence we can have on the quality of government we receive is by the selection we make in our riding. No matter the party affiliation, if we have the option of sending someone we know, who has an established reputation for integrity and commitment to the well-being of our community and who shares our basic values, we can make no better contribution than to send that person to represent us in our Nation's Parliament.

If we had two candidates with that background, the choice would be difficult. We do not.

Tim Jones is our man.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You mean Tim Jones, who as Mayor defied all logic and brought in zero percent property tax increases. Who forgot that inflation exists and that somewhere along the way we as taxpayers have to cover it.Now we that we have these large 5-9 %property tax increases Tim confesses that was not one of his wisest decisions. Making the right decisions and not following the flavour of the day separates the real politicians from the have nots. On this alone Tim fails miserably.