Democracy, here and there

by Aaron Wherry

On the same day his party releases an ad declaring that an election would “jeopardize our recovery” from recession, Stephen Harper comments on the protests in Tunisia and Egypt.

“Canada supports the transition in Tunisia,” Harper said. “We support the democratic development that is taking place there and obviously want to see that proceed positively.” As for uprisings in Egypt, he said: “We want to see democratic development in that country as well and we’re very supportive of that. At the same time, we want to see that happen in a way that is peaceful and non-violent.”




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Democracy, here and there

  1. I don't know about you, but I appreciated the irony of Canada talking big about democracy and self-determination in Tunisia while visiting Rabat and lauding our relations and free trade negotiations with a country that has been illegally occupying Western Sahara since the end of the Franco era. But remember my friends, this is Canada's new "principled" foreign policy in action, which is completely different from the "cosying up to dictators at the U.N." which used to mark our foreign policy under the other guys, so do try and keep up.

  2. I don't see that the two ideas contrast each other. That said, I can't help but notice how Harper doesn't mention any assistance Canada will be giving to those trying to bring democracy to Egypt particularly when he's spent a great deal of time chest thumping about how he's working to export democracy to undemocratic parts of the world.

  3. Nice try Aaron…weak sauce!

  4. This post would make sense… if Harper was brutally cracking down on Canadians who were agitating for an election that hasn't been held in decades.

    In other words… no sense at all.

  5. Take it easy on poor Aaron: his job is to find news items which allow him to write snide remarks next to an out-of-context quote from the news items, in an effort to make Harper seem like evil incarnate. It's a tough job but someone's gotta do it.

  6. Canada's arm's-length, yet government-funded NGO, 'Right & Democracy' should wade into the fray. They are experts at lying, obstruction, internal power struggles, lying, feuding, staging coups, lying and seizing power.

    I'm sure Ariel Bruan has valuable insights into Arab politics.

  7. People love criticizing Aaron Wherry as a Liberal party hack, and often it makes me roll my eyes. But Aaron, i really don't understand the comparison at the start of this post. Truly pathetic.

  8. Boom goes the dynamite.

  9. Cute.

    alfanerd, two weeks ago: "Oh shove it down your pie hole Aaron."

  10. Same nonsense as saying we want to keep our soldiers safe as we send them off to war….revolutions are never peaceful and non-violent

  11. Well, no, no one's gotta do that. There is ample nonsense our governing party is spewing. But absurd juxtaposition is beneath a serious newsmagazine's website, and that needs to be called out when it happens.

  12. Im very much flattered that you remember my scholarly intervention of two weeks ago.

    Make no mistake, I still think Aaron could be replaced by a pretty cheap piece of software designed to pick news items at random and generate snarky insults. I just decided that today I would make my point using sarcasm rather then expressing my feelings directly.

  13. It's a tough job but someone's gotta do it.
    Well, no, no one's gotta do that.

    That was the sarcasm/humour portion of my comment.

  14. ah yes, government funded non-governmental organizations. or as I like to call them FGGNOONFNFONFOs.

  15. People love criticizing Aaron Wherry as a Liberal party hack

    What could possibly give that impression? That he constantly shills for the Liberals and always picks on Conservatives? No, that cant be it.

  16. What about the Velvet Revolution?

  17. Just another reason not to waste money on Macleans. Hard to believe it was once actually readable.

  18. That's what that noise was?

  19. Nice name, but it wasn't non-violent. The only difference is that the leaders saw the writing on the wall and resigned early on.

  20. What about the Common Sense Revolution?

  21. It makes your eyes roll? *rolling eyes*

  22. This is, if I recall, the no context zone!

  23. As you very well know, it was neither common sense nor a revolution.

    More like 'giant shrimp'…..or 'military intelligence'

  24. LMAO!!!!

    But also saddened. You can just imagine them in the newsroom: "Wait a second…did he say…???" "No he couldn't have…" "Well, maybe that is his name?" *Googling U.S Secretary of Defence…."Oh yeah, ROBERT Gates.." "Well….what should we do…???"….*in walks CTV exec…."What are you guys doing just sitting here? Peter Mackay just said that Canada shares a border with California! Roast is a$$!"

  25. Gee, misplace an entire province as minister of defence….showing your grasp of the borders you're supposed to be protecting is….weak, to say the least.

    Or get someone's first name wrong

  26. I think it must be embarrassing for Wherry`s fellow Liberals to read his tripe sometimes. As myl pointed out above this bit of stupidity is scraping the bottom even for a consistent under-performer like Wherry.

    I suggested a couple days back that it might be a worthy task for someone in our national magazine to mention, even in their sarcastic way, that PM Harper was co-chairing a UN initative to forward substantial funds to developed countries that would save the lives of many women and children.
    So instead of posting a good news story from Switzerland, Wherry followed Harper to Africa to wallow in his slimey fiction.

  27. I think Rick Mercer should do a 'let's ask Bill Gates' segment!
    He certainly would if PMSH had made the gaffe.

    And how about that free prime time advertising CTV gave the LPC,
    running the entire Liberal attack ad on fighter jets…..during ' the Bill Gates knows best' segment

  28. One would think that if one was running for Prime Minister of Canada, one would know the name of the US Secretary of Defence.

    That aside,
    you have proof positive of Liberal media bias in Ottawa.
    The Libluvin media war room is election ready!

  29. Hmm…I wasn't aware that the title of this post was "Democracy Here…Exactly like Democracy There".

  30. That video, just now, got a featured spot on Dave Rutherford re: Liberal media bias in Ottawa!

    welcome to our world Ms Laflamme!

  31. I have no doubt he does….but 'Bill' is the better known name and more permanent so it comes to mind more readily….the other 'Gates'….wossname…. will be gone soon.

  32. Aaron, this may be one of the worst juxtaposes you've ever attempted.

  33. You don't *actually* believe that the media has a Liberal bias do you? I mean, I know you say it a lot…but you really believe it…do you?

  34. Emily, it's not about 'Bill' or human error,
    it's about CTV not making a big deal about human error UNLESS that politician is Conservative.
    It's about the Ottawa media fighting battles for the LPC, for FREE
    Get it?

  35. yes, it definitely is.

  36. Let's ask the US Sec of Defence, Bill Gates, what he thinks about Harper's policy!

    Associated Press – Developing story…A US fighter plane crashed in flames this week over Afghanistan. A witness close to the crash site reported seeing a solid blue screen across the pilot's console…

  37. Well, I remember years of the media making a fuss over everything Libs said. Big and little.

    But see, Libs were the govt then…as the Cons are now….so naturally anything govt people say is bigger news.

  38. "his job is to find news items which allow him to write snide remarks next to an out-of-context quote from the news items"

    Yeah, doesn't he know that only the "Harper Government" is allowed to do that sort of thing?

    Maybe Wherry has been auditioning for Conservative Party Marketing Manager?

  39. I actually have never seen him shill for the Liberals. I've seen him make fun of and criticize the Conservatives, which is not nearly the same thing.

  40. LOL you can always tell when Cons get frantic….they not only drag in red herrings, they attack the blog owner!

    And all for quoting their hero, Harper! Something they've complained he doesn't do!

  41. Sorry, Aaron.

    Harper may not like democracy in Canada all that much, or its people, and he may have damaged our democracy in countless ways, he may have promised democratic reform and instead weakened our democracy making reform all the more needed, his government may have overseen the largest mass arrest of peaceful demonstrators in our entire history, he may shut down government on a whim to avoid democracy, he may be the least accountable most secretive PM and government we ever had, he may abuse taxpayer dollars for pork and partisan gain like none before him…

    … but I still wouldn't compare Harper to an autocrat like Mubarek. He's a bad PM, not a dictator.

  42. He's completely allowed to do it. I would never suggest otherwise. I am simply dismayed that Rogers Co. is willing to pony up some dough for such services. Like I mentioned elsewhere, he could be replaced by a little piece of software.

  43. Oh, I think you tend to be forgiving of a fellow Liberal.

  44. Goodness! I come to bury Harper, not to praise him? LOL

    Wherry isn't comparing Harper to Mubarek though.

    He's pointing out that Harper claims OUR economic recovery, AND the global economic recovery is so 'fragile' that a routine local election would harm it….meanwhile he's supporting the overthrow of several govts, as though that wouldn't do a bit of damage to something so fragile and delicate.

  45. there's no question the CBC does. ABOLISH THE CBC!!

  46. OK, who are you and where have you left ted ?

  47. What party established the CBC?

  48. Say What? There's democracy here, but none there, so what's your point–beyond Harper bashing for its own sake?

  49. Democracies can have elections….without the PM trying to tell the country that it would throw us into the Great Depression.

  50. Harper may not like democracy in Canada all that much, or its people, and he may have damaged our democracy in countless ways

    Yeesh. The "Harper hates Canadians and he's destroying our democracy" rhetoric is over the top, don't you think?

    Clearly, many Liberals hate Harper with the burning intensity of a thousand suns, but this sort of hyperbole is what leads people to compare Harper to dictators like Ben Ali in the first place.

  51. OK, let me try again, this time being as charitable as possible: Maybe Aaron is being totally misunderstood. No, please, work with me here!

    Aaron might be trying to celebrate the strength of our democracy, that an election might actually cause a little negative disruption to the economic state of affairs. Whereas, in societal basket cases like Tunisia and Egypt, the disruption is a necessary improvement as their populations struggle to achieve the happy state of affairs we Canadians already enjoy and take for granted.

    In other words, we have it so good in Canada, we have the luxury of debating whether or not we want to fuss with a democratic event now-vs.-later, said democratic event having eluded the lifetimes of so many of our suffering fellow humans elsewhere. Indeed, then, democracy is quite a different concept here and there.

    Why didn't I consider this possibility at first blush? Why did I just reflexively assume Aaron was attempting to score snark poipnts at the expense of our Prime Minister? How could I have possibly put it in my head to have jumped the gun like that, I wonder…

  52. Well actually, until today Harper didn't consider Tunisia and Egypt 'societal basket cases'….anymore than he considers Saudi Arabia as anything other than our good buddy.

    And a smoothly running democracy like our own….cough…should be able to run an election without any 'fuss', or without it throwing a monkey wrench into the world economy.

  53. dont know, dont care. sell the CBC's assets and lets have our Canadian broadcasters be on equal playing fields. if a private investor wants to pay Liberal hacks to report the news, all the power to him/her, but Liberal hacks, or any party's hacks should not suck a billion dollars of public $ each year.

  54. Democracies can have elections….except for the Liberal Party of Canada,
    after a bloodless coup, they appoint him

  55. Perhaps Aaron is trying to point out that the kind of democracy illustrated by the LPC ,
    appointing your leader rather than electing one,
    and forming a coalition to 'self appoint' as government,
    democracy by appointment is best.

  56. Ahhh first the attacks on Wherry, and then an attack on Iggy. How predictable.

    Boy, when Harp jumps the shark like he did in those ads, you guys scatter in all directions. LOL

    Tunisia and Egypt….remember?

  57. Canada is a democracy….parties are run by their constitutions.

    Iggy won by acclamation…..but it wouldn't matter to Canadians if leaders names were drawn out of a hat.

    We don't even know who contributed to Harper's campaign.

    Now do you think you could stop campaigning long enough to focus on the topic?

  58. Over the top….like the Con attack ads?

  59. OK, wilson, you are very generous today, so I`ll go along with your theory.

  60. I had to write something like before I started to defend Harper from Wherry. ;-)

    Besides I didn't say he hates Canadians or democracy, just that he doesn't like us all that much.

    And if I can borrow a dirty trick from Harper's own bag of tricks, he himself has said he gets a lot more work done when he shuts down democracy.

    Like I said though, he's a bad PM, maybe one of our worst, but he's not a dictator and he's not directly telling police to lock up people who look like they might be protesters.

  61. So you think the British, the Irish, the BC Liberals, the Australians, etc. are all anti-democratic because of their "bloodless coups" in dumping an existing leader and choosing another?

    You (and Harper) should read up on Parliamentary democracy sometime and find out what it means and what "responsible government" means.

  62. It's outrageous that we have to support the likes of Coyne, Hebert, Gregg, Rex and other liberal shills on our dime, outrageous i say!

  63. mmm CTV. Wasn't that the outfit that ran the unfortunate Dion retakes during an election? Grow up Wilson. The media is an equal opportunity knee- caper; they love you when your up; they'll gleefully pull you down when you stumble.

  64. Right, it's not like any of those coalitionists or Ignatieff were democratically elected or might ever face the future prospect of facing the electorate anything!

  65. Don't even try to rationalize with Emily. She has a hate on for Harper that is worthy of any Liberal. Ignatieff made a faux pas and if Harper did it Emily would scream it from the roof tops. Sanctimonious. You bet.

  66. Absolutely. The media is right there to defend all things Liberal. Do you read the Halifax Chronicle, Jim Travers, Susan Delacourt, Lawrence Martin,Times Transcript, Jane Taber the gossip Queen at the Globe and I could go on. Yes I really do believe it. Look at the columns about the last couple of ads. Did not hit the air but put on the party's website. All the pollsters have commented, the media has commented and of course the Conservatives are dirt bags. Get real!

  67. It will also lead to people shooting people. I heard someone on TV say that the other day.

  68. —–kc—–You better check your arrows —-you seem a little wobbly.

    I think you are justifying Iggy`s leadership takeover and attempt at takeover of the Prime Minister because of his support and subsequent support in Etobicoke-Lakeshore.
    So you are saying that the fact that Iggy has sufficient support in a downtown Toronto riding to become an MP, then he deserves to be PM, even though the Party he represents has only one-quarter of the representation in Parliament.
    —Sounds like a recipe for disaster.

  69. Another lefty,

    Another moral equivalence between their petty partisan differences within our well functioning democracy,

    and the horrid abuses occuring in dictatorial thugocracies.

  70. Then again,

    I guess if your a leftist with inherently authoritarian leanings such that your party's "right" to power is above all else,

    you might actually believe that the injustice of your party not being in power is equivalent to woman being raped by the state, men dragged off in the night and shot and the populace being jailed for the wrong type of expression.

    More moral equivalences from our

    tolerant progressive left.

  71. Obama expresses regret that he did not choose that Jobs fellow after all…

  72. Rosemary Barton announced Iggy's goof before anyone else I believe. She and Evan had a good laugh over it. So much for your b.s.

  73. I am glad you have not tried to rewrite history.

    G20 -McGuinty-Miller Blair 1100 arrested 900 released without charges.
    Quebec City 2002, UBC APEC summit, 1972 War Measures Act.

    Clearly one party is heavy handed with the use of police or the military. Any idea what party?
    [youtube VVgOvctvax0 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VVgOvctvax0 youtube]

  74. Give it a rest, chetlin.

  75. Are we really trying to turn this place into 4chan now? :)

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