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If de Gaulle were speaking today


 

Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition reacts:

Today’s statement by the President of France is a stinging indictment of Prime Minister Pearson’s provocative refusal to engage with France on the question of Quebec’s liberation.

His petulant insistence on the unity of Canada could surely have been predicted to offend President de Gaulle.

It is clear we have much work to do to repair relations.

Etc etc.


 

If de Gaulle were speaking today

  1. Sorry, you lost me.

  2. Bob Rae's reponse was a national disgrace. If he truly believes that China intended to grievously insult Canada (I don't), then he should be defending Canada, not siding with China. What a weasel.

  3. Keep diggin!

  4. Him and Layton are the biggest weasels in Parliament. They both make Iggy look good.

  5. Quick, grab a Canadian flag, any will do, small or big (preferably not one Made in China). This is a matter of not only national pride, but unity.

  6. Apparently Canada can dish it out, but we can't take it.

    • Every time we dish it out, the pants-pi$$ers are talking about "our loss of international stature". Seems we can't dish much either.

  7. Well, I guess now we know why Bob's not the leader of the LPC.

    Has anyone been reading his blog lately?

  8. Oh! It's DISLOYAL of the opposition to criticize Harper for mishandling our relations with China – a perfectly valid criticism that Liberals have been making for a while now – because the Chinese PM just confirmed this was the case? We should instead be circling the wagons, eh? OK.

    Well who can be surprised by such tactics from the opposition eh AC? After all they hate our troops too.

  9. I don't like it either. But the Prime Minister reaps what he sews. Political posturing on all sides is getting more than a bit tiresome, but if the PM isn't going to respect his own office what he spouts off at the mouth about the Opposition hating the troops, I don't see any reason, why Opposition MPs (some of whom have been directly labelled "Taliban Jack") owe the PM, or the office anything in that regard.

  10. If de Gaulle were speaking today he'd be a zombie.

    Or possibly a vampire.

    Either way, with a supernatural creature from the beyond running around, lusting after our brains (or possibly our blood) is the opposition's reaction to his speech really what we would be focusing on, or would we all be better served coming together to look for ways to decapitate de Gaulle, regardless of how we each individually feel about his attack on our easily wounded pride? Honestly, Coyne. PRIORITIES.

  11. Back in Pearson's day, the Government and Opposition usually tried to present a united front when dealing with diplomatic issues and foreign heads of government. The principle was "Canada first".

    These days, the moribund Opposition parties are so desperate to try to embarrass the Prime Minister on the world stage that they're willing to say or do anything to try to make it happen.

    When Bob Rae backed up China's criticism this morning, it was the perfect example of sort of tawdry display we've come to expect from the Opposition. So much for "Canada first".

  12. Someone in AC's previous post below nailed it. If Harper's criticisms of China's human rights practices were anything other than hot air than we would have seen substantive action, for instance a trade embargo of Chinese products, etc.

    As it is he damaged a very important economic relationship for what exactly? Some have argued he was trying to please his base. I think the real problem is that Jean Chrétien pursued the China file in a very different manner so naturally that is EVIL and Harper has to do the opposite, or appear to do the opposite at least. It just took 5 years for Harper to admit he made a dumba** mistake. Now, how long do you suppose we'll have to wait for him to retract the crticism he used to make of Chrétien on this issue,

  13. I just can't get worked up over this. Maybe it's because of my distaste for the PM. The way he treats opponents (and through his hyperbole his own office) makes me wonder why any Opposition MP should speak up for him at all. I suppose everyone staying quiet would be a compromise.

  14. I am sure there are plenty of examples of Diefenbaker criticizing Pearson's foreign policy. Shall I start looking for some?

    Harper badly bungled our relations with China and the opposition is doing its job in criticizing him for doing so.

    • Badly bungled. They're still our second-largest trading partner aren't they? They're still supplying our Wal-Marts with cheaply made goods aren't they? When that stops, the relationship has indeed been bungled. Until then, it's business as usual.

  15. I fear the record of Stephen Harper remains unsurpassed in that regard, owing to the absolutely disgraceful — permanently disgraceful — letter he sent to the WSJ during the leadup to the Iraq War.

    The equivalent on this would be Bob Rae publishing a letter in the China Daily approving of this rebuke and condemning Canada's human rights record. Instead, he just spoke domestically, as Harper should have done in 2003. It will be a long time before an opposition leader manages to disgrace us as badly as Harper did in the WSJ.

    • Jack, I just wanted to give you some belated kudos for your devastatingly effective rejoinder!

  16. Jack Mitchell is exactly right.

  17. You have a lot of nerve, Coyne. I'll give you that.

  18. Well, that settles that. Thanks, Jack.

  19. Bob Rae was wrong, not because he took China's side, but because this was not nearly the huge rebuke that opposition parties claim.

    The leaders of both countries have an interest in having good relations. How this will be implemented will be based on national interests, not on whether it helps to score partisan politcal gain for the opposition in Canada.

  20. You'd think Andrew Coyne would have remembered that?

    Either he does and is just shilling for the Cons as usual or is not nearly as bright as the rest of us think he is.

    I'll charitably assume the former.

  21. Since when has any political party put Canada first? How much higher of a standard are we supposed to hold the opposition to than the governing party?

    The flag, like the troops, are nothing more than props, an abstraction of nationalism. Anyone who analyzes politics along these lines is a partisan, not a rational observer.

  22. But when Bob Rae needed defending,
    the Harper govt stepped up, for him.

    ''OTTAWA — The federal government has formally registered its "dismay and displeasure" with the Sri Lankan government over the deportation of Liberal foreign affairs critic, Bob Rae.

    Read more: http://www.nationalpost.com/news/story.html?id=16

    • They were dismayed and displeased Sri Lanka sent Bob Rae back. I'd complain too.

  23. No enough of that, I'm afraid.

    Too bad. So sad.

  24. I fail to see the equivalence.

    Harper's letter was criticizing the government of the day. Which our opposition leaders do each and every day.

    This particular incident is cheering on criticism from China. China, a land of oppression and dictatorship.

    There is a difference between the opposition criticizing the government, and a foreign country criticizing Canada.

  25. I am still missing what the big deal is.

    From what I got out this so called dress down was this.

    Wen – "Harper where the hell you been the last 5 years?"

    Harper – "Me? where you been?"

    Both – "Lets have a drink"

    Oppistion – "Harper is the devil and eats kittens"

  26. Liberals eat kittens, Conservatives eat seals.

  27. "I fail to see the equivalence. "

    I'm shocked.

  28. Suggesting Andrew shills for anything political makes me wonder if you've read him all that often.

  29. Could you be anymore supine in your quest for a Senate seat Coyne?

    • Coyne has both short term and long term horizons in mind with respect to his Senate ambitions. You should be more complimentary about how enterprising Coyne is being. Remember, he only has to be "an idea that's lying around when the time comes," to borrow from Milton Friedman's metaphor.

      • The Mike Duffy apologists all said the senate talk was just a bunch of Liberal bluster. How wrong they were.

  30. Mac Harb eats carrots.

  31. That "evil reptilian kitten-eater from another planet" thing really has legs eh?

    • Yeah, and look what it did for Ernie Eves !

  32. Not according to the National Post? How shocking! The question is not whether Canada-China trade is growing it's whether its growing quickly enough and how we're doing compared to other countries. We continue to be dangerously dependent on trade with the U.S. and it would be wise to spread our risk to other trading partners such as China, India and the EU.

  33. "User-Content" is our friend Tiggy's latest pseudonym – he rarely misses one of Coyne's posts.

    • Is that really him? I thought there was something familiar about that very peculiar style of humourlessness. Likely he's having all kinds of problems expressing himself now that the commenting system filters out profanity. It must be very frustrating for him. He's very limited that way.

  34. Did you even read what the article said? It is the Nat Post, but it still puts the lie to the assertion that our economic relationship with China is damaged.

    In 2007, two-way trade between the two countries was up 13 per cent. In 2008, two-way trade was up 11 per cent. In the first six months of this year, two-way trade is up by about 3 per cent — despite a recession.

    If you dispute those figures, please enlighten us.

  35. When he referred to Harper's sniping at the Opposition as "trash" two days ago, was he gunning for a Senate seat then too? Get a life. And find some new smears. "Senate seat" is getting old, just like "talking points" is.

  36. I said I was being charitable.

  37. De Gaulle's comments were outrageous because they were made on Canadian soil, violating the law of hospitality and threatening the unity of the nation which invited him.

    The Chinese have every right to say whatever they like in their own nation. The scolding Harper received in no way threatens our existence, and there is therefore no moral need for the Opposition to stand in Parliamentary solidarity with the prime minister.

    The only relevant question is whether or not the scolding was logically and diplomatically defensible. Some Opposition members appear to think that it was. That's fair enough and hardly an act of treason. Given the rancid partisan ambience on Parliament Hill (for which the eternally petty and childishly combative CPC is largely responsible), one cannot have expected anything more magnanimous.

    • "The only relevant question is whether or not the scolding was logically and diplomatically defensible. Some Opposition members appear to think that it was."

      I just don't grasp why the NDP, say, would be going to bat for China. China represents everything the NDP is supposed to be against, first and foremost the annihilation of Canadian manufacturing, but also authoritarianism etc. (Note to rabid anti-communists: please spare us another round of hysterically equating Jack Layton with Jane Fonda.) It does seem that they would applaud Harper's looking foolish anywhere in the world — China, India, Russia — to score a few cheap points. As you put it perfectly, that's the "rancid partisan ambience," our new normal.

      • I just don't grasp why the NDP, say, would be going to bat for China…. As you put it perfectly, that's the "rancid partisan ambience," our new normal.

        From a purely ideological point of view, there's very little about Harper's neglect of our Chinese relationship that should irk the NDP–though the latter's oft-stated wish to see us weaned off the industrial teat of Fortress America necessarily forces it to advocate for larger volumes of trade with some fairly shady customers–like China and India.

        Really, though, Layton's jibes were motivated by sheer opportunism, prompted (and, in Layton's mind, justified) by whatever grain of truth Wen's chiding contained.

        • Layton's jibes were motivated by sheer opportunism, prompted (and, in Layton's mind, justified) by whatever grain of truth Wen's chiding contained.

          That's the problem, wouldn't you say? Whatever Harper's faults, the Oppostion's jibes seem to be motivated by sheer opportunism, rather than principle. Perhaps this is part of the reason why our prime minister enjoys such a commanding lead in the polls.

      • It does seem that they would applaud Harper's looking foolish anywhere in the world — China, India, Russia — to score a few cheap points.

        At this point, if Ahmadinejad were to criticize Canada, I have a feeling that Layton, Rae et al would be lustily cheering him on, claiming that Harper's Canada has sacrificed its moral credibility on the world stage.

        Hyperbole, you say? Just wait.

  38. Way over the top, AC. You need to keep the deGaulle analogy for more relevant issues. Your passion, however misdirected, is appreciated.

    • DeGaulle seized being relevant shorty after the liberation of France.

      • I believe you meant 'ceased'.

        On the contrary, just like Nixon was the only one who could go to China, De Gaulle was the only one who could reunify France after the Second World War. He did this by including many of the same high officials in his post war administration as had served in the Vichy regime, of which Maurice Papon was only the most outrageous example.

      • I believe you meant 'ceased'.

        On the contrary, just like Nixon was the only one who could go to China, De Gaulle was the only one who could reunify France after the Second World War. He did this by including many of the same high officials in his post war administration as had served in the Vichy regime, of which Maurice Papon was only the most outrageous example.

  39. It's really him. He always graces us with his best behaviour over here.

  40. I did. My mind seizes ceases to function after 10 p.m. I should know better than to be posting right now. As for De Gaulle, he was significant mostly for his ability to sweep the grotesque atrocities of the collaborators under the rug and keep them there until long after his death. Even Mitterand was a collaborator, though he never admitted it until he was on his deathbed.

  41. Andrew our government can seek results and be true to our principles.
    We do not have to humiliate a emerging country by being nonconstructive.
    The Chinese are not telling Canadians how to run our country it is the other way around.
    We could recognise their progress and offer to help them become more progressive.
    We could assume that they are not inherently evil or inferior and seek ways to encourage them to progress.
    If their legal system is not functioning we could convince them of the benefits that they will achieve by making changes.
    An open dialog which includes listening and explaining will allow both sides to achieve their goals without being unprincipled.

  42. This is one of the most ridiculous and false analogies I have seen posted by a Maclean's pundit. Take a holiday Coyne, you're clearly in need of a rest.

  43. Perhaps this is part of the reason why our prime minister enjoys such a commanding lead in the polls….

    …because Canadians prefer Harper's crass opportunism to Ignatieff's and Layton's? Perhaps because Canadians are less disappointed by it (it being less unexpected)? Hmm. That's entirely possible.

    I shall have to drop into one of those "Tim Hortons" I've heard so much about and talk the matter over with some of the salt-of-the-earth lumber-jacketed chaps who now serve, so the PMO would have it, as our tribuni plebes and censurae.

    • There, I fear, you wound find few people knew who he was, and that would be your answer. We politically-minded folk judge contemporary politicians in the light of history, and the mediocre ones, the ones whom history shall neglect, like Harper, are thus found wanting; but for Tim Horton's customers, in politics as in coffee, adequacy suffices.

      • I'm not sure that history will neglect Harper. I suppose history's verdict will hinge on whether Harper is able to achieve his much-coveted majority in the next election. Who knows? He could turn out to be a long-serving, legacy PM.

  44. I think the real problem here is that nobody in the opposition parties seems to recognize what it looks like to take a position on a subject and then stand firm.

    A slight rebuke maybe but I would say he got his point across. And a good point it was.

    We should, however, run to applaud the Chinese because it is so very important that we allow them to come to Canada and relieve us of our natural resources and in turn replace it with poisoned food product (for dogs or babies – no matter) and lead tainted toys.

    Way to go Bob et al!

  45. The Chinese leadership thinks Canadian leaders should come to them with bowed heads and pay homage because they are after all the rising superpower. And who are we in comparison to China with our miniscule population and nonexistent military? Our protectors, the Americans, are in decline and China is the new imperial intimidator. We have to know our place in the new world order. They are whipping us into line.

    • The Chinese leadership thinks Canadian leaders should visit.That was the extent of their rebuke. Maybe it's a fair one.

      If you have a basis for your dramatic extrapolation, i.e. the bowed heads, our place in the world, imperialist masters, etc. I'd sure like to see it.

  46. Wait a second. Andrew, what happens when a member of the Opposition goes to New York and calls Canada a two-bit socialist state?

    I guess that's to be condoned? Applauded?

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