This week in patriotism


Stephen Harper on Tuesday, responding to a question from Michael Ignatieff.

On this side of the House, we are Canadians first and only.

If you wanted to seriously engage such a statement, you might wonder how MPs who were born outside Canada fit into Mr. Harper’s paradigm. (How does the Prime Minister’s sense of “first” apply to a chronological sense of residency? A CBC survey in 2006 found that most of those Conservatives born outside Canada did not report dual citizenship, but does the Prime Minister’s insistence on “only” imply any kind of limit on future Conservatives MPs? And so on.)

Meanwhile, in response to the Defence Minister’s taunts, Liberal Marc Garneau sought yesterday to engage in a sort of patriotic penis-measuring contest.

Marc Garneau: Mr. Speaker, the Minister of National Defence is quick to question my patriotism. I will go up against him any day on patriotism. I do not just dress up like a soldier. I actually serve my country. The minister also likes his little Star Trek analogies, so I will take him where no Conservative has gone before, to fiscal competence and balanced budgets. Why will he not hold an open competition, get the best aircraft for our needs, guarantee industrial benefits and save Canadians billions of dollars?

Peter MacKay: Mr. Speaker, that is exactly what we will do. In fact, I regret not having had the opportunity to serve my country in uniform. I serve my country in a different way. Canadians can always count on this government to do the right thing when it comes to giving the best equipment to the best citizens, the members of the Canadian Forces. They can always count on this government as well to look out for the interests of taxpayers and our aerospace industry. Why is it that the member from a region of Montreal is demonstrating contempt for the aerospace industry in his own region? He should explain that to his constituents.


This week in patriotism

  1. To which of these questions was that the response?

    Q: Will he confirm that these negotiations are under way?

    Mr. Speaker, this government will do no such thing. On this side of the House, we are Canadians first and only.

    Q: Will he confirm that is what he will be talking to President Obama about?

    Mr. Speaker, this government will do no such thing. On this side of the House, we are Canadians first and only.

    Q: Will he commit to the House to bring this deal back to the House for an open debate before he surrenders Canadian sovereignty?

    Mr. Speaker, this government will do no such thing. On this side of the House, we are Canadians first and only.

  2. Gee, it wasn't so long ago that he was an Albertan first and only. Oh, of course that was after he was an Ontarien, first.

  3. There's just about nothing lower then someone who would question another man's patriotism merely for political gain. The libs had their faults but i don't recall them making a fetish of it.

  4. As I've said before about Harper…. 'small vision, small ambition, parochial poop….'

  5. 'a sort of patriotic penis-measuring contest.'

    Oh, the sophomoric possibilities with this line are endless. ENDLESS.

  6. Whooops! by extending it to the entire side of the House they couldn't fall back on the "well it's OK for others just not somebody who wants to be Prime Minister" bit.

    We can't all be lifetime Alberta politicians, Steve.

  7. Yes yes yes, we all know Harper is evil and Ignatieff is wonderful.

    Yadda yadda yadda, where is the off switch?

  8. The vast majority of Ontarians are Canadians first. 'Course, then he had to put that 'only' bit in.

  9. Yes yes yes, we all know Ignatieff is evil and Harper is wonderful.

    Yadda yadda yadda, where is the off switch?

    If both switches could be flipped, it'd be much easier to read these forums.

  10. Liberal Marc Garneau sought yesterday to engage in a sort of patriotic penis-measuring contest.

    Wherry, my offer to mail you a ten-dollar bill if you use the verb "ejaculated" in a BTC sketch still stands.
    (Non-seminal sense, of course: "to utter suddenly and passionately")

    Think how well that would have worked in this context!

  11. So, who's gonna get the balls rolling?

  12. I'm sure all of the Honourable Members are standing up for Canada.

  13. Does anyone know in what sense MacKay was denied the opportunity to serve? Is it a medical impediment?

  14. …and on the hunt for beaver…

  15. He's too rugged.

  16. While those "Canadians first and only" have just sold us out to the Americans for a security perimeter.

  17. "Why is it that the member from a region of Montreal is demonstrating contempt for the aerospace industry in his own region?"
    Has anyone in this "debate" pointed out to Mr. MacKay that no contract for these planes has been signed?

  18. I got nothing. I have serious envy.

  19. Drop your pants and think of Canada.

  20. And a copyright act.

  21. "Yadda yadda yadda, where is the off switch?"

    I share your frustration…I'm looking for the "Mandatory Jedi Delete" option.

  22. Gotta be…GOTTA BE…Friday nite at the Wherrys. Unsurpassed wit and sophistication!

  23. Why do you hate the troops?

  24. Hey… we're erecting a new standard of political discourse.

  25. Seriously though, folks, the puerile humour on this particular Wherry post notwithstanding, I think I regularly see (and occasionally participate in) far more erudite, informed debate on Wherry`s blog than we typically have to endure in our hallowed House of Commons.

    Or is this just hubris?

  26. How about
    Liberals want to erect barriers!

  27. Dad? Is that you? Mum said you died in a horrible bowling accident.

  28. he was held back by privilege

  29. Is not, so there!

  30. OK, dial it back a bit…too cerebral for me!

  31. When you say "bowling" and "accident', we already know it's horrible. Wonder why she felt the need to clarify?

  32. I went to Wikipedia to look up "Conservative Patriotism". Sadly, Wikipedia informed me that "This article is only a stub."

  33. Yeah, Jedi is kind of a broken record…although he's way too young to know what that means.

  34. Yellow streak

  35. Just curious…how do you know that?

  36. Yeah, that was kinda insignificant….and I didn't mean to look…..I was just minding my own business and, well, you know, there it was…I couldn't help it.

  37. The silver spoon in his mouth prevented the fitting of a gas mask.

  38. Aaron – that reads more like the political dialogue equivalent of a (politely) "evacuating the bladder" contest – and my conclusion – the Defence Minister couldn't write the Maple Leaf in the Snow!
    One up for the Spaceman!

  39. And less than a week ago Micheal Ignatieff was lambasted for stretching the truth for political gains. Where are those people now?

  40. Geez Wherry, if anything could get you dust off your TWIB tag, surely this horse slop is it.

  41. Penis!

  42. Those who are born outside Canada, and choose to come here, and live their lives here, is a commendable (and understandable given how great our nation is).

    Those who are born here, and choose to leave this great country for decades, and desribe other countries as being one's true home, only to opportunistically come back when great personal advancement is the inducement?

    That's another matter altogether.

  43. I must have missed him slagging someones patriotism – do tell. And if he did my opinion wouldn't change.

  44. Those who leave home to further themselves in their profession, have the gall to work for the most respected broadcaster in the world…to teach in the best universities in the world…are somehow less patriotic? Grow up.

    That is akin to George Bush, a draft dodger attacking John Kerry, a 3 time Vietnam tour vet about his patriotism.
    It worked for Bush, it is working for Harper.

    Canadians…at least some…are just as stupid as your average America. Are you? Or are you just a Conservative shill?

  45. I'll fill you in – chet is a notorious Conservative shill 'round these parts.

  46. Is it possible Mackay has a hearing problem? Maybe all that time he's spent in the jet simulators has come some damage?

  47. Must have been lawn bowling. I need a gravol after watching that.

  48. Whatever it was, MacKay comes up short.

  49. It was simulated noise. Explains the simulated intelligence.

  50. I'm just saying that to some people, unjustly questioning someone's patriotism is less severe than stretching the truth. I guess that's partisanship for you.

  51. He chose to leave Canada. Not for a two year stint at some secondment. He left in the 70's. When ABBA was fresh. He identified with other countries being "his country". He ridiculed Canada from abroad.

    I'm not sure what you're definition of "patriotism" is, I suspect it applies to any Liberal seeking to unseat a conservative, regardless how much that person has rejected Canada.

    What's remarkable is how entitled Liberals actually think that such a remarkable thing as their Leader being away from Canada for much of his adult life, should actually be "off the table" in terms of issues,

    while at the same time obsessing about whether Harper wore a sweater vest (….ohhh, he's trying to manipulate the masses by creating a faux father knows best look).

    We get it. Liberals are above reproach.

    They are, after all, entitled.

  52. Some people would be wrong then in my book. Since stretching the truth seems to be a desirable and uncommonly popular skill in politics i don't see as equivalent at all.

  53. What a sad comment to have to agree with. In spite of the same Mandatory Jedi/Emily discussions on every thread, we still have more reasoned debate. And the humour blows them out of the water!

  54. Aside from a few rhetorical flourishes, Ignatieff has always referred to himself as Canadian. I would not be surprised in the least to find that your comemnts regarding "true home" are an utter lie.

    Furthermore, someone who refers to his own country as a socialist backwater does not deserve to hold office within it.

  55. Hubris? Hubris aint here, man.

  56. Imagining Eeyore's voice muttering those words makes the passage even more priceless. Bravo.

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