Politician, explain thyself - Macleans.ca

Politician, explain thyself


The Liberal candidate in Dufferin Caledon carefully explains that while he was a “little tired of the Afghan detainee thing” and while he thinks “most Canadians” are probably are okay with a “little torture” at a time of war, he, with all his soul, abhors “the fact that Canadians have been involved with torture to get information from prisoners, who for the most part, are just farmers in the wrong place at the wrong time.”


Politician, explain thyself

  1. Bill Prout.. get the hell out.

    The very last thing I want is ANY politician who thinks that most Canadians are okay with a little torture.

    If this candidate actually runs in the next election, I think I may make a political donation or two.. or three.. depends how many candidates are running against him.

    • Agreed.

    • Why do you hate the troops, Thwim?

    • Danny Williams!!!

    • He Thwim…how much sleep have you lost over the whole toture thing?

      • None. That's why we elect representatives, so that they can lose sleep over these things so I don't have to. If this jackass isn't going to do that for me, I'm certainly going to support those who can make sure I don't have to worry about it.

        Sorry, torture is a hardline issue for me. It's a hardline issue because
        A: It doesn't work.
        B: It endangers our troops by motivating our enemies to fight to the death rather than surrendering.
        C: It damages our troops pyschologically.

        I'm sorry if you don't see those as concerns, but I do.

        • Well said. May I add: undermines our moral superiority, such as it is, to justify our imposition on their local hospitality.

    • Couldn't have said it better myself, Thwim.

      Prout should resign, or he should be asked to resign by the Liberals. The phrase: "not the sharpest knife in the drawer" comes to mind.

  2. Wow. This guy sounds like a living, breathing gaffe machine. He seems confused about a lot of things. Don't forget his take on Bill C-15:

    It received eight committee meetings within the Senate which can tend to hold it up, but it's a pretty strong piece of legislation that we want to make sure is right. We're talking life in jail if you get caught with more than five plants in your basement, also gun crime. People have a responsibility to do this right.

    • You guessed it. He is a gaffe machine. A living, breathing gaffe machine. They grow them in Orangeville. A town named for the Orange brothers, not because the town collectively hates Catholics. I mean, they do hate Catholics, at least they did, they just didn't name themselves for it. Someone should bring back the Orange Lodge. Damn Catholics are everywhere these days. There goes one now.

      • This'll come to the surprise of the many Catholics that live in Orangeville.

        • "…at least they did,… "

          I was recently pleased to discover Orangeville was not named after the Orange Lodge (as I had always assumed), or out of sympathy for militant Protestantism, but was instead named after the Orange brothers, two Americans who came up from Pennsylvania in the 1840s and established a mill.

          Now, how to explain away Erin.

          • You may want to start living in the 21st century, wsam. Orangeville is already there. It usually isn't a good idea to judge a municipality by its' purported leaders (e.g., Mel Lastman and Toronto).

  3. They would have been better off handing it to Garth Turner when he wanted it.

    • Garth has a far better chance of winning against Tilson.

      • Also, I should note for Dennis_F et al that this is a non-'kumbayah' moment.

    • Garth Turner used to own the Belfountain General Store. He sold it. Now it is a vegan place. To the people of Belfountain that is like torture. Worse, actually. That is like having Dick Cheney shoot you in the face and then having to go on national television to apologize for getting in the way of Cheney's bullets. Ritual humiliation is worse than torture.

      It's like the Abu Garib man pile.

      Are we go to get to make man piles like the Americans in Iraq?

  4. To be a bit fair to Bill Prout we should probably mention that he brings up torture in the context of saving lives. One may agree or disagree with the substance of what he says but if he's going to get pilloried for supporting torture let's at least put the entire quote out there.

    "Listen, I think most Canadians believe we're at war, and if a little torture happens to save lives, most Canadians feel it's ok, if it saves lives."

    • Okay, except that torture saves lives at somewhat less than the rate at which adultery saves marriages.

      • Great line.

    • Except it's not okay. Period.

      We are the good guys. We don't torture. We don't condone torture. We don't excuse torture. If you want to be someone who does, join those who do.. I believe they're called the Taliban.

  5. Dear Bill: It is better to be silent and thought a fool, than to speak and remove all doubt. Cheers, Abraham Lincoln.

    Oh, and by the way, stop speaking as if you know what anyone outside of your own head believes.

  6. Wherry, as he occasionally does, misses the really astounding part:

    They sewed Canadian flags to their backpacks, which for my generation gave you a sense of security while traveling abroad. Our flag was so well respected globally that it did in fact provide you with that extra bit of peace that you were not a part of imperialistic warring people. I thank God for the Liberal government of the day that refused to send our troops to Iraq.

    If I understand that properly, Jean Chretien keeping Canada out of Iraq made the world safe for Prout's generation to travel in. And Americans are an "imperialistic warring people."

    • Wherry, as he occasionally does, misses the really astounding part

      Perhaps he did. But I must grudgingly give him credit for even posting this at all. This is usually the kind of thing that falls below Wherry's radar since it's not a Conservative chewing on his shoe.

      Although it is curious…when a Conservative candidate mused his opinion that his riding wasn't getting stimulus because it was a Liberal held riding it was national news. A Liberal candidate muses that a little torture is "probably OK" and it's ignored, except by his own local paper. Which means I must give Wherry even more credit for finding this and posting it despite the lack of media coverage anywhere else.

      • It's particularly odd, because Prout is 62 or so, so in that "making it good for the kids who will grow up soon" sense, he's not really of the Chretien generation. Though maybe he was switching reference to his adult childrens' generation?

        Said confusion might account for why it's not making national news. If you can't make sense of what the speaker is saying, well, it's like trying to pounce on quicksand, all you do is sink.

      • John, Aren't we past the "previous ambivalence" bs… I mean I understand that Iggy wrote a lot of words one after the other, but now that we have had time to actually read all the words there was no ambivalence, just a thoughtful discussion of the issue before clearly making the correct call.

        • I agree. But Harper has been even more decisive about abortion, but that doesn't stop it from coming up and being thrown in his face by the media every time one of his knuckle draggers brings it up. Why should the Liberals be spared uncomfortable questions when one of their own knuckle draggers fails to toe the line on a question that, rightly or wrongly, the party has a questionable position on?

          • So I understand your anger at the media being disingenious or even dishonest, but I still fail to understand how undermining your own credibility helps. Rather than point at Ignatieff's writings on the subject, surely there are some over-the-top recent, rightous quote from Iggy, Bob Rae, Pearson or Trudeau about how torture is never justified to smack this lightweight with?

          • Harper, the Decider?

    • Yes.

  7. Good Grief!

  8. Garth must be laughing up his sleeve.. I mean really what's the diff between this guy and Mr. Grumpy Tilson??

  9. The people who dislike torture are just jealous they haven't thought up a cool safe word. My safe words is Danny Williams. Nobdy tell the Talibans.

  10. "With all my soul I abhor the fact that Canadians have been involved with torture to get information from prisoners"

    Whoawhoawhoawhoa. Has that been proven beyond a reasonable doubt?

    Or is that just an allegation made by four (4) Taliban prisoners to Colvin, buttressed of course by similar claims by Colvin's super secret sources that he refuses to reveal?

    Y'all missed the REAL story here: a Liberal candidate made an unambiguous assertion that Cdn. military "have been" involved in torture. At least previous Liberal accusers have bothered with the formality of making conditional accusations that torture may or may not have occurred. That's really uncool and not only endangers the lives of our servicemen but civilians here in Canada, who might become the target of a retaliatory attack for torture that Canada did not do and may not have occurred in the first place.

    That's serious stuff man, and if there is a terrorist attack in Canada in the next 12 months I will hold this guy accountable because the blood will be on his hands, having falsely smeared Canadian soldiers as torturers and incited a terrorist attack upon Canada.

    Perhaps I'm being harsh. After all, Colvin is not only a federal public servant, but a trained journalist as well, two occupations well known for their high moral conduct and positive disposition toward Conservative governments, he couldn't possibly have ulterior motives.

    • Think Kadhr and take it up with the SCoC, Trollorius.

      • Thwim says "Yabbut, look at this completely unrelated yet vaguely similar thingie."

        Oh shut up.

    • Yeah, I'm pretty certain that the Taliban monitor the statements of Liberal candidates, looking for the nuance between "aided and abetted torture, if the Taliban prisoners are to be believed" and what Prout said. Good call on that one.
      Because the Taliban wouldn't've known anything about what happened in prisons, and are quite likely to stick entirely to the truth.
      You're right, this candidate is endangering Canadians. Because once the Taliban get their copy of the Caledon Enterprise in the mail, they'll actually want to kill Canadians. As opposed to before, when tribal and religious fervour could only muster a half-hearted IED or ambush here and there.
      Dear Toporious, sarcasm aside, please think before you post.

  11. I wonder if Iggy will roll over again and not exercise any leadership – we shall see (1) let MP's vote against party on budget no whip (2) let Coderre slide for 1 week – … etc etc etc – what;s it going to be I wonder?

    • He'll wait until the rest of the caucus publicly shame him. Then Iggy will see to his ouster. There's plenty of time to find a new candidate since Iggy claims he's not calling an election.

  12. I think that a fundamental part of "the hidden agenda" has been revealed!

    • perhaps you mean fundamentalist

  13. Anything in that guide about how burning Atheists is bad?

    • I missed the clause where "speeches and ideas of an Australian origin" are also protected by the charter…

      • ???????????

  14. Immigrants should also be warned that referring to a third party homosexualist as a "fifi" in a private conversation is subject to a fine of a thousand bucks plus court costs.

    In theory, the Charter guarantees and enumerates freedoms of conscience, thought, opinion, belief, expression, peaceful assembly, and association, meaning that one should in theory be free to hate gays, express that sentiment, and refuse to have anything to do with them. In practice, it doesn't, at all. It is a fraud.

    Gay entitlements weren't enumerated of course in the original charter, but "read in" by an activist judiciary – literally pulled out of thin air. If they were fundamental entitlements, they would be enumerated. Mobility rights in a country which allows provinces to run their own immigration programs would seem a joke.

    The subsection at the end is creepy. Since when do Canadian government organizations refer to other cultural practices as barbaric – I mean besides Steve Paikin calling conservatives barbarians during a nationally televised leaders debate – and since when do we punish anything (other than the use of the word fifi) severely in Canada? Male genital mutilation still seems ticketyboo, despite the CMA recommending against it – see what I mean about feminist "super-rights" in Canada trumping everything else, even medical advice?

  15. "The Charter is not a buffet. You can't take from it the rights you like and ignore the rest.”

    I agree with Brison, in theory, that Charter should not be buffet. In practice, that's exactly what it is and Libs played significant role in making it that way.

    Section 2 of Charter of Rights and Freedoms:

    2. Everyone has the following fundamental freedoms:

    (a) freedom of conscience and religion;
    (b) freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression, including freedom of the press and other media of communication;
    (c) freedom of peaceful assembly; and
    (d) freedom of association.

    And yet Liberals are fans of hate crimes, support human rights councils and trample all over our Fundamental Freedoms. Please spare us the sanctimony about charter rights, Libs. There is no caveat in Charter about how it's ok for Charter rights to be erased or ignored as long as it falls within liberal shibboleths.

    • anti-hate speech laws are perfectly acceptable restrictions on Charter rights as allowed by the Charter itself.

      How often must this be pointed out?

      • Maybe you should point it out to Brison.

        Who said anything about hate laws being illegal? Brison is the one whinging about Charter is not a buffet when that's exactly what it is. Some ethnic groups and genders are more equal than others.

        • Er, the foundational principle of the rule of law is that all persons are equal before and under the law, and receive equal protection from it.

          Hate speech falls under the "these rights are subject to reasonable limits" etc in the Charter; if only I was up on my SCC rulings I'd have a couple to cite for you there.

          Now, if we're not actually fulfilling that rule of law, that's one thing (and it ought be corrected). But the convention is most certainly applicable to Canada.

          • "The native occupation at Caledonia is the gift that keeps on giving, the OPP and Queen's Park learned yesterday when an Ontario Superior Court judge certified a class-action lawsuit."


            "The logic is impressively brazen: Since the anti-Israel people might use violence, the speech of the pro-Israel people must be limited. On the other hand, since the pro-Israel people do not use violence, the speech of the anti-Israel people can proceed without restraint.


            "Critics say a York Region policy of using tax dollars to subsidize housing restricted to members of certain ethnic and religious groups is discriminatory and condones a form of segregation."


            "The Opposition should be "ashamed of themselves" for questioning why flying the Canadian flag near the site of a long-running aboriginal occupation in Caledonia is being treated as a criminal act by government agents, Community Safety Minister Rick Bartolucci said yesterday."


            "the foundational principle of the rule of law is that all persons are equal before and under the law" I agree with that statement but it's too bad we don't practice it in Canada.

        • such as?

        • The stuff about hate crimes was a misreading of your post, I thought you said meant hate speech laws.]

          Now I have no idea what your talking about. Please don't feel like you have to enlighten me.

    • I could just respond by replacing 'Liberals' with 'CONs' but when joylon is now using tinfoil to stuff his/her ears with, it appears fighting the propaganda machine is futile.

  16. It takes a special kind of leadership to produce a Citizenship Guide that will foster disunity.

  17. Well, this is a *Canadian* Citizenship Guide after all.

  18. principles that recognize the supremacy of God and the rule of law.” This phrase underlines the importance of religious traditions to Canadian society

    That is quite an interpretation – I wonder, specifically, whose interpretation it is. I think many Canadians agreed with Trudeau that any god that might exist could not care less if he or she is named in Canada's constitution, but it was put in because some religious groups felt strongly enough about it and the rest of us can simply ignore it. It is still legal to be an atheist in Canada.

    • Well, if we don't take into account our First Nations peoples, early settlers and their descendants (as well as most immigrants until the mid-20th century) were of Christian descent (of varying denominations, but Christian nonetheless). As well, in modelling our own constitutional amendments after the US and British documents (primarily, there were other sources as well), acknowledgement of God maintained that pattern.

      What I wonder is what happened to the clauses about peace, order, and good government. This has always struck me as a more noteworthy point than a "we have a supreme God" clause, if only because of its uniqueness in content (but not in structure; cp Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness).

      • I would suggest replacing that first "if" with a "because"

        • Fair. And I probably would, were I able to edit my own post…

      • POGG is in the preamble of s.91 of the Constitution Act, 1867 (Old BNA – renamed by PET – another Liberal attempt at revisionism) and it refers to the ability of the feds to made laws for the peace, order and good government of Canada.

        Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness is covered by s.7 of the Charter (which is an scheduled amendment to the Constitution Act, 1867) as:

        7. Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of the person and the right not to be deprived thereof except in accordance with the principles of fundamental justice.

        Section 7 is a legal right – that means, a right belonging to you in your interactions with government actors, not me.

        Happiness is not guaranteed to us here in Canada – just read the posts! Apparently, most people here have a constitutional right to be unhappy. L M (_!_) Off or Is there ever any way to make a Liberal happy?

        I wonder if atheists have a reason to not wanting to be burned? ….. Just asking!

  19. Jason Kenney is an idiot, a heavier version of Polievre, if you will. Why waste time discussing that turd-blossom?

    • Because unlike Poilievre, Kenney actually has power and he is using it to do very bad things. Poilievre just says bad things. Kenney gets to run with it.

  20. On a tangential note, Mark Tewksbury hasn't seen this much headline space since he forgot his trunks at the Commonwealth Games. (or was it the Pan Am games? I can't remember).

  21. Really, religion is important to Canadians? They why are the churches empty and many are closing? Perhaps it is important to the superstitious few who think that they will be saved because they say that they believe. I don't believe for a second that Stephen Harper believes in God. He would be more compassionate and caring about those who were not born with the good fortune of health or wealth. He has cynically surrounded himself by the believers to gain power and now they are there in Parliament and caucus with him making policy and laws that don't reflect a country of people who used to be QUIETLY proud of what they achieved and not in your face arrogant flag wavers. The Stephen Harper government is making Canada appear more and more like 1930s Germany than the place I was born. SCARY.

    • The Stephen Harper government is making Canada appear more and more like 1930s Germany than the place I was born. SCARY.

      The scary thing is that people are so ignorant about history that they think comparisons like this one make sense.

      • Yes – and no. There most certainly are lots of similarities. This does not automatically translate to the same end result that befell Germany. I think it is a shame that so many people automatically disregard lessons from history simply because they assume it is an over-dramatic comparison. With that said, this has become the case because so many people have abused the comparison to the point here it has become taboo. Hitler is totally laughing at us from his grave, knowing full well how much power his actions still hold over us in present times.

  22. I think it's more insidious than I did yesterday. Have you heard that several guests to the Olympics have requested refugee status here in Canada, most famously two Japanese — Kenney has fallen over himself saying that Japan is a democracy, and there is no way they can be considered refugess to Canada…

    However, apparently the Japanese are openly gay, which is a bad deal for them in Japan (apparently).

    I think the government's ideology means they don't want to show Canada as a safe and attractive place for gays and lesbians — that's why they left it out.

    I realize I sound very conspiracy minded.

    • It's absurd that anyone from Japan would request refugee status in Canada.

      • How do you know? I'll bet you are not a free thinker because they have a very difficult time in Japan. May be you should do a little learning before you comment.

        • When there are so many legitimate refugees in the world from war-torn third world countries like Sudan, I am absolutely disgusted that bogus claimants from wealthy, tolerant Western democracies like Japan would dare to request refugee status in Canada.

          • I think that's the point: Japan is not tolerant to gays. Perhaps sexual orientation is not considered a human right there?

      • I understand children in Japan are forced to eat tofu. What better grounds for refugee status could there be?

    • Perhaps more to the point, why is the Immigration Minister expressing an opinion on a refugee claim before it has even been considered? Am I the only one seeing a problem with this?

  23. multiculturalism as a POLICY for this country is not well received in canada, nor should it be

    • I totally agree, it sounds like Canada is on the way to one world government which it shouldn’t be.

  24. 1. Wow, there's a lot more missing from this Charter section than I originally thought. Not to mention, the Charter itself is about our only example of successful constitutional reform – and as such, plays an important role in Canada's history, as well as our current social structure. Would have thought that would be recognized.

    2. "Those guilty of these crimes are severely punished under Canada's criminal laws."

    Well, no, not really.