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Stand and salute (II)


 

The Torch tries to sort out whether or not the Prime Minister should have received that salute. Various acronyms ensue.

Of course, Prime Ministers are entitled to a salute … just not the same salute to which Governor Generals are entitled. So that’s the question: did the PM take a salute to which he wasn’t entitled? I don’t know for sure. But it looked to me like there were more than fifty soldiers in that honour guard.

If the PM is abrogating this longstanding Commonwealth military tradition, somebody within the chain of command should have the guts to tell him to stop. Ideally that would be the Governor General herself. But if she isn’t willing to step up, the CDS should, with the same tone that an RSM would take with his or her CO – respectful, but not completely deferential.


 

Stand and salute (II)

  1. Hey, maybe he is planning some Chavezesque or Selayesque coup d'etat?

    You know, declare himself Prime Minister for Life.

    • That almost happened when the Conservative Party threatened the Governor General with demonstrations in the streets, and mass media negative advertising.

  2. While we are looking at entitlements – is Stephen Harper a Roman Catholic?
    I ask because he went up and accepted the Host in the service for Romeo Leblanc today – and – while it's been a while since I was an altar boy – seems a little tacky to do thet if you are not a member of the church?

    • Did he really? He's not entitled to as a non-Catholic, or even as a Catholic if he is not in good standing. Are you sure he didn't simply receive a blessing? Otherwise, I agree, it isn't just tacky, its sacriligeous. Someone should have given him better advice.

        • Normally the presiding priest will remind non-Catholics in attendance at events such as this when there are likely to be a lot of them present (funerals and weddings) that they are not eligible to receive communion, but may receive a blessing. Not having seen the funeral I can't say which one the Prime Minister did. If he accepted the host he should not have done so.

          • Wouldn't have posted it here Mike – unless I was pretty sure I saw it!
            He went up soon after Warren Kinsella – who I know is RC – and presumably practicing (which I for the record am not)…I was just idling watching the Leblanc funeral on CBC Newsworld as I worked on something for a deadline…and thought – now that is tacky – think it's gonna buy you a vote or three Harper!

          • Well, that is surprising. And clearly a mistake on his part.

          • Oh!m!g!wD! He copied Kinsella? As, when in Rome, we do as the Romans do! Preumably, he didn't know the actual procedure, not being RC, so he copied Kinsella? Where's jarrid? Oh!m!g!wD! It's true Kinsella is behind EVERYTHING!

          • Dear Doug – sarcasm aside – it's a small thing – but goes to character and competence!
            Heck – he and his merry band are all over Ignatieff's socalled lack of – I don't know what – but when it comes down to it – he's a small town boy (yea – I know – Toronto) who just doesn't know where he fits… and he and his team have the audacity to criticize Ignatieff…
            And he thinks he's the BEST leader for Canada?

          • "goes to character and competence!"

            There's more to it than that. It was a State funeral. Whether he wanted to be prepped or not that mistake should have been impossible.

            the wheels have come off

          • Good point Geiseric – Maybe his suspicions of public servants coming into the job have become self-fulfilling – THEY ARE now setting him up for the fall… We can but hope!

          • "goes to character and competence!"

            There's more to it than that. It was a State funeral. Whether he wanted to be prepped or not that mistake should have been impossible.

          • As long as someone is baptized, then the host can be taken in the RCC. Some protestant denominations (presbyterian, charismatic, or evangelical) offer a host on "special" occasions…depends on the minister I suppose. Ultimately, it is a personal thing.

            But…given that it's Harper, he probably didn't want to feel left out. Maybe he demanded beforehand…

          • Can't Harper do ANYTHING blatantly wrong without some internet yahoo making a point of lying on his behalf?

          • "Lying on his behalf…"?

            Aw…you hurt my feelings….this yahoo will defer to the prancy internet "expert" here (ROFL~!)

            Very enlightening I must say…I'm not such a good catholic…certainly when placed beside the cyanosure of holiness called the Geiser…

            Frankly, I've attended Catholic masses where eucharistic ministers have offered communion with the proviso that the recipients were baptised. I've been to protestant churches whose ministers will offer communion to their "flock" on specific days (christmas/easter).

            I must say though that I am certainly amazed at the rabidity of some Catholics round here…particularly those who would use Law to judge the behaviour of individuals…

            Forgive me…I am a sinner…

          • I'll take that as a "no".

          • Out of curiosity…do you even consider yourself Catholic? Or are you huffing and puffing on their behalf…?

          • That's false. Even Catholics can't receive if they're conscious of having culpably missed Sunday Mass. It goes without saying that a non-Catholic has probably not been attending Sunday Mass.

            Bottom line, if he received he made a big mistake, both politically and spiritually, unless he's converted to Catholicism recently and kept it low profile a la Tony Blair.

          • That's false. Even Catholics can't receive if they're conscious of having culpably missed Sunday Mass, or are aware of any other unconfessed grave sins. It goes without saying that a non-Catholic has probably not been attending Sunday Mass.

            Bottom line, if he received he made a big mistake, both politically and spiritually, unless he's converted to Catholicism recently and kept it low profile a la Tony Blair.

          • "As long as someone is baptized, then the host can be taken in the RCC. "

            WRONG!

          • Uh…thanks for the clarification…?

            I always have a soft spot for those who are so willing to stand behind their convictions in anonymity…

          • He just would have known, is all. Enough to know his behaviour would be a burden to the Leblanc family.

  3. Harper is an evangelical Christian – a member of the Christian Alliance Church.

    Perhaps that's how they came up with the new name for the Reform Party as the Alliance Party.

  4. Wait a minute though – I read somewhere that he's going to meet the Pope shortly – maybe he's planning to do a "Blair" and convert!
    Just got ahead of his great plan!

    • One would hope he would show a little more courage on that issue than Blair did.

  5. Even The Torch doesn't seem to have many leads. I do think somebody should find out what exactly happened and make sure the PM didn't receive a Royal Salute. But I also find it prima facie hard to believe that the PM would knowingly overstep like this — what's to be gained? He may like receiving a salute (who wouldn't?) but surely not so much that he would greedily want a bigger and bigger salute to the point where he morphs into Thulsa Doom.

    • Well, what seems to have happened is that he stepped up to the position to which he was directed and received a general salute – as called for by protocol. But I am sure there is a Commons Committee somewhere that can now spend several months investigating whether there were fifty of fifty-one members of the Guard present and what sort of constitutional crisis into which we are now plunged over this issue. Perhaps Justice Oliphant can turn his attention to this matter once he has finished his vitally important work concerning Prime Minister Mulroney.

      • It speaks to the larger question of whether Harper has any respect for our institutions or not. That is both an important and, in light of the FUFU and his chip-on-my-shoulder approach to government, a legitimate question. Also, sarcasm should be pithy.

        • I'm fond of Wellsian pithiness too, but there are other styles of sarcasm out there. I found Mike R's approach quite effective, despite the lack of pith.

          • The excess seemed to mock the idea of ceremony itself.

      • "what seems to have happened is that he stepped up to the position to which he was directed and received a general salute – as called for by protocol."

        BS, he, as his own Minister attests, requested said salute.

    • Oh My God! This is unacceptable and will surely destroy our country – first we have harper saving our country from Dion being the PM and taking the blame and now there are soldiers in the streets actually saluting him. You would think the man had some postion of power and responsibility but apparently all he gets is respect from the soldiers. In all my life I have never heard anything like this – that's it I am fed up and taking my CPC card and going to the riding office to look into this. Now don't you go worrying or fretting about anything as I am sure they will strike a blue ribbon committee with a token Liberal on it and you can't bet your last loonie we will get to the bottom of this outrage.

      • Once they're down to the last loonie, I'm sure they will mint some more, possibly with Harper's face on it.

  6. Well said, Mike R.

  7. HE ALSO RECEIVES HOLY COMMUNION WHEN HE SHOULDN'T!
    I was watching LeBlanc's funeral and Harper took the host – I did not see him eat it but he took it in his hand. He must have been to Catholic Masses in his life. Does he not know that this is a sacrament? I was pretty sure that Harper is an evangelical Christian and not a R.C. Did anyone else notice this?

    • The Pope won't be too pleased if he finds out about this serious matter. He's meeting Harper at the G8 summit in Italy next week.

      • Birdget – we touched on that early – see above!
        I confess – I did not see him put it in his mouth – but I hope he did – is it a lesser consequence I imagine – than stuffing it in his pocket or even throwing it into the bushes on his way out of the church…

      • Neither will Harper. He's meeting God at the Judgement Summit in Afterlife in the next 7 decades.

    • You literally saw him take the host in his hand? I just find that incredible. It can't have been deliberate, but surely the celebrant would not have allowed someone as famous as PMSH to take communion when everybody knows he's not Catholic! Man . . .

      • Let's call this one "Wafergate".

  8. No Salute….damn any civilain or civilian leader that thinks they are entitled to a salute…this practice needs to stop it is a disservice to our men an dwomen in uniform that put themselves at risk for our freedom every day. A salute is reserved for officers of the Canadian Armed forces. The Prime Minister Canada is not the leader or Commander in Cheif of our Amred forces much like our neighbour to the south's President, therefore he or she shall never be entitled to a salute. if our soldiers are doing it already they should be informed by senior NCO's that they are not adhering to armed forces regulations for saluting.

    • Yep, I think they're supposed to do a march past for review, possibly with eyes right, but no salute.

      • If you would like to read the Torch article that heads this thread you will find a reference to the rules of protocol which govern this matter. They include the description of who and when salutes are given to – and the Prime Minister is one of those for whom there is explicit provision for a salute – including a 19 gun salute if the occasion provides.

        Saluting is not restricted to officers of our own armed forces. An ordinary salute may be given not only to officers of other nations, but as a sign of respect to any civilian. For more formal salutes, such as the one given to the PM, as has been given to many other Prime Ministers, other rules apply.

        But please, save yourself some angst, and simply read what the rules are.

        • Thanks for the correction. My mistake.

  9. Wow- I can’t believe the way some people on this site have just run down Catholic beliefs. Probably the same people who wanted Stockwell Day’s beliefs left alone ( a fair argument ).

    Catholics take their belief in the symbolism of the Host very seriously. Your comments are insulting and ignorant.

    • To whom are you referring, exactly?

      Also, Catholics don't treat the Host as 'symbolism', but rather as the literal flesh and blood of Christ. That is precisely why receiving in a state of non-communion with the Church is considered perilous.

    • I do not think that Harper is guilty of a major misstep here – I just believe that it was a faux-pas. I am a practicing Catholic and I am not offended – just surprised that he did not know that he shouldn't have taken the host in his hand and did whatever he did with it. The priest should have made an announcement to the people attending the funeral mass regarding non Catholics receiving a blessing rather than the host.

      • At the risk of sounding again like a Harper-apologist internet yahoo…if Harper is completely unaware of Catholic traditions, then I can also see how he would just follow what was going on without asking, and just ends up at the altar receiving communion without realizing what was going on.

        Points to being an inconsiderate doofus, perhaps, but to make it into some dastardly deed is just way over the top…

  10. Ah, Conservatives — remember when Mila Mulroney demanded the RCMP salute her, at 24 Sussex, I believe?

    I don't know anything about evangelists: do they take communion? Anyway, I rather thought the trend was for churches to allow anyone, even the unconfirmed, to take communion?

    Anyway, he's a guy who disrespects protocols all around, why would this be any different?

  11. Ahhh, if we can play the anthem at sports events it's all downhill from there.

  12. It is not plausible that Harper and his advisors do not know this. Likely Harper figured it will win him more votes than any he would lose. Just like the salute, it is about public image.

  13. But if she isn't willing to step up, the CDS should, with the same tone that an RSM would take with his or her CO – respectful, but not completely deferential.

    Clearly, Canada needs a Salute Nazi.

    "No salute for you!!!"

  14. The GG is merely a fig leaf disguising the power of the emperor, and a transparent one at that. I mean prime minister. If anyone deserves to receive gestures of submission and loyalty in this country, it's the PM. Let him have his salutes.

    But I must say, damn the bloggers for noticing things like this and making the public uncomfortably aware of their status as serfs. Someone should really do something about them. Emperor Obama is already taking steps to restrict the internet using commerce and taxes as the excuse. If we follow this lead and add more restrictions based on draconian copyright laws and the paranoid fear of cyber attacks then I think we will be able to get the blogger problem under control.

  15. Just goes to show how lost the significance of a salute is these days. Salute, shmalute — meaningless to the masses. Maybe you should think less about the salute, and more about the insecure little man who craves it.

  16. I despise what Harper has done as prime minister, but I really don't care if he gets saluted or not. A few less parades might be a good idea, but if soliders are going to march around and he's going to watch, what does it matter?

    And if he took communion he was just joining in with what everyone else was doing, probably out of respect. Some of you are losing perspective.

    If it was such a dire issue why would they risk allowing non-Catholics in the door? I suspect like most Canadians , Catholics consider religon to be a personal matter, and accepting communion as a private decision. I doubt they are interested in sorting out the heretics who accidentally wander into mortal peril. Isn't there a book about that, not judging others etc.?

  17. I'd be most interested to listen to the grapevines of the armed forces and catholic hallways for their reactions. As mentioned, convention for the CONs is all about restrictions to entitlements – unless they convention is designed to serve them or their medicis.

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