A Canadian's perspective on domestic and international issues. Independent coverage of Canadian federal, provincial and municipal elections and anything of interest in Canada.

Friday, March 03, 2006

Gordon O'Connor, we are NOT dense

Regarding this statement by Canadian Defennse Minister Gordon O'Connor, regarding the growing opposition to our government's role in Afghanistan.

"The population out there doesn't really understand right now why we're
there and what we're doing. You have to say the thing five, six, seven,
eight times before it really gets through to a large number of people." -
Defence Minister O'Connor instructs the foreign press.

There are a few things I'd like to tell Mr. O'Connor, and because I'm sure he is an intelligent fellow who can hear what people are saying, I don't suspect I'll need to repeat myself.

1. In a democracy, majority, right or wrong, rule.

2. The majority of Canadians voted for the opposition parties in the last federal election.

3. According to current polls, the majority of Canadians do not want Canadian troops in Afghanistan.

4. Most Canadians want a public debate on the role of Canada's armed forces in the world today, not just Afghanistan.

5. Just because people are questioning the role of our troops in Kandahar Province, and other places, does not mean they do not support our troops.

6. Our troops are our friends, neighbours and members of our families, and it is absurd to suggest that we don't have their best interests at heart.

7. Canadians are among the best educated people in the world, we do not need to be told over and over again. We can hear what we are being told and we do not need other people or government officials making up our minds for us.

8. In a parliamentary democracy, especially in a minority government, the role of that government is to represent the will of the people.

9. Clearly, the will of the people right now is to debate the role of our armed forces in the world at large.

10. It is very difficult to rally public support to a cause when you refer to the members of the public in derogatory fashion, ie. . . suggesting they are "dense" by saying things like:

"You have to say the thing five, six, seven, eight times before it really gets through to a large number of people."


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