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Wednesday, July 26, 2006

More politics...

On the anniversary theme, today is the 50th anniversary of the nationalization of the Suez Canal, which Europe used as an excuse to start a war -- backing Israel, of course.

Canada's foreign minister, Lester Pearson, came up with a clever idea -- peacekeeping -- which prevented a war and has saved many lives since. When receiving his Nobel Peace Prize, Pearson was told by the committee that he had pretty well saved the world.

So with war in that region again, where's Canada? Would anyone listen to Harper, or whoever the hell the foreign minister is these days?

In fifty years, Canada's gone from a country which had some power -- enough to prevent wars, save the world, ect -- and now, we're not a consideration.

It's a question of leadership. We settle(d) for Harper (by choice or otherwise) because he was seen as the lesser of two evils (or the least corrupt, anyway). But compare what he or his predecessors have done to what Pearson did as PM (this is after saving the world, and according to wikipedia): introduced universal health care, the Canadian Pension Plan and student loans, as well as the Maple Leaf flag; resisted pressure to enter Vietnam; made French an official language; and instituted the world's first race-free immigration system (ie, the points system).

This, in just four years, with a minority government, albeit one supported by Tommy Douglas' NDP, who obviously had a very big impact. Imagine that, two amazing leaders, at one time. It boggles the mind.

So what would Pearson (or hell, Douglas) do with the situation in Lebanon? Who knows, but I bet he'd do something.

And so can you. Following Kris' lead, here's the link to the Lebanese Red Cross.

Aside to Daorcey: That Wanker Gretzky is even on the CBC's list of greatest Canadians alongside Pearson is one of several reasons that I can't stand him. I know that's not really his fault, but honestly -- peacekeeping vs hockey? His "legend" status is so pushed on us, that I can't help but react against it. But at least he is/was the best hockey player; what Don Cherry did to deserve making that list blows my mind...


Anonymous Peter said...

Don Cherry is a talentless abomination with no fashion sense.

He's an embarrassment to the nation and the prime reason I avoid watching CBC hockey broadcasts.

I'm dating myself but I actually remember seeing "newsreels" of the Suez crisis at the movies.


Blogger Daorcey said...

Newsreels? wow.

I think your frustration with Gretzky is fair. He has done a few lame things in his life.

But, I think it's interesting how nations make their heros and myths (especially a country as young as Canada). It's funny to compare to some place like, say, England. They have statues of Wellington. We have statues of middle-aged hockey players.

Go Oil!


Blogger Nicole said...

Dude... Peter, you're old! :)

And Daorcey, it is interesting. I wonder if the US did a similar list, if they'd put Michael Jordan or Tiger Woods or Babe Ruth on it. Somehow I doubt it, but I could be wrong.

Amazed there's no statue of Gretzky in Edmonton yet. Or is there?


Blogger Mary said...

The US did do a similar list with a show called "The Greatest American" on the Discovery Channel. Guess who came out on top? Ronald Reagan. Yep. Ahead of Martin Luther King, Jr. and Abraham Lincoln (and Dubya made the top ten!) Reagan had just died a few months earlier, and his reconsideration and canonization were still going strong. If the list were to be compiled today, I think it would be different. Funny how a list like that reflects more upon the time that it was compiled than about the actual merits of the people on it.


Blogger Nicole said...

Checked that Greatest American thing, and the highest up sports person is Lance Armstrong at 20th, beating Ali (amazingly) by one.

So yeah, Mary, I think you're right. Reflects the current times more than anything else...


Blogger Nicole said...

Oh, and saw this on the Globe and Mail today, regarding the Canadian peacekeeper killed by Israeli bombs dropped on a UN base in Lebanon...

"The Prime Minister offered no condemnation of Israel for the deadly bombing and instead suggested that the United Nations should not have put the men in harm's way."

Now that's leadership. Blame the victims, not the guys with the guns.


Anonymous Peter said...

Yes, I'm old(er) but I do remember a time when a Prime Minister was a person of substance and not a cheap copy of a cheesy republican zealot.

Remember, Lester Pearson was facing a US that was immersed in the tail end of the McCarthy anti-communist witchhunts and any policy that strayed from their mantra was seen as being supportive of the Soviet Union.

Not much has changed in the US with the exception that "terrorism" has replaced "communism".

I hate to say this but even Mulroney had more balls and brains than Harper when it comes to foreign policy.

I too was pissed off at Harper's ugly comments on the Israeli bombing of the UN post.

He should be ashamed and personally apologize to the family of the Canadian soldier in question.

I tend to agree with Bill Graham's comments.



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