Friday, June 30, 2006

Some Mild Patriotic Words

Tomorrow is Canada Day and while I'm not going to wave the flag about, I do want to say - Happy Birthday - eh!

A couple of nights ago, I answered a telephone opinion survey. It was a political survey and after the first three questions, there was no doubt in my mind. The survey was designed to find out whether Canadians agree with Harper's policies and his agenda. There were about 15 questions connected with the likelihood of a terrorist attack on Canada and how the government is handling this supposedly urgent matter. There were also a lot of questions about how much information the government should be able to access (in order to prevent terror attacks, naturally) and how further access to information, conversations, you name it, could be made legal. Finally, there were questions about Canada's role in Afghanistan and our role as peacekeepers.

Many of the questions started with "Are you afraid? - of terrorist attacks, of youth gangs, of criminals not being locked-up forever, of refugees who may be terrorists, of our inability to defend our arctic waters, of ill-equipped customs officers, or conversely, of not being able to enter the United States of... Well ... Everything.

How can anyone reasonably answer a question like - will there be a terror attack on Canada in the next year? Yes, no, maybe - all are equally correct. If terrorists are going to target us, they are not going to warn us about it.

The questions concerning Canada's peacekeeping role were equally unsuitable. Should we stick to our "traditional observe and help role;" or should we take a more "Military" role. In the first place, our traditional peacekeeping role has always included military "action" when necessary in a protective manner. In the second place, actively assisting the Americans in Afghanistan to attack and kill is not peacekeeping. And it will not stabilize anything.

The whole questionaire seemed designed to prod paranoia buttons. Well my button didn't function. Let's not try to become Americans. We are Canadians, and that is more than good enough.

Harper, smarten up. Don't make me smite ya.

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