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reprinted with permission http://www.rabble.ca/news_full_story.shtml?sh_itm=5cc5c0be1505223db545b598e3ea7d8d&r=1 More war stories to come Rather than throw mud, the NDP should be talking about the role the Liberals have played in cutting the ties that bind all Canadians. by Duncan Cameron April 13, 2005 Jean Brault, the former head of Groupaction Marketing, testified before the Gomery Inquiry last week. His testimony has implicated the Liberal party in a kickback scheme. Government advertising in Quebec — sponsorship money — was awarded to his company. In return he put Liberal operatives on the payroll, paid people for fictitious work, and made contributions to the Liberal party. Groupaction took in about $60 million in contracts, kicked back about $1.5 million to the Liberals, and Brault paid himself around $6 million. Brault favours Quebec independence. His testimony has brought that issue back. The Quebec provincial Parti Québécois (PQ) smells a dream scenario emerging from the kickback revelations. The federal Liberals fall to the Bloc Québécois in Quebec, and lose support in the country. A Conservative government is formed in Ottawa, and the PQ win an election over the unpopular Jean Charest government, and call the third referendum on sovereignty. They win the sovereignty vote because federalism has become synonymous with the Liberals who are down — and out. The Conservatives are ineffective in defending Canada. Soft Quebec nationalists go over to the sovereignty camp. No party has effectively addressed the real issues behind the sponsorship scandal. The Liberals say they were at war with sovereigntists and had to use all means to combat the enemy. Paul Martin and his handlers say his task is to punish the war profiteers, and achieve vindication for his party. Martin scrubs the Liberals clean or something to that effect. In fact it was witless Martin who created the conditions whereby the sovereigntists almost won the 1995 referendum, which then encouraged the Jean Chrétien people to roll out the sponsorship scheme, giving party “friends” a chance to scam the public.
reprinted with permission

The Just Society and its enemies by Duncan Cameron
August 18, 2004

The Conservatives got in electoral trouble in the recent election campaign when they questioned gay rights, abortion rights, the Supreme Court as guardian of the Charter of Rights, and official languages policy, a.k.a. bilingualism. Leader Stephen Harper distanced his party from some comments made by his candidates, but he was himself cited on bilingualism. It is a failed ideal, he had said, a leftover from the Trudeau era.

This year marks the 400th anniversary of the first French settlement in North America. It is being celebrated in Nova Scotia, notably, and in the Acadian French regions across the Maritimes. Despite its apparent longevity, the state of the official language minority outside Quebec remains perilous. Many within Quebec still believe that only political independence can assure the survival of the French language. Sovereignists can show how the French language communities are being assimilated rapidly outside Quebec.

Appeasement: selling out on missile defence
reprinted with permission

Is there anyone who seriously believes that Canadian support for this project will advance world peace?

by Duncan Cameron
October 6, 2004

Appeasement is one of the most important words of the 20th century. Winston Churchill was the famous opponent of this policy of conciliation, which can also be thought of as a willingness to sell out others, in order to gain peace for yourself.

When the U.K. government tried to appease Hitler at Munich by handing over a part of Czechoslovakia, Winston roared that the dictator would come back for more now that his appetite had been whetted, since the policy of Germany was mastery of Europe.

Under Mackenzie King, the Liberals supported appeasement. It was widely thought the Treaty of Versailles which ended World War I was unjust, and that Germany's legitimate grievances should be met. This explains the support in Canada (and elsewhere) for the appeasement policy until Munich.

Martin should either govern or resign
by Duncan Cameron
rabble.ca, July 28, 2004
reprinted with permission

Paul Martin defined his government's agenda when he denounced the "culture" of Ottawa, and announced everything would have to change. It was part of his early, failed attempt to dissipate the sponsorship scandal by becoming an accuser himself.

But, there is little doubt he wants the public sector to be overhauled, and Ottawa remade along the lines of private enterprise, perhaps becoming more like a steamship company.

This was confirmed when the new cabinet was announced. Martin had Ralph Goodale stay on as finance minister. The prime minister talked about the imperative of having a minister who had the confidence of capital markets. This was how he defined the job he himself had held for a decade; it was not about financing services for citizens, but about creating a climate for profit-taking.

In debt with the two Ralphs
[reprinted with permission]

What do the two Ralphs have in common? They both work overtime for corporations.

by Duncan Cameron
October 27, 2004

What did Canadians do to deserve having Ralph Klein as premier of Alberta, our oil-rich province, and Ralph Goodale as Minister of Finance in Ottawa? The two Ralphs may make good material for Rick Mercer, but they add up to bad policies for Canadians. Let us look at what they have in common.

Both of these public-spirited gentlemen like to talk about debt. Alberta is debt free says Klein; Ottawa must continue to pay down the debt says Goodale. Each in his own way could not be more wrong.

reprinted with permission

Hockey Night in New York
by Duncan Cameron
September 22, 2004

I gave up Molson products the same day it became public knowledge the brewery, through its ownership of the Montreal Canadiens, had voted to block an NHL franchise for Vancouver. Montreal (Molsons) did not want to share television revenue with another Canadian team. Vancouver got its franchise of course. Public pressure from Western Canadians changed minds at Molsons.

Hockey is about more than sport; it helps us decipher what is going on around us. The lockout of NHL players is a big event in Canada, a main topic of conversation for many. The focus is on who is right and who is wrong, the domain known as ethics in the academy.

reprinted from Rabble.ca with the permission of the author Moving on from Live 8 by Duncan Cameron July 6, 2005 http://www.rabble.ca/columnists_full.shtml?x=40263 “It's a little bit of a dilemma, to think of the nations that have helped make Africa poor. And now we look to these nations for help.” (Mighty Popo, African Guitar Summit, Live 8 Concert.) There is an African expression cited recently by The Globe and Mail columnist Ken Wiwa that sums up the “dilemma.” When the white man came to Africa with his bible, the Africans were living on the land. When he left, the Africans had the bible, and the white man had their land. The point about the Live 8 concerts was to change the policies in the West that have done so much to make Africa poor. The social democratic injunction fits: first, do no harm. In this case stop the outflow of debt payments, step up the flow of new aid, and revise the trade rules that work against Africa. One-third of the Canadian population tuned into the Live 8 telecast at some point. Making the G8 leaders aware the world is watching is important; Live 8 organizers did their job on that score. Getting the G8 to do something this week will be easier as a result, but what emerges is hardly going to be satisfactory. The G8 is, after all, run by its biggest member, U.S. President you-know-who.
rabble.ca Dec. 22/2004 [reprinted with permission]

Our Woman in Washington
by Duncan Cameron

It's kind of surprising the position has not been advertised. It pays well, there is a great office to go to, and a residence, cook, staff, car and driver are provided. This being Ottawa, speculating on who will get named is one of the biggest games in town. It should be the best qualified person who gets the job; no one will be surprised if it is not.

The first Canadian to represent us in Washington was Vincent Massey who went on to be the first non-British-born Governor-General. That is Massey as in — “Canada has no classes, only the Masseys, and the masses.”

People still associate diplomacy with aristocracy, and for good reason. The profession flourished under the absolute monarchies of Europe; royal emissaries transacted the business of state.

Diplomacy in the age of electoral democracy has had to reinvent itself with every shift in communications technology. The cablegram supplanted the courier dispatch, before the telephone, fax and e-mail attached the diplomat to headquarters cutting off their decision-making autonomy.

Most of what is said and written about the qualities requisite in a Canadian ambassador to Washington make no sense. The last thing Canada needs is an ambassador who has direct ties to the prime minister, or clout with cabinet. If the Americans could choose who to receive, they would love to have a friend of Paul Martin, so they could send messages by arm twisting the Ambassador, so as to apply direct pressure at the top. How ever so much better to be able to say, “I will seek instructions from my ministry.”

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