Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Taliban Detainees

The recent debate in the House of Commons over how the Afghanistan government is treating Taliban detainees whom are turned over to them by Canadian troops is a debate that deserves a prompt conclusion. The new Stephen Harper government is failing to move forward on this issue. Please tell me if there is some other side to this issue.

The credibility of Canadian troops is at stake. If in fact Taliban detainees are being tortured and human rights are being violated then Canadian troops and Canada will be disgraced at home and on the international stage. Some may argue that these Taliban detainees are the same murderous slime who should be held responsible for the death of Canadian troops. Regardless, if you become no different than your opponent then what has been gained?

The Dutch apparently have a specific and detailed reporting system the Afghanistan government must accept when they are handed detainees held by the Dutch. The Stephen Harper government has yet to offer any proof to Canadians that a responsible reporting system similar to the Dutch has been implemented. Further, they seem to be dragging their feet on this issue. Why?

Swift on the spot vigilantly justice by Afghans on the Taliban has been interrupted by Canadian troops on numerous occasions. Canadian troops have exercised restraint in these situations and have acted in a professional and humane manner.

Is it not time for the Government of Canada to honour our troops by implementing measures respecting Taliban detainees that compliments the actions of our Canadian troops? Again, if you are no different than your opponent then what has been gained? When you carefully observe how the new Stephen Harper government governs then you may be compelled to ask this question again. You may also question if they are really moving forward.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Virginia Tech

The tragic shooting at Virginia Tech is more than one can comprehend. A deranged student took these young lives for reasons none of us will ever really understand. Attempting to do so for most of us only leads to more sorrow for the families and friends who are left to mourn their loss. It seems impossible to find anything to grab onto that is positive out of this tragic event.

I will say that I am moved by the courage and strength of the students at Virginia Tech and those who rose to meet a most difficult challenge. It is all too easy to condemn the youth in our communities for all the things we, at times, feel they should be doing better. It is in times of tragedy and sorrow where we find our youth are far more mature than we ever give them credit for and now is one of those times.

I am at a loss to express my own personal feelings of this sorry time at Virginia Tech. I only have a deep feeling of sorrow and despair for those whom are left to mourn. Interestingly, it is the strength and resolve of the Virginia Tech youth who offer us the best hope of moving on and learning how to live with this dark and tragic time in American history.

I offer my sincere sympathy to the families of the victims. May God bless our youth and may we love them each and every day least they leave us too soon for reasons we can never predict. They are our hope, our resolve and our future.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Election Call

I have held the belief over the last couple of months that the Stephen Harper conservatives should call an election for the end of May or early June and give the voters an opportunity to elect a majority government. I am not a supporter of minority governments, but they do happen. A majority government would spare us all from the continual games that get played out in the House of Commons resulting from a minority government.

Canadians and the country would be better served with a majority government. Stephen Harper would like a majority, but he is deterred from calling an election because the polls indicate he may only receive another minority government. I disagree.

Canadians are tired of elections every year or two and I believe they would elect a majority government if Prime Minister Stephen Harper would simply call the election. Having served as Prime Minister for over a year, Stephen Harper doesn’t have to engineer his own defeat or spend his evenings reading the latest polls. He should simply call the election.

Finally, the conservatives should take notice of all the liberals who are not seeking re-election. The most recent announcement that Belinda Stronach will not seek re-election is bad news for the liberals and a sure sign that things are not going well for Stephan Dion and the liberals. As I have said before, Dion is done and the conservatives are positioned to win the next two elections.

If Stephen Harper continues to hesitate and manage this country from a minority position he may find the polls moving against him down the road. It is difficult for the conservatives to move forward with their true agenda as long as they are in a minority position. Stephen Harper, call the election.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Prime Minister Stephen Harper's Hockey Guide

Have you ever wondered just how serious Stephen Harper is about hockey? Well, there is no need to wonder anymore.

The federal conservatives, who say they don’t want an election, have just opened an elaborate 17,000 square foot facility to house their new election campaign Headquarters in Ottawa. It is apparently campaign ready with state of the art equipment that can accommodate up to about 100 staffers. It is reported the facility is plastered with Stephen Harper posters, which should feed his ego, and one province, Quebec, has its very own special space. How nice!

The facility should intimidate all other federal political parties. Apparently one liberal MP referred to it as a “fear factory.” Now keep in mind the conservatives don’t want an election and the other parties are scared silly of an election being called in the near future. As often stated, the best defence is a strong offense, which is regularly applied to the game of hockey. The new conservative campaign headquarters should be enough to scare the opposition out of an election for up to a year.

It is said that some of the worlds great war generals studied the tactics of Alexander the Great and applied them to modern day war scenarios. Prime Minister Stephen Harper seems to be studying the tactics of hockey teams to manage Canada and it just may be working. By hockey standards, Prime Minister Stephen Harper has established himself as the political Great One.

Now get this, the official size of a hockey rink is 200 feet long by 85 feet wide. This works out to exactly 17,000 square feet, which is the same size as the new conservative political campaign headquarters in Ottawa. Are you planning to face off with Stephen Harper and the conservatives? Then plan for a mean rough game and prepare to lose.