Achievement Lists

A blogger I really like posted the following image that is being used by the Canadian Liberals to promote the Liberal party and compare it to Canada’s NDP:

As voxcorvegis points out:

THERE HAVEN’T BEEN ANY NDP FEDERAL GOVERNMENTS! It would be just as disingenuous as if I were to make a list of major scandals that have taken place under Liberal and NDP administrations, and then claim that that “proved” that the Liberals were more prone to corruption.

This poster reminded me of lists spread by woman-haters where they make a list of male and female scientists, artists, military leaders, etc. throughout history. Since the female list is less populated, they gleefully hold it up as proof that women are inferior. I always thought that it took a special level of stupidity to make such lists and not even stop to think why one side is less populated than the other.

The folks who tried to promote the Canadian Libs this way just showed themselves to be total idiots.

63 thoughts on “Achievement Lists”

  1. I remember during the last election, I was watching one of the debates between the leaders (except Elizabeth May, who wasn’t welcomed, pffft) and Michael Iggy said something which turned me off the Liberals forever: He said that the election was going to be between the Liberals and the Tories, completely hand-waving the NDP and the Bloc (and the nonpresent Greens) His sense of entitlement reminded me of Democrats in the States, who did nothing to please progressive voters, but still expected them to vote Democrat because they weren’t the Republicans. Nice try, but this isn’t a two party system, and no party is entitled to my vote based on who they aren’t.
    That entitlement comes through here too, spending time attacking the Opposition who “stole” votes that they think rightfully belong to them, rather than, you know, the current government.

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    1. “His sense of entitlement reminded me of Democrats in the States, who did nothing to please progressive voters, but still expected them to vote Democrat because they weren’t the Republicans”

      – And they keep relying upon that. The voters are the ones who keep losing out because it’s always a choice between the two evils and you just sit there calibrating which evil is lesser. 😦

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      1. But thankfully, Iggy and the Libs didn’t get their entitlement reinforced by the voters, the NDP surged, and they got a humbling lesson. Which some of them haven’t learned, if this is anything to go by.

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  2. Friends don’t let friends use ‘Democrat’ as an adjective. I understand ‘New Democrat’ can be an adjective, but this is different.

    Wasn’t it Stephen Fucking Harper who tagged Liberal as an “entitlement” party? I know what you’re getting at though.

    I’m in a tribal mood, so I have this irrational belief that using my adversaries’ memes strengthens my adversaries.

    I envy your 2+ party system. Please defend it.

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    1. Even after being reduced to just over ten percent of the seats in the House of Commons, you still sometimes hear Liberals call themselves “Canada’s Natural Governing Party.”
      I’m just saying…maybe that ‘arrogance’ charge has some weight to it.

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    1. Tommy Douglas was the “father” of universal health care in Canada.

      Sorry, but no. He was a pioneer who implemented medicare in Saskatchewan (and quite successfully I might add). But that is all he did. Nothing more, nothing less. Last time I check Saskatchewan is a province, not the federation.

      The Liberals were responsible for the federal legislation that extended Tommy’s model to all of Canada.

      Listing that accomplishment 100% on the liberal side is also a bit misleading. I would say it is something like 50% Liberal 50% NDP, and not so much because of Tommy Douglas, but because it was done during the minority government of Pearson, so the legislation passed with the support of the NDP.

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      1. @ CC

        If you read the wikipedia article two lines stick out.

        Douglas is widely hailed as the father of Medicare, and took the opportunity to take his cause to the federal stage.

        So, the adoption of health care across Canada ended up being the work of three men with diverse political ideals – Tommy Douglas, John Diefenbaker and Lester Pearson.

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  3. Liberals under Trudeau also adopted the ominous War Measure Act during the 1970 October crisis. Only the NDP was courageous enough to denouce the Government action.

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    1. Oh- rehashing the October crisis. Interesting. As much as I despise Trudeau, the action worked. The terrorism stopped, Quebec is still a sovereign province, and the Francophone culture still thrives in Quebec and other corners of Canada.

      Would we have been better off if Trudeau had allowed the country to descend into civil war? Think Quebec would have the power it currently has had that path been followed?

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      1. Please don’t use gay slurs, David. “Fuck-ass” or “ass-hat” or “peepee doodoo head” or something similar works just fine.

        “Feces” is also inappropriate. “Shit” or “turds” is preferable. 😛

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  4. Rehashing? Really? I think that this event has to be remembered and constantly put under critical scrutiny otherwise it gets fossilized into one interpretation of history or it is merely erased from history books.So yes: the October crisis has to be discussed again but lets be critical about it. Even if I question the political actions of some of its members, I do not think that the FLQ was big enough a threat to justify such a vast military intervention and a ‘state of exception’ in Quebec. Unlike Patrick, I do not think that Canada was on a verge of a civil war in the early 1970s.

    In fact, Trudeau managed to instill fear in the population. It pretty much worked as the October crisis became a collective trauma and we seldomly hear about the October crisis nowadays. To some extent this sad story reminds me the official politics of amnesia in countries with former dictatorial regimes such as Chile, Argentina, or Spain.

    As for the power Quebec currently has in the Federation…
    Quebec is a sovereign province?

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    1. I think most critics of the War Measure Act do so under the benefit of hindsight. Let’s recall that it was invoked with the “unanimous consent of all party leaders in the Quebec National Assembly.”

      “This act was imposed only after the negotiations with the FLQ had broken off and the Premier of Quebec was facing the next stage in the FLQ’s terrorist agenda.”

      and

      “At the time, opinion polls in Quebec and the rest of Canada showed overwhelming support for the War Measures Act; in a December 1970 Gallup Poll, it was noted that 89% of English-speaking Canadians supported the introduction of the War Measures Act, and 86% of French-speaking Canada supported its introduction.”

      Personally, I think at the time the act needed to be invoked, but Trudeau overreached somewhat in the extent and duration of its application, as evidenced by the fact that nearly none of the people detained were ever charged, much less convicted.

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    2. “It pretty much worked as the October crisis became a collective trauma and we seldomly hear about the October crisis nowadays. To some extent this sad story reminds me the official politics of amnesia in countries with former dictatorial regimes such as Chile, Argentina, or Spain.”

      – I thought we don’t hear about it because the problem has been resolved. Oh, wait. That’s exactly what people always say about Spain’s Transition. And I just realized that for the very first time. Huh.

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    3. Rehash was an entirely poor choice of words. I agree with you – it should not be forgotten, and it should be looked at with a critical eye, not just from the perspective of 1970, but with the benefit of hindsight.

      As for Quebec being sovereign – they have control over their immigration, Pension, employment insurance, language, etc. . . they even have their own ’embassy’ in some foreign countries. If that’s not a better deal than every other province, I’ll eat my hat.

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  5. David Gendron :

    FUCK YOU, YOU FAG-ASS TERRORIST!

    EAT YOUR FECES!

    Folks, please, if you want to exchange insults, address them to me, not to each other. I’m the only one who can moderate here, so it’s unfair to make the space unsafe for people who have no control over the space.

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      1. So, I take it you disagree with me. Please, tell me why. True using adult words, logic, reason. Any idiot can hurl insults – that is not an argument.

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      2. The FLQ kidnapped a couple of people, and killed one of them. The size of the FLQ was relatively small, but their support was widespread, spawning the future political movements, the PQ and later, to some degree, the Bloc Quebecois, who’s main goal was an independent Quebec.

        I think one has to look at this from the perspective of the late ’60’s and early 70’s, considering the rise of the IRA in Ireland, and the rioting that was occurring in the US. Political tension was high, and the government was motivated to squash the movement before it became a ‘real’ problem. Or so goes the Coles’ notes.

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  6. “Would we have been better off if Trudeau had allowed the country to descend into civil war? Think Quebec would have the power it currently has had that path been followed?”

    This is utter ignorance.

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    1. I repeat – it is not false. They have their own QPP, funded by the Feds, administered and controlled by the province. They have their own EI system, funded by the feds, administered by the province. They have the right to demand French only signage, where the rest of Canada must abide by the Charter. They have the right to refuse immigrants – whether they do or not isn’t relevant – they possess the right. No other province in Canada has that right – if the Fed’s allow you to immigrate, you can go anywhere in Canada, and the province can’t stop you – except Quebec. In the interest of protecting and maintaining their French culture.

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      1. “They have their own QPP, funded by the Feds, administered and controlled by the province. They have their own EI system, funded by the feds, administered by the province.”

        No, that’s false. The only thing different is the Régie des rentes
        du Québec, administrated and funded by the province.

        “They have the right to demand French only signage, where the rest of Canada must abide by the Charter. ”

        I agree and I’m against that. But this would not be the case in a sovereign Québec. Bill 101 is a fascist law, especially for signage purposes.

        “They have the right to refuse immigrants – whether they do or not isn’t relevant – they possess the right. No other province in Canada has that right – if the Fed’s allow you to immigrate, you can go anywhere in Canada, and the province can’t stop you – except Quebec. In the interest of protecting and maintaining their French culture.”

        I agree but they don’t have the right to accept immigrants, so many french speaking immigrants are deported. This is
        not “controlling their immigration”.

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    1. Pretending that it wasn’t is burying your head in the sand. How long should the gov’t wait before acting? There were terrorists kidnapping and killing. What happens if they had struck into English Canada? The Quebec government was completely ineffectual. Even 10 yrs later, there were a great many people (in English Canada) who ask, “Why didn’t we just conquer and subjugate the Quebecois, like we should have in 1774!” I think you are seriously underestimating the animosity between the English and French at the time.

      I’ll agree though that it is completely hypothetical to project what may have happened. We can never know. If circumstances had been different, say a Stephen Harper were PM at the time, and invoked the War Measures Act, I think the results would have been significantly different. Trudeau may have been the only PM who could have successfully maneuvered that crisis.

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      1. 2 kidnappings and 1 killing (and maybe some bombs, even though I think RCMP had a role in this) and they throw many peaceful activists in prison for political reasons with their fucking War Measures Act. That’s even worse than the Patriot Act. At least,
        Patriot Act is a stupid measure reacting to killing of thousands of people. Pretending that Québec was in danger of a civil war is playing the federalo-colonialist game.

        “If circumstances had been different, say a Stephen Harper were PM at the time, and invoked the War Measures Act, I think the results would have been significantly different.”

        The best thing you said here. I agree, it would have been worse. Troudeau was not as bad as Art-Peur would have been in this case.

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      2. David,
        The RCMP involvement is a significant point that I believe is lost on most people, and is one of the important Hindsight observations that we can make. Considering how and when to use undercover officers in an operation – if we investigate this, we may gather significant information on how to proceed in the future.

        FYI Clarissa – the RCMP used undercover officers to infiltrate the FLQ – and there is amble evidence to suggest that the bombings carried out by the FLQ were at least encouraged by the RCMP – obviously (to me, anyway) the undercover RCMP believed the bombings were going to occur, and thought they we’re simply playing their part. However, the officers may have played their parts too well – taking leadership roles within the movement, rather than that of a follower.

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        1. ” However, the officers may have played their parts too well – taking leadership roles within the movement, rather than that of a follower.”

          – Wow. That’s something I really had no idea about. What an informative thread this is turning out to be.

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  7. It did start as a Liberal vs NDP post. I wondered whether the Liberals should have included the ominous War Measures Act in their achievement list. The NDP was the only party against it. The discussion about the October Crisis is now more subtle and I like it.

    Clarissa: the debate around the October crisis is not over, just like the political viability of Independence, even if mainstream media like to herald that “independence is dead or belongs to the past.” Well it does not. Like it or not.

    Another thing about the October crisis: watch Michel Brault’s Les ordres if you have time one day. In fact, watch every movie Brault filmed.

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    1. I have no problem discussing significant issues. As Kosh said, “Truth is a 3 edged sword” – (my side, your side, and the truth). Getting disparate perspectives is key to understanding complex issues. And things like the October crisis and Quebec independence are not simple black and white issues.

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  8. Clarissa, I don’t think a governement should intervene the choice of language for store signage purpose. If you don’t want English signage in a store, don’t buy there! That’s why I think Bill 101 is a fascist law.

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      1. Your argument about English signage sounds convincing today, after Bill 101, but you are well aware that Bill 101 goes beyond that. You cannot deem this law fascist by isolating the specific case of English signage.

        I was also born after Bill 101 so I cannot say… but I wonder where people could go shopping before Bill 101 if they wanted to buy in stores “en français.”

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      2. “. . .well, the invisible hand of the glorious capitalist market would straighten all that out.”

        You say that tongue-in-cheek, but seriously, that is what would happen. Venture through Toronto, Vancouver, London or Windsor (the places I’ve lived) – you’ll see plenty of ethnic business, with signage in their native language. No English. No French. Clearly, there is a market for them, and they are successful serving that niche. Assuming we have to ‘protect’ culture is part of the Liberal Nanny state Trudeau tried to usher in. Thankfully, we’ve resisted it to some degree, in most of Canada.

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        1. I’m just making fun of my friend Ol who gets very annoyed when I praise capitalism. 🙂

          My friends (who are all ultra Liberal) treat my love of capitalism like a disability. They are always kind and understanding of this affliction. 🙂

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  9. “Your argument about English signage sounds convincing today, after Bill 101, but you are well aware that Bill 101 goes beyond that. You cannot deem this law fascist by isolating the specific case of English signage.”

    For education purposes, Bill 101 is not a big deal and I have no big problem with it. But for signages purposes, it’s fascist.

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    1. “For education purposes, Bill 101 is not a big deal and I have no big problem with it. ”

      – It is a very very big deal because it discriminates between people who were born in Quebec only because of who their parents are. That cannot be right.

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      1. We had that argument so many times, right? Quebec as a special place that calls for special laws… and education is not like a shopping centre and all of that? I still believe that the linguistic, cultural, and political complexity of Quebec within North America outweighs your “discrimination” argument.

        But please don’t worry: now it is even easier for anglophiles in Quebec to buy their way to non-francophone schools. It’s great, right? Now they will all dream to be exposed to the kind of ‘diversity’ that offers posh Westmount schools. It’s awesome.

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        1. ‘I still believe that the linguistic, cultural, and political complexity of Quebec within North America outweighs your “discrimination” argument.”

          – Do you think it makes sense to impose diversity? I don’t mean specifically and exclusively Quebec. The people of Quebec will figure this out without my input. 🙂 I mean in general. Is diversity something that needs to be promoted at the expense of limiting individual choice?

          “But please don’t worry: now it is even easier for anglophiles in Quebec to buy their way to non-francophone schools. ”

          – Some people wouldn’t need to do that if they didn’t feel a much higher hostility towards themselves as immigrants from the French than from the English-speaking community. Why do you think they are so desperate to place their kids into Anglo schools? because they like parting with money? WE are having this very debate at home right now, as you know, and we have a situation where a very obviously Hispanic kid needs to go to school in Quebec. The main issue for all of us is for her to feel accepted and fully integrated. Nobody doubts that she will be fully bilingual and nobody minds that, of course. But the identity issue is very important here.

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  10. Ética de la hospitalidad, verdad?

    “- Do you think it makes sense to impose diversity? I don’t mean specifically and exclusively Quebec. The people of Quebec will figure this out without my input. I mean in general. Is diversity something that needs to be promoted at the expense of limiting individual choice?”

    I do not think it is a diversity vs. individual choices issue. Educating children in French in Quebec merely recognizes the very fact that Quebec is a Francophone province where public life (public, not private) is in French. Kids should be well prepared for that. Bill 101 corrected what I consider shameful mistakes in the story of public education in Quebec.

    As for the second part of your reply, I was not exclusively writing this with your personal situation in mind. I am more than anything annoyed with the minority of French-speaking families who want to put their kids in posh Anglo private schools. You think these parents made that decision out of love for the English culture?

    You write that immigrants felt more hostility from the French than from the English-speaking community and I will not question your experience or your impressions. I will only write that unlike francophones in Quebec, the ideology of English-speaking community in Canada towards immigrants is multiculturalism. And you know my criticism of multiculturalism. Now that is the promotion of ‘diversity.’

    I will ask my wife and two of her elementary school teacher friends to share their experience with discrimination against immigrant kids in francophone schools in Montreal. More to come. They all work in very different schools in different neighbourhoods. My despressing experience as a high school teacher was that immigrants discriminated against each other: it was not a ‘pure laine’ against immigrants kind of discrimination.

    I am not concerned about my ‘Hispanic’ kid. My wife and I speak to him exclusively in Spanish. He speaks Spanish with my wife’s family. He speaks French with my parents and at daycare. If he is discriminated against because he speaks Spanish believe me that I have plenty of arguments to help him not being affected by it.

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    1. It’s not about discrimination per se. It’s about identity construction. It’s easier, in my view, to construct an identity and to fit in for an immigrant by elaborating an English-speaking identity. Even if you are fully bilingual (like you), one identity is dominant, isn’t it?

      We have relatives on M.’s fiance’s side. They are Peruvian but their kid was born and raised in Quebec City, has no English or Spanish at all. They speak French at home and it’s her only language. Now that she is 17, though, she is not integrated into the Francophone community. She doesn’t have a French-speaking crowd, and we all know how crucial it is for a kid to have a group of buddies at that age. So she is trying to work out a Hispanic identity now, hangs out with Latinos, etc. And the same thing happened to my friend’s kid. I don’t why, but they can’t seem to join the identity group of the only language they speak.

      Linguistic identity is the most fundamental, foundational thing one can develop. I know people who are sans any linguistic identity and it isn’t pretty. They have a language, of course, but they have no frame of reference, no community, as much as I hate the word, in this language.

      This is such a central issue, to my mind, that now that I’m considering having a child, I have started reading Russian books, following the news from Russia, I’m expanding my knowledge of the language, I’m trying to conquer my huge post-colonial resentment and learn to love the Russian culture.

      I’m doing this because my kid will be half-Russian and I will have to be able to connect with her or him through that part of their identity if that’s what s\he chooses to practice.

      This is why I think that such an absolutely central issue should not be regulated by any kind of authorities. I think this is as intimate an area of life as one’s sexuality and just as crucial.

      Hence, the length of the comment.

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      1. I’m doing this because my kid will be half-Russian and I will have to be able to connect with her or him through that part of their identity if that’s what s\he chooses to practice.

        Is identity something one practices or something one performs? Religion, I take it, is something one practices.

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        1. “Is identity something one practices or something one performs”

          – Linguistic identity is who you are. Gender identity is, to a great degree, a performance. One can be intersex and be perfectly happy. But feral children who never acquire language, never acquire human identity either. 😦

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  11. I know how strongly you feel about linguistic identity. This is an ever-ending discussion between you and me, but it makes me happy because, you celebrating capitalism besides, this is the only occasion I disagree with you!

    For me, there is an unproblematic difference between the languages spoken in one’s private sphere (where linguistic identity is built) and the languages one’s should logically speak in public sphere, but perhaps that’s precisely because I barely had any problem conciliating my own linguistic identity with both spheres. I have suffered a great deal in NH CT though…

    People ask me why I do not speak English to my kid. Besides the obvious explanation that I do not speak it well enough, I also mention that I do not ‘feel’ the language [i.e. it is not part of my linguistic identity] while I do not have the same problem with French or Spanish. People often don’t get that.

    Por cierto, I have heard that nobody ever fully integrates into Quebec City. Ha ha ha… The experience of your friend’s kid in Montreal, quite frankly, surprises me.

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    1. “This is an ever-ending discussion between you and me, but it makes me happy because, you celebrating capitalism besides, this is the only occasion I disagree with you!”

      – You also hold the completely erroneous belief that Latin American literature is more fascinating than Peninsular. This is SO mistaken! 🙂 🙂

      “I have suffered a great deal in NH CT though”

      – So have I, so maybe it’s not as much about language. No Heaven was a black hole for many other reasons.

      “Besides the obvious explanation that I do not speak it well enough, I also mention that I do not ‘feel’ the language [i.e. it is not part of my linguistic identity] while I do not have the same problem with French or Spanish. People often don’t get that.”

      – That’s precisely why M. can’t reconcile with the idea of placing her kid into a French school. She can’t imagine having a different linguistic identity from her daughter’s. And M. says she always feels like an outsider among French-speakers. She says that with English-speakers she is herself, but with Francophones she is always an immigrant.

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