Thursday, July 24, 2014

When will Canadian MPs show this kind of guts?



Over 20 strong statements from members of the Conservative, Labour, and Liberal Democrat parties in UK 10 days ago, even before the most recent Israeli shelling of UN schools and hospitals with one child now being killed in Gaza every hour.

Note how these British MPs have vaulted right over the despicable cowardly practice, apparently obligatory among politicians in Canada and the US, of "fair and balanced" mealy-mouthed equating of the occupied and occupier - as if the blockaded and collectively punished people of Gaza (600 dead civilians) are somehow responsible for the security of their occupiers in Israel (2 dead civilians) with its Iron Dome and $3billion a year in US aid.

Yes, and while we're at it, when will the Canadian media show this kind of guts? 
Jon Snow, Channel Four :


.

21 comments:

mogs moglio said...

Allison,

Probably when they are indicted for crimes against Canada and Canadians but it won't be guts on this side of the pond it will be to try and get leniency from the trial judge.

Mogs

Anonymous said...

Any criticism of israel is quickly shouted down with shrieks of anti semitism and threats of defunding. Our politicians here, or at least the majority of them, are too chickenshit to grow a spine and break the cycle.

Anonymous said...

Alison,
The answer to your questions is - not anytime soon, because you have allowed a monster into Canada:

Stephen M. Walt,
Professor of International Affairs, Harvard:

AIPAC Is the Only Explanation for America's Morally Bankrupt Israel Policy

Kev said...

If there is a hell there will be a special place in it for Mark Regev

West End Bob said...

Can anyone envision harper, mulcair or trudeau making any of the statements of the British MPs in the first video? I sure can not. Elizabeth May, possibly, but not the rest of the lot.

Oh, but for a Canadian or USian network anchor to have the balls of Jon Sno in video #2! That's not gonna happen, either.

We on this side of "the pond" are relegated to the mealy-mouthed, complacent politicians and media personnel we've had for decades now.

Pity . . . .

thwap said...

I think if any politician spoke out against Israel's crimes they'd find a surprising amount of support.

Boris said...

thwap, sure, but we're in weird place in Canada where their own parties would disown them.

Boris said...

I'm not sure the Canadian government would allow this man to speak here either. http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/interview-with-former-israeli-security-chief-yuval-diskin-a-982094.html#spRedirectedFrom=www&referrrer=https://m.facebook.com

Anonymous said...

So the US, Canada, Britain and Israel say? The deaths of the Palestinian children are, merely collateral damage? There is a petition going around the globe against, Israels war on children and innocent people of Palestine. I won't be surprised if, the signatures are now in the millions.

Britain also harbors Harper's degenerates. Just as Bin Laden was harbored by a certain country.Citizens of Australia say, Abbott is also a fascist.

France is asking for a united front to fight against fascism. it does seem, the Common Wealth is becoming fascist.

I used to watch all the Royal visits and was interested in Kate, William and little Prince George. I took in all of the Queen's silver jubilee. However, I had absolutely no interest in Charles and Camilla's visit.

We went to war for Great Britain, so we wouldn't have Nazi fascist dictatorship in our countries. Quite frankly? Harper is not worth, our young Canadian boys dying for

scotty on denman said...

Because Canada and the UK have the same parliamentary system, this difference---the freedom of MPs to speak independently of their respective parties---is a stark contrast. There is no "party system" in Westminster parliaments. The cowing of MPs by their parties is a cultivated bad habit, a Canadian one, it would appear. Oh, sure, it may be a particular party's system to demand subservience of its MPs who successfully ran by that party's financing, but there is no "party system" in parliamentary terms---parties aren't even mentioned in the Constitution.

If there's something that the UK Commons does that allows their MPs to speak more freely---even criticize their own party's policies in harsh terms---I wish Canada's electorate to demand the same from our own Westminster Commons.

But don't even bother asking Steve---he called his party's electoral fraud conviction a mere difference of opinion, proclaimed parliament (i.e., his party) the supreme authority and condemned coalitions as being "unconstitutional". He plainly isn't the go-to guy in this regard.

Kev said...

I agree thwap, but in the end I don't think the issue moves many votes at all, certainly not enough to change outcomes. Something else is at play here.

Anonymous said...

“If voting changed anything, they'd make it illegal.”

mogs moglio said...

Alison,

My dear dear compatriot; you know you are running a wonderfully successful blog when you get gentlemen of this type of pedigree and caliber commenting third anon up top)--->

http://belfercenter.ksg.harvard.edu/experts/213/stephen_m_walt.html

I love you and bless you continue in your expert journalism.

You my love will all ways do well, keep the faith in as there are still real honest folks alive today who far out number the American Imperial way and the Harper lapdog fools who think they run the world. They do not us good folk really do.

Mogs Moglio

mogs moglio said...

Steve Harper seems a little like a Toronto street urchin compared to this:

http://www.foreignpolicy.com/voices/walt

Oh me oh my I forgot Steve is actually a Calgary white hat redneck street urchin.

Anonymous said...

After reading the" yinon plan" much of the current massacre just seem the natural way the Israeli`s will continue to behave.the fact that not one single congressional representative voted against or even voice even the slightest objection to this crime against humanity indicates how screwed the people of gaza are.

Alison said...

Mogs, my dear, that's just an anonymous commenter posting a link to an article by Stephen Walt - it's not Mr. Walt himself.

Boris : Really pertinent invu with ex-Israeli Security Chief Diskin. Thanks.

Scotty, Kev, Thwap, Boris, Bob : Professional media narrative of Israel the Good is so strong here - stronger here, as Jonathan Kay once argued, than anywhere else in the world - coupled with leaders of 3 main parties all trying to outdo each other in toadying translates into not a useful political wedge issue so no critical discussion, just slurs and bromides. Yet another argument against the toxic combo of first-past-the-post plus concentrated media, the gold dust twins.

Anon@4:19 : Great article. But sadly I think if AIPAC came up here there would be nothing for it to do.

mogs moglio said...

I Alison did not read it that way it looked to me like a signed statement by Stephen M. Walt, put it up to my blogosphere inexperience!

Cheers.

scotty on denman said...

Allison: please explain how single-member-plurality, the electoral system used by both Canada and Britain, afflicts Canada, also with the same Westminster parliamentary system as Britain's, with bad habits British MPs seem to have avoided.

The related affliction, the pustule, as 't were, is whipped votes. Given that pro-rep would likely yield hung parliaments where each ( money, or "confidence") bill could potentially force an election, whipped votes---and the symptomatic pre-pustule stage of MP obedience---might actually occur more frequently with pro-rep than with a SMP electoral system.

Do you think anything might be different if Israel didn't have a pro-rep electoral system?

Alison said...

Scotty : Agree on whipped votes. Parties are going to continue to exist because it's more economical/expedient to have some sort of brand under which to pool resources/values.
But it's the combined effect of media ownership concentration (95% editorial endorsement of Steve in last 3 elections and now corp advertorials, with The Star backing the Libs) PLUS the additional lack of diversity of voices entrenched by FPtP that results in a toxic and atrophied polity in Canada.

Can't do anything about the media but even an instant run-off voting system would allow you to vote for someone you actually believed in without penalty. Plus it would encourage people of different pov's to run for office who now don't bother because there's no friggin' point.

Both Britain (FPtP) and Israel ProRep) manage a far greater political diversity than we do - as do their respective media.

So why are we in Canada so mind-numbingly Borg-conservative, with even the President of the Green Party approving one of Ezra Levant's recent rants? And why do our MPs so often behave like clowns performing for morons?
Perhaps because we think we can gamble on continuing to stay afloat economically a while longer in Canada by fire-saling off our resources - no consequences!- therefore we don't take politics as seriously as countries that know their backs are already up against the climate change wall.

scotty on denman said...

Thanx for your points Allison; I mostly agree but I'm afraid I'll never be quite won over to pro-rep because, as Israel shows, small extremist parties (they can't get big because of their extremism) with only a few parliamentary seats often hold the balance of power, which gives them political and legislative influence far beyond what their numbers would otherwise warrant---or way-out-of-proportional-representation in effect.

Big parties get that way by having broad appeal and by addressing many, not a few issues; SMP rewards the compromises members of all bigger parties have to make when they win a riding by getting more votes than any other party, even when its not a majority of total votes: no other party can push the winner off the podium by weight of votes. It might be lamentable that two or more of these parties together could by weight of combined votes topple the one with the most votes but, if they were really that cooperative, they would have run as a single party in the first place; here SMP punishes parties which are less compromising. The lament, so it is claimed, is that these less popular points of view are not "represented", and here we get to the nub: what is the nature of representation anyhow? Suppose a pro-rep election produced a small single-issue parliamentary group or party that supports capital punishment with 5% of the total votes cast, versus other parties or groups against it with the remaining 95%: how can this smaller group be represented outside of the opportunity to merely speak to the issue---by executing 5% of certain offenders? There is no practical way (at least that we know of) to "represent" everybody or give everybody an effective say on every issue. Believing in whomever one votes for, or actually getting faithful representation is nice but, in the meantime stuff has to get done and we should recognize that this is the excellence of the Westminster parliamentary system, regardless of electoral system, compared to, say, the American congressional parliament where bills become gridlocked, fall of the order paper or are so watered by political horse-trading as to be unrecognizable in end result from original intent (not to mention the huge number of systemic opportunities available to private corporate interests to influence policy makers).

Why are Canadians "so mind-numbingly Borg-conservative"? I'm not sure that they really are on the inside, but on the outside, where everyone can see, there is, I think, a certain amount of uncomfortable self-consciousness. MSM is such a treasure to obtain because it comfortably disguises diversity: no matter how we might rant or praise this or that coordinated pablum, MSM affords the fishy shoal safety modest Canadians prefer to display on the outside. MSM, however, has some recent new company, where diversity and dissent are alive and well and which corporate interests have failed to cow. Occupy and Idle-No-More are among its more notable manifestations but, as this site here shows, political intelligence and acuity are much deeper and ornate than just those two examples.

Lastly, Canada is by and large a middle-class country and, no denying, the middle-class is probably the most self-deluded of all, dreaming that the golden ring is just within reach while ignoring the torrents of debt already more than knee deep. The science of waking up might not even include electoral politics and there probably isn't such a thing as "before it's too late" anymore---more like what will we do to make sure we can get back at least some of what's been "lost" and realize at the same dawning what we never really had in the first place.

Alison said...

Me, two comments up :
"with even the President of the Green Party approving one of Ezra Levant's recent rants?"

Argh, my fucking bad.

This info was sent to me as a facebook attachment and not being on FB, I couldn't check it out for myself and therefore had no business posting it without verifying it. But I did post it and it was a hoax. It wasn't even maliciously meant but a joke the sender assumed I would get - a sendup of the NDP revoking the nomination of NB candidate Chris Rendell for clicking "like" on a FB post praising NB's Green Party leader.
My apologies to the President of the Green Party.

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