Wednesday, February 08, 2006

The Conservatives weigh in on the cartoon affair

It has been a disappointing few days for Conservatives. First, the appointment of Harper's friend into the Senate. Now, Foreign Affairs Minister Peter McKay strikes out with this press release:
Foreign Affairs Minister Peter MacKay today issued the following statement:

“The publication of cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed has caused offence to Muslims and non-Muslims around the world and in Canada.

“Freedom of expression is a legally enshrined principle in Canada, but it must be exercised responsibly. We commend those Canadians who have acted appropriately.

“However, we condemn the violent protests that have occurred in some parts of the world, and find the attacks on foreign diplomatic missions particularly deplorable.

“This sensitive issue highlights the need for a better understanding of Islam and of Muslim communities. Respect for cultural diversity and freedom of religion is a fundamental principle in Canada. The Government of Canada will continue to promote a better understanding of Islam internationally, in partnership with Muslim communities.”

First of all, if Conservatives really want to know the pulse of their base, they should try tapping into the Canadian blogosphere. Coyne and Kinsella have been particularily harsh. Although I think it is particularily amusing to hear Warren Kinsella say that "There are some who I like, but who put partisanship ahead of common sense this week." Never thought, back in 2000, that I'd see the day. Small Dead Animals also has harsh words to say about those who rip Denmark and the free press. Don't forget Ezra Levant of the Western Standard either.

NOW, THE PRESS RELEASE:
  1. "We commend those Canadians who have acted appropriately." And to those that have excercised their free speech? Reprimand? At least in Muslim countries, the cartoons are being shown by Muslims everywhere - unlike Canada. Otherwise, they are rioting over cartoons they have never seen.
  2. The Government of Canada will be promoting Islam? Imagine if McKay said the government would be promoting Christianity internationally? Clamour!
  3. "Respect for cultural diversity and freedom of religion is a fundamental principle in Canada" - Respect for cultural diversity is not a fundamental principle in Canada. Freedom of expression and freedom of religion are actually in the Charter. Nope, I can't find "cultural diversity."
Whoever Peter McKay has hired to be his Foreign Affairs advisors needs to be fired immediately. A little "advisor diversity" may have stopped this disaster of a press release before it was submitted to the public and the blogosphere for scorn.

2 comments:

Erik Sorenson said...

What absolute drivel. Nothing useful to write about today? Of course Peter McKay, barely one day after having been sworn in, is supposed to have performed an instant in-depth analysis of the worldly implications of the issue, and carefully crafted a press release that cunningly shows that "Canada gets it"?

Grow up. Give us a break. Get real. Find something honest to write about. It's a fine release under the circumstances and, as a Canadian, I appreciate its measured tone.

In fact, since you are a writer and so "up on what the response should have been", perhaps you could draft and present to us what Peter's response should have been? No? I thought not. Good night.

Jonathan said...

I don't see the point on even commenting on the cartoon episode at all as a government. I mean....deploring violence is one thing...promoting an appreciation for a religion is another.

Do you seriously think the government should be supporting the promotion of religion?

Or that only those who have self-censored themselves act commendable?