Identity Politics

Where was the Toronto Star three months ago, when I needed them to back me up? Now, after facing a small amount of backlash for my repeated arguments that the Conservative Party of Canada was able to win in my riding of Thornhill by attracting the votes of Jews who would vote for whichever party looked like they supported Israel more, Thomas Walkom – National Affairs Collumnist – has penned an article on ethnic voting and identity politics that backs up the very arguments I postited. Here’s an excerpt:

…In a world where no single party can command a majority of MPs, individual ridings become even more significant. And among some voters in some ridings, support for Israel is a make-or-break issue… Identity politics predates Confederation… In ridings where there is a significant Jewish population, this matters. Kent, for instance, may back Israel as a matter of deeply held principle. But if he did not, this might well hurt him in Thornhill, a riding that he narrowly won last year…

While this is pretty much a closed issue that I hadn’t intended on revisiting, the situation in the Israel and Gaza has brought it to light again. So thanks, Thomas. I couldn’t agree with you more!

Contempt: Simply Stated

For some of us, looking at the past week’s events is actually quite a simple matter. Painful, but simple.

While faring much better than the rest of the world, Canada is indeed confronted with a worsening economic situation. And in the midst of this crisis, immediately following a campaign predicated on restoring stability and workability, Stephen Harper and the Conservatives have shut down Parliament. They have flatly rejected the concerns of the majority of the elected officials, and shown themselves to be incapable or unwilling to engage in civilized discourse.

The Toronto Star’s Carol Goar surrounds her dismay with quirky and effective rhetoric:

“The Prime Minister whom voters re-elected seven weeks ago to provide a ‘firm hand on the wheel,’ seized the first opportunity to veer wildly into the oncoming lane, gambling that he could damage his adversaries more than he hurt himself.

Stephen Harper miscalculated. He is now struggling to save his discredited government.”

Worst of all – Harper’s given our elected officials a two month paid vacation from their jobs during which he will no doubt spend an exorbitant amount of funds on anti-coalition propaganda. Fiscal responsibility? Economic stability? Productive parliamentary discourse? Are we truly going to sit back for two months while this goes on?