Sunday, January 07, 2007

Just a thought

A little inside baseball: If I was going to write a long post about how Conservatives engage in character assassination and unreasonable attacks - say, like this - then I would probably erase a post just four down which suggests that ministers of the crown support terrorist organizations - say, like this.

I, like a lot of people, think that questioning Dion's patriotism and loyalty because he has French citizenship is pretty lazy, insipid, and obstinate. Even if this guy is doing it. But it's well within every citizen's rights to be lazy, insipid, and obstinate, so we shouldn't shed tears over it.

UPDATE: Coyne sends on the following (available in its entirety here):

"Anyone who questions St├ęphane Dion’s patriotism is either a fool or a scoundrel. After the service he has done this country, after the abuse he has suffered in its name, to cast even the slightest doubt on his loyalty to Canada shames those who would try."

So, as in a lot of things, Coyne is right and I am wrong. He did not question Dion's patriotism and loyalty. He's no Ezra Levant. Though I must say that the rest of the linked column isn't his most convincing piece.

5 comments:

Dennis (Second Thoughts) said...

When did Levant question Dion's patriotism? For the most part, I think he's been bang-on regarding this issue. That he raised it was a victory of sorts, too. It's a debate we need to have.

One political tactic is to defend yourself against a charge that hasn't been made. Democrats did this with Max Cleland in a Senatorial race. Liberals are now doing this with respect to Dion and his status as a citizen of France.

Peter Loewen said...

Sorry, but in my books when you question a man's ability to make decisions for Canada rather than for France you are questioning his loyalty and his patriotism.

Sheesh, I hope you don't use the Republicans as a model of democratic civility.

Dennis (Second Thoughts) said...

We ask prime ministers to let go of personal business holdings before they assume office. Are we accusing them of being crooks, or do we do it to remove any doubt of conflict of interest? It's not an exact analogy, but it addresses your argument.

Please don't tell me that I'm queationing Dion's loyalty. It's a serious charge, and I'm not doing it. You're using the strawman technique of argumentation.

And when did I use Republicans as a model?

Again, address what I write, and not what you think or want others to think I write.

Peter Loewen said...

Dennis:

Cleland was responding to Republican attacks of a pretty base nature. So don't criticise his response unless you're also willing to criticise their technique.

I think your analogy to personal business holdings is actually quite wrong. We don't ask politicians to give them up. Rather, we require they place them in blind trusts so that they cannot know what is occurring with them; and to disclose them so that we can be aware of what they hold and can judge their actions against them. Presumably, Dion is doing the equivalent of both. We know he has French citizenship, and we can judge his actions against that fact. Giving up the citizenship doesn't further either of those goals of transparency and evaluation.

If you're not questioing Dion's loyalty, then what exactly are you doing? What is the point of bringing up his citizenship if not to cast into doubt his commitment to his country? Please explain, because I am not sure I see another explanation.

dru said...

I confess to being curious why you keep going after Cherniak. He doesn't seem to be worth the time, and he certainly doesn't seem to be listening. Is there something I'm missing?