Harper speech glorifies militarism on Canada Day


mentalfloss
#1
Andrew Coyne: Stephen Harper’s Canada Day speech the latest volley in pointless history wars

The air was unusually heavy with history this Dominion Day — oh all right, Canada Day — in this year of national anniversaries: the 150th anniversary of the Charlottetown and Quebec conferences, the 100th anniversary of the First World War, the 70th anniversary of D-Day.

Speaking at the annual celebration on Parliament Hill, Prime Minister Stephen Harper tried to connect the dots. “In 1864, meeting in Charlottetown and in Quebec, our fathers of Confederation dreamed a magnificent dream, a dream of a united Canada that would take its place among the countries of the world, prosperous, strong and free.” Today, he went on “this is their dream: Canada, a confident partner, a courageous warrior, a compassionate neighbour. Canada, the best country in —”

Whoa, whoa, whoa: what did he say? No, not the “best country” bit. The part before it. A courageous warrior? Across the country, a thousand knees jerk in unison. A bit … militaristic, isn’t it? To talk of such unpleasantness at a time like this? Poor taste, at the least. Would any previous prime minister in our lifetime have referred to Canada’s “warrior” heritage, outside of Remembrance Day? Talk about peacekeeping, or Pearson, but for God’s sake don’t mention the war.

Still, it can hardly have surprised anyone. It’s a standard line in Harper speeches, part of a determined effort to refashion Canada’s self-image — some would say rewrite its history — using the Conservatives’ preferred iconography. By now, the Harper government’s relentless invocation of Canada’s military past has become as much a scandal in certain quarters as its obstinate advocacy of the monarchy, its fascination with the North, its seeming belief that Canada’s history begins before 1968.

Such is the state of the history wars that even so innocuous a step as changing the name of the Canadian Museum of Civilization to the Canadian Museum of History, with a mandate, as a spokesman for the Heritage Minister explained this week, to “highlight the national achievements and accomplishments that have shaped our country,” has aroused suspicions. Surely it must be some devious Tory propaganda exercise, the critics sniff, an attempt to whitewash the country’s past, or worse, harness it to conservative ideology.

Because heaven knows, that’s never been tried before. For most of the past 60 or 70 years, Liberal nationalists (often taking their cue from New Democrats) have peddled their own national mythology: of the country as, quite literally, the creature of the state, of its supposed “public enterprise culture,” of an almost genetic Canadian preference for collectivism, as distinct from those rabid individualists to the south.

For such differences, to nationalists of this school, were everything: robust enough in themselves to justify our nationhood and yet fragile enough to require the most heroic efforts of preservation. To the extent the country was defined by anything but what it was not, it was the flag and the Charter of Rights, medicare and multiculturalism: Liberal policies all. L’état, c’était eux.

So it was not entirely unexpected that the Conservatives, rather than leave the country’s self-definition to the Liberals, such that every policy debate could be framed as pro-Canada or anti-Canada — as every debate had been the last time they were in power — would have sought instead to emphasize their own icons and ideals, their own national mythology.

Up to a point, this was not only to be expected, but desired. To understand this country’s history without reference to its military past is not to understand it at all. War not only played a decisive part in our colonial origins, but has tested our resources and shaped our politics ever since, notably through the two World Wars. Indeed, but for the War of 1812, we might not exist.

The Crown, likewise, is not some useless foreign ornament, as successive Liberal governments often seemed to imply: It is the very foundation of our constitutional order, as essential to our way of life as Parliament, the common law, and the rest of the British inheritance, and as quintessentially Canadian. To remain attached to these institutional underpinnings, to remind ourselves of their advantages, is not to retreat into the past. It is merely to decline to be cut off from it.

So, fine: thus far, the Tories could be said to be righting the balance. But true to the chips on their shoulders, they could not leave it at that. It was not enough to celebrate and affirm Conservative national icons: It was necessary to diminish and downplay Liberal ones. The 30th anniversary of patriation and the Charter of Rights, for example, came and went without any official celebration or even acknowledgment.

And so the history wars continue, pointlessly. Surely it is possible to honour both versions of our past, both sides of our selves, in a country so accustomed to duality — aboriginal and European, French and English, immigrant and native-born — in other respects. Surely we are both a constitutional monarchy and a rights-bearing democracy. Surely our history is distinguished both by war-making and by peacekeeping. Surely our national character is a result both of individual and collective enterprise.

On the other hand, it really should be Dominion Day.

Andrew Coyne: Stephen Harper’s Canada Day speech the latest volley in pointless history wars
 
taxslave
No Party Affiliation
+2
#2
Dominion day went out with the monarchy. Canada is an independent country so CANADA DAY it is.
 
Walter
+1
#3
I still call it Dominion Day, the name Canada Day has no meaning to me. Imagine the US changing Independence Day to USA Day.
 
taxslave
No Party Affiliation
+3
#4  Top Rated Post
Quote: Originally Posted by WalterView Post

I still call it Dominion Day, the name Canada Day has no meaning to me. Imagine the US changing Independence Day to USA Day.

Did you miss the movie?
 
Blackleaf
#5
Quote: Originally Posted by taxslaveView Post

Dominion day went out with the monarchy.


So that means it's still around and will still be around going into the 22nd Century.

Quote:

Whoa, whoa, whoa: what did he say? No, not the “best country” bit. The part before it. A courageous warrior?

I don't see the problem. What did you want this Harper fella to say? That Canadians are a bunch of wet, handwringing, cringy, liberals? Because silly articles like the one posted make Canadians look like that to the rest of the world.

Quote:

Across the country, a thousand knees jerk in unison.

So 500 people got their knickers in a twist over it. Big deal.
 
mentalfloss
#6
Quote: Originally Posted by BlackleafView Post

I don't see the problem. What did you want this Harper fella to say? That Canadians are a bunch of wet, handwringing, cringy, liberals? Because silly articles like the one posted make Canadians look like that to the rest of the world.

That is pretty rich diatribe coming from an Englishman lol
 
Zipperfish
No Party Affiliation
#7
I wouldn't mind him using the military for his propaganda so much if didn't screw the veterans, or if he'd actually procured some decent equipment.
 
captain morgan
Bloc Québécois
+1
#8
Quote: Originally Posted by ZipperfishView Post

I wouldn't mind him using the military for his propaganda so much if didn't screw the veterans, or if he'd actually procured some decent equipment.


Takes a long time and a lot of money to repair the massive damage that Trudeau and the Liberals did to the military
 
darkbeaver
Republican
+1
#9
Quote: Originally Posted by captain morganView Post

Takes a long time and a lot of money to repair the massive damage that Trudeau and the Liberals did to the military

What damage? The state of Canada's military is perfect for capitulation to the first wave of invasion. What could be more efficient? The country will fold like an accordion and our F-35's will burn on the runway like planned. All the impotent governors will be flown to the bunkers by Sea Kings.
 
captain morgan
Bloc Québécois
#10
Got to hand it to PET.... Getting ready for the take-over 35+ years in advance.

... Always be prepared.

 
Locutus
+2
#11
what a whiny and pissy little column from that douche.
 
darkbeaver
Republican
#12
Quote: Originally Posted by captain morganView Post

Got to hand it to PET.... Getting ready for the take-over 35+ years in advance.

... Always be prepared.

1974 he and the other suits were told borrow from the international banks or else. Incidentally that was the end of a free Canada.
 
mentalfloss
-1
#13
Prominent conservative columnist justly criticizes Harper.

Conservatives get upset.
 
Locutus
+1
#14
Quote: Originally Posted by mentalflossView Post

Prominent conservative columnist justly criticizes Harper.

Conservatives get upset.

OP has his little OP criticized, cries moar.
 
WLDB
No Party Affiliation
+1
#15
Quote: Originally Posted by WalterView Post

I still call it Dominion Day, the name Canada Day has no meaning to me. Imagine the US changing Independence Day to USA Day.

Could care less what the US does with their holidays. The changed the day long before I was born so I'll go with Canada Day. We are no longer a "Dominion" thankfully.

Quote: Originally Posted by taxslaveView Post

Did you miss the movie?

Which is apparently getting a sequel.

Quote: Originally Posted by taxslaveView Post

Dominion day went out with the monarchy. Canada is an independent country so CANADA DAY it is.

Sadly its not formally gone yet. Someday.

Quote: Originally Posted by taxslaveView Post

Dominion day went out with the monarchy. Canada is an independent country so CANADA DAY it is.

Sadly its not formally gone yet. Someday.
 
mentalfloss
#16
Quote: Originally Posted by LocutusView Post

OP has his little OP criticized, cries moar.

Ahah ah no.
 
darkbeaver
Republican
#17
We can glorify militarism but we can't fix our fleet of submarines.
 
Nuggler
+1 / -1
#18
Quote: Originally Posted by darkbeaverView Post

We can glorify militarism but we can't fix our fleet of submarines.

Just as long as we can fix the damage Hit..........er, Harper has done to Canada, I'll live with the subs............just not in them.
Christ, Hairpiece is one dumb twat !
 
darkbeaver
Republican
#19
Quote: Originally Posted by NugglerView Post

Just as long as we can fix the damage Hit..........er, Harper has done to Canada, I'll live with the subs............just not in them.
Christ, Hairpiece is one dumb twat !



The Canadian government is about to sign a treaty with the European Union that is almost certainly:

(a) Unconstitutional
(b) Irresponsible
(c) Immoral

It would compromise the federal parliament’s exclusive jurisdiction over money and banking, and provide the private bankers with a de facto veto of any creative plans Canada might develop to end the recession, and bring back prosperity.

In effect, we would not be able to do anything comparable to what was done in 1939 when the Bank of Canada began providing the federal government with large sums of near zero-cost money that was spent into circulation to get us out of the Great Depression, and help finance World War II. Later, it helped fund the great post-war infrastructure including the St. Lawrence Seaway, the Trans Canada Highway and many other major projects as well as our social security system. It was a deal that worked like a charm and gave us the best years of the twentieth century until 1974.

Unfortunately, at that time, the Bank of Canada unilaterally turned its back on us, its owners, and started taking its orders from the Bank for International Settlements that decided central banks should no longer provide governments with low cost money. It has been downhill ever since.

There is no hope for either Canada or the world unless we adopt a system something like the one we had from 1939 to 1974. To give away our constitutional right to do something equally innovative now or in the future would be treasonous and must be stopped.COMER: European Union Treaty (external - login to view)
 
Zipperfish
No Party Affiliation
#20
Quote: Originally Posted by captain morganView Post

Takes a long time and a lot of money to repair the massive damage that Trudeau and the Liberals did to the military

Gimme a break. The COnservatives have been in power since 2006. "But...but...but...THE LIBERALS!" just doesn't cut it any more. The defence budget is smaller, based on inflation-adjusted dollars--than it was in 2007. Spending on procurement is down. The F-35 procurement has turned into a debacle. Not that the Conservatives stand out there--this is just the latest in a long line of governments that have shafted the military.
 
darkbeaver
Republican
+1 / -1
#21
Much worse than a dumb twat. We would do a lot better if he was a dumb twat. What he really is would make both of us physically ill. Profound revulsion is called for.

Quote: Originally Posted by ZipperfishView Post

Gimme a break. The COnservatives have been in power since 2006. "But...but...but...THE LIBERALS!" just doesn't cut it any more. The defence budget is smaller, based on inflation-adjusted dollars--than it was in 2007. Spending on procurement is down. The F-35 procurement has turned into a debacle. Not that the Conservatives stand out there--this is just the latest in a long line of governments that have shafted the military.

The Military Industrial Complex hasn't been damaged in the least. Shafting the various militaries is what makes the world go round in case you haven't noticed. If they're ilequiped the shafting goes even better.
 
captain morgan
Bloc Québécois
+1
#22
Quote: Originally Posted by LocutusView Post

OP has his little OP criticized, cries moar.

... Crying sad, bitter little tears.

Tragic really

Quote: Originally Posted by ZipperfishView Post

Gimme a break. The COnservatives have been in power since 2006. "But...but...but...THE LIBERALS!" just doesn't cut it any more. The defence budget is smaller, based on inflation-adjusted dollars--than it was in 2007. Spending on procurement is down. The F-35 procurement has turned into a debacle. Not that the Conservatives stand out there--this is just the latest in a long line of governments that have shafted the military.

Canada used to have a military... Got systematically taken apart by Trudeau and successive Lib gvts.

How long, and how much money does it take to rebuild from the ground up?

I'm also guessing that you'd be front and center calling for the lynching of Harper had he spent one thin dime
 
Zipperfish
No Party Affiliation
#23
Quote: Originally Posted by captain morganView Post

...

Canada used to have a military... Got systematically taken apart by Trudeau and successive Lib gvts.

...amd, based on the evidence provided by me above, the Harper government. Spending on the military is down in real dollars. Procurement is down. Not to mnetion screwing the vets. There's more to rebuilding the military than jingoism.


Quote:

I'm also guessing that you'd be front and center calling for the lynching of Harper had he spent one thin dime

You guessed wrong. I've served with the Canadian military (as a civilian) in combat zones. I'm all for a strong Canadian military with modern equipment and closer ties to 5 eyes (Canada, US, UK, NZ, Australia).
 
mentalfloss
#24
Quote: Originally Posted by captain morganView Post

... Crying sad, bitter little tears.

Tragic really

 
Locutus
#25
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.

scary stuff
 
Nuggler
#26
Quote: Originally Posted by LocutusView Post

O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.

scary stuff


Where's my friggin Enfield.?

Quote: Originally Posted by darkbeaverView Post

Much worse than a dumb twat. We would do a lot better if he was a dumb twat. What he really is would make both of us physically ill. Profound revulsion is called for.



The Military Industrial Complex hasn't been damaged in the least. Shafting the various militaries is what makes the world go round in case you haven't noticed. If they're ilequiped the shafting goes even better.


OK, I revulse, profoundly. damn, always have to revulse just before supper.
 
captain morgan
Bloc Québécois
#27
Quote: Originally Posted by ZipperfishView Post

...amd, based on the evidence provided by me above, the Harper government. Spending on the military is down in real dollars. Procurement is down. Not to mnetion screwing the vets. There's more to rebuilding the military than jingoism.

You provided an opinion, not 'evidence'.

In real and practical terms, a nation just doesn't make a decision one day to start committing and spending 100s of billions for many years to fully develop a military/navy/air force. Further, our nation places far more importance on funding people's entitlements that there isn't enough real cash available to direct at the military.. When cash is put into it, the volume of the whining and simpering is so loud that it can be heard clear across the nation

Trudeau so fully gutted the department that there is no conceivable way that Canada can truly afford to rebuild to a shadow of it's former stature



Quote: Originally Posted by mentalflossView Post

You win MF...

 
Zipperfish
No Party Affiliation
#28
Quote: Originally Posted by captain morganView Post

You provided an opinion, not 'evidence'.

In real and practical terms, a nation just doesn't make a decision one day to start committing and spending 100s of billions for many years to fully develop a military/navy/air force. Further, our nation places far more importance on funding people's entitlements that there isn't enough real cash available to direct at the military.. When cash is put into it, the volume of the whining and simpering is so loud that it can be heard clear across the nation

Trudeau so fully gutted the department that there is no conceivable way that Canada can truly afford to rebuild to a shadow of it's former stature

No, spending is a matter of fact, not a matter of opinion. Harper's been in control since 2006--it's a little late to be saying that they just need time. They've had time. But spending is down, the F-35s and the Navy/Coast Guard procurement programs have been pushed far into the future, and the DND has found it's budget falling since the grand old days after the election of the Conservatives, likely the victim of the Conservative's Prime Directive to balance the budget.

Canada's defence spending: Darkness falls again? | The Economist (external - login to view)

Federal Budget 2013: Canada’s military under the gun in spending cuts | Toronto Star

Budget 2014: Military wings clipped again - Politics - CBC News

Federal budget sends Canadian military’s equipment buying plan into limbo; new fighter jets likely off the table | National Post
 
captain morgan
Bloc Québécois
+1
#29
Ask yourself why spending on the military is down, especially in light of the dismantling that Trudeau did... All of your questions will be explained.

We get the fact that you don't like Harper - you've made it clear, but I believe you are not a myopic person, so ask the hard, underlying questions and you piece the puzzle together
 

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