Too much time, energy and reporting was wasted recently on the tiresome Marc Emery. Anyone who has promoted himself by consistent reference into becoming the 'drive-in' media's "self-described Prince of Pot" is tiresome, and we, the news media, were lulled into missing the importance of Bill C15.
C15 - based on ideology, not study and evidence - more than exposes the sham which federal politics in Canada has become with successive minority governments. It is also, as one prominent Liberal said, "one of the dumbest things I've seen the Liberal Party of Canada support in decades." (I assume he was excluding support for the Iraq war and Stephane Dion's leadership.)
The bill would impose mandatory minimum sentences for drug offences in Canada. It is conservative social agenda, passed by the House of Commons because the Liberals sold out. Was it worth it? Was it worth disregarding all of the evidence against this unjust bill for the sake of... what? Certainly not liberal principal.
C-15 would not have brought down the government, but it brings up concerns about Canadian liberalism under Michael Ignatieff. Canadian Liberalism is more than can be studied in textbooks and news reports. It is a life experience of shared social beliefs and values, and common sense. It's the character that is expressed from having lived Canadian liberalism.
Liberals also have balls. Chretien, Martin (though unlucky), Trudeau - all balls. Ignatieff needs to grow a pair. For all of his admirable intelligence and academic liberalism, for all of his memory of the smell of the barn, for all of his reading and writings, he lacks having lived as a Canadian liberal. He wasn't here when Trudeau said the state has no place in the bedrooms of the nation. He wasn't here when Trudeau flipped-off western Canadian liberals, or watch him stare down the barrel of a gun at the FLQ, or stand as the gunslinger against the separatists, or give us the Charter.
In a profile, Ignatieff admitted, "My career has been a bit of a focal point for a debate about what makes a good Canadian." He has been tirelessly promoting a sound, valid, and eloquently expressed argument against those who use his 34 years spent outside the country to attack him. He now needs to answer, what makes a Canadian liberal? Having lived abroad when Trudeau was changing Canada, does Ignatieff have the shared social experience of Trudeau liberalism - smart and ballsy, socially progressive liberalism? It's not that Ignatieff isn't a good Canadian, but I am growing suspicious of his street cred as a good Canadian liberal.
Liberals do not support such egregious legislation as C-15. For reason not based on ideology, study or evidence, the Ignatieff caucus sided with Harper's Gang - sold-out to Harper on social and judicial legislation. This is a kick in the nuts to Canadian liberals.
But breath - there is faint hope. There remain Liberal senators with big brass bred-in-the-bone liberal balls. They were here in the Trudeau years. We can hope those with memory of Canadian liberalism and sober second thought in the Upper Chamber give Ignatieff a swift kick, a lecture on Canadian liberalism, and give C-15 back to the House to correct.
Photo credit: theglobeandmail.com