Wednesday, May 17, 2006

The Vote

...this House support the government's two year extension of Canada's diplomatic, development, civilian police and military personnel in Afghanistan and the provision of funding and equipment for this extension...

So there you have it, by a margin of 149 to 145. In the end, I'm fairly certain this mission would have been extended beyond February 2007 in the long run anyway. And that later decision, when taken, could have been a much more fully informed one. As it stands, the Canadian Parliament has endorsed a wholly undefined extension to a mission - with no clarity as to its future scope, cost, and trajectory. The headlines tomorrow will all say that "Canadians soldiers will remain in Afghanistan two years longer than previously planned", but of course, changing circumstances (inevitable as they are) could always be cited for a change of direction down the road.

I support Canada's continued involvement in Afghanistan, but I find it difficult to believe that this was either the proper time or the proper procedural mechanism to frame such a decision. What's more, the brazen attempts by the CPC and its Prime Minister to snidely imply that those who question this motion are somehow failing to support the troops. The fact that these cheapshots are taken when their own political motivations on this were clearly evident:
Many opposition MPs who opposed the extension said they believed the hurried attempt to win parliamentary backing was aimed at innoculating the Conservatives against attack if the Afghan mission goes awry...

But the opposition parties accused Harper of attempting to politicize a vitally important issue by springing a debate on the Commons with only 36 hours to prepare, and no opportunity for in-depth briefings.

It is frustrating and insulting to the extreme to be accused of not properly respecting the work done on the grounds by the Canadian Forces while attempting to debate the nature and desirability of future missions. The ugliness of such suggestions are the real affront.

On that final note - fare thee well, Nichola. We stand forever in admiration of your dedication and sacrifice in seeking a world more just and beautiful. May flights of angels sing thee to thy rest.


Blogger Devin said...


Here is your Friday quote. I think it is a propos for the upcoming provincial vote. I offer it free of charge and, being that Mr. Trudeau has now passed, I don't expect he will be looking for royalties either.

"You cannot tell lies to the people; they will not believe you. People are nmore sophisticated now. That is the thing we are discovering in this election, that the people do not want to be conned by any party."

Pierre Trudeau
Burnaby, BC (June 17, 1968)

7:14 AM  

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