Category Archives: Politics

The fine art of saying nothing

At the new Google office in Kitchener yesterday, our Prime Minister was asked “a fairly blunt question” about the state of the economy, John Ivison reports in the National Post, and responded: “I’ve spoken with many Canadians who are going through very difficult times, particularly in Alberta, where worries about jobs and the economy are very real. But at the same time, I’m tremendously optimistic about the Canadian economy. It’s not just standing in an amazing place like this that is demonstrating how much Canadians have to offer the world in terms of innovation and forward thinking, but also to understand that Canadians, as forward-thinking optimistic problem solvers, are always ready to create economic growth and success. The federal government will be a strong partner, making investments where we need to.”

Astounding. It’s voluble, cheerful, encouraging, apparently forthcoming, and so utterly devoid of actual meaning that Warren Harding, who invented the term “bloviation” to describe his own capacity for such prose, would gape in envious astonishment.

The only question is whether Justin Trudeau realizes he said nothing at all at great length there. Does he talk like this on purpose because he knows he has nothing useful or intelligent to say, or does he actually think that statement was useful and intelligent?

You certainly can’t tell by reading it. Or rereading it. Or … zzzzzzzzzzzz.

Canadian self-reliance

In my latest National Post column I talk about how odd it is that instead of Canadians mistrusting government, we now allow it to mistrust us. It doesn’t believe we can shop by ourselves, ride a bicycle or get in a boat safely, defend ourselves, speak freely without speech codes or build a deck without rules about the height of our railings. And instead of insisting that we know what we’re doing, too often we let it tell us what to do.

In doing so we are losing our heritage. Servile incompetence is not a Canadian value. This country was built by self-reliant people who kept their governments in check, and it’s high time we went back to that arrangement.

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Baby Hitler, Jeb?

In an excruciatingly studied effort to show more passion on the campaign trail, Jeb Bush says he would have killed baby Hitler given the chance. Apparently the question is a thing these days thanks to New York Magazine, and Bush’s response was a mild obscenity (wow, such authenticity) followed by “yeah, I would!” Phooey.

If I might refer you to my Sept. 28 post on the apparent opportunity of Henry Tandey, VC, to shoot a wounded Hitler on September 28 1918, it’s absurd to suppose that anyone could have known a corporal in the trenches of World War I would have turned into a successful genocidal warmongering maniac politician in the 1930s. It’s not even a category into which that young soldier could fall.

As for the notion that you could identify a baby who would later certainly do great evil if you didn’t slaughter it in its infant innocence, that you could determine scientifically its necessarily malignant influence on history and preemptively exterminate it with a clean conscience, let’s leave that for Minority Report and stick with the fairly elementary fact that killing babies is wrong.

So is appeasing dictators, but that’s a story for another decade.

As for politicians faking passion, it’s always a sorry sight.