Thursday, November 30, 2006

Redman Smack-down

It is with great pleasure that I relate this tidbit from yesterday's Hansard:

The Speaker - The hon. member for Kitchener Centre.

Hon. Karen Redman (Kitchener Centre, Lib.):

Mr. Speaker, Canada is becoming an international embarrassment at the hands of the Conservative government and it is small wonder. Once again, the foreign affairs minister has shown that he does not know the meaning of diplomacy.

First, he insinuated that a female member of the House was his dog. Several of us heard him. Last night he went further and claimed on television “when you sleep with dogs, you get fleas”. We all know what he was getting at.

When will the foreign affairs minister stop embarrassing all Canadians with this offensive behaviour?


Mr. Deepak Obhrai (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, CPC):

Mr. Speaker, the foreign affairs minister of Canada is doing an excellent job in representing Canada at international forums. He is standing for the principles that define the government and this country. We are all very proud of him.

Hon. Karen Redman (Kitchener Centre, Lib.):

Mr. Speaker, this week the Liberal women's caucus released “The Pink Book”. This groundbreaking policy document addresses several issues that impact women and discusses the challenges that they face in their daily lives. It focuses on modern, forward thinking approaches to these issues.

We in politics, on this side of the House at least, often say that more women are needed in the House, but when Canadian women hear the foreign affairs minister continue to make degrading remarks that go unpunished, do we blame them for simply saying no thanks?

Hon. Bev Oda (Minister of Canadian Heritage and Status of Women, CPC):

Mr. Speaker, I want to be very clear. In the caucus of this government we do not have a women's caucus or a men's caucus. We have one Conservative caucus.

We do not have a washed out policy book, a pink book. We have one Conservative policy book. In fact, every member in this caucus and every member of the government, men and women, will stand up and do the right thing for women across Canada.

Nice one, Bev!

Karen, please stop. You're embarrassing us here in Kitchener Centre. Bad enough I've got a Liberal MP, but this stuff is humiliating!

And speaking of embarrassed, check out yesterday's National Post editorial, "Bad Ideas, Dressed in Pink".

For all its predictability, there is at least one noteworthy tactical innovation in the Pink Book. Consider this sentence: "As a first step, the Liberal Women's Caucus endorses providing financial resources to Aboriginal women's organizations at the same level as their male-led counterparts." This is bold logic indeed: Because existing organizations claiming to represent aboriginal interests are actually led by men, those organizations must be duplicated, structurally and financially -- as a first step!

All one has to do is look around to see how fertile this idea really is. The Canadian Medical and Bar Associations? Historically male-led, and still lamentably somewhat so. Women obviously need their own parallel groups of equal budgetary size. The CBC? Why not two state broadcasters? We can call them the "She Be She" and the "He Be He."

And who would dare argue that women don't need their own fully-funded Wheat Board or War Museum? We look forward to the appearance of such hypothetical enterprises in future Pink Books, assuming that the Liberals aren't sufficiently embarrassed by what's in the first volume.

Karen, maybe best to stick to head-counting for crucial votes. Please!


jeff davidson said...

i know that some conservatives will view the closing of the regional offices of SWC as a victory.
if we view this decision from a position that only considers the optics, do you think this will play well across the broad spectrum? alot of what harper is doing in terms of spending cuts carry the appearance of mean-spiritedness. certainly some of the most vocal opponents to the SWC are less than charming.
the insistance of some to use the term "SOW' is a good example.there seems to be an aura of hatred that surrounds the whole "real" women lobby.
what i wonder is if you think that there's a perception among non-partisan canadians that this government is a little heavy-handed. if so, do you think it will hurt conservative chances next election?

Joanne (True Blue) said...

what i wonder is if you think that there's a perception among non-partisan canadians that this government is a little heavy-handed. if so, do you think it will hurt conservative chances next election?

Jeff, I'm sure the left-leaning media and pundits will paint it as such, but whether or not Canadians buy it remains to be seen.

jeff davidson said...

certainly some of the most vocal opponents to the SWC are less than charming.

i forgot to exclude you from that particular accusation joanne. for a conservative, you're quite charming. don't let it go to your head....

Joanne (True Blue) said...

lol! Thanks, Jeff. I'm sitting here blushing. Good thing you can't see.

Seriously though, at first I did partake in the "Sow" name-calling, but after a while I realized that it diminished the intent and tone of the argument. After that I only referred to it as "Status of Women".

Anonymous said...

In other words, Jeff, Canada's political futures are determined by "optics" and soundbites and not by substance. But what else can we really expect when that's all we get from the left and the MSM?

jeff davidson said...

clearly optics play a role. look no further than the current govt. every bit of communication from the PMO is carefully scripted. harper has certainy paid attention to optics.

hancor said...

Karen Redman is the same genius who said, on May 25, 2005, "The Liberal government is considering not observing future losses in confidence votes between now and the end of the spring session" as the Liberal Government Leader under PM Paul Martin.

Confidence in the House of Parliament is the 'sine qua non' of a country that purports to call itself a democracy.

Well if we need more women in politics it certainly isn't of Ms Redman's abysmal understanding of democratic institutions. This woman would never get my vote, simply because she doesn't understand the meaning of a vote of confidence.

I hazard to guess where she is competent.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

I hazard to guess where she is competent.

She's a natural politician - gifted at avoiding direct questions.

vicki said... pose a good question on the 'optics or politics' of this decision to close SWC offices.(next election) The media and Libs will paint this as mean spirited, feeding the 'unequal agenda'.
I have made it my personal project to keep informed about SWC spending over the last 15 years. None of that spending of my taxes ever benefited me or helped my 'status....and I didn't need it.I'm one of the happy barefoot and pregnant people. Nor am I aware of anyone who benefited from their programmes and 'self promoting' conferences. If this is bad politics for CPoC it is because of un-informed or misled voters.
CPoC seems to be moving along, doing the right thing for Canadians without focusing on the 'optics'.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

BTW, if anyone wants to watch the very 'offensive' comment uttered by Peter MacKay, check out 22 Minutes and click on "Peter MacKay and Mark Critch".

Since when is something from a comedy (on CBC no less) political fodder for QP? If that's the case, let's start pulling out all the old tapes.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

CPoC seems to be moving along, doing the right thing for Canadians without focusing on the 'optics'.

Ha! Vicki, you nailed it! The CPC and Stephen Harper in particular don't seem too overly worried about 'optics'. When push comes to shove, they stake out a position they can live with, whether it is popular or not.

They don't do what Paul Martin used to do; licking his finger and sticking it up in the air to see which way the wind is blowing before he opens his mouth (after checking with Scott Reid of course; who would vet the idea in front of various focus groups).

Finally we have leadership in Canada. And Canadians have the right to voice their support or disagreement at the next election.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

I apologize for monopolizing comments today, but I want to add a few letters from the Post:

"Of women voters"

You asked, "Did no women vote Conservative in the last election?" Well I did, and not of "false conscience," either! I am a no-nonsense woman who wants a steady hand at the helm, steering us clear of the financial trap of nationalized daycare and wacky ideas like purchasing foreign credits to satisfy our Kyoto obligations.

I want wasteful spending controlled. That includes money spent on the Status of Women program, because I don't think we should be paying for conferences designed to reinforce the idea of how supposedly helpless and unequal we are.

The Pink Book is Belinda Stronach's way of justifying her position as chair of that committee. The plan is harebrained and clearly demonstrates that the Liberals are bereft of ideas.

Shirley Blair, Burlington, Ont.


It would be laughable if it were not so infuriating that the proponents of the Liberal women's Pink Book feel that women are so feeble as to need their help and, of course, a good chunk of taxpayer dollars. Not only do such groups have the opposite effect from bolstering women, they also imply that we are in need of Women's Welfare. Not this woman.

I am a woman and, yes, I have issues. I believe in a government that does not look at my gender but at my values and ideals.

I believe that the first responsibility of a government is the protection of its citizens. I therefore expect a government to support and equip our military. Will this be found in the Liberal women's little Pink Book?

I believe that the government already takes away too much of our hard-earned money. I therefore do not believe in government funding of feminist lobby groups -- groups that do not represent real women.

I believe that the Liberal women's support of the Court Challenges Program erodes our Parliamentary system and my vote as a Canadian citizen.

I am a woman Canadian and these are my issues.

Susan Twining, Toronto.


Once again, the Liberal party has shown that is not above poaching policies from the NDP. In this case, we have the idea of women as victims. Victims of what, it doesn't matter. Ovaries, a uterus and a vagina have apparently rendered us incapable of rational thought and therefore more inclined to vote Liberal or NDP. What next? Our own nation? It's snowing men! Hallelujah! It's snowing men! Amen!

Lynn Haley, Vancouver.

Notice that these women are from fairly large urban centres. Optically speaking, Belinda should perhaps be considering new political specs. She appears to have insulted many Canadian women.

Mac said...

jeff said... "clearly optics play a role. look no further than the current govt. every bit of communication from the PMO is carefully scripted. harper has certainy paid attention to optics."

Jeff, let me put this into terms you'll understand as a photographer. Let's say you were preparing to shoot a series of important images which would be viewed nationally and it is important to represent everything about your images accurately, especially the colours of your subject.

You've learned through hard experience that the display media chosen for this project produces an effect of emphasizing red and causes blues to appear cold; a harsh and inaccurate reflection of your subject. You know your job well and realize this will degrade your images and the impact thereof. You have no choice; your images will be displayed on this media.

As a professional, you would carefully select the lighting on your subject, use your best camera, lens and filters, even scrutinize your choice of film so you can produce the best image possible to accurately reflect your subject despite the media.

So is it truly a question of optics if what you're striving for is accuracy to the original image... or is it a question of working within the media which is available to you to attempt to produce accuracy?

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Mac, how eloquent!!

Mac said...

Back on subject, is there any benefit to maintaining a moribund Trudeau-topian legacy program like SWC when the costs are high and the benefits are dubious and directed toward a niche of special interest extremists whose views and agenda are NOT shared by the majority of Canadians?