Monday, May 16, 2005

Dignity, integrity and so on; we haven't much to go on, still we go on

The PM has some gall, calling for a "return to dignity" in the House: Prime Minister Paul Martin called on the Conservatives to join the Liberals in a return to basic dignity and civility in the House of Commons during an appearance Monday. Mr. Martin said he believes the parliamentary upheaval in the country is turning Canadians away from politics. "Clearly there's a lack of basic civility and respect," he said, saying people's reputations are being smeared in an environment of anger and hostility as both parties battle for the top of the polls using revelations from the sponsorship inquiry as fuel for the fire. How about some basic civility and respect for our parliamentary tradition, under the commonly accepted terms of which, this morning marks the fifth day of Liberal rule by fiat? How about respecting the power of the opposition's clear lack of confidence in such a way as to admit defeat? There's no dignity in what Martin is doing now, and when the Queen arrives, I can't imagine our government's behaviour becoming anything but more disgraceful. Mr. Martin said he was angry that Opposition Leader Stephen Harper over the weekend called the Liberals monsters. "Monsters" can at least be meant abstractly (if hyperbolically), as part of an argument - as in, "You, sir, are an unprincipled monster who cares little for the democratic process or the legitimacy of your government." Allusions to Nietzsche are even less objectionable, in that regard, because they're clearly literary and metaphorical, not to mention spot-on. "Racists," though...there's not so much wiggle room, there.

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