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March 05, 2005

Best open letter EVAH!

I love Canada. And I especially love it when Canadians set aside their native resolve and point out how full of shit we Americans so often are. This open letter from a former Canadian foreign minister. Really. It will make you laugh hard. I bet Condi had to put on her dominatrix outfit again after she read it!

Just a sample:


I know it seems improbable to your divinely guided master in the White House that mere mortals might disagree with participating in a missile-defence system that has failed in its last three tests, even though the tests themselves were carefully rigged to show results.

But, gosh, we folks above the 49th parallel are somewhat cautious types who can't quite see laying down billions of dollars in a three-dud poker game.

As our erstwhile Prairie-born and bred (and therefore prudent) finance minister pointed out in presenting his recent budget, we've had eight years of balanced or surplus financial accounts. If we're going to spend money, Mr. Goodale added, it will be on day-care and health programs, and even on more foreign aid and improved defence.

Sure, that doesn't match the gargantuan, multi-billion-dollar deficits that your government blithely runs up fighting a "liberation war" in Iraq, laying out more than half of all weapons expenditures in the world, and giving massive tax breaks to the top one per cent of your population while cutting food programs for poor children.
Just chalk that up to a different sense of priorities about what a national government's role should be when there isn't a prevailing mood of manifest destiny.

Posted by jay at March 5, 2005 02:39 PM | TrackBack
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Comments

This is an excellent example of how foolish and foolhardy our "government" seems to our neighbors and the rest of the world. The chiding tone and phrases soften what could have been a tirade into a mild scold with a solid slap of irony. Unfortunately this will be too subtle for the shrillest of the chicken-hawks in the administration who will (as they have all along) dismiss this critique out of hand as irrelevant.

This is too bad for a number of reasons but I think the biggest is the fact that so many US citizens (as the author correctly pointed out) hold these opinions and are looking for real moral leadership that recognizes the complexity of our regional and world relations and treats our citizens and the citizens of the world with the respect and dignity that we all deserve.

I would like to propose a new communications campaign to the major political parties. I would call it. "Conversations among Citizens." The parties would fund real town hall meetings - not the rigged melodramas that Rove & Co have perfected - where local party and interest group representatives would sit on a panel and answer questions and/or listen to the opnions/concerns of citizens. The event could be moderated either by a member of the press or perhaps an official from a local university. The transcript of each event would then be made publicly available through all of the online outlets maintained by the panel participants. With the panelists and the audience agreeing to a simplified version of Robert's rules of order, I believe that we may have a forum where our government and citizenry could approach the kind of participatory exchange that Alexis de Tocqueville once praised in his, Democacy in America.

I would like that type of democratic exchange and I think it would do our society a world of good.

Posted by: terry on March 6, 2005 10:35 AM
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