Steelcitygrit [in exile]

Ruminating on all things Canadian and political.


Monday, September 18, 2006

Dion and land claims

Bits and pieces:

- I thought Stepane Dion was terrific on the Kelowna Accord question. He managed to take a fairly substance-less issue (only because all candidates are united in their support of the Kelowna Accord) and advance some very important ideas. He spoke of transferring land claims from the federal government to an independent body. This is necessary and long overdue. He also spoke of First Nations being able to self-govern outside of the Indian Act. These two ideas shouldn't become lost in the fray, and both seemed to have a significant thought process behind them.

I was taken by surprise. When I asked Dion about these two issues specifically some months ago, his response was very different. At that time, he didn't seem to see any need to re-evaluate our land claims proceedings, and he warned against self-government creating "provinces of 90 people." I'm glad to see he has made some revisions.

- If he wasn't so conservative, I'd fight and die for Scott Brison. If he ever abandons his business conscious ways I will belong to him. The East needs to produce more candidates.

- I heard Gerard Kennedy speaking again about his 'distinct' position on Afghanistan ["We should leave Afghanistan if we can't get a mandate that does honour and respect to the people of Afghanistan and to our troops."]. I frankly don't get it. If we (the Liberal Party) were in a position to pull our troops, then would we not also be in a position to revise the mission? We lead the NATO deployment. Isn't the mission whatever we say it is? If so, then let us not pander to the fashionistas. If it is a good mission done badly, then let's do it right. I don't know why that can't be our message.


Anonymous burlivespipe said...

I think you are being too harsh on Kennedy. His idea on Afghanistan is reasonably well thought out, it proved to be one that attracted a lot of attention. Canada does need to seriously discuss its role in Afghanistan -- I support the idea of remaining for the 2 years but also want unilateral pressure on the Americans to redeploy more men to Afghanistan (since it was because of them that we started this mess) especially to deal with the taliban along the pakistani border.
Nato needs to have a special section focusing on winning the hearts and minds of the citizens, introducing more feasible crops and industries to the people to get them working and away from the poppy fields.
But I'm a Rae guy, so what do i know!

10:51 AM  
Blogger nbpolitico said...

I have to agree with burlivespipe... Kennedy's position is right on the mark.

We are the lead, but it is a joint mission with other NATO nations and NATO controls the mandate. Kennedy's position is change the mandate so we can be more successful or use our troops elsewhere where they can be more useful.

So whether it requires negotiation with NATO or, as you suggest, we just need to change the mission ourselves, then that is fine.

If the mission is changed, we stay. If Canada can change it on its on, all the better. That said, I am pretty sure NATO consultation is required.

1:31 PM  
Blogger Steve said...

Yes but where Kennedy is not distinct is that what leadership contendors have said otherwise? Aside from the threat of pulling out, everyone has said that development is the issue. Now as I assume Ignateiff is the target, yes he has said the same thing, he has not said, despite the implication, we are just there for the sake of rooting out terrorism or war or whatnot, he has said repeatedly that we're there as a humanitarian intervetion etc., I think kennedy's plan is fine, its the same, aside from explicity working with crops etc, of which I'm not qualifie dto really assess vs., say infrastructure etc.

There is not a serious division in the leadership on this issue, at least aside from Bob Rae perhaps. I think Dion was shameful in trying to create one. Or at least, there is not one if he is consistent (his accusation towards M.I.) as in the spring these people were saying the nature of the vote, debate etc., was what they voted against. Now it seem sas if Dion is trying to say this is some war, anti-war debate. Nonesense. If his position has drastically changed, then he is noot one to be leveling accustations. He knows better, and I must say its the first time I've seen him go to that level.

8:43 PM  

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