Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Flying the Flag - A Red Herring

I'd just like to register my bewilderment at why the LPC is making an issue out of the so-called "flag flap," that is, the Conservative Party's reversal of a half-mast flag on the Peace Tower every time a Canadian soldier dies. To me, this makes sense, and there are more important things to fight about.

For one thing, imagine the Americans doing something like this - their flag would be at half-mast 24/7. Isn't the best way to honour the sacrifice of Canadian troops to fly the flag that they fought under?

Also, aren't the memories of soldiers who died during past wars cheapened by a policy which lowers the flag for certain soldiers today, when they received no such honour?

Finally, isn't Rememberance Day the day we're supposed to remember our fallen soldiers? Does it not make more sense to use the day designed for their memories to remember our dead, rather than dilute its impact by invoking its spirit almost daily?

To me, it's a red herring that the LPC is imposing on itself. The primary worry ought to be Harper once again showing his dictatorial and authoritarian side by refusing to allow the media to cover the patriation of our war dead. This is a policy similar to the Republican policy in the US, and the goal in both cases is pretty clear - to keep the Canadian public from seeing images that could be harmful to the ruling party. It's shameful, and it should be fought. Spending time worrying about when the flag is and isn't flying is a bit silly when there's a real issue to worry about.

It reminds me of the Emerson/Fortier issue. Where the real issue should be that unaccountable party hack in the Senate controlling billions of dollars worth of government spending (Fortier), Liberals have spent more time and energy attacking a turn-coat (Emerson), as if that's the real issue.


At 4/25/2006 5:24 p.m., Blogger Pedro said...

You have a point.

I hate it too how LPC makes such a big deal out of issues that are not much more than a sound bite. I mean the real reason why they are taking up issue with this is because it's bad PR for the Tories. I find it so petty.

Totally agree with you on the Emerson thing. Personally, I like the guy. To all those who praised him while onside but now loathe him for switching.... Gawd, they drive me crazy. And seriously, get Fortier instead.

At 4/25/2006 5:28 p.m., Anonymous Loony in LotusLand said...

Very good analysis Blue Grit you nailed two out of three. The government is only reverting to traditional Canadian military protocol by lowering the flag on the Peace Tower only on November 11th. The Fortier appointment to the richest pork barrel ministry in Canada is the more egregious of the two cabinet surprises. On the other hand media exposure of every fallen Canadian soldier is possible on three occasions: the military ceremony at the airport of departure, the military ceremony at the airport of return, and the memorial ceremony or funeral of the family. The only one being excluded from national press exposure is the initial reuniting of the fallen soldier with the immediate family. There is no attempt to minimize the casualties

At 4/25/2006 6:04 p.m., Blogger Scott Tribe said...

I dont think the Flag issue would have been that big of a controversy past a few days.. but now that its been compounded by their refusal to allow media coverage of the fallen soldiers return (with a lame excuse of keeping it private for the familes, then getting an admission from O'COnner he didnt consult with any families before making this decision.. and also finding out it appears the PMO was involved in ordering this) its compounded into a big headache for the Tories.. and rightfully so.

Its more then appropriate for the Liberals, NDP and yes, even the BQ to hamme the government over this apparent copy-cat policy of Bush's attempts to limit coverage of this. The flag issue just is a parallel yet related topic to this.

At 4/25/2006 8:23 p.m., Anonymous Anonymous said...

the difference between us and the americans..about the half mast???WE ARE CANADIANS....whats the matter with you...this isnt about politics, its baout the soldiers and their famillies...

At 4/25/2006 9:49 p.m., Blogger wilson61 said...

Firstly, it was Bill Clinton, Nov 2000, that banned the media from repatriation ceremonies (NOT Bush)

Secondly, one of the four families requested a private ceremony (check out CTV)

Thirdly...see the (intentional) pattern:
PMSH makes a move. Left & MSM try to make it into a PR problem. The facts come out. Left & MSM look like idiots.

At 4/25/2006 10:53 p.m., Blogger Saskboy said...

I like your position, it's similar to my own, I'm going to blog about it and post it tomorrow morning.

Bottom line is Harper is up to something and that's why the Liberals are in a tizzy

At 4/25/2006 11:00 p.m., Anonymous not yet Emersoned said...


You have some serious issues displaying your penile image on your site and your peurile posts.
Get a grip, eh?
Aren't Canadians on a peacekeeping mission?
And looney, the lowering of the flag issue is at the pleasure of the Prime Minister.
And I hope Emerson likes you. Like he cares.

At 4/26/2006 1:16 p.m., Blogger SkylarKD said...

I don't see how lowering the flag for soldiers who are dying now 'cheapens' the memories of soldiers who died in previous wars. Following that logic would mean that memories would also be cheapened by today's media coverage because fallen soldiers in previous decades didn't have the same extent of media coverage that we now have (i.e. today's soldiers are getting a tribute they didn't get).

To me, honouring soldiers when they die in service, as well as on Remembrance Day, is a fitting way to pay tribute; why should we only honour them on one day? It would be wonderful if we could go back and lower the flag individually for each and every Canadian soldier who has ever died, so that everything would be equal, but that's impossible. We can't change history, but why should that prevent us from lowering the flag from now on?

I also don't think that the impact of Remembrance Day, with its ceremonies, marches, wreath and poems, could ever be diluted by lowering the flag on other days.
On the contrary, I think that instead of Remembrance Day being a time to remember soldiers who died in wars long ago (as it is for many people), on Remembrance Day Canadians would remember all of the times the flag has been lowered in recent times, and see the impact of war on our country today, and throughout the year.

At 4/26/2006 3:38 p.m., Blogger Saskboy said...

"not yet Emersoned"
You're either extremely sarcastic, or you have serious issues in comprehension.

That and I'm concerned about your references to "penile", "PM", "pleasure", and "Emerson" all in the same entry. Just what is your subconscious thinking?

At 4/26/2006 3:47 p.m., Blogger Scott Tribe said...

The statement that Clinton did this (as if that somehow supposedly gets both Bush and Harper off the hook) is false.

Dubya's dad implemented the ban. Clinton lifted it. Dubya Jr reinstated it.


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