This Is One Orchard That Seems To Bare Rotten Fruit

Edmonton - Friday, June 25, 2004 - by: Ron Thornton Marriage, Be It Same Sex, Same Family, Same Harem


From the left, the shrill grows loud as those who felt political defeat whine and snivel in their childish tantrums. "A Graveyard For Our Dreams: Why I'm Not Voting Conservative" by David Orchard is one such example of this.


In his article, Orchard mopes that the new Conservative Party has no constitution and its policies are set without direction or accountability to its membership. This is true. It is also due to the late date merger of the Canadian Alliance and the Progressive Conservatives, and the prospect of an early election call that would leave the party hamstrung unless an interim council was brought together now to do what needed to be done. That is the way things are done under such circumstances, with interim bodies in charge of most newly formed entities, from nations to associations, until the democratic institutions can be put fully into place. For someone who yearned to lead a federal political party, I would have thought Mr. Orchard would understand such things.
  As the membership lists of both parties were merged into one, those who appeared on those lists probably should not be shocked to receive "unsolicited" membership cards. Now, should members of the Liberal Party, the NDP, and the Bloc also start receiving such cards, then would be the time to call in Sherlock Holmes to unravel the mystery. Until then, a spark of sense would do much to clear away the fog from the mists on the moors in the minds of such people as Mr. Orchard. Then again, with all the porn that is out there on the Internet, there are more things I want to protect my kids from than a letter and a piece of cardboard.
  Mr. Orchard has yet to get over how his party found "roughly 20,000 Alliance members" invited in to join up and pave the way for its takeover. Then again, if he had been watching the political scene with much interest or awareness, he would have also seen an influx of Progressive Conservatives invited into the old Reform Party to create the Canadian Alliance. If the C.A.- P. C. merger occurred in "Trojan horse fashion", as Mr. Orchard claims, then he should have noticed the first wooden pony being pushed across the landscape just a scant few years earlier. It would seem that he did not.


When it comes to picking out his Judas, David Orchard is quick to point out Peter MacKay in his oft told tale of treachery; when he thought he had made a deal to back the Maritimer over a promise of no merger between the Alliance and the P.C.s. Now, Orchard figures a vote for the party formed from that merger, the new Conservatives, would "legitimize the actions of the clique, accountable for no one except their unseen backers." Then again, I could vote Liberal, but that would legitimize the actions of a clique that has wasted a ton of our tax dollars, has shown contempt for the democratic process, and has had more trouble with the truth than Geppetto's puppet.
  Another option, if I had a candidate to vote for, would be to toss a vote toward the new Progressive Canadian Party, a group that would seem to have an interesting fetish for certain initials. Then again, I rather like the idea of more freedom and less government, especially since I can not write the government off as a dependent on my income tax forms. Orchard and others from the left of the political spectrum think that only government cash can keep health care afloat, yet it was government cuts at the federal level that caused a slashing of service. We need an alternative delivery system to at least provide us with protection and less vulnerability to that happening again.
  We also need an alternative to Kyoto if Canada has any desire to reduce harmful global emissions and to protect our standard of living. Allowing China, Russia, and India to belch all kinds of toxins into the atmosphere while at the same time selling "credits" to those nations who can not reach their assigned targets somehow fails to address the problem...if a problem exists at all. However, it does represent a dandy method of transferring wealth, again coming from your pocket to some foreign government, as if our own does not tax us enough. If Harper and his Conservatives are against Kyoto, then I have just been given yet another reason to vote for them.
  Orchard tells us that Harper and his party have plans to privatize major parts of the CBC, as well as overhaul the nation's broadcast regulator, the CRTC. Nothing objectionable there though, like all things, it depends on what their actual plans might or might not be.
  Orchard believes we should be aghast that Harper's chief advisor, Tom Flanagan, wrote, "European civilization was several thousand years more advanced than the aboriginal cultures of North America." Well, they say the truth does set one free. As one of Metis ancestry, I can opinion that some of the representatives of those European civilizations were S.O.B.'s when it came to how the aboriginals were treated. This would include even Sir John A. Macdonald, but I guess our worries are over there as Orchard states Harper leads the "party which destroyed the party that created Canada." Out with the old, in with the new, as they say. Then again, as proud as I am of my ancestry, I have always believed we are one people. Every family has differences, but they find their unity in those things that they have in common. Of course, you do not have to believe that, but as your land is my land, according to some, maybe you should.
  Orchard tells us that "a minority Conservative government can expect Bloc support for a price." Well, if anyone knows about giving support to someone for a price, it would be Orchard. He should also know that sometimes the price proves to be too high, and must be rejected.
  Orchard fears what he might refer to as the emasculation of the Official Languages Act, or bilingualism. Quite frankly, my own children are learning French, but I also recognize they would be better served learning, in a global and future Canadian sense, Mandarin, Spanish, Arabic, Bengali, Hindi, Portuguese, Russian, Japanese, German, along with English. It is sad to think that any language, especially one of such historic and literary significance, needs to resort to artificial means to prevent its decay. Still, sometimes, like the concept of universality, we demand something when common sense and economics dictate otherwise. Our task would be to make bilingualism both sensible and economically prudent everywhere in the country, which is not the case today.
  Orchard is right that Harper advocated Canadian participation in the Iraqi Conflict, where Canadian troops who were already there under American command would have at least had their own government's support. Evidence was presented before the United Nations to indicate that the regime of Saddam Hussein was a real threat to a world still reeling from the effects of the 9-11 attacks. Our refusal to join the coalition was not based on whether or not the evidence, in the end, would be credible, but rather because we did not have the stomach to get involved. Our refusal had nothing to do with whether Iraq was a threat or not, as it only came once the United Nations threw our government a lifeline, an excuse, to hold out until a dithering U.N. delayed action yet again to continue its failed attempts at detente. Considering the make-up and history of that fine institution, it was a decision that brought no honor to this nation, even if it proved a fortuitous one considering how events have played out in that campaign.
  Orchard views Harper as a threat to Canada's culture, environment, its institutions, and its sovereignty. How can Harper be a threat to a culture that few can even define any more? How can Harper be a threat to the environment for refusing to back a compact that will be no more effective in protecting the environment than our gun registry has been in providing us protection against criminals? How can Harper be a threat to our institutions when those very institutions may come to threaten this nation's very existence without undergoing crucial democratic reform? How can Harper be a threat to Canadian sovereignty when we have already been reduced to depending on the good-will of others for our own protection?
  If the election of the Conservatives proves to be the graveyard of David Orchard's dreams, then I'll be glad to serve as a pallbearer.


Ron Thornton

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