Thursday, October 15, 2015

Doug Ford Slams Trudeau's as Drama Teacher

I turned on the news today and found myself absorbed once again in the Canada Leadership Race.

Doug Ford gave an interview putting Stephen Harper's resume up against Justin Trudeau, saying Trudeau couldn't even be a floor sweeper in a major company that would hire Stephen Harper in a heartbeat.

How do their resume's stack up?

Liberal leader Trudeau spent a year as a drama teacher. According to Mr. Ford, that is a huge knock against him. He goes on to say that it makes him incompetent.

Let me go back to my grade ten Drama class. Who takes Drama class?

For me, in grade ten, it was every hooligan, shit disturber, troublemaker, and problem child in the highschool.

Each class was like an experiment in seeing how far they could push the teacher toward a mental breakdown, and on supply teacher day, it was like that but on steroids.

We were in a windowless, high-roofed room that was the remnants of a defunct metal-shop program. A fence blocked off a section - about half of the classroom - where big, clunky metal working machines sat and collected dust.

Almost every class, someone would sneak over to the lightswitch and turn off the light when the teacher wasn't looking.

Pitch darkness would ensue, and inevitably, a chair, or two, or three, would be tossed over the fence and ping-pong clatter around the metal machines.

When particularly mean spirited, a recycling bin, a garbage can, or some other clunky object would be pushed into the path between the sight-deprived supply teacher and the lightswitch, and you could hear the poor, blithering teacher stumbling and crashing his way from his desk to the lightswitch. Once turned on, the teacher would be met by a crowd of blank, innocent, bewildered stares.

So, who are drama teachers in my opinion? How would being a drama teacher impact someone's ability to lead?

Drama teachers inspire the imagination. They understand the importance of fun in education. They can deal with the most difficult students, and change their paths for the better. They can control a crowd of hyper, excited, difficult children (an important skill in parliamentary debates).

I could go on.

So Doug Ford's snide remark, Trudeau spent a year as a drama teacher and is therefore incompetent and should not lead the country is an insult.

An insult to everyone who admires an actor, an actor at some stage of his life likely inspired by a drama teacher.

An insult to everyone in the education industry who puts their heart and soul into teaching our children.

I understand that leaders can't choose their supporters. I think it shows just how stupid the Ford's are. Supporting Stephen Harper so loudly and arrogantly will likely do no justice to Harper's campaign.

It's a bit like gaining a few buffoon votes in exchange for a hundred voters running away from your party.

And then there's the comment that Stephen Harper's resume would be snapped up in a heartbeat to lead a major company.

I'm sure there's a lineup of companies waiting to hire someone who lost money in nine consecutive years after inheriting a surplus. They can't wait to put someone in charge who oversaw his country through two recessions. They are excited about his record of hiring competent, trustworthy people like Mike Duffy and Patrick Brazeau. They know he surrounds himself with bright, highly qualified people that aren't smart enough to talk for themselves or express their own opinions. They are excited about hiring somone who chopped the forward momentum of women in society, neutered scientific research, castrated the national media, created a tax-haven system inside Canada that encourages stock market manipulation. Who wouldn't want to be led by someone labelled a racist embarassment by numerous media outlets throughout the world.

Sounds like someone I'd hire - NOT.

I'd sooner hire a drama teacher.

Friday, October 02, 2015

Is Citizenship Revocation Right for Convicted Terrorists.

Terrorism offends me as it does most sensible people.

When I first heard about revoking citizenship, my angry self cheered, "Yeehaw, stick it to the bad guy."

The more I thought about it, though, the more I came to the conclusion that Trudeau is right. We can't revoke the citizenship of a terrorist anymore than we can revoke the citizenship of a pedophile, or a murderer, or any other person whose behaviour offends mainstream society.

Why not?

Putting our hateful sentiments aside. What happens when you revoke someones citizenship and send them back to their home country?

1) The person heads back to their home country and remains a threat to their society, and potentially our society too. Borders aren't impervious to infiltration. Their infatuation with revenge and violence is now exported elsewhere and threatens other people, potentially us as well. We cannot check it. We cannot watch them. We cannot forgive them and encourage them lead healthy and productive lives, seeing the error of their ways. We are overcome with revenge and anger, and we let these feelings dictate our actions. In this case, we potentially make them martyrs and heroes, looked up to by other would-be terrorists as someone who tried, but failed, to attack the people they blindly hate. They are praised as someone who did hard time for "the cause." They are elevated in their circles of evil and potentially more dangerous than ever.

2) Our sensibilities over the last half century have seen us abolish the death penalty, torture, and abide by a doctrine that eliminates cruel-and-unusual punishment. As was witnessed in the Arar case, handing someone over to another country can have dire consequences. There is no guarantee the convicted terrorist would not be rearrested, tortured, or put to death after serving their time in Canada and being extradited to a country with a different moral code. In doing so, we are breaching their human rights.

To conclude. As much as terrorism and those who incorporate it into their belief system offends us, we must take the higher ground. That is the road that Trudeau took in the debate of citizenship revocation, even if he did not articulate it as best he could. It shows he can look beyond hate and revenge and choose the right path.