Author Topic: Lead, Please, Prime Minister  (Read 15887 times)

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Offline The Ruxted Group

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Lead, Please, Prime Minister
« on: June 28, 2007, 09:11:39 »
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Lead, Please, Prime Minister

Prime Minister Harper is quoted as saying that he wants consensus from Canadians before he will ask Parliament to extend the current Afghan mission beyond Feb 2009.

The Ruxted Group applauds the PM for both insisting that Parliament – the House of Commons – agree to major military operations, and asking Canadians themselves to consider the merits of this mission and guide their elected representatives. 

Regardless of the common sense and fundamental democratic ideals satisfied by this initiative what is lacking is true leadership.  In saying “I would hope the view of Canadians is not simply to abandon Afghanistan” without actively persuading the people of Canada that his preferred course of action is right, good and proper the Prime Minister has effectively abdicated his responsibility to lead and along with it, his ability to convince Canadians that their troops are in Afghanistan are fighting the good fight for the right reasons.
 
The Prime Minister needs to bring the choices before us into stark relief.  The issue is not just the mission in Afghanistan, though that is the public face of this crisis.  It is also an articulation of a national vision and Canada's place in a rapidly polarizing world.  This government has talked at length about how this country used to punch above its weight, and has complained just as loudly about how previous Liberal governments have squandered Canada's reputation on the world stage, yet here is the Prime Minister calling vaguely for a consensus without articulating his ideas for a rational, moral and achievable alternative to the ideological and political divides that face the nation today.

The Prime Minister needs to ‘sell’ Canada’s emerging lead role and the current mission to Canadians, especially to Québecers.  This is a theme which The Ruxted Group has visited over and over and over again.  In 2006, when he persuaded a reluctant parliament to approve an extension of the mission until early 2009, Prime Minister Harper appeared interested only in embarrassing the Liberal opposition.   He offered Canadians little in the way of solid reasons ‘why’ – rather he threatened a weak and divided opposition with a snap election.  That tactic, although it served the purpose of whipping the opposition into line, was never good enough for Canadians and only distracted from the very real, important and noble reasons that their troops are killing and being killed in Afghanistan; the healing, reconstruction, and development desired by all cannot proceed without the sacrifices inherent in providing security.

We are extremely disappointed (but not all that surprised) at the fact that Prime Minister Harper is doing exactly what he accuses his opponents of doing: playing political games, and seeking to wring the maximum partisan political advantage out of the situation in Afghanistan.  It is time for Prime Minister Harper to lead the country.  As we said at the start, the issue is not just the mission in Afghanistan it is about Canada’s role in the world – the leadership role Prime Minister Harper says is his government’s objective.  Canada needs a coherent foreign policy and Canadians need direct, honest political leadership during these hard times, we do not need more of the same on both these fronts, which is exactly what Mr Harper offered up this week.

By articulating a clear vision of Canada's goals in Afghanistan and how we intend to operate in the future, free of political posturing and spin, Prime Minister Harper may develop the consensus among Canadians he desires, and provide us with a vision for Canada in the 21st century world.  There is an old military maxim: Lead, follow or get out of the way! 

Lead, please, Prime Minister.

Offline Cdn Blackshirt

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Re: Lead, Please, Prime Minister
« Reply #1 on: June 28, 2007, 09:50:42 »
I think Harper is a bright guy between his ears.

That being said, I think he has amongst the most incompetent communications strategies I have seen anywhere, demonstrated by an entity, at any time.


Matthew.   
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Offline E.R. Campbell

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Re: Lead, Please, Prime Minister
« Reply #2 on: June 28, 2007, 10:54:24 »
I think Harper is a bright guy between his ears.

That being said, I think he has amongst the most incompetent communications strategies I have seen anywhere, demonstrated by an entity, at any time.


Matthew.   

But, on this and other issues, is he leading the country?  Or is he following the polls?

If he's not leading then does it matter if he's smart?


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Offline KevinB

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Re: Lead, Please, Prime Minister
« Reply #3 on: June 28, 2007, 11:06:56 »
I must say I fully agree with Ruxted -- one of the big complains with Mr Dithers, was that he would never make a decision with out firmly sounding out public opinion -- that not leadership.  I expected a lot more from the Conservative gov't -- despite being a Minority -- they NEED to lead -- the PM should be willing to fall on his sword over this issue, since we have been expending a great deal of BLOOD and money to get the Afghan gov't to where it is now.  Failing this, it will show (well me for one, a paid up card carrying member of the CPC, and no doubt others) that the value we expected from them, when we cats our votes for them, where all in naught.

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Offline Smode

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Re: Lead, Please, Prime Minister
« Reply #4 on: June 28, 2007, 13:14:26 »
There comes to be a difference between leading a country properly and following the polls. I think so far Harper is doing a great job compared to our Previous leader. A leader to me is someone who will make choices for the country without asking the canadian people. We elected Harper to be our leader, we elected him to make decisions for us. THats the reason hes the leader of the Tories. Now , I Can respect him a lot for wanting to speak with parliament and see the polls on certain issues. This shows he is willing to hear the Canadian People and their issues.  :cdn:
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Offline bruce7711

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Re: Lead, Please, Prime Minister
« Reply #5 on: June 28, 2007, 13:31:38 »
It is sad to read the news these days, waht with all the political crap about pulling out of Afgahnistan in 2009.  Popular opinion is against the war, so what.  The way that this new policy on Afghanistan is playing out is going to kill the Canadian Army.  Who wants to be part of an organisation that is'nt allowed to carry out it's primary purpose.  The people of Canada do not want us to go to war, nor do the opposition parties.  I guess that means we no longer have to go on exercise, as we have nothing to train for.  Not allowed to fight a war, why train for warfighting?  This country and Government should be ashamed of themselves.  A complete and utter emabarresment!!!

Offline Boxkicker

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Re: Lead, Please, Prime Minister
« Reply #6 on: June 28, 2007, 13:55:37 »
 Lets face it the PM is damned if he does and damned if he does not. The media has crucified him for everything. Lets face fact he has paid the price for the policies of the Liberals. Why was it that this was never an issue when those bunch of crooks were in power or the so called detainee issue.
  Since day one the media of this country has been trying to get the conseratives un-elected. 

 
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Offline E.R. Campbell

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Re: Lead, Please, Prime Minister
« Reply #7 on: June 28, 2007, 14:00:42 »
Lets face it the PM is damned if he does and damned if he does not. The media has crucified him for everything. Lets face fact he has paid the price for the policies of the Liberals. Why was it that this was never an issue when those bunch of crooks were in power or the so called detainee issue.
  Since day one the media of this country has been trying to get the conseratives un-elected. 


 

Why, then didn't he enunciate new, clear policies?

Remember, now, I'm a Conservative, but where are the non-Liberal policies?  Where is the difference on foreign and defence policy between Harper and Martin?  Martin was buying new kit - maybe not exactly the same new kit as the Tories are buying but much needed new kit, all the same.  Martin started a foreign policy review.  If Harper is being crucified for Liberal policies it's because he kept applying them.
It is ill that men should kill one another in seditions, tumults and wars; but it is worse to bring nations to such misery, weakness and baseness
as to have neither strength nor courage to contend for anything; to have nothing left worth defending and to give the name of peace to desolation.
Algernon Sidney in Discourses Concerning Government, (1698)
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Offline ArmyVern

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Re: Lead, Please, Prime Minister
« Reply #8 on: June 28, 2007, 14:14:10 »
Oh so true.

But the public wants us to become, once again, those traditional "Peacekeepers" wearing the baby blue berets with no risk of offending anyone's sensibilities; least of all those who'd sit back here in their warm, cozy little lives keeping their hands clean and in total denial of the fact that "Peacekeeping" is NOT riskless and politics-free.

How soon the Canadian public forgets that those idyllic Peacekeeping missions have cost the lives of 116 Canadian soldiers and 3 civilian employees. Those fallen were honoured with the very same repatriation ceremonies as our fallen from Afghanistan. Perhaps the public just missed it because the MSM didn't claw over each other to get in and film those solemn ceremonies for broadcast to the masses, but I guess that may have tarnished that good Peaceful Baby Blue Canadian International Halo image they all like to claim as their own.

Wake up Canada!!


Learn your history, and most of all ... be damn proud of it. You have some pretty fine soldiers acting as your ambassadors to the world both in Peacetime and in time of War, as has always been the case.

« Last Edit: June 28, 2007, 14:19:02 by ArmyVern »
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Offline Boxkicker

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Re: Lead, Please, Prime Minister
« Reply #9 on: June 28, 2007, 14:59:37 »
Why, then didn't he enunciate new, clear policies?

Remember, now, I'm a Conservative, but where are the non-Liberal policies?  Where is the difference on foreign and defence policy between Harper and Martin?  Martin was buying new kit - maybe not exactly the same new kit as the Tories are buying but much needed new kit, all the same.  Martin started a foreign policy review.  If Harper is being crucified for Liberal policies it's because he kept applying them.

 Pretty simple on some things to me, when it comes to new policies if it ain't broke don't fix it. Why meddle with something if it works.   

  When it comes to some of the new kit that martin was going to buy it would have first been studied to death in committee. Instead we have a PM that says we need it now. I do not believe that we would have ever seen any of that new kit the Liberals said they would look at.
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Offline ArmyVern

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Re: Lead, Please, Prime Minister
« Reply #10 on: June 28, 2007, 15:30:46 »
Pretty simple on some things to me, when it comes to new policies if it ain't broke don't fix it. Why meddle with something if it works.   

  When it comes to some of the new kit that martin was going to buy it would have first been studied to death in committee. Instead we have a PM that says we need it now. I do not believe that we would have ever seen any of that new kit the Liberals said they would look at.

There were problems with the policies ... that's why Harper is in power with his fellow Conservatives now.

Yep, he fast-tracked operational kit that we needed desperately ... we are fighting and dying after all; it's the least they could do. Now, as Ruxted has said below ... when are they going to start TALKING about and defending this mission to the Canadian public?? The sound of their silence is catching up with them...just look at the polls.

Good, bad, pretty, or ugly, the public likes to be informed of what exactly is going on when Canadian Soldiers are dying ... when they hear nothing from the elected Leader of Canada on that face ... they believe what they are told, usually quite willingly, by the MSM and the opposition because no-one is stepping up to tell them the difference.

That stepping-up is usually called leadership.
« Last Edit: June 28, 2007, 15:33:17 by ArmyVern »
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Offline PikaChe

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Re: Lead, Please, Prime Minister
« Reply #11 on: June 28, 2007, 15:45:06 »
If Harper really believes in the mission, he'd risk his political career and make this the #1 issue on the political agenda and risk an election over it.

I think Harper is gradually trying to change the mind of the Canadians, but the blowback from certain stupid things the Conservatives have said, and Harper's fumbling of how to actually talk to the Canadians about this subject while the Libs and the NDP have fired rhetoric that appeases the avg joe Canadian and now, I think unless radical change of tactics for Conservatives happen, we are going to lose public support for the mission.

Personally, I'm in favour putting the Afghan mission to a public referendum. If Canadians do not have the balls to face up to all those principles that Canada supposedly stand for, I'd rather have it done publically so that every joe Canadian must realize what is happening.

And announce to the world too.
« Last Edit: June 28, 2007, 15:49:57 by HighlandFusilier »

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Re: Lead, Please, Prime Minister
« Reply #12 on: June 28, 2007, 16:14:07 »
There were problems with the policies ... that's why Harper is in power with his fellow Conservatives now.


  I am not saying that were not problems with policies. But how many policies needed to be sorted out and how many did not. In the department we work for it has been one problem after another.
  First it was that the head shed had to get us new kit, aircraft, armor some big expensive new pieces of desperately needed equipment. The problems that we have faced have been all created by the Liberals. But the PM and current MND have paid the price for it. It is the face of hypocrisy at the utmost that all the current problems being faced bye this government was caused by the Liberals, when it comes to the military.   
  It bothers me that for the media it was all well and good when it was the Liberals putting the shaft to us,it never created any sort of political fire storm. Even after the MND would say well this was done under the previous government, but we will fix it. the media still made the Liberals and NDP,come off smelling like a rose.
 i do agree that there has been bad communication though coming from the government, when it comes to the mission. I would love for the media to actually pick up on some of the fuzzy friendly things being done as well as the government. That might change a few minds.   
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Re: Lead, Please, Prime Minister
« Reply #13 on: June 29, 2007, 08:49:16 »
With all respect, I can't agree with the editorial. Harper is a leader - - period. He is also smart enough to know that to continue to be a leader in this country he can't ignore the reality of the significant numbers of left-leaning idiot voters who don't understand the military, its purpose, and history. For good or ill that will require a vote on the mission. We do live in a democracy.

Tell me what other PM in recent times has accomplished as much as Harper, in as short a time and with a minority government. He's a balls forward leader and has pushed the other parties in the House of Commons to the wall. Be careful when challenging his character as a leader. 

CHIMO
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Re: Lead, Please, Prime Minister
« Reply #14 on: June 29, 2007, 09:13:32 »
While I like Harper - it does not mean I have to go thru life with blinders on.  Sit back and think that since Afghan support was intially of 75%, heck even pre Iraq war we had a 55% approval for going there.  The issue is the PM's officer has not properly lead the public into the hows and why's of the war.
  And dont go blaming left leaning people -- you think ANY one of them really would want Afghan to go back under the Taliban?  The left is one of the foremost supporters of womens, gays and every other minority groups rights -- the fact is most are too stupid to have an opinion and beleive rhetoric from the OPFOR Leaders in Parliament -- Canada needs to get on the ball, and sell the war.
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Offline E.R. Campbell

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Re: Lead, Please, Prime Minister
« Reply #15 on: June 29, 2007, 09:40:06 »
With all respect, I can't agree with the editorial. Harper is a leader - - period. He is also smart enough to know that to continue to be a leader in this country he can't ignore the reality of the significant numbers of left-leaning idiot voters who don't understand the military, its purpose, and history. For good or ill that will require a vote on the mission. We do live in a democracy.

Tell me what other PM in recent times has accomplished as much as Harper, in as short a time and with a minority government. He's a balls forward leader and has pushed the other parties in the House of Commons to the wall. Be careful when challenging his character as a leader. 

CHIMO
:cdn:

He may well be a leader, but - in my not at all humble opinion - if he is he's not acting like one.  He's acting like a cheap ward heeler, sort of like a Jean Chrétien but able speak English and French.

I understand, and, as a card carrying Conservative I accept, that the political imperative is to win a majority government, preferably two in a row.  That does not alter the fact that he is NOT leading the country in the right direction – hell’s bells, he’s not leading it in any direction – on foreign policy in general and Afghanistan in particular.  Right now he is hemming and hawing to soothe nervous, timorous, changeable Québec voters and, in the process, he is aiding and abetting what Infidel 6 correctly calls the OPFOR in Parliament.

Most of us are or were military people; many of us hold or have held leadership positions.  Those who do/have understand that leading, especially when the mission is difficult and unpopular, is not easy.  We, some of us anyway, have some sympathy with PM Harper’s position – I do.  But my sympathy does not alter the fact that he’s NOT leading, he’s following.

QED 
It is ill that men should kill one another in seditions, tumults and wars; but it is worse to bring nations to such misery, weakness and baseness
as to have neither strength nor courage to contend for anything; to have nothing left worth defending and to give the name of peace to desolation.
Algernon Sidney in Discourses Concerning Government, (1698)
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Offline GAP

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Re: Lead, Please, Prime Minister
« Reply #16 on: June 29, 2007, 09:52:50 »
Nobody is denigrating Harper, simply pointing out that he's not doing what we expect him to do....lead.

As long as there was an identified agenda he was on top of the pile....excellent feedback...now, he's doing nothing definitive, as least as far as the Canadian public is concerned, so they (the public) are listening to the opposition, cause that's who's talking.
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rormson

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Re: Lead, Please, Prime Minister
« Reply #17 on: July 01, 2007, 20:26:27 »
E.R. Campbell: You are comparing Harper to Chrétien? Are you for real?

*Edited for tone
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« Last Edit: July 01, 2007, 21:46:27 by muskrat89 »

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Re: Lead, Please, Prime Minister
« Reply #18 on: July 01, 2007, 22:20:13 »
Well, I guess this all goes to show: the Canadian public isn't ready for what's coming for them. If we think that we can live safely and securely forever, then we'll be all the sorrier when everything goes to sh@t. I mean, at what point IS our military's primary role to wage war? When the enemy is on the footstep? through the door? in our bedroom? I can't even begin to understand the self destructive stupidity of the common layman. Meanwhile, the government continues to drag this once great nation down the death spiral with one idiotic program after another. I mean, there was a time in north america (and i'll admit that this is mostly down south), and to a large degree there still is (http://www.tysknews.com/Depts/2nd_Amend/crime_rate_plummets.htm), when the very THOUGHT of the government disarming the populace was sacrilege. Honestly, what reason other than fear of being overthrown is there for the government to take peoples guns away? And to top it all off, the people actually ASKED for it. This is where a certain Star Wars quote (I know, I know...) begins very illustrative: "So this is how liberty dies. With thunderous applause." ~Padme

I know I'm young, and  inexperienced. And I know that replies to this post will be the same sort of "Well, we live in a liberal democracy blah blah" but please, Canada, for the good of OUR grandchildren, we gotta smarten up. I want a FREE Canada, not an Islamic state, not a Communist regime, not a socialists paradise. Of course all this is useless rhetoric, at most a trifle of food for thought...

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Re: Lead, Please, Prime Minister
« Reply #19 on: July 08, 2007, 09:44:44 »
Here, reproduced from today's Ottawa Citizen under the Fair Dealing provisions (§29) of the Copyright Act, is an article dealing with the topic at hand:

http://www.canada.com/ottawacitizen/news/story.html?id=416b2b44-ed72-4bf6-88e1-2dd1f6953229

Quote
Tories soften stance on Afghan mission extension

Jason Fekete, CanWest News Service
Published: Saturday, July 07, 2007

CALGARY - As the bodies of six Canadian soldiers killed this past week in Afghanistan return home, Conservative MPs said Saturday extending Canada's combat assignment in the war-torn country beyond February 2009 will depend on "consensus" in Parliament.

But Liberal Leader Stephane Dion, in Calgary for the Stampede, insisted there won't be majority support to prolong a mission that's already killed 66 Canadian soldiers since 2002 - most of them in the past 18 months.

While Tory MPs maintain the government is completely committed to the Afghan effort, political analysts said the Tories have undoubtedly softened their support for extending the mission beyond February 2009.

Calgary Southeast MP Jason Kenney said Saturday the Conservative government has not made a decision on whether it wants to extend the mission.

"We need the support of Parliament if we were to seek to extend the mission and the government hasn't decided whether or not it wants to do that yet," Kenney said Saturday.

"This current mission will terminate in February 2009, and whether there's an extension depends on whether there's parliamentary consensus."

The flag-draped coffins carrying the bodies of Capt. Matthew Dawe, 27, Cpl. Cole Bartsch, 23, Cpl. Jordan Anderson, 25, Pte. Lane Watkins, 20, Capt. Jefferson Francis, 37, and Master Cpl. Colin Bason, 28, were loaded onto a military aircraft at the Kandahar Airfield on Friday night as hundreds of solemn coalition troops looked on.

Their bodies are scheduled to arrive Sunday at CFB Trenton in Ontario for a repatriation ceremony.

Four other Canadian soldiers were injured early Saturday morning when a suicide bomber struck a coalition convoy, eight kilometres west of Kandahar City.

The injured soldiers were transported by helicopter to the Canadian-led multinational hospital at Kandahar airfield, where two of them were treated and released and two were still undergoing treatment Saturday.

"The injuries sustained by the soldiers are not serious, the soldiers notified their next of kin themselves,"said Maj. Dale MacEachern, a spokesman for the Canadian Forces in Afghanistan.

They were expected to rejoin their unit.

The bomber was killed in the attack.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper, who teamed up with Kenney to flip and serve flapjacks at a Stampede pancake breakfast at a Calgary mall, wouldn't speak to the media.

But Indian Affairs Minister and Calgary MP Jim Prentice, who hosted his own breakfast, echoed Kenney's comments that opposition parties deserve a say in whether to extend the increasingly deadly mission.

"We respect the House of Commons and the other parties will have a point of view on this," Prentice said.

Prentice recognized there is growing public angst as the body count in Afghanistan rises - including the deaths of the six soldiers this past week and the wounding of the others early Saturday - but he hoped the public will continue to support the 2,500 troops in southern Afghanistan for the work they're doing to rebuild the country.

"To be sure, there are many questions to be asked after casualties," Prentice added. "But that discussion will crystallize in 2009."

Still, the Tory government's commitment to prolonging the Afghan mission doesn't appear to be as strong as it was in 2006, when the government survived a 149-145 vote in the House of Commons to extend the mission two more years to next February.

"If we need further efforts or a further mandate to go ahead into the future, we will do so alone and we will go to the Canadian people to get that mandate," Harper said in May 2006, following the vote.

But more questions are raised with every soldier who is killed or wounded in the volatile southern region of Afghanistan. The issue is particularly poignant in Alberta, where a large number of the dead soldiers have been based.

Liberal leader Dion is pressing the federal government to notify NATO and the Afghan government that Canada's combat mission in Kandahar will end in February 2009.

"We have 18 months to work together for a replacement," Dion said Friday.

Calgary Herald
© CanWest News Service 2007

This seems to bear out the thrust of Ruxted's view: Prime Minister Harper is, as politically he probably must, putting political expediency – re-election – ahead of principle and the national interest.

So, RGO just how does he differ from Prime Minister Chrétien?  Isn't that precisely what Chrétien did and isn't that exactly why he did it?
It is ill that men should kill one another in seditions, tumults and wars; but it is worse to bring nations to such misery, weakness and baseness
as to have neither strength nor courage to contend for anything; to have nothing left worth defending and to give the name of peace to desolation.
Algernon Sidney in Discourses Concerning Government, (1698)
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rormson

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Re: Lead, Please, Prime Minister
« Reply #20 on: July 08, 2007, 10:20:10 »
ER Campbell,

For starters, here's how he's not at all like Chrétien:

- he has never referred to the CF as a bunch of "Boy Scouts"
- he has not cancelled procurement contracts for badly needed military hardware out of political spite - - recall what Chrétien did with the EH101 deal
- he has actually visited out troops in theatre and shown some long overdue support to Canada's military
- he's not the leader of a pollitically-corrupt party

You and the Ruxted folks can have fun juding the man's leadership on one issue if you like, but I think it's rediculous to compare him to Jean Chrétien.

Offline E.R. Campbell

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Re: Lead, Please, Prime Minister
« Reply #21 on: July 08, 2007, 11:29:41 »
... I think it's rediculous to compare him to Jean Chrétien.


But:

... how does he differ from Prime Minister Chrétien?  Isn't that [changing positions, even supposedly firm positions] precisely what Chrétien did and isn't that exactly why [to win (re)lection] he did it?

I'm not arguing the political logic or the relative honesty of the two men.

Ruxted invited the PM to lead, the presumption, I suppose, being that he's stopped leading and started playing politics with Canadian soldiers in action.  I - a card carrying Conservative and a regular contributor to the party - remain firmly on Ruxted's side on this.  The fact that I'm a partisan Conservative does not ,make me some sort of mindless automaton and certainly not a sycophant.
It is ill that men should kill one another in seditions, tumults and wars; but it is worse to bring nations to such misery, weakness and baseness
as to have neither strength nor courage to contend for anything; to have nothing left worth defending and to give the name of peace to desolation.
Algernon Sidney in Discourses Concerning Government, (1698)
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Offline MCG

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Re: Lead, Please, Prime Minister
« Reply #22 on: July 08, 2007, 12:37:00 »
But the public wants us to become, once again, those traditional "Peacekeepers" wearing the baby blue berets with no risk of offending anyone's sensibilities;
I think Ruxted did a good job of addressing that hypocrisy here: http://forums.milnet.ca/forums/index.php/topic,63566.0.html
How could we claim to be "peacekeepers" and the "doers of the right thing" if we are willing to abandon the Afghans?

...  I think he has amongst the most incompetent communications strategies I have seen anywhere ... at any time.
I tend to agree.  I also think that Foreign Affairs is failing in its communications duties.  It should be that minister who is spreading the message to Canadians about why we are there, what we aim to achieve.  There is plenty of communications on how we intend to fight the enemy, but the silence related to reconstruction is deafening.  This silence is not because we are doing nothing.  This silence is not because reconstruction is unimportant (quite the  opposite; reconstruction is the most important).  The silence is because DFAIT has failed in its communication strategy.

... here's how he's not at all like Chrétien:
...
- he has actually visited out troops in theatre and shown some long overdue support to Canada's military
I seem to recall a backward helmet photo that suggests otherwise.  Maybe you are thinking of Mr Martin.

Harper is a leader - - period. He is also smart enough to know that to continue to be a leader in this country he can't ignore the reality of the significant numbers of left-leaning idiot voters who don't understand the military, its purpose, and history. For good or ill that will require a vote on the mission. We do live in a democracy.
There is a difference between simply holding on to the nation's top leadership position & leading while in that position.  A leader would take the time to explain why certain sacrifices should be made, and a leader would show how the same sacrifices are in keeping with Canadian ideals.  Making popular decisions may be part of the equation, but communicating the dynamics of important decisions to the public is just as important.  Where is the communication?

Offline Old Sweat

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Re: Lead, Please, Prime Minister
« Reply #23 on: July 08, 2007, 13:22:47 »
Let me preface my comments by stating that, like Edward, I am a member of and a contributor to the Conservative Party of Canada.

Political leadership is not following popular opinion, although one would be hard-pressed to find examples to prove this in recent Canadian history. Perhaps the PM has a strategic goal and plan other than to win the most seats in the next election, if so, his opsec is outstanding. Perhaps his plan is to allow the other leaders to trap themselves in a web of their own weaving. I don't know.
What I do know is that leadership is a visible and personal thing and it depends very much on force of personality.

In May 1940 there was a large segment of the British ruling classes in Cabinet, in Parliament and the civil service who were convinced that the only possible course of action was a negotiated peace. Indeed the Germans were eager to negotiate and discreet overtures were being made by both sides. Winston Churchill overcame this opposition to continuing the war by argument, by bullheadedness amd by sheer force of personality, and the rest, as they say, is history.

While we are not yet in the position the pre-Dunkirk British were in, a peaceful future free from attack is by no means secure. We need leadership so that we may recognize our peril and accept the burden of maintaining our freedom. That leadership is not displayed by reading the polls or playing gotcha politics with the opposition. 

Offline Hunteroffortune

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Re: Lead, Please, Prime Minister
« Reply #24 on: July 09, 2007, 00:55:52 »
All excellent points. One thing noone has mentioned is that the media edits the news we see, reconstruction isn't sexy, smiling Afghans aren't interesting, and making PM Harpers comments into something they really aren't, is an art. So I think they should use their own media center to get their message out, put it on youtube, people will see it.

Something I noticed last year at Klondike Days (CapitalEx) was the most popular site with my 2 boys was the military station. They loved the tanks, and I enjoyed talking to some troops who had been to Afghanistan.

The point I am making is that the military can help get the message out. Most people don't get to talk to a soldier, when they do, it makes a big difference. Face to face is best. Have some training exercises in towns that don't have a base close by, let people see you, it makes you real, it makes the mission real, and it makes those people more connected to that mission.

So, get some people out into malls across Canada, selling those yellow car magnets, connect with the average Canadian,  once they have a face to put to the "troops", once they know the troops support the mission, support will go up! Next time you are thinking of having a practice exercise, take it off base, the more people see you, the more they identify with you, and therefore the mission. Don't hide on base.