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Well folks, intersession is upon us, and it's once again The Gazette's job to inform and entertain. What better place to start then with some commentary on the world of politics. In the last few weeks it has become increasingly tough to separate leader from clown, diplomat from fool and politics from Springer.
First and foremost, how about our beloved Prime Minister, Jean Chretien? Okay, he missed the funeral of a major world leader because he was too busy skiing, he may have thrown the occasional choke hold on a protester and yes, he and his party may have become a symbol for status quo politics. Yet, Chretien was kind of cute with his hybrid "franglais" language and his daily rambling quotes.
However, the only conclusion one can draw from our PM's recent gaffes in the Middle East are that he was misquoted, perhaps fell asleep during his briefings, or is insane. To narrow things down I'll present you with two of his most crucial mistakes. First, he upset Israel by giving Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat his support in a bid for a unilateral declaration of independence (of course, Quebec separatists loved the comment). Later, Chretien upset the Arab community for siding with Israel on a heated dispute over control of the Sea of Galilee.
For those who have been asleep for the last century, the Middle East is a political volcano, always on the verge of erupting. The Prime Minister's trip was meant to be diplomatic, neutral and carefully crafted and controlled by his advisors. Chretien constantly landing himself in a diplomatic mess was not the Liberal plan.
Quick comments: I suppose we're lucky that Toronto Raptor's head coach Butch Carter isn't our Prime Minister. Within two days Carter would have questioned the leadership of every leader in the Middle East and filed law-suits against half of them. We'd probably be looking at World War III.
Despite being sick to death of Elian Gonzalez coverage over the last four months, there is one thing I am thankful for; if Elian was in Canada and the same political factors were at work, it would end up being 40 years before they decided if he could stay or go back to Cuba. The Canadian solution: Dozens of Elian Gonzalez commissions, funded by taxpayers and solving absolutely nothing.
Some military officials in the United States have said if Canada does not support their plans for a new missile defense system, no American aid will be given to Canada should it ever come under attack. Key point: Do you really think the Americans will sit back and watch their main reservoir of natural resources become polluted with nuclear radiation? What a strange variation on the high school bully: "Give me your lunch money or I'll let the other countries beat you up."
Back on the home front, is Alliance candidate Stockwell Day admitting he smoked marijuana really front page news? It's frightening that his drug admission got him more media coverage than his ideas concerning the future of this country. The more important question: What drug has Preston Manning been smoking all these years? The most important question: Will he share?