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September 12, 2002
CANADIAN PRIME MINISTER JEAN CHRETIEN is a blowhard. Instead of criticizing the United States and saying that the 9/11 attacks were America's fault for trying to "impose its values" around the world (as opposed to those of people who stone women to death for baring their ankles) perhaps Chretien should do something about the mobs imperiling free speech in Montreal.
Chretien is a poster boy for what's wrong with the world's governing classes. It's disgusting, and Canadians should be ashamed to have him as their spokesman. I suspect that some of them are.
And why is it that the people who lecture the United States on its "arrogance" are always so arrogant themselves?
UPDATE: Canadian reader M. McInnis writes:
I likely speak for many Canadians when I say that I agree with your sentiments about the our Prime Minister. They say that in a democracy you get the political leaders you deserve; what does that say about us when Chretien has been elected to three consecutive majority governments? (Though with the political right in Canada split between two parties, Chretien's Liberal government "mandates" have been with less than 50% of the popular vote (e.g. 41% in 2000).
The link below takes you to a brief piece the Globe and Mail prepared on Chretien during the last federal election. Appropriately, it is called "Ambition or arrogance?"
Uh, I'll take #2. Then there's this:
I am a Canadian, born and raised. Am I ashamed to have Chretien as my "spokesman"?
Hell YES !!!
Rick in Toronto
UPDATE: Here's more Canadian mail:
Our esteemed Prime Minister states that "You cannot exercise your power to the point of humiliation of others" in the National Post article you linked. It's funny that exercising power to the point of humiliating others seems to be a guiding principle of Chretien's long political career. The sacking of his chief rival Paul Martin, our former finance minister (link), is the most recent example of this.
Reader Eric Tam (who unlike the folks I quote above is an American, not a Canadian) thinks I'm too hard on Chretien, and sends this link to a report in the Toronto Star that gives Chretien's remarks less of an anti-American spin. Personally, I think it was pretty clear who Chretien was talking about (note his self-report of bravely standing up to "Wall Street.") But if Chretien didn't mean to call America names, he can certainly clarify his remarks on the subject. I've emailed the Canadian Embassy for a reaction, and will report any response. UPDATE: Tam emails that he's a Canadia living in America. Sorry. Actually, I think that means that everyone who's emailed so far is Canadian!
ANOTHER UPDATE: Canadian blogger Mark Wickens says "Sorry, America." And Jason Bauer has posted the letter that he sent to the Canadian embassy.