Thursday, May 05, 2005

How about we take a moment to reflect?

Certain rightwing blogrolls were a-buzz yesterday with speculation that the "left-wing media conspiracy" was doing its best to bury the story about Chuck Guite's testimony. I realise that as far as character points go Chuck Guite is near the bottom of the Adscam pile, and that his story changes frequently but by dinner time the CBC had bumped the story from the front page of its website. (Incidentally, today's Star found Guite deserving only of a seventh page story with a very small front page pointer that talks more about the government spending sponsorship money in China.)

I'm generally quite cynical of these media-conspiracy theories so I decided to watch the National last night and see if Peter Mansbridge could be accused of the same level of biased reporting. I was happy to find the CBC lead with a rather complete account of Guite's accusations including his implication of Paul Martin. They did not give short-shrift to any of he controversial points while still reminding us that Guite's testimony record is much darker than lily white. My pleasure soured quickly as I continued to watch and see what stories had been bumped from the lead by Guite. I am, of course, referring to the V-E anniversary in the Netherlands.

I don't care who is to blame or who travels where to attend which ceremony but seeing the story of how genuinely grateful the Dutch, particularly those who are much, much too young to remember firsthand, are to Canada I couldn't help but feel a deep sense regret. I tried to imagine the response in Canada to schoolchildren being educated about their history by participating in programmes that maintain and beautify foreign cemeteries. I tried to recall one universal example of what Canadian parents point their children to and say, "look at them, they are why we are free." I tried to think of what the answer would be now to that admonishment: "Canada needs you." I didn't dare to even try and imagine what it would be like to have spent months at a time covered entirely in mud while stray bullets and falling shells constantly promised a horrible, random death.

I don't care what you do but I will be taking a break for at least today from the mess we have all made of this democracy of ours to reflect.

The world needs more of Canada. Canada needs more of the Dutch.

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