Thursday, April 03, 2008

From The What Are They Thinking Department

That a governing party which already has trouble attracting women voters, would consider halting the practice of lowering the flag on parliament, in remembrance of women massacred in Montreal, seems to me to be a bit insane. Symbols matter and gestures mirror attitudes. Women will rightly conclude that the Conservatives are dismissing the gesture as a "Liberal sop to feminists". That message will, no doubt, go over well with the Tory base (and it ironically, meshes well with Marc Lepine's opinions) , but it is hardly the way to win over women voters. If the Tories go ahead and ban the December 6 commemoration, all hell is going to break loose. Count on it.

Update: The base speaks, in the form of an editorial in the Calgary Herald:
A federal committee examining the issue wanted a number of special half-mast days to be eliminated, including Police and Peace Officers' National Memorial Day in September, Vimy Ridge Day and Workers' Mourning Day, both in April, and the Montreal massacre commemorative day. That is as it should be. Individual groups whose interests centre on those days can lower their own flags for the occasion that is meaningful to them. The Peace Tower flag is a national symbol and lowering it should be reserved for the deaths of our own heads of state, such as the monarch, or governors general, and Remembrance Day. (emphasis mine).
I am sure the families of the women slaughtered in Montreal would be interested to know that the Conservatives consider them to be merely a special interest group and that the commemoration of the Montreal massacre is only of personal interest and not a national one. That the Montreal massacre is meaningful only to them and no one else. I hope to hear Jason Kenney's take on this issue very soon.
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