Tuesday, January 04, 2005
POLITICS AS USUAL: THE WORLD RESPONDS TO TRAGEDY
Helping those who need it most
Firstly, I'd like to wish everyone a healthy, happy 2005. Unfortunately, the New Year was marked by unspeakable tragedy, devastation and loss in Southern Asia. I had a few thoughts I wanted to share on the issue:
- THE PM'S RESPONSE: I'm all for criticising Paul Martin, but I think the current "flap" over his return from vacation is stupid. In the current age of technology, it doesn't matter whether he was on a beach on at 24 Sussex. He would be just as able to coordinate relief efforts and the official Canadian response from either location. Its just a political cheap shot to suggest the PM was "wrong" to not come back a day or so sooner.
- MONETARY AID: On that, you now see what happens when officials are pushed to quote a figure: you get 5 or 6 revised ones. First it was $4M, then $40M and so on. I think it would have made sense for Canadian officials to wait, get a real assessment, then release a number. But hey, I'm not in charge, and now soem in the media are claiming the PM is "dithering" because he's revising his numbers. Everyone is revising their numbers as they are now realizing the scope of the tragedy.
- CHARITY WORK: I find it ironic that there is so much criticism over how slow the government is moving. People--its government! I think the real action is where it belongs--the various charities that have experience and credibility responding to disasters such as this. Frankly, I'd rather voluntarily give money to a disaster-relief charity that have the Canadian government spend my tax dollars. At least then I know it will be used efficiently. And I get a tax credit to boot! I think we should all look at how these charities are responding as an example of how private interests can and should work hand-in-hand with government efforts. Bravo to those organizations and the individuals that support them.
- DART: We need to rent two planes to get our equipment over to affected areas because our Hercules transports can't do the job. Shameful.
- OUR MILITARY: Once again, Canada is on the sidelines becuase we have no military to speak of. A well-trained battalion could provide assistance with protecting convoys, crowd controland general relief efforts. Too bad we have nothing to give. Fund the military now!
Out of this tragedy comes remarkable example of strength, courage and hope. The global community and government alike cannot let them down now.
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