Thursday, July 14, 2005


As I was surfing the blogosphere, I came across a post by Calgary Observer. He had initially peaked my interest because of his hyperbolic comments on another blog, Capitalist Pig vs. Socialist Swine.

In a post enititled "How the Right Gets it Wrong Part 2" the author comes up with a theory on why the CPC should be worried about its electoral future:

"A former CPC supporter noted that the CPC had now been fully taken over by the Alliance element (while informing us at the same time that even members of Canada's military are no longer willing to vote for the CPC).

The kind of "conservatism" that the Alliance stands for is the exact same kind of thinking espoused by the Freedom Party in Austria under Joerg Haider." (emphasis added)

So, the CPC/Alliance stands for the EXACT same thing as the Freedom Party in Austria. Who are the Freedom Party? I didn't know myself, so I did some research.

From the Monthly Review:

"Since taking over the leadership of the Freedom Party in 1986, Haider has steered it in a fascist direction in terms of ideology, organization and personnel. The FP has linked its criticisms of the established order in Austria to racist arguments. The new government’s program includes cutting immigration quotas for family reunions, targeting illegal immigrants, discrimination in schools against children who do not speak German, a longer waiting period before immigrants can become citizens..."

Oh, there's more:

"Calculated references to National Socialism have played an important role in the shift in Freedom Party ideology. They appeal to a nostalgia for the Third Reich, legitimize fascism as a means to full employment and the activities of the SS, as noble soldiers in the German armed forces. They are also signals to hard core fascist supporters that Haider is really with them, only constrained by legislation that outlaws holocaust denial and efforts to reestablish the Nazi Party."

Here's a few quotes from our friend Mr. Heider:

"The Waffen SS was a part of the Wehrmacht (German military) and hence it deserves all the honour and respect of the army in public life." (1995)

"... in the Third Reich they had an orderly employment policy ...." (1991)

So, how did the international community react in 1999 when the Freedom Party garnered enough seats in the general election to form a coaliton with the "People's Party" (OVP)?

From Wikipedia:

"There was a great degree of outrage both within the country and internationally. The heads of government of the other 14 EU members decided to cease cooperation with the Austrian government, as it was felt in many countries that the cordon sanitaire against coalitions with parties considered as right-wing extremists, which had mostly held in Western Europe since 1945, had been breached.

For example, for several months, other national leaders refused to shake hands and socialize with members of the Schüssel government. This was described as "sanctions" by representatives of the ÖVP and FPÖ, and supporters of the government often blamed social democrats and President Thomas Klestil for them, and questioned their loyalty to the country."

Here was the reaction from the U.S. and Israel:

"U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright said the United States was temporarily summoning home Ambassador Kathryn Walt-Hall from Vienna to discuss Austria's new coalition.

"We are deeply concerned about the entry of Joerg Haider's Freedom Party into the Austrian government," Albright told a news conference. In addition, she said, the U.S. defense attache in Vienna will not attend a ceremony for new Austrian Defense Minister Herbert Scheibner, a Freedom Party member.

Even before the new government was sworn in, Israel recalled Ambassador Nathan Merom "for an indefinite time." Israel also banned Haider from visiting."

Back to Calgary Observer:

"This is how others react to a political party like that. The CPC, by allowing itself to be taken over and controlled by the Alliance forces, stands to face the same fate as that ill-fated Freedom Party."

So, the CPC, in this blogger's eyes, is exactly the same as a racist, extremist political party whose election was greeted by the Western world with outrage, disgust and sanctions?

THIS kind of thinking is why politics is viewed so cynically. While those campaigning against the CPC might think they are ensuring victory for their own Party, they really are shooting themselves in the foot.

Over-the-top rhetoric thrown around by people like Calgary Observer just demeans the whole political process. Canadians know fact from propaganda. They turn away when political discourse goes from rational debate to fearmongering and irrational hyperbole. Who wants to engage in politics when they feel their views will be equated with Nazis and fascism (or even communism and marxism)? Citizens have no time for that.

CPC members (and PC members before that) fought the Nazis in WWII. They died for the ideas of freedom, democracy and against tyranny and a fascist regime. So did Liberals and NDP'rs. To state the CPC is exactly like the Freedom Party and what they believe in is not political debate, its cynical, dirty politics at its worst.

Shame on you, Calgary Observer.

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