May 25, 2005


Was Canada Just Too Good to Be True? (CLIFFORD KRAUSS, 5/25/05, NY Times)

The news from Canada has been very un-Canadian of late. Or has it?

A government program sponsoring sporting and cultural events in Quebec has been tainted by allegations of millions of dollars in kickbacks and money laundering. Witnesses before a federal inquiry into the scandal have described envelopes full of cash left on restaurant tables to advance the cause of the governing Liberal Party.

But even as the "sponsorship scandal" has unfolded, one unseemly chapter after another, Prime Minister Paul Martin has held fast, in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary, to a cherished Liberal Party script: Canada as a singularly virtuous country that adheres more than most to values like honesty, decency, fairness and multiethnic equality, not to mention publicly financed universal health care.

"We will set the standard by which other nations judge themselves," Mr. Martin boasted to his party caucus only minutes after his government was saved on May 19 by a single vote in the House of Commons - the vote of a lawmaker who had turned her back not only on the Conservative Party, which she helped found only a year ago, but on her boyfriend, a Conservative leader, in return for a Liberal cabinet seat.

This notion of national rectitude and compassion, long promoted by the Liberals, has been captured in the slogan of a national book chain: "The world needs more Canada."

Like John Merrick needed more tumors.

Posted by Orrin Judd at May 25, 2005 10:18 AM

An Elephant Man reference. Wassup wit dat?

"I am not a Canadian . . . I am a human being."

Posted by: Mike Morley at May 25, 2005 3:45 PM

"I am not a Canadian . . . I am a human being."

Are the two mutually exclusive?

Posted by: Raoul Ortega at May 25, 2005 4:00 PM

It is past time that we put Canada out of its misery.

Posted by: Robert Schwartz at May 25, 2005 4:48 PM