February 9, 2006


Jewish Canadians, Loyal Liberals, Lose Insider Status (SHELDON GORDON, February 10, 2006, The Forward)

In Canada's recent federal election, Conservative Party leader Stephen Harper campaigned for Jewish votes as a staunch supporter of Israel, but the 300,000-strong Jewish community stayed loyal to the ruling Liberal Party. Harper won the election anyway, and he is forming a minority government without having a single Jewish Parliament member on his team. It's the first time since 1979 that the community won't be represented by one of its own at the center of power.

Despite this lack of insider status, however, many Jews, especially those on the right, are hopeful that Harper's conservative agenda will prove more responsive to Jewish concerns — especially on Israel — than did the policies of the defeated Liberal government. But others think that the weak Jewish electoral support for Harper will make it difficult for him to override the Foreign Affairs department's longstanding pro-Palestinian tilt.

The election results saw four Jewish members — including former justice minister Irwin Cotler — returned to Parliament, but to the opposition Liberal benches, while two Jewish Members of Parliament from Quebec lost their races. Former Liberal Government House leader Jacques Saada lost in a Quebec district in which Muslim opponents made an issue of his Zionist background, including his youthful service in the Israeli military. Meanwhile, the few Jewish candidates who ran on the Conservative ticket were all soundly defeated.

Although the Conservatives denounced the Liberals as fickle friends of Israel, most Jews apparently cast their ballots on the basis of domestic concerns.

Succumbing to the reductio ad hitlerum just this once--ever get the feeling that modern secular Jews would have preferred the Nazis, who were after all Socialists, to the Christian Democrats?

Posted by Orrin Judd at February 9, 2006 3:51 PM

like a moth to the flame.

Posted by: toe at February 9, 2006 4:21 PM

Take back the language! Rectify the names!

The Gordon article has committed a semantic atrocity that shall not stand.

In the midst of a discussion of political representation in Parliament, the writer has told us that Jews are not "represented" because their genes are not physicaly present.

You want Nazi references, this is a Nazi
political doctrine, plainly and simply. Is there anyone so racist, so confused, so like a multi-culturalist, as to not see that we may be politicaly represented by those with whom we do not share Nurenberg-law identity?

Please do not confuse this issue with the lame prostestation that the writer used the word "represent" in a figurative sense. The article is about government. The word was unequivocally presented in that context.

This kind of abuse must be challenged whenever and whereever it appears.

Posted by: Lou Gots at February 9, 2006 4:29 PM

Like the unions, they have not learned that to get ahead you have to play both sides of the aisle. Otherwise tieing yourself to one and only one can result in you being tied to the rail of the Algoma.

Posted by: Mikey at February 9, 2006 4:47 PM

That is really obnoxious OJ.

Posted by: Robert Schwartz at February 10, 2006 12:08 AM