2006-10-31

Dion Makes Kennedy Sound Coherent

Man, I miss Israel. This whole "nation" business is crazy. Gerard Kennedy has the audacity to say that he is in favour of calling Quebec a nation, but only in French.

Then Dion says that "I am proud to belong to the Quebec nation within Canada. The constitutional recognition of such a fact, although desirable, is not necessary because nothing prevents us Quebecers from participating and succeeding in this great endeavour that is Canada, a country we have contributed so much to building."

It is desirable so we should be against it. If it is desirable, shouldn't we be in favour of it?

Smoking Should be Illegal

Smoking is a selfish act that is immoral. Second-hand smoke causes cancer. Cancer is a horrible disease and by smoking you increase the chance that someone around you will get it.

Suicide is legal. Suicide bombing, not so much. And yet that is what smoking is, basically: Killing yourself and taking in innocent bystanders.

You can't masturbate in public. You can't masturbate in front of your children. Both can cause significant psychological trauma. Smoking can cause physical trauma and yet is legally and socially acceptable.
How To Stop Smoking And Stay Stopped For Good
Smoking is also a fire hazard. So even if you live alone, smoking puts your neighbors and firemen at risk. And for what? Your own personal "pleasure". Pleasure that decreases significantly with time.

People who are addicted to nicotine can use nicotine gum and/or nicotine patches. They could even start using chewing tobacco if they wanted to. But smoking is unacceptable.

Smoking should be illegal.

-Abolish the Monarchy in Canada
-If I Ran Canada

Gerard Kennedy is the Only Top 4 Candidate Against Quebec Being Called a Nation

Figuring out Gerard Kennedy's position wasn't easy, but I've reached the conclusion that he is against calling Quebec a nation in the Constitution, at least in the English version.

Dion has called it desirable but not necessary. Rae says now is not the time. Ignatieff says it is necessary and we must do it at some time in the future.

So if you are against Quebec being called a nation in the constitution, vote for sixth place in Quebec Gerard Kennedy.

So what is Kennedy's position on Quebec? I don't know. Would he be in favour of the Meech Lake Accord? The Charlottetown Accord? He want's change, but what kind of change? He want's a third way that includes national education standards. That we know.

Who Will Gerard Kennedy Delegates Vote For?

OK, let's face it, the 900 ex-officio delegates (MPs, Senators, former candidates, riding presidents) at the Liberal leadership convention in Montreal are not going to vote for sixth place in Quebec centralist Gerard Kennedy.

University dropout Gerard Kennedy will obviously be in forth place in the first ballot results, far behind Stephan Dion.

So the question is, on the second ballot, who will get the support of the few Gerard Kennedy delegates that bother to show up? (The Gerard Kennedy delegates are required to vote for him on the first ballot only).

Conventional wisdom would dictate that his supporters will go to Bob Rae or Stephan Dion. However, many delegates support Kennedy's renewal platform, and nothing else. It would be hard to argue that Michael Ignatieff wouldn't put a new face on the Liberal party. He has demonstrated that quite clearly with his outspoken positions on Israel and Quebec's place in Canada. Dion's vision is the status quo. And Bob Rae? Well, I still can't figure out why he left the NDP. But maybe Kennedy supporters will have a better time figuring that out.

Many Gerard Kennedy supporters have a mean anti-Quebec, anti-French streak. I expect those delegates will go over to Rae. Although some would argue that Dion is the most anti-Quebec candidate, being from Quebec would disqualify him.

What do you think?

2006-10-30

Sixth Place in Quebec University Dropout Gerard Kennedy Losing at PR

Mr 0.9% in Quebec Gerard Kennedy is not doing so good in the media. All those platitudes from the university dropout have not impressed.

One of this blog's main critics blames the media.

When your only friend is the National Post, you've got a problem.

And that problem is Gerard Kennedy. Sorry bud, next time pick someone competent.

Gerard Kennedy Finished in Sixth Place in Quebec

Abolish the Monarchy in Canada


The British monarchy is a sexist, racist, homophobic, religiously xenophobic, anti-democratic wealth concentrating institution.

If it is important enough to recognize Quebec as a nation in the Canadian constitution, than surely it is important enough to abolish to monarchy from Canada.

About 20,000 french speaking Catholic Acadians were deported because they refused to pledge allegiance to the King, head of the Church of England.

Out of respect for the surviving Acadians, for the millions of Canadian Catholics, for the members of the United Church of Canada (Canada's largest Protestant Church), for the Canadian Jews and Muslims and for Aboriginals; Out respect for our Irish, Scottish and Welsh ancestors; Out of respect for the millions of Canadians that believe one should work for one's wealth, not have it inherited; Out of respect for democracy and the equality of women; Out of respect for homosexuals, and, indeed, out of respect for the members of the Anglican Church of Canada; Let's get the British Monarch, head of the Church of England, out of the Canadian constitution.

And if we realise that modifying the constitution to recognize Quebec as a nation is to much trouble, then at least let's get rid of the monarchy where we can, without modifying the constitution.

Down with the Queen

2006-10-29

Gerard Kennedy Finished in Sixth Place in Quebec

I just checked the final official results of the super weekend Liberal leadership results.

In Quebec, Gerard Kennedy didn't get fifth place with 1.7%, he got sixth place with 1.1%. That's all 11 delegates will get you. By comparison, Dion got 151 delegates in Ontario (10.1%, 4th place).

Worse, on a riding basis, Gerard Kennedy got 8 delegates in Quebec, that is still good enough for sixth place but is only 0.9% of the elected delegates on a riding basis. Less than one percent!

Gerard Kennedy managed to get three delegates at the Université du Quebec à Chicoutimi. I'm shocked there are three Liberals at the UQAC. So good for Gerard for getting all three delegates.

The candidates who did worse in Quebec were Dryden with 0.4% and Hall Findlay who got zero (ouch).

On a riding basis, Brison has 63% more Quebec delegates than Kennedy!

Of the top four nationally (Ignatieff, Rae, Kennedy and Dion), the only other candidates to finish in sixth place in a province were Rae in Nova Scotia with 3 delegates (1.8%) and Dion in Manitoba with 10 (4.2%). From memory, I don't think Ignatieff did to good in BC, but the results have been removed while the Rae delegate appeal is settled.

By the way, how did Kennedy manage to finish in third place in his home province of Manitoba with only 33 delegates (13.9%)? Although in his defence, he did manage to get 50% of University of Alberta's 4 delegates. So I guess even though he flunked out, he left a positive impression (yes, I realise the students vote, not the faculty, but I assume they were influenced by Kennedy's reputation). Alberta is also the only province Kennedy won at the riding level, with 97 delegates ( 28.7%).

The Volpe campaign was clearly concerned with money. In addition to getting children and dead people to contribute, they managed to get 82% of the delegates in Fort McMurray-Athabasca, probably the richest riding (in average income) in the country. 82% is by far the best result of any candidate in that province. It is also on of the best in the country. Critisise the Volpe campagn's financing shenanigans all you want, but since he didn't borrow a penny, he will probably be the only leadership candidate who doesn't have to fund raise well into the new year. Volpe got three times more delegates in Quebec than Kennedy did.

Acadians do not Want Gerard Kennedy

2006-10-27

Canada Should Join France

Canadian benefits of the country joining France:

-5 weeks annual vacation;
-Say goodbye to snow thanks to labour mobility: France spans the Caribbean, South America, North America, Africa, Oceania and Europe. Being a member of the European Union means you can live in any of the 25 member countries, including England.
-Quebec would be less likely to separate. Not that they wouldn't want to leave, Quebec would simply not be allowed to leave. Heck, Quebec would no longer exist!
-Provinces would be abolished, so no more constitutional debates about power sharing. Paris decides, end of story.
-We would have the bomb.
-It would annoy the USA.
-Wine would be much cheaper.
-You could have a beer at McDonald's.
-We would be 100% metric.
-Some oil sand workers would be working for a domestic company (Total).
-We would respect the Kyoto accord.
-Our cars would be way cooler (albeit smaller).
-No more Queen or Governor General.
-Steven Harper would no longer be prime minister.
-Women and men could sunbathe topless at Lake Louise.
-A coast to coast TGV would be built and what is now France would pick up 66% of the bill.
-Albertans could no longer brag about lower income and sales tax.
-The mayor of Moose Jaw could also be the President of the Republic.
-We would win some ski medals during the Vancouver Olympic games.
-Everybody would get into French immersion.
-Drinking age would be 16.
-Drving age would be 18.
-Fir and seal skin would be popular again.
-Tim Hortens would no longer have the best coffee in town, but they would serve espresso.
-We could be hockey AND soccer world champions.
-We would have better health care. Drugs, dental care and artificial insemination would be free.
-Gerard Kennedy would get the national education standards. As a bonus, he wouldn't even have to come up with any as we would have to use France's.
-Showering would be optional. So would shaving. So more time for sex.
-We could stop being nice and so polite. Parisians would always be worse.
-Toronto would no longer be the centre of the known universe.

-And last but not least, English Canadians would finally find out what if feels like to live in a country where 75% of the population doesn't speak their language.

Jane Jacobs: The Secession of Norway from Sweden (Part 3)

Please see the Contents and chapter one or Part 1 of Chapter 3 or Part 2 of Chapter 3.

Chapter 3, The Secession of Norway from Sweden . Part 3 (pages 43 to 51)

From The Question of Separatism: Quebec and the Struggle over Sovereignty (Jane Jacobs, Random House, New York, 1980)

For discussion purposes as allowed under the fair dealing exception of the Copyright Act.

The uses to which the Storting put its new powers were exemplary from a democratic point of view. It concerned itself with such things as introducing the jury system for criminal cases, improving the school system, providing for locally elected school boards, extending suffrage. More ominously, it reorganized the Norwegian army on a more democratic basis. From this point on, the Storting could count on the army.
Things calmed down for a few years. The unionists accepted responsible government as a a fact of life and even won an election or two because of splits in the separatist party over personalities and strategies. But beginning in 1888, the conflict flared up anew, this time shifting to economic issues. Norway, in spite of its success with shipping and shipbuilding was still, on the whole, terribly poor and the 1880s were proving lean years indeed. Emigration was the only means through which many young Norwegians could find a tolerable livelihood of any sort; in some years during this decade, in which emigration reached its high tide, net population actually dropped for that reason. Norway's basic economic problems at this time was its underdeveloped domestic economy. It simply did not produce amply or diversely for its own people, and what it did not produce for itself it obviously had to import or else go without; that included most kinds of manufactured goods. Thus it was exceedingly vulnerable to the least weakening in its export trade.
At the time Sweden, too, was relatively underdeveloped economically, although it had become better equipped industrially than Norway was. To promote and encourage the development of indigenous industry, the Swedish government in 1888 adopted a policy of very high tariffs, and it directed those tariffs quite as much against Norwegian imports as against those of other nations. Perhaps there was some element of satisfaction in this move, some glee in retaliating against Norway for having once rejected customs union and for having won the great tussle over responsible government. Sweden was the chief export customer for the very few kinds of manufactured goods that Norway did produce, chiefly cloth being made by an incipient modern textile industry centering around Bergen. That market was being abruptly cut off. The Norwegians, with an economy already so close to the bone, felt as if the bone itself were being gnawed.
The only way Norway could compensate for losses of export trade with Sweden was to increase its exports elsewhere, and the only swift and practical way of doing that was to find more customers abroad for the work of the Norwegian merchant fleet. But here Sweden had Norway in a bind.
As far as foreign affairs were concerned, Norway was still a part of Sweden. Norway had no consular representation of its own; instead, it contributed toward support of a joint consular service. Norwegians had long resented the disadvantages of this arrangement, disadvantages which were symbolized by the plight of a poor Norwegian seamen in difficulties in a foreign port, given no understanding and short shrift by an aristocratic Swedish consul. Now, when Norway needed rapid and effective consular aid to find, develop and service new markets for Norwegian cargo ships, Swedish consuls were not that interested in hustling for Norway. The gap between what Norway needed and what it was getting soon became so serious economically that the Storting, in 1892, voted to withhold its consular contributions to the Stockholm government and unilaterally establish a service of its own.
The king vetoed the measure. But since he was a constitutional monarch of the two countries, his veto had to be countersigned by the ministers of the Norwegian government. In the past, that requirement had presented no problem, but now the ministers were men chosen by the Storting and responsible to it. They refused to sign. This was a new kind of impasse. The king dissolved the government and appointed a new cabinet, its members drawn from the minority unionist party. But the Storting refused to countersign this arrangement, and the new government could not govern a Storting and a people who would not be governed by it. Its attempts to rule were a shambles. In Sweden public opinion against Norway was again rising alarmingly, and again there were rumors of war.
Now it was the Norwegians' turn to realize they had only two choices; either they could pay up their contribution and try to negotiate more attention to their needs or else they could make war to try to establish complete independence. The reason complete independence was the only alternative to the status quo was that Norway had already made a tentative stab at establishing its own consuls in Germany, but Germany had refused to recognize them because its diplomatic relations were with Sweden, not Norway. The response, Norwegians knew, would be the same in all other countries.
Norway chose the peaceful course. It paid up and negotiated. But no agreement could be reached, and the talks eventually broke down entirely. Tempers in both countries grew uglier. The Norwegians embarked on a strong rearmament program and strengthened fortification along their border. Again, war looked imminent.
This time it was Sweden's turn to back off. It did so by suggesting a compromise permitting separate consular services under a single diplomatic staff. On this basis, negotiations began again, but in reality the Swedish position against Norway was hardening and the talks got nowhere. As frustration in Norway mounted, the issue of the consuls escalated in almost everyone's mind there into the issue of complete independence. Even the party of the unionists, who felt betrayed by the Swedish negotiators, was now ready to embrace secession.
The Storting organized itself into a coalition government representing both parties, and chose as prime minister Christian Michelsen, a Bergen lawyer and shipowner. Plebiscites were called in Norway, great demonstrations were mounted, the country was in an uproar, and in the spring of 1905 the Storting unanimously passed a bill demanding thoroughly separate consular services with the implication that the issue was no longer negotiable.
The form the crisis took this time was a curious legalistic deadlock, a kind of Gordian knot. When the king vetoed the Storting's bill, the ministers -as expected- refused to countersign his veto and resigned. All that was somewhat familiar. But this time the king refused to accept the resignations because that move had resulted in such a mess the previous time it was employed. In refusing, he said, "No other cabinet can now be formed."
The words of the king meant one thing in Sweden -that Norway must now knuckle under- but in Norway they were chosen to mean something different. The prime minister, Michelsen, who was much admired among his countrymen for his nimble mind and efficiency, quick-wittedly used the king's remark to mean that the king himself had dissolved the union between Norway and Sweden, and proceeded deftly to slice through the tangle in which affairs had been left. His argument was that the king could exercise his royal functions only constitutionally, which was true, and that since this meant that he could exercise them only through a cabinet, he himself -by announcing that none could be formed- had declared he could no longer rule Norway and so had dissolved the union himself. This went over as a great idea in the Storting. It promptly passed a resolution, on June 7, 1905, announcing that Norway's union with Sweden was at an end and then proceeded to act as the government of a fully sovereign state.
Of course, that did not quite end the matter. As may be supposed, a tense time followed. The Swedish Riksdag (Parliament) refused to admit that the union had been dissolved and countermanded what the Storting had done. But once again, Sweden recognized that the question was one of war or peace. Denmark, Russia and France all urged Sweden to show moderation, and Sweden proceeded to resolve matters in this fashion: if the Norwegians would agree to meet certain conditions, then Sweden would be willing to negotiate for dissolution. The chief conditions were that Norway should dismantle its border forts, that a military neutral zone should be crated along the southern frontier between Norway and Sweden, and that Norway must hold a referendum to see whether its people actually did want dissolution.
The conditions were agreeable to Norway. Indeed, the government had already arranged for a referendum to take place in August. It produced a huge outpouring of votes, overwhelmingly in favor of independence, and negotiations between the two governments were promptly started. They were complex and difficult, but now Sweden had accepted the fact that Norway had seceded; and Norway, for its part, recognized that it was being dealt with in good faith. In this anticlimactic atmosphere the arrangements moved so rapidly and were accepted in both countries so readily that before the year was out, all had been settled.
The Norwegians invited Carl, grandson of the king of Denmark and son-in-law of the king of England, to be their constitutional monarch. He took the medieval name of Haakon, and inspiration suggested by one of the poet Wergeland's apostrophes to Norway, poured out so many years before: "With what joy thy towers would shine, saw they Haakon's age again." He was crowned in Trondheim Cathedral, saved from destruction so many years before by Munich. Everybody's labor, whether for symbol or substance, was bearing fruit. "The feelings of relief and of enhanced self-respect," a historian has written, "were comparable to those which other peoples associate with the winning of a major war. It would hardly be too much to say that many Norwegians thought of the whole of their history since 1319 as a wandering in the wilderness from which they had now emerged into the Promised Land."
It is difficult to say whether the outcome did greater honor to Sweden or to Norway. Is seems to me that it did honor not only to both but also to civilization.
The separation, as it turned out, has harmed neither country. On the contrary, it probably helped them both, economically as well as politically. The conflict itself, which could only have grown uglier and more dangerous, was disposed of. Sweden was certainly better off economically in the years to follow than it would have been if it had to carry on its back a poverty-stricken province, as might well have been the case.
Norway had its ups and downs. Things seemed to start out well economically after independence, with the beginnings of the development of electric-power, chemical and metallurgical industries. But no sooner did Norway's economy begin to blossom noticeably than the government became too ambitious in its social programs, which soon outran the economy's capacity to pay for them. In an attempt to support them anyhow, the government took to printing money exuberantly and a terrible inflation followed, much intensifying the general inflation which Norway, like all Europe, experienced during World War I. The exaggerated Norwegian inflation raged form 1916 to 1920. The government then retrenched, and by 1928 the effects had been overcome. But after three brief years of prosperity and stability, the world-wide depression engulfed Norway. Norway's recovery, however, began earlier than that of most countries. By 1934 the economy was markedly improved, and Norway's economic development has been both rapid and many-sided since. In the course of developing their economy, the Norwegians have displayed an inventiveness and verve that it is hard to imaging they could have exercised had they and their government been preoccupied instead with bitter political grievances and associated economic frustrations.
Today Sweden and Norway are each other's best customers. The two cooperate as equals in many fields. They have joint customs inspections, have abolished passport requirements for each other's citizens, have coordinated their university standards and their social insurance arrangements, have established a common labour market, and they engage in various joint scientific projects and some joint industrial ventures. But when they want to differ, they do. For instance, Sweden, like Denmark, has become a member of the European Economic Community, but Norway has not. Its government favored membership, but its people turned it down in a referendum.
Here in Toronto, where I live, in two different office buildings about a mile apart, are to be found two trade commissions, on Norwegian, on Swedish. To me, the two establishments seem more than busy, competently run commercial offices, staffed by cheerful, helpful people. To me, they seem the concrete evidence of a miracle -a secession achieved without armed rebellion, without terrorism, without the military defeat of a former ruler.
In the Swedish office I recently asked one of the civil servants how Swedes really feel toward Norwegians today: "Do they harbor feelings of resentment about the secession?" He looked shocked at the idea. "Of course not, he said. "We make jokes" -and he blushed. "The same jokes you tell in Canada about Newfies (Naïve Newfoundlanders.). But they are good neighbors, good customers, our best, and they have made a fine country for themselves." Then he added reflectively, "We wanted them to like being with us, but..." and he shook his head.
There are many obvious differences between Quebec and Norway and between Canada and Sweden. For instance, Quebec is much richer and better developed economically than Norway was at the time when Norwegian sovereignty hung in the balance. Quebec got responsible government earlier than Norway, and more easily. Quebec's population is lager than Norway's; and Canada's -even without Quebec- is a much larger than Sweden's.
But there are many similarities too. Quebec, for many years, has been trying to take more of its affairs into its own hands. These moves, as in Norway, jumble symbols with substance; demands for responsibility with claims to cultural equality; economic concerns with political preoccupations. An intricate, pervasive drive is at work in Quebec, as it was in Norway. The slogan of Quebec's quiet revolution, "Masters in our own house," was not invoked in Norway, as far as I know; yet that is clearly what Norwegian struggle was all about.
Canada, for its part, is similar to Sweden in its recoil against the idea of civil war or use of military force to keep Quebec in its place. Canadians are similar to Swedes in not wanting a separation, and in wanting the people of Quebec to take pride in being Canadian. They are also like Swedes in being impatient with Quebec's never-ending train of demands. But the government in Ottawa, like the government in Stockholm, is a voice of moderation in comparison with the anger and hostility against Quebec vented in such places a letters-to-the-editor columns, many newspaper editorials, or on the part of some of the provincial governments. If Quebec does continue a course of moving toward independence, I have and unshakable feeling that Canada's behavior, like Sweden's, will do honor to civilization.
Chapter 3 references:
The historical information on Noway and Sweden if from the following:
A History of Modern Norway 1814-1972, by T.K. Derry (Oxford, Clarendon Press, 1973).
A Brief History of Norway, by John Midgaard (Oslo, Johan Grundt Tanum Forlag, 1969).
A History of Norway, by Keren Larsen (Princeton, New Jersey, Princeton University Press, 1948).
One Hundred Norwegians, edited by Sverre Mortensen and Per Vogt (Oslo, Johan Grundt Tanum Forlag, 1955).



You are encouraged to post your comments.
I strongly recommend the rest of the book. It is available in many Canadian public libraries.
Edit: 2013-02-19, the paper version of the book was republished in 2011. Sadly, no electronic version yet.

Jane Jacobs: The Secession of Norway from Sweden (part 2)

Please see the Contents and chapter one.

Chapter 3, The Secession of Norway from Sweden . Part 2 (pages 38 to 43)

From The Question of Separatism: Quebec and the Struggle over Sovereignty (Jane Jacobs, Random House, New York, 1980)

For discussion purposes as allowed under the fair dealing exception of the Copyright Act.

Thus, in the middle of the ninetieth century, Norwegians were finding that they had a history in which it was possible for them to take pride, a language that it was possible to use and enjoy, and the beginnings of a literature of their own. The excitement all this generated was a bit exaggerated, if anything, then and later. According to an English historian of modern Norway, "anything done by a Norwegian in the arts and sciences, commerce and even sport had always to be vociferously acclaimed as the triumph of a specifically Norwegian culture..."
But alongside the cultural and nationalist ferment, another movement had been arising which ran counter to Norway's aspirations for independence. Called Scandinavianization, the object of that movement was the unification of Denmark, Norway and Sweden into a single nation.
Unifications and territorial expansions were in the air everywhere. The German principalities were uniting into the North German Federation, which became the German Empire. Russia was in the process of unifying Siberia under the rule of the czar. The United States, expanding westward to the Pacific, had engulfed territories seized in the Mexican War and was on the threshold of the Civil War, which so decisively would settle the issue of American unity. In Canada the time was approaching for Confederation under the British North America Act, and in Italy schemes for unification were beginning to germinate. Austria and Hungary were sealing the union that was to hold their empire for another half-century. In the wake of the Sepoy Mutiny, Britain was joining together under the British raj a bewildering variety of Indian states and principalities; and at the same moment French administrators of what is now Vietnam were concluding that Cambodia , too, must be united into their Indochinese holdings for protection of their position. Everywhere, at home and abroad, great powers and would-be great powers were getting their ducks in a row: readying themselves for the rivalries and slaughters of our own century.
As for Scandinavization, one of its many European enthusiasts, Louis Napoleon of France, said in 1856, "The North must become one unit, one strong power, a counterweight both to Russia and to Germany."
At the time, of course, unification was widely thought of as progress in the art of government, and aggrandizement as the way to spread civilization. In Scandinavia, as elsewhere, political unification appealed strongly to those who conceived of it as a means of transcending differences and erasing conflicts in favor of cooperation, harmony and mutual aid. The chief stronghold of the Scandinavian movement for unification was in the universities. The importance of this lay in the fact that the students, who were a tiny minority of youth at the time, could be expected in due course to make up the civil services and other educated leadership of Sweden, Norway and Denmark. The Swedish king favored the movement, as did many of the larger landholders in all three countries. Throughout the 1850s and early 1860s, when the movement was at its height, its success appeared all but inevitable.
But when Germany went to war against Denmark in 1864 to seize the province of Schleswig-Holstein, the Scandinavian movement was abruptly put to the test. Those in Norway who favored it insisted that Norwegians must enlist on Denmark's side; Norwegians overwhelmingly refused to do any such thing. The whole movement collapsed, never to rise again. Among those who were outraged was Ibsen, and idealistic and dedicated proponent of Scandinavianization. Some say his disillusionment and anger at what he considered his fellow Norwegians' blindness, and his bitterness at the movement's collapse because of their provincialism, as he saw it, were among the reasons he then exiled himself from his country.
The movement, however, had long and lingering consequences in Norway after its collapse. It continued to divided the population, with those who had favored Scandinavianization tending to lean toward closer union with Sweden, against those who preferred greater Norwegian autonomy.
Now let us get back to the Storting, which was where the battle was to be waged, and which we left in 1859 when the Storting's proposal to abolish the governor general was turned down by Sweden. The Swedish government had remained placatory and patient with the cantankerous Norwegians. When the Sorting chose to make an issues of the governor-generalship, immediately after rejecting Sweden's plans for customs and legal union, the king and his advisers remained patient, even sympathetic. They were prepares to accede to the Storting's request and abolish the governor general's post
But when word of this intention became known, an angry wave of Swedish public opinion prevented the government from proceeding. One can understand this Swedish reaction. After all, Sweden had consistently behaved decently toward Norway within the framework of the fact that Noway was a Swedish possession. Yet the Norwegians obdurately refused to take pleasure or pride in their association with Sweden. They would not even meet the Swedes halfway, and made no bones about it. Concessions, it seemed, were always being made by Sweden, never by Norway.
Instead of backing off in the face of this evidence of Swedish hostility, the Storting obstinately continued to press the issue of the governor-generalship. Session after session it passed the same resolution over and over again, and over again presented it to the king. Finally, after fourteen years of what must have come to seem to Sweden a case of monomania, Norway got its way.
In place of the governor-generalship, with its connotations of colonial rule, Sweden created a new office, Minister of State for Norway. The position was analogous to that of prime minister in the sense that the new official was the highest-ranking Norwegian minister, but unlike a prime minister under a parliamentary system he was appointed in Stockholm and was still responsible to the government there. The immediate gain for Norway was symbolical: the implication that the center of authority had moved from Stockholm to Oslo.
But this change was only the first step in a more ambitious scheme the Storting's leadership had in mind -attainment of responsible government under a true parliamentary system. Now that Norway had a quasi prime minister, the Storting passed a bill demanding that the Ministers for Norway, those aloof civil servants in Stockholm, come to Oslo and sit in the Storting as ministers would do under a parliamentary system, and become responsible to the Storting. The bill outraged Swedish public opinion again, and it was promptly vetoed in Sweden. Hostility between the two peoples mounted. These reactions were to increase to the point where, during the next thirty years, until separation, on at least three occasions it appeared that either country might take up arms against the other.
In the Storting itself a situation now existed that was tailormade for conflict and crisis. The membership had formed into two political parties. The larger, representing separatist sentiment, was led by Johan Sverdrup, a brilliantly resourceful lawyer, chief strategist of the scheme for attaining respondible government. This faction, although it constituted a majority, held no de facto power. The minority party, representing the unionists, was formally in charge because its leader was the appointed quasi prime minister in whom authority resided. In addition, the government civil service -which exerted most of the real power- was composed of unionists. In election after election the separatists were returned to the Storting with decisive majorities, yet in effect remained the minority party.
Their one effective from of strength was their ability to win issues put to a vote in the Storting, and they proceeded to use this asset with rather breath-taking boldness. What they did was vote in the Storting, and they proceeded to use this asset with rather breath-taking boldness. What they did was vote to amend the Norwegian constitution in a way specifically required the Ministers for Norway to come sit in the Storting, respond to its questions and act under its directions. Tactically, this was not a mere repetition of the previous resolution asking the same thing; it was a constitutional amendment. Naturally, the amendment was vetoed in Sweden. But the Storting then proceeded to pass it twice more, each time after elections that returned larger and larger separatist majorities, and to announce -after the third passage, in 1880- that it was now law regardless of vetoes because it fulfilled the Norwegian constitution's own provisions for amendment. Thereupon the Storting ordered the Ministers for Norway to obey the constitution and submit to the Storting. Of course they refused.
A four-year legal wrangle of stupendous complexity followed. Overruling a decision of the Rigsret (Supreme Court of Norway) and an opinion from the law faculty of the University of Oslo, the Storting then proceeded to impeach the ministers, convict them, levy fines against them and declare they offices forfeit and vacant. Through all this, tempers in Sweden rose and so did tempers in Norway. This was one of the occasions when violence appeared probable. The Norwegians feared a royal military coup, which had been rumored. Volunteer rifle began organizing in Norway to resist such a takeover.
The Swedish government and king, who throughout the crisis had continued to speak in voices of moderation and to do their best to calm down the hotheads on both sides, now were faced with only two choices: either Sweden must enforce its rule over Norway by military means, which clearly meant civil war, or else it must accede to the Storting's demand for responsible government.
Sweden chose the peaceful course. The king asked Sverdrup to form a cabinet. Government of Norway by Norway, the grand and pitiful public fantasy of Eidsvold, seventy years before, had finally become reality.
You are encouraged to post your comments.

2006-10-26

According to Gerard Kennedy, Quebec is a Nation Only in French!

«Il y a un problème pour le Canada anglais, parce que le sens de la phrase «nation» est différent en anglais, a déclaré M. Kennedy. C'est très clair en français que oui, il y a une nation au Québec.» (Gerard Kennedy according to the Canadian Press)

Translation: There is a problem for English Canada, because the meaning of the sentence "nation" is different in English, declared Mr Kennedy. It is quite clear that in French, yes, there is a nation in Quebec.

First, "nation" is not a sentence, "nation" is a word.
Second, Scotland and Wales are regularly referred to as nations and countries. The expression "first nations" is widely used in English when talking about Aboriginals (Canada), Aboriginees (Australia) and American-Indians (USA).

"Nation" according to dictionary.com: a large body of people, associated with a particular territory, that is sufficiently conscious of its unity to seek or to possess a government peculiarly its own.

Nation selon le Petit Robert: Groupe assez vaste, qui se caractérise par la conscience de son unité et la volonté de vivre en commun.

Both in the United States and Canada, "nation" is used to describe an Indian tribe and indeed is part of the name of many Indian reservations.

The word "nation" crossed over into English from Old French. It is of Latin origin. I don't speak Old French, but in modern French nation has many meanings, just as it does in English.

Gerard Kennedy is wrong to say that "nation" is not the same thing in English and French. However, since nation has more than one meaning in both languages, maybe a sentence or a paragraph would be more suitable.

I think Gerard Kennedy should stop talking about nations and start explaining to Quebeckers why they should be subjected Canadian standards on education. If he does have an explanation, I'd also suggest he give it in English as Gerard Kennedy's French is incomprehensible. And that is true in any French speaking nation.

-Gerard Kennedy Calls Quebec a Nation
-"Gerard Kennedy Does Not Speak French" (La Presse).
-Acadians do not Want Gerard Kennedy

2006-10-25

"Gerard Kennedy Does Not Speak French" (La Presse).

Montreal newspapers blast Gerard Kennedy back to Toronto.

"He does not speak French" (Lysiane Gagnon, La Presse).

"Could have stayed home... Rudimentary French" (Chantal Hébert, Le Devoir).

I TOLD YOU !

Lysiane Gagnon in LA PRESSE
"(...)Gerard Kennedy, un ancien ministre ontarien relativement populaire au Canada anglais mais pratiquement sans appui au Québec (la raison principale étant qu'il ne parle pas français) (...)"
Lysiane Gagnon
La Presse - mardi 24 octobre 2006

Translation (if you support Kennedy you obviously need a translation): "Gerard Kennedy, a former Ontario cabinet minister, relatively popular in English Canada, but with almost no support in Quebec (the main reason being that he doesn't speak French)".
Lysiane Gagnon, La Presse, Tuesday, Octobe 24, 2006.

Well, that is obviously incorrect. However, his French is pretty bad. Still, interesting that after Saturday's debate, Lysiane Gagnon concluded that he was unilingual .

Chantal Hébert in LE DEVOIR
Chantal Hébert, who also writes in The Toronto Star, had this to say in about Gerard Kennedy:

"Un mot en terminant sur Gerard Kennedy. Ceux qui, au Québec, se demandaient pourquoi il était encore considéré comme un candidat sérieux en vue du congrès de Montréal sont restés sur leur appétit samedi. À la lumière du peu d'impact de sa performance, il aurait aussi bien pu rester à la maison. M. Kennedy était certainement désavantagé par l'état encore rudimentaire de son français par rapport à celui de ses principaux adversaires. Mais la semaine précédente alors qu'il débattait dans sa langue maternelle à Toronto, il n'avait pas davantage tiré son épingle du jeu."
Chantal Hébert
Le Devoir - lundi 23 octobre 2006

Translation: "A word in closing about Gerard Kennedy. Those who, in Quebec, were wondering why he was still considered a serious candidate for the Montreal convention were left wondering Saturday. Considering the lack of impact of his performance, he could have stayed at home. Mister Kennedy was certainly disadvantaged by his still rudimentary French compared to his main opponents. But the week before, when he debated in his first language in Toronto, hid didn't do any better."

****************
Update (2006-10-25 10:14AM)
Turns out Chantal Hébert submitted a similar column to The Toronto Star.

"A word in closing on Gerard Kennedy. For all the impact he had on the debate Saturday, he could have stayed home. His poorer grasp of the French language certainly put him at a disadvantage. But the week before in Toronto, Kennedy had little more impact and he was debating in his mother tongue."
*****************

192,000 copies of La Presse are sold during the average weekday, making it Quebec's second newspaper after Le journal de Montréal (267,000). Le Devoir is more prestigious, but with a weekday circulation of 25,000, much less read.

-Acadians do not Want Gerard Kennedy
-Warning to Liberals: look what happened to the NB NDP

2006-10-24

If I Ran Canada

If Canadians got collectively drunk or stoned out of their minds and put me in control of the federal government, this is what I would change:

Labour
-Employment insurance would be 80% of your salary, up to 80,000$. You would get up to 2 years. Payouts would be from the general budget, not premiums (premiums would be eliminated). Current rules about availability for work would still apply, except you would still get the money if you were sick or disabled (up to two years).

-As most people loose their disability insurance when they loose their job, I'd provide disability insurance as one of the benefits of employment insurance for those people with the incredible bad luck of losing their job and then becoming disabled.

-Federal minimum wage would be $10 an hour.

-Unions in federal industries (telecommunications, banking, etc.) would be mandatory (like in Germany). Temp workers in federal industries would be covered under Federal law.

-There would be a minimum 5 weeks annual vacation (for employees covered under federal law).

Aboriginals
-The main aboriginal languages would be recognised as "official".

-I'd promote Aboriginal languages, culture and tourism; including off reservations in Canada's cities.

-I'd make Indian reservations bigger. Self government would be a priority, but on the condition of local democracy. None off that elder rule or consensus crap.

Infrastructure
Lonely Planet Canada: Yukon Territory-The year round highway to Toktoyaktuk, Yukon, would be finished, allowing Canadians to drive to the Artic ocean in the summer.

-I'd look at other out-of-the-way highway and train projects (BC, Labrador and Nunavut), although I'd probably balk at the cost unless there was a recession.

-Via Rail service between Calgary and Fort McMurray would be a top priority. I'd restore the service from Saint John to Montreal via Maine. I'd also restore the service from Quebec to Moncton via Edmundston. I'd look into other rail opportunities. I'd look into high speed rail, but I'd probably not go for it because of the energy costs (I think the French TGV, for example, uses a lot more electricity per km/person than a regular train).

Immigration and mobility
-I'd negotiate mobility agreements with other countries (USA, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore and Europe would be priorities).

-I'd replace the point based immigration system with a head tax. The money generated would be used to expand Indian reservations. To establish the head tax, an auction system could be used. Unlike the racist American Green card lottery system, your chance of getting into Canada would not be determined by your country of residence (with the exception of those countries with mobility agreements, not subject to the head tax). The usual health and criminal/security background checks would still apply. If there were genuine labour shortages in some professions, I might set up a government loan system for those applicants. (Refugees could continue to get in free, and in fact, I'd be more proactive in flying them over).

Canadian symbols
I'd take down all those "Canada" signs on Hull skyscrapers. I wouldn't change the constitution (too much trouble), but I'd take the Queen/King off our money. In fact, I'd get rid of any and all references to royalty that didn't require a constitutional amendment. For example, pledging allegiance (no longer required of civil servants as of last year thanks to the courts).

Power sharing
I'd be totally anal when it comes to sticking to federal jurisdictions. I would not use the federal power to spend.

Environment
-Much of what can be done about the environment is under local jurisdictions. Encouragement programs à la Rick Mercer One Tone Challenge would be restored.

-I'd consider a carbon redistribution tax system, but only if I managed to convince a good chunk of Canadians (including my SUV driving parents).

-I'd make sure there were no artificial favouritism of SUVs and pick-up trucks (such as lower efficiency and safety standards).

-I'd immediately implement a capital gains tax on home ownership. Perhaps I'd put in a minimum exemption (say $100,000) if it appeared I was going to be lynched. Cost of renovations (with receipts) could be deducted from the capital gains income tax.

-Residential rental income would no longer be taxed.

-I would cancel the RRSP home buying program.

-I'd consider getting rid of the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation.

-Not a penny of federal dollars would go to municipal infrastructure. However, I'd give municipalities the "full amount" of property taxes for federal property (including airports).

-I'd eliminate property taxes on train tracks and most rail infrastructure. If successfully challenged, the federal government would pay said tax on behalf of the rail companies.

-I'd look at ways to reduce annual federal highway subsidies (including tolls). However, given that provinces sometimes behave like they don't have neighbours, I'd tread carefully to avoid counter productive retaliation from the provinces (look at the road system between Alberta and Saskatchewan!). Federal gas tax is inherently unfair (most driving is local), so I'd keep it to a minimum (in order to pay for the Trans-Canada and Via Rail). Hopefully, provinces would raise the gas tax (or allow cities to have one), but that would be up to them.

Free trade and Foreign Aid
-I'd try to eliminate as much duty and barriers to trade as possible (including foreign ownership rules). Although, obviously, I wouldn't want Canada to be taken advantage off (i.e it would have to be mutual). However, I'd be generous with African and Caribbean countries and eliminate all duty for products from those countries, regardless of any duty they may impose on Canadian luxury products.

-I would no longer offer loan guarantees to Canadian companies investing in non-democratic countries such as China or Cuba (inherently quite risky).

-I'd eliminate the luxury surtax (currently applies to all jewelry).

-I'd look at ways Canada may be contributing to international poverty and try and correct them. Canada should try to be rich, but not be starving foreigners. I'd review Canada's role in the International Monetary Fund.

-I'd stop giving Canadian Tire money as foreign aid. Canada would give cash, not Canadian products and services.

-I wouldn't finance AIDS stopping medicine in countries where condoms are not available (because unaffordable or for religious reasons). I'd favour condom distribution. There is something immoral about prolonging the life of an HIV infected person who most likely practices unsafe sex.

Taxes
You may have noticed that some of the changes I would implement would require additional funds. Although staying out of provincial jurisdiction would save money.

-I'd adopt a general tax the rich policy (nobody thinks they are rich).

-I'd eliminate the capital gains exemption on small businesses and and homes (Americans pay it, why not us?).

-I'd raise the capital gains tax.

-I'd close the family trust fund loophole.

-I'd get rid of the Paul Martin/Cayman Island loopholes.

-I'd review the potential Stronach gift in the 2004 budget (company capital amortisation rule change).

-I'd seriously consider an inheritance tax (they have one in the USA). The inheritance would be added to general income and taxed accordingly. I'd allow the inheritance to be put tax free into RRSP like fund (withdrawals would be taxed). I'd allow a delay of five years in the case of non-monetary objects and property. Since inheritance taxes are incredibly unpopular (everybody hopes to inherit large sums), I'd consider a large exemption (like a $100,000). But the days of inheriting millions of dollars tax free would be gone for good. Spouses would be exempt.

-I'd tax world income to all Canadian citizens regardless of residence. However, I'd give credits for local taxes (including sales tax, duty and things like the British TV tax) and health insurance. The purpose would be to discourage addresses of convenience (for example, Switzerland and Ireland), not international mobility. To avoid expensive implementation and enforcement, I might allow a revenue exemption. For certain "windfall professions" (for example, hockey players, movie and music stars), I'd allow revenue to be put tax free into a trust and taxed as withdrawed.

-I'd eliminate most tax exemptions (including day care and student loan interest). Especially those that could be considered provincial jurisdictions. Quebeckers, for example, currently get screwed because day care is highly subsidized and doesn't cost much. So they get lower tax credits. The British do not fill out an annual tax return! That is something I'd try to emulate.

-I'd call BS on the imaginary federal-provincial "fiscal imbalance". If such an imbalance existed, the provinces missed one heck of an opportunity to raise their sales tax by 1 percent this Spring... Ultimately, you can't expect Swedish style services on American level income taxes. That's just nuts. That said, when you factor in American property taxes, wealth taxes, car and health insurance, utility costs and inheritance taxes, many Canadians are fiscally advantaged by living in Canada, even though the USA has a higher per person Gross National Product!

-I'd leave natural resources out of the equalisation formula. Currently, the calculation is based on federal income tax generated from each province, a relatively straightforward calculation. Put in resources, and you need a team of economists. Worse, you totally advantage electricity rich provinces like Quebec and Manitoba that have chosen low electricity rates instead of provincial revenue. Then you got to factor in the fact that resource revenue is not pure profit as you need to subtract a fair amount of expenses (for example, highways). Then there is the whole aspect of property taxes... A true mess of numbers.

Defence
I'd keep defence spending as low as possible (while avoiding the Belgium buffer delusion). A flexible (expandable) military is cheaper. I'd reconsider Canada's membership in NATO. Canada is the only energy (oil) surplus country in NATO. Perhaps an oil rich military alliance would make more sense? The purpose of a military alliance should be to keep costs lower. Defence is by far the largest item in the budget. There are huge potential savings. Diplomacy and foreign aid should perhaps be part of the Defence Department and used as an overall defence strategy.

Tourism promotion and immigration should be evaluated by including the goodwill benefits, particularly when it comes to terrorism.

2006-10-23

Acadians do not Want Gerard Kennedy

The riding liberal leadership results are out. And it is clear that the more francophone the riding, the least likely there are to be any Gerard Kennedy delegates. I'd venture that not a single Acadian Gerard Kennedy delegate was chosen. However, I could be wrong as Moncton-Dieppe-Riverview is sending 5 delegates, and it is possible one of them might be an Acadian. And before you get all excited about the 7 Kennedy delegates chosen in the Egmont riding, PEI, please note that, according to Statistics Canada, the total Acadian population of PEI is about 6,000.

Curious about who are the 11 Gerard Kennedy delegates in Quebec? I was. As expected, the majority of delegates are in English speaking ridings:

Westmount: 1
Pierrefonds-Dollar (Montreal West Island): 4.

However, something happened in the Chicoutimi-Lac-Saint-Jean region. Gerard Kennedy picked up a delegate in each of Chicoutimi-Le-Fjord, Roberval-Lac-Saint-Jean and Saint-Jean. Most surprising, Gerard Kennedy picked up 3 out of 3 delegates at Université du Québec à Chicoutimi! UQAC has a Liberal club!? (For you detectives out there, part of the answer can be found in the comment section of an august Michel Auger column; the comments, oddly, start from the bottom.) UQAC isn't even on the list!

Anyway, you all know about the dismal performance of Gerard Kennedy in Quebec. I just wanted to point out he did terribly in all of French speaking Canada, including Northern and Eastern Ontario and Northern and Eastern New Brunswick.

The only French speaking Liberals I know who are supporting Gerard Kennedy are his former Ontario colleagues Madelaine Meilleure and Jean-Marc Lalonde. So how did Gerard Kennedy do in Ottawa-Vanier and Glengarry-Prescott-Russell ? Four in total (out of 27)!

*************
Update: 2006-11-08 22:30
The Saint-Jean riding is in Montérie area, East of Montreal, not in the Lac-Saint-Jean area.

****************



  • Montreal Debate a Repeat of Toronto with More French and Louder Supporters
  • Gerard Kennedy Calls Quebec a Nation
  • Gerard Kennedy is not Blogworthy (10 of 995)
  • Poll: Quebeckers Do Not Like Gerard Kennedy
  • 995 raisons de ne pas voter pour Gerard Kennedy
  • From the Teleprompter of Gerard Kennedy
  • Reasons 6 to 9 of 995 Not to Vote for Gerard Kennedy
  • Kennedy Loses Debate
  • Gerard Kennedy Avoiding Francophone Media
  • Gerard Kennedy Committed War Crimes (Reason 5 of 995 not to vote GK)
  • Reason 4 of 995 not to vote for Gerard Kennedy: He is a chicken
  • 995 Reasons Not to Vote for Gerard Kennedy (1-3)
  • Gerard Kennedy: a Reality Check
  • Gerard Kennedy is a Kitten Eating Alien from Outer Space
  • Was Gerard Kennedy a Tax Cheat?
  • Gerard Kennedy is Advertising on Blogs!
  • University Dropout Gerard Kennedy Afraid of Quebec Talk Show
  • Gerard Kennedy Cult Members Confront Reality
  • Last PM without degree was Robert Borden (1911-1920)
  • Gerard Kennedy on RDI: Horrible French.
  • Gerard Kennedy is a University Drop-Out!
  • Gerard Kennedy est trop peureux pour Tout le monde en parle!
  • Just Say No to Gerard Kennedy
  • Anybody but Kennedy: bad French on web site.
  • Why Kennedy lost Quebec
  • Gerard Kennedy a/in Gatineau: je parle le French tres beaucoup
  • Parti Libéral: Course à quatre avec quelques désastres
  • I choose Ignatieff
  • Warning to Liberals: look what happened to the NB NDP




  • Blogs in English in favour of Gerard Kennedy:

    Blogs in French in favour of Gerard Kennedy:
    None!

    2006-10-22

    I Still Support Michael Ignatieff

    I Still Support Michael Ignatieff.

    I must admit both Dion and Rae scored some major points against Ignatieff in the Montreal leadership debate yesterday. After reading the entire NY Times article that Bob Rae quoted, I really questioned my support for Ignatieff.

    But a day later, after thinking about supporting Dion, I realised my original position about Ignatieff still holds.

    Michael Ignatieff has written some pretty outrageous things. Not the type of things you would write if your were a politician. But he wasn't. And now he is.

    Michael Ignatieff clearly is right of centre. That is usually OK because he wants to but out of provincial jurisdictions leaving provinces all the flexibility to be as socialist as they want.

    But I didn't like his position on aboriginals yesterday. Aboriginals are under federal jurisdiction. "You can't throw money at the problem" he said and referred to some non-profit in Etobicoke. That I didn't like. If there is one thing aboriginals in Canada need, it is resources. They want land and rightly so. Most reservations are unsustainable and guarantee poverty. The transition from a rural to urban lifestyle for part of the population will be difficult and the federal government has a major role to play. And that takes money.

    All in all though, Michael Ignatieff is still the best choice. Although some of his books and articles are thought provoking, yesterday he said loud and clear that he is againts torture. I still wouldn't put him in charge of CSIS, but I'm OK with him as PM.

    New Liberalism in the First International Country of the 21st Century. Werner Patels and Gerard Kennedy Make Me Laugh.

    Forget Liberal Lite, if you want to laugh, head on over to Werner Patels' Musings. Gerard Kennedy's platform is also good for a few chuckles.

    ****************
    Update: Turns out the joke is on me. Ha, ha, Werner G. Patels M.A., you got me too.
    -Cherniak on Politics - Censure Werner ;
    -An Eye on Werner Patels .
    ****************

    From Warner Patels' latest post, Some Liberals need to get a brain :

    (...)

    One blogger in particular, who shall remain nameless and unlinked-to for obvious reasons, has been going after Gerard Kennedy in a big way, including outright libel. I fail to see how this is helping the unity of the Liberal Party.

    Even worse, the other day, that same blogger (a self-anointed Ignatieff supporter, with whom the Ignatieff campaign has already severed its ties as a result of his outrageous - and un-Liberal behaviour) referred to me as his "arch enemy", simply because I happen to support Kennedy.

    Correct me if I am wrong, but within the party, there should be no "arch enemies". I can see it if a Liberal refers to someone in the Conservative Party as his arch enemy, but within the same party?

    Since that blogger also displays the full blogroll for the Blogging Tories, it has to be assumed that the individual is really a Tory, who has found his way somehow on to the Liberal blogroll (for the sole purpose of wreaking havoc).

    But if he is a Liberal, as he claims, then referring to other Liberals as "arch enemies" over their choice of candidate is the most stupid thing he could have done. First, it discredits the candidate of his choice (even though Ignatieff has already rejected the support of that blogger) and second, it damages the party as such.

    Despite our various preferences regarding leadership contenders, we are all fighting on the same side and towards the same goals, one should hope: defeating Stephen Harper and restoring the Liberal Party to power.

    But calling other "co-combatants" arch enemies is counterproductive and only shows that the Liberal Party still has a long way to go before it achieves unity.

    From the comments:

    C'mon Werner,

    You can't write that whole post and not tell us who said blogger is, can you? Also, I don't know about this blogger to whom you're referring, but I just called someone on my blog an "arch-nemesis", and I meant it clearly as a gross exageration/joke. Maybe he/she did as well?

    No, trust me, it was not an exaggeration. In fact, I had to ban that blogger from commenting on this site a while ago. He's a psycho (an opinion widely shared by people in the Liberal Party and among Liberal bloggers).

    I mean, he can do what he wants, but he is hurting the Liberal Party.

    For the record, I wasn't calling Werner an arch enemy as someone I'd go to war against (no need to arm your compound Werner), but simply, as Olaf pointed out, as a gross exaggeration / joke.

    However, I'd like to point out that it isn't the first time Werner has referred to me as a psycho...

    But that didn't stop him, I'm not making this up, of complaining to the Ignatieff campaign about my blog! And then bragging about it!

    From the comment section of Werner Patels post, How Stupid Can You get? :

    Sandi, of course no one will hold that psychopath's views against Ignatieff, but Ignatieff should know about this and distance his campaign from such retards (this is why I forwarded all those blog posts in question to the Ignatieff campaign).


    The moral is you need thik skin to criticise centralist unilingual university drop-out Gerard Kennedy. So in that sense, I'm glad Werner Patels supports Gerard Kennedy.

    Other blogs about my blog:

    My blog on Gerard Kennedy:

    Just Say No to Gerard Kennedy ;
    Gerard Kennedy: a Reality Check ;
    Gerard Kennedy is not Blogworthy (10 of 995)

    2006-10-21

    Is Joe Volpe the Lesser Evil?

    This NY Times Magazine article that Michael Ignatieff wrote two and a half years ago is a good example of why this blog is anonymous.

    After reading the article I must say that Joe Volpe is starting to look good. So he discovered a loophole that allows children and dead people to make contributions. Big deal. At least his campaign is in the black. He is bilingual and has nerver advocated torture. Is Joe Volpe the lesser evil?

    Lesser Evils



    It has taken nearly three years, but the 9/11 commission and the Supreme Court hearings on enemy combatants have given us our first serious public discussion about how to balance civil liberties and national security in a war on terror. Even so, we have not begun to ask the really hard questions. The hardest one is, Could we actually lose the war on terror?

    Consider the consequences of a second major attack on the mainland United States -- the detonation of a radiological or dirty bomb, perhaps, or a low-yield nuclear device or a chemical strike in a subway. Any of these events could cause death, devastation and panic on a scale that would make 9/11 seem like a pale prelude. After such an attack, a pall of mourning, melancholy, anger and fear would hang over our public life for a generation.

    An attack of this sort is already in the realm of possibility. The recipes for making ultimate weapons are on the Internet, and the materiel required is available for the right price. Democracies live by free markets, but a free market in everything -- enriched uranium, ricin, anthrax -- will mean the death of democracy. Armageddon is being privatized, and unless we shut down these markets, doomsday will be for sale. Sept. 11, for all its horror, was a conventional attack. We have the best of reasons to fear the fire next time.

    A democracy can allow its leaders one fatal mistake -- and that's what 9/11 looks like to many observers -- but Americans will not forgive a second one. A succession of large-scale attacks would pull at the already-fragile tissue of trust that binds us to our leadership and destroy the trust we have in one another. Once the zones of devastation were cordoned off and the bodies buried, we might find ourselves, in short order, living in a national-security state on continuous alert, with sealed borders, constant identity checks and permanent detention camps for dissidents and aliens. Our constitutional rights might disappear from our courts, while torture might reappear in our interrogation cells. The worst of it is that government would not have to impose tyranny on a cowed populace. We would demand it for our own protection. And if the institutions of our democracy were unable to protect us from our enemies, we might go even further, taking the law into our own hands. We have a history of lynching in this country, and by the time fear and paranoia settled deep in our bones, we might repeat the worst episodes from our past, killing our former neighbors, our onetime friends.

    That is what defeat in a war on terror looks like. We would survive, but we would no longer recognize ourselves. We would endure, but we would lose our identity as free peoples.

    Alarmist? Consider where we stand after two years of a war on terror. We are told that Al Qaeda's top leadership has been decimated by detention and assassination. True enough, but as recently as last month bin Laden was still sending the Europeans quaint invitations to surrender. Even if Al Qaeda no longer has command and control of its terrorist network, that may not hinder its cause. After 9/11, Islamic terrorism may have metastasized into a cancer of independent terrorist cells that, while claiming inspiration from Al Qaeda, no longer require its direction, finance or advice. These cells have given us Madrid. Before that, they gave us Istanbul, and before that, Bali. There is no shortage of safe places in which they can grow. Where terrorists need covert support, there are Muslim communities, in the diasporas of Europe and North America, that will turn a blind eye to their presence. If they need raw recruits, the Arab rage that makes for martyrs is still incandescent. Palestine is in a state of permanent insurrection. Iraq is in a state of barely subdued civil war. Some of the Bush administration's policies, like telling Ariel Sharon he can keep settlements on the West Bank, may only be fanning the flames.

    So anyone who says ''Relax, more people are killed in road accidents than are killed in terrorist attacks'' is playing games. The conspiracy theorists who claim the government is manufacturing the threat in order to foist secret government upon us ought to wise up. Anyone who doesn't take seriously a second major attack on the United States just isn't being serious. In the Spanish elections in March, we may have had a portent of what's ahead: a terrorist gang trying to intimidate voters into altering the result of a democratic election. We can confidently expect that terrorists will attempt to tamper with our election in November. Condoleezza Rice, the national security adviser, said in a recent television interview that the Bush administration is concerned that terrorists will see the approaching presidential election as ''too good to pass up.''

    Thinking the worst is not defeatist. It is the best way to avoid defeat. Nor is it defeatist to concede that terror can never be entirely vanquished. Terrorists will continue to threaten democratic politics wherever oppressed or marginalized groups believe their cause justifies violence. But we can certainly deny them victory. We can continue to live without fear inside free institutions. To do so, however, we need to change the way we think, to step outside the confines of our cozy conservative and liberal boxes.

    II. The Necessity of Lesser Evils

    When democracies fight terrorism, they are defending the proposition that their political life should be free of violence. But defeating terror requires violence. It may also require coercion, secrecy, deception, even violation of rights. How can democracies resort to these means without destroying the values for which they stand? How can they resort to the lesser evil without succumbing to the greater?

    Putting the problem this way is not popular. Civil libertarians don't want to think about lesser evils. Security is as much a right as liberty, but civil libertarians haven't wanted to ask which freedoms we might have to trade in order to keep secure. Some conservative thinkers, like those at the libertarian Cato Institute, come down the same way but for different reasons: for them, the greater evil is big government, and they oppose measures that give the executive branch more power. Other conservatives, like Attorney General John Ashcroft, simply refuse to believe that any step taken to defend the United States can be called an evil at all.

    But thinking about lesser evils is unavoidable. Sticking too firmly to the rule of law simply allows terrorists too much leeway to exploit our freedoms. Abandoning the rule of law altogether betrays our most valued institutions. To defeat evil, we may have to traffic in evils: indefinite detention of suspects, coercive interrogations, targeted assassinations, even pre-emptive war. These are evils because each strays from national and international law and because they kill people or deprive them of freedom without due process. They can be justified only because they prevent the greater evil. The question is not whether we should be trafficking in lesser evils but whether we can keep lesser evils under the control of free institutions. If we can't, any victories we gain in the war on terror will be Pyrrhic ones.

    III. How to Think About Civil Liberties

    Civil liberties are not a set of pesky side constraints, pettifogging legalisms tying democracy's hands behind its back. Ask what the American way of life is, and soon we are talking about trial by jury, a free press, habeas corpus and democratic institutions. Soon we are talking about that freedom and that confident sense of an entitlement to happiness that the Europeans find so strange in this country. Civil liberties are what America is.

    Civil liberties may define us, but we have a bad record of jettisoning them when we get scared. We have the A.C.L.U. today because patriotic liberals after World War I were ashamed that the Russian Revolution of 1917 had terrified us into the Red Scare, the Palmer Raids and the needless roundup, arrest and deportation of mostly Eastern European immigrants, whose worst offense was that they had socialist, anarchist or communist illusions. We learned from the Red Scare that we need a civil liberties lobby because frightened majorities do reprehensible things. Between 1917 and 1920, we did ourselves plenty of harm. A congressman, Victor Berger, was denied his seat in the House after being convicted of espionage for writing an antiwar article, and a presidential candidate, Eugene V. Debs, was sentenced to 10 years in prison for delivering an antiwar speech. Aliens were harassed and deported. Legal strikes were smashed, and trade-union leaders were jailed. Indeed, by comparison with the Red Scare or later shameful episodes like Roosevelt's detention of Japanese during World War II, there have been no mass detention camps in the United States since Sept. 11 and no imprisonments for dissent. Not yet anyway.

    Even so, after 9/11 we were frightened, and Congress and the government weren't always thinking straight. After the attack, it may have made sense to detain more than 700 aliens on one immigration pretext or another until we could figure out whether there were other sleeper cells at work. But it made a lot less sense to hold them for months (80 days on average) and to deny them lawyers and public due process before we tossed most of them out of the country. It was shameful, as a Justice Department report found, that many Arab and Muslim detainees were abused and harassed in confinement. Civil libertarians like Prof. David Cole of Georgetown nobly stood up and denounced such detainments as the abuses that they were.

    But being absolutely right on this issue doesn't make a civil liberties position right on every other issue. Consider the question of a national ID system. Instead of crying ''1984,'' the civil liberties lobby should be taking an honest look at the leaky sieve of the existing driving license ID system and admit how easy it was for the hijackers to talk their way into the ID's that got them onto the planes. Instead of defending a failed ID system, civil libertarians should be trying to think of a better one. One possibility is for Congress to establish minimum national standards for identification, using the latest biometric identifiers. Any legislation should build in a Freedom of Information requirement demanding that the government divulge the data it holds on citizens and purge data that is unsound.

    President Bush has been trying to use civil liberties as a wedge issue, campaigning for the swift renewal of the Patriot Act in an effort to portray his rival as soft on the war on terror. The civil liberties lobby has taken the bait, leading the charge against the Patriot Act and its renewal. But partisan politics and civil liberties ideology are making it hard to take an unbiased look at what Bush has actually done. While some aspects of the Patriot Act were vexatious and ill conceived -- for example, giving federal agents the power to force librarians and bookstores to divulge what their customers are reading -- other parts of the act (and the antiterrorism measures in general) are right-minded. Giving the F.B.I. the same powers to wiretap terrorist suspects that they already use against the Mafia and drug traffickers seems reasonable, particularly because the taps are controlled by court order. Requiring banks and security brokers to file suspicious-activity reports to prevent money-laundering by terrorists sounds like an overdue reform. Enhancing the ability of the C.I.A. and F.B.I. to pool and share information seems like a good idea. As the staff reports of the 9/11 commission have shown, neither agency regularly shared its list of Al Qaeda suspects before Sept. 11 or passed the list to the airlines.

    Our vulnerability to attack on 9/11 was not a result just of bureaucratic bungling, dysfunctional Beltway turf wars and plain inertia. The disaster also was a result in part of the unintended consequences of well-meaning measures taken by civil libertarians in the past. Erecting fire walls between domestic intelligence gathering and law enforcement seemed like a positive development in the wake of the abuses of J. Edgar Hoover's F.B.I. These same good intentions led Congress in 1978 to pass the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. This law created a special federal court that meets in secret to rule on requests by counterintelligence officers to put espionage and terrorist suspects under surveillance. These warrants could be issued on lower standards of evidence than those required under the Fourth Amendment rules that regulate warrants issued in standard criminal cases. In order to guarantee that law enforcement would not exploit these lower standards, a legal ''wall'' was installed between intelligence gathering and criminal investigations. The court could grant F.B.I. intelligence agents a domestic surveillance warrant only if the primary purpose of their surveillance was foreign intelligence, not criminal prosecution.

    Richard Clarke, the former terrorism czar, has wisely proposed lowering the wall between domestic law enforcement and intelligence functions. This would allow us to pull all our domestic antiterrorism capabilities into a version of Britain's MI5, an agency charged with domestic intelligence-gathering and counterterrorism but without law enforcement responsibilities.

    A second victory for civil liberties -- the taming of the C.I.A. after its excesses during the Vietnam War era -- may have also weakened our human intelligence capacities before 9/11. In the wake of disclosures that the C.I.A. had tried to assassinate foreign leaders as well as thousands of Communist political cadres in South Vietnam, Senator Frank Church's Congressional investigation persuaded the Ford administration to rein in the C.I.A . and ban covert assassination activity. At the time, this seemed like a victory for civilian control of intelligence. But C.I.A. veterans like Robert Baer, a former operative in the Middle East, charge that the post-Church controls on the C.I.A. inadvertently created a culture in which agents preferred to sit behind Washington desks, reading reports, rather than risking their lives running informants and agents in the alleyways and tenements of Arab cities. This aversion to risk led the C.I.A. to cease investing in human intelligence and to rely too heavily on satellite and signals intelligence. The United States appears, for example, to have had almost no one on the ground in Iraq after 1998, hence the catastrophic misjudgment by U.S. intelligence about Saddam Hussein's weapons of mass destruction.

    But the problems began much earlier. We know now that the war being waged by Islamic fundamentalists against the United States began in 1983 with the bombing of the U.S. Embassy in Beirut and escalated through the African embassy bombings and the attack on the U.S.S. Cole. As the enemy steadily escalated the fight, the C.I.A. needed to have operatives in the bazaars, teahouses and mosques of the Arab world, bribing, importuning and, if necessary, eliminating our enemies. Who doesn't wish we had killed Osama bin Laden in the late 1990's? But the rules on assassination were drawn to outlaw it in so-called peacetime. They were at war with us, and we convinced ourselves that we were not at war with them. Post-Church, we may have betrayed a fatal preference for clean hands in a dark world of terror in which only dirty hands can get the job done.

    But dirty hands need not be lawless. If we need a tough counterintelligence service, we do not want it out of control, bribing, suborning, bugging and assassinating anyone it sees fit. To paraphrase Cofer Black, the former C.I.A. counterterrorism chief, we may want to put terrorist heads in boxes, but we need presidents, not C.I.A. operatives or their for-hire hitmen, to decide whose heads we are targeting. There have to be rules, presidential directives controlling the resort to assassination. Congress should weigh in here and call for new legislation. Three rules for targeted assassination seem relatively obvious: only as a last resort, only when capture is impossible without undue risk to American lives and only where death or damage to innocent civilians can be avoided. We need to make sure that assassinations don't do more harm than good. As the Israelis have discovered through their own assassination policy, killing Sheik Yassin of Hamas and his successor may only strengthen Hamas control of Gaza. A war on terror that succeeds tactically -- taking out this potential terrorist, breaking up that potential cell -- while failing strategically, further enraging the Arab populace, is not a success. So we need rules in a war on terror, first of all to keep free institutions intact and second so that we don't fail in our strategic objective, which is to make America some friends instead of numberless new enemies.

    IV. Striking a Balance

    Civil libertarians may tie our hands unduly, while the gung-ho ''anything goes'' brigade might bring us tactical victories at the price of strategic disaster. Either extreme won't work, so where is the balance to be found?

    Let's not pretend it's going to be easy to agree about this. Abiding disagreement about the trade-off between liberty and security is a permanent characteristic of any free society. The founding fathers designed the Constitution to enable our institutions to adjudicate such fundamental disagreements of principle. The key innovation of American government was the system of checks and balances. The founders required the executive branch to justify coercive measures before Congress, and later Justice Marshall in Marbury v. Madison established the principle of judicial review. This system of ''adversarial justification'' is what keeps us free. Presidents are just like the rest of us: they can justify anything if they have to justify it to only themselves. Our system of government, like trial by jury, puts all coercive measures to the test of hostile, questioning review. Our system is supposed to challenge the president every step of the way. Show me, prove it to me, give me the facts -- this is supposed to be the American way.

    A war on terror puts this system under real strain. Checks and balances work slowly -- Congress must deliberate; the courts must review -- and meanwhile, the crisis calls out for decisive action. This is why terrorism's chief impact on democracy -- not just in the United States but also in every other free society and especially in Spain and Britain -- has been to strengthen the power of presidents and prime ministers at the expense of legislatures and the courts and to increase the exercise of secret government. Much of the war against terror has to be fought in secret, and the killing, interrogating and bribing are done in the shadows. This is democracy's dark secret -- the men and women who defend us with a bodyguard of lies and an armory of deadly weapons -- and because it is our dark secret, it can also be democracy's nemesis.

    The key question is whether free institutions -- Congress, courts and the press -- are strong enough to keep this secret army under control. Its budget is offline, and its operations are below the Congressional radar. Despite the 9/11 commission's remarkable exercise in public education, the government is still trying to make the war on terror ever more secret. The administration has fought attempts by the A.C.L.U. to force the Justice Department to disclose how often it has used its expanded authority under the Patriot Act. It has successfully resisted attempts to require disclosure of the names of those detained in investigations after Sept. 11, and an executive order of the president has clamped down on the release of public information relating to critical infrastructure. Obviously it's a good idea to keep recipes for ricin off government-financed research Web sites, and it's not a good idea to have target detail on critical infrastructure available for download. But adversarial review, as intended by the founding fathers, can't work if ordinary citizens are denied the information they need.

    Keeping the war on terror under control also requires judges who are unafraid to challenge presidential power. For nearly two years, the courts deferred to the president's powers as commander in chief, refusing to deny him authority to designate American citizens as ''enemy combatants'' and allowing him to imprison foreign combatants at Guantanamo beyond the reach of American courts. The president created military tribunals to try foreign combatants, but kept these tribunals free from review by federal courts and free of the due process safeguards that apply in U.S. military courts-martial. To their credit, a group of military defense lawyers assigned to these tribunals has gone public to question whether their defendants stand a chance of a fair trial.

    The courts have watched these developments with growing alarm. The judges of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, even when refusing to grant habeas corpus review to Yaser Esam Hamdi, one of the American enemy combatants currently held in a Navy brig in Charleston, S.C., sounded troubled by the president's powers. The government, they wrote, seems to be ''embracing a sweeping proposition -- namely that with no meaningful judicial review, any American citizen alleged to be an enemy combatant could be detained indefinitely without charges or counsel on the government's say-so.'' Now, at last, the Supreme Court is reviewing these presidential powers, and to judge from questioning at the Guantanamo hearings, many justices are troubled by them. As Justice Stephen Breyer said during oral arguments, ''It seems rather contrary to an idea of a Constitution with three branches that the executive would be free to do whatever they want, whatever they want without a check.'' Just as no justice wants to second-guess a president's decision to commit U.S. forces, so no court can afford to defer to the president on the fundamental civil rights of American citizens. The Supreme Court will have to determine whether it was ever in the intentions of the founders to give the president the power to imprison a citizen at pleasure and to hold him beyond the reach of the law, and if these were not their intentions, whether emergency or wartime situations could ever justify such a departure from constitutional safeguards.

    Whatever the court decides, Congress may eventually have to decide how much emergency power the president should wield. Bruce Ackerman, a liberal law professor at Yale, has recently proposed a wholesale revision of the president's current power to declare a national emergency, suggesting that if terrorists strike again, the president should be given the authority to act unilaterally for a week and to arrest anyone he sees fit. After a week, Congress would have to vote to renew his powers for a period of 60 days. Thereafter, an overwhelming majority would be required to extend the term further. Better to formalize and control emergency power, Ackerman argues, than to allow the president to slowly accumulate the power of tyranny.

    Yet Congress, with rare exceptions -- like the joint Congressional inquiry of 2002 into Sept. 11 and the powerful Senate dissents of Robert Byrd and Edward Kennedy -- has become as reluctant as the judiciary to subject the president's powers to proper scrutiny. The first Patriot Act was large, cumbersome and poorly drafted, and it passed both the Senate and the House so quickly that it is doubtful Congress really knew what was in it. As the sunset provisions of the act come up for renewal in 2005, Congress has an opportunity to redeem itself.

    Thus far, it has not been Congress but the bipartisan commission on 9/11 whose public hearings have focused national debate on civil liberties. It was not Congress that uncovered evidence that the United States has been handing terrorist suspects over to foreign governments like Morocco, Egypt and Jordan for possible torture but diligent reporters like Barton Gellman and Dana Priest of The Washington Post.

    Only if our institutions work properly -- if Congress reviews legislation in detail and tosses out measures that jeopardize liberty at no gain to security, if the courts keep executive power under constitutional control and if the press refuses to allow itself to become ''embedded'' with the government -- can the moral and constitutional hazards of lesser evils be managed.

    V. The Detention Archipelago

    Even if our institutions do their jobs, the hazards they must manage are considerable. Consider the issue of preventive detention of terrorist suspects. All the major countries on the front line of the war on terror are currently detaining such suspects, often for indefinite periods of time. It is hard to see how a successful counterterrorism campaign can succeed unless the police can arrest and detain suspects on standards of evidence lower than those required for proof of guilt in a criminal trial. Waiting until police have met the Fourth Amendment's exacting standards for search, seizure and arrest would expose innocent civilians to unnecessary risk of terrorist attack. Who doesn't wish the 9/11 hijacker who was pulled over for speeding in the weeks before the attack had been detained until police could check his ID against C.I.A. and F.B.I. watch lists?

    Currently, terrorism suspects in the United States can be detained as enemy combatants, held as material witnesses or detained for immigration violations. We do not even know how many suspects are being held under these categories. If we were to add up all the suspects, citizens and noncitizens held in U.S. institutions, together with those in Guantanamo, Iraq, Afghanistan, Diego Garcia and U.S. brigs and stockades in between, the number might run into the thousands. No one knows how many detainees there are, and that is the crux of the problem: the United States may be operating a global archipelago of detention beyond the law and ken of its citizens. Clearly, there need to be rules to govern detention, and the key rule -- one that defines democracy itself -- is that no one, citizen or otherwise, should be held without access to public review of his detention by independent judicial authorities. Where they are held, whether offshore or at home, should be immaterial. If they are detained by Americans, they are America's responsibility, and basic due process standards should apply.

    Philip Heymann of Harvard Law School has argued that we have to stop holding American citizens indefinitely without charge. We should try them or let them go. If a suspect cannot be brought to trial without revealing evidence that would endanger key informants, then a federal judge could order further detention, but only for a maximum period of two years. After that, the person would have to be brought to trial or released.

    Overseas, in Guantanamo, Iraq and elsewhere, where combatant or terrorist detainees are held, the government should create military tribunals that offer detainees the right to challenge the basis of their detention with the assistance of counsel. Of course, this is costly, and of course, some bad characters may talk their way out of America's clutches. Release upon detention, though, does not preclude surveillance upon release. These are hard choices, but we would be better advised to let a few bad characters go than to continue to run a global network of detention facilities that, right now, are an open invitation to abuse.

    VI. Torture

    The abuse we need to talk about is torture. Torture, our founding fathers said, was the vice of tyrannies and its absolute exclusion the mark of free government. At the same time, keeping torture, or at least what used to be called ''the third degree,'' from creeping back into our police squad rooms at home has required constant vigilance by D.A.'s and honest cops. Now it may be creeping into our war on terror. There is some evidence that the United States has handed key suspects over to Middle Eastern governments for torture. In the metal containers stacked up behind rings of razor wire on Bagram air base in Afghanistan, beatings are reportedly routine, and at least two suspects have died during secret interrogations. It is possible that similar physical methods have been used against detainees from the Hussein regime at Baghdad airport.

    Some observers believe such physical methods are inevitable if we hope to break terrorists who are willing to die in attacking us. Alan Dershowitz of Harvard Law School supports an outright ban on torture, but argues that if the United States is going to rely on it, Congress should regulate it by law. Interrogators would at least be required to apply to a court for a ''torture warrant,'' which would set limits to the practice. The evidence extracted by torture would remain inadmissible in court, but it could be used to prevent impending attacks.

    Dershowitz's ideas suggest that it is possible to bring the rule of law into the interrogation room, but as an exercise in the lesser evil, it is likely to lead to the greater. Once you allow warrants for genuine ''ticking bomb'' cases -- situations in which torture can prevent an imminent calamity from occuring -- little by little, torture may be used when there is no immediate danger. There has never been any certainty, moreover, that information extracted by torture is more reliable than information coaxed out of a suspect by persuasive means. Why should we suppose that pain produces truth? And how can we forget what everyone who has ever been tortured always tells us: those who are tortured stay tortured forever. If you want to create terrorists, torture is a pretty sure way to do so.

    Israel has thought hardest about torture in terrorist cases. After watching how interrogation degenerated into torture when the Landau Commission of 1987 allowed physical force in questioning, the Israeli Supreme Court ruled in 1999 that shaking suspects and confining them in chairs tipped forward in painful positions for long periods were violations of Israel's national and international commitments against torture.

    Yet the Israeli Supreme Court also conceded that physical force against suspects sometimes prizes out information that saves lives in ticking-bomb cases. So it allowed interrogators a justifying excuse. Torture was banned absolutely, but interrogators charged with torture could enter evidence that they were seeking to save lives in order to plead to reduced sentences for breaking the rules. An outright ban on torture, rather than an attempt to regulate it, seems the only way a democracy can keep true to its ideal of respecting the dignity even of its enemies. For that is what the rule of law commits us to: to show respect even to those who show no respect for us.

    To keep faith with this commitment, we need a presidential order or Congressional legislation that defines exactly what constitutes acceptable degrees of coercive interrogation. Here we are deep into lesser-evil territory. Permissible duress might include forms of sleep deprivation that do not result in lasting harm to mental or physical health, together with disinformation and disorientation (like keeping prisoners in hoods) that would produce stress. What crosses the line into the impermissible would be any physical coercion or abuse, any involuntary use of drugs or serums, any withholding of necessary medicines or basic food, water and essential rest.

    Fine idea, you say, but who is to enforce these safeguards? It ought to be the rule that no detainee of the United States should be permanently deprived of access to counsel and judicial process, whether it be civilian federal court or military tribunal. Torture will thrive wherever detainees are held in secret. Conduct disgracing the United States is inevitable if suspects are detained beyond the reach of the law.

    VII. Controlling the President

    So far, the basic rules for regulating a war on terror look relatively simple: first, make sure all measures are subjected to review by Congress and the judiciary; second, make sure the law keeps watch over detainees and suspects. In a word, we need to ensure that we wage a war for the rule of law and not a war against it and that we wage it by means of democratic consent rather than by presidential decree. We have enough of an imperial presidency as it is.

    Keeping the president under democratic control is not going to be easy. The dilemmas here are best illustrated by looking closely at pre-emptive war. It is a lesser evil because, according to our traditional understanding of war, the only justified resort to war is a response to actual aggression. But those standards are outdated. They were conceived for wars against states and their armies, not for wars against terrorists and suicide bombers. Against this kind of enemy, everyone can see that instead of waiting for terrorists to hit us, it makes sense to get our retaliation in first. The problem with pre-emption is keeping the president's war power under democratic control.

    The president's power to make war is supposed to be balanced by Congress's power to declare it, but in practice, since Vietnam, Congress has not been able to rein in a president bent on the use of force overseas. A war on terror, declared against a global enemy, with no clear end in sight, raises the prospect of an out-of-control presidency. As we learned in the run-up to the war in Iraq, the case for a pre-emptive war is always bound to be speculative, based on doubtful intelligence that will be hard for either an electorate or its representatives, let alone the bureaucracy, to assess for credibility. In the pre-emptive wars of the future -- Iraq will not be our last exercise in this moral hazard -- our leaders will try to secure our consent by alternately threatening and reassuring us with the phrase ''If you only knew what we know.''

    But as we have found to our cost, this is not nearly good enough. The facts may not be as clear before the event as they are likely to be afterward, but voters must be told what we need to know, before government commits to war in our name. Over Iraq, our name was taken in vain.

    We need national and international rules to control such wars. This may require both Congressional legislation and United Nations resolutions. Pre-emptive war can be justified only when the danger that must be pre-empted is imminent, when peaceful means of averting the danger have been tried and have failed and when democratic institutions ratify the decision to do so. If these are the minimum tests pre-emptive war has to meet, the Iraq war failed to meet all three.

    Even those -- like me -- who supported the Iraq war because it might bring freedom and democracy to people who had been gassed, tortured and killed for 30 years had better admit that if our grounds for war had been squarely put to the American people, they probably would have voted to stay home. Worse still, Congress failed to put the president's case for war to adversarial scrutiny and debate. The news media allowed itself to be managed and browbeaten. The war may or may not bring democracy to Iraq eventually, but it hasn't done democracy any good at home.

    VIII. A Warrior's Honor

    Regulating a war on terror with ethical rules and democratic oversight is much harder than regulating traditional wars. In traditional wars, there are rules, codes of warriors' honor that are supposed to limit the barbarity of the conflict, to protect civilians from targeting, to keep the use of force proportional and to keep it confined to military objectives. The difference between us and terrorists is supposed to be that we play by these rules, even if they don't. No, I haven't forgotten Hiroshima and My Lai. The American way of war has often been brutal, but at least our warriors are supposed to fight with honor and can be punished if they don't. There is no warrior's honor among terrorists.

    The real moral hazard in a war on terror emerges precisely here, in the fact that no moral contract, no expectation of reciprocity, binds us to our enemy. Indeed, the whole logic of terrorism is to exploit the rules, to turn them to their own advantage. If we hesitate to strike a mosque because the rules of war designate it as a protected place, then the smart thing for a terrorist to do is to store weapons and suicide belts there. If our forces start from the presumption that civilian women should be treated as noncombatants, then terrorists will train women to be suicide bombers. If all existing codes of warriors' honor forbid the desecration of bodies, then it is not just mindless brutality but actually a sound terrorist tactic to drag contractors from a car in Falluja, set them alight and display their severed and burned limbs from a bridge. Such provocations are intended to drag us down to their level.

    This is the deepest reason why it is difficult to maintain self-control, let alone democratic control, in a war on terror. We are constantly being tempted to descend to the logic of terror itself. An eye for an eye. A tooth for a tooth. Vengeance is mine, saith the Lord, but unsaintly men and women, seeing their loved ones maimed and butchered, may begin to believe vengeance is theirs by right.

    The siren song in any war on terror is ''let slip the dogs of war.'' Let them hunt. Let them kill. Already, we have dogs salivating at the prospect. A liberal society cannot be defended by herbivores. We need carnivores to save us, but we had better make sure the meat-eaters hunt only on our orders.

    Taunting us until we let the dogs slip is any canny terrorist's best hope of success. The Algerian terrorists who fought the French colonial occupation in the 1950's had no hope of defeating the armies of France in pitched battle. Their only chance of victory lay in provoking the French into a downward spiral of reprisals, indiscriminate killings and torture so that the Algerian masses would rise in hatred and the French metropolitan population would throw up its hands in disgust. The tactic worked. Terror won in Algeria because France lost its nerve and lost its control of counterterror.

    In Iraq, we had better remember the French lesson: we cannot hope to win a war of occupation with harshness alone. We need a political strategy that undermines the terrorist claim that they are fighting a just war against military occupation. We need to turn the place back to Iraqis quickly or we will just have created another losing front in the war on terror.

    On all fronts, keeping a war on terror under democratic scrutiny is critical to its operational success. A lesser-evil approach permits preventive detention, where subject to judicial review; coercive interrogation, where subject to executive control; pre-emptive strikes and assassination, where these serve publicly defensible strategic goals. But everything has to be subject to critical review by a free people: free debate, public discussion, Congressional review, in camera if need be, judicial review as a last resort. The war needs to be less secretive, not more. We need to know more about it, not less, even if what we learn is hard. If it comes to it, we need to know, every time we fly, that in case of a hijacking, the president has authorized our pilots to shoot us down if a crash risks killing still more people. In a war on terror, painful truth is far better than lies and illusions.

    Above all, we need to keep faith with freedom. When terrorists strike against constitutional democracies, one of their intentions is to persuade electorates and elites that the strengths of these societies -- public debate, mutual trust, open borders and constitutional restraints on executive power- are weaknesses. When strengths are seen as weaknesses, it is easy to abandon them. If this is the logic of terror, then democratic societies must find a way to renew their belief that their apparent vulnerabilities are actually a form of strength. This does not require anything new or special. It simply means that those who have charge of democratic institutions need to do their jobs. We want C.I.A. men and women who understand that the dogs of war are needed, but that they need to be on a leash. We want judges who understand that national security is not a carte blanche for the abrogation of individual rights; a free press that keeps asking, Where are the detainees and what are you doing with them? We want a Congress that will not allow national security to prevent it from subjecting executive power to adversarial review. This, after all, is only what our Constitution intends. Our institutions were designed to regulate evil means and control potentially evil people.

    The chief ethical challenge of a war on terror is relatively simple -- to discharge duties to those who have violated their duties to us. Even terrorists, unfortunately, have human rights. We have to respect these because we are fighting a war whose essential prize is preserving the identity of democratic society and preventing it from becoming what terrorists believe it to be. Terrorists seek to provoke us into stripping off the mask of law in order to reveal the black heart of coercion that they believe lurks behind our promises of freedom. We have to show ourselves and the populations whose loyalties we seek that the rule of law is not a mask or an illusion. It is our true nature.

    Michael Ignatieff, a contributing writer for the magazine, is director of the Carr Center at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. His most recent book, ''The Lesser Evil,'' on which this article is based, will be published by Princeton later this month.

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