Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Contrast of Class: Stephen Harper vs. Ralph Goodale

Stephen Harper, as an example of class:

"Mr. Speaker, today I rise to pay tribute to our former friend and colleague, the former member of Parliament for Surrey North, Chuck Cadman.

It was out of great personal tragedy that Chuck first chose to present himself for public office.
The senseless death of his son Jesse in 1992 drove Chuck to become an outspoken advocate of victims' rights in Canada. He and his wife Donna founded the group Crime Responsibility and Youth to counsel and help young offenders and at risk youth. His agenda was clear: Changes needed to be made to the criminal justice system, specifically stricter sentences for violent young offenders.

Chuck was an honest and decent man who wanted change for the better. He was a loving husband, a caring father and a good friend to many.

His hard work and dedication to justice issues will forever be his legacy in Ottawa, in Surrey and right across the country."

Considering that one of Mr. Cadman's last acts was to vote against the Tories and support the Grits in last spring's budget battle, this is pretty magnanimous of Mr. Harper.

Contrast that with the comments of Finance Minister Ralph Goodale, as an example of no class:

Goodale said the Conservatives' position in favour of corporate tax cuts does not convince him they would pass the necessary legislation.

"Would you trust them after what they did in the spring? For heaven's sake, give your head a shake. There's nothing to be trusted in that gaggle of silly people."

Even allowing for the fact that Goodale said this outside the Commons chamber, where pretty much anything goes, in the immortal words of Yosemite Sam, "them's fightin' words."

It is always a mistake not to respect someone who opposes you. Because if you don't respect them, you ignore them -- and you also ignore what they actually can do to you until it's too late.

It's a lesson that Ralph Goodale needs to learn.