Saturday, September 22, 2007

Calgary Municipal Election: Support the Troops edition

What is supporting the troops?

Is agitating for stickers supporting the troops?

Is taking the vote away from the troops supporting them?

As Calgary's excellent independent weekly FFWD reports, Ward 12 Ald. Ric McIver has been agitating since July for 'support the troops' stickers to be added to all city vehicles. The motion has been repeatedly voted down.

And rightly so; I have never once met anyone who doesn't support the troops - including among those most vehemently opposed to the Afghanistan mission. The 'support the troops' meme, one of the more toxic imported by Canada's right wing from America's right wing, is actually a rhetorical stick to bash those who oppose the mission.

Many - in fact the majority of Canadians at this time - believe supporting the troops means opposing the mission and believe, accurately I think, that the real message of 'support the troops' is 'support the mission' or by opposing it you are opposing the troops. The motion has been voted down every time it's been brought to council.

The same Ald. Ric McIver voted to ban mail-in ballots for city elections after a scandal involving fraudulent ballots during the last election. Ironically the scandal showed that the system worked, because the perpetrators were caught. But in a panicky rush to judgement the Calgary city council banned all mail-in ballots.

Which means the the same member of city council agitating for a shiny sticker to support the troops voted to take the vote away from Calgarians serving our country in Afghanistan.

But it's okay, because he supports shiny stickers even if he doesn't support the troops.

See my first post on the election.

Hit the Calgary label to see all my civic election posts.

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