Monday, June 11, 2007

McKenna Speaks

Speaking here:

U.S. a theocratic state, says former Canadian ambassador

Former New Brunswick Premier and Ambassador to the US, Frank McKenna made several points about the current social and political climate in the States.

Most importantly he states,

“Right now the United States is in many ways a theocratic state, not dissimilar to some of the other religious states in the world where religion has a huge part to play in government."

The article continues:

He referred to a current congressional investigation in Washington into whether partisan political and religious loyalties were used in the hiring and firing of U.S. attorneys and immigration judges. He also alluded to a report that 150 graduates of a Christian evangelical school have worked at the White House in recent years.

By contrast, he said in a speech to a business audience hosted by the Ottawa Chamber of Commerce, "Canada is truly a secular state. Religion and politics do not mix in this country.”

The fact is tho', that the ebb and flow of Canadian society is evident in Stephen Harper saying things like "God Bless Canada," in his speeches, a sentence that never would have been countenanced a few years ago. There are a few politicos who do seem to wear their religion on their sleeves these days and I would consider this a bad sign. For the most part they have been confined to the Reform Party and the Whack-a-doodle wing of its successor, The Conservative Party of Canada.

Part of that ebb and flow was watching Harper's support among normally more conservative ethnic groups dissipate as he spoke about removing rights from gays and lesbians; not hard for anyone who's brown to wonder where the sights on that particular gun might get aimed when they're finished with the gays. The implications weren't hard for minorities to grok.

I do suspect that the Conservative piety that Harper and a few other westerners throw around doesn't mark a seismic shift in Canada, just a trembler that will pass.

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