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Author Topic: Media Reaction/Interpretation of Dawson Shooting
Catchfire
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posted 15 September 2006 11:02 AM      Profile for Catchfire   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
In a previous thread, there was discussion about the language used immediately following the situation at Dawson College. Cueball objected to the police announcing that they had "neutralized" one of the shooters (eventually confirmed as the only shooter). He then offered this criticism of media reaction to the shooting:
quote:
What bothers me about reading the Canadian media is that we all end up ponying up our personal grief and sorrow over tragedies like this, as if perpetrating this kind of grissly slaughter is not part of the daily routine of our, and our allies soldiers.

And there is a connection betwween what happens "over there" and what happens here, as anyone who will read On Killing by Lt. Col. Dave Grossman, can find out.

In fact, this kind of thing is all to concievable for many people all over the world, such as in Iraq.



There was similar response to the hysterics that immediately followed 9/11, in that America couldn't comprehend the magnitude of the attack, while much of the rest of the planet welcomed the U.S. to the real world. It is further interesting to consider how a country that practices Capital Punishment can simultaneously maintain integrity in their treatment of murder not sanctioned by the state. How can you uphold the intensity of a crime that erases a human life when you practice discipline that enacts the same thing?

Finally, I was struck by nearly instantaneous attempts by the Canadian Media to reduce and to simplify the nature of Kimveer Gill's character. The Toronto Star, for example, ran the headline Killer Loved Guns, Hated People. The website vampirefreaks.com was touted as inherently evil. The video game Super Columbine Massacre was alluded to as contributing to the shooter's disturbed mental state.

Is there value or truth to this reaction? How does the media react differently to violence at home and violence abroad? Are attacks such as Dawson par for the global course, or do they in fact serve to welcome Canada, even for a day, to the "real world"? Personally, I find attacks like this quite different from acts of terror (state-sponsored or no) abroad, but that doesn't mean there isn't any honesty in the comparison. Thoughts?


From: On the heather | Registered: Apr 2003  |  IP: Logged
bigcitygal
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posted 17 September 2006 10:10 AM      Profile for bigcitygal     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Catchfire, good topic.

I had a number of response to this incident, and I didn't contribute to the previous thread for a number of reasons.

In terms of the media, I very cynically believe that the first and most important message is "if it bleeds, it leads". For print media, it's about selling advertising and copies, in that order.

We are a people (in the West) in which almost everything becomes entertainment/distraction/ whatever. Distant, remote and "can't touch us". When it happens in Montreal, where some of us know people, have family there, it's a bit geographically closer, it frekas us out a bit more, but we must move it to a safe distance so we don't make the very connections that Cueball made: that other places in the world experience violence like this, and worse, everyday, and we remain remote, distant, etc.

Reducing and simplifying is what the media does. The simplistic "blame must be found" quest: "It's the video games!" "It's the internet" "It's his disconnection from society" etc etc bla bla. Bring on the experts!

And let's not forget the construction of the innocent victim, as the front page of the Sun provided for us, right on time (sorry no link). It reminded me of the media-manufactured "She said yes" during the Littleton killings, the lie that a victim was asked if she believed in god, she said yes and was killed. All made up to "prove" what "cold" killers they were.

No question, what happened was horrific and terrible. But in the immediate aftermath there's usually too much freaking out about "killers" to have a rational conversation.

Was this guy disturbed? Yes. Was he influenced by video games? Probably. Should he have not been allowed to own guns? Probably. Can we prevent the next time something like this happens? Probably not.

What we can prevent, or try to, is sending in agents of the state (soldiers) to deliberately kill those who are generally not wept for, not constructed as "innocent" and generally not given front pages of papers.

P.S. Catchfire, the US as killer/pro-capital punishment/pro-war VS murder not sanctioned by the state is worthy of it's own thread.


From: It's difficult to work in a group when you're omnipotent - Q | Registered: Apr 2005  |  IP: Logged
otter
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posted 17 September 2006 12:12 PM      Profile for otter        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
The commonality i see between the acts of Gill and the 911 guys is that they both believed that they had legitimate grievances towards the culture they attacked that were being ignored by those in government.

Another thing they share in common is that the governments of both Canada and the U.S. of Arrogance are more than willing to use force against anyone that disagrees with them whether it be their own citizens or another nation. So why shouldn't that sort of reactionary violence come home to haunt its supporters?

Therefore, the greatest failing of MSM is NOT to publish and objectively debate the concerns that motivated these attacks regardless of whether we appreciate the manner in which they were delivered or not. In fact, if the grievances where not real to these people, the attacks would probably never have happened and surely that is something worthy of our contemplation.


From: agent provocateur inc. | Registered: Feb 2006  |  IP: Logged
unionist
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posted 17 September 2006 12:47 PM      Profile for unionist     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by otter:
The commonality i see between the acts of Gill and the 911 guys is that they both believed that they had legitimate grievances towards the culture they attacked that were being ignored by those in government.

God, you're clairvoyant, aren't you?! Most people find it hard enough to read the minds of the living.

[ 17 September 2006: Message edited by: unionist ]


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Catchfire
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posted 18 September 2006 07:24 AM      Profile for Catchfire   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
A curious thing about the "type" of social animal these school shooters are (the fact that psychologists have developped a profile for someone who commits massacres at schools should tell us that these are not one-off isolated incidents,) is not what you'd expect.

First of all, they are not anti-social loners who just "hate people." On the contrary, habitually, they crave social contact, and are continually rebuffed, and hence further marginalized until they come to a group that accepts them--usually a "goth" group, a social entity that already fashions themselves society's rejects. If anything, then, one could surmise that the reason that most of these killers fall under the goth label, is because this group is more accepting, not because they want to kill people.

I don't agree with the "social misfit" capitulation. In some way, society has failed these individuals catastrophically. While I don't suggest that we'll ever know how, exactly, by reducing Kimveer with platitudes and stereotypes (there's a school killer stereotype? God, isn't this terrifying?) all we do is guarantee that this tragedy will happen again.

I believe in strict gun control, but that is not the answer to stop this kind of incident (as lefties, we don't believe in jail sentences, generally, to prevent crime, so why should we think differently here?) That said, Harper's quips about how our current gun laws didn't prevent this shooting infuriated me. If Kimveer waltzed into Dawson with the same gun as Marc Lepine, or that of the Columbine shooters, we'd be mourning a dozen deaths rather than one.

It seems to me like there's a dual motion at work where on one hand, the value of human life under late capitalism is dwindling (the causes of this are manifold, and they don't start or stop with video games: war, capital punishment, sweat shops) while a violent reaction to society's rejection of various non-normative behaviour and borderline mental illness. This tension leaves gashes in the fabric of society that open up at these terrible times. But the wound is always there.


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saskganesh
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posted 18 September 2006 07:30 AM      Profile for saskganesh     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I talked to some friends from Montreal. They of course had been exposed to many media reports.

Interestingly, they said race was not a factor/never highlighted.

Goth/vampire freaks was. But video game violence seems to be the hook (it was on CTV national news last night).

Anyhow, given the huge size and popularity of the video game industry, I don't think it will stick.


From: regina | Registered: Jun 2003  |  IP: Logged
otter
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posted 18 September 2006 12:23 PM      Profile for otter        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
I don't agree with the "social misfit" capitulation. In some way, society has failed these individuals catastrophically. While I don't suggest that we'll ever know how, exactly, by reducing Kimveer with platitudes and stereotypes (there's a school killer stereotype? God, isn't this terrifying?) all we do is guarantee that this tragedy will happen again

Absolutely Catchfire thank you for a very clear and objective analysis if the motivations behind many such acts.

Unfortunately, there are still far too many people around who choose to simply label a person as a 'nut' so that they can then disassociate themselves from any sense of societal responsibility for the carnage that ensues. And the worst instigators of such labeling are too often found to be the creators of the headlines in MSM.


From: agent provocateur inc. | Registered: Feb 2006  |  IP: Logged
SUPERSNAKE
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posted 18 September 2006 01:19 PM      Profile for SUPERSNAKE     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Catchfire:

...If Kimveer waltzed into Dawson with the same gun as Marc Lepine, or that of the Columbine shooters, we'd be mourning a dozen deaths rather than one..

First we have mind-reading, and now omniscience.

That statement is as silly as it is sensationalist.
However, if Kimveer had "waltzed" (sheesh) into the school with a steak knife, and decided to slit half a dozen throats, I'd wager there'd be six dead students instead of one.

The fact that K' shot up a school is/was a symptom of the real problem:
that guy had issues, that were never identified, so he was never helped.

And as for the media, I find it frustrating when I want to use a word like "slaughter" to describe an event wherein multiple cows/animals/people/dolphins/whatever are killed, only to discover that they've redefined it to mean murdering one person.


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Catchfire
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posted 18 September 2006 02:53 PM      Profile for Catchfire   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Omniscence? Try science.

Marc Lepine used a Ruger Mini-14 Semi-Automatic Assault rifle with .223 calibre bullets and a magazine that held 30 rounds. The Beretta Storm employed by Kimveer used pistol rounds of either 5 or 10 round clips. If he had walked in with a steak knife, as you idiotically suggest, there would be no dead, no wounded, and one Kimveer Gill in police custody.

Otherwisem I agree with you. Wholeheartedly. This shooting is a symptom, and the media tends to overblow certian aspects of the story and simplify others. That's what this thread is about. It's not about gun control, so carry on, SS. As you were.


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500_Apples
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posted 18 September 2006 03:04 PM      Profile for 500_Apples   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Catchfire thank you for a very intelligent and thoughtful post. It felt nice to read of someone identifying the problem and delineate in a way I have not been able to, without having as his prime focus grinding his personal axe on gun control, video games, gothic culture.
From: Montreal, Quebec | Registered: Jun 2006  |  IP: Logged
Geneva
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posted 19 September 2006 09:03 AM      Profile for Geneva     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
poor old Jan Wong was obviously not up to the job of interpreting Dawson:

her Globe feature Saturday regurgitated anglo paranoia about ethnic strife in Montreal being at the root of this kind of aggression, despite the total lack of connection at any level

sheesh

several letter-writers to the Globe today, from all over the country, tore her analysis to pieces

bravo !


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SUPERSNAKE
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posted 19 September 2006 10:04 AM      Profile for SUPERSNAKE     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Catchfire:
Omniscence? Try science.

Marc Lepine used a Ruger Mini-14 Semi-Automatic Assault rifle with .223 calibre bullets and a magazine that held 30 rounds. The Beretta Storm employed by Kimveer used pistol rounds of either 5 or 10 round clips. If he had walked in with a steak knife, as you idiotically suggest, there would be no dead, no wounded, and one Kimveer Gill in police custody.

Otherwisem I agree with you. Wholeheartedly. This shooting is a symptom, and the media tends to overblow certian aspects of the story and simplify others. That's what this thread is about. It's not about gun control, so carry on, SS. As you were.


Who is the "idiot"? The person submitting an idea, or the person being insulting and deliberately obtuse?

My point, which I'll explain as if you actually didn't understand it, is that no one can know, with any degree of certainly, what would have happened had any of the circumstances been different.


From: none of your business | Registered: May 2004  |  IP: Logged
Catchfire
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posted 19 September 2006 10:08 AM      Profile for Catchfire   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Great catch, Geneva. Here's the salient sections in Jan Wong's analysis (my emphasis):

quote:
What many outsiders don't realize is how alienating the decades-long linguistic struggle has been in the once-cosmopolitan city. It hasn't just taken a toll on long-time anglophones, it's affected immigrants, too. To be sure, the shootings in all three cases were carried out by mentally disturbed individuals. But what is also true is that in all three cases, the perpetrator was not pure laine, the argot for a "pure" francophone. Elsewhere, to talk of racial "purity" is repugnant. Not in Quebec.

In 1989, Marc Lepine shot and killed 14 women and wounded 13 others at the University of Montreal's École Polytechnique. He was a francophone, but in the eyes of pure laine Quebeckers, he was not one of them, and would never be. He was only half French-Canadian. He was also half Algerian, a Muslim, and his name was Gamil Gharbi. Seven years earlier, after the Canadian Armed Forces rejected his application under that name, he legally changed his name to Marc Lepine.

Valery Fabrikant, an engineering professor, was an immigrant from Russia. In 1992, he shot four colleagues and wounded one other at Concordia University's faculty of engineering after learning he would not be granted tenure.

This week's killer, Kimveer Gill, was, like Marc Lepine, Canadian-born and 25. On his blog, he described himself as of "Indian" origin. (In their press conference, however, the police repeatedly referred to Mr. Gill as of "Canadian" origin.)

It isn't known when Mr. Gill's family arrived in Canada. (But that doesn't stop Ms. Wong from drawing conclusions about his ethnic marginality) But he attended English elementary and high schools in Montreal. That means he wasn't a first-generation Canadian. Under the restrictions of Bill 101, the province's infamous language law, that means at least one of his parents must have been educated in English elementary or high schools in Canada.
To be sure, Mr. Lepine hated women, Mr. Fabrikant hated his engineering colleagues and Mr. Gill hated everyone. But all of them had been marginalized, in a society that valued pure laine.

[snip]

Mr. Gill's rampage has resonated through the anglophone community. (And the Francophones don't care?) Although Montreal is a big city, English-speaking Montreal is not. It is more like a small town, where everyone knows everyone else. (This is a laughable claim. Absolutely preposterous. On the island of Montreal alone, not including the South Shore, the anglo population is about 700 000 people. This does not include the just uner a million allophones.)


And here's a Letter to the editor in response:

quote:
Montreal -- In Jan Wong's report on the shootings at Dawson College ('Get Under The Desk' -- Sept. 16), she quotes a columnist from the Montreal Gazette as saying "three [shootings] out of three in Quebec means something." Perhaps. Ms. Wong then establishes a link between the tragic events and "the decades-long linguistic struggle" on "the once-cosmopolitan city. It hasn't just taken a toll on long-time anglophones, it's affected immigrants, too." That link is ludicrous; there is not a shred of evidence. Nor is there any evidence of her claim that talk of "racial purity" is not repugnant in Quebec while it would be in the very proper rest of Canada.

Aside from having been the acts of deranged individuals, there is no obvious connection between the actions of Kimveer Gill, Marc Lépine and Valery Fabrikant. And, by the way, Montreal is still very much a cosmopolitan city, arguably the most cosmopolitan in Canada.


Ms. Wong seems to think that these three "immigrants" are the only three in Quebec. One could easily make the argument that since Montreal is so ethnically diverse, there is an increased chance that these type of criminals (who, outside Quebec, are almost unilaterally white, lower-middle-class suburban males) would be from a different ethnic background. I would never say that Montreal's relationship to its multicultural community is perfect, and I'm not even prepared to admit that Kimveer's ethnicity didn't contribute to his severe marginality. But what an outrageous and completely unsubstantiated blanket claim that Montreal has more of an ethnic purity streak to it than the rest of Canada.

[ 19 September 2006: Message edited by: Catchfire ]


From: On the heather | Registered: Apr 2003  |  IP: Logged
Geneva
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posted 19 September 2006 01:54 PM      Profile for Geneva     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
thanks for the support Catch,

the sad thing is, the Globe had done a couple of good op-ed pieces, notably by the prof from Princeton, about peer-group pressures that motivate school shooters;
then they lost it with the Wong thing

[ 19 September 2006: Message edited by: Geneva ]


From: um, well | Registered: Feb 2003  |  IP: Logged
USP
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posted 19 September 2006 03:51 PM      Profile for USP        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Marc Lepine used a Ruger Mini-14 Semi-Automatic Assault rifle with .223 calibre bullets and a magazine that held 30 rounds. The Beretta Storm employed by Kimveer used pistol rounds of either 5 or 10 round clips. If he had walked in with a steak knife, as you idiotically suggest, there would be no dead, no wounded, and one Kimveer Gill in police custody. quote


Catchfire the term assault rifle that the media likes to bandy about for sensationalism serves no purpose. To be defined as an assualt rifle a firearm must have select fire abilities. That is it can be switched from semi automatic single shot fire to either fully automatic or burst round settings. The Ruger employed by Marc Lepine (gamil garbi) was in fact not an assault rifle. I realize that these are all semantics but its important not to allow hysteria to verbally re-engineer and rename firearms into what they arent.

As for Supersnakes thoughts about a steak knife he brings up valid points. Why do we have mass media hysteria about a lunatic who murders one person and injures others, and yet we allow Tobacco to kill almost 50000 Canadians or more a year? Furthermore why is it that if you happened to be either bludgeoned or stabbed your death doesnt warrant media introspection but rather as its not sensationalized as gunplay your death point in fact is ignored.

I would suggest that we focus on the root causes of violence and work towards eliminating them rather than try and legislate insanity and metal objects after the fact.

Emotions might run high but point in fact with $1.5 billion spent on the registry nothing has changed, nor would increased control save any lives.

Perhaps if we were truly proactive and spent the money on womens shelters, drug rehab, education and policing we could actually save lives.


From: Hamilton | Registered: Sep 2006  |  IP: Logged
Catchfire
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posted 19 September 2006 05:14 PM      Profile for Catchfire   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Again, this thread is not about gun control. You currently have, and have had in the past, several threads to say why Canadians should have the right to own weapons made to kill other people. When I made an offhand comment about magazine size, I didn't realize it would attract comments from the gun lobby like flies to shit. Supersnake did not make a "good point." I'm not even going to address it because anyone can see how assinine it is, and I'm also afraid that this thread will disentegrate into another fruitless discussion on the gun registry. Clearly, USB and SS already have plans to take it down that road. Keep telling yourself that a steak knife is the same thing as a Beretta Storm. I won't get in the way.

Geneva: I agree. Katherine Newman, the Princeton professor who studies school shootings, had some compelling insights into what leads young men to these terrible crimes. I also heard her on The Current recently.

From "The Roots of Rampage" by Katherine Newman. The Globe & Mail 15 September 2006:

quote:
Why do school shooters broadcast their intentions? They are trying to pique the attention of people they hope will embrace them as friends, but who have typically denied them the social status they crave. Shooters have spent years trying to plug themselves into peer groups that repeatedly reject them. They are not loners; they are failed joiners who have experienced exclusion on a daily basis. Some end up attaching themselves to other socially marginal cliques and this becomes the "last stand," their final attempt to find a place in the fraught world of the youth pecking order.

Interestingly, Newman draws the same conclusion as Trey Parker does in Bowling For Columbine. Newman says in the artice:

quote:
What we can do is encourage kids to back off on the bullying and harassment that sends school shooters over the edge. And we can think again about the images of manhood that promote violence or convince a teenage boy that if he isn't the captain of the football team, he is a worthless misfit.

Trey Parker, similarly belives that our institutions create an environment of peer pressure that significantly contribute to the breakdown of kids who simply cannot conform to the social norm, or who cannot partake of normative social interactions:

quote:
You believe in high school--and a lot of it is kids, but the teachers and counsellors and principals don't help things. They scare you into conforming and doing good in school by saying: "If you're a loser now, you're gonna be a loser forever."

I don't really believe that the problem stops with high school. As Newman points out, society's projection of masculinity--particularly white, heterosexual masculinity--is an unattainable goal. And when individuals with a particularly fragile psyche fail to reach this impossible image, they react in an overblown, exaggerated interpretation of manhood. And people die. I really feel that these school shootings are expressions of violence that occur in smaller doses every day in a society that dangerously privileges this image of white, heterosexual masculinity. Society is trying to tell us something, but instead, we package it in terms of gun control, video games, underground social groups like goths, and, like in Jan Wong's case, overblown xenophobia. It's scary.

[ 19 September 2006: Message edited by: Catchfire ]


From: On the heather | Registered: Apr 2003  |  IP: Logged
Who?
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posted 19 September 2006 05:35 PM      Profile for Who?     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Here's a shocker

quote:
Marc Lepine used a Ruger Mini-14 Semi-Automatic Assault rifle with .223 calibre bullets and a magazine that held 30 rounds. The Beretta Storm employed by Kimveer used pistol rounds of either 5 or 10 round clips. If he had walked in with a steak knife, as you idiotically suggest, there would be no dead, no wounded, and one Kimveer Gill in police custody.

Lepine attempted to convert his mini 14 to shoot automatically and failed miserably (semi automatics require a great deal of knowledge and machining skills to convert). His rifle was rendered to the same as a bolt action rifle (like the conventional hunting rifle) meaning after every shot he had to manually load the rifle similar to a bolt action. There was at least one individual that walked past him while he was reloading his rifle and did not attempt to disarm him while the oppurtunity was present (I cannot however pass judgement over someone who wouldn't respond swifty in that situation).

Police response time was another issue. Lepine in essence had a bolt action rifle. One gun is as dangerous as any gun.


From: Eastern Canada | Registered: Feb 2006  |  IP: Logged
USP
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posted 19 September 2006 05:38 PM      Profile for USP        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
hey Catchfire, I have not equated a steak knife with a CX4 storm nor do I intend to.

I posted to correct your misstatement on the Beretta as it serves no purpose to misslabel an item as an attempt to demonize it.

Wouldnt it be more proactive to spend the dollars and resources on social programs that actually help people rather than knee jerk actions, lacking facts, based on fear which attempt to create a sense of security by passing useless laws?

Its interesting that you mentioned gun control, perhaps you feel that it would be worthwhile to ban all firearms? To allow the goverment to confiscate and compensate firearms owners as a supposive method of curtailing violent crime? ITs also interesting that health care, social programs are regularily under funded. That art centres and cultural programs get the axe as theres not enough funds, yet some would say lets spend another billion dollars or more to get guns off the street. Would you rather the money be spent on root causes and constructive social programs that will do some good? Or would you rather that valuable resources be allocated and taken away from the above so that firearms can be taken from legal owners and they can be compensated for thier loss. With 7 million gun owners in Canada and an estimated 12 million guns you can see that many needed social programs will have to go to fund this scheme.

So what makes more sense? What keeps people safer? More stupid dollars spent on laws that criminals will not adhere to? Or money spent on proactive healthy programs that will help people and make them not want to rise up and kill their fellow citizens..

Can you not agree that you cant legislate against insanity? With that in mind, isnt the alternative ive offered that much more palatable?


From: Hamilton | Registered: Sep 2006  |  IP: Logged
Catchfire
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posted 19 September 2006 05:55 PM      Profile for Catchfire   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Holy shit. Now there's three of you. THIS THREAD IS NOT ABOUT GUN CONTROL. I am so sorry I ever referred to anything that remotely resembled a gun in any way. Please take your "arguments" to the thread called "Machine Guns" or "Why the LIEberals' Gun Registry is worse than Satan, Part XIX." This thread is about "Media Reaction/Interpretation of Dawson Shooting" and what we feel is really at the root cause of these types of outbursts.

Refer to my post where I said "I believe in strict gun control, but that is not the answer to stop this kind of incident (as lefties, we don't believe in jail sentences, generally, to prevent crime, so why should we think differently here?)" That was not meant to invite discussion on gun control good, gun control bad, but rather what it says: we need to think differently to solve these problems. I kind of want to say that with that statement, I shot myself in the foot, but that would probably spawn three more one-track minded gun lobbyists.


From: On the heather | Registered: Apr 2003  |  IP: Logged
unionist
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posted 19 September 2006 06:14 PM      Profile for unionist     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by USP:
Marc Lepine used a Ruger Mini-14 Semi-Automatic Assault rifle with .223 calibre bullets and a magazine that held 30 rounds. The Beretta Storm employed by Kimveer used pistol rounds of either 5 or 10 round clips. If he had walked in with a steak knife, as you idiotically suggest, there would be no dead, no wounded, and one Kimveer Gill in police custody. quote

First post, USP?

Just registered yesterday?

Hit the ground running, to coin a phrase, don't you?

[sniff, sniff, sniff]

Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm..........


From: Vote QS! | Registered: Dec 2005  |  IP: Logged
USP
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posted 19 September 2006 06:27 PM      Profile for USP        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
so Unionist, my post lacks merit due to my recent arrival? Or it lacks merit due to the fact that it is contrary to what you believe?

Man was born free yet he is everywhere in chains.. JJR

I would suggest you consider that, as your inability to consider diametrically opposing beliefs is in fact chaining you down.

I enjoyed reading your other posts in the thread on "machine" guns. By the way as altruistic as your sentiments are, have you considered the fact that at the end of the day your proposals havent actually saved any lives?

Is the most important fact to save lives?


As for keeping this thread on topic I will add that for the most part the media with the exception of Quebec has been quite balanced in its reaction. Focusing rather on the individual and his inability to conform to society rather than his choice of tool that he used to voice his displeasure.

I would say if anything it seems that the media has come to the realization that 10 years and a billion and half dollars later, nothing has changed..


From: Hamilton | Registered: Sep 2006  |  IP: Logged
Catchfire
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posted 19 September 2006 07:02 PM      Profile for Catchfire   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by USP:
As for keeping this thread on topic I will add that for the most part the media with the exception of Quebec has been quite balanced in its reaction. Focusing rather on the individual and his inability to conform to society rather than his choice of tool that he used to voice his displeasure.

I would say if anything it seems that the media has come to the realization that 10 years and a billion and half dollars later, nothing has changed..


Only someone who has a non-existant radar for passive-agressivity would be fooled into thinking that you are trying to keep this thread on topic. Clearly, the only person on this thread obsessed with "the choice of tool" is you and your clones.

Did any of you three dupes bother to read any paragraph in this thread that doesn't have the word "calibre" in it? The media, especially outside Quebec (The Toronto Star was mentioned by me, and Geneva brought up The Globe, two Ontario newspapers) have utterly failed to provide acurate analysis of the shooting. That's what I was hoping to discuss in this thread, but clearly I underestimated the frothing myopia of people who call a Beretta Storm a "tool."


From: On the heather | Registered: Apr 2003  |  IP: Logged
USP
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posted 19 September 2006 07:06 PM      Profile for USP        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Does denigrating me with your choice of vernacular make you feel better?

btw I subscribe to the Star and read it daily. Interestingly enough most letters have been in favour of dismantling the registry.

BTW, as I currently dont have rabies, there is very little if any froth...

[ 19 September 2006: Message edited by: USP ]


From: Hamilton | Registered: Sep 2006  |  IP: Logged
Catchfire
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posted 19 September 2006 07:14 PM      Profile for Catchfire   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Why can't you grasp the meaning of the words "not about gun control"? If you don't have anything useful to contribute, how about shutting up? Thanks.
From: On the heather | Registered: Apr 2003  |  IP: Logged
USP
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posted 19 September 2006 07:21 PM      Profile for USP        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
your problem is that you are looking for meaning for a situation that has none.. a context to base your ideas on when in fact what took place is meaningless for any that werent directly involved. You seem to want the media to give you structure and analyze this issue. Perhaps you should consider there isnt much to be said other than, lunatic shoots people then shoots himself. Its doubtful that there is a greater meaning and context to be found in analyzing it any deeper.

The media has already relegated this to small back page coverage as frankly theres more important elsewhere in the news.

BTW, try not to get so agitated at those who dont share your opinions. Its the differences that make society a better place.

and lastly the only aggression ive seen on this thread has been from you.

have a nice day


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otter
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posted 19 September 2006 08:25 PM      Profile for otter        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Catchfire, the only way to get rid of this type of bonehead is to ignore them. They crave the attention because negative attention is better than no attention at all. This is the agenda of every bully out there.

In fact, i would suggest that the kind of baiting and detracting that is going on here is an excellent example of the kind of bullying and antagonizing behaviour that contributes to the isolated, marginalized and angry personalities we have been discussing.

[ 19 September 2006: Message edited by: otter ]


From: agent provocateur inc. | Registered: Feb 2006  |  IP: Logged
unionist
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posted 19 September 2006 08:32 PM      Profile for unionist     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
[sniff sniff sniff...]

YUP!!! I thought so.


From: Vote QS! | Registered: Dec 2005  |  IP: Logged
Geneva
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posted 20 September 2006 01:32 AM      Profile for Geneva     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Jean Charest gets involved in Globe today:

Narrow-minded analysis
JEAN CHAREST

Premier of Quebec

Last Wednesday, Montreal was the site of a tragic event that has deeply troubled all Quebeckers. On Monday, students courageously returned to Dawson College in the hope that their hospitalized schoolmates would soon join them. We share their pain and sadness.

The recent events at Dawson College seem to defy all logic. These events have brought back painful memories for all of us in Quebec, as well as for people in the United States, France, Ireland, Russia and all other nations who have experienced similar tragedies in recent years. This tragedy is certainly reminiscent of the shootings that took place in downtown Toronto on Dec. 26, 2005.

In this kind of situation, anyone who ventures to put forward explanations or comparisons at the very least risks making a fool of himself. Jan Wong has certainly discredited herself with her gamble.

I was shocked and disappointed by the narrow-minded analysis published on Saturday, Sept. 16 ('Get Under The Desk'), in which Ms. Wong sought to identify the affirmation of French culture in Quebec as the deeper cause of the Dawson College shootings and the killings at École Polytechnique in 1989.

Quebeckers make up less than 3 per cent of the North American population. Over the centuries, through the vicissitudes of history, we have managed to preserve our language and culture and, in so doing, cherished the highest democratic ideals. Every year, we welcome tens of thousands of individuals from the four corners of the Earth, people who contribute to building a free society in Quebec, a society that is proud of its difference.

Our common language -- far from a blemish on our city, as Ms. Wong incorrectly asserts -- represents a vital part of Montreal's cosmopolitan character and is what makes Quebec unique in North America.

Because we speak French, because we are proud of our language, and because it is the first instrument of our freedom, we have reached out across oceans, built ties with the other nations, in particular with the global French-speaking community, and thereby contributed to Canadian diversity.

Ms. Wong's article is a disgrace. It betrays an ignorance of Canadian values and a profound misunderstanding of Quebec. She should have the decency to apologize to all Quebeckers.

[ 20 September 2006: Message edited by: Geneva ]


From: um, well | Registered: Feb 2003  |  IP: Logged
Geneva
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posted 20 September 2006 04:20 AM      Profile for Geneva     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
boy oh boy, is Jan Wong getting hammered:
http://tinyurl.com/q66qn

lunch, anyone ??


Everyone is entitled to his or her opinion. But the privilege of a pulpit as prestigious as The Globe and Mail carries responsibilities. One should, at the very least, explain how her opinion was arrived at, what facts it was based on. Yet, no basis for the speculation was offered. In each of the Polytechnique, Concordia and Dawson shootings, Ms. Wong observed, "the perpetrator was not pure laine" and "all of them had been marginalized in a society that valued pure laine."

Really?

Marc Lépine, the 1989 École Polytechnique killer, was the son of an Algerian immigrant and a French-Canadian mother. In an explicit letter, and to his victims just before he shot them, he explained his horrific act by his hatred of feminists. No mention whatsoever of language or race issues. All his 14 victims were women.

Valery Fabrikant, who shot four colleagues at Concordia University in 1992, was so marginalized by Québec's Bill 101 that he worked . . . in one of Québec's three English language universities! His four victims were from anglo or immigrant backgrounds. What a strange way to express his supposed anger against the pure laine. As for the Dawson College killer, Kimveer Gill did not write a word about linguistic issues on his blog, studied all his life in English schools and went on to express his frustration . . . in an English language college against young people studying in English.

One can obviously disagree with Bill 101. However, the suggestion that it was somehow to blame for murders committed by obviously deranged men is irresponsible.

[ 20 September 2006: Message edited by: Geneva ]


From: um, well | Registered: Feb 2003  |  IP: Logged
Boom Boom
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posted 20 September 2006 04:23 AM      Profile for Boom Boom     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
sidescroll!
From: Make the rich pay! | Registered: Dec 2004  |  IP: Logged
Who?
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posted 20 September 2006 04:29 AM      Profile for Who?     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
At first they seemed to focus on the goth aspect or how we didn't take the hints from the online journal.

It was refreshing to hear a psychiatrist on CBC discuss the issue followed by an expert on Internet behavior (I hadn't any idea such a thing existed )


From: Eastern Canada | Registered: Feb 2006  |  IP: Logged
Geneva
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posted 20 September 2006 04:35 AM      Profile for Geneva     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
solved !
From: um, well | Registered: Feb 2003  |  IP: Logged
USP
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posted 20 September 2006 07:53 AM      Profile for USP        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Catchfire, the only way to get rid of this type of bonehead is to ignore them. They crave the attention because negative attention is better than no attention at all. This is the agenda of every bully out there.
In fact, i would suggest that the kind of baiting and detracting that is going on here is an excellent example of the kind of bullying and antagonizing behaviour that contributes to the isolated, marginalized and angry personalities we have been discussing. OTTER


Nice rebuttal. Rather than offer any sound debate you sweep the issue under the carpet with accusations of bullying and such forth. Your elitist behaviour is sound example to your bullying ways in regards to this thread. You talk about craving attention? Attention from who, from you? I doubt it as you arent even civilized enough to even engage in friendly discussion. Does being petty really make you a better person?


From: Hamilton | Registered: Sep 2006  |  IP: Logged
Catchfire
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posted 20 September 2006 09:41 AM      Profile for Catchfire   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
USP, you are operating under the unfortunate misapprehension that you have contributed anything in this thread that neccessitates a "rebuttal." Unfortunately for this discussion and its subsequent derailment, the better and most probing part of your (and that of your clones) laughable "analysis," is the idiotic smilies you tack on the end of each post.

Anyway, I think I'm going to take otter's advice. I'm starting to remember why I hate internet discussions.

Jan Wong has yet to respond to her mulitiple critics. Really, though, has her coverage of the incident been much worse than that of her peers? Even Katherine Newman's excellent analysis stopped short of precisely identifying hyper-masculine images in our society, or more importantly, how to overcome or change them. Is such an action even possible?


From: On the heather | Registered: Apr 2003  |  IP: Logged
West Coast Lefty
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posted 21 September 2006 07:03 PM      Profile for West Coast Lefty     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Jan Wong has yet to respond to her mulitiple critics.

Apparently there is an editorial in the Globe today called "Today's Quebec" which responds to the furore over the Jan Wong piece - can somebody post a link to it? It's behind the Globe subscriber wall online and I was so furious about the Wong article that I refuse to purchase the Globe until they apologize. I sent a strongly-worded protest e-mail to Editor-in-Chief Eddie Greenspoon and have not heard back yet.


From: Victoria, B.C. | Registered: Feb 2003  |  IP: Logged
Wilf Day
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posted 22 September 2006 12:01 AM      Profile for Wilf Day     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Geneva:
boy oh boy, is Jan Wong getting hammered.

I would think twice before saying that the perceptions of a woman raised as a Chinese-Canadian minority member in Montreal are invalid.

Clearly she sees things others have missed -- for example, I had forgotten (if I ever knew) that Marc Lepine was "half Algerian, a Muslim, and his name was Gamil Gharbi. Seven years earlier, after the Canadian Armed Forces rejected his application under that name, he legally changed his name to Marc Lepine." With all the words that have been written on the Montreal massacre about violence against women, is Jan Wong the only one who noticed this background?

Does this mean that she sees ethnic angles that aren't there? I've never known her to be paranoid about ethnicity. Does she have more sensitivity to ethnicity in the Montreal context than others would? Very likely.

Has she touched a nerve? No doubt. But did she seek "to identify the affirmation of French culture in Quebec as the deeper cause of the Dawson College shootings and the killings at École Polytechnique in 1989"? Nonsense.

I'd like to know more about the anglo- and ethnic-Montreal angles. Here's a guy who went to a high school whose graduates, I'd assume, went more to Dawson than to any other CEGEP. Eight years later, he's still so mad at those who, perhaps, shunned him when he didn't get his diploma and didn't follow them, that he picks Dawson as the spot to say "goodbye cruel world" and take others with him -- to become, in effect, the first Sikh suicide bomber. (Isn't he? Who ever heard of a Sikh suicide bomber? The closest I can come is Beant Singh, killed by gunfire at the scene of the assassination of Indira Ghandi.)

I took no implication from Jan Wong's piece that he had had a "pure-laine" girlfriend who dumped him, or that he was mad at francophones as Jean Charest implies. (If he had been, he would surely have picked someplace other than Dawson College.)

I'm actually waiting for the next installment by Jan Wong. If some anglophone Montrealers have sometimes felt marginalized in the past 30 years, some ethnic Montrealers have felt doubly marginalized. These are the people Jan Wong grew up with. When the Premier of Quebec tells her these people have nothing to complain about, perhaps we ought to say "let them speak for themselves."


From: Port Hope, Ontario | Registered: Oct 2002  |  IP: Logged
Geneva
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posted 22 September 2006 01:20 AM      Profile for Geneva     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
2 thoughtful post above; thanks

you know, I also wrote a furious letter to Greenspon and all the senior editors there, saying How the hell did this piece get vetted by your editorial chain??

But what the hell, let her have her say, and the strong response and rejection of it is another legitimate point of view.

re the Globe editorial, it is short and I will try to cut some the germane portions; they sort of waffle, without throwing their own writer overboard

also, a very good letter today about the probablilites of 2 (not three) random shooting things in one large city (not outside realm of statistical probability)


From: um, well | Registered: Feb 2003  |  IP: Logged
Geneva
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posted 22 September 2006 01:31 AM      Profile for Geneva     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
from Globe editorial:

[...] Was there something in the politics of identity that further aggravated the obvious marginalization and alienation of the shooters?

When a journalist poses such questions, especially during a period of heightened sensitivity, outraged reactions are not unexpected. Hundreds of letters to the editor have arrived and no less than the Premier of Quebec and the province's leading editorialist have been given space to take issue with the article. [...] The strongly held view is that the portrayal was an inaccurate depiction of contemporary Quebec.

Governor-General Michaëlle Jean, a Haitian immigrant to Quebec, obviously feels neither marginalized nor alienated. She stands as a glimmering symbol of an optimistic and confident Quebec -- one increasingly open to all. She recently decried the outmoded mindset of the two solitudes and counselled instead that "we learn to see beyond our wounds, beyond our differences."

We must not, in the process, ever lose sight of the need to ask hard questions and explore uncomfortable avenues. By the same token, it would be remiss to forget that today's Quebec is not the Quebec of yesteryear.


From: um, well | Registered: Feb 2003  |  IP: Logged
Geneva
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posted 22 September 2006 01:52 AM      Profile for Geneva     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
interesting letter today:

Flawed question
RICHARD S. LEVY

Montreal -- Jan Wong ('Get Under The Desk' -- Sept. 16) could have avoided all the flak for her far-fetched answer to the question of why three out of three shootings happened in Quebec had she realized how flawed the question was.

Lumping together the 1989 Polytechnique, 1992 Concordia and 2006 Dawson shootings is wrong-headed. The Concordia shooting was a workplace murder; it was not random and particular professors were targeted. Nor were the rampages in Montreal "two out of two," since a random killing at a school in Taber, Alta., by a disaffected student occurred in 1999. Since one Canadian in nine lives in greater Montreal, the likelihood of a school shooting there is much greater than in Taber, population 7,500.

I asked University of Toronto professor Jeffery S. Rosenthal, author of Struck by Lightning: The Curious World of Probabilities, for his view. He replied: "If the three events can all be lumped together, then that does provide some evidence of something more than random chance. However, lumping just two of them together does not. It is borderline at best to lump them all together in the first place."

So, if the question is flawed, the answer will be too.


From: um, well | Registered: Feb 2003  |  IP: Logged
Catchfire
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posted 22 September 2006 09:36 AM      Profile for Catchfire   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Wilf Day, the problem with Jan Wong's article is not the fact that she introduces racial marginalization as contributing to Kimveer Gill's attack. In fact, I mentioned above that this is likely one of many probable causes to his state of mind. The crime of Jan Wong's article (aside from the frequent annoyances of referring to Montreal as a "once-cosmopolitan city,") lies in her insulting conclusion that the idea of racial purity is somehow more acceptable in Quebec than it is elsewhere in Canada. She also reveals startling ignorance about the cultural climate in Quebec when she absurdly refers to English-speaking Montreal as "more like a small town where everybody knows everybody else." There are upwards of 700 000 anglophones in Montreal, not including the communities on the South Shore or Laval.

She may have grown up in Quebec in a more polarized climate, but things have changed considerably in the thirty years since Jan Wong was a resident of Montreal. It's not that Quebec is perfect in its treatment of new minority immigrants, but I would argue that it is considerably better at it than many less urban areas of Canada (and Quebec).


From: On the heather | Registered: Apr 2003  |  IP: Logged
Geneva
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posted 22 September 2006 10:46 AM      Profile for Geneva     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I agree; times havve changed, for the better

there was a time, for example, when having Italian- or Portuguese- or Spanish-speaking PQ activists and candidates would have been unthinkable

no more


From: um, well | Registered: Feb 2003  |  IP: Logged
Wilf Day
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posted 23 September 2006 09:16 AM      Profile for Wilf Day     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Catchfire:
It's not that Quebec is perfect in its treatment of new minority immigrants.

Certainly Jean Charest agrees. To quote the Quebec Government's electoral reform proposals:
quote:
Currently, about 20% of the Québec population declares itself to be of non-French origin. Although the political representation of minorities is slowly improving, there are at present, in the National Assembly, only 9 MNAs of minority background, i.e., 7% of all MNAs. There is consequently an underrepresentation that should be corrected. First, the parties would see their annual allowance increased when they field a significant percentage of minority candidates. Second, reimbursement of election expenses would be increased for minority candidates who receive at least 15 % of the vote. This measure could be partly combined with the incentive for political parties to recruit more women candidates (see fact sheet #4). The higher of the two increases in annual allowance would be the one given and a further 5% increase would be added. Minority women candidates of a political party that has reached the thresholds for both measures would be entitled to the higher reimbursement of election expenses.

And then the excellent Citizens' Committee said more was needed. (Its eight members included Mustapha Acharid from Laval, with origins in Morocco.) It noted that the unemployment rate of members of the black community is 17.1%, more than double that of the whole of Quebec, although that community has a slightly higher percent of persons holding university diplomas.

It said minorities should be defined as aboriginals, members of visible minorities, those whose mother tongue was neither French nor English, and a criterion related to birthplace.

It proposed four things. First, that the annual incentives be to parties who get minority candidates elected, not just nominated in unwinnable seats. Second, that the increased reimbursement of election expenses be for minority candidates who receive at least 5% of the vote, not 15%. Third, that Montreal be one region with a single list, not six mini-regions with six short lists.

But fourth, and most remarkably, instead of recommending an "open list" model as most people expected a Citizens' Committee to do, they recommended closed lists for an express reason: so that political parties can place minority candidates in good positions on the list in order to ensure their election. Despite the recent success of the Bloc in recruiting and electing minority MPs in Montreal, there's a long history of party members and voters rejecting minority candidates in Montreal, and the Citizens' Committee didn't trust the citizens to elect minorities.

I didn't hear Jean Charest accusing them of being unaware of the cosmopolitan reality of modern Montreal.


From: Port Hope, Ontario | Registered: Oct 2002  |  IP: Logged
Catchfire
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posted 23 September 2006 11:13 AM      Profile for Catchfire   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
While you and I, Wilf Day, would have little disagreement when it comes to electoral reform and the crisis of representation regarding women and minorities in government, you are drawing a false correlation--or perhaps more accurately, a correlation burdened with more significance than it can support--between Quebec's parliamentary representation and Jan Wong's argument that Quebec, more than any other province in Canada exhibits an inherent white-supremacy racism. Taking your example, is the situation any different elsewhere in Canada?

Furthermore, as you are well aware, FPTP makes it exceedingly difficult to elect minorities (which, in itself, should add further weight to recent successes in this regard, particularly the election of Vivan Barbot (Papineau) and Yolande James (Nelligan)). In the last municipal election, Tremblay's slate ran 33 members of visibile minorities out of 104 seats. The turnout of municipal elections is democratically criminal, and minority candidates are already at a disadvantage--hardly incentive for underrepesented minorities to get their vote out. That said, political representation is hardly the only, or even the best watermark with which to view cultural integration.

But above all, Jan Wong, who calls herself a Quebecker after having lived most her life in Toronto, used cursory empirical evidence to connect three shootings differentiated by motive, climate, and situation and supported it with personal grudges 30 years out of date. Unlike yourself, she uses exactly zero evidence to support her serious accusation, and yet feels that this is sufficient to report that the shootings were caused by a prevalent racial purity model in Quebec. Lastly, thes claims were not made in the editorial pages, but offhandedly in a feature ostensibly recounting what really went on inside the school.

Racism exists in Montreal, and seriously. But dragging outdated 1970s politics into the current political climate smacks more of unpicked bones than of serious cultural critique.


From: On the heather | Registered: Apr 2003  |  IP: Logged

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