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Author Topic: Does Harper agree with Flanagan?
Sharon
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posted 23 June 2004 05:52 PM      Profile for Sharon     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Tom Flanagan is a senior advisor to Conservative leader, Stephen Harper. He has spoken against Canada's Constitution as it relates to Aboriginal peoples and rights and has argued that the best approach for Aboriginal policy is full and outright assimilation. Aboriginal leaders take exception to his views and wish to know what role, if any, Flanagan will play in the Conservative Party if it forms the government.

Full story


From: Halifax, Nova Scotia | Registered: May 2003  |  IP: Logged
HeywoodFloyd
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posted 23 June 2004 05:58 PM      Profile for HeywoodFloyd     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
The aboriginal leaders lost all credibility when they invoked Godwin's law.

http://tinyurl.com/2k2bk

quote:
That was the question posed to Manitoba Métis Federation president David Chartrand when he met with reporters in Winnipeg yesterday to explain why he endorses the Liberals.

He shocked some of his audience by comparing senior Conservative adviser Tom Flanagan with Adolph Hitler.

"Are you comparing Flanagan to Hitler?" asked a reporter.

"I wouldn't go that far, but, ah, if Flanagan had his way and he had an army behind him, yes, I would," Mr. Chartrand said.



From: Edmonton: This place sucks | Registered: Jun 2003  |  IP: Logged
skdadl
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posted 23 June 2004 06:08 PM      Profile for skdadl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Does Flanagan have/still have a university post?

To me, that's the first scandal, that a publicly funded university in C21 Canada would employ as an intellectual historian anyone ignorant enough to write this kind of crap:

quote:
Some thoughts from Tom Flanagan's book, First Nations? Second Thoughts. (June 2000)

* European Civilization was several thousand years more advanced than the aboriginal cultures of North America, both in technology and social organization.

* Sovereignty is an attribute of statehood, and aboriginal peoples in Canada had not arrived at the state level of political organization prior to contact with Europeans.

* Owing to this tremendous gap in civilization, the European colonization of North America was inevitable and, if we accept the philosophical analysis of John Locke and Emer de Vattel, justifiable.



From: gone | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
arborman
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posted 23 June 2004 06:57 PM      Profile for arborman     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Don't go abusing Godwin's law to deflect legitimate criticism Heywood.

The man's a racist. WHat role would he play in a Conservative government? Minister of Indian Affairs? Minister of Political Suicide? Secretary of ALienating Everybody? Cabinet Minister in Charge of destabilizing the Country?

Like it or not, Aboriginal rights are enshrined in our constitution, and have been for a very long time (King's Proclamation, ~1650).

So, answer the question. Does Harper agree with him? If not, why is he in the party with views like that? Particularly, why is he in the role he is in?


From: I'm a solipsist - isn't everyone? | Registered: Aug 2003  |  IP: Logged
HeywoodFloyd
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posted 23 June 2004 07:13 PM      Profile for HeywoodFloyd     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
WHat role would he play in a Conservative government? Minister of Indian Affairs? Minister of Political Suicide? Secretary of ALienating Everybody? Cabinet Minister in Charge of destabilizing the Country?

I assume that you're being sarcastic here. Last time I checked, one had to be elected to be a minister.

Go forbid we try to deal with the sticky aboriginal issues in Canada. Given that the current policies have done them so well, it would be almost inhumane to at least not take a sober second look at how we treat these people.

The billions of dollars poured into the reserves and to the reserve members have created third world ghettoes in which we shunt and marginalize these people. Why not just call them townships and get it over with?


From: Edmonton: This place sucks | Registered: Jun 2003  |  IP: Logged
HeywoodFloyd
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posted 23 June 2004 07:20 PM      Profile for HeywoodFloyd     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
“The reality is that if Flanagan was making these kinds of statements about any other group in Canada — Jewish, Italians, French — he would not be given a senior role in a major national party and would more likely be exiled into the political wilderness,” said AFN National Chief Fontaine.


The Jewish, Italians, & French communities are not stricken with drug & alcohol abuse, crime, poverty, health issues, and lack of self-direction in the same manner that the native reserves and their residents are. The native issue is one unique to them and therefore can be addressed specifically to them.

After all, it's not like we have a Jewish affairs department or an Italian affairs department.


From: Edmonton: This place sucks | Registered: Jun 2003  |  IP: Logged
Rufus Polson
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posted 23 June 2004 08:07 PM      Profile for Rufus Polson     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
You know Heywood, between this and your response on the child porn thing I'm really losing respect for you the last little while.
From: Caithnard College | Registered: Nov 2002  |  IP: Logged
HeywoodFloyd
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posted 23 June 2004 08:09 PM      Profile for HeywoodFloyd     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I'm not quite sure about what the problem is. We should be open to fixing the problems that the natives are having both on and off reserve and all options should be open for discussion.
From: Edmonton: This place sucks | Registered: Jun 2003  |  IP: Logged
daniel_john
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posted 23 June 2004 08:26 PM      Profile for daniel_john     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by HeywoodFloyd:
I'm not quite sure about what the problem is. We should be open to fixing the problems that the natives are having both on and off reserve and all options should be open for discussion.

It probably would help a great deal if we actually knew what the root causes of their problems are. And those of us that have studied the issue often fear that a bunch of people that don't understand their cultureS trying to fix their problems and manage their affairs is a big part of it.

These folks are asking for more self-determination. Let's assume that if we grant it, they might fix their own problems.


From: Halifax | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged
John K
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posted 23 June 2004 09:25 PM      Profile for John K        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
A couple of notes of caution.

To get a fuller picture of Flanagan's views, it is helpful to read the interview in the left column accompanying the article.

I am not prepared to call either Flanagan himself or his views racist. Controversial and uncomfortable, yes. But I've heard similar views expressed by first nations and Metis people themselves.


From: Edmonton | Registered: Nov 2002  |  IP: Logged
Venn Blender
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posted 23 June 2004 09:49 PM      Profile for Venn Blender     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by HeywoodFloyd:
The aboriginal leaders lost all credibility when they invoked Godwin's law.


Last time I checked, the "aboriginal leaders" were not a party running in a federal election. If one of them is a bigot that hardly reflects on the rest. One of the biggest problems that aboriginal people face are the facile misperceptions (intentional or ignorant) of people who just don't want to look into the history of the problems.

It is certainly a fair question to ask, what role do the non-elected functionaries play in developping party policy? Was Donald Rumsfeld elected by US citizens? His influence on American foreign policy seems pretty serious...

Liberals have done a terrible job dealing with Indigenous rights issues, Flanagan's anti-metis rhetoric and assimilationist attitude is archaic and frankly dangerous. If you want to see more civil unrest, road blocks, aboriginal-non aboriginal angst, then voting for Harper is the right track.


From: alberta | Registered: Jun 2004  |  IP: Logged
'lance
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posted 23 June 2004 10:13 PM      Profile for 'lance     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Does Flanagan have/still have a university post?

Let's just say that Flanagan's presence on the U of Calgary faculty does no credit to the U of Calgary's reputation.

Occasionally, CBC Radio here calls him up for his opinion on this or that. I typically turn off the radio when they do. It's either that or huck it across the room, which would damage both the radio and the paint.

quote:
The aboriginal leaders lost all credibility when they invoked Godwin's law.

Nazi comparisons are almost always foolish, but in this context I'd say, rather, that Stephen Harper lost such credibility as he might ever have had when he hired Flanagan.

[edited for gratuitous snipe at the U of Calgary]

[ 24 June 2004: Message edited by: 'lance ]


From: that enchanted place on the top of the Forest | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged
arborman
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posted 24 June 2004 01:30 PM      Profile for arborman     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Heywood read his comments, even just the ones quoted here.

Now, do you think the problems you refer to result from our recognition of the constitutional rights of aboriginals, or our failure to recognize them.

While you are at it, please share your opinions of the assimilationist policies like those of Flanagan. Explain, in your own words, how our past attempts at assimilation have worked (for example, the Residential school system).


From: I'm a solipsist - isn't everyone? | Registered: Aug 2003  |  IP: Logged
HeywoodFloyd
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posted 24 June 2004 02:00 PM      Profile for HeywoodFloyd     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I did read the quoted ones.

quote:
* European Civilization was several thousand years more advanced than the aboriginal cultures of North America, both in technology and social organization.

True

quote:
* Sovereignty is an attribute of statehood, and aboriginal peoples in Canada had not arrived at the state level of political organization prior to contact with Europeans.

Sure. Why not? I'll be the first to admit this isn't my area of expertise but it sounds right to me.

quote:
* Owing to this tremendous gap in civilization, the European colonization of North America was inevitable and, if we accept the philosophical analysis of John Locke and Emer de Vattel, justifiable.

Again, makes sense to me, with my above caveat still in force.

I don't think that the assimilation polices have worked in the past. On one hand, we tried to assimilate them but on the other we kept them isolated on reserves dependant on the federal goverment for their food, housing, and money.

We have treated them like wards of the state, not people capable of managing their own affairs. With few exceptions, reserves are deplorable third-world slums where hope is usually the name of a pet, not a condition that the members have.

This has to change. The gloves have to come off and everything should be open for discussion.

IF treating (note the BIG IF) them as a constitutionally seperate culture has, in part, caused this deplorable state of affairs, then it should be reviewed.


From: Edmonton: This place sucks | Registered: Jun 2003  |  IP: Logged
Mandos
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posted 24 June 2004 02:15 PM      Profile for Mandos   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Argh! Argh! Argh! You can't say "True" to a meaningless statement like that!
From: There, there. | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged
HeywoodFloyd
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posted 24 June 2004 02:21 PM      Profile for HeywoodFloyd     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Which one is meaningless?
From: Edmonton: This place sucks | Registered: Jun 2003  |  IP: Logged
skdadl
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posted 24 June 2004 02:23 PM      Profile for skdadl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I think that it's pretty meaningless to observe that aboriginal North Americans were and are not Europeans.
From: gone | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
N.Beltov
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posted 24 June 2004 02:43 PM      Profile for N.Beltov   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
"Sovereignty is an attribute of statehood, and aboriginal peoples in Canada had not arrived at the state level of political organization prior to contact with Europeans."

This seems to be part of an argument to justify colonization and the practice of making decisions "on behalf of" the First Nations.

My shots:

Sovereignty is inherent in a people. It can't be bargained away any more than one's culture can be bargained away. It's part of who we are. Put it the other way and I would agree...statehood is an attribute of the deeper thing, sovereignty.

The other thing is that Canada is a signator to all sorts of international treaties...our country is a founding member of the UN and so on. And here's a second point: there are no "more important" or "less important" nations in the sense of a right to exist and thrive. All nations are great. Period. I take that to mean that the preservation of all cultures and nations, great and small, is a matter worthy of my attention and support. Comments to the effect that aboriginal government is "wasteful" and "destructive" presumably carries with it the implication that this "wasteful" and "destructive" institution should be gotten rid of. I would look at it the other way around...we should fucking well help Aboriginal people get on their feet, in every way we can, and thank our lucky stars for this land that they share with us. I would interpret that to mean that we should be strengthening their institutions of self-government and so on.

Third point: Simple demography. In a province like Manitoba, people from First Nations will, within the century, become the majority. Isn't it wise to address their concerns in the present? Or shall we wait for a gigantic social and political explosion?


From: Vancouver Island | Registered: May 2003  |  IP: Logged
skdadl
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posted 24 June 2004 02:52 PM      Profile for skdadl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Plus, the allusion to Emeric de Vattel:

Vattel is a minor, as in itsy-bitsy teeny-weeny, figure from the C18, a popularizer of the works of German philosophers like Leibniz and Wolf. Hardly anyone has ever heard of him since his own times, and there's a reason for that.

Has anyone else ever noticed that right-wing snobs like Flanagan or the USian neo-cons just love to do this: not only do they name-drop (Locke -- and that's a highly contestable reading of Locke), but they like to toss in someone no one else has ever heard of, I guess to intimidate their audiences -- why else?

Right-wingers are so elitist, so contemptuous of the rest of us.


From: gone | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
HeywoodFloyd
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posted 24 June 2004 02:57 PM      Profile for HeywoodFloyd     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Comments to the effect that aboriginal government is "wasteful" and "destructive" presumably carries with it the implication that this "wasteful" and "destructive" institution should be gotten rid of. I would look at it the other way around...we should fucking well help Aboriginal people get on their feet, in every way we can....

I agree with you. They need help, not this paternalistic bullsh!t that we've saddled them with over the last century.

There is no reason that anyone in this country should live in ramshackle, rundown shacks with no running water or internal plumbing unless they chose to do so (caveat put in so some asshat(tm) doesn't try to compare aboriginal housing to the cottage at the lake).

I'm not particularly concerned with the whole nationhood issue. Fact is they live in canada largely at the largess of Canada. WE force them, through neglect, inherent racism, liberal guilt, or disinterest, to live in these conditions.

This has to change. Chretien believes this. Mulroney believes this. Flanagan believes this. They mightn't express their ideas in the way you like but the underlying goal is the same: to fix the condition the natives live in.


From: Edmonton: This place sucks | Registered: Jun 2003  |  IP: Logged
skdadl
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posted 24 June 2004 03:01 PM      Profile for skdadl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Um, Heywood, since you admit, honestly, that you are not any more of an expert on this issue than anyone else, why would you not propose, rather, to meet with the people themselves and listen to them, to learn what they need and aspire to?

And why wouldn't Flanagan propose a plan like that?


From: gone | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
N.Beltov
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posted 24 June 2004 03:13 PM      Profile for N.Beltov   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Just a quick point...

quote:
Originally posted by HeywoodFloyd:
I'm not particularly concerned with the whole nationhood issue. Fact is they live in canada largely at the largess of Canada.

I would strongly encourage you not to put things in this manner. "Largesse" is hardly the word I would use to describe, say, the manner in which Europeans treated the Beothuks of what is now Newfoundland. You cannot ask the Beothuks how they feel today because their "culture" has been annihilated. It is a permanent loss to humanity that can never be recovered. Who cares how small a culture? It is the human equivalent of bio-diversity, a concept heavily relied upon in enviromental discussions...


From: Vancouver Island | Registered: May 2003  |  IP: Logged
'lance
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posted 24 June 2004 03:16 PM      Profile for 'lance     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Nor is "largesse" a good word for what are, after all, treaty obligations. And treaty obligations that go unfulfilled as often as not.
From: that enchanted place on the top of the Forest | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged
HeywoodFloyd
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posted 24 June 2004 03:31 PM      Profile for HeywoodFloyd     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
why would you not propose, rather, to meet with the people themselves and listen to them, to learn what they need and aspire to?

I don't what I said that makes you think I'm excluding that. Like I said, everything should be on the table. Talk to the leaders, talk more to the individual members of the reserves.

As to everyone else muttering about my terminology, focus on the underlying message I'm trying to get across instead of the work "largess".


From: Edmonton: This place sucks | Registered: Jun 2003  |  IP: Logged
N.Beltov
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posted 24 June 2004 03:31 PM      Profile for N.Beltov   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I've just realized that there is no thread today honouring the national holiday in Quebec, St. jean-Baptiste Day. Shame on us. So I will only make one more short contribution to this thread.

"The whole nationhood issue" is worth your attention, Heywood. And it is certainly worth the attention of all "leftists" in Canada. This issue is near and dear to me since it was after reading
a book by a Quebecer by the name of Levesque that I opened my eyes to views radically different from my own.


From: Vancouver Island | Registered: May 2003  |  IP: Logged
lagatta
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posted 24 June 2004 03:40 PM      Profile for lagatta     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
N Beltov, skdadl did start a thread on La Fête nationale (calling it St-Jean-Baptiste, no longer its official name in Québec) and the Scots commemoration of Bannockburn, here: http://www.rabble.ca/babble/ultimatebb.php?ubb=get_topic&f=11&t=000861
From: Se non ora, quando? | Registered: Apr 2002  |  IP: Logged
Venn Blender
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posted 24 June 2004 10:11 PM      Profile for Venn Blender     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by HeywoodFloyd:
As to everyone else muttering about my terminology, focus on the underlying message I'm trying to get across instead of the work "largess".

The underlying message is chauvenism, expediency, and misunderstanding.

read-my-fingers: the details matter. Treaty rights are treaty rights. There was no war. In 1867 it was recognized that Indians were distinct nations and that any colonization would have to take place under negotiation.

The wealth of Canada today is largely due to massive land grabs and dirty deals through the last two hundred years. Any largesse (and yes it matters that you used that word) looks more like off-handed guilt money.

I totally agree that there are loads of problems but when you defend Flanagan, you are not defending the paladin of reform but rather a cheapskate who wants to re-write history so as not have to pay out what is due.


From: alberta | Registered: Jun 2004  |  IP: Logged
HeywoodFloyd
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posted 24 June 2004 10:59 PM      Profile for HeywoodFloyd     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I'm not defending Flanagan per se. I'm saying that writing off everything he has to say just because you don't like it does a disservice to the natives.

Every idea, no matter how bad, can be applied to a problem in order to find a solution. Part of the bad idea might work in conjunction with parts of other ideas and form a coagent solution.


From: Edmonton: This place sucks | Registered: Jun 2003  |  IP: Logged
Mandos
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posted 24 June 2004 11:22 PM      Profile for Mandos   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
They themselves write off what he has to say because it is the poisoned fruit of his ideological tree. If there is a good idea in it by chance, it has almost certainly already been articulated by someone who understands why Flanagan is wrong.
From: There, there. | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged

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