Thursday, July 11, 2013

The Harper Regime's War on the Maple Leaf

I have no idea why Stephen Harper and his Con minions have such a love affair with royalty.

I have no idea why they want to turn us into a colony again. Or make us more British than the British.

But I do know that Peter MacKay is an absolute idiot, whether he wears a crown or not.

And that this is outrageous.

As part of the ongoing image makeover of the military, Defence Minister Peter MacKay announced Monday that the army will replace the Maple Leaf rank designation on the shoulder boards of officers with the traditional "pips" and Crowns in a nod to the country's past

"This takes nothing away from the Maple Leaf," he said. "There are other places which the Maple Leaf is honoured. This in no way diminishes Canadian identity, and I would suggest we are returning to the insignia that was so much a part of what the Canadian Army accomplished in Canada's name."

For ask yourself, as Kyle at Blunt Objects does, what looks more Canadian?

And the answer is OBVIOUS. And sadly so is the reason the Cons are declaring war on the maple leaf.

Just because Stephen Harper is so crazed, and so partisan, and so determined to destroy the Liberal Party, what the Liberals put on, he would take off. Period.

And of course if it pleases his rabid dominionist base, or the geezers at the Legion, by making our history sound more royal and more warlike, so much the better eh?

And if it turns off Quebecers, and all the others who don't genuflect before royalty, or guts our modern identity, or tells young Canadians that we need to travel back to the past to figure out who we are.

And that pips and crowns are better than the maple leaf that so many of us wear so proudly...

Well that's just too bad, because those kind of Canadians don't vote for the Cons.

Oh boy. You know I'm all for honouring the sacrifices of the past. But dressing up our soldiers in the manner of our former colonial masters, strikes me as both bizarre and totally PATHETIC.

And I wonder how many Canadians realize how long and how hard it was for this young country to assert itself as more than just a colony, or an adjunct of Britain.

Or how much damage Stephen Harper is doing to the modern fabric of Canada, for no good reason, by dragging us back in time. And demeaning himself and his country.

For a man who vowed to "Stand up for Canada", Stephen Harper has knelt to all glyphs reminiscent of his favourite founding colonizer nation.

Minister MacKay also claims the move strengthens the bond with the past. An obsession with the colonial past seems to be a recurring theme amongst Tories. Ah, the good ol' days! Before multiculturalism, official bilingualism, women's rights, and all those pesky policies that bequeathed Canadians' glowing hearts. It behooves a civilized society to respect its past without returning to it.

But I do know that I will not vote for a party that doesn't promise to put the Maple Leaf back on EVERYTHING, as soon as the Cons are defeated.

I know that this country doesn't need to borrow any symbols from any other country to celebrate its own unique identity.

I know that we are not British, we are CANADIAN.

And that this is the simple but incredibly powerful and amazingly beautiful red and white symbol of The Great White North...

The one that means CANADA. The one that unites us all. The Maple leaf FOREVER.

And try as they might Stephen Harper and his Royal Con Colonials will NEVER change that.

So they can take their pips and their crowns and their royal jello, and all their old wars, and shove it where the sun don't shine.

Or save it for their chappies.

And their la dee da.

Or their jolly good show...

Because I'd rather remember the modern, decent, peacekeeping Canada we were building until Stephen Harper set out to destroy it.

Oh boy. Did you ever think we would have to defend even the maple leaf from those hideous Cons and their depraved leader?

I didn't either eh? No sane person could have imagined anything so CRAZY. 

Who do they think we are?

Send the whole treasonous gang back to the past where they belong. 

And tell the mad king to take a HIKE...

Click here to recommend this post at Progressive Bloggers.


  1. Yeah well said. Particularly in WW1 the British used us as disposable cannon fodder in battles they didn't want to fight. Why the hell would we honour them by aping their military's rank systems and traditions?

    Even in WW2 they kept up that "tradition" at Dieppe.

    We earned the right to our own at Vimy, the Somme, Ypres, Juno and Dieppe.

    1. hi Daniel...yes indeed, why would we want to ape another country's military? Especially since we have spent years building up our own identity, and as you point out we have more than earned the right to wear our own. I'm not anti-British. How could I be when my mother was born in England? But I just think it's about we celebrated ourselves, and the maple leaf is a GREAT symbol...

  2. Anonymous7:43 AM

    It's the stupidest thing I have ever seen and I am pretty old so I have seen a lot of stupid things.

    1. hi anonymous... I agree with you completely, it makes absolutely no sense at all. And as I said in the post, I find it demeaning. I can't understand why all Canadians, including those in the military, feel the same way I do. But then I visited a Con website and saw that they were celebrating, and some were even suggesting we should get rid of the Maple Leaf flag. Which is when I saw red eh?
      And wrote this post. Who do they think they are? How dumb can they be? And enough is ENOUGH...

  3. Simon, it's the 'colony' angle that drives the CONS, I'm sure. And, as I've said many times before, I had an inkling what these rejects and retreads were up to when they jumped from our ONT government to the national big league. And when McKay sold us out to US libertarians like Flanagan and then weasled into power with Finley, Brodie etc. using the dirtiest Republican tricks in the book (that they wrote) it made me sick. Seriously, sick...

    1. hi Linda... The main reason is that Harper wants to destroy the Liberal legacy, in his crazed desire to destroy the Liberal Party. It's that cheap and grubby.
      It's an obsession, a fetish as Kyle called it. And ever since he was in high school and tried to eliminate the student council, Harper has always been more consumed with destroying rather than building things. There may be some political points to be scored for this, by appealing to the colonial nostalgics, but not many. Which only makes the move even more absurd, and makes Harper look even crazier...

  4. Anonymous8:42 AM

    My grandfather was a motorcycle dispatch rider in the first world war and got to see the front lines, up close and personal like. My father was a bomber pilot in the second world war and came within twenty thousand feet of visiting Berlin. And they were, first and foremost, Canadians. They were proud of the maple leaf and they were proud to wear it. They both became pacifists in their later years and they both thought the legion was for deluded idiots. They would not take kindly to this return to colonialism and the desecration of the beloved maple leaf.

    I'm not sure which constituency the Harperites are trying to please (win votes from, that is). I'm beginning to think that the Harperites are not crazy, just stupid.

    1. hi grandfather also had a habit of visiting Berlin and other Nazi cities from a height of twenty thousand feet, or lower because he was a pathfinder. He taught me almost everything about war (which he hated) and I can only imagine what he would have thought of this asinine move. The maple leaf is a fantastic symbol that all Canadians, of all political stripes or backgrounds can relate to. It helps bind this country together, and should not be tampered with by any government. But then remember this is Harper's baby, so the move isn't just irrational, it's totally crazy...

  5. What next, do away with the CBC and feed us BBC programs. Replace the Canadian passport with a British one, set up Canadian embassies as a subsidiary wing of the British embassies overseas? The Harper government has already made some progress on the latter initiative.

    What's Harper trying to do, resurrect the British empire, with Canada as one shiny jewel in the imperial crown? As for his "rabid dominionist base" in Alberta, with family names such as Klein and Stelmach eagerly reminiscing over their claimed British heritage, it is all quite pathetic. They certainly have an identity crisis as all their major cultural events, including the much publicized Calgary Stampede, points to cultural identification with American western mythology and American models of government, including the Reform obsession with an elected Senate.

    It is intentionally divisive as a policy, as if the Government of Canada is deliberately going out of its way to introduce changes to Canada's institutions which will invite protest from the Quebec government and then use such animosity it has introduced between regions and different cultural heritages as a background to wage an election campaign on the theme Quebec versus the rest of Canada...

    1. hi Rene... as I told the other commenters I can't understand this move, except in the crassest political sense, because it's just crazy. But yes it is divisive, and Harper may be hoping it will help him play us against them (Quebec)in the next election. Because as you know I believe that's what he is planning to do, and he is capable of ANYTHING. Although by now the reason doesn't really matter. I just look at that pathetic little man and think: Wow, what weirdo. And when can we get rid of him?

  6. Speaking of which, have you seen this Garnotte caricature from Le Devoir? No need to speak French, though Stevie is reading his own "History of Canada" in front of the Tory Blue and white maple leaf and matching lawn furniture.

    There is a confusion betweenthis and the US models of government, as down there, unlike in any other country, "red" states are on the right and "blue" to the left...

    And this is a damned waste of money. Aren't there any railway lines they could inspect instead?

  7. hi lagatta...No I hadn't seen but it's a good one, and so true. Like the Cards in Alice and Wonderland who painted the roses red, he would paint us blue. I mean just look at that plane of his, and the stage at the Canada Day celebrations. He is actually trying to brainwash us into thinking that's the colour of Canada. The man must think we're fools. Fool us once shame on him. Fool us twice shame on us...

    P.S. Are you daring to insinuate that I read the snobby Le Devoir? Seb does that not moi. I want you to know that I learned to read French by reading Allo Police !!!!! ;)

  8. Anonymous2:29 AM

    Psst. They ain't no hofenstafens

  9. Harper once let it slip that he believes he "makes all the rules." Clearly this is another case in point. Harper is an Anglophile so he feels perfectly entitled to inflict his views on the rest of the country, regardless of what Canadians may think.

    Harper once railed against this kind of corruption, saying First-Past-the-Post produced a "benign dictatorship." It looks like he's Ok with it, as long as he's the "dictator."

    Democratic Voting Canada

  10. I find this "forward to an idealized past" notion all very puzzling indeed. I'm not sure what all the Con fuss was about. Back when I was in an Armoured Reserve Regiment the term "trooper" was frequently used instead of private.....and that was back in '96/'97. So I don't see the point of spending all this money when the guys (and gals) in my troop were already using this term. It never really disappeared.

    Another interesting thing was that I was watching a video of archaeological excavations at Vimy Ridge and it was interesting to see all the maple leafs carved in the chalk down in the tunnels that were built by Canadian boys from all over the country. Clearly the maple leaf had a special meaning to these soldiers and this was many years before we officially adopted the maple leaf on our flag. Why then the government would choose to ditch this icon in favor of archaic colonial symbolism smacks of petty politics to me.

  11. hi Way Way Up...I don't mind bringing back old names, especially when as you point out they are used all the time. It's taking the maple leaf off that make me mad. Or drives me bonkers as they say in Britain. ;)
    It's interesting to know that our soldiers carved the maple leaf into the chalk so long ago. But then why should we be surprised eh? When it says US and it's so beautiful...

  12. Good day! Nicholas Young here. . . I feel that the return to crown and pips is a good thing for historical and cultural reasons. The Republic of India has retained these rank insignia, and I feel that Canadians should remember that our past does not prevent us form having a distinct future. A 'maple-leaf-pip' would be a nice thing to see, but that will be for another day. Having said all this, the 'tally ho chappies' line is very funny; I cannot imagine any Canadian talking like this! Even for the British it's a bit over the top! Toodle-oo!

    1. Anonymous2:50 AM

      India does not still wear British rank. Even India nationalized the symbols. Canada is probably the only country to have de-nationalized its insignia.

  13. Anonymous2:45 AM

    Harper succeeded in replacing Canadian Maple Leafs with The Star of British Knights as the "pip" in Canadian army ranks. He has now moved on to tackling the flag itself. He is investing insignificantly to recognize the 50th anniversary of our flag, especially when compared to the millions he spent on parties for the war of 1812.