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Friday Rant: “NAFTA-gate”

I don’t think this will be a regular feature, as this isn’t a political blog, but everyone’s talking about it, and it’s like nails across the blackboard to me.

At issue is the “leaked” memo from Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s Office which surfaced recently and its comments about U.S. Presidential hopeful Barack Obama’s plans to re-negotiate NAFTA (The North American Free Trade Agreement.) The “scandal” here is that by making these comments, Canada interfered with another sovereign state’s election process, a clear threat to democracy.

I have three four problems with this:

1. This was an internal memo that wasn’t supposed to go public. People have opinions. People with opinions sometimes work for government. Private memos between people with opinions have no place being publicized as official government position or opinion.

2. The U.S. doesn’t listen to anything we or anyone else has to say anyway, especially about their elections (and rightly so – neither would any other sovereign nation).

3. This isn’t the Presidential election. It’s the Democratic Primary. They’re determining a candidate, not a President.

4. For the love of everything good on this Earth, The Watergate scandal involving U.S. President Nixon happened over 35 years ago. Why, oh, WHY must we continue to call anything semi-scandalous that pisses people off x-gate? From Nipplegate to Skategate, it’s silly, inane, and clichéd.

I admit this post was mostly to get item number four above off my chest. I try not to get into politics too much.

Have a great weekend everyone!

Tim Ayres


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