February 2, 2001
It's important to know where you stand.
These days no one ever wants to take a stand in case they're
wrong or offend someone.
Me? I've never been afraid to offend.
Take my friend's wedding for example. I was standing next to
the bridesmaid during the speeches. The man at the microphone
was blubbing and slurring his speech. He was well lubricated.
"Guess it's not a wedding until
the drunk makes a fool of himself," I said to the bridesmaid,
trying to make light of the general embarrassment.
"That's my father," she said
icily. Suddenly my comments were less appropriate than Stockwell
Day's - and not a taxpayer in sight to bail me out.
It's just the God-given ability to say
the wrong thing at the wrong time. Call it a gift, but it hasn't
kept me from taking stands both for and against.
For example, there's the recent tragedy
of the drunken Russian diplomat who ran down and killed an innocent
woman in Ottawa, and then claimed diplomatic immunity to escape
prosecution here for his cowardly crime.
I understand the importance of diplomatic
immunity, and how it protects Canadian diplomats abroad from
unjust harassment by less enlightened countries.
Knowing that, I'm all for letting that
Russian diplomat go home. I'm also all for him being met when
he arrives at the Moscow airport by one of our own diplomats
- preferably driving a speeding Volvo towards him across the
airport parking lot and waiving his own Canadian diplomatic immunity
I'm all for freedom of expression. It's
vital to a democracy that ideas and opinions be freely expressed
and exchanged, no matter how loopy or offensive. Free speech
is designed to protect those we disagree with most.
What I am against is pedophiles suggesting
that possessing child pornography is somehow a freedom of expression
issue. It's not, and the Supreme Court of Canada (with the greatest
respect) is wrong to open that door even a crack. There's nothing
preventing them (the pedophiles I mean, not the Supreme Court)
from holding their beliefs or arguing their position - as long
as they don't act on it.
Gay marriage? I'm going to get in trouble
on this one. Why the heck not? With a 50% divorce rate, it's
not like the heterosexual community has done such a hot job upholding
the family unit and the sanctity of marriage. The fire and brimstone
crowd notwithstanding, I have a hard time denying any Tom, Dick
and/or Harry the joys of marital bliss - namely sorting the laundry
and then falling asleep in front of the TV at 10:30 instead of
dancing all night at a club.
Separatism? Against, whether it's the
Quebec or Alberta version. Everyone is better off in this country
than out of it.
I'm for the opinion expressed by soon-to-be
Quebec Premier Landry. We should not be offering taxpayers' dollars
to Quebec to put up the Canadian flag. Rather, we should be taking
the offensive dollars away it if they don't.
Buying someone's love never works, but
you can be sure that they'll miss you when you (and your money)