Why should a politician apologize for having an opinion, regardless of that opinion?

A federal politician, a conservative MP (official opposition), dared to express an opposition-related opinion. Now, his party under the weak leadership of Mr. Andrew Scheer is questioning his comments about Dr. Tam and asking him to apologize. He was even accused of being racist, a classical accusation in today’s society. Bambi knows something about this accusation for having been labelled racist herself ?. Same for her spouse, ironically for having said that it would be good to treat everyone equally. What a racist couple ?!:

In politics, as in in life, a citizen is supposed to have a brain in order to use it. Yes, using one’s brain to think, confront ideas with others, make own mistakes, and to learn from the latter. Not use our brains just to repeat clichés of trendy opinions, without much thought.

On this blog, Bambi has constructively (at times maybe severely) criticized politicians, in Canada, in Lebanon, in Québec, in New Brunswick, in Sackville, etc. Specifically, she has allowed herself to write posts about the work of Mr. Trudeau, Ms. Hajdu, Dr. Tam. Concerning Mr. Trudeau, she allowed herself to express unfavourable (she has much to say here) as well as favourable comments (she has the decency to acknowledge/applaud the good work). She has also made jokes or sarcastic comments about Mr. Scheer more than a couple of times. As far as Lebanon is concerned, she has written several posts during the revolt and more recently. She even reported on the excellent work of the new Lebanese government concerning covid-19. One must know how to give to Cesar what belongs to Cesar, even when we are not fond of that Cesar.

Anyhow, what we have witnessed today is hypocrisy within the Conservative Party of Canada. As mentioned above, one of its MPs, called Mr. Derek Sloan, expressed concerns about Dr. Tam’s work. He wondered if she has been more loyal to the  Chinese or to the World Health Organization (WHO)’s interests; the latter being “hijacked” partly by China, partly by countries that China tries to invest in, namely some African countries, etc.

Now, Mr. Sloan’s party is asking him to apologize for having expressed his opinion. He seems to refuse to do so. At least, thus far, he seems to have the guts not to do so… because frankly, why should he apologize? We may agree with him or not. Why can’t we leave it there? Why should we always censor and/or foster self-censorship?

Without having ever heard of this Mr. Derek Sloan in her life before, Bambi recalls having posted on this blog a thoughtful commentary by her friend Aline A. on Lebanon a few months ago (see below): In it, Aline A. literally used similar words to those used by this politician:

“… Add to this, how we as Lebanese, are sometimes like double agents, serving the interests of foreign countries more than our own. Perhaps some were tempted by this or that reward from this or that external force. They even changed their policies accordingly. This politician works for Iran. The other for Saudi Arabia. Yet another for the United States. Some even work for this and that at the same time.”:

Was Ms. Aline A. being “racist” against Lebanese politicians? Of course, not ?. It is called voicing an opinion or having critical thinking. Something we are discouraging in Canada nowadays. We may agree with Aline or not. We may tell her: This is your opinion. We do not share it.

Same for this Mr. Sloan. We can tell him, this is your opinion, period.

In the past, politicians and some journalists labelled another federal politician, Mr. Maxime Bernier, “racist” because his opinion differed on a certain topic. He finally was not re-elected. The irony is that his new party includes people from all sorts of ethnolinguistic or religious backgrounds. Some citizens voted for him (Bambi was one of them), because they saw in him the hope of a change of this mindset.

Anyhow, Bambi has news for those politicians who are asking this MP to apologize: She is not OK with their request of asking the Liberals to fire Dr. Tam, even if she was the first to criticize Dr. Tam, Ms. Hajdu, and Mr. Trudeau himself. She even joked that our PM should have not been re-elected in the first place ?. She is saying so, even if he makes good decisions from time to time. Even if Dr. Tam is fired, our issues will not be solved.

Indeed, Canada, and the rest of the world, need to learn from this tragic pandemic not to be commercially (perhaps even also ideologically for some of us?) too dependent on China. It is not normal that a large percentage of the world’s medication and hospital safety supplies (e.g., for surgeries, etc.) are made in China.

Furthermore, regardless of China or Dr. Tam, the tragedy of our world is that inspiring politicians are rare to find. We rather see mediocre public servants, both Mr. Scheer and Mr. Trudeau are part of them, with all due respect to both. Why can’t people, politicians or not, stand up for their values, have independent opinions, refrain from accusing others of being traitors (or racists!), just for having a different opinion.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *