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Missing class

by Patrick Raftis

Class. It’s not something that’s been on display much of late in political circles around the globe.

Amazingly, given how far down he has already dragged the bar, U.S. President Donald Trump may have set a new low for the politically classless this past weekend by travelling all the way to Paris, France then cancelling a trip to a nearby village to pay respect to Americans buried in the Aisne-Marne American Cemetery. The White House stated the trip was cancelled “due to scheduling and logistical difficulties caused by the weather.”

Maybe so, but Trump looked even lamer than usual, as other world leaders made their commitments to honour the war dead, despite the drizzle. The Republican president, meanwhile, spent his time inside firing off insensitive tweets blaming California’s Democratic state government for forest fires that were claiming the lives of his fellow countrymen and causing historic levels of property damage, apparently oblivious to the fact forest management in the burning district is largely a federal responsibility.

Speaking of lacking class, numerous Queen’s Park correspondents are calling out the Ontario PC (stands for Progressive Conservative, not to be confused with politically correct) caucus for its new tactic of jumping up for standing ovations every time one of its members, particularly Premier Doug Ford, rises to speak on any topic. Reporters say the practice wastes time and clearly it makes the house look like a Donald Trump rally where every inanity is greeted with mindless approval. It recalls the practice of having PC staffers show up at press conferences to clap loudly while Tory ministers would duck out without answering media questions. Why does governing these days always have to be about tactics, rather than substance?

Speaking of needing some “class,” it appears some Conservative parliamentarians and government staffers should have attended a few lessons under the former Ontario health curriculum, which included segments on appropriate social media behaviour. Perhaps that’s really why the Ford government was in such a rush to pull the so-called “sex ed.” curriculum from schools - they needed every copy they could get their hands on to circulate to their MPPs and their staff. Hopefully they saved a few for their federal cousins. Might save them from Tory MP Tony Clement’s ignominious fate.

Class. Guess what? It’s not just for students.


November 16, 2018


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