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Douglas Bell

Losing our good name Add to ...

Today's New York Times features a glowing review of an SCTV retrospective. The last few lines I found to be particularly resonant:

SCTV material has been available to those willing to look, but it is far less familiar than the Saturday Night Live sketches from the same era. And it's far more deadpan; no Chevy Chase doing pratfalls as President Gerald Ford here. This is Canada's slightly detached perspective on its loud, opulent neighbor to the south.

Ain't it the truth? Whenever we're at our best it's usually because we've demonstrated a certain reserve in the face of or in contradistinction to the general caterwauling to the south of us. Rememeber Abu Ghraib? That "incident" was about a hundred times worse than anything Richard Colvin could even imagine, though not that far off the crimes our soldiers committed in Somalia.

At this point Stephen Harper needs to take the politics out of the equation. Norman Spector is dead right. We need an inquiry in which calmer heads can prevail. It needs to be led by someone whose reputation is above reproach and moreover who is seen to embody the better angels of our nature. Here's a few names to start:

Peter Lougheed, Roy Romanow, Roy McMurtry, John Crosbie, Charles Taylor, Michael Marrus.

Canada's reputation internationally is taking a battering. We can't afford to lose our good name even once.

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