Thursday, January 25, 2007

My Meeting with Stockwell

It wasn't a meeting in the understood sense. He was a guest lecturer for my 10am class, just before he gave is 11:30 press conference in the Art Gallery. They just had Stephane Dion there about a week ago, but I didn't go to see him. Probably didn't miss much.

He tried to explain 'small ell and small cee' liberalism and conservatism, but he seemed to be ignorant about the historical definitions and the shifts that both types of political talk had gone through. Still, he seemed like a genuinely nice, compassionate person, but I still wouldn't want him to become head of the Conservative/Alliance/Reform again. He also gave a good rationale for why Canada is in Afghanistan, but as one who was already convinced that it's a good thing, I doubt that anyone in the lecture hall changed their mind. At then end of his, some students asked some hard questions, which he seemed to be ready for, but expressed that these were harder questions than he was used to in the House of Commons. I was tempted to ask him about the Maher Arar case, but declined to do so since it is a source of potential embarrassment for him.

And more to the point, he was 'slammed' by outgoing U.S. ambassador David Wilkins (good riddance BTW) for questioning the decision by the U.S. government to keep Maher Arar on the 'watch list'. He would probably think nothing of telling other countries who should and should not be put on such a list and expect them to do so.

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