Saturday, October 06, 2007

Unbelievably petty partisanship on display in Afghanistan today

So what are we looking at today on the Harper government partisanship front? Maxime Bernier and Bev Oda in Kabul to visit with Hamid Karzai. Well isn't that a coincidence. The Liberal Defence critic will be in Afghanistan shortly as well although he's been made to hitch a ride and find his own way.

What's really unbelievable is that they would deny the Defence critic for the Opposition the chance to attend along with these Ministers if Bernier and Oda's trip had been well planned in advance, in order to ensure his safety and as a matter of the petty domestic partisanship being left at home. Coderre instead is having to tag along on a U.N. flight into Kandahar. And it certainly appears that he could have been accommodated along with these Ministers had the Conservatives been willing to permit it. They didn't. What possible reason could they have for excluding Coderre in the context of a visit to a dangerous country like Afghanistan? In some situations, partisan politics have no place and this is certainly one of them, reasonable people would think. The CTV report hints at the quickly put together nature of the Conservatives' trip:
Bernier and International Co-operation Minister Bev Oda arrived in Afghanistan overnight for a whirlwind tour.
And there's agreement on the partisan motives of the Conservatives:
Military analyst Sunil Ram told Newsnet that the timing of the Conservatives ministers' visit "smacks of petty politics.

"I think they've made a great mistake initially denying the Liberals the chance to come and visit Afghanistan with their defence critic. The result is they have created somewhat of a tempest in the teapot. Had they ignored this issue, it may have simply gone away," Ram said.

"Now it looks like they are potentially trying to stop the Liberals from upstaging their current mission in Afghanistan."
Once more we have to ask ourselves, is this the kind of leadership we want in Ottawa? That is willing to exclude the opposition from legitimate fact finding missions overseas and leave them to fend for themselves in a war torn country?