Should Alex Johnstone Step Down For Auschwitz Comment

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Unionist

Of course Johnstone doesn't have to resign. What a red herring. She shouldn't even need to apologize. She didn't know. End of story.

I'm surprised at her ignorance. But the real shocker is the NDP's criteria for who they are forcing out, and who they are protecting. Johnstone is harmless. Her party's politburo, not so much.

Misfit Misfit's picture

For the record, I spelled Auschwitz wrong. Sorry.

Unionist

Misfit wrote:
For the record, I spelled Auschwitz wrong. Sorry.

Don't worry about it. That's what the fucking Nazis called it anyway. The name is Oświęcim. And yes, I have family members who perished there. Ms. Johnstone is welcome to come here for some conversation if she wants to know more.

 

quizzical

ya then you aren't looking at how many the cons and libs have chucked.

Pondering

Paladin1 wrote:

Seeing NDP MPs making embarassing comments or seeing shit the posted on facebook come back to haunt them seems to be a weekly occurance.

That's the case for all parties particularly the ones with the most new candidates. No party is in a place to condemn anyone on this. The only way the Conservatives differ is that they support anti-abortionists and anti-gay marriage candidates.

Misfit Misfit's picture

Well, it seems like the NDP is doing that now too.

alan smithee alan smithee's picture

I don't see the big deal. Auschwitz is ancient history. We've long since moved on. I'd say there are a lot of younger people out there who know very little about WWII.

It's not like she is a nazi sympathizer. Just ignorant of the past.

Mr. Magoo

Quote:
Well, it seems like the NDP is doing that now too.

"now"?

Didn't the NDP allow Monia Mazigh to run, even though she made it clear that she would NOT vote in favour of SSM?  And same with Fr. Des McGrath?

If the NDP has a candidate who WOULD vote in favour of, instead of candidates who throw down the glove and make it clear they won't, isn't that at least a half step forward?  I'm not saying that's awesome, but it's not a half step backward "now".

mark_alfred

The CBC had an interview with the turd behind the truenorthtimes website.  This is the site that's promised to reveal embarrassing things about nine different candidates in nine days via searching social networking.  Anyway, the guy is some jerk from Harvard.

Paladin1

Pondering wrote:

Paladin1 wrote:

Seeing NDP MPs making embarassing comments or seeing shit the posted on facebook come back to haunt them seems to be a weekly occurance.

That's the case for all parties particularly the ones with the most new candidates. No party is in a place to condemn anyone on this. The only way the Conservatives differ is that they support anti-abortionists and anti-gay marriage candidates.

 

In the NDPs case I think it's often due to the MPs ages. Katherine Swampy was the latest one I seen.Conservative MPs usually seem older.

Also as mentioned the NDP support an MP with anti-gay marriage beliefs.

Paladin1

alan smithee wrote:

I don't see the big deal. Auschwitz is ancient history. We've long since moved on. I'd say there are a lot of younger people out there who know very little about WWII.

It's not like she is a nazi sympathizer. Just ignorant of the past.

 

I disagree about it being ancient history. Not only are there people alive who were imprisoned there it is a huge tourist attraction (that's probably a poor choise of word) and the camp see's thousands of visitors every day.  Absolutely huge lines.

For me the biggest red flag with something like this is a glairing lack of awarness for a politician. She manged to make it through her whole live with never hearing about Auschwitz? With school, books, TV, movies, the internet? I find that extremely hard to believe.

laine lowe laine lowe's picture

Given the history of the NDP, I would think that people drawn to support and run for the party might be better versed than the average in issues of oppression including knowing the most infamous of the German (NAZI) concentration camps and the Holocaust. I would expect someone drawn to the historical tenets of the NDP to be knowledgeable of US slavery and the civil rights movements, Stonewall and SA Apartheid. But I'm old so I guess concepts of oppression and liberation are passé.

As for the heavy handed treatment of Stefan Jonasson, I am appalled. I thought it might just be over-sensitive HQ operatives being jerks but even freaking Mulcair said that Jonasson's comment was unacceptable. This man and Minister of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Winnipeg is the type of candidate that represents everything that I value about the NDP. That Church has been the staging ground for many important demonstrations including fighting the closure of the Experimental Lakes Area (ELA). As for his comment, the worst one could accuse him of is hyperbole (even he suggested that in his interview on tonight's As It Happens) but the basic thrust of his argument is absolutely correct. And as others have pointed out, even Israelis use "Taliban" to describe the excesses of this extreme orthodox group. Would the NDP toss out an academic who might have described the Tea Party or other extreme Christian groups as the "Christian Taliban" or "American Taliban" too?

Jonasson is a better person than I. Asked if he still will support the NDP, he said that they were the best option of what's available to lead Canada. That's a polite way of saying "les moins pire". But he said he is done with politics and its atmosphere of nasty gotcha putdowns and lack of reasonable discourse.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

..txs laine

JKR

alan smithee wrote:

I don't see the big deal. Auschwitz is ancient history. We've long since moved on. I'd say there are a lot of younger people out there who know very little about WWII.

It's not like she is a nazi sympathizer. Just ignorant of the past.

The Rwandan Genocide is only 20 years old now and current calamities are killing hundreds of thousands of people in places like Syria, Iraq, and Libya. Churchill was right when he said, "Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it." 

josh

JKR wrote:

alan smithee wrote:

I don't see the big deal. Auschwitz is ancient history. We've long since moved on. I'd say there are a lot of younger people out there who know very little about WWII.

It's not like she is a nazi sympathizer. Just ignorant of the past.

The Rwandan Genocide is only 20 years old now and current calamities are killing hundreds of thousands of people in places like Syria, Iraq, and Libya. Churchill was right when he said, "Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it." 

I thought that was George Santayana.

Unionist

laine lowe wrote:

Given the history of the NDP, I would think that people drawn to support and run for the party might be better versed than the average in issues of oppression including knowing the most infamous of the German (NAZI) concentration camps and the Holocaust. I would expect someone drawn to the historical tenets of the NDP to be knowledgeable of US slavery and the civil rights movements, Stonewall and SA Apartheid. But I'm old so I guess concepts of oppression and liberation are passé.

As for the heavy handed treatment of Stefan Jonasson, I am appalled. I thought it might just be over-sensitive HQ operatives being jerks but even freaking Mulcair said that Jonasson's comment was unacceptable. This man and Minister of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Winnipeg is the type of candidate that represents everything that I value about the NDP. That Church has been the staging ground for many important demonstrations including fighting the closure of the Experimental Lakes Area (ELA). As for his comment, the worst one could accuse him of is hyperbole (even he suggested that in his interview on tonight's As It Happens) but the basic thrust of his argument is absolutely correct. And as others have pointed out, even Israelis use "Taliban" to describe the excesses of this extreme orthodox group. Would the NDP toss out an academic who might have described the Tea Party or other extreme Christian groups as the "Christian Taliban" or "American Taliban" too?

Jonasson is a better person than I. Asked if he still will support the NDP, he said that they were the best option of what's available to lead Canada. That's a polite way of saying "les moins pire". But he said he is done with politics and its atmosphere of nasty gotcha putdowns and lack of reasonable discourse.

I rarely quote a whole post just for the sake of it. This one's more than worth it. Thanks so much laine!

 

6079_Smith_W

I know it is all the rage now to make irrrational negative assumptions about people simply because they happen to belong to a certain church and therefore must be wrong, or up to no good.

It's been quite a few years since I have seen the opposite.

I have certainly heard it about Canadians of course. "They have socialized medicine and gave us Neil Young, so he must be a nice guy, and know what he is talking about".

Kinda quaint, actually.

 

JKR

josh wrote:
JKR wrote:

alan smithee wrote:

I don't see the big deal. Auschwitz is ancient history. We've long since moved on. I'd say there are a lot of younger people out there who know very little about WWII.

It's not like she is a nazi sympathizer. Just ignorant of the past.

The Rwandan Genocide is only 20 years old now and current calamities are killing hundreds of thousands of people in places like Syria, Iraq, and Libya. Churchill was right when he said, "Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it." 

I thought that was George Santayana.

I stand corrected. I think Churchill just repeated his quote.

laine lowe laine lowe's picture

I think you would be hard pressed to find any progressive person taking issue with Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Smith. And my husband and myself found ourselves happily surprised by what was being spoken by the current Pope.

I also know that through the past many (post 9-11) years I have looked out for statements made from progressive Rabbis and Imans on such issues as equality and justice. That doesn't take away from the criticism of those religious groups that are racist, sexist and warmongering.

Some of the NDP's best members have been Ministers including Tommy Douglas, JS Woodsworth, Stanley Knowles and Bill Blaike. I know there are more recent members including Bill Siksay (who I admire immensely) that should be added to the list. So I really have no idea why you would claim that it is "all the rage to make irrational negative assumptions about people simply because they happen to belong to a certain church..."

If anything, it is irrational to paint all Muslims as being a threat to Candian society and values - whether overtly or covertly.

bekayne

Here's the As It Happens interview with Stefan Jonasson:

http://www.cbc.ca/radio/asithappens/as-it-happens-friday-edition-1.32440...

6079_Smith_W

laine lowe wrote:

I think you would be hard pressed to find any progressive person taking issue with Archbishop Desmond Tutu

Sure, but in neither his, nor Francis's case is that opinion based on the stellar reputations of the Anglican and Catholic Churches.

 

 

Aristotleded24

laine lowe wrote:
As for the heavy handed treatment of Stefan Jonasson, I am appalled. I thought it might just be over-sensitive HQ operatives being jerks but even freaking Mulcair said that Jonasson's comment was unacceptable. This man and Minister of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Winnipeg is the type of candidate that represents everything that I value about the NDP. That Church has been the staging ground for many important demonstrations including fighting the closure of the Experimental Lakes Area (ELA). As for his comment, the worst one could accuse him of is hyperbole (even he suggested that in his interview on tonight's As It Happens) but the basic thrust of his argument is absolutely correct. And as others have pointed out, even Israelis use "Taliban" to describe the excesses of this extreme orthodox group. Would the NDP toss out an academic who might have described the Tea Party or other extreme Christian groups as the "Christian Taliban" or "American Taliban" too?

Jonasson is a better person than I. Asked if he still will support the NDP, he said that they were the best option of what's available to lead Canada. That's a polite way of saying "les moins pire". But he said he is done with politics and its atmosphere of nasty gotcha putdowns and lack of reasonable discourse.

It's just so frustrating that politcis has degraded to the point where people are walking on eggshells and being afraid to say what they think. (Bill Maher once complained that we're all on the road to sounding like White House spokespeople.) People are also fed up with politicians calculating what to say to try and win votes, and it's next to impossible to determine what they believe. That's why Donald Trump is doing as well as he is in the Republican primary because his theme is, "I'm an asshole and I'm not going to apologize for it." At least give the man credit for having the guts to honestly speak his mind. People find that attractive, and so many political operatives (particularly on our side of the spectrum) don't understand that.

6079_Smith_W

The good news of course is that the Liberals, who were second place in Charleswood, now stand a much better chance of beating Harper's candidate.

 

jjuares

There is apparently at least two more revelations about candidates next week. I don't know which parties but one involves guns and democracy and the other is about jokes about gay people. This is from the guy who has uncovered some of this other info. Ho hum

mark_alfred

jjuares wrote:
There is apparently at least two more revelations about candidates next week. I don't know which parties but one involves guns and democracy and the other is about jokes about gay people. This is from the guy who has uncovered some of this other info. Ho hum

Yeah.  I saw an interview with this guy on Power and Politics with Rosemary Barton.  He said he's non-partisan.  So, even though it's been mostly NDPers and a Lib or two, the next one might just be a Conservative.  Regardless, this guy who runs truenorthtimes is a true asshole.  He's a jackass from Harvard.  This guy is the scum of the earth.  The sight of him brings steel toed workboots and brass knuckles to mind.

alan smithee alan smithee's picture

mark_alfred wrote:

  This guy is the scum of the earth.  The sight of him brings steel toed workboots and brass knuckles to mind.

You've been reading my mind.

6079_Smith_W

Oh that's silly. In the first place, this is no different than Frank Magazine, The Smoking Gun, Gawker, the tabloids, and any other examples of gotcha journalism. Not as bad actually, because at least this is in black and white, while some of those others run stories on anonymous rumour.

But no one was calling for anyone to get beat up to protect the reputations of  Rob Ford, David Cameron, or Prince Charles.

These revelations are as serious as the public want to take them, and if anything they are an example to people to be careful what you say and do on social media, and be doubly careful how you respond when the information comes out.

Might be something innocent, like not knowing where that picture was taken of that electric fence you were comparing to penises, or not quite so, like using an over-the-top comparison, but they fucked up and got caught fair and square.

And how they reacted DOES actually say something about how they might respond to a crisis when they are doing the jobs they are running for.

"I didn't know what Auschwitz was"?  Whether she did or didn't, the wiser course might have been to leave it at "I thought it was a hydro post".

I'd still say the fellow who got the worst of it so far is the pisser.

 

 

 

robbie_dee

mark_alfred wrote:

Regardless, this guy who runs truenorthtimes is a true asshole.  He's a jackass from Harvard.  This guy is the scum of the earth.  The sight of him brings steel toed workboots and brass knuckles to mind.

This article says he's from [url=http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2015/09/25/enough-crazy-to-go-around-says-f... not Harvard. I would assume Harvard grads have better things to do with their time.

And no, Alex Johnstone should not resign. Unfortunately she compounded a drive-by-smear with an unfortunate quote but I think this pile-on is ridiculous.  

jjuares

I agree with Alan and mark. This guy thinks he is performing a public service when all he really is doing is bringing politics down even lower in this country. I notice there is a Liberal candidate now in trouble for being a 9-11 truther and of course she also compounded it by saying it was her truth at the time. Now I don't share her belief but how is this relevant to this election.

Arthur Cramer Arthur Cramer's picture

mark_alfred wrote:

It's not relevant to this campaign. 

From the interview that one of the people behind this truenorthtimes website did with Rosemary Barton, I could have sworn I heard "from Harvard" in it.  But McGill makes more sense.  Anyway, yeah, the guy really left a foul taste in my mouth.  Smarmy and sanctimonious. 

You are spot on Mark. That is what has been the problem with this whole campaiing. I said if this campaign had been about issues Tom wouldn't have had a probllem. Here we are weeks into the campaign and they're still getting away with floating the "Angry Tom" meme. Its pathetic!

 

6079_Smith_W

Oh for heaven's sake Arthur.

As I said, these sorts of gaffes are just a taste of what people have to deal with when they are in public office.

And as I also said, if it doesn't matter when it happens to someone we don't have a lot of sympathy for, it shouldn't matter when it happens to people we know.

And mark, it is as relevant as people who vote think it is.

 

mark_alfred

jjuares wrote:
I agree with Alan and mark. This guy thinks he is performing a public service when all he really is doing is bringing politics down even lower in this country. I notice there is a Liberal candidate now in trouble for being a 9-11 truther and of course she also compounded it by saying it was her truth at the time. Now I don't share her belief but how is this relevant to this election.

It's not relevant to this campaign. 

From the interview that one of the people behind this truenorthtimes website did with Rosemary Barton, I could have sworn I heard "from Harvard" in it.  But McGill makes more sense.  Anyway, yeah, the guy really left a foul taste in my mouth.  Smarmy and sanctimonious. 

Arthur Cramer Arthur Cramer's picture

6079_Smith_W, I'd be willing to accept your commentary if I didn't see all te real enjoyment some on this board are getting over this. OK, maybe you're reasonable about it, but there are plenty who aren't. And that's my point. In my 20 plus years Military Serice, I never backed away from my responsiblity for having a Queen's Commission for doing the right thing, and not being afraid to stand up and do what is right. I've said what I think about what's going on here. Don't expect me to sit on the sideines and just watch. Fair is fair. This isn't.

6079_Smith_W

Arthur Cramer wrote:

Don't expect me to sit on the sideines and just watch. Fair is fair. This isn't.

When it gets to playing gotcha, and nothing being private, I'd say you are right.

I also didn't much appreciate seeing Pat Martin smeared and wound up by a Liberal-Green tag team who knew he was eventually going to break and start cursing.

Mulcair's response to that was refreshing.

On the other hand, it IS political reality, and has been since long before Johnson's "make him deny it" maxim.

I understand that it is different if you know the person, so don't think I am not sympathetic. But the hard truth is that if we aren't equally outraged when it happens to people we don't like - like the pisser, like Chuckles, or Tom Lukiwski - it is a double standard.

And the bottom line is that it doesn't matter, because the people who make it their business to dig up stuff like that get just as much satisfaction from the embarrassment and outrage. It wouldn't mean anything otherwise.

The only thing I see is to get smarter and more careful. And perhaps more considerate when we are the ones holding the dirt on someone.

 

 

terrytowel

6079_Smith_W wrote:

I also didn't much appreciate seeing Pat Martin smeared and wound up by a Liberal-Green tag team who knew he was eventually going to break and start cursing.

As Mulcair said "That's our Pat!" Winnipeg voters can count on Pat for his candour and honesty. That is why he has won election after election after election in Winnipeg Centre. I doubt this would hurt him. In fact I think it will help him, because we want our politicians to be honest. Not some person just repeating scripted talking points over and over again.

6079_Smith_W

Yup, he probably will win. Not for want of Liberal efforts to target that riding though. I notice no one had to push him too hard to make the rather coarse reference to Mr. Falcon Oullette's alleged motivation.

Breaking news:

Quote:

Sure, each party has a team connected to its respective war room tasked with a nasty job: Dig up dirt to be flung at an opportune time.

Richard Nixon's boys had a less dignified term for his black ops teams in the 1970s: "Rat Muckers." The second word wasn't "'muckers."

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/newfoundland-labrador/election-liberals-nd...

 

 

 

 

terrytowel

As Rob Ford says "Nobody's Perfect"

Arthur Cramer Arthur Cramer's picture

No, I stnad by what I said. This is a nasty thread.

kropotkin1951

Here are a few items for a relevant quiz for new candidates on the left.  Just so they know our history well enough to not repeat it.

1. What is the Grand Dérangement?

2. What is the Northwest Resistance?

3. What percentage of the West Coast natives died during the two small pox epidemics in the 18th and 19th century?

3. How many children died in Residential schools in Canada during the twentieth century?

4. How many Japanese Canadians were stripped of all their worldly possesions after WWII ended?

5. Why were Doukhobor chilkdren interned in the same camps as the Japanese had been earlier?

5. Who is James MacIntyre?

What possible relevance does knowledge of Auschwitz have during a Canadian election?

 

 

terrytowel

Arthur Cramer wrote:

No, I stnad by what I said. This is a nasty thread.

Let's call a spade a spade Arthur. If it was a Liberal or a Con who said these things, you'd be all over it.

However as Rob Ford always says "Nobody is perfect"

kropotkin1951

Sorry boys for trying to have a serious discussion in the midst of your ongoing spat.

6079_Smith_W

Arthur Cramer wrote:

No, I stand by what I said. This is a nasty thread.

Well yes, we are talking about a subject which is both nasty and in some cases unfair. It isn't going away.

And personally, I think what is more relevant is how people react when these embarrassing things are revealed - like do you try and reach understanding, or dig your heels in?

 

mark_alfred

kropotkin1951 wrote:

Here are a few items for a relevant quiz for new candidates on the left.  Just so they know our history well enough to not repeat it.

1. What is the Grand Dérangement?

2. What is the Northwest Resistance?

3. What percentage of the West Coast natives died during the two small pox epidemics in the 18th and 19th century?

3. How many children died in Residential schools in Canada during the twentieth century?

4. How many Japanese Canadians were stripped of all their worldly possesions after WWII ended?

5. Why were Doukhobor chilkdren interned in the same camps as the Japanese had been earlier?

5. Who is James MacIntyre?

What possible relevance does knowledge of Auschwitz have during a Canadian election?

Good questions (particularly the relevance question).  Seems that there's an expectation of knowledge of a few international and American events, whereas general ignorance of specifically Canadian concerns or even local riding concerns seems to not trouble people.

Sean in Ottawa

Chasing Alex Johnstone out would have huge implications on democracy and public involvement in it -- particularly of younger people. I suspect I am a little less than twice her age. I am still coming across basic things other people know that I discover for the first time. This is life. When we learn one thing we miss another.

We have always accepted that a person can and should be accountable for their opinions, their reactions and their positions. But to hold someone responsible for what they do not know -- even after this paerson has reached out to learn, has behaved honorably, honestly, and respectufly upon learning what she did not know, is not only unfair but dangerous.

This position -- of wanting to punish a person who knows many other things, brings a set of skills and a different perspective -- will drive people away not only from standing for office but participating in public discussion about issues.

This serves to reward those who cover up what they do not know, those who lie and those who refuse to engage with the public openly.

I can say I do know a lot of things but I am not so arrogant that there are not things that somehow have fallen through the cracks that I do not know that I really should. I come across these and am grateful that they are not public when I do. To be ridiculed and vilified rather than educated is offensive.

How many politicians when they learn about something they did not know respond by saying they want to learn more? Why don't you want an MP who reacts that way?

 

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

Hey Arthur, I just unpublished your long post above because I don't think that the babbler in question has un-psedonymized themselves. If I'm wrong, I'd be happy to re-publish it (and terrytowel's subsequent reply).

6079_Smith_W

Probably a good call.

Unionist

terrytowel wrote:
Late Thursday, she issued a joint statement with B'nai Brith Canada, in which she promised to learn more about the Holocaust and work with the organization to promote peace and combat anti-semitism.

Holy crap, don't know how I missed this comment in the OP. [url=http://alexjohnstone.ndp.ca/joint-statement-from-alex-johnstone-and-b-na... it is.[/url]

Quote:

“Regardless of what happens this election, I have reached out to B’nai Brith and personally pledged to work with their experts to raise awareness about the ever increasing need to combat racism, discrimination and antisemitism. I intend to continue to learn about the Holocaust and speak out against hate in all its forms.”

“Going forward, we will be working closely with Alex to answer any questions she may have in order to meet our shared goal of combatting racism, antisemitism and discrimination in Canada,” added Mostyn.

This is the fanatical extreme rightwing organization which is going financially bankrupt, which peddles "all criticism of Israel equals anti-Semitism", which worships Harper, which "moderates" like Bernie Farber and Irwin Cotler won't go near...

Who in Moses' name hooked up this unschooled young woman with these fanatics?

 

bekayne

Unionist wrote:

terrytowel wrote:
Late Thursday, she issued a joint statement with B'nai Brith Canada, in which she promised to learn more about the Holocaust and work with the organization to promote peace and combat anti-semitism.

Holy crap, don't know how I missed this comment in the OP. [url=http://alexjohnstone.ndp.ca/joint-statement-from-alex-johnstone-and-b-na... it is.[/url]

Quote:

“Regardless of what happens this election, I have reached out to B’nai Brith and personally pledged to work with their experts to raise awareness about the ever increasing need to combat racism, discrimination and antisemitism. I intend to continue to learn about the Holocaust and speak out against hate in all its forms.”

“Going forward, we will be working closely with Alex to answer any questions she may have in order to meet our shared goal of combatting racism, antisemitism and discrimination in Canada,” added Mostyn.

This is the fanatical extreme rightwing organization which is going financially bankrupt, which peddles "all criticism of Israel equals anti-Semitism", which worships Harper, which "moderates" like Bernie Farber and Irwin Cotler won't go near...

Who in Moses' name hooked up this unschooled young woman with these fanatics?

 

Mostyn would be former Harper candidate Michael Mostyn

terrytowel

NDP candidate Alex Johnstone made other comments about Auschwitz

http://ipolitics.ca/2015/10/07/ndp-candidate-alex-johnstone-made-other-c...

josh

Good to see iPolitics taking some time off from shilling for the TPP to cover this important topic.

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