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Sunday, September 27, 2009

I am torn

An article I read in the Globe and Mail has me conflicted. I thought, therefore, that it might be a worthwhile weekend diversion to open the article up to my readership for discussion. Essentially, the article brings to light the fact that the Canadian government provides security for both former Presidents Clinton and Bush when they come to Canada on speech circuits, but the price of security for the two men varies massively (~$12,000 for Clinton and more than $100,000 for Bush). The reason I do not trust my own opinions on this are my massive disapproval of Bush, which makes me wildly indignant that my government is expected to provide such expensive security for a man who I would never want to hear speak. I find it particularly repugnant that he is earning massive amounts of money himself (as are, presumably, the people organizing the venues) without any sort of requirement to help cover the cost of his security. However, I also recognize that in Canada order is kept by our police force, and the high price of Bush's security is due to the heightened security costs of the large protests Bush garners. This just seems backward, though... the protesters do nothing to inhibit Bush's Canadian speech circuit, and instead increase the burden on the Canadian government.

Like I said, I am not really sure what to think about this, so I welcome any input.


Robert said...

I am fairly shocked by this news. I am assuming that the Canadian government would rather pay for Bush's security, and therefore be in charge of it, than allow the American secret service to do the work, and risk American agents shooting or arresting Canadian citizens on Canadian soil. This is the only justification for why the Canadian government would be taking on this responsibility, and not the American taxpayer.

I will gladly extend a personal apology for my country people that they were stupid enough to vote for that asshole in 2004 (I think the evidence is more than overwhelming that the 2000 election was won by Gore and, maybe not stolen, but won via tricky legal maneuvering by Bush). I will say this though. Mr Free Market there expects the government to pick up his security costs so he can make some money after leaving office? The Canadian government should refuse to provide security to Bush unless he is willing to personally pay the cost via his speaking fees. This way, he only gets to make money if he can pay for his security, the way the free market intended. And maybe if all world leaders were required to pay for their own security after they got out of office, maybe they would do not so much to piss people off. Hey, maybe the free market is good for something!

g said...

I get wildly indignant at the cost for a "man 'whom' I would not want to hear speak."

G said...

Robert is right on. Quite right that the Canadian government should provide security that agents hired by Bush (or any other speaker) wouldn't go around shooting at shadows. Also quite right that speakers should have to repay the costs of security. Then no one could afford to engage them and the world would be better off.

cornucrapia said...

I don't get it. Bush isn't visiting as a head of state, he's a private citizen. When a rock band, comedian, sports team or whatever comes to Canada, the venue that's hosting them provides security, as is only appropriate. For someone like Bush I can see why maybe you'd want the RCMP involved but I still think it's fairly obvious that the added cost of security should go to whoever is hosting the speaker, not the taxpayer. As someone who participated in creating the increased cost by protesting his appearance in Calgary I'm double appalled, that certainly wasn't the result I was expecting. As a brief aside, from what I saw, it was mostly Calgary police at the scene, not RCMP, although I could be mistaken.

Mozglubov said...

Good to know I wasn't being completely unreasonable about my indignation, then.