Tuesday, November 5, 2013

UPDATED: Poppy Politics

Aside from the big news today (and its less-than-earth-shattering follow-up), there has been another controversy floating around the news media - and no, I don't mean the Senate scandal, though that is also relatively worrying, its also something of a slow burn.

I'm referring to this, the very controversial "white poppy," a concept that this year (though its of course been around before) has been promoted by the Rideau Institute and pushed by some university students (and HuffPo bloggers). The idea behind it is that the traditional red poppy is too supportive of military action or pro-military, and what the white poppy - which has the word "peace" in the middle of it - both does the "remembering" of the red poppy, but also promotes, well, peace, instead of the military.

Its got has its origins in and a bigger movement over in the UK as far as I can tell. To the credit of the Royal British Legion, they don't seem to care - but according to the Sun News article, the Canadian Legion is a bit miffed over it.

Paul Schneidereit at the Chronicle Herald has a good overview of this which I agree with, and the Legion should maybe take not of as well - if they want to wear a white poppy, so be it. That is your right. Most Canadians, however, will be wearing red ones.

But it may only be a matter of time before some Conservative MP somewhere gets a hold of this story and tears up university students a new one, especially since those students will be distributing these white poppies at Remembrance Day ceremonies. It'll be another convenient distraction for them I suppose - "look at those left-wing kooks disparaging our veterans by wanting - ugh - peace! This is all Trudeau/Mulcair/environmentalist/Duffy's doing."

Personally I'll be wearing a red poppy, both for fashion reasons and because I'm not naive enough to jump from one group's agenda to another. The red poppy to the vast majority of Canadians says that we remember and honour the sacrifices of those who went to war for this country, whether or not we agree with that war or its aims. That the idea of "Lest We Forget" got lost in the politics of today is a sad fact indeed.


Told you it was just a matter of time until some Conservative minister started talking about it.

1 comment:

  1. I oppose peace.

    Peace allows the oppressors in the world to get what they want.