“Before I go into my questions I just do want to correct the record. You see the Liberals subscribe to Joseph Goebbels’ mantra that, if you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually become (sic) to believe it. It was stated that the Canadian Government is following Canadians on their IP addresses. We have heard testimony from the commissioner of CSAC that warrants are required and no wrongdoing has been committed by that agency.” So said Cheryl Gallant (Ga-lawnt), who has been poorly representing the good people of Renfrew-Nipissing-Pembroke for 15 years and, every so often, opens up and says something ridiculous, as above.
Godwin’s Law states that, if any argument goes on long enough, the chances of a Nazi analogy rises drastically. Recent Canadian politics have shown this to be quite true. John Baird attempted to compare Russian actions in Crimea to Hitler’s annexation of Czechoslovakia in 1938. Another Conservative politician drew on the much overused—and oft ill advised—Nazi analogy a short while ago when describing the Liberals! Granted, it was a Liberal cabinet minister in the 1930’s that lead Mackenzie King to balk at the idea of allowing Jewish refugees into Canada, but, for a center right party in a Western democracy to accuse individuals of adhering to Nazi ideologies is not only abhorred, but also incredibly stupid.
Now apart from Gallant mangling Goebbles’ name—pronouncing it as GO-Bulls instead of GER-bulls—her analogy is an excessive over-extrapolation, and incredibly uncalled for. Not to mention the fact that it was actually Adolf Hitler himself who said something like that, not Goebbels. Goebbels never came close to saying what Hitler actually said: “If you tell a lie big enough and tell it frequently, it will be believed. For the masses will find a big lie easier to believe than a small one.” Telling big lies and getting people to believe them is actually a tactic that most politicians practice. In fact, the quote could very easily come from the lips of a great many of our politicians. Cheryl Gallant may even have come up with it herself, if Hitler hadn’t beaten her to the punch. Then again, maybe not.
Thankfully, her lies are not as large as Hitler’s by any stretch of the imagination. However, the fact that a sitting member of parliament would have the audacity to make such an accusation is mind boggling. There isn’t even an analogy for how poor that analogy is!
This isn’t the first time Ms. Gallant has spouted off along these lines. She’s shouted insults like “fag” across the House of Commons floor, and has inspired the wrath of Newfoundlanders by chastising the Coast Guard for rescuing merchant sailors. Yeah. Harper himself is not so pleased to have her as one of his cronies—to the point where a party spokesperson has arranged for Gallant to have ‘laryngitis,’ rather than allow her to speak on certain occasions. Having gumption and being able to speak for yourself is a noble thing in a politician, but, when you speak, you should speak wisely. Despite being one of the longest serving parliamentarians (14 years, which is notable in Canadian politics since the majority of our MP’s serve less than ten) Gallant has failed to achieve even a minor cabinet position. With these continuous gaffs, she has failed to provide fair, and, more importantly, learned debate. Really, she needs to check her facts. Granted, I am only a humble university student who must carry less wisdom than a women more than twice my age but still…
It is shameful that someone who lacks common sense and who is discouragingly ignorant on so many topics should represent smart, hardworking Canadians— progressive, conservative, liberal or left alike. Particularly since she represents the riding with one of the largest military bases in the country, and has the audacity to claim that there is no stigma surrounding PTSD in the armed forces! That’s horrid! Again-there isn’t even an analogy for how terrible such a statement is. Gallant represents that class of politician who barely, if at all, knows what they are talking about and certainly do not speak for all of their constituents, particularly those who differ from their own narrow point of view by a single iota. A great many of our politicians forget that they represent everyone in their district, that is to say, not only those who voted for them, but also those who voted against.
Politicians don’t need to be ‘Renaissance Men and Women.’ Mistakes—including poor allusions—are going to happen. However, it is sad when they come from the same so frequently, sadder still when that person fails to show even a modicum of humility for their error. May people like that be removed from power soon. Until that time, I think I’ll loan Cheryl Gallant my atlas of World History and my book of famous quotes. She needs it, and I doubt she’s the only one in Parliament who does.
Update (5/27/2014): This article previously may have implied that Mrs Gallant claimed PTSD does not exist. It has been modified to more clearly represent her statements, which is that the stigma surrounding PTSD in the military does not exist.