When I first read Senator Celine Hervieux-Payette response to an American family saying they were boycotting a vacation to Canada because of the hunt, I had kind of mixed feelings. On the one hand, you know, good for her. She spoke her mind and she did so aggressively. We're often very polite in the defence of the seal hunt. Very Canadian. So maybe after one too many of these letters or criticisms over something so minor as the hunt, she lost it and snapped off a letter. A particularly cutting and nasty letter, but I guess if your patience is done, you go "to hell with the consequences, full speed ahead."
Which leads to all sorts of recriminations the day after. News Google has 37 stories as of this writing regarding Hervieux-Payette's letter and the reaction to it. Liberals are distancing themselves, the Conservatives are saying "that's not what's needed," there is fear that it might damage U.S.-Canada relations (oh whatever, we have oil, they'll put up with more crap than this) and, of course, the anti-hunt groups are outraged.
You know, it can't be good for the blood pressure...all that outrage. I at least hope those organizations set up good health plans for their employees from all their fundraising. What's the stroke and heart attack rate in these organizations anyway?
Should she have done it? I cheered when I read it, but in retrospect, probably not. It's perhaps one of those letters you write to blow off steam, walk away from the computer for 10 minutes and then hit delete.
Do I think the American family in particular are stunned? Sure. "We are outraged. Therefore, we are staying home. We hope that shows you."
My god, there are so many worse things going on in the world than the seal hunt. And you will be hard pressed to find a better neighbour, if you're Americans, than Canada. The family is entitled to their opinion; I just wish it was a particularly intelligent, well thought out and informed one. Not coming to Canada because of the hunt? OK. I'd advise you to never leave your house then, because there are much, much, much scarier, nastier and more repulsive things happening in the world, your country, your state and probably your city than the hunt. Wouldn't want to accidentally be seen to be supporting them.
And, oh yeah, I'd advise you to cut out the meat and chicken. Or just try really hard not to think about how they got to your supper table.
I've been involved with my share of boycotts. I was with The Muse and we would do this annual bullshit boycott list. Three or four hour arguments (sometimes they went over two days) saying who we would or would not accept advertising from. No pro-choice or pro-life groups, nothing from GM (I think they did crash tests on animals), nothing from Nestle (dumping powder formula into third world countries, I believe), nothing from cosmetic companies (animal testing again) and I think there were attempts to boycott beer companies (because they were sexist).
And so on, and so forth. I grew to hate boycott lists and tried to, well, boycott them. Because they were dumb. They had no impact. Most of the groups didn't even try to advertise with us. It just seemed foolish, ineffective and a waste of time. I'm convinced that 99.9% of all boycotts have zero impact.
Just like I'm convinced the seafood boycott organized by some animal rights groups is having zero impact (Newfoundland can screw up the fishery just fine without the help of outsiders) and really, who cares if the family cancelled their vacation. It's going to make no impact. Zip. Zilch. Nada. Canada will not go bankrupt because they didn't spend a week in Toronto.
I appreciate her rant, but all Hervieux-Payette did was at best pick on the ill-informed. And worst she lowered herself to the level of idiots who think boycotts and letters to Canadian Senators made a difference and gave fire to animal rights groups.
Yeah, she should have walked away for 10 minutes and then deleted the letter. Oh well...
Hmmm, that was longer than I thought. One last link for this evening. This poster has been making the rounds throughout Iqaluit in the past week or so. The local paper ran it on Friday. It's kind of cute.
Very Best of... - Dire Straits