Monday, April 16, 2007

The Pragmatic Purging Of Mr. Potvin


So, Elizabeth May has decided to torpedo the Green Party candidacy of Kevin Potvin in Vancouver-Kingsway.

Mr. Potvin lives and works as one of the Last of the Independents deep within the riding in the part of town/state-of-mind that he likes to call 'The Republic of East Vancouver'.

As such, he publishes a bi-weekly newspaper of the same name.

And it was in that newspaper that Mr. Potvin published a story in November 2002 that has, apparently, laid him low.

It was titled 'A Revolting Confession', and it contained incendiary statements like this:

"I have a terrible confession to make. When I saw the first tower cascade down into that enormous plume of dust and paper, there was a little voice inside me that said, "Yeah!" When the second tower came down the same way, that little voice said, "Beautiful!" When the visage of the Pentagon appeared on the TV with a gaping and smoking hole in its side, that little voice had nearly taken me over, and I felt an urge to pump my fist in the air."

Which, of course, got a whole lot of folks on the comment threads upset when they resurfaced in a post last week by S.M. Holman at Public Eye.

Now, I do not agree with Mr. Potvin that, as he wrote in his most recent edition, that many people, to some small degree, had the same response but have had great difficulty stating it publically.

But that might have more to do with the circles I run in these days (ie. I am not quite a mini-van Dad, but it's close).

But I do agree with Potvin that the sites attacked on 9/11 were important symbols:

Corporatism and militarism were struck that morning, and that's why it's such big news. New York is not just home to American corporate headquarters, it is home to global corporate headquarters. It is the centre of global corporatism, and the twin towers were constructed precisely to celebrate this very fact.

The Pentagon is likewise not just home to the American military. The American military is so overwhelmingly dominant in the world, with a reach giving it ultimate power in every corner of the planet, that the Pentagon is really the home of the global military. The US supplies so much of the world's arms and commands so much of the world's force, either directly or through proxies in every nation on the planet, that the Pentagon is, to put it plainly, militarism itself.

And I also cannot deny the fact that those symbols, for some at least, are symbols of oppression rather than freedom.

Which is an important concept that is very much worth discussing in some detail, particularly as it pertains to the issue of root causes.

So, given all the nuance in Mr. Potvin's piece......

And given the fact that the Greens knew exactly what they were getting when they first nominated Mr. Potvin (ie. he has had some really interesting green-tinged things to say in the past as well)....


Why did Ms. May and the Greens fold like a cheap, striped-tent when they were hit by the first gust of fetid wind from those extremely well-known anti-incendiarists that write editorials for the National Post?

Could it have had something to do with the colour of the other stripes on that tent and the fear that Mr. Potvin might have been able to re-capture a significant proportion of the 10,000 votes that he garnered in Vancouver's last civic election when he ran as a complete independent?


I mean, it's not like Ms. May would do something that expedient in the name of pragmatism.

Oh, wait - Is that a super-nova I see shooting across the central part of our eastern-most sky?

The link to the flame-on-me piece from Mr. Potvin was first provided to Mr. Holman by commenter 'PublicEyeFan' on an earlier post (see April 11, 2007 08:31 PM comment).
It's probably worth noting that Mr. Holman, too, like Mr. Potvin, is one of those rare folks that has managed to get the job done as a true independent. Given all that, we're pretty sure that Mr. Potvin will once again land on his feet.


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