Monday, November 08, 2010

Anonymous vouching and such stuff

Some time ago I attacked Ted Hsu on this blog. Ted Hsu, whatever one might think of him, deserves credit for at least saying what he believes in, even if that does not win him votes, and even if - in the eyes of this commentator - his stances on important issues do not add up. I respect people I disagree with, as long as they have thought about what they believe in, and as long as they put their names to their views.

Bizarrely, yesterday a friend or acquaintance of Mr Hsu told me (in a response to the same blog entry) both how much of a person of integrity Mr Hsu is (I have no reason to doubt his integrity and have never suggested otherwise) and that he's progressive (I have serious reason to doubt that, but then, I suspect what's progressive these days is very much in the eyes of the beholder). Mr Hsu's friend or acquaintance also kind of vouched for Mr Hsu, he or she gave a character witness. Nothing at all is wrong with  this. Where the witness giving turned bizarre was when the friend of acquaintance decided to attack me anonymously. When questioned the rationale given was that he or she always uses his or her pseudonym on the internet. Obviously, if you were to use the pseudonym Don Quixote on the web and you decided to give witness on your friend, you do make a fool of yourself. Why should anyone care about an anonymous writer vouching for someone else about whom we actually know more than about the writer who busies him- or herself vouching?

At least this is something I won't hold against Mr Hsu. You cannot control your friends and acquaintances who decide to praise you anonymously.

For what it's worth, the Liberal Party riding association chose Mr Hsu as its candidate for parliament in the next federal elections. Congratulations are due to Mr Hsu. He fought a bitterly contested campaign well, and he won (no doubt the other pro-life candidate's second preference votes would have flown to him, because he failed to win outright in the first round). Nonetheless, a win is a win is a win! Good on him!

I have supported Bill Flanagan, who lost narrowly to Mr Hsu. Let me predict then that our riding will fall to the conservatives (whose pro-life candidate offers a more coherent conservative package than Mr Hsu) in the next election as a result of this decision of the local Liberal party's membership. But hey, that's what democracy is all about.

4 comments:

  1. Dugald CarmichaelNovember 09, 2010

    Bill Flanagan was an attractive Liberal candidate until his campaign unethically (and stupidly) tried to pin a damaging (and obviously false) label on Ted Hsu (who is no more an ideological pro-lifer than Udo Shuklenk is an anonymous blogger). That's when Bill moved to the bottom of my ballot. The party association has not disclosed the order-of-finish of the losing candidates, but Bill Flanagan deserved to finish last. Whatever candidate gets my support must be worthy of the title: The Honourable Member for Kingston and the Islands. Too bad about Bill losing, but he can blame it on what happened to his principles (and his intelligence) when he went to law school.

    Contrary to your prediction, Udo, please let me predict that Ted Hsu will easily win this riding in the next election, no matter how feebly he may be supported by anybody who supported the other candidates, and no matter how the non-issue of abortion rights may play out.

    Dugald Carmichael

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  2. Dear Dugal,

    thanks for taking the time to reply to this blog entry, and for deciding to put your name to it. I cannot speak for Bill Flanagan's campaign, obviously, so do not take it as ignoring your reply on that count. It's not for me to defend or criticize what you claim Bill has done. I don't know whether or not your claim is correct. Bill certainly has not put me to writing my blog entry at the time. Everything I said there is based entirely on what I heard from Mr Hsu's own mouth. I didn't make it up.

    He did indeed say (in the second meeting) that he would not vote on anything to do with changing the law on abortion in the country. Truly a brilliant LIBERAL candidate to take such a stance. Perhaps it satisfies you, I think it's beyond pale.

    Regardless of that, it is clear that any conscience vote on matters euthanasia or, for instance, overseas development aid including the funding of abortion services, is not covered by Mr Hsu's generous promise to disappear from the voting chamber when it crucially matters to LIBERALS. I asked him what his stance is on decriminalizing assisted dying, pointing out that about 75% of the Canadian electorate are in support of this. Flanagan and Osanic were supportive, Rosen wasn't around and our two pro-life guys made clear they'd be skeptical. From their perspective this makes perfectly sense, even if it flies in the face of what an overwhelming majority of voters want.

    What you and others miss, who listened to Mr Hsu's promise that he won't vote for a change of our abortion regime, is that pro-life (aka anti-choice) doesn't end at existing pro-choice legislation (that he clearly wouldn't defend, if it came to the crunch).

    I promise to you, Dugald, I will eat my words on this blog, on election day, should Mr Hsu win. I invite you to be here to do the same in case he loses. This issue isn't about how feebly he is supported by folks who supported other candidates (I would have happily and actively supported Osanic's campaign for instance), but whether he is a credible LIBERAL candidate. By any stretch of the imagination he is not credible as a LIBERAL.

    Well, time will tell, come election day the two of us will meet here, I hope. One of us will have egg on the face and should be prepared to say so publicly. Until then. I have resigned my membership in the LIberal Party today to be able to support other local candidates.

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  3. In Canada there is no law on abortion.
    Abortion is a private matter between a woman and her doctor.

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  4. AnonymousMay 03, 2011

    On behalf of Dugald: "Ahem!"

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