Metroblog

A one-time school project gone terribly, terribly wrong.

14 November 2006

Belinda Stronach Takes Lot of Crap, Rises in My Estimation


First there was the business about her switching sides in parliament. A lot of people--even those who were glad she did it, and including me--gave her crap for that.

That decision, to switch sides and sit as a liberal party member, came as the country was at fever pitch over a motion that but for two votes could have toppled the government. It cost Stronach a personal relationship with Peter MacKay.

It's ironic that MacKay has a headline on his homepage reading "Remember, Respect, and Reassurance". And it's equally ironic that his homepage calls him "The Honourable".

"The Honourable" took his breakup with Stronach very well. Until recently, when he belied the "Honourable" and ignored the "respect". In response to the question, from the Liberal side of the House of Parliament: "What about your dog, Peter?" he replied: "You have her." At first he flatly denied it. But once it was up on Youtube that became an untenable position.

Stronach was named as the other woman in a divorce suit filed by the now-ex-wife of former hockey enforcer Tie Domi, in the face of a judicial tradition of keeping such identities if not secret, then at least politely hidden. She was pilloried in the press for it, despite no actual evidence turning up.

Then columnist and commentator Norman Spector, normally a fairly measured man, called her a bitch on live radio.

As if this wasn't enough, the ever-jovial Ralph Klein said in a speech "I never knew she had a conservative bone in her body ... except one." He then went on with "Speaking of Peter MacKay ..."

Klein's an abusive @$$#0!3 anyway, so it's not surprising no-one seems to be taking him to task for the remark. But Spector seems to have weathered the storm, and MacKay is now acting like it never happened.

I used to think she was a two-dimensional heiress, a poor little rich girl doing politics because she wanted to be a big girl to daddy or something. I may have been wrong. She's just acquired serious substance by launching an initiative to help ordinary citizens actually contribute to pulling Africa out of the crapper.

Spector is full of good advice, but I don't know what sort of good works he may have done, if any. Klein's an Albertan-Canadian conservative, and the best thing he's done for anyone is retire. MacKay's a federal conservative cabinet minister, so it's possible he may have to be reincarnated several times to work off the foul karma.

Stronach is throwing her not-entirely-inconsiderable mass behind an initiative called the Spread the Net campaign. It's a good cause that anyone can get behind--y'know how I know? Rick Mercer is a co-launcher. And whatever you may think of Mercer, he's 100% genuine.

The idea is simple:
In Africa over a million kids die of malaria every year. That’s pretty overwhelming. It was [Dr. Jeffery] Sachs however that told us that it really doesn’t need to be that way. The answer is simple, tangible, old fashioned and cost effective. One of the best tools to fight Malaria is a mosquito bed net. The net goes over the bed and usually two or three kids will sleep under the thing. The net is treated with insecticide and will continue to do its job for over five years. If you buy a kid a net, there’s a pretty good chance you can save one or two lives. And the cost? Ten bucks.

That’s what Spreadthenet.org is all about. If you go to spreadthenet.org you can give ten bucks and a mosquito bed net will be purchased and distributed for free in the first two targeted countries – Liberia and Rwanda.

Dr. Jeffery Sachs is one of the world's foremost economists, if you still need to be convinced this is a good idea. The economic impact of having about five million more African kids who are strong enough and healthy enough to go to school, or at worst to help support their families, is estimated in the billions of dollars.

Here in North America, we're on the crest of the enormous spending spree that acts as our annual launch into the financial roller-coaster.

Before you go out and buy something else. Before you spend 8 bucks on parking, and start shelling out the $836 (average US spending per consumer) for presents, spend a lousy ten bucks on this. Do one little good thing, then go blow your wad at the mall.

Hell, if you're a full-on Donald Trump lover and really only motivated by greed consider that the life you save may be making your Nikes next year when labour in China, India, or Viet Nam gets too expensive.

Don't say "I'd like to but I haven't got the money to spare." I have "no money" at the moment. But I have a job, a roof, and food. So I eat out a time or two less this year--I need to lose the weight. So I put the donation on my credit card, I'll get a lot of it back as a tax break.

Pop over to Rick Mercer's blog if you're still not convinced, or visit spreadthenet.org.

I'm not motivated by causes. I don't get off on Quixotic gestures. This initiative is the first grass-roots idea I've seen that I believe can "make a difference", in the parlance of the industry, to the starving, war-racked misery that is Africa in the "modern" age.

We can do better.

I'll post on this again once I make my donation. My advice is get yours in now, before I challenge you to match whatever I scrape up. Comments invited.

6 Comments:

At 9:10 a.m., Blogger Lori said...

I'm with you. A simple thing that lasts for years...I'm tired of the "hey, let's show how wonderful we are and give the Have-Nots a taste of what they're missing at Christmas!" attitude that is everywhere -- but this is a lasting and meaningful thing to provide for people.

Other ideas -- blankets and coats here in North America.

Oh, and don't forget: Higher minimum wage. Affordable housing. Microcredit. And...

 
At 9:49 a.m., Blogger Metro said...

Yeah, I'd have gotten in on this sooner, but this is the first I've heard of it.

The Economist says that the single most helpful thing per dollar spent that anyone can do for Africa is the purchase of bed nets.

 
At 10:53 a.m., Anonymous PJ said...

Thanks for the link! One thing I do every day is click here:
http://www.thehungersite.com
which provides 1.1 cups of staple food to starving countries. 100% of the donation goes to the hunger relief efforts; it's free; 156,000 cups of food have already been donated today. The site's sponsors pay for the food.

 
At 11:26 a.m., Blogger Lori said...

Live link to The Hunger Site for those (of us) too lazy to cut'n'paste!

:-)

 
At 11:54 a.m., Blogger Metro said...

I was about to point out that the Hunger Site's been in the sidebar for years when I realized I really must get off my butt and re-post those links.

 
At 12:34 p.m., Anonymous raincoaster said...

The Hunger Site is my start page. I've clicked it daily for years.

Metro, did you just call Belinda Stronach fat? Oooooo, you're in trouble now.

 

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