I had a post yesterday at Sobering Thoughts explaining guessing why I think the Tories opened the Pandora’s Box of rethinking Canada’s national anthem for its alleged sexism in the lyrics “in all thy son’s command”:
I think what baffles people is the question of why the government would bother doing this. Let me speculate on the motivations: politics. First, be assured that this was focus-group tested and polled like crazy. Second, I am guessing that the polls show 80% of people or more do not want the lyrics changed and that half of those people have “strong” opinions on the matter. Third, the Tories are guessing that they will bait the opposition parties into doing something stupid: the Liberal and NDP will make fools of themselves opposing the current national anthem and the Bloc Quebecois will be all separatist. Fourth, the Tories can appear open-minded while handing rope to their opponents to hang themselves. Fifth, the backlash helps 1) maintain the national anthem status quo and 2) elect more Tories.
There is a method to Mr. Harper’s madness. Or am I giving him too much credit as a Rovian evil genius?
The Hill Times reports that openly lesbian Conservative Senator Nancy Ruth pressed her government to change the lyrics to something more gender neutral. Perhaps, but I still think the Prime Minister set some traps for the opposition in which they will look sillier than the government does.
Anyway, Toronto Sun columnist Mike Strobel handles the issue with great aplumb (does “stand on guard for thee” offend those in wheelchairs?) because this proposal deserves to be mocked. Laughter is the best medicine.