Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Not exactly 24-karrat commentary from Richard Diamond

Would someone please grab Young Liberals of Canada president Richard Diamond and give his head a shake for him? But gently, please, I don't want to be an accessory to any assault charges.

Richard, however, is guilty of assaulting common sense and logic with his comments to the CanWest chain in today's papers. Diamond attempts to downplay the stupid and unethical behaviour of Joe Volpe in accepting (and later not so sheepishly returning) $27,000 in donations from five children, including two 11-year-old twins.

Our young Mr. Diamond takes a page the debating strategy of our Conservative friends by going off on a tangent to construct a straw-man and then defending that rather than attempting to defend the indefensible.

Here's a taste:

"In terms of people being involved under the age of 18, I think it's critical that if you can get involved in a party and be involved in a youth wing, I think that that will create an appetite for political engagement, civic engagement that will last you the rest of your life. There has to be room so that young people can be politically engaged."

And what does Richard think about Volpe?

"Returning the money is very consistent with the ethical man that I know that he is," Diamond said.

Yeah, he's a peach. But come off it Richard. This is not about barring youth from taking part in the political process. Do you really think two 11 year olds just each on their own decided to donate over $5k of their own money to Volpe because they liked his speech? What this is about is colluding to violate the spirit of the election financing regulation and using your kids to do it.

This diversion method of debate is sad. But it's easy. I can do it to: Volpe gave the money back and he's an ethical guy, but he also likes puppies. I don't think we should ban puppies, they're cute and loveable and they bring joy to so many people. How could you not like puppies?

Anyway, if you're a Young Liberal and you don't share Richard's views, or you want to give him an 'atta boy, you can drop him a polite note at rdiamond@liberal.ca. I'm sure he'd be happy to hear from you.

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