In its March 5 edition, The Pictou Advocate published an editorial cartoon comparing the Harper government to Nazi Germany. This vile abuse of free expression in the name of “satire” should not be tolerated in any fair-minded society.
The Pictou, N.S. newspaper featured a distasteful cartoon depicting a Nazi swastika flag flying over Parliament Hill as a criticism of Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s Economic Action Plan.
I have no argument over The Advocate’s right to publish such trash, but I do wonder at the tone-deaf and insensitive nature of their editorial policy. Consider for a moment the tens of thousands of Canadians who died at the hands of Nazi armies and bombs; consider the millions of civilian Jews who died at the hands of that loathsome regime. Now try to find one tiny grain of truthful comparison between the Nazis and any Canadian government.
Now read the explanation The Advocate has offered:
If our editorial cartoon in the March 5 edition of The Advocate has offended anyone, we sincerely apologize. It was certainly not our intention to offend our readers.
“The cartoon was simply meant as a satire, or exaggeration, on Harper’s Economic Action Plan and its implications for some segments of the community.
“We regret that the cartoon was not received in the spirit with which it was intended.
“The views of the editorial cartoon are those of the contributor, and not necessarily the views of The Advocate, as are all other views by contributors to The Advocate.
“From our editorial cartoonist is the following explanation:
“‘I certainly didn’t mean to offend anybody. The use of the swastika was simply aligning the Harper government’s policies with the Nazis. The fact is, Harper has violated virtually every element of his platform which is taking away the freedoms and rights of all Canadians, especially the disabled and elderly. All Canadians, but especially the Atlantic Provinces, should be absolutely irate over the latest budget and announcements which are continuing to oppress the poorer provinces. That is why I used the swastika. There are no religious connotations, there is no anti-Semitism, there are no ethnic attacks, there is no racism... Just the suggestion that Canadian politics is heading toward fascism’.”
I don’t know if the above was meant as a response to federal Justice Minister Peter MacKay’s reported demand for an apology. I, as a Canadian, don’t want an apology from these people. I’d settle for them shutting up and crawling back under the rock from which they came.