Friday, September 30, 2011

John Baird, Foreign Affairs Minister -- You're fired

From The Globe & Mail:
The Conservative Foreign Affairs Minister demanded – and got – gold embossing on his business cards shortly after being shuffled into the portfolio last May, contrary to government rules.

Mr. Baird then ordered the word “Canada” dropped from the standard design, also against federal policy.

And he insisted that “Lester B. Pearson Building” be removed from the standard street address for Foreign Affairs’ headquarters in Ottawa, thereby erasing the name of a former Liberal prime minister and Nobel Peace Prize winner.
. . .

Dear John,

Question for you: If you don't represent Canada, who do you represent as Foreign Affairs Minister?

What would prompt me to ask such a question? Look at your business card. There's no mention of "Canada" on it, as there has always been before on Foreign Affairs ministers' business cards.

What is your rationale for asking that "Canada" be dropped from your business card? Some strange, indirect surge of asymmetrical patriotism? Trying to blaze your own trail in business card design?

The Globe & Mail points out that you demanded -- and got -- gold embossed business cards, as well. No doubt, to demonstrate that you're a modest guy.

And I see you're breaking new ground, scoring partisan points with your government issued business card, by having "Lester B. Pearson Building" stricken from it, too.

I think Fox News has a place for you on its team.

Question: Do you accept money from the country of Canada, say, in the form of a salary and perks for the position of "Foreign Affairs minister"?

Hate to tell you, but that money comes from the citizens of the country you won't list on your business card.

Or, maybe I have it all wrong, and you're not accepting money from Canadian tax payers, you know, as a matter of principle. Because it would be enormously -- cosmically -- hypocritical to remove Canada from your government issued business cards and still accept a salary from Canadians. You're an educated person. You see this, right?

It's interesting to me how counter-intuitive, how utterly contrary and disconnected the Conservative Party of Canada is.

Here we have a country that, year after year, rates in the Top 5 Most Livable Countries in the World, is voted as having the best national "brand" in the world; American tourists in droves go overseas with Canadian flag pins on their chests, hats and backpacks because Canada and Canadians are beloved everywhere.

And yet, you remove the name of that beloved country -- my country, by the way -- from your business cards.

I hate to do this by email, John -- you're fired.

Clearly you don't understand your job, your position and the decisions you're making are ridiculous and counter productive.

Even if you are not accepting money from Canadian tax payers on principle, you're fired.

This is about more than money and business cards. It's about a country that is respected around the globe, a country filled with quirky, polite-to-a-fault patriotic folks who wouldn't hesitate to have the word "Canada" appear on their business cards. You've offended these people.

Surely you understand that you're a bad fit.

So, please clean out your desk and please be civil and orderly as security escorts you to the perimeter of the property.

Just to show there are no hard feelings, go ahead and take your beloved business cards, with your gold-embossed name and no mention of the country you were supposed to serve.

Take the business cards -- we have to print up a proper batch, anyhow.

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