Saturday, June 12, 2004

Davies Out of Hand

June 12, 2004

Downtown Eastside
Vancouver, BC


After attending the Carnegie centre all candidate meeting of today, I was saddened as I to witnessed the incumbent Van-East MP in action. Her personal attacks on activist SHIRLEY CHAN were not necessary. Nor was her ridiculing of Chan workers and supporters who were sitting in the front rows cheering their candidate on. Numerous times Ms Davies commented as she gestured 'oh look who's clapping - the same old people in these rows'. Many Chan supporters felt under attack since Ms Davies had stacked the room with out of riding supporters of hers. Noticed in the audience was out of riding Davies supporter Ruth Herman who donated $1,000.00 towards Ms Davies 2000 campaign. Standing with Ms Herman was her husband David Chudnovsky. I wonder if perhaps these two were just shopping nearby.

While campaigns can be divisive, they need not be disrespectful. Unsettling to me and probably others was the racial obscenities hurled at visible minority candidate Chan as she delivered her speech. Alternating her comments between Chinese and English should not have resulted in catcalls which were observed originating from button wearing Davies campaigners. These disgusting attacks have no place in candidate meetings. For those who hurled racial slurs while Ms Chan spoke, you are just pathetic. This type of intolerance has no room in our society. Ms Davies, never one to miss an opportunity, riled up her supporters, claiming once again that Shirley Chan was homophobic. This type of gutter politics displayed by Ms Davies is unbecoming of her. While Ms Davies can often be passionate in her beliefs, this time she went well beyond acceptable standards of respectful debate.

Ms Davies leader should have a chat with his candidate. Defending civil liberties is one thing, transgressing into gutter politics is quite another matter. Mr Layton needs to reign in Ms Davies' out of hand behavior.

Jamie Lee Hamilton
(604) 781-3361