Ukrainian News | May 15, 2002 | Paulette MacQuarrie

DON'T join Liberal Party

I was shocked and appalled to read an editorial in this paper [Ukrainian News, May 01, 2002] exhorting the Ukrainian community to support the breathtakingly corrupt and arrogant regime of the federal Liberals. It sounds like someone in the federal Liberal party has sold you a real bill of goods, and it is unconscionable that you would use your position to promote their party line.

Your rationale is astounding -- kowtow to Canada's "Party of Power" and our community will regain the clout it supposedly once had. Ukrainians, of all people, should be horrified at the very idea of a one-party state, and highly suspicious of any government representatives who solicit support to maintain its power base on such a premise.

The idea of "working from within" is ludicrous. As you yourself noted, backbenchers are the only Liberals who are even remotely interested in the concerns of the Ukrainian community. And we have seen all too well how much power backbenchers have in this government.

It is a bit late to be jumping on the Liberal bandwagon. Let's not kid ourselves. If the Liberals are courting the Ukrainian vote, you have to know they are starting to feel some heat from somewhere. As for the Liberals' historical record, let's live in the here and now and examine their current track record. This crowd has done the Ukrainian community no favours.

In revisiting the glory days of bigwigs like a Governor General, Supreme Court Justice and Deputy Prime Minister with ties to our community, you conveniently overlooked the fact that two out of three on your list (if you meant Ray Hnatyshyn and Don Mazankowski) were not, in fact, Liberals. Nor did they do our community any great favours while holding office.

Quite frankly, rather than trying to figure out who to kiss up to in Ottawa, we would all be better served to focus our energies on building our community. We need a much stronger infrastructure with effective internal communications and media/public relations, and a good fundraising strategy to support it in perpetuity.

If we can get that together as a community, we will have real clout. Then the politicians will come courting with something more to offer than empty promises built on vague premises that are designed to ultimately benefit them more than us.

Paulette MacQuarrie
Producer, Nash Holos Radio Program
Vancouver, BC