04 January 2010

Did They Re-Define the Term Boycott?

I love Kelowna, I miss it every single day. But I tell you, some of the letters on Castanet just make me shake my head. I won't get into the one from a week or so ago with the guy rambling about how the "Islamic People of Afghanistan" orchestrated 9/11 because that's just too far out there. I am more than a smidge concerned that he's all-too-willing to look the other way when it comes to torturing Taliban prisoners.

But I'm in a light-hearted mood today so instead I'm going to point this gem out to everybody. The writer, as many of us are, is greatly displeased at the vile decision made by the International Olympic Committee to remove women's ski jumping from the list of events at the 2010 Winter Games. It's unconscionable that in this great country, where we value equality, an entire group of athletes are being barred from competition in their chosen sport based on their gender. On that much, the writer and I agree, but here comes the humourous diversion:

"As a suggestion, perhaps a boycott of just one Olympic sponsor's products would quickly bring this troubling and truly trivial situation to a successful ending.

Instead of buying two cases of Coca-Cola a week just buy one - or whatever. No doubt Coke will react within days and will become the heroes and the girls will jump at Whistler with much hype and applause. Coca-Cola will be drooling over the headline-gathering news.

I'm getting close to 30 years old so my memory is starting to wither, but boycott doesn't mean "cut our consumption of a product by 50%" does it? My understanding is that if one boycotts a product they do not purchase it in any quantity, and instead seek out a viable alternative or adjust their lifestyle to simply live without said product. If I were a Pepsi executive, my heart would have sank after reading that initial quoted line only to not have my company's named dropped at all in the discussion that followed.

That being said, Coca-Cola doesn't hold anywhere near the sway over the IOC that would be needed to compel them to reverse their decision. If the athletes themselves lobbying all the way up to the Supreme Court of Canada doesn't work, how is drinking only one case of Coke per week going to make an impact? I will say this much: the heart is in the right place, and that's commendable.

Oh yeah, Happy New Year everybody!


Frankly Canadian said...

Yes living in Kelowna is splendid and especially if you’re a golfer and love the outdoors, however reading the opinion comments in the daily newspaper is like reading a “Calvin & Hobbes” comic strip. Almost daily I shake my head in astonishment with some of the letters being written here. Usually most of these wing nuts write about the scandalous conspiracy of “Climate Change”, if I had a dollar for every argument between Angela Reid (the Green Party representative) and the many global warming nay sayers. Kelowna’s extremely high population of elderly is what gives the Conservatives their stronghold in this region, the fact that our local Conservative M.P.’s write their own columns in these newspapers only ads fuel to the heavily right wing readership. As for your blog about the women ski jumping disallowance being unconstitutional, I absolutely agree, how unfortunate. And as for “Boycott”, to refuse or trade with in order to punish or coerce.

RGM said...

It's good to hear that Angela Reid is still fighting the good fight - I met her many years ago and even though the odds of me ever joining the Green Party are about as good as those of the Leafs winning the Stanley Cup this year, she struck me as being one of the good people of that party, which far too often gets sidetracked by the nutbars that say they share "common cause" with the 9/11 terrorists.
I remember my first meeting on the Liberal riding association executive hearing just how badly the numbers were against us. Everybody was very happy at the time that the ranks had swelled to 900 members in Kelowna (the good old days when Paul Martin had just become PM and that sponsorship scandal mess hadn't quite arrived) until it was brought forward that there were more than three times as many Conservative members. I could never understand how this was possible nor could I understand the personal popularity of Werner Schmidt - then somebody pointed out that he was a white-haired white guy in a city that had a lot of the same. It all fell into place for me in that moment. They're the ones writing all the letters, and they're highly motivated since they all remember the great insult visited upon by the West by one Mr. Trudeau.

That said, I had some really fun times in Kelowna with the Liberals, and hopefully one day in the not-too-distant future I'll be able to do so again.

Frankly Canadian said...

Yes the Conservative/Canadian Alliance/Reform Party/Social Credit roots run deep here in Kelowna, I believe Werner Schmidt was a member of each and all of those party’s? He was definitely a well respected politician here, when he retired not so long ago he made the decision not to accept his pension on the grounds that he felt is was stealing from the Canadian people. Mr. Schmidt had been a M.P. since 1993 and stayed up until 2006 and had 60% percent of the vote in his last election. One thing about this region, the person Werner had to beat was the Conservative member Al Horning, who held the ridding since its conception in 1988. When Mr. Horning lost to Mr. Schmidt he went back to the city of Kelowna as a councillor and in 2005 was elected for the provincial Liberals and stayed until 2009 when he finally retired. So yes the roots run deep here, I am however excited with the riding next door with the announcement of Ross Rebagliati running for the Liberals. This is the new type of face the Liberals need in this region, someone with great national exposure and someone young enough to change the demographics of the vote. It will definitely be an uphill climb for Mr. Rebagliati as his opponent Mr. Stockwell Day had just won his last election with the highest percentage of voter turn out in Canadian history, if I remember correctly. Anyways the bigger they are the harder they fall; Ross has his work cut out for himself. As for the Kelowna riding, I do hope the Liberals can attract the same type of young dynamic character to this riding in the future because we still have that same Conservative city counsellor dogma existing. My perfect choice would be Chief Clarence Louie of the Oysoyoos Indian Band; he is a man who has done extremely well with challenges.

RGM said...

That's really good for the Liberals that they've got Rebagliati running in Penticton. Will he pull a Day and make his grand appearance by snowboarding down a hill? Methinks not. I will give Day his due, as he has done extremely well within their party ranks after losing the leadership to Harper, and he still maintains a very personable approach to people. When Harper came to Kelowna during the '04 election, I ran into Day after the event and we chatted for a while, despite me being decked out in all red as part of the protest we'd organized for Harper's appearance. He concluded by saying that I was a bright young man and hoped that one day I'd end up on their side. Nice touch and one of those things that goes to show why some of these guys are so personally popular despite holding some beliefs that don't jive with the majority perspective in Canada.