Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Speaker’s Corner

Republican Sarah Palin is slated to appear in Hamilton, Ontario to speak on April 15th, 2010. As to what Mrs. Palin will be speaking about is anybody's guess, but the intent of her appearance is to be a fundraiser of sorts. With tickets to attend starting at a gentle $200 a piece, expect Hamilton's finest to attend and most certainly dole out a few extra bucks on silent auction items and sponsorship opportunities.

When it was announced that Palin was coming to Hamilton to speak, and the net proceeds of her appearance were going to the Hamilton Health Sciences and the Juravanski Cancer Centre, there was outcry among some of the citizenry that booking a speaker such as Palin was blasphemy. So the hosts changed the recipient Charity, and now the Palin supporters are crying shame towards the nay-sayers, blaming them for the hosts changing the Charity designate. Talk about a spinning pit of muddy waters.

I have never really been a fan of Canadian idolization of US political figureheads. Granted, Canada hasn't really shone on the World stage when it comes to political leaders. I would harness a guess that Pierre Trudeau was our last real Leader who carried Canada's identity to the World stage. With that said, Palin becomes the second US politician in the past couple of years to speak in Hamilton (Clinton being the other). It's a sad situation when we are unable to invite a prominent Canadian to speak in Hamilton, with the same fervor that Palin has generated.

Palin quit her job as Governor of Alaska for reasons not totally understood. Her Facebook 'Page' has over 1,000,000 fans; but I'm not sure that that is a sound statistic to use to gage one's popularity worldwide. A long-standing resister to Canada's national Health Care, there were more than a few eyebrows raised when it was announced that the proceeds of her appearance would go to the Hamilton Health Sciences, managers of Hamilton's hospitals.

So while we peons of Hamilton's citizenry bemoan the decision to bring Palin to Hamilton in support of a charitable cause, the organizers shouldn't be surprised by the feedback (both positive and negative) of Palin's appearance in Hamilton. After all, they made efforts to bring her here for a reason…it's just that nobody really knows what that reason is…unless it was to get free publicity…and if that was the case…nice work.

As for me: if I decide that I want to support Hamilton Health Sciences in the order of around $200, I'll just write them a cheque directly versus having only a portion of that amount going to HHS, and the rest going to hear someone speak, not even if it was Al Gore. I'd have to wonder whether Prime Minister Stephen Harper would draw the same attention and interest if he were to speak at a Banquet Hall in Toledo, Ohio….

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