Dear Tony Clement:
Thanks for describing me as "the best of a class" (according to Webster's definition of elite).
Judging by my salary (a scant FRACTION of your's), I couldn't possibly have thought myself to be "elite" in the past.
Maybe it's because I buy my own "fair trade" organic coffee and brew it myself - instead of paying the Conservative Party's favorite Calgary-based corporation (Tim's) the $1-whatever per cup it costs... Does that make me "elite"?
Maybe I went to university and received post-graduate education. Maybe THAT makes me "elite". It certainly makes me a fair bit more educated that most of your Cabinet - even your PM perhaps... But elite? Never thought of it that way.
It is good to be considered the "best of the best". But... seriouslyTony, I don't know why you'd consider me to be "elite".
I have to say, the real "intellectual elite" in this country have been pissed on just a little too long. In the 70s and 80s - even the 90s - our governments used to celebrate our scientists and researchers. My high school texts were full of elite minds who made Canada a better country. You know - people like nuclear watchdogs, professional civil servants, and hard-working climate researchers.
When your brand of NeoConservatism came to light (first in Bush's America, now here) your hyper-ideological kooks branded a whole class of hard-working Canadians as "elitists". All the while you took your funding from the elite of Canada's elitist classes (the Big Oil Companies and mega-corporations - the preferred funders of conservative movements the world over). Talk about the pot calling the kettle...
Conservative movements/right wingers around the world have used these tactics to seize power. You and your friends, Mr. Clement, are no different. You need votes and a way to gain favor with the working masses. You need to drive a stake - create a schism. You begin to tear apart society and create an "us and them" mentality. You tell hard-working farmers that city folk are a bunch of latte' swilling elitists. You go to an assembly line and tell the workers there, that people like teachers, scientists, artists, etc., are "elitist" snobs who are out to get them (even though many of those workers earn more than the teachers and artists ever could). You try to divide. To tear society assunder, then create a backlash against the scapegoat: "the elitist".
You also wish to "shut up" those who would question you. Those who would debate your logic (or lack of it). A lot easier to scapegoat an adversary, and call them names, than to actually debate them. Heck, why not just close debate altogether? Call it a prorogue....
There have been scapegoats created in societies in the past. It is a dangerous path you take. They were also referred to as "elitists" - and much worse. We don't need Canada to take that turn...
Sure, I'm "elite". I consider myself good at what I do. I consider years spent going to school, earning next to nothing, and constant studying, to be "sweat-equity" into a world where my thought do mean something... And now... me, and others like me, are going to do everything we can to ensure that your schisming of Canadian society does not succeed.
In the meantime, I'll keep brewing my own organic brew (and saving what I don't spend at Tim's).
I'll keep reading.
I'll keep questioning.
I'll keep speaking out.
I'll keep on being "elite", because it will take elite thought, and elite action, to bring down your farcical government. Not kowtowing to the lowest common denominator...