Eesti Elu
Bill Clinton visits the CNE (1)
Archived Articles 04 Sep 2009 Adu RaudkiviEesti Elu
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On the second Saturday of the Canadian National Exhibition, Toronto’s big summer season-ending fair, former American president Bill Clinton came to speak about world/US/Canadian affairs to a crowd of less than half the size originally hoped for, even after organizers dropped the admission price. In the end many people couldn't get in because the lowered entry number had already been reached. CNE General Manager David Bednar, who shared the stage with the former president, couldn't understand the lack of interest. President Clinton was to be a big draw.

Clinton flew in that afternoon, after Senator Ted Kennedy's funeral, from Boston.

Bill Clinton sadly didn't say anything that hadn't been said before, except that he predicted that the US would have a Canadian style universal medicare system by the end of the present presidential term. Clinton blamed the medicare boondoggle on president George W. Bush, who succeeded him in office at the White House, not explaining why he himself hadn’t implemented change when he had the presidential reins in hand.

The same on the issue of Kyoto. President Clinton took credit for starting the ball rolling, but when it came to implementing the protocol he once again blamed the administration that followed his.

It was interesting to hear him talk about the William J. Clinton Foundation, with the stated mission to "strengthen the capacity of people throughout the world to meet the challenges of global interdependence.” According to the former president a dollar per person from every developed country could reduce global poverty and disease. I would like to know exactly how Clinton would address, never mind circumvent the corruption rife in third world countries.

After his half hour speech, "Embracing Our Common Humanity", and a half hour of chosen (and no doubt edited), questions was presented by Bednar from a list that he had selected from submissions by the public. An example: how do you like Toronto? A predictable and sanitized answer.

Maybe a fair is not a place to talk serious politics.
 
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