Dr. Orbinski closed with some valuable words on citizenship and the importance of engaging in politics by speaking out:
I have never ever doubted the power of humanitarianism and the power of an engaged citizenship. And I have never doubted the central importance of a legitimate politics.
To act as a citizen in this is to implicitly or explicitly ask, what is the purpose of this political project? What is our responsibility one to another?
In my view, Citizenship is not defined simply as a set of legal rights and entitlements, but by the exercise of liberty based on those rights that at some level must as an exercise of liberty engage public debate through voice and that must implicitly and explicitly demand good government.
[Dr. James Orbinski, address to City Club of Cleveland, 2008.12.05, broadcast on MPR Midday, 2008.12.09]
You can listen to the full speech and following Q & A here (above comments come around 29:15):