Thursday, August 14, 2008

Prime Minister de gall

Re: Don Martin: Harper's possible forced election, a 'galling move'

Class act these CONs: To wit: “my f---ing head's going to explode!"

Why is it always about them?

I could be wrong about the CON thing, but I don’t think it was the NDP or Liberals who were text messaging Don Martin with their neurological problems.

Speaking of Committee Hearings, when is Don Martin going to release his copy of Harper’s 200 page manual of how to obstruct Parliament? I think it would be an important public service. Might swing a few votes in Harper’s direction? Especially those with a distaste for democracy.

Don Martin: Harper's possible forced election, a 'galling move'

Thursday, August 14, 2008
National Post

Canadians will go to the polls just before the U.S. election this fall. Go ahead, roll your eyes. Election predictions have been kicking around since early 2007, only to be proven premature with yet another whimpering surrender by Liberal MPs in the House of Commons. But there's a hefty difference now. After a year of enduring false starts and bogus threats, the Prime Minister has moved beyond baiting the Liberals, signalling yesterday that he is willing to ignore his own fixed voting date and force an election himself, probably for Oct. 27."I think, quite frankly, I'm going to have to make a judgment in the next little while as to whether or not this Parliament can function productively," Stephen Harper said during a visit to Newfoundland.So much for Liberal leader Stéphane Dion's "I have the power" boast that he alone will decide the timing of the next election. Mr. Harper has claimed the power for himself. It's a galling move in some ways because fixing the election date was the Prime Minister's idea, a token nod to old Reform Party ideology. Mandating a vote for Oct. 19, 2009, was sold as a key part of the Conservative pledge to be transparent and accountable, a pledge that has been tarnished on more than a few occasions since Mr. Harper came to power.Declared government House Leader Rob Nicholson at the time: "Instead of the prime minister and a small group of advisors being the only ones who know when the country will move into the next general election, once this bill is passed, all Canadians will have that knowledge, which makes it fair."But sacrificing fairness and principle to the greater interest of preserving Conservative power may be the only antidote to the toxicity infecting federal politics today.This week's ethics committee probe into Conservative election financing shenanigans has provided a rare mid-summer preview of the upcoming and ongoing dysfunctionality of the House. Witness intimidation, procedural stonewalling, cross-table name-calling and chair challenging have been the orders of every day, with MPs making only the odd stab at soliciting relevant information. While the Conservative MPs are responsible for most of the obstruction, feelings on all sides have hardened to the point where one seething committee member wrote me mid-way through the hearings yesterday to declare, "my f---ing head's going to explode!" Indeed. It's that bad. Many Liberal doves have turned hawkish on a fall vote, in the belief that delaying until spring will give the Conservatives four more months to attack their carbon tax. But influential Conservatives are convinced Mr. Dion will still back away from an election, particularly if he loses one or both of the Liberal seats in next month's by-elections.In that case, the only solution for this election-hungry government is to order committee work obstructed by its own MPs to bolster Mr. Harper's assessment that Parliament is paralyzed beyond repair, which would then justify breaking the government's own fixed election law. There are several reasons why the Conservatives have an early election preference.Mr. Harper is convinced the Green Shift carbon tax will be a seat killer for the Liberals, an impossible sell that would nudge him close to majority rule. Waiting until 2009 comes with the risk that the oncoming economic slowdown will hit hard on his budget books, turning what is now a small fiscal deficit into a red-inked torrent of bad news next spring. And there's always the possibility that Obamamania will seep across the border and instill Canadians with a mood for change - although Mr. Dion would seem a very faint echo of Democrat presidential nominee Barack Obama's oratorical charisma. So put the Conservatives solidly behind the notion of a fall election vote, joining the Bloc Québécois and the New Democrats. Even many Liberals now insist their green plan can be sold as bold, particularly given a wacky summer of weather that has pumped hot, dry air north and kept southern Ontario soaking in cool temperatures. In what could be a final irony come late September, this Parliament appears headed for a rare display of unanimity by declaring itself too divided to function - and voting itself into the history books. National


Robert Gibbs said...

Welcome To The New Canadian Political Theatre

Harper and his henchmen sure failed the "how to act like decent, mature, and respectable human beings" classes.

CON antics at this week's HOC committee hearings into their "illegal" 2006 CON election financing scheme were truly worthy of "detention."

CON MPs on the committee constantly interrupted the hearings with crackpot "points of order" and procedural obfuscation and delay.

A total of about 18 CON witnesses, mostly candidates and/or their official agents, intentionally failed to appear, many ignoring summonses. Apparently, the CON party instructed witnesses not to show!

And yesterday, one failed CON candidate who did show up - but again unannounced and two days after he was originally supposed to appear - started screaming in the committee room when he wasn't allowed to jump the queue of the other scheduled witnesses for that day. He then stomped out of the room and failed to appear later that day.

Yes, a truly respectable performance, worthy of a kiddie's hissy fit.

Yes, these are the sordid sorts - thugs and criminals - currently in charge of our country. They are "above the law."

Welcome to the New Canadian political theatre.

Robert Gibbs said...

And Further In Entertainment News:

After having seen Dean Del Maestro's performance as Perry Mason at recent HOC committee hearings, movie executives have taken note.

As the Conservative MP for Peterborough is not expected to be re-elected in the forthcoming federal election, he will be looking for "alternative" employment.

So, Montreal movie-heads are proposing that he take over the roll of well-known, but retiring, movie star Ron Jeremy (aka "The Hedgehog").

But, as the usual form of financing for these "straight-to-video" films is expected to be tight in the future, "non-traditional" funding is also being sought out.

As a result, friend and fellow Conservative-supporter Charles McVety of the Canada Family Action Coalition has decided to "take action" and personally help with the financing.

The entertainment world is abuzz!