Sunday, January 27, 2008

The Week Before Us

For political wonks, next week is surely going to be an interesting one.

Tomorrow's Question Period is obviously not expected to be a yawner. In fact, I think we all know that it will be quite raucous.

Obviously the opposition will rightly question the government on the detainee revelations brought forward last week. What will be interesting to watch is how the government responds.

Harper in general terms agreed with the Manley report and recommended it to all Canadians at his campaign style speech the other day. Interestingly, one of the most extensive sections of the report deals specifically with the need for more transparency and honesty by this government about the mission. Will he extend his general support of the report to actually answer questions? Don't count on it. Based on MacKay's recent comments it appears that it will be business as usual with no attempt to raise the debate to the level of adults. In fact Peter Van Loan and Laurie Hawn, (parliamentary secretary to the Minister of Defense), have been all over the air waves echoing MacKay.

While they have for the moment ratcheted down the 'Taliban lover' idiocy, they still manage to suggest that Dion is prepared to give the enemy Canadian military information. So it would seem that they are still in the kindergarten sandbox. What would be interesting to see is Harper contradict these Ministers and actually provide something of substance.

It would be interesting because it would give us a clue as to where he may net out on the report, while showing a lack of confidence in some of the only members of cabinet that he has allowed to speak. Will it happen? It's a long shot in my view. Old dog's, new tricks? Somehow Harper does not strike me as the exception to the rule.

It's been argued that Harper may change because he has not seen real gains in the polls. While that is true and we know he wants a majority I think he believes in his strategy of decimating his opponent and the opposition, though I'm sure he uses the term enemy in his mind. When you think of his history, he has always said and done things that fly in the face of logical advice. He moderates on some issues, fashioning himself as a moderate in terms of policy, but on strategy I see no evidence of that. He is described as bland and lacking charisma and that is true, though he is not lacking in arrogance. He shows himself to be a man that is convinced of his own greatness and the only one who really knows what to do, what is right.

There is a big difference in this kind of individual and one who believes in him/herself. Those who are open to either opposing or differing expertise tend to have a more realistic view of the world. Someone who believes that there is always an opportunity to learn does far better than those who think they know it all. Those who believe they know all there is to know, live in a world that defies who we are as human beings, imo. That mentality is isolationist and shuts down intellectual curiosity. Without that, where would we be?

The week to come also will bring Linda Keen back to centre stage, on Tuesday. There is no doubt in my mind that she will have much to say. Shrinking violet does not come to mind as I think of this woman, in fact, she may well dig at the opposition for having supported the Conservative motion, even though it was on division. Somehow though I suspect she'll reserve her sharpest barbs for the Con's. Most of us have seen how they grill those they do not agree with in an effort to support their case. Think Schreiber, think RCMP. Yes, this will be an interesting committee meeting.

And speaking of Schreiber, that too is coming up. Yes indeedy! There is much to keep political wonks sated in the near future.

It will be interesting to see how it is reported. I hope perhaps that the media felt supported by recent events and the public reaction to it. There has been a tendency on their part to claim that we don't care what they think, specifically the shun they have received by the PMO. I believe that is really wrong headed. We do care how they are treated or at least we should be because they are all we have to tell us the truth. I've seen a bit of a shift in that arena and will write on that at another time.

Meanwhile, see you during the drama!
Update - Here's a little more insight into Harper and the Conservative Party. Go to Jan. 27/08, 18:05. h/t to ruralsandi and Kady of course.


Ryan said...

Harper has all the necessary qualities to become a thuggish third-world strongman.

Perhaps after he loses the next election and resigns from party leadership, he can call in a favour from his best pal Dubya and get appointed as the next "President" of Iraq.

knb said...

LOL ryan, but I think Harper is making a point to disassociate himself from Bush, like many others. I have an image of rats running from the stink, which is an image on it's own.

He'll employ Bushian strategy, because it worked in the US. He believes we're trailing them as it relates to impact on the masses and Frum has come out with a book that say's we're (Canada) is doing it right. Pun intended.

For the record, David Frum backed McCain when he lost, then went to Bush who has been a disaster and now backs Giuliani. Oh, what a guru.

Anonymous said...

in response to ryan and knb.

perhaps you could elaborate on your exact meaning of "third world strongman" ryan. have you been there to see what a third world strongman does? do you really serve a purpose perpetuating such hatred? english as a second language has not served you well.

...and knb - rats running from the stink? - how articulate. Centralist thinkers, like yourself, create the hatred through the endless babble of meaningless garb such as yours....and what exactly is a Bushian strategy?

we as a country have suffered greatly from loud mouths, like yourselves, the Toronto Star, the CBC, Desmarais et al and now, 50 years later we have a disjointed mess and we as Canadians don't even realize it only because mainstream media is a division of the Liberal party.

thanks for making such a mess.

Anonymous said...

Anon, assmonkeys like you make me sick - really.

Harper has used the worst of the Bush regime shenanigans and his style has debased politics in Canada. Maybe you enjoy screeching retards as political debate - but I can assure you that it is not.

You want to talk about hatred? Geesh go fuck yourself. Harper has used divisiveness to further his goal and introduced a "with us or against us" mentality.

Blaming the MSM is a cop out that merely means you'd like to shove your propaganda unquestioned.

Canada is suffering now and the Harper regime is causing ripples that will be felt for years.

I've given up on clueless retards such as yourself "anon" and recommend that either you go back to your meds or blow your fucking brains out... your ilk are a stain on civil discourse and should be shunned for the idiocy you spew...

Ryan said...

Anonymous--Alas, you're right.

Us "hatemongers" have no clue when it comes to foreign policy and have no idea how far the liberal media conspiracy really goes. The CBC AND the Toronto Star? Shucks, this is Orwellian by the sounds of it.

What we do have is a sense of humour though, as you can see.

knb--glad you got the joke at least.

knb said...

anon, it's difficult to respond to you, because you exhibit all that I speak to, so I feel it's all been said. Sigh.

You suggest that it is people like me that create hatred. That is beyond bizarre. None of what we see in the country now happened before we had your majesty leading us.

Either you do not read me or you live in that insane black and white world, of which you should escape. I cannot imagine being restricted to such a limited view, but you are obviously happy living there.

Your rant about media includes 2 examples, obviously excluding the vast majority of media in this country. Asking questions seems to offend you, though your ilk tends to defend that right. Get your story straight would be my advice.

World stage? Mess? Sorry pal, currently that is all up to Harper. The Lib's did not do everything perfectly but your guy has somehow managed to just about get everything wrong.

But hey, stick with him and by all means, come back with your comments next week and through the next election. The more Harper screws up, the more irrational his followers seem to get.

Luke said...

What really troubles me is how the Cons blame the Libs for gutting the military and condemning Libs for raising concerns over the treatment of Afghan detainees. The Cons may have forgotten the Somalia affair.

From Macleans Magazine: The roots of the scandal go back to 1992 and a telephone call from George Bush to his friend Brian Mulroney - known for marching in lock-step with the Americans. Bush invited Canada to join the U.S.-led relief mission to war-torn Somalia. Top Defence officials - including chief of staff Gen. John de Chastelain and deputy minister of defence Robert Fowler, who would emerge as two of the central characters in the ensuing drama - favored joining the mission. Their motivation, according to the Somalia commission’s report: finding a prominent role in a high-profile mission to remove the memory of the minor participation of Canada’s military in the Gulf War. "A role that was seen as secondary would not sit well with the troops, with me, with the government or with Canadians," the report quotes de Chastelain as cautioning Colin Powell, then-chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff.
Instead of glory, Somalia brought infamy. With the army’s resources stretched to the limit, the only troops available for the mission were the Canadian Airborne Regiment, a proud fighting unit with a lineage dating back to the heroics of Canadian paratroopers during the Second World War. But as the inquiry report underlined, the Airborne - trained for combat, not peacekeeping - was an appallingly bad choice for the African mission. In addition, it was undergoing inner turmoil: because of government military cutbacks, the Airborne had recently lost 200 of its 900 members”

As you can see the Military was suffering cutbacks during the Conservative's period in office. 1984-1993

With the Somalia affair and Airborne Hazing videos released to the media, the reputation of the Military was tarnished in the eyes of the Cdn Public.
The public had no problem cutting back military spending and using tax dollars to ease the pressure of the recession.

If people truly supported our Troops they definitely wouldn’t want a similar tragedy as Somalia to be repeated.

RuralSandi said...

"He shows himself to be a man that is convinced of his own greatness and the only one who really knows what to do, what is right."

Boy, have you got that right. If you want proof and ready something really creepy and disturbing - read Kady O'Mally's blog about Harper photos - very disturbing indeed.

RuralSandi said...

"He shows himself to be a man that is convinced of his own greatness and the only one who really knows what to do, what is right."

Boy, have you got that right. If you want proof and ready something really creepy and disturbing - read Kady O'Mally's blog about Harper photos - very disturbing indeed.

knb said...

Good point luke. The con's never seem to recall that Mulroney made heavy cuts to military spending too.

Your quite right, supporting the troops means protecting them and their reputation.

Those sentiments don't quite fit the "tough guy" talking points however, so they are ignored.

knb said...

Yikes Sandi! That seems downright pathological.

Thanks for the tip. I'll link to Kady's blog.