Sunday, January 31, 2010

Give it Time to Fade? No

A talking point I see taking shape, (and pushed today by Rex Murphy on Cross Country Check-Up), is that by the time parliament comes back, this whole bothersome 'prorogation' thing will have died down.

I disagree. To be clear, I disagree because they are missing the main issue. It's not the fact that Harper prorogued like others before him. It's of course how and why he prorogued and what that action confirmed about the man.

Harper proroguing parliament played into a narrative that was growing. The prorogation simply gave it shape. The narrative was difficult to distill into a simple concept because Harper has acted inappropriately in a number of ways and venues.

He's gone after civil servants, he's played with House committees and their work. He's skirted election financing rules and reneged on his promise to implement the Accountability Act in full. He's stacked the Senate, made no serious move for reform and even made a Senator a cabinet minister in the early days. He's lied, often. ie, Environmental plan, the Coalition and it's meaning, markets disliking minority parliaments, the deficit, in fact the worldwide financial situation was brushed off as nonsense by this (cough) economist.

There's more, but seriously, how do you articulate all that in a sound bite? You can't. The prorogation issue brought all and more of these disparate facts together and boiled it down to the character of the man.

The issue is his style and method of governance and if people really think that is going to go away when parliament reconvenes, well I want what they are smoking.

Oh, and to all who believe that Harper and co. will reinvent themselves by using the Olympics, I'd think again if I were you. You see, politicizing our games will further feed the cynicism that has been awakened in this country. He'll simply reinforce the now more widespread notion as to how manipulative he is.

So, will this all fade away? No, me thinks not.

31 comments:

Anonymous said...

Depends on what the Liberals do over the next week or two because the Olympics are going to wipe coverage of all things politics from Feb 12-28.

However, given the tone-deafness and shamelessness of Harper, I'm sure he's going to go overboard at the Olympics and make a fool of himself.

Besides, if the Cons are down too much, Jack Layton would be forced to rescue them.

KNB said...

Ha! Likely true about Jack.

I know the Lib's have ton's on their agenda for the next couple of weeks, so it depends how they are covered.

Personally, I think the CBC and CPAC have not done what they should as political events arise. Some coverage, but minimal.

CPAC especially should be recording ALL roundtables.

A writing campaign may be in order.

kirbycairo said...

The other side to the story is the expanding ignorance of the population at large concerning the mechanisms of government and the role that is playing in how people perceive what Harper is doing. For example, the majority of people in Canada don't understand exactly what prorogation means and how it works or the implications of how Harper handles the civil service. And I really this ignorance is expanding rapidly creating an Americanization of politics. Take as a comparison the way that Fox News and the so-called Tea Party Movement portrays Obama as a socialist and a whole section of the population is so profoundly ignorant of any actual political processes or principles that this discourse actually means something to average Americans. Many Americans actually have to look up to Palin's intellectual abilities and that why she resonates with so many of them. I see this process happening in Canada and Harper and his gang promote this ignorance because they know it feeds into their agenda. So while I think you are right that a certain segment of the population understand what is going on and will never vote for Harper, there is this growing group of largely ignorant Canadians who just see the rhetoric and that is who he is after.

Skinny Dipper said...

In the weeks and months ahead, I do think the prorogation issue will subside. However, with determination, the issue of improving Canadian democracy should become front and centre. There's more to democracy than the prorogation issue. We need to deal with improving Canada's parliament and democracy.

Tomm said...

KNB,

I'm sure you will do your best to keep the prorogation issue front and centre.

With respect to CPAC and CBC covering the CBC roundtables, don't you think they have already gone above and beyond for their political buddies?

You can't even get Harper's speeches on CBC anymore and CPAC is so focussed on Quebec it is hard to really see how they represent much of the rest of the country.

Kephalos said...

LAM,
You failed to mention the first and most costly of Harper's lies: income trust tax leakage. It's a $35 billion harm.

You have been exploited. You are an average Canadian who has a small understanding of tax and finance. To bad for 'us'.

Tomm said...

I emant "LPC roundtables" not "CBC roundtables".

Sorry for the Freudian slip.

Omar said...

Cross Country Check-Up should have had a show on prorogation last weekend instead of the second Sunday in a row focusing on the Haiti disaster. Actually, I'm amazed Rex Murphy did a show on prorogation at all. Yep, that damn lefty CBC kowtowing to its political buddies. Oh, the humanity!

Tomm said...

Omar.

thankfully, Rex isn't drinking the kool-aid. He tries to keep himself independent.

Have you seen his articles on the "Green Inquisition"?

Tomm said...

The prorogation has caused a 10% move in the polls. The Liberal's may have gotten all they can out of it. If they keep pushing they may end up looking as opportunistic as the party they are ripping at.

Dame said...

I think Rex is the one to be faded soon .... and long overdue!!!

Savant said...

I guarantee this will fade, and I'll tell you why...

Does anyone remember the fracas that was the 'coalition' just a year ago? Do you remember the almost identical public outrage and the half-dozen polls that had the Tories sitting between 44 & 52%? It was all over for the opposition, a Tory majority was a 'sure thing', the opposition parties would never recover from that - or so we were told.

The 'public outrage' from that event was just as pronounced as the 'public outrage' from this recent event. The 'fade' will happen just the same.

Does noone remember the Tories trying to keep the media interested in the coalition story? Yet that issue died WITHOUT any big competing issue like Haiti or the Olympics. Do you honestly think that things will somehow be different WITH those competing issues in the media?

In a year most people will have totally forgotten about this prorogation, just like they forgot about the coalition attempt a year ago. In March the government will resume, and the talk will be less about prorogation, and more about whether the government will be defeated on the Throne Speech.

As hard as they try, the opposition just will not be able to keep this story alive. The Tories couldn't do it with the coalition story, and the Liberals won't be able to do it with prorogation.

KNB said...

Kirbycairo, indeed that is who he is after, but the people in that group who vote, I think he has already.

I see the other group expanding at this point. Those who didn't know but are now paying attention and don't like it.

What you describe, is shifting, imo. It was there to be sure, but I see that changing.

KNB said...

SkinnyDipper, that is essentially what I am saying.

Prorogation per se is not it. Harper is and that is becoming clearer.

KNB said...

Tomm, that really wasn't serious was it? I can't turn on the TV without seeing Harper.

KNB said...

Kephalos, you are correct that I did not include it, but agree it was his first breech.

I didn't include everything, the list is too long.

KNB said...

Omar, almost word for word that is what I said to my partner.

'Hey, Rex finally discovered that parliament is prorogued!'

KNB said...

Tomm...Murphy independent? He may not belong to a party, but the man is a c/Conservative devotee.

KNB said...

Savant, your analogy doesn't make sense.

The issue of the coalition was dead after the GG made her decision. This arose after a like decision.

Oh, and the outrage was no where near comparable. FB numbers not even close and the faux outrage over the coalition was fueled by media. Prorogation was pooh-poohed by media types as being an issue.

They were wrong in both cases.

marie said...

anon 7:25
Depends on what the Liberals do over the next week or two because the Olympics are going to wipe coverage of all things politics from Feb 12-28.


Your opinion is just an opinion and I will leave it at that.
Opinion writers on NP and G&M are so partisan one can take them with a grain of salt. Means nothing and makes them look stupid. They are to partisan to be believable and trust worthy.

Seeing Harper in his desperation, I agree with you that he just might end up making a fool of himself which he would ignore anyway and blame it all on the Liberals. That his style, Always was and always will be but he is learning that now that Canadians are better informed than he thought and they are mad enough to show him who's boss at the next election polls. And as for Harper being down, you can count on opportunist Layton, who you can bet will again prop him up especially if his poll percentage is down. That's his style. Promise the moon while he knows darn well that he will never be a PM. That's why he gets away with his promises. they sound good and that's why he says he would promise to do this or that while knowing that he will never have the opportunity to keep the promises he makes.

People forget and confuse each party with provincial politics and
that is further from the truth.NDP win provincial election but will not ever win federal elections and will probably never become the opposition party.

The NDP Premiers put the governments they lead in a deficit and sit back and criticize them and again make promise they couldn't possibly keep by their past records.

Provinces that have a strong union base vote for the NDP.
The NDP Premiers put the governments they lead in a deficit and sit back and criticize the other parties and again start making promises they can't possibly keep by their past records.

Ontario was one of those provinces and so was my promise who chased away businesses from investing in that province. When the liberals won, they had to erase the deficit by Premier Clark who was a shady character and taken to court for doing favors for contracts and Building fast ferries which were not adequate for the route by the way they were built and contracted before all bids were in. Those ferries were later sold for a fraction of what the cost was to build them. That's the NDP style.

Thats the Layton NDP style.

marie said...

You can't even get Harper's speeches on CBC anymore and CPAC is so focussed on Quebec it is hard to really see how they represent much of the rest of the country.
Why is it that CBC never shows the entire reports made by Ignatieff and cover everything for the Reform/Cons

kirbycairo said...

Just a little factoid Marie - I am no defender of Jack Layton but provincial NDP governments in Canada have a better record of balancing budgets than any other party. And imagine criticising Harper for his partisanship while most of your comment is a partisan diatribe against the NDP. You're no better than he.

marie said...

With respect to CPAC and CBC covering the CBC roundtables, don't you think they have already gone above and beyond for their political buddies?

a lot less coverage than the G&M or NP. Bought and paid for by Stevie H

The prorogation has caused a 10% move in the polls. The Liberals may have gotten all they can out of it. If they keep pushing they may end up looking as opportunistic as the party they are ripping at.

Tomm, its not only the propagation but a lot of other boners by the Cons. Spending Canadians tax dollars like drunkard sailors like it was their own isn't helping him either. Being a control dictatorial leader including his regiem isn'tsitting well as well as a PM that has no regard for Canadians and how about all the broken promises he has broken ever since he was first elected way back in 2005 and how about his letter to the then GG on a coalition request to bring down the Martin government or the bribing of an MP for a million dollars that he supported and lied about? You know Tomm, that's a fact and the records prove that.There are some Canadians that do take the time to learn and read facts, reason them out, use some common sense and they are the ones that will boot this man out. It takes more than the province of Alberta to decide who will be the Pm or the next one. Don't count your chickens before they hatch. I for one am counting on the good sense of all Canadians from sea to sea to sea who will use common sense when they vote and when they do, your inept PM will be history and made to wear the label of being the worst Pm ever in Canada.

marie said...

kirbycairo:Just a little factoid Marie - I am no defender of Jack Layton but provincial NDP governments in Canada have a better record of balancing budgets than any other party.

I believe that the ndp in Ontario had a deficit of 6 billion dollars thanks to Flaherty and I know for a fact that the government of BC Glen Clark campaigned on a balanced budget and when the books were audied when the liberals won,they found that the NDP had left that government in the red. There have not been many NDP provincial governments other than Manitoba and Saskatchewan but I do know all about BC,I live there and have seen the province in rough shape thanks to the NDP. If you can hand out the rhetoric be prepared to handle it also when someone else or yourself does it.
Sorry cirbyario but I am not one to take insults without defending myself nor do you.

You know the old saying,one should look in the mirror before criticizing others. I plan to do just that myself but I think that those of us who visit and comment on blogs have to take a look in their own mirrors before calling someone else out for it.

Regards,
Marie

kirbycairo said...

Defend yourself all you want, it is still true. And by the way Flaherty's deficit was of his own making. Now go back and look at the record of the NDP governments in Saskatchewan and Manitoba and when you take the number of NDP governments and divide it by the number of balanced budgets and compare the same statistic with Liberal, and Conservative governments you will find that the NDP has a better percentage record. And even if the record were not better it is certainly no worse and the facts completely belie the common perception of the NDP being a fiscally irresponsible party.

As for the rest of the debate, it is not an insult to point out that you are deriding Harper for being partisan while your own partisanship has blinded you to simple fact.

If I wanted to insult you I would simply point out that your grammar is atrocious and you seem unable to form proper sentences. If your political knowledge and theoretical understanding is as poor as your grammar then your political opponents have nothing to worry about.

Kirby

Fred from BC said...

or the bribing of an MP for a million dollars that he supported and lied about? You know Tomm, that's a fact and the records prove that.


No, Marie...that's just a LIE. And a laughably amateurish one, too.

And since there is absolutely no actual evidence (sorry, no...the old "he said-she said" is NOT 'evidence') to prove that a million dollars was offered as a 'bribe', nor that Stephen Harper lied about this issue, the real liar here is YOU, Marie. Grow up...

Omar said...

A little antsy these days, Freddie Boy? Slightly hot under the collar, yeah? You should be. This joke of a government you love to crow about is on its last legs. Not only will there be no Harper majority the CPC even retaining power is looking extremely unlikely. It's time your team got a new leader Fredo, because the one you have couldn't lead flies to shit. Happy days are clearly on the horizon!

marie said...

Good morning KNB. I am appalled on what is happening on your fine blog. When bloggers start attacking others for their opinion, it is time to quit reading them and move on which is what I will be doing as of now. I will not lower myself to those levels nor will I respond to their barbs. Its a waste of time and not worth it.

Thanks for your blog site and interesting reading. I come to these sites to learn about the news in the political world. I will continue to visit your site but I will not be offering any more opinions here or any other site.

I am done.

Best Regards,

Marie

Fred from BC said...

Omar said...

A little antsy these days, Freddie Boy? Slightly hot under the collar, yeah? You should be. This joke of a government you love to crow about is on its last legs. Not only will there be no Harper majority the CPC even retaining power is looking extremely unlikely.


In your dreams, Omar :)

Poor Marie's ego continues to write cheques that her intellect can't cash. I don't mind her being wrong all the time (that's kinda funny, actually) but hearing the same tired old lies over and over and OVER and over....well, it just begs for a response. So does slander. Consider yourself lucky that I don't take this stuff seriously enough to forward it to someone who might do something about it, Omar. You wouldn't be the first blogger who found himself on the wrong end of a libel suit...

(oh, wait...you weren't actually thinking that you are really *anonymous* on these blogs, were you?)

But it looks like Marie has decided to quit while she's ahead anyway. Yeah, she's also trying to lay a guilt trip on KNB in the process (awww...pooor baby...;), but I don't see that one working.

'Bye Marie!

marie said...

But it looks like Marie has decided to quit while she's ahead anyway. Yeah, she's also trying to lay a guilt trip on KNB in the process (awww...pooor baby...;), but I don't see that one working.

'Bye Marie!

Stuff it Fred. You want to talk about about slander. What the hell do you think you are doing?
.... Poor sucker fred...:),

Omar said...

How exactly did I slander you, Fred? By pointing out you appeared "antsy" and a little "hot under the collar"? That's libelous is it? I'm going to assume you do not understand what 'slander' actually means. A piece of advice, Fredrika, I'd be the last one braying about someone else's lack of intellect.