Thursday, March 12, 2009

More Interested in Games than Governance

I'm sure that you saw this story that lays out how Speaker Miliken has ruled on an issue that has bothered many of us for some time.

This didn't come out of the blue. All parties have complained about the extraordinary lack of decorum in the House for a while now, (read: since the Conservatives took power), and he vowed to take their submissions and review what could be done. Last week, he sent all the House leaders a letter stating that he'd be issuing his ruling today. So, the parties knew what was coming and if they'd missed all of that, they heard his ruling this morning.

Of course, the Conservatives don't respect much about our institutions and indeed seem to delight in flouting rules. So, in spite of the ruling these three characters:

Tim Upall, Sylvie Boucher and Rodney Weston, Conservatives all, rose in the House today to present their statements and deliberately went against the ruling. They personally attacked Ignatieff and inserted the usual lies, 'he's going to impose a carbon tax', etc.

True to his word, Miliken cut them off. It was a sight to behold. Now let's be clear. When the Speaker makes a ruling, that's it, that's all. Rulings cannot be appealed or challenged, but that of course in another little rule that the Conservatives couldn't abide. Following QP, Upall was up on his feet claiming that his being cut off wasn't fair, because after all, in 2006 a Liberal once personally attacked a Conservative member. Really. He said that. Following him, who should appear? Well, the perpetually petulant whiner himself:

Yep, that's right, Poilievre. The weirdly robotic rebel stood to chastise and challenge the Speaker. He certainly has the whole passive/aggressive thing down. He suggested that the Speaker was shielding the leader of the Opposition adding that surely the leader wasn't so frail that he required such protection. He went on to inform the Speaker that voters put members in the House and it was up to them, not him, to decide whether or not they liked what MP's said. Finally, he brought up the fact that the Speaker belonged to a particular political party and therefore may be susceptible to pressure from said party. What an absolute jerk. If there isn't a penalty for being disrespectful and challenging the Speaker, there should be.

All of that to say, it was yet another example of how the Conservatives are there for the games, not the governance. They've begun their campaign to obtain donations based on lies and of course they pulled what I suppose they thought was going to be a big coup on the backs of people in need of Employment Insurance. Disgusted yet?

Much is being made of the sudden turn around by the Lib's. Two things here. Consider this as well as something that no one is talking about. Yesterday during the Senate committee meeting, Conservative Senator DiNino suggested, nay insisted, that they sit through next week in an effort to get all the information they required. Funny how that isn't being reported isn't it? It's also strange that not one Conservative Senator to my knowledge brought up the fact that EI would be compromised if they didn't pass the bill immediately. Games my friends, games.

That said, note to Liberals: Get your legislative review group to understand that this kind of nonsense is going to continue. The Conservatives aren't above hurting Canadians with their games, so the issuance of fine tooth combs wouldn't go amiss.

It occurs to me that we are fortunate in this country to have so many of our fundamentals firmly rooted because the party in charge certainly plays dangerous games that could otherwise do far more harm.

More here.


Anonymous said...

Harper has introduced many, many to aspects to politics in Canada. All of them low brow.

Karen said...

Indeed he has foot. Thankfully that can change with a new government.

penlan said...

Other than PP the other Cons are obscure backbenchers as far as I can tell. Easier for them to take the fall, if push comes to shove, in the public eye. And PP is safe in his riding - or so it seems.

The EI provision has me confused as well as Ignatieff's response to it.

I knew about that provision last week, having read it on someone's blog - can't remember who - so why was this a sudden "surprise" to the Libs? It doesn't make sense to me. They should have known about it even if they are now saying they didn't. I find it difficult to believe they didn't know. Does this mean they didn't actually study the budget? And if so, why not? How could they have missed that? If they did that is.

And, unfortunately, this does make it look like the Libs were playing games. I'm not saying they were but it gives that appearance. And that's the last thing the Party needs right now - to have that re-inforced in the voters mind.

Karen said...

I agree that they should have found this in the budget penlan and I think I said as much in the post.

I'm surprised you saw it somewhere. I saw talk about the back dating and retro-active nature of the provision, but nothing on the fact that people could lose out. Indeed, no Conservative ever mentioned it in the House, in Committee or on TV until Flaherty had his revelation after meeting with the Senate.

penlan said...

Well the news being such a surprise to everybody really needs to get out there to the public. The media needs to get on this & let everyone know the games Harper was playing. Just so he could use it against Ignatieff. It's abuse of those who have lost their jobs.