Friday, April 27, 2007

Let's Go To The Polls

First off, check out this video of David Suzuki CONFRONTING John Baird, classy but firm.

I'm done with strategic thinking (until tomorrow). If the opposition, rarely united, on an issue that everyone agrees is the number one concern, doesn't force an election now, then it's all hot air. Chantal Hebert and Don Martin both make the same point today, and it's a valid one, isn't it time for the opposition to put up or shut up?

This is the issue of our time, a moral obligation, that supercedes any particular parties ambitions. The time to debate this issue, once and for all, is RIGHT NOW, while everyone is engaged. Parliament is clearly dysfunctional, when the majority will is ignored, and the minority uses trickery to avoid accountability. That is the bottomline, the government isn't accountable to the Canadian people, through their representation. On a critical issue, parliament is apparently irrelevant, and the government acts like monarchy.

Parliament has crafted a bill, and this revised ACT enjoys the support of virtually everyone, except for Conservative MP's and some oil execs (poor Exxon, only a 9 BILLION profit for the first quarter this year). It is time for the oppostion to hang their hats on the revised Clean Air Act. If the government chooses to ignore and present a substitute fraud, then the opposition has no choice but to introduce a non-confidence motion.

The moment is now, pull the plug and let Canadians decide the direction they want, once and for all. How can anyone who argues urgency sit on their hands, while we waste more time? How can anyone who pontificates the moral obligation, stand down because the political winds look risky? Time to match the rhetoric with action fellas. BRING THEM DOWN.

Scott Tribe feels the same.


Canadian Tar Heel said...

Hi Steve,

In politics, as is the case with other things, timing is everything. And I agree. Now is the time for the opposition to push a green agenda.

Olaf said...


That's the spirit. It's something that ChuckerCanuck has been ranting about for some time: if we are to believe the rhetoric that the future of our civilization depends on beating Harper and his band of enviro-ne'er-do-wells, well then there is really no time to spare. Indeed, it would seem that if Kyoto really is the path to our salvation, then the NDP and Liberals can't afford not to form some sort of coalition government to tackle the problem head on as Canada's - nay, the entire world's - number one sole priority.

Steve V said...

" believe the rhetoric that the future of our civilization"

Olaf, it's not rhetoric and you know it. You endorse the Conservatives usurping parliament and arbitarily putting out a plan, despite a minority scenario? If the plan is so "ambitious", then Baird should have no problem bringing it to our democratic institution.

It's not even about Kyoto anymore, the plan is a loophole filled sham, as evidence by the grins of oil execs. I'm surprised Baird didn't send a directive to tell them to scream and moan, to at least give the appearance of credibility.

Steve V said...


If you open your window right now, you can probably still hear the sighs of relief :)

Ti-Guy said...

I'd rather watch them fail some more. 17 years of Reform-a-Tory obstructionism and irritation deserves a bigger payback, and besides, I'm not quite sure we'll just be getting the same government again.

Remember 36% is really all it takes, and the Conservatives have that lunatic fringe all sewn up.

Gayle said...

Actually, olaf does have a point.

The NDP and the Liberals, and, for that matter, the Bloc, should have a vote of no-donfidence and then go to our GG and say they are willing to work in coalition to form the government. Get the Green plan implemented and then go to an election in the fall.

The three opposition parties should put their differences aside for the good of the country.
It would not be unprecedented.

Anonymous said...


Do you need a framework agreement first?

Are the Liberals willing to let the NDP run half the ministries in Ottawa?

Even if there is an election in the fall, will the Liberals need to keep the NDP on side for a further two years even if there is a majority government is won? What about the Bloc, they need to be included too?

Defeating Harper's government is easy. Let's take this scenario. What do you expect from a three party Liberal, BQ, and NDP coalition?

Olaf said...


As Gayle points out, I'm largely agreeing with you. Personally, I think that Canada has an international obligation to confront an international problem, and would like to see our government acting in that direction. However, I also think that whether we meet arbitrary targets now or in 10 years will have a negligible affect on global warming, as opposed to opposition rhetoric which seems to suggest the future of civilization depends on the immediacy of meeting said arbitrary targets.

If Dion and Layton really believed what they said, as Gayle points out, then a coalition government, as I suggest here, would be the only morally sound option.

And from what I have gleaned, the oil industry is only happy relatively speaking. I know any mention of relief in the oil patch (which last time I checked, pays for countless federal social programs through direct royalties and supports countless industries throughout the country) is a necessarily evil, and that if God were on the side of good he'd make sure that every oil company received no profit for their malicious designs. However, the industry knows that regulations are coming, and I'm not exactly sure that producing outrage in the oil patch should be the intended result of environmental programs.

I mean sure, we could assess an environmental policy by how happy environmentalists are and how mad oil executives are, however I'm not sure that it's the most appropriate guage of balance between environmental stewardship and economic well being, which I hope is what we're trying to achieve.

Steve V said...

Don Newman just followed suit, asking if this is the issue of our time, then don't we need an election?

Olaf, fair points, although I would say that you can gauge a piece of legislation by how the various interest groups react.

ottlib said...


Welcome back, we missed you.

For me it is a matter of honouring an agreement that we signed in good faith. A country of Canada's status and stature in the international community honours its agreements even if they become inconvenient. That is just the way it is. Indeed, the Kyoto Protocol is international law and it is unthinkable that Canada would not respect international law. At least it was until last night.

A few days ago I argued that Canada strive to meet its Kyoto obligations and not be afraid of failure in doing so.

Our Kyoto partners would appreciate our situation and they would have little problem with our falling short provided we honestly tried to meet our commitments. As well, they would not expect Canada to begger itself or any segment of its economy to do so.

However, if we walk away from our commitments without even trying to meet them it would have an incalculable negative impact on our relations with our Kyoto partners.

For me I am not as bothered by the Conservative environmental policy because of its weakness as I am bothered by how this government is so cavalierly breaking the word of the Nation. As night follows day the Conservatives will lose an election sometime in the future and the new government can develop a stronger environmental policy. However, Canada's international reputation will be much more difficult to repair by any new government and doing so will be costly.

knb said...

I said this at Scott's too, I think the delay of taking any action, again, is too much of a price. Lord knows how much I'd like to see this government gone, but elections take time.

Frankly, I think there may be a risk, that non political junkies, would throw up their hands and not bother to vote at all.

I don't know the answer. Even though Layton's scheme looks good, sorry I do not trust him.

To be honest, this week has my head spinning and I'm finding it difficult to sort through it.

Steve V said...

"Our Kyoto partners would appreciate our situation and they would have little problem with our falling short provided we honestly tried to meet our commitments. As well, they would not expect Canada to begger itself or any segment of its economy to do so."

Ottlib, there was a great deal of sympathy from our partners, regarding Canada's predicament in Nairobi. I took this to mean there would be some flexibility if Canada failed to meet its targets. In fact, if Baird presented different scenarios, I'm sure we could have reached an accomodation, as our partners wouldnt't want to see Canada leave the protocol.


It might all come to a head when the Rodriguez Kyoto bill passes the Senate.

I actually listened to a full half hour interview with Baird today on CBC radio. You think your head is spinning :)

Miles Lunn said...

I agree with ottlib here for the most part. I don't think we can meet our Kyoto targets, but if we tried hard now and made significant progress, people, the international community would be at least happy to see us moving in the right direction.

As for the international damage, it is tough to say, but I think it will be minor simply because we are so small and people pay little attention to us. I highly doubt the average European really knows much about Canada's politics. I think the United States invading Iraq though will cause far more long-term damage as the US is a country people notice and when it steps out of line the damage is much greater and for much longer. Still just because we are small and people might not notice us much doesn't mean we should walk away totally.

Had I been I charge, I would have said, I don't think we can realistically meet our Kyoto targets, but we will try to get as close as possible and by whatever percentage we miss our targets by, we will agree to additional targets by that amount in the second round, otherwise if otherwise if we miss it by 10%, we must cut emissions by 10% more than what others are required to do.

The problem here is most Tories have probably never been outside of the continent and when one looks at the ridings they won, only a handful are ethnically diverse (ironically though John Baird's riding is the most diverse Conservative riding in Ontario), so a lot seem to only care about our relations with the US. I happen to agree with Joe Clark that it isn't about choosing between the United States and the rest of the World, but striking the best balance that tries to bridge the gap between the two.

knb said...

I saw him on CBC this morning Steve and to be honest, it was hilarious. Heather Hiscox was in the midst of greeting him and started to say something about the bad weather in TO, when he kind of nodded, cut her off and blurted out, "yes, this is the most progressive...blah, blah".

He must have been rehearsing all night. He answered not one question.

I think in choosing him, Harper looked for who can lie the best, because that is what we have. Gawd, the vid is painful. You can see how sincere Suzuki is, his voice actually catches with emotion. Baird, big bully schmoozer.

This is the honest truth. When I saw Baird making his announcement this morning, I thought to myself, "wouldn't it be cool if Suzuki showed up and called him to task on air." I couldn't listen to him anymore, so I turned it off. I guess I missed my evil thought coming to pass. Thanks for the vid.

ottlib said...


The European people may not have noticed Canada breaking its word yesterday but you can be certain their governments did.

The damage that could be done in those circles is incalculable. As I stated in a previous post, yesterday's decision could have some implications for finding European replacements for our troops in Afghanistan in 2009.

Conceivably, yesterday's decision to abandon Kyoto could leave us no other option than extending the Afghanistan mission in a couple of years.

Miles Lunn said...

Ottlib - There is no question on the Afghanistan front it could hurt us, although I think our replacements are most likely to come from Britain and the United States who will probably be forced to pull out of Iraq before the next election or else risk the governing parties getting thumped at the polls.

And certainly our relations with the European governments have been much worse under Harper. In fact the only countries he has good relations with are the United States and Australia. Britain our relations are alright as they seem to like to straddle the face between Europe and North America and really cannot decide which to align themselves with as they are a very reluctant EU member and have the strongest trans-Atlantic ties.

Stephen said...

I'm with you Steve, it's time to go to the polls. Aside from being an ultra-important issue, it is a winning issue for the opposition, and therefore what I think the government should fall on.

Steve V said...

"it is a winning issue for the opposition"

It just might be. I'm going to do a head post tomorrow, to accompany my heart one today.