Monday, May 21, 2007


Conservative Whip Jay Hill offers a completely pathetic defense for the Tory playbook:
"It's no big secret that this is a minority Parliament. We're outnumbered both in the chamber, dramatically outnumbered of course in the Senate by the Liberal majority over there, and outnumbered in every single standing committee."

So it's important, he said, to ensure that the committee chairs have the tools they need "to push back when we see the opposition parties basically getting together and trying to put together a coalition government between the three of them."

Apparently, it is a big secret that this is the minority Parliament, because clearly the Tories have taken a posture that doesn't incorporate the reality. Hill has the audacity to use of the concept of majority opinion as though it is a hinderance. The minority must "push back" against the majority, to ensure that the minority ends up getting its way. Think about that logic? It serves as a fundamental betrayal of the concept of democracy.

Two thirds of Canadians didn't vote for the Conservatives. That reality translates into a Parliament, wherein the government can't do anything without the support of at least one opposition party. Instead of finding ways to reach out to a particular opposition party in committee, the government would rather usurp the process and manipulate in the shadows. There is an arrogance behind Hill's comments, because he implies the Conservatives have an obligation.

I guess the Tories have to offer some defence for their actions, but if Hill's comments represent the party line, they might be better to say nothing. Attacking the concept of democracy, complaining about majority rule to defend you actions, is both alarming and asinine.


knb said...

Having seen him interviewed a few times over the weekend, I was struck by how often he insisted that Canadians voted for the conservatives and they expect them to implement their full agenda.

What nonsense. 2/3 of Canadians voted against their agenda, full stop.

This consistent pattern of spewing fiction as fact, is becoming a little less frightening than it once was, because it is being exposed, finally.

The "noble lie" does not seem to have the power it once held, in part I suspect due to it's failure in the US, or at least it's unravelling.

That is not to say that we can relax and become complacent nor that all will unfold as it should. No, I still think there is a tendancy to be too forgiving of some of this behaviour, in part because it sometimes occurs in trivial matters. They add up though and add credence to the pattern/strategy.

I have maintained for a while that their arrogance would be their comeuppance. At the moment that seems to be true. I doubt we'll see any mea culpa's from this group, instead we're likely to see more of the same. Fine by me. I'd rather see them fail through hubris, than by the Liberals trying to explain their hidden agenda. The conservatives are exposing it quite nicely, all on their own.

Steve V said...

"I'd rather see them fail through hubris, than by the Liberals trying to explain their hidden agenda. The conservatives are exposing it quite nicely, all on their own."

At this stage, the Liberal strategy should be too just get out of the way, because clearly these guys are their own worst enemy.

knb said...

Indeed. Take a look at this CBC tape. Watch as Scott Reid pushes Van Dusen aside.

Charming isn't he?

Obviously this stuff rattled their cages.

Steve V said...

Thanks for the link. I hadn't heard Martin's comments, "constitutional crisis", "kings have been executed for that kind of thing", "parliament is toast".

And we wonder why politicians score the lowest, with Canadians on trust.

Darren McEwen said...


That report by Van Dusen is good. It should be spread around more. That Scott Reid "shoulder pat" was kind of ... strange.

I like their talking points now, or at least Hill's talking points -- we're outnumbered by people who were voted in by the Canadian people.

In other words - you've lost control and the MPs who Canadians elected aren't going to put up with it.

knb said...

No, it's not surprising Steve. Sadly the whole bunch go down with the ship and not all of them deserve it. That is true of all parties btw.

Darren, I'd call it more than a tap. You can hear her go, whoa! I can tell you I'd be upset if anyone did that to me, but perhaps it happens all the time?

sassy said...

And I thought that with Parliament on break, it was going to be a quiet week in "blogLand". Looks like I could be wrong or perhaps a little naive.

Steve V said...

Peter Van Loan

"The opposition ... is entirely incapable of articulating an effective issue in the House of Commons and now is resorting to paralyzing the business of government at the committee level."

knb said...

"Mr. Speaker, the obstruction playbook was written by the opposition"

Peter Van Loan

Steve V said...

This is fun :)

Peter Van Loan

"The opposition pulls out every stop they can to obstruct...We want to work together with all the parties in the House"

knb said...

Garth's latest post has some interesting, albeit disturbing insight.

That should be a story in the MSM.

Gayle said...

knb - next time please warn us if the clip is going to show Brian Jean :). He is a lawyer from Fort Mac and a shameless self promoter (the Journal did a story just after the election about how he sent Harper a video tape "auditioning" for a committee chair).

From what I understand he has carried his arrogance into the committee and has badgered witnesses who are not favourable to the government.

He is a lot like Baird. Hopefully he will get more media play in the months to come. He will not be liked.

But don't allow my personal feeling of anamosity cloud your judgment :).

knb said...

"this so-called book of dirty tricks is nothing more than the parliamentary tools that are available to all committee chairs."

Jay Hill

So does this mean that, Tom Wappel, Yasmin Ratansi, Shawn Murphy, John Maloney, Diane Marleau and Bernard Patry, got theirs?

knb said...

Sorry about that Gayle, :).

I've seen him on committee and he is as arrogant as they come. Yes, somewhat like Baird, but his sarcasm is biting with no attempt at humour. Self righteous is a term I'd use to decribe him.

Odd what opinions people develop about themselves isn't it?

Anonymous said...

Actually, if you remember back during the election, the polls said that most people voted out of anger or need of change - only 9% voted for the CPC policies.

That's why they have to try to keep that anger going, but something tells me people have had enough of going back and want to see a government take some responsibility.

The Liberals have new people now and I think people are sick and tired of 13 years blah, blah, blah. We've now had 16 months of blah, blah, blah. It took the Liberals 13 years and the CPC only 16 months.

In_The_Centre said...

What nonsense. 2/3 of Canadians voted against their agenda, full stop.

Id caution using this line of argument given that 60% of Canadians voted against the Chretien agenda throughout the 90's.

However, everything else posted here I agree with.

I would wager money that if the Conservatives actually acted like real Tories (low taxes, small government etc.), Canadians would respect it and award them higher poll numbers.


Gayle said...

ITC - you are correct regarding the numbers, but the conservatives are certainly more isolated ideologically than the liberals.

I expected that a minority conservative government would eventually bog down, because there is no other party they can work idealogically.

I think many NDP supporters were never completely unhappy with a liberal government, which is not true of a conservative government.

Anonymous said...

in the centre - it is "NOT" nonsense. Look back at the polls during the election!

Get over yourself.

knb said...

I understand what you're saying ITC, but the dynamic was different, as in the actually had a majority, they weren't just playing one on TV.

That said, I think Gayle is dead on. We're talking progressives, to varying degrees, voting against a regressive agenda, (which made up 29% in 1993 and is not much larger now).

Any way you cut it, the vast majority in this country do not support the con agenda.

Steve V said...

Maybe it would be better to say almost 2/3 of parliamentarians aren't Conservative.

knb said...

Okay...well could say that and make it super simple and all, :), LOL!

I didn't mean to get convoluted. ITC made a valid point, one I've read before and because I tend to think as I write...well, there you go.

Thx for making it what it is.

Steve V said...


Just wanted to point is valid no matter which numbers you choose :)

BTW, that link to Garth's blog was eye-opening to say the least, particularly the Jay Hill encounter.

knb said...

Indeed. I hope that some in the MSM read this stuff.

I'm not sure I want Garth out there saying this stuff...too easily labelled sour grapes, but I do hope there is some digging on behalf of the media.

He does perplex me though. How could someone like me know who Harper was/is and he missed it? I suppose he held the belief that he could still be a PC because McKay was there? I don't know.