Friday, May 18, 2007


Canada's New Government, prepares to pull the plug on government until October:
For a couple of weeks now, political observers around Parliament Hill have been musing about the possibility that the Commons could rise early this year, maybe by the end of this month, and MPs wouldn't return to Ottawa until after the Ontario election on Oct. 10.

Under this scenario, it's believed Harper would simply dissolve this parliamentary session at some point during the long summer break and return in the fall with a new throne speech and blueprint for governing.

Parliament rises today for a one-week break and is to return on May 29. But since Harper is to leave shortly after that for a G-8 meeting in Germany from June 6 to 8, many observers say they won't be surprised if today turns out to be the last time Parliament sits for some time.

I thought the Liberals did nothing for 13 years? Following that logic, the government should be re-doubling efforts to make up for lost time. Instead, we have the spectacle of a government that calls itself new, needing new ideas.

A Tory Senator understands the problem:
The new script is a far cry from the phase one decisiveness. Others put a less gracious spin on things, saying the retreat to the drawing board has been forced upon them because they hit a wall. They threw out everything they had and wound up - in terms of support - barely at their starting line.

"We seem to have run out of ideas already," said a disappointed Conservative Senator, who criticized Mr. Harper as "a narrow boring individual" who makes the mistake of listening only to his own counsel. "We're left scrambling." Retrenchment is a good idea, the Senator said, as long as there's a fresh approach - this instead of having everybody report to the PM like frightened Boy Scouts.

"The PM has to learn that governing is about more than just vote-targeting."

And therein lies the idea void. Instead of governing, for the sake of a genuine agenda, this government focused all its attention on expanding the base. A marketing strategy was concocted, focus group tested and the government merely rolled out the script. Once the sales reports came in, the projections were meager, which left head office in disarray. If anyone questions my analogy, my inspiration was Conservative campaign co-chair John Reynolds, who's advice for the Liberals was they need unify as a "corporation" and come up with a "brand".

The Tories have nothing because they had election tunnel vision, despite the protests. If I were a Conservative I would accept that unflattering conclusion about governing style, rather than the alternative- you are philosophically bankrupt. Two choices, you were in campaign mode, or you are inept. Whatever the reasoning, Canadians now witness a parliament that may leave and not return until pumpkins ripen.

I thought we had to "get things done" and show the world Canada "is back". It would appear the master strategist has made some critical errors in thinking.


Anonymous said...

How convenient, no committee panels and hearings for months. Neverending taxpayer funded campaigning by Harper.

I have to wonder how he's going to avoid going to court over the CPC sleazy nomination process? At this point he using the parliamentary committment to get out of it.

I think the MP's should have their salaries dramatically reduced if they aren't going to govern.

knb said...

What is interesting, no frustrating actually, is that you, me, and many other ordinary Canadians, (albeit with an inordinate interest in politics, :), have been saying this for months.

All of a sudden it seems to be a news story. All of a sudden the media in Ottawa write these stories like it's breaking news.

I'm disillusioned by the whole sorry mess.

I sincerely hope that the Liberals do the hard work over the break and come out fighting.

The sooner we get rid of this "manual" following bunch of children who call themselves a government, the sooner we get our country back. Yes con's I said our country, the one that was repected and now derided for our fiscal decisions, our stand on the environment, our military, etc. A progressive country that 67% of the population supports.

Steve V said...


There is one added attraction for Harper preferring a long recess. It is hard for the opposition to get much traction with the media, when parliament isn't sitting. Whereas, Harper can still make speeches and announcements, trips, etc, keeping himself in the public eye, able to spew the propaganda without retort.

Steve V said...

"All of a sudden it seems to be a news story. All of a sudden the media in Ottawa write these stories like it's breaking news."

I think us junkies were ahead of the curve, but there is no question that the media has finally turned their gaze. Harper and company are getting pummelled by unlikely sources, so much so, I'm waiting for a BT to start calling The National Post a left-wing rag. The language is harsh, pointed and none of it is flattering. Better late than never :)

Koby said...

Afghanistan is a seasonal thing and if the House is not meeting until Oct, Harper will not have to worry about bad news comming out of Afghanistan late in a fall election campaign.

knb said...

koby, sadly your comment is very wrong. I really mean sad, because the Taliban traditionally ramp their efforts up during the summer.

It is my sincere wish that we experience no casualties this summer, but if you believe that the issue of Afghanistan will disappear, I'm sorry you are wrong.

Steve, I suppose you are right with better late than never. I must say, watching Newman tonight with the journalists, I breathed a sigh of relief. Finally, finally, they are even saying that Harper has lied. Even Don himself!

It's about time and even if they break, as Delacourt said, "we won't forget".

knb said...

Good title by the way, :).

Koby said...

"koby, sadly your comment is very wrong. I really mean sad, because the Taliban traditionally ramp their efforts up during the summer."

Come again. That was my point. The last thing Harper wants during an election campaign is a headline that screams 6 Canadians killed in Afghanistan just days before the vote. If the House was only to start up again on October 10 there would be no chance of the happening even if there was a fall election.

Anonymous said...

Yes, the Taliban usually ramp up during the summer - and, the Quebec group are going over in August (I thought it was originally the spring but I think Harper deliberately arranged for it to be delayed because he thought he was going into an election).

Now, if any Quebec military get hurt or die - watch out!

Steve V said...


I watched that roundtable too, and it was remarkable. I just did a post on it.

Steve V said...


If memory serves September and October of last year saw many casualties, so I wouldn't assume a lull, although that would be fine with me.

knb said...

koby, you miss my point. Again, I hope there is no bad news coming out of Afghanistan. But all news will be reported and re-reported come the Fall.

Steve...gotta make dinner again, but I'll come back to read your next post.

Koby said...

The public’s memory is short lived and that is why support for the mission goes up in the winter and goes down as causalities mount with the comming of spring. If October 10 is the date the House is brought back, the earliest Canadians will be going to the polls is late November. An election campaign is least 38 days long and it is not as if an election will be trigged the first day back. December through February is safest period of time and best way for the Conservatives to neutralize the issue is to have an election during these months.

Your memory does not betray you Steve. September was a particularly bad month. The beginning of October was not good either.

Steve V said...

"December through February is safest period of time and best way for the Conservatives to neutralize the issue is to have an election during these months."

I don't disagree with that.