Thursday, May 17, 2007

Harper: It's Not Our Fault

In another clear sign that the government is bereft of message, Harper was reduced to rationalizing the parliamentary chaos on a hockey player:
He said the opposition started slowing down the government's agenda when it insisted on calling witnesses to review the selection of NHL forward Shane Doan to the national Canadian hockey team, in light of old allegations about anti-Francophone comments made during a game.

The government has its own positions to defend," Mr. Harper said in Waterloo.

"But as you know, we recently had the goofiness with the Shane Doan incident and I think our members at that point said: This was an embarrassment to Canada, attacking the national hockey team,"

Harper, then admits that his government is no longer "new" but "spent":
"in the future we're going to be much clearer about what we want to discuss."

Translation, we are currently an empty vessel, in dire need of direction and a purpose.

Harper is usually pretty adept at the counter-punch, but blaming the chaos in parliament on the debate over Doan is plain weak. Ditto for Van Loan today in the House, floundering to find a coherent counter for the opposition attacks.

If parliament has descended into a sideshow, which was detailed on CBC's The National tonight, then the responsibility rests with the government. The way in which the government has reacted, its inability to play well with others, the threats, the bombastic talking points, have all created an atmosphere that has led to the deterioration. Moreover, the complete lack of an agenda has contributed to the sense that parliament is adrift. The government sets the tone, time for Mr. Accountability to take some responsibility.

UPDATE

Not that it's relevant, but some clarification on the Doan matter. Harper's weak argument aside, he has a bad memory:
"Harper airbrushes out Tory role in Doan affair"

Prime Minister Stephen Harper is rewriting the parliamentary inquisition of Team Canada captain Shane Doan to rub out Conservative participation.

There's only one problem with Mr. Harper's analysis — the Conservatives participated in the Doan “goofiness.”

All 12 MPs — including five Conservatives — on the official languages committee agreed earlier this month to summon Hockey Canada officials to explain Mr. Doan's captaincy at the world hockey championships in light of disputed racist comments attributed to him in 2005.

And the decision was defended at the time by Mr. Harper's former sports minister.

“It's not in the business of government to involve itself in professional hockey matters, but what we're talking about is amateur hockey,” Conservative MP Michael Chong said on May 1.

“We're talking about Team Canada. We're talking about an organization that receives millions of dollars a year in government money, in public funds.

“They are accountable, in part, to the government of Canada.”

19 comments:

sassy said...

Harper, then admits that his government is no longer "new" but "spent":

"in the future we're going to be much clearer about what we want to discuss."


From what I have seen during question period lately, simply answering a question in a clear and relevant manner (no jabs, no changing the subject, just answer the darned question SVP) would go a long way towards cutting the chaos and saving everyone a lot of time, not be mention injecting a little dignity into Parliament.

The only upside I can see from what is going on it that,if nothing is getting done, that at least no New bad things are getting done

knb said...

The government sets the tone, time for Mr. Accountability to take some responsibility.

And so they have set the tone.

What an ass and a liar Harper was again today.

The con's voted to bring the Doan question to committee, (oops Harper forgot that apparently), the con's shut down a committee, the chair of another, yes a con, walked out in a fit that a 2 yr old would be embarrassed about and there is more.

You want to run ad's against the con's...man, there is a tonne of footage.

I'm fed up. Part of me wants it to go on, because the more hyper they become, the more we keep taking the high road. I think it's good to expose them, but I'm not sure it's good to expose the country to this.

I'll be honest, they look really bad now, but we risk the whole system at this point.

Harper is a liar and his lies are his directives to others. In the press conference, no chance for rebut. Did you notice? Ask a question, then we are done with you. So good, media is there, but you can't dispute the lie he just told.

I'm rambling because I am just so damned mad. People are picking apart what Justin Trudeau said today, yet what he said was bang on. I am sick of this.

We need to open our thought process people. We're getting stuck in the pundit mode and that is holding back good ideas, imo.

Steve V said...

"The only upside I can see from what is going on it that,if nothing is getting done, that at least no New bad things are getting done"

I hadn't thought of that, it's good news that they have no ideas.

Early indications, the fall session doesn't look to be a juggernaut:

"Tory insiders tell The Globe and Mail's Lawrence Martin that Canadians should expect a "lower key" Conservative agenda after that summer recess. "I mean, this is Canada" a party spokeswoman tells Martin. "It's doing well. People don't go to bed at night worrying about interprovincial trade barriers." She cites Jean Chr├ętien as a model, noting that he "lived off low expectations."

Steve V said...

" Part of me wants it to go on, because the more hyper they become, the more we keep taking the high road. I think it's good to expose them, but I'm not sure it's good to expose the country to this."

I'm not sure a summer recess will allow for more civility come the fall. I've never seen Layton so disgusted, as he was today. It's getting quite personal, and these people will be hard pressed to find any common ground in the future. I don't see how this parliament can survive until 2009, nor do I think I want to watch.

Steve V said...

This is just unbelievable, and hardly surprising, all at once.

knb said...

sassy, they can't answer questions in an upright manner...they know they are caught.

As to no bad things happening, you should see what is being debated in the House right now.

The Dip's are voting with the con's, so it will pass, on a bad crime bill.

There are more crime bills being debated and Charter Rights, property, being debated right now. They are bad bills.

All of that to say, there is a tonne of stuff going on and we need to pay attention.

knb said...

It reveals that Conservative MPs were briefed on the testimony of Hockey Canada president Bob Nicholson in advance of the meeting.

WTF?

Yes, it'a unbelievable, but Lib member tried to bring this up today, two of them actually and Miliken ruled that it was not a point of priviledge.

I'm thinking that Miliken likes his job too much and is not seeing the forest for the trees.

Good on Wells, no sorry, Martin right? Is that up tomorrow in the news or lost tonight?

Steve V said...

"Is that up tomorrow in the news or lost tonight?"

You can't bury that one methinks.

knb said...

me hopes, Steve.

wilson said...

.."The only upside I can see from what is going on it that,if nothing is getting done, that at least no New bad things are getting done"

Every day, the Government of Canada moves it's agenda ahead. Here are headlines/stories today, all of which are far from petty matters.

-Prime minister unveils high-tech strategy
May. 17 2007
Canadian Press
....Harper says the government's new strategy is designed to reverse years of declining private-sector involvement in R&D.

-Ottawa set to empower land-claims panel
...Indian Affairs Minister planning to give commission legal authority to order redress, sources say
Globe and Mail
May 17, 2007

-Ottawa releases 'no-fly' details
May 17, 2007
Toronto Star


Perhaps the opposition should give a thought as to why the Conservatives have been deliberately antagonistic on the committees......
(hint* defacto coalition)

burlivespipe said...

Err, Wilson, you might want to clean those rose-tinted glasses. That R&D announcement was a thin-gruel version of the previous Liberal program. As to the Lands Claim item, Harpor knows that this won't proceed until well past his 'best-before date'. He'd be hung in Alberta quicker than three legged gopher.
On the leaked booklet, which ol' Wilson seems to think is as regular as a Sears catalogue (and probably as useful in the outhouse), i'm betting we're closing in on another CON defection. Michael Chong may just be ready to leave the dark corner he's been relegated to since he had the gall to speak up for Canada!
In Harpor we combust!

sassy said...

knb and wilson on your feedback to my comment "nothing bad gets done".

Your are correct, I was being too optimistic, thanks for pointing that out. I should have said "the less they do (following their own agenda), they less damage to the country".

Steve V said...
"This is just unbelievable, and hardly surprising, all at once."

WOW - When I read this NOT TO BE MISSED article

Don Martin: Tories have book on political wrangling
By Don Martin, National Post
Published: Thursday, May 17, 2007.

my jaw dropped (it really did) and upon regaining some composure, I burst out laughing when I imagined the behind-closed-conservative-doors conversations on this one.

To return to the topic at hand (sort of), if the Conservative government spent as much time and constructive energy on running the country as they spend (time and destructive energy) on desperately trying to claw their way up the majority ladder by thwarting the process (please see National Post Article) Canada would be much better off.

Steve V said...

"desperately trying to claw their way up the majority ladder by thwarting the process (please see National Post Article) Canada would be much better off."

Did you happen to see Harper announcement yesterday, wherein he was standing with a mathematical equations, on a blackboard, as backdrop. Harper made the comment, pharaphrasing:

"I wish I could figure out my own equation for getting a majority"

How about governing for the sake of governing? What a novel concept.


wilson

"hint* defacto coalition"

Or, maybe, the concept of MAJORITY is still a democratic premise.

Anonymous said...

Seems to be having convenient memory lapses.

Even his new science/technology initiative is that of Chretien/Martin redredged up.

Paul Wells pointed that out.

Actually, other than so-called senate reform - Harper hasn't come up with one new idea or any vision at all.

Anonymous said...

The CPC supporters choose to be blind.

Even Brian Mulroney endorsed the Kelowna Accord. Mulroney's key adviser said the Harper and his gang of monkeys is breaking the Constitution by elminiating the Court Challenges Program and the Bilingual Issue.

Harper has continually dredged up Liberal initiatives and renamed them.

Harper runs away from tension and pressure - is that not a disturbing trait for a leader? He runs away from the press, he runs away from committee hearings, he runs away from "court" by using parliamentary privileges on the sleazy CPC nomination process, he runs away from being upfront as to who donated to him in 2002.

This guy is a chicken-shit. Rogh tough cream puff. He can't face problems. He's weak.

Well, why am I not surprised. It's no secret that bullies are actually insecure weak people.

He can't even challenge the U.S. when an issue hurts Canada.

This guy has to go.

sassy said...

" ....see Harper announcement yesterday, wherein he was standing with a mathematical equations, on a blackboard, as backdrop. .."

I did see the blackboard with Harper standing in front of it but did not hear what he was saying.

The blackboard really struck me at the time (even with the mute button on) and the question that came to mind was "what angle now?"

Steve - "MAJORITY is still a democratic premise." This concept might to New to the New Government. Suggestion - that you add a logo, and register it as a wordmark.

sassy said...

Steve V said...
This is just unbelievable, and hardly surprising, all at once.

Don Newman covered this (“A secret guidebook that details how to unleash chaos while chairing parliamentary committees ..“) on Today on Politics http://www.cbc.ca/politics/

Steve V said...

Hi sassy, I caught Newman's show today. I've also noticed that all the major publications have the story. This one has legs.

sassy said...

Steve V said...
"........ This one has legs. "

Yes indead, - Conservative attack ads against themselves!