Thursday, December 31, 2009

Smug

At the core of the Conservative thought process is the notion of voter apathy. Decisions are made with an almost dismissive view, there is no fear of true consequence because we are dealing with a short attention span, passive electorate. This latest prorogue move REEKS of arrogance, and yet it remains to be seen whether the Conservatives are correct. Clearly, the calculation has been made that the government can weather any short term criticism, the issue will fade to irrelevance, nobody really cares.

When Tom Flanagan was asked about proroguing a couple weeks ago, he described it as a "win/win" for the government. There was no downside, there was a smugness that denoted people governing with impunity. Obviously, as the Conservatives debated this decision, they recognized the potential pitfalls. The optics of avoiding accountability, trashing their own legislation they once trumpeted as essential, MP's sitting idle, unilateral arrogance, none of its flattering. Despite this potential, the Conservatives moved forward, because history has shown there really is little accountability. Canadians are completely and utterly disengaged, this issue, like supposedly "important" affronts before, will simply fade into oblivion. It's not like this is the first brazen move by this government, and given their current standing, one can justify their apathy theory as current law.

This prorogue is the great test. If there is no recourse, then the Conservative view of Canadians is cemented, and really its success only perpetuates the future reality. There is no real rationale to prorogue Parliament, the Conservative justifications bordering on insult. There are many fundamental reasons why this prorogue should bring fury, it speaks to a host of intellectual democratic considerations. This decision should matter, and yet a learned calculation suggests it probably won't. It's actually a sad statement on how Harper has fundamentally altered our political landscape, the new "norm" represents a new low.

Harper is acting like a KING. Harper has trashed every single tenet that his old movement supposedly stood for, he has become the antithesis. This move represents the height of arrogance, it stomps all over our democracy, it should give Canadians pause. Maybe this time.....

27 comments:

Lizt. said...

How can Harper be stopped, short of an election, He has no respect for Parliament,the Senate, nor the Country.

Steve V said...

This is really a test for Canadians, and the opposition would be wise to challenge them.

Greg said...

How can Harper be stopped, short of an election

He can't be stopped without an election. He has made that quite clear, don't you think?

marie said...

Harper seems to think that he can go on this path and get away with it. It is the job of tall the opposition parties to get in the face of the media and all Canadians and remind them daily of the Dictorial leadership of this compulsive liar, the man who is laughing at them and thinking they will forget and forgive him one more time. Come on Liberals, NDP and Blocs, get out there and spread the words daily. Buy some air time stick together and quit attacking each other and start attacking the party that deserves to be attacked and ousted ASAP.

Happy new years to all your readers.

RuralSandi said...

I see in the news Iranian students and citizens fighting for democracy, risking their lives via the Iranian military and execution.

Why in hell can't Canadians have enough balls to say enough is enough - we want our democracy back?

What's next - changing Parliament Hill to Kremlin Hill?

Tof KW said...

I see in the news Iranian students and citizens fighting for democracy, risking their lives via the Iranian military and execution.
Why in hell can't Canadians have enough balls to say enough is enough - we want our democracy back?


Sandi, currently in Iran two-thirds of a population of 70 million is under 30 - in other words 67% of Iranians really don't know any government outside the current theocracy. The last statistic I've heard from Iran is that unemployment is around 13%, and that figure is not all that much higher since the worldwide recession hit, it's been between 12 & 13% over the past 10 years. Almost all of that high unemployment is the under-30 demographic. This is the reason for the civil unrest within Iran. Frankly, Canadians don't have it anywhere near this bad to expect a massive street protest against Harper flipping the bird at parliament. The best we can hope for is that Canadian's collective attention-span increases past that of the common fruit fly.

Jerry Prager said...

It's really up to Ignatieff now, he has to put together a viable vision of an alternative government, or step aside and let someone else do it. Harper is relying on a divided opposition represented by weak leaders, change that dynamic, and the whole issue changes.
I still say the majority of Canadians should take to the streets all along the Olympic torch route, quiet and respectful, but holding signs and placards that say that we, the majority did not elect Harper and do not approve of him.

marie said...

TOF KW; Sandi, currently in Iran two-thirds of a population of 70 million is under 30 -

Currently in Canada, I would say two thirds of the majority of the Reforms Cons supporters are less than age 30.

The marching peacefully during the Olympics would be a great idea and would show the world what kind of a PM our country Canada hasn't got.

Steve V said...

I think the opposition should show up for work on the previously scheduled day.

CathiefromCanada said...

I think we can forget about anything political until after the Olymipics are over -- until then, Canadians will be totally focused on sports.
Not a criticism, that's just how it is.
Iggy should seize on this time to visit across the country, do a series of meet-and-greets, low-key but listening to what the party members want. Then come back to Parliament in March with a six-month plan. . . would that be too much to hope for?

Jerry Prager said...

Steve, Technically speaking of course, one of the main jobs of an MP is constituency work, something your cousin Frank V excels at:they don't have to be in parliament to earn their pay, but that's just an aside.

Steve V said...

No, but the symbolism of showing up for work highlights how much energy, money and time has been wasted.

Steve V said...

Cathie

I don't disagree, and that's exactly the calculation Harper has made.

Liberal Justice said...

Ignatieff will decide when the time is right and then he will lead us into a battle that will defeat PMSH and our new Prime Minister will be Michael Ignatieff!

Steve V said...

So Braveheart.

Susan said...

Excellent post. My thought is first why was it Goodale who commented? This is huge and where is Ignatieff, on vacation, writing another book - MIA. All it would take would be a consistent!! ad campaign apprising Canadians of the meaning of Harper's actions and the inevitable end result - the destruction of our system of governance. Where the hell are the Liberals?

Tomm said...

Steve,

The only way for Harper to be stopped is for the majority of Parliamentarian's (the non-CPC MPs) to vote down the gov't.

Harper is (clearly) doing what he thinks is best. If Goodale and Dewar don't like it, then vote against the government. They won't because they KNOW that Canadian's trust Harper to govern right now and that includes the decisions he makes.

For the Liberal Party or any party to stand up on their hind legs and (bitterly) complain about how this government is being run and then vote with the government at their next opportunity IS the hypocrisy that is sinking our democracy.

It's not Harper, it is the people that say horrible things about him and then when it is time to draw the line in the sand, they scurry off to their respective holes.

Also causing voter apathy is this expectation that the Prime Minister must do partisan things to support your respective views. It is mind boggling that so many people think he should give Ujjal Dosanjh and the other partisan political operatives both the knives and the time to hack away at partisan issues like the detainee issue. Chretien would never have given the knife and microphone to Preston Manning, Bouchard or Day and than invite them to hack away at such a nationally divisive and explosive issue. He would have prorogued. And in fact did that with respect to Adscam.

If you want "smug" to be defeated, than the means are at hand to do it.

If you dislike Harper so vehemently, than begin supporting politician's that will stand up and be counted. Seize the day!

...and Happy New Year ;)

Steve V said...

I see you didn't get a clue for Christmas ;)

Happy new year.

Tomm said...

Steve,

You said: "I see you didn't get a clue for Christmas ;)"

No. Not even socks.

But we had a good family Christmas. Now just waiting for the bills...

I would love to see Harper be more forthcoming, but I just don't see it given his personality and the personal and political attacks he has taken.

He doesn't want the world's media to come hear and be spoon fed regional and internal political divisions as dessert along with the Olympics. I don't really blame him. Especially given what recently happened in Copenhagen.

Steve V said...

Cheers.

Marpman said...

Good post Steve. I read with interest what Tomm wrote, but it reflects a specific mentality...and confirms your post.
Governing reflects some respect of the people whom have granted you that priviledge, to disable the parliamentary system, so reflect your arrogance shows how little you care about Canadian's.
You don't govern for the people who voted for you, nor should you govern purely to stay in power.
I am hopeful for a new beginning, but I fear it is the same old crap from a government who simply does not care. Sign....

Omar said...

I think we can forget about anything political until after the Olymipics are over -- until then, Canadians will be totally focused on sports.

Pfftt...I could give a toss about the Winter Olympics. A European/North American snooze fest that the rest of the world basically ignores. Wake me up when we get another crack at the summer games.

Marx-A-Million said...

I agree, Canadians are idiots.

penlan said...

Have been wondering if the GG actually did give her assent. After all this was done behind closed doors this time, via phone, & who knows if she really did agree. Harper could have threatened her in some way or just "told" her he was proroguing or else, period. No visit for the public to see. All done secretively. Just my thoughts.

marie said...

Lizt, How can Harper be stopped, short of an election, He has no respect for Parliament,the Senate, nor the Country.

You are correct in that statement but I will add another. He has absolutely no respect for our soldiers fighting an unwindable war in Afghan either. He has proven many times that by hiding his sorry ass behind our soldiers in the detainee affair. He has no doubt put them more at risk than ever before all because of his childish behaviour and blind partisan behaviour.

This man needs to be booted out ASAP and it is up to the three opposition parties and the partisan bias Media to get the message out to all Canadians the inadequacies of this bullish Dictatorial leader who calls himself Honourable and Prim Minister. That title is laughable with this man and his parrot MP's.

I totaly agree Jerry, It's really up to Ignatieff now, he has to put together a viable vision of an alternative government, or step aside and let someone else do it.

My thoughts to Pennlan.

liberazzi said...

I think what Harper has done is despicable. We are now on par with China democratically and environmentally! Harper is clearly counting on voter apathy and ignorance. However, let us not get too high on ourselves, since the Chretien Liberals were not much better. Hopefully, this new generation of Liberals will live up to a higher standard once they get back into power...eventually.

I think a better question, which Coyne has been asking is how to change our system of government to make it more democratic and prevent these types of stunts in the future.

Oemissions said...

United we stand, divided we fall.
This year, begs for collaborative action.