Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Everybody Didn't Do It

If you caught CBC's Power and Politics yesterday, you witnessed maybe the harshest exchange between MP's I can remember. The NDP's Pat Martin is known for overblown rhetoric and hyperbole, but even by his standards, the exchange with Con MP Candace Hoeppner was downright nasty. Here is the segment, only because beneath the acrimony and vitrol, lies a very salient point:

Wowsers. Now, it is fair to say Martin over-reacted, engaged in behavior unbecoming of a Parliamentarian, over the top, unseemly, all valid observations. However, it is also true that Hoeppner, or more broadly the Conservative defence,is entirely inexcusable and deserving of outright scorn-maybe not in this way, but an amount of frustration and anger entirely justified.

The Conservatives keep making BASELESS ACCUSATIONS towards the other parties, the "everybody does it" defence. That is a serious accusation, for a number of reasons. Firstly, it suggests Elections Canada is biased, turning a blind eye to illegal behaviour by the NDP, Bloc and Liberals, while unfairly singling out the poor Conservatives. If true, then we need an investigation, because the organization we rely on to provide fairness, the underpinning of our democratic system, is acting with malice towards one party, while allowing others to engage in illegal activity? Can this suggestion be any more serious or worrisome if true? If "everybody does it" as the Conservatives argue, then we should all have grave concerns about Elections Canada, this government should be demanding an INQUIRY, the very integrity of the next election at stake. If you believe the Conservatives, Elections Canada are favouring certain political parties, handicapping others, directly interjecting themselves into our democratic choice.

In addition, the "everybody does it" argument offends other parties who ACTUALLY didn't do the same thing. If I am a member of the NDP and I'm being accused of illegal activity, I suppose I might react with a certain indignation at the suggestion. Assuming we can rely on Elections Canada, to make wild accusations that have no apparent basis in fact, an inexcusable line of argument. NO, Elections Canada found the Conservatives engaged in a SCAM, they didn't find the same SCAM used by "everybody".

These Conservative defences are getting tiresome and offensive. If I'm caught stealing, cheating, do I get to accuse my neighbour of doing the same without recourse? If my neighbour tells me I'm full of shit, I should be ashamed of myself, does he/she have that right? "Everbody" didn't engage in this scam, "everybody" didn't take taxpayer money, "everybody" didn't have a 1.5 million dollar advantage that probably won them some seats. The Conservatives insult Elections Canada, they insult other parties, they insult we the taxpayers, they insult our democratic rules. We should all be angry...


Shiner said...

Good for Martin. Our media is so terrified of being called biased that they refuse to call the CPC out on their bullshit outside of snarky tweets. Who can blame someone for getting frustrated while trying to deal with these asses?

Tof KW said...

Agree with Shiner. Pat Martin usually goes way over the top (remember the Jaffer/lobbying committee) but you can't blame the NDP or even the Libs now if MPs start to act like this. There would be no need for this type of vitriol if the Reformatards didn't go there in the first place.

And yes the media are at fault for not doing their fucking jobs and calling a spade a spade. The CPC forged invoices and broke the election laws ...how much more obvious does it have to get for them?

By the way, the opposition parties need to read this post. If Elections Canada is indeed biased then there should be an investigation and inquiry on this matter ASAP. Unless Harper calls for one, then these accusations are all utter bullshit. Call them on this!!!

Malcolm Barry said...

Mr. Martin was perturbed and Mr Goodale was also and expressed himself in a different manner. I hope the citizens realize what is being done and these actions by the Tories will be the central part of the campaign.

Jymn said...

The 'we did it too', 'they did it too' argument is a spent cartridge. Pat Martin is right to be so vehement. It's time to begin standing up to the Conservative ice queen government. The opposition for too long has been too passive while the right does as they like. Bravo Pat Martin.

thwap said...

Exactly right.

Parliamentary committees are "kangaroo courts." ALL of our MPs are motivated by personal avarice.

All of our ministries and agencies are partisan and corrupt.

Parliament itself is a sham.

Whenever it's convenient or necessary for them (which is most of the time) the harpercons denigrate and condemn ALL of our institutions as corrupt.

They debase the idea of democracy on a daily basis.

I agree with TofKW as well: If harper is saying that Elections Canada is involved in a partisan witch-hunt, that's a serious charge.

Investigate it if you truly believe that. And if you don't investigate it, it means you really don't believe it and you should STFU.

A Eliz. said...

They faked the invoices also. Good on Martin..if only he could get at few more of what I feel is the Schutzstaffel, when you talk to them.

Shiner said...

While we're at the media bashing game, can I just take a kick at the "Liberals don't stand for anything" line please?

Quick look at liberal.ca shows:

-Liberals would remove the cap on funding growth for aboriginal post-secondary education
-would reverse the Harper cuts to First Nations University
-federal investigation into the hundreds of Aboriginal women and girls that have gone missing in recent years
-ratify the United Nation’s Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People
-Doubling funding to the Canada Council for the Arts
-Restoring and increasing funding to the Trade Routes and PromArt programs
-Guaranteeing stable funding to CBC/Radio-Canada
-establish next-generation Global Network Agreements with China and India that go beyond trade and investment
-putting Africa back at the top of Canada’s international aid priorities

And that's just a random look at their Issues and Ideas with a dozen different areas. This is before an election platform has been, or would be expected to have been, released.

Yet I go on twitter and see this from Mike Moffatt:
Political party platforms for #elxn41: #NDP: Right-wing tax populism. #CPC: Moral relativism. #LPC: Who knows?

It's not just pundits either, we routinely hear the same thing from Liberal supporters. What gives?

Steve V said...

Yes, this invoice angle is something that doesn't get much ink, but really should.

Liam said...

I thought Martin was a disgrace. The NDP has been a walking/talking hypocrisy factory over the last 5 years (at least). If they don't like the Cons, why do they keep going to bed with them and supporting them?

We know the Cons are crooks, but why do we keep diving down to their levels?

Christ, it's like watching Ross and Rachel on Friends!

WesternGrit said...

Good on Martin. Watching Martin and Goodale was like watching a great "good cop, bad cop" scene! Hoeppner looked like the lost, inexperienced, brainwashed neoCon token woman that she is.

marie said...

Harper and misfits aare continuelly putting their mouths in motion before their corrupt brains. This is an insult to all Canadians and the government of Canada, not the fucking Harper government. All traits of a corrupt dictator who will some day soon have to fall on his own sword alonf with his inept MP's. The more they deny, the more theylook and are guilty and running scared.

Time to call them all out on this as well as the media who continuelly support them.

I cannot believe what this government is doing and how they are so sure that they can get away with it.

Time for a few arrests and send them all to jail, explains why Harper says we need more jails for crimes that are not reported and that fits them well because you know Harper makes the rules. They might very well be the first residents.

Kirk said...

I had the same reaction to Pat Martin as Steve did but Martin's reaction does bring up an excellent point and the opposition needs to make that point repeatedly - only the CPC overspent, only the CPC moved funds in and immediately back out of local ridings, only the CPC sent forged invoices for reimbursement of money they did not spend, only CPC candidate recieved more money back from EC than they spent and only the CPC has been charged.

Someone has to do the media's job for them.

The Liberals should really, at least on these panel events such as on P&P, ask the CPC to spell out exactly what they mean when they say "the Liberals/NDP do it too" and warn the CPC speaker to "be careful what you say", the same shtick as the CPC was using earlier.

If the Cons want to say "everybody does it" then the Liberals should say "see you in court".

Tof KW said...

Kirk said:
If the Cons want to say "everybody does it" then the Liberals should say "see you in court".


Anonymous said...

I think I have to go with Martin on this round. Maybe it comes from seeing Republicans down south for too long saying anything as long as it detracts from their hypocrisy. But she sat there throwing out a false talking point . . . repeatedly and ad nauseum.

When Martin finally got an opportunity to speak - 4 minutes in, he just flat out called her on it. Harshly. Directly. Big deal . . . no animals were harmed.

Joe Hair reporter, meanwhile, smiled a lot and went "oh geez" and stammering. I imagine they stopped showing him after a while because he was just shuffling papers on his desk around trying to look busy.

By the end I feared she might drown if someone snatched away the life preserver of "but he's so angry . . . look, LOOK, he's angry."

Hate to break it to her, but that doesn't make her point.

If I knew nothing of the issue and saw this interview, I'd say Martin looks disgusted and the conservative came off as disgusting - casting blame around rather than owning up.

Omar said...

"Joe Hair reporter"


Kirk said...

Retail Media has stated that they did not create those invoices.

Who created the invoices, Mr. Harper?

Frankly Canadian said...

You hit the nail on the head with this one Steve, I was waiting for someone other than the Liberals to go absolutely ballistic on those lying, cheating, unscrupulous Conservatives. Hopefully we will see more of this type of outburst from the Dippers and if we had a few staffers and public service employees, that would probably help as well. Unfortunately we all love a good train wreck (take Charlie Sheen) were the absurdity gets all the publicity, so if we had more crazy scrums like this one of Mr. Martins, their would be more light shed to a higher population of Canadians about the behaviour of these Conservatives. Right now it seems like the only people who actually keep track of all the bizarre scandals this government has had in the last five years, are the die hard political junkies, maybe more outburst and their would be more said by our media. The bottom line, we need more outrage from more people. Again, great post Steve.

rockfish said...

As mentioned above, the one quiet point that would stick like tar is the doctored invoices -- why isn't that the central muck that's being pitched? By allowing this to get into a exchange of inside-out, up and down trade of money, people's eyes glaze over, the media pumps out headlines like 'Opposition try to tie PMO chief to 'in and out'... It should come down to a one short sentence statement: Stephen Harper's CONs forged documents to get taxpayer money.
And let's not let up on reminding people who appointed the head of Elections Canada. Did Harper hand-pick a liberal sleeper agent or did he mistakenly hire someone with ethics and a backbone?