Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Where Do They Get Off?

The latest election threat, parliamentary committee "paralysis". Yes, that's right, the government is floating an election because committee's aren't doing the people's work. How noble and above board, a sure winner with Canadians.

The glaring incoherence, the naked hypocrisy, this pungent bullshit from a government who issued a 200 page "handbook" to all its committee chairs on ways to "filibuster, disrupt and shutdown". Sheer gall of the highest order, to chastise anyone, to claim a higher goal, when you invested so much energy in obstruction, you developed a mathematical formula for chaos. Good luck looking Canadians in the eye on this score, you have about as much credibility as a drunk lecturing on liver health.

Absurdity, thy name is Conservative.


northwestern_lad said...

Steve... while I agree with you that this is just hypocritical as hypocritical can get, I have to add that we wouldn't be at this point if the Liberals hadn't been backing down on everything. The Conservatives have gotten into the habit of being able to bully their way to what they want and because the Liberals have refused for whatever reason to put Harper in his place, Harper now thinks he can rule with impugnity. This whole thing has gotten completely out of hand and we need that election now more than ever, if only just to clear out the venom that exists in the House right now.

ottlib said...

Leave it to an NDP supporter to deflect the blame for the current situation in committee from the Conservatives to the Liberals.

The NDP has nothing to teach the Liberals about putting the Conservatives in their place. If they spent as much time holding the government to account as they do attempting to score political points off of the Liberals things would be very different in the House of Commons.

Steve: The manual has been forgotten and I would bet a fair amount of money that if the Conservatives decide to pull the plug using this excuse no one in the MSM will remind Canadians of its existance.

Mike said...


So call the Cons bluff and have a friggin election then.

SOP so far this year is that Harper threatens an election through various non-confidence motions and the Liberals cave.

Its the Conservatives paralyzing the committees, on purpose, to prevent questions from being answered.

So bring em down. Have the election. Bring up the book, the Cadman affair, the election finance issues, the lack regulation for their own "Accountability Act" allowing senior Tories to get plumb lobbyist jobs, no-bid sole source contracts in the billions for military equipment the CF doesn't want, Lukeski, allowing the religious right to determine what films deserve tax breaks, concentrating undemocratic power in the hands of the Immigration Minister, leaving Canadian citizens to rot in prison...and so on

What more, exactly, do you guys need to force and election?

northwestern_lad said...

Leave it to a Liberal apologist to call any attack by the NDP against this government an attack on the Liberals. Get off it... Did you read my entire comments??? I agreed with Steve that the Cons hold their blame here. But If you somehow think that the Liberals are sterling examples of how to stand up to this government then that just says enough. Believe it or not, it's possible for both the Liberals and the Conservatives to be wrong. Amazing, huh???

The NDP's record of voting against this government stands head and shoulders above that of the Liberals, and if you don't like that, it's your right. But standing up to this government and not being afraid to vote against them doesn't equal attacking the Liberals. If the Liberals want to do nothing, that's right choice, but there are consequences for those choices, one of which is this emboldened bullying behaviour by Harper.

Steve V said...

Maybe we won't have to wait much longer for an election. Critical mass is right.


I don't think the Con tactics are necessarily a result of Liberal inaction, afterall the playbook was out, and the problems began, long before the abstaining regime.

northwestern_lad said...


I'm not arguing that the initial Con tactic is a result of Liberal inaction (I don't doubt for a secondthey were going to try these tricks regardless), but I'm arguing that their continued use and success is because of the way that the Liberals inaction has emboldened the Cons. The fact is that right now the Cons know (or they firmly believe based on recent experience) that the Liberals will not stand up to them, and don't hesitate in pointing that out in the House. Because of that, the Cons are pushing the envelop as far as they want right now. Do you think they would have pushed things so far if they knew the Liberals would push back??? I doubt it.

Like I said at the start, the blame here is shared.

Steve V said...

No doubt our inaction is emboldening the government.

Karen said...

I see this struck a chord with you too, huh?

Well I suspect that this will be the final straw for many, even us doves, lol.

Interesting to see that Szabo is gung ho. He's my MP and while I don't agree with everything he says/does, you can count on him to tell the voters the truth.

Cam,come on. I see what you are trying to say but:

The NDP's record of voting against this government stands head and shoulders above that of the Liberals, and if you don't like that, it's your right.

Pretty damn easy when you've got nothing at risk.

I sincerely doubt that Jack would have done too much differently than Dion had he been faced with the exact situation.

Steve V said...

"even us doves"

Plenty of room on the hawk's perch ;)

ottlib said...


If you believe the government is to blame for this situation why even mention the Liberals?

Has their actions of late precipitated the Conservative tactics in committee?

Of course not so why even mention them?

Simple, you cannot help yourself. Even when you are criticising the government you cannot help but take a shot at the Liberals.

Which is typical NDP partisan bullshit so take a good look in the mirror before labeling me a "Liberal apologist".

northwestern_lad said...

knb.... what do you mean the NDP has "nothing at risk"??? The NDP has 30 seats, the most seats it's held in like 20 years, compared to the Liberals 90 something... The NDP risks a whole lot in an election, just as much as any other party. Everyone's risk is all relative. The NDP has 20 years of progress at risk here, which is a lot for the NDP and Jack, who has his leadership riding on this.

As for what Jack would do in a different situation, you can speculate and postulate all you want about what might happen under different circumstances, but here in the here and now, Jack is voting against this government, risking the little that he holds, while Stephane isn't voting, refusing to risk any of the larger amount of seats that he has. Those records speak for themselves.

Steve V said...

I think the NDP has calculated, or is willing to throw the dice, that they could have the balance of power in a new parliament. Harper wins a minority, maybe stronger, and then they hold all the cards. Even if the Liberals won a minority, Layton still has a shot at relevance. Their reasoning for voting against the government is every bit a political calculation as it is for the Liberals, it has very little to do with the "good fight". I'm not excusing the Liberals, but I don't buy the high-minded, principled stance of the NDP, Layton is forever posturing- see Cadman :)

northwestern_lad said...


"If you believe the government is to blame for this situation why even mention the Liberals?"

I mention the Liberals because my concern is fixing the problem, and you don't ignore that by ignoring the contributing causes of that problem. It's like looking at drug addiction but ignoring those that are supplying the drugs. The Cons are addicted to be mean S.O.B's and the Liberals are enabling that by not standing up to the S.O.B's. Plain and simple. The NDP is standing up to them, along with the Bloc, but unless all 3 Opposition parties stand up together, than they can't put Harper in his place. So how do the Liberal avoid not being critisized??? Don't be a part of the problem.

As for "not being able to help myself", go to Hell. If you read my writings, you'd see how bullshit that statement you just made is. As for typicial partisan bullshit, what do you call letting bad legislation pass to avoid an election in which you'd get your ass kicked??? That's not partisan. I take a damn good look in the mirror everyday, and if I had any problem standing on what i've written, I wouldn't write it. I stand by my writings and my opinions, and why my party fucks up, I let them know it. Once again, if you read my writings you'd know that. Sadly, you don't seem to be able to do the same thing.

northwestern_lad said...

Steve... The NDP believes that crimes, like bribery, should be investigated by the police before anyone else, especially before a Commons committee. So unless the RCMP Commissioner comes into that committee and deputizes everyone in that chamber like back in the Old West, standing on that principle is principled.

northwestern_lad said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
northwestern_lad said...

"and why my party fucks up, I let them know it." that should have read "when my party fucks up".... see, I can even admit it when I make typos :)

Karen said...

northwestern_lad. What I meant was that Jack knew Dion was up against a wall and not yet prepared to vote down the government, so he can do what he wants.

His sanctimonious attitude in all of this is over the top and disingenuine, imo. It's politics.

As for the whole, RCMP/crime thing. Funny, that didn't seem to be the mood during sponsorship, or Mulroney/Schreiber.

northwestern_lad said...

knb.... RCMP had started to lay charges before the Committee got it's hand on the Sponsorship scandal. That seems to get forgotten.

As for Jack's "attitude", are you trying to say that this is something new?? did this just come about now that Stephane is in this predicament??? Jack's attitude hasn't changed at all and is fighting for what he believes in, just like he has from the start. What's changed is the environment that he is now in and in which that attitude is found.

ottlib said...


We do not need an election to fix what is happening in committee.

All that needs to be done is for the Conservatives to pitch their manual on how to disrupt committees into the nearest recycle bin and actually work with the opposition to make this Parliament work.

The fact it is not should be a reason for all of the opposition parties to hammer the government relentlessly.

Instead we have the NDP actually siding with the Conservatives in blocking a Parliamentary inquiry into the Cadman bribery allegations and the NDP spending more time attacking the Liberals than holding the government to account.

The NDP and many of their supporters, including you, remind me of many of the Conservative media critics such as Don Martin and Greg Weston.

Them, like you, will sometimes criticise the government but even when doing so you cannot help but take a gratuitous shot at the Liberals.

I have no problem with that but I do have a problem when you then fire off accusations of partisanship at others. That is rich considering your house is made of crystal.

The more I see how the NDP and their partisans work the more I believe that they and the Conservatives were made for each other. Both claim to be parties of principle but throw that priciple over the side when it is politically convenient.

Although, I do not believe it is so I would love it if the recent by-elections were an indication of the future. It would do my heart good to see Jack Layton and his band replaced by Liz May.

Steve V said...

"The NDP believes that crimes, like bribery, should be investigated by the police before anyone else"

Cam, I would believe that line, if your pointman Pat Martin wasn't on record saying that he had little faith in the RCMP when it comes to investigating politicians. That's what he said, on the Friday when he was FIRST one to mention bringing this to the Ethics Committee. Then, the following Monday, a complete 180, now all our eggs are put in the RCMP basket, an organ that he questioned three days prior. What changed? Higher minds didn't like the angle, and I do believe it had something to do with giving the Liberals traction. How else can you reconcile the contradictions, over a few days? Makes no sense to me.

Anonymous said...

Steve, to add to what you said about the NDP line on Cadman, I love this line from a frigging NDP strategist:
An NDP adviser explained: “Damaging Harper and the Conservatives on ethical issues like the Cadman mess mainly helps the Grits, and that’s not in our gameplan.”

See here:

It's really rich to hear NDP supporters say the NDP approach on Cadman has nothing to dod with the Liberals andd is all based on principle. I'm sure any replies now will try to change the topic.

Anonymous said...

Sorry this was the full link:

Anonymous said...

Ok I'll try that link again:

If this doesn't work I give up, you can find the link here at Scott's blog:

Karen said...

Exactly Steve. Cam, I'm not attacking you personally, I just think your party has taken a tact here that doesn't wash.

It's politically savvy, but it's hardly the high road. When you walk the low road and suggest you are the high one, well expect a camera to pan back and show where you really are.

The Con's and the NDP are now famous for saying that the Lib's only want power. Duh?

Don't you think that is what Jack is striving for? Don't you think that is what the Con's want to maintain?

Of course all party's want power because they each believe that they can then put forward their vision for the country.

To make that a Liberal exclusive is ridiculous. Beyond ridiculous in fact.

Steve V said...


Cam and I have already discussed that quote, which can be dismissed because it is anonymous. That said, it fits in exactly with the sequence of events, the NDP U-turn. The Pat Martin on Thursday and Friday bear no resemblence to the spin we heard on Monday. The difference? The party line was developed over the weekend, and it was pure politics. Shame.

Steve V said...


One of the only positives in having Harper govern, it has punctured the "higher" ideal mindset, that comes with prolonged stints in opposition. With each day, the former pedestal more remote, the Cons were simply caught in the never having to govern mentality, that brings a false sense of worth. The NDP forever has the luxury of claiming to be different, operating on a different plain, that will be the psychology for eternity, because it will never show itself practically.