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 SoLongThanksForAllTheFish
Joined: 6/14/2007
Msg: 1
PO'd about Proroguing Parliament?Page 1 of 2    (1, 2)
Those who've read my past comments might be surprised I haven't said anything about this until now. Mostly I just didn't think there was anything to say, because I can't see how anyone could be in favour of this except actual members of the Conservative party.

However, interesting things are stirring.... Even the Calgary Herald and National Post aren't defending prorogation this time, and The Economist just joined the ranks of those against it:

http://www.economist.com/world/americas/displayStory.cfm?story_id=15211862
http://www.economist.com/opinion/displaystory.cfm?story_id=15213212

What do YOU think?

There's a protest scheduled here on Jan 23rd, for all of us who think that whatever he might have got up to in the past, this one is definitely a step too far...
 Nerdimus Maximus
Joined: 12/15/2008
Msg: 2
PO'd about Proroguing Parliament?
Posted: 1/7/2010 6:42:11 PM
I think the WHAT is not as important as the WHY. Obviously Harper's why doesn't hold water. There fore we are forced to look at other reasons as to WHY would they do this?

The Olympics will be over on the 28th of Feb.
 WesternWildRose
Joined: 9/15/2008
Msg: 3
view profile
History
PO'd about Proroguing Parliament?
Posted: 1/7/2010 7:08:05 PM
I've read the article in the Economist this morning. It is a respected international political and economic weekly journal and read widely.

The time out the PM is choosing gives them time to lay low in the international media that comes with hosting an Olympic Game.

The probing questions by real news organizations:
- the Alliance progress in the Middle East, specifically Afganistan
- that Canada has the highest casuality/death ratio of any other country serving
- the homeless situation and the heroin/drug problem in Vancouver aka the "Best Place in the World"
- strength of the Canadian economy, which was leading others just 2 years ago.
- Global Warming and Canada's role, where we were leading the charge on Kyoto for many years and now we prefer to back Oil & Gas interests instead.
- Why in the early days of the current govt they were denying Global Warming
- Why the current governing Party is not sitting in Parliament while the Opposition are showing up for work on taxpayers dime
- the incoming HST for some provinces with Ottawa

just a few of the topics that are not going to be addressed while Canada celebrates the Games and the PM gets good photo ops for the next election campaign.

Consider this, with Parliament proogued it gives the Harper team time to appoint new Senators, something that they campaigned on over and over for years that they would not do, they promised an Elected Senate on their watch.

My point on this is with the newest appointments the Conservatives will hold the balance of power in the Upper House... control of the Senate.

Why is controlling the Senate important?...well..as I understand it a Bill needs second reading in the Senate and approval before it can go back to the House to be voted on.
This is a formality as the PM does not really need the Senate's approval.

Significance?...well topics which I thought would never arise again could be brought back...such laws and bills concerning a Women's Right to Reproductive Choice....yes...this can be brought back to be voted on...be modified which the Conservatives brought up a year ago and it was quickly hushed up....they intend to bring in a modification to the 'Abortion' laws in Canada and to vote on them...with a slim minority in the House and control of the Senate this can happen.

What next?...what other Laws and Bills will be driven thru without any regard to the Canadian public? Something to think about as to the timing of this prorogue.

As for news organizations calling for answers...don't expect it from local news, don't expect it from CTV as they were granted rights to broadcast the Games, knocking CBC off the pedestal..... CTV being the choice of the PM and the PMO, CBC being a thorn in his side.

the article was interesting.... wonder how they are going to cover up the payout to their American consultant who was in clear violation in the accepting of fees. With Bush consultants on the payroll I am sure we won't hear much about it in the future.
 rustpreventive
Joined: 10/3/2009
Msg: 4
PO'd about Proroguing Parliament?
Posted: 1/7/2010 7:08:10 PM
Ya I was peaved too, until I started doing a little looking. The Lib's with a majority did it four times during there reign of power. Looking back on the history of our government we average a prorogued parliment every 1.3 years. Its a tool, for the party in power nothing more.
 WesternWildRose
Joined: 9/15/2008
Msg: 5
view profile
History
PO'd about Proroguing Parliament?
Posted: 1/7/2010 7:19:05 PM
I think I read somewhere where Parliament has been prorogued over 100 times in our history...not certain about that figure, but yes, not something new... a tool that the govt likes to whip out to control the House and to give it time to re-coup in the polls.

don't you think it is a shame with the World is knocking on the door...asking important questions and want answers? When we make news in the international media asking why does Canada have a lame duck leader?... I can't recall the name they called the PM in the article exactly but it was not flattering.

if you look at the short-list of issues I listed you got to wonder.... why is the govt out on vacation and doing media photo-ops and not addressing these issues?
Why are we continuing to support a lame duck government?
We need a pro-active leadership at the helm...bottomline.

any thoughts on the stacking of the Senate so to bulldoze Conservative Right-Wing Christian legislation? Anyone?... because this is totally possible...probable.
 SoLongThanksForAllTheFish
Joined: 6/14/2007
Msg: 6
PO'd about Proroguing Parliament?
Posted: 1/7/2010 7:27:10 PM
The Lib's with a majority did it four times during there reign of power.

This is just Conservative spin, and it's really not the time to let their usual BS slide by so here goes...

Proroguing parliament technically just means stopping the session, and it is true that many or most parliaments end this way ... after they finish their business, and for a short time only! That is clearly not what's going on here, and the entire notion that every government does it is just a red herring.

Here's the point: Harper just abandoned a pile of legislation, including the anti-spam bill we all wanted and even the anti-crime bill that Conservative voters wanted. They're not taking a short break, they're taking a huge one. The possible reasons for this have been listed and analyzed in great depth in the media. Rose mentioned some; it avoids them taking heat over Afghanistan and lets them stack Senate committees, most notably.

In short, they just abandoned their responsibilities and broke a bunch of promises to voters for a pretty blatant grab at more power.

Ya I was peaved too, until I started doing a little looking.


You should be peeved! Don't fall for their lies!

An interesting twist: their timing on this was perhaps quite seriously flawed, trying this stunt when Albertans seem to be about ready to finally toss out the provincial Conservatives because of exactly the same sort of behaviour people are accusing Harper of - so the federal Conservatives might lose ground there, too. That's a long way from them actually losing seats in Alberta, still... but that long way could be covered awfully fast if an alternative sprang up. It's happened there before.
 rustpreventive
Joined: 10/3/2009
Msg: 7
PO'd about Proroguing Parliament?
Posted: 1/7/2010 7:35:07 PM
Sorry I'd rather support the Conservatives than the Liberals or the NDP, sad I know but true.
 WesternWildRose
Joined: 9/15/2008
Msg: 8
view profile
History
PO'd about Proroguing Parliament?
Posted: 1/7/2010 7:59:15 PM
I support Good Government.
I want Accountable and Fair Government, that will face issues head on.

I demand Leadership at the helm that is not deferring to George Bush's political lackies to create the soundbites for public consumption.
Not a government that can't make political policy until it is approved by his US handlers.

I demand government who is not earning it's keep, extended breaks on my tax dollar is NOT good enough for me, no matter what political party.

I wonder if one of the new legislation to be pushed thru is set General Elections like in the USA?...and in BC? would be interesting to see if this will be on the agenda, along with stripping the rights to pensions and healthcare privileges to couples in same-sex unions....or banning same-sex marriages in Canada. Let's sit back and see what the important issues to this current govt are ......cos it is not the economy and global warming.

does anyone have the stats for how many days Parliament sat in 2009?
 Nerdimus Maximus
Joined: 12/15/2008
Msg: 9
PO'd about Proroguing Parliament?
Posted: 1/7/2010 8:33:32 PM
What if the WHY had a international component to it? Why do we assume our government did it on their own initiative? Hu just recently chewed out Harper. Who (No pun intended.) thinks Harper may have other bosses?

Thinking outside the box may include thinking outside the country.

Enjoy
 SoLongThanksForAllTheFish
Joined: 6/14/2007
Msg: 10
PO'd about Proroguing Parliament?
Posted: 1/7/2010 9:09:13 PM
Parliament statistics (when sessions were, how many times they sat, etc.):

http://www2.parl.gc.ca/parlinfo/compilations/parliament/Sessions.aspx

For those who dislike numbers, here's a handy graph of the # of sittings per parliament:

http://www.chartgo.com/get.do?id=c65e878

All 72 bills that are now dead because of prorogation:

http://www2.parl.gc.ca/HouseBills/BillsGovernment.aspx?Language=E&Mode=1&Parl=40&Ses=2
http://www2.parl.gc.ca/SenateBills/BillsGovernment.aspx?Language=E&Mode=1&Parl=40&Ses=2


What if the WHY had a international component to it?


What if it did? How would it change anything and what would we do about it?

Although it is useful to understand the workings and machinations of politicians, that still leaves the problem of keeping them under control, and with this one it's getting to be a bigger and bigger problem all the time.
 Outdoor2
Joined: 4/1/2006
Msg: 11
view profile
History
PO'd about Proroguing Parliament?
Posted: 1/7/2010 11:58:40 PM
With Harper at the helm, we're loosing control faster than a beaver at his dam with no teeth.

The G.G. has lost favor with me over this one.

Harper is a lacky to international consortiums. That is his base.

What if it did? How would it change anything and what would we do about it?


It does...likely won't change anything...toss him out before it gets worse.
 WesternWildRose
Joined: 9/15/2008
Msg: 12
view profile
History
PO'd about Proroguing Parliament?
Posted: 1/8/2010 9:27:08 AM
FYI: 130 DAYS

130 days Parliament sat in 2009, according to Govt of Canada Parliament site stats.

130 DAYS.....wow...what a great gig eh?... $141,00 base salary, tax-free income, medical, dental, travel covered and you show up for 130 days of work.
Add in some parliamentary committee work for some more bucks... hey....not bad.

Is this what taxpayers expect for their tax dollars? No Show to Work?

I expect better, I expect an accountable govt that is working, not off at the Olympics.
 Corner GasGuy
Joined: 3/16/2009
Msg: 13
PO'd about Proroguing Parliament?
Posted: 1/8/2010 2:23:45 PM
Blame the Canadian voters.
The Canadian electorate has the government they deserve by not giving a clear majority to one party. Under our parliamentary system , the P.M. can operate as a dictator with a minority government. Harper uses his power as any politician would. The opposition are like chickens running around the barnyard with their heads lopped off. Harper will call an election when it suits him.
Very few politicians deserve our trust, including Harper. JMHO
 Outdoor2
Joined: 4/1/2006
Msg: 14
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History
PO'd about Proroguing Parliament?
Posted: 1/9/2010 11:47:48 PM
Rick Mercer sums it up well...

There's a very good reason why the word prorogue doesn't come up that often in our society. Why would it? The word has absolutely no resonance with anyone in Canada because the notion that you can shut down anything for months at a time is a total fantasy. That's the thing about life; it's relentless. If you are an adult and live in the real world, proroguing isn't on the agenda, in much the same way levitating isn't.

God knows I love the idea of proroguing. Everyone in Canada has lain in bed and prayed for the elusive snow day. The idea that while you slept, the heavens opened up and dumped so much snow on the ground that the front door can't open and the school bus just can't come. We all remember snow days and that glorious feeling that the deadlines, the tests, the irritating people, the routine and the responsibilities could be avoided for one entire magnificent day with no consequences whatsoever. And if you didn't do your homework, or you were heading into what you knew was going to be a world of hurt, a snow day meant you dodged the bullet.

But snow days happen to children. If you are an adult, it doesn't matter how much snow falls – you still have to get to work and you still have to shovel the walk. Snow days don't apply to adults unless you happen to be the Prime Minister of Canada, who with one phone call has the ability to give every member of Parliament two months off.

We elect these men and women to travel to Ottawa and represent us in the House of Commons. Well, forget that notion – it's old-fashioned and democratic. Welcome to Canada 2010 – we embark on a brand-new decade as a country that has taxation without representation.

It is ironic that while Parliament has been suspended, we remain a nation at war. On New Year's Eve, we greeted the news that five Canadians were killed in a single day with sadness but not surprise. We are at war because, ostensibly, we are helping bring democracy to Afghanistan. How the mission is progressing is open for debate but this much is certain – at present, there is a parliament in Afghanistan that it is very much open for business. Canada has no such institution.

In Afghanistan, President Hamid Karzai's government faces fierce opposition at every turn. Many of his cabinet choices have been rejected in a secret ballot by the more than 200 parliamentarians who sit in the legislature. Simply closing it down and operating without their consent is not an option; to do so would be blatantly undemocratic or at the very least downright Canadian. If Mr. Karzai suspended the legislature on a whim, we might be forced to ask the question why Canadians are dying to bring democracy to that country.

Stephen Harper doesn't have that problem. Our Parliament has been suspended for no other reason than the Prime Minister simply can't be bothered with the relentless checks and balances that democracy affords us. He doesn't want to have to stand in the House of Commons and hear anyone question him on any subject. I don't blame him. Parliament is filled with jackals, opportunists and boors. The problem is, like it or not, they were elected.

I also don't blame the Prime Minister for wanting to keep his ministers out of the spotlight. This is a man who could argue that he is Canada's greenest PM simply because he's the only one who has gone out of his way to give potted plants key portfolios.

The problem is, he is the one who appointed cabinet and like it or not, they are supposed to be accountable. A minister's job is not to hide in his or her riding; it is to be accountable in Ottawa – or at least that was the promise.

This Prime Minister has gone from the promise of an open, accessible and accountable government to a government that is simply closed.

It is too bad that prorogation isn't something that our soldiers had in their arsenal. When faced with the order to head out on a foot patrol in the Panjwai district of southern Afghanistan, to risk their lives to bring democracy to that place, wouldn't it be nice if they could simply prorogue and roll over and go back to sleep? Soldiers don't get that luxury. That is afforded only to the people who ultimately order them to walk down those dangerous dusty roads in the first place.
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/opinions/proroguing-is-for-children-and-stephen-harper/article1420026/
 SoLongThanksForAllTheFish
Joined: 6/14/2007
Msg: 15
PO'd about Proroguing Parliament?
Posted: 1/19/2010 10:35:02 AM
More details on the upcoming rally in Vancouver: It starts at the Art Gallery downtown at 1 pm Saturday the 23rd. People are welcome to show up wearing red and white, and bring a Canadian flag if you want. They're expecting a crowd of over a thousand people. There are also events being organized for Victoria and other places in BC (see the link below).

This protest is only about one thing: stopping abuse of power. Whatever we might think about the economic crisis, Afghanistan, the environment or other hot topics, they can be debated later in parliament where such discussions belong. The anti-proroguing protest is non-partisan and includes supporters of all parties (yes, even a perhaps-surprising number who voted Conservative; see the stats below).

This protest can make a real difference. An hour or two of your time will help establish precedent. When John A. MacDonald tried this trick back in 1873, he was forced to resign. Chretien pulled a similar stunt on a smaller scale just before retiring. How many times does it need to be made clear that shutting down parliament for power games is unacceptable? Maybe just once more, if the protests are big and loud enough...

http://www.montrealgazette.com/opinion/letters/Only+Canada/2451310/story.html

This is a widespread protest. The Vancouver rally is just one of many events being organized across Canada on the 23rd:

http://www.noprorogue.ca

A lot of Canadians very clearly do care about this. An early poll showed about two-thirds of Canadians were against prorogation. The latest is that it has almost cost the CPC their lead, and they're even losing ground in Alberta:

http://www.ekospolitics.com/index.php/2010/01/liberalstories-in-horserace-once-again-january-14-2010/

The political will is there; all we need to do is shout loudly and clearly enough to stop this and get him to reconvene parliament. Shout loudly enough to overpower Harper's spin doctors, and speak clearly enough to isolate the brownshirt-like trolls who regularly try to stomp on any public discussion of CPC misdeeds.

I'll be there.
 Nerdimus Maximus
Joined: 12/15/2008
Msg: 16
PO'd about Proroguing Parliament?
Posted: 1/20/2010 7:44:39 PM
Not sure if protesting will do it. Not saying don't do it but not sure if they care enough. They don't have to care about lies until a year out from re-selection. I don't understand why people are choked at his doiong what he is allowed to do unless lots of folks are duped by the shell game.

Harper is allowed to do this, it is in his purview to do this. The Why has brought me some neat answers. Harper is NOT allowed to inflict more harm to me or his country-men (ANd girls!) at the airports with those scanners. Luckily, they got Umar Farouk Patsy to set us up for them and pre-ordered them all.

As far as I'm concerned where the people lead the government will follow. There is just not enough of a civil danger in poroguing parliment. Now ask me about installing incipent porno machines in airports....

I feel I will better spend my time learning high yield gardening and turning my lawn into a vegtable garden in time for the depression.

Post photos from the protests!!!!
 SoLongThanksForAllTheFish
Joined: 6/14/2007
Msg: 17
PO'd about Proroguing Parliament?
Posted: 1/22/2010 9:28:29 PM

anyone want to meet at the skytrain??

I'm coming in from Marpole and may well walk there, so Skytrain is in the wrong direction for me. However, I should be there a bit early for anyone who wants to come and see if I'm as opinionated in person as I am online.

The G&M had an interesting article on the protests:

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/anti-prorogation-activists-engaged-voting-and-older/article1438807/

They point out something I already noticed myself; contrary to what you might think, the crowd who've signed up for this protest (so far anyway) aren't the usual young radical Conservative-hating types. They tend to be middle-aged folks specifically angry about the issue of accountability. If one must characterize them, I'd guess they're basically the same sort of people who volunteer to help out with elections.

The number of disgruntled (ex-)Conservatives in the protest is impressive, too. Here's a good example:

http://www.cbc.ca/canada/british-columbia/story/2010/01/22/bc-perogie-protesters-porogation.html

I'll hope to see lots of you out there tomorrow!
 mcalgary
Joined: 11/10/2009
Msg: 18
view profile
History
PO'd about Proroguing Parliament?
Posted: 1/23/2010 1:30:39 PM
Who really cares. The business of government still goes on but the bickering of the House of Commons is gone. Doesn't really bother me at all. I want my government to govern and if there are no bill to be passed or debated on sitting in Parlament is a waste of time. This has been done by all government we have had at one time or another.


One last thing. Why can't someone, anyone, with a good head on there shoulders and leadership qualities come up through the ranks of either the Conservatives or the Liberals. I had hopes for Ignatieff but he hasn't shown me anything to say he would be better or even as good as Harper. Please Mr. Trudeau be the leader we all hope you will be and rescue us from the Vacuum in the Liberal party and take the party closer to the center so I can vote for you. I don't really like Stephen Harper but he is the only real leader we have and the NDP will never win so I will not waste my vote on Mr. Layton and his say anything tactics. We need a Lib or Conservative Majority to govern properly.
 velopedian
Joined: 11/4/2009
Msg: 19
view profile
History
PO'd about Proroguing Parliament?
Posted: 1/23/2010 3:14:05 PM
^^^unfortunately there were a significant number of bills that died... everything from consumer safety to terrorism to free trade with jordan, and more. months(years?) of work and how many millions of our dollars wasted so harper can avoid unwanted criticism.
 SoLongThanksForAllTheFish
Joined: 6/14/2007
Msg: 20
PO'd about Proroguing Parliament?
Posted: 1/23/2010 4:03:10 PM

Who really cares.


Hundreds of thousands of us care, at a minimum. In fact, since support for the conservatives has plummeted by at least 7 or 8% since they pulled this, it's a fair bet that millions care.

Everyone in Canada should care. There are very real and substantial risks from the continual erosion of accountability in our government. We don't want to end up like Argentina or Chile, do we?


The business of government still goes on but the bickering of the House of Commons is gone.


Without the bickering we don't know what else will be going on. Parliament isn't there to provide genius and inspiration. They're there to hold the government accountable.


We need a Lib or Conservative Majority to govern properly.


Why?

Who do people believe this silly myth? Most democracies function perfectly well without majority governments.

And what does this have to do with the issue today anyway? Do you people really believe that parliament is stopping the government from working?? They've managed for a hundred and fifty years despite their continual squabbling. As Velopedian pointed out, though, proroguing most definitely is stopping the real business of government - lots of legislation just disappeared, including bills that pretty much all of us will approve of (like the anti-spam laws, just to take one example).

What we need is for the people of Canada and their representatives to stop treating government like a bloody hockey game and work together instead of fighting each other over every stupid and corrupt point that comes along.

************************

The rally here was a big success, by the way. Thousands of people turned up, and the march spread out for 3 blocks. Speakers ran a wide range, and one of the first was a disgruntled Conservative. As some of the signs said, it's not about left and right, it's about right and wrong.
 SoLongThanksForAllTheFish
Joined: 6/14/2007
Msg: 21
PO'd about Proroguing Parliament?
Posted: 1/23/2010 4:43:30 PM
Oh and by the way...


<div class="quote">This has been done by all government we have had at one time or another.

This is a lie. The Conservatives have been trying really hard to spread it, butdon't fall for it.

I already posted a couple links above which will tell everything you ever wanted to know about proroguing parliament. The short version: NO, very few governments abuse prorogation for their own ends, and in both past cases the government in question was tossed out shortly after. We can hope that'll happen here too.

That the Conservatives resort to lies and divisive hateful propaganda is one more reason make an extra effort to hold them to account. You don't need to be a historian to know that this sort of thing is real bad news for a country...
 mcalgary
Joined: 11/10/2009
Msg: 22
view profile
History
PO'd about Proroguing Parliament?
Posted: 1/23/2010 5:34:48 PM

Without the bickering we don't know what else will be going on. Parliament isn't there to provide genius and inspiration. They're there to hold the government accountable.


While this is true, the opposition parties still have the media to bring up anything that is important. They were trying to blame the Government for something completely out of it's control (torture in Afganistan) and Mr. Harper overreacted by doing this. Is this situation the best one available, no but come on, stop making mountains out of mole hills. It is just the only thing the Liberals can bring up because Michael I. is not being the leader we all thought he would be.


Who do people believe this silly myth? Most democracies function perfectly well without majority governments.

This is only partially true. Parties run together as a coalition in an election and then act as a majority as long as they get along. This is not the case here. The NDP and the Liberals do not run as if they will form a coalition. If they did the results would definanlty change. I will vote Liberal most of the time but I will not ever if they ran with a chance of a coalition with the NDP. I am a centalist like most Canadians and the NDP would pull the Libs way to far to the left.
The governing party must be able to enact legislation with out having to cater to every little special interest that sticks its head in and the threat of an election every time hard but needed legislation is trying to be passed.
 SoLongThanksForAllTheFish
Joined: 6/14/2007
Msg: 23
PO'd about Proroguing Parliament?
Posted: 1/23/2010 6:17:44 PM
While this is true, the opposition parties still have the media to bring up anything that is important.


Harper began his time in office by telling the media he wouldn't let them question him, and went on from there to cut back the CBC and sue his critics. So even if we granted that the media, a non-official outside force, should be counted on to police government (which I don't), it doesn't make things any better. The Conservatives are clearly out to reduce or eliminate all means to hold them accountable, and focusing on one at a time just makes it easy to miss the big picture.


They were trying to blame the Government for something completely out of it's control (torture in Afganistan) and Mr. Harper overreacted by doing this. Is this situation the best one available, no but come on, stop making mountains out of mole hills.


You think suspending parliament and stopping the business of government (and breaking campaign promises along the way) is just an "overreaction"? If it's no big deal, then presumably he won't mind reversing that decision now that it's become clear how many people are angered by it.


Parties run together as a coalition in an election and then act as a majority as long as they get along.


Rubbish - the particular sort of rubbish Conservatives handed out as part of their anti-coalition spin last year. Nobody votes for a coalition. They vote for local representatives and then those representatives sort out coalitions and such after seeing the composition of parliament. That's the difference between a representative system and direct democracy.

These discussions always tend to get bogged down in the same sort of rubbish that neo-cons have been spewing for years. Perhaps we should have started exploding it sooner, because it's appalling how many people have fallen for it. When you boil off all the misdirection, red herrings and outright BS what they're saying (and what you are echoing) is this: "government doesn't work and we need a strong leader to rescue it." This is not remotely a new idea. That was the kind of thinking that kept Dubya in power for eight years. It's the kind of thinking behind every dictator of the 20th century, right back to the Fascists and Stalin. It's the justification used by Napoleon and most every other usurper for the past two thousand users. It was the justification Caesar and the Triumvirates used to tear apart Rome, and doubtless the Tyrants of ancient Greece said much the same things. Notice the theme? None of those brilliant adventures in leadership turned out well. It's a road to nowhere.


The governing party must be able to enact legislation with out having to cater to every little special interest that sticks its head in and the threat of an election every time hard but needed legislation is trying to be passed.


More Conservative spin and crap. In fact, needed legislation does get passed even with a hated minority government like the Conservatives - the budget, most notably. What this really amounts to is this: "The governing party should be able to do what it thinks is needed without the threat of an election." Thus the problem becomes clear: the total absence of any consideration of what the majority of the country wants and whether or not they actually approve of this action. In fact, the issue would never come up if they did approve so it's even more offensive; it's just a transparent way to rationalize forcing their will on everybody else.

The best known way to stop disastrous bad government is to force it at every step to get the approval of the people governed. The British (whose system we have inherited, recall) spent hundreds of years fighting wars in which millions of people died, establishing this principle at the end of it all. It has worked very well for us and dozens of other countries since then. It's sad and frightening that so many are willing to ignore that vast and proven experience.
 mcalgary
Joined: 11/10/2009
Msg: 24
view profile
History
PO'd about Proroguing Parliament?
Posted: 1/24/2010 4:28:47 AM

You think suspending parliament and stopping the business of government (and breaking campaign promises along the way) is just an "overreaction"? If it's no big deal, then presumably he won't mind reversing that decision now that it's become clear how many people are angered by it.


The business of government has in no way been stopped. pls


These discussions always tend to get bogged down in the same sort of rubbish that neo-cons have been spewing for years. Perhaps we should have started exploding it sooner, because it's appalling how many people have fallen for it. When you boil off all the misdirection, red herrings and outright BS what they're saying (and what you are echoing) is this: "government doesn't work and we need a strong leader to rescue it." This is not remotely a new idea. That was the kind of thinking that kept Dubya in power for eight years. It's the kind of thinking behind every dictator of the 20th century, right back to the Fascists and Stalin. It's the justification used by Napoleon and most every other usurper for the past two thousand users. It was the justification Caesar and the Triumvirates used to tear apart Rome, and doubtless the Tyrants of ancient Greece said much the same things. Notice the theme? None of those brilliant adventures in leadership turned out well. It's a road to nowhere.


Come on, you are comparing Stephen Harper to Napoleon and Fascists. You are starting to sound like the anti-Obama activists in the US. I am sorry but you do need a good leader to LEAD your country (good examples I will give are Pierre Trudeau and Peter Lougheed) are you going to compare them to the above. Especially Trudeau.
Dubya was voted in again because the democrats controlled the house and the senate and they wanted to balance the power. Kind of sad that they could be fooled so easily but it had nothing to do with people thinking he was a good leader.

I am not speaking any Neo-con bull. I am speaking common sense. Take off your ultra-socialist glasses and be a bit of a realist.

I will give you that it was major bad form for the Conservatives to do this and will affect my voting in the next election but to change peoples votes we need IDEAS not just the bashing the Libs and Conservatives do constantly. At least you get a few ideas out of the Conservatives, I need some from Michael's mouth too.
 SoLongThanksForAllTheFish
Joined: 6/14/2007
Msg: 25
PO'd about Proroguing Parliament?
Posted: 1/24/2010 8:07:55 AM
The business of government has in no way been stopped

See that link above pointing to all the bills that are now dead? That's a lot of government business that's now NOT being done. THEIR business.

The Conservatives promised to be tough on crime, and then killed their own crime bill. (And they continue to send me their 10 percenter flyers telling me they're getting tough on crime even while doing it. If it weren't such a waste of taxpayer bucks it would be laughable).

They spent months wrangling over an anti-spam bill we all would have liked to see. Gone now...

Likewise gone: The consumer product safety bill, the environmental protection legislation, free trade bills and a bunch of other stuff. All that has to be started over from scratch now and will take months to go anywhere (if it does).


I am not speaking any Neo-con bull. I am speaking common sense. Take off your ultra-socialist glasses and be a bit of a realist.

I'm not saying you yourself are a neo-con BSer, just that you have swallowed their line of crap. You just confirmed it by dismissing me as a socialist (an ultra-socialist even)! That's a standard neo-con smear, and laughably wrong in this case.

I'm not any kind of socialist; I'm a small businessman born and raised in the most conservative part of Alberta. I do not and will never vote NDP. I don't get any government funding, and don't want any. There are several conservative policies I have no problem with, and if the Progressive Conservatives were still around it'd be an eternal toss-up whether to vote them or Liberal, but the new Conservative party has never earned the support they might expect from me because I won't vote for a party that tries to get into power by spreading lies and hate.

I'll say it again: This is not about party politics. It's about abuse of power, plain and simple. Whatever partisan squabbles we might have are less important; destroying the system is a whole new level of trouble well above the usual bickering.


At least you get a few ideas out of the Conservatives, I need some from Michael's mouth too.

All the opposition leaders have lots of ideas they've broadcast far and wide (for better or worse). You can find them on their own websites and in many published interviews. So why this idea that they have no ideas? Because the Conservatives systematically mount smear campaigns trying to personally discredit opposition leaders, and Canadians soak it up. They've now soaked it up so much that people automatically parrot their lies without even bothering to check. I think it's time to start turning this trend around...

It's easy to spot their rumour mill in action; pretty much any time any online public discussion comes up, somebody will miraculously appear out of nowhere to spout their current party line, which might be spin or misdirection or bashing the opposition depending on the issue at hand. See message #4 up there, for example. This time their tactic is spin and misdirection, presumably because the opposition to proroguing really is grassroots and there are no big-name leaders to attack (and not only that, many of the local leaders are disgruntled ex-Conservatives).

It's the same story with the letters to the editor and phone-in comments that appear too, all products of a huge propaganda machine. Don't believe me? Here's the front page of one site (the most public) where they orchestrate this:

https://mycampaign.conservative.ca/

The "Write Letter to the Editor" page is particularly interesting. It's an automated form with a checklist of hot topics and buttons for all the major newspapers. The talk radio part is also worthwhile, since it lists specific items they want people to mention.


Come on, you are comparing Stephen Harper to Napoleon and Fascists.


Nope, you stretched what I did say to get that that comparison. My point was that there's a long and inglorious history to this kind of "strong leader needed" thinking. I'm talking about the foolishness of the mob, not the leaders themselves.

However, I was comparing Canada to Argentina and Chile, and I'll stand by that. What's the difference between us and them? Not as much as you might figure. Both of them were also prosperous countries of similar wealth and development to Canada, largely settled by European immigrants ... until they ran into economic troubles and let their political divisions tear them apart. Now they're way behind us and perpetually trying to catch up. That's a common problem in Latin America and I think it's a reasonable conclusion that they fall to these troubles more easily than we do because they don't have the traditions that we're trying to uphold with this protest.

That's the difference between me and many of the people who defend the Conservatives. I used to believe the same kind of stuff, that strong leaders were needed and government would work fine as long as it had space for heroes to do their job. Then after years of living overseas, I'd seen endless many examples of places where people tore themselves apart and dumped their entire country into poverty. So I stopped taking our own system for granted; we do stand to lose very much by letting the Conservatives get away with this stuff - probably even more than we risk from Quebec separatists, who are at least concentrated in one part of Canada. And yes, we do need good leaders, but that doesn't mean we need autocratic asshats who ignore the wishes of most of the country to push their own ideology. Nor can we afford to tolerate them.

So I put it to you that you are the one being overly complacent and in need of a good dose of reality, not I.
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