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Big headed ego boy wins

LostClown's picture

If you read my last post you'd see that Canada is having some interesting times politically with the House of Commons pushing for a confidence motion in the Prime Minister Stephen Harper (Canadian Bush) so that they could vote "no confidence" forcing him to resign or call an election. You cannot remain the PM without the confidence of the House. That's how it works.

Today is a sad day for democracy in Canada. The Governor-General, Michaëlle Jean, has decided to grant Harper his prorogue. This has nothing to do with what is in the best interest of Canadian people as Harper likes to drone on and on about. This is all about Harper not wanting to lose his job. HE provoked the opposition by trying to take away public party subsidies, HE tried to take away worker's and women's rights, and HE gave us a crap economic platform that wouldn't help anyone.

"For the first time in the history of Canada the prime minister is running away from the parliament of Canada," said Liberal leader Stephane Dion, who headed up the opposition movement against Harper.

This is not what a prorogue should be used for. This is nothing but a power grab from someone whose party was elected by only 38% of the people who bothered to show up at the polls (lowest turnout in history. Around 60% IIRC). The GG is unelected and usually never has to make any decisions, but this...this....I have no words. The coalition represents the voices of 62% of the Canadian public (again, that voted) and they have no confidence in Harper.

We are in hard economic times and he did not even try to come up with any plans to help alleviate the suffering that's going on. Ontario foodbanks are reporting that they expect food shortages b/c of all the recently laid off people. The auto sector is laying people off left and right. I don't know a single person whose family has not been impacted by that (strange isn't it?) Now this. How does this instill confidence in Harper from the people? He disbands the House in a time of economic turmoil.

Even all those people who are buying his bs lines about how the coalition is a bunch of unpatriotic separatists should notice that disbanding parliament during this time of economic woe is VERY BAD.

Now I dislike HuffPo (mostly from the primaries), but I've gotta say I really like this headline: Canadian Leader Shuts Down Parliament In Desperate Attempt To Stay In Power.

NYTimes article

The leader of the New Democrats, Jack Layton, also decried Mr. Harper’s move. “He’s put a lock on the door on the House of Commons,” he said. “He refuses to face the people of Canada through their elected representatives.”

Also, something that'll be really interesting given how disgustingly the Tories have been talking about the Québecers is their election on the 8th. News coverage here.

Marois says she hopes the parliamentary crisis in Ottawa will breathe new life into the sovereignty movement but isn't necessarily pleased about the crisis.

Harper's characterization of the "separatists" will likely end up galvanizing forces within the movement, the PQ leader predicted Thursday morning.

"The impact of this crisis is to wake up sovereigntists who were lying dormant," Marois said in French.

"I say good, but we didn't provoke it," because Harper is the author of his own demise, she said.

EDIT: But speculation (pundits, forums, political junkies, and the media) think that we may have another election on March 9th. It’s based a few assumptions: budget vote fails the same week it’s tabled + Harper then requests the G-G call an election + shortest possible election campaign = March 9 election.

From Pogge:
Keep meeting.

To the coalition: Keep meeting.

Parliament has been prorogued. So you're not meeting in an official capacity. But nonetheless meet as if you were not prorogued.

Find a site. Pay for it yourselves, and be explicit about that. You're citizens meeting to speak. But in so doing, keep up the business of Parliament. Debate. Draft bills. Hold (unofficial) committee meetings. Vote... on memoranda of understanding.

Show the country, its citizens, and its investors that while you do not argue with the legality of the delay, you see no need to go on vacation in this crucial economic time. Assume (without even explicitly saying it) that in January when Parliament reconvenes, Harper will fall, the coalition will form government, and the memoranda of understanding and drafted bills will be dealt with, bang-bang-bang, because you have already hashed this out.

Invite the Conservatives to join you. If you get some momentum, you might get no few disgruntled members willing to bet that Harper's fury will not control their lives.

Let the Conservatives take an extended vactation. Shrink the proposed vacation period instead, to mark the severity of the economic need.

Make it plain that you do not dispute Her Excellency's right to consent to her nominal first minister's request to prorogue, and that you respect her for making a difficult decision in uncharted waters. Open each session with a consistent, well-crafted adaptation of protocol which is sufficiently distinct that it does not trespass upon Parliament's formal privileges... but that nonetheless shows clearly that you do this out of the uttermost respect for the Queen, the Governor General, and the Canadian people.

Repeat frequently that you're just trying to get work done now, so that things can happen fast when the doors unlock in January. It can't be trespass upon the privileges of government if its level of formality is that of a caucus meeting.

Be completely transparent. Defeat the smoke-filled rooms meme. Heck, hold it in a bar, if you can find one big enough.

The media will come to you. I can think of no more efficient way to stretch your advertising dollars than a bold, newsworthy stroke like this.

If you do this, I will donate to the limit of my ability. I will write letters to the editor praising your actions. I will take my four children and go door to door. In Edmonton. In December.

Pass it on.


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pie's picture
Submitted by pie on

Today is a sad day for democracy in Canada. The Governor-General, Michaëlle Jean, has decided to grant Harper his prorogue.

I believe I read that this action was unprecedented. Hmmmm. Where have I heard that before? Bush and the rightwing sure have set a horrid example.

But what was Michaëlle Jean thinking?!!

LostClown's picture
Submitted by LostClown on

Maybe he threatened her with his sweater vest.

A yes or a no would be unprecedented actually. The mere fact that he asked for a prorogue while facing a confidence motion was unprecedented in the first place so her answer would have been either way.

pie's picture
Submitted by pie on

"this isn't a good time to change horses" argument because of the global economic crisis.

He bought some time, but what can he possibly do to make things better enough so that he keeps his job? And will Canadians even want him to stay after this?

He'll be hard at work thinking up more unprecedented moves, that's for sure. I hope the different factions stay united and one step ahead of him.

Iridescence's picture
Submitted by Iridescence on

This isn't necessarily a terrible thing in the long run. Jean doesn't want to be blamed and have the Harper smear-machine come after her and i don't really blame her for that. Harper didn't "win" anything other than delaying his day of reckoning for a month or two. If the opposition can fight the inevitible Conservative propaganda surge and keep pounding home their message that THEY and not the Conservitives represent the majority of Canadians, the delay could work in theri favor since Harper has clearly exposed himself as a lying hypocrtical wannabe-dictator who doesn't give a shit about the country as a whole.

Combine all that with the fact that the economy will likely get worse before it gets better, and if the opposition is able to take power in a couple of months, they hopefully can paint themselves as saviors cleaning up Harper's mess rather than get the blame for the econnomy tanking.

I agree one of the worst things Harper has done is to try to stoke division between Quebec and the rest of Canada. He is trying to stir up old resentments that almost destroyed the country thirteen years ago and doing it for nothing but his own personal gain. It's totally sickening.

Damon's picture
Submitted by Damon on

This really does kind of cement Harper's fate, now doesn't it? If he had faced the vote, he may have been able to come back from this more easily at another date, but with him using this coward motion, it would seem that he's tarnished his entire career.