So it happens that Mum wasn’t the only other one in my family upset by the latest round of Harper Conservative bullying. Mum’s sister sent the following letter:

I am disappointed that you and your party persist in personal attacks on rival leaders. If you are convinced that your performance can stand on its’ own merits, why do you find it necessary to use these bullying tactics. As a Canadian I expect my government and its’ leaders to behave in a civilized manner. If you persist in pursuing gutter politics, I have made a promise to myself that I will act with my wallet. For every new attack ad that your party concocts I will gleefully make a monetary contribution to your rivals.

Hey. Maybe we should all do that, eh?

Shortly after the Liberals picked their new leader, I started receiving e-mail from the Conservative party, bolstering their attack ad campaign with more preposterous propaganda and requesting funds to continue it. I thought I’d write a couple of blog posts fisking the letters (which I still intend to do), but in the mean time, my 71 year-old mother decided to write Mr. Harper, and tell him what she thinks of his style of political bullying:

Don’t send me emails announcing your Vile Conservative septic-tank-stench of attacks that reek of McCarthyism absurdities and innuendos. The Conservative Party has a disgusting absence of honour and principles.

In your zeal to attack Trudeau, Conservatives imply those who are “engaged” with Iran i.e.  the United Nations, Obama, Briton, and every other nation who is  “engaged” with Iran to prevent Iran’s NUCLEAR ASPIRATIONS & “engaged” to prevent the spread of radical terrorism from Iran – ought to be criticized for so doing. Should Canadians conclude that Conservative’s are opposed to being  “engaged” with Iran and opposed to the rest of the world that is “engaged”?

Note: When you sling shit – you end up wearing the shit!!! 

Um…Go Mum!

There’s been a lot of talk among the grassroots at CAPP and among the opposition parties on how to prevent the kind of abuse to democracy that Stephen Harper calls “routine”. A lot of talk. Mostly pushing for new legislation, or even constitutional reform. The problem is that both of those approaches are like amputations to cure an infected paper cut–yes, the infection is dangerous and could kill you if left to fester, but drastic measures may not be necessary.

Now, keep in mind that I’m not an expert in parliamentary procedures and how they become official (other than by precedent), so maybe this won’t be do-able, but it seems to me that we can answer to the abuse and contempt of parliament by implementing a rule that a PM cannot ask the GG to prorogue the House

  1. Until he or she has passed a confidence motion in the House of Commons
  2. If there is a standing order to produce documents to a Parliamentary body (committee of either chamber, the Senate, the House of Commons), or to an oversight body (e.g. the Auditor General, the Parliamentary Budget Officer)

A rule of this type would not impinge on the traditional privileges of the PM to actually be the one to ask for prorogation, but should prevent the most egregious abuses.

Mulling It Over

June 13, 2009

Like everyone else, I’m thinking about a summer election: Yes or no? A tweet from Denis Coderre about 40 minutes ago asks:

En passant qui veut des elections maintenant?

Well, let’s see.

Con

  1. The opposition parties, especially the Liberals, are tapped out financially and wouldn’t be able to put on as aggressive a campaign as the Conservatives.
  2. Summer elections can be annoying which may cause a lower turnout among moderates.
  3. Voter fatigue and frustration at the prospect of yet another election in such a short span of time may cause backlash against opposition parties, especially the Liberals.

Pro

  1. The Conservatives are currently in a very weak position, showing their true colours with the Raitt/isotope issue, economic mismanagement, dismissive and antagonistic attitude to Quebec & central Ontario.
  2. Polls show the momentum is with the Liberals, especially in central Canada.
  3. One of the major criticisms of Ignatieff (at least as far as the media is concerned) is that we don’t know what alternative he’s offering. Of course, an election platform is the venue to show the alternative, and frankly, practically any alternative is better than what we have now:
    • a government that fights the courts to avoid protecting Canadian citizens abroad
    • a government that is more concerned with staying in power than respecting the constitution
    • a government that ignores, overrules, and ousts impartial arms-length agencies
    • a government that brings out the worst in people, encouraging regionalism, divisiveness, and small-mindedness
    • a government that ignores international obligations and treaties
    • a government that protects the oil industry at the expense of protecting the environment
    • a government that has judged that women no longer need to seek equality
    • a government that wants to squeeze every drop of life out of the CBC, until privatization or even dismantling it entirely seem rational options
    • a government that thinks the arts and culture (despite the high degree of income generation) are a waste of taxpayer money
    • a government that wants to privatize our nuclear industry
    • a government that still wants to fight a (1980s American) “War on Drugs” instead of sane approaches such as decriminalization or legalization of marijuana and preventive mental health care and treatment for addiction to harder drugs
    • a government that cuts (already low) funding to science and research
    • a government that pays lip service by apologizing for the residential schools but turns its back on the Kelowna accord and ignores aboriginal poverty
    • a government that says they’re “tough on crime” but supports illegal gun ownership
  4. There is a whole election campaign to drum up support and tear down the Conservatives’ shaky hold on seats outside of their Reform base
  5. Those people who are most firmly in the “we don’t want an election” camp are not going to go to the polls just so they can vote for someone other than the Libs. They’ll just stay home, as they have for the past 5 or 6 elections.
  6. The NDP will look a bit tired with Jack again at the helm, so the non-Conservative vote might not be split as much as otherwise. Same goes for Duceppe and the Bloc.
  7. Voters who went to the Greens last time because they didn’t like the idea of Dion as PM, but still didn’t want to support Harper, might come back to vote Liberal with Ignatieff as leader.

All in all, I think that despite the cons, now is as good a time as any to go. So I say “moi, Denis”.