Thursday, December 04, 2008

Are we done screaming yet?

It has been a wild week of recriminations, lies and hyperbole. Passions are running hot on all sides.

And as of this morning, we'll have 7 more weeks of the same. Governor General Michaelle Jean prorogued Parliament this morning. I don't blame her of course and I agree with John at Dymaxion World - she did what most people thought she would do, though it clearly took a few hours of convincing from Stephen Harper. Its not her fault, as some in the Progressive Blogsphere are suggesting. Its squarely on Stephen Harper. It was Stephen Harper who decided to first delay the confidence motion by a week then to ask to prorogue Parliament, because he was did not want his government to fall.

Now that is democracy in action. Or not in action, as the case may be.

In order to calm a few folks here is my non-partisan, free advice to all the parties involved and worth every penny:

Conservatives:

You may think you have won, but you haven't. You have a delay, a chance to really get the propoganda wurlitzer running and the fake grass-roots campaign going, but all you have done is delay the innevitable. Here is a rundown of things you should remember
  • Stephen Harper, in violation of his own fixed election date law, called an unneeded and unwanted election in Sepetember.
  • The Conservative Party campaigned without a platform for most of the election period, relying on sweater vests and attack ads.
  • After winning an increased Minority, Stephen Harper spoke about dropping ideology for pragmatism in order to address the economic situation.
  • A week after saying that, Stephen Harper and Jim Flaherty delivered a fiscal update based on data that no one else can seem to reproduce, including the parliamentary budget officer.
  • During that update, Stephen Harper choose to make cuts designed to destroy the finacning of the opposition, using the economic crisis as an excuse. There were cuts and policies never discussed during the election campaign (I agree in principle with no public financing of political parties, but that was a baltant attempt to destroy your enemies by means other than the ballot box, and don't try to deny it. THAT is undemocratic).
  • In the ensuing furor, Stephen Harper and the Conservatives decided to lie about the nature of parliamentary democracy and our traditions in order to fan the fires of our regional cleavages. All in order to cling to power. Stephen Harper created a unity crisis and essentially wrote off Quebec voters in order to save his job.
  • When that looked like it wasn't going to work, Stephen Harper decided that the best way to deal with the econmic crisis was to take 7 weeks off and fill the air with propoganda.
Conservatives, its time to back down. I think its true what some of you have been saying, privately and not so privately - "What was he thinking?" Indeed. Your biggest problem right now is Stepehn Harper. He is toxic. He is divisive. You have 7 weeks before it really starts again. You can either spend it further trying to divide and alienate the country or you can do something else.

You would not be in the trouble your are now if not for Stephen Harper and you know it.

Ask yourself what you would have done if Paul Martin had prorogued Parliament back in May of 2005 or November of 2005? Ask yourself what you would have done if he tried to destroy your funding back then.

The actions of the Conservative Party this week have nearly torn the country apart again, solely so Stephen Harper can remain Prime Minister. That's hardly standing up for Canada.

Liberals:

Funny time to fine the cahones. About 2 months too late. While I applaud your sudden willingness to work with other parties, perhaps you could have done something a bit sooner.

I would also expect that if you really are doing this for alturistic reasons, they you should really have an alternative budget already to go, right?

If I were your, I'd take advantage of the 7 weeks to fund raise like ther is no tomorrow, because if your party mess this up, there won't be. This started because you became too dependant on the pusre whose strings were controlled by your enemies. Enemies with questionable ethics. That you didn't seem to notice until it was almost too late reveals something about your judgement.

So priority number 1, fundraising so that Harper can't try to stick you with a shiv in the yard again (and you know he's going to try).

Priority number 2, how about firing your, ahem, "communications team" and hiring someone who knows how to work a camera and maybe iMovie. Its 2008 and you had over 24 hours notice of Harper's speech. That sorry kerfuffle last night tells me perhaps you aren't ready to lead, no matter how may MPs you have. And that can't be put on Dion, no matter how goofy he is - a good team can make him look good. In the marketing department when running agianst the Conservatives, you brought a pencil to a gun fight.

Priority number 3, Dion has to step down as leader of the Coalition. For the same reason he is stepping down as leader of the Liberals. Put Ralph Goodale in charge. Or change your leadership convention to a one emember one vote phone vote and have it done by Christmas.

The coalition is fragile and it will collapse if Dion remains leader, no matter how much people hate Harper. Its just that simple.

NDP:

The heart is in the right place, but for god sake, read an economic text over the break. Pouring millions into auto plants to keep union workers making cars no one want to buy is going to be worse than laying them off. Try thinking long term.

BQ:

Congratulations. You have both won and lost.

You've won because thanks to Stephen Harper's out right attacks on you, you are now seen as the defender so Quebec against the anti-French rednecks. The Conservatives have clearly given up on Quebec and written off the seats there. They are yours for the taking.

You've lost, for the same reason. Any chance you had of influencing the government is pretty much gone, since Harper doesn't even want to talk to you.

I'd like you to remember how many non-Quebec Canadians supported you in this crisis next time you contemplate separation.

I am stuck with no one now. I have said before I don't really care who wins because I cannot support either - I don't care for the lying, proto-fascist bullies in the Conservative Party nor the bumbling idiotic big-government socialists in the coalition.

I am going to be sujected to this now for 7 weeks. I offer advice for the parties to clean up their act so that I don't have to face this again and so that the angry passions we are seeing exploited today do not take us down a road we cannot return from.

Personally, I'd love to see the govenment just shut down, period.

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6 Comments:

At 4:34 PM, Blogger Josh said...

I don't blame Jean for agreeing to this per se, but she's set the precedent that the GG is powerless to do anything in the face of a vaguely tyrannical PM. This was an abuse of power and Jean has failed to uphold constitutional convention.

 
At 8:35 PM, Blogger Greg said...

a) I agree with you about the NDP. And I kinda like what Moore said on MSNBC. "If we're going to give you 6 times your market capital, we own your ass. Start building electric cars and buses."

b) You should be happy about this as it's a christmas present for people like you: No government for 7 weeks!

c) The Liberals should really be acting calmly - if a bit passionately - about building their cabinet. The more assured they are, the more obvious the outcome becomes, the faster the Conservative knives come out for Harper.

 
At 8:48 PM, Blogger Mike said...

Greg,

All good points but b) can't make me happy, I know they'll be coming back. Plus 7 weeks of Conservative attack ads to remind me of it won't let me even pretend...

 
At 8:24 PM, Anonymous DazzlinDino said...

Stephen Harper, in violation of his own fixed election date law, called an unneeded and unwanted election in Sepetember.

Actually, I think he did the right thing there. I can't understand why Liberal voters weren't furious over the lake of participation in parliament. The process wasn't working because the Liberals, the official opposition, was refusing to partake on "principle"......gag me.

Everything else we pretty much agree on, as usual.

I am stuck with no one now. I have said before I don't really care who wins because I cannot support either - I don't care for the lying, proto-fascist bullies in the Conservative Party nor the bumbling idiotic big-government socialists in the coalition.

When it comes to running the country, it is VERY IMPORTANT to shoose the lesser of three evils - Rick Mercer.

One thing I will say, people are sure paying attention to politics for a change :)

 
At 11:06 AM, Blogger BC WaterBoy said...

Root problem on both sides of this debacle is pathetic leadership. With all of the great people on the sidelines with strong leadership qualities (yes, I admit there are some Cons who could lead) we settle for a bully (Harper) and someone with the charisma of a cement block (Dion). If we the people are going to do anything, it should be to demand strong leadership.

 
At 11:03 AM, Blogger Alison said...

Mike, as a libertarian, what do you think of this?

 

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