Thursday, November 03, 2005

Cry 'Scandal', Part 2

When local a local conservative commentator from the local conservative fishwrap agrees with a Dipper, you know something is up.

Via a friend, here is Randall Denley's column from this past Saturday's Ottawa Citizen (October 29, 2005), and what he had to say about Nepean-Carleton CPC MP Pierre Poilievre and MPP John Baird's scandal mongering over the Queensway Carleton Hospital 'issue' (reprinted in it's entirety, since it cannot be linked to) :

"Omnipresent MP Pierre Poilievre is certainly a contrast to most local members, who typically vanish into obscurity 15 minutes after they are elected.

It seems one can't turn around without seeing or hearing the MP from Nepean-Carleton, especially if one happens to live in his riding.

Poilievre deserves an A for activity, but his big crusade to save the Queensway-Carleton Hospital looks too much like a cheesy stunt.

Poilievre would have us believe that health care at the hospital is threatened because it will have to pay more for its National Capital Commission-owned land when its lease runs out. But that won't happen until 2013. Until then, the hospital gets the land for peanuts. It's paying only $23,000 a year, the same price it has had since 1973.

The NCC thinks the new lease will boost the cost to about $350,000 a year for five years, then move to an unspecified market value. All of that's a little south of the several million dollars Poilievre likes to talk about. It's also an issue that's so far off in the future, in political terms, that it's difficult to believe that it's worth upsetting people about today.

Despite all of that, Poilievre was still able to get the House of Commons to waste a bit of time defeating his private member's bill calling for a $1 a year lease. The problem with his plan is that a special deal for our hospital would be quickly sought by every other group leasing federal property. It's a situation that calls for a policy solution.

Poilievre's campaign didn't get a rent deal for the hospital, and there was no hope that it would. What it did do is give Poilievre and fellow Tory John Baird a dandy, if bogus, election issue. What a happy side effect.

MPP Baird is seeking a federal seat in Ottawa West-Nepean, where MP Marlene Catterall voted against the $1 deal. You can bet that Baird and Poilievre will furiously denounce the federal Liberals for taking money out of the hospital's pocket, reducing health care and any other scary thing they can think of. Poilievre has already suggested the lease problem will affect cancer care. The fact that it isn't really
true won't slow them down a bit.

This is a very old-fashioned type of politics, in which the politician manufactures an issue so he can rage about the horrible misdeeds of those in the other party. It doesn't really accomplish anything and it's mostly for show, kind of like fighting in hockey.

Poilievre has already figured out that Nepean-Carleton voters like a politician who's a scrapper. It's no accident that he has named his web site Political pugilism has certainly worked well for other politicians in Nepean-Carleton, especially Baird and city councillor Jan Harder.

But surely being a good MP requires more than just fighting. It matters that the fight is real, is about something important, and actually accomplishes something. Poilievre's predecessor, David Pratt, was pretty much the opposite type of MP. A quiet, hard worker, Pratt proved his substance by devoting a lot of time to African aid. It wasn't something designed to score political points.

Poilievre, on the other hand, wants us to be aware of his every move. Actually using the words "you can't understand someone until you've walked a mile in their shoes," Poilievre has been informing the media of his days spent tagging along with ordinary folks as they go about their business. So far, he's been out with a police officer, a farmer and a nurse. The time and place of the event is always announced, in
case we'd like to come and take his picture.

Poilievre also papers his constituents with flyers. He has sent out 19 of them in just over a year, plus four householders.

Some of it is sophomoric stuff of the sort you'd expect from someone running for head of a campus chapter of the party youth wing. One of Poilievre's recent flyers features Prime Minister Paul Martin on a three-dollar bill. As you might imagine, it says "phoney as a three dollar bill."

The same flyer asks these piercing questions. Do you agree that Paul Martin should stop making phoney promises? Tick yes or no. If I think Martin is beating his wife, can I write that in? Poilievre reminds constituents that they can return this scientific survey to him without postage, free mail being an MP's privilege. What a wise use of taxpayers' dollars.

He also asks "Is Pierre Poilievre MP on the right track in general?"

In a word, no. See above.

Poilievre is only 26, and a rookie MP. Maybe he will having a learning curve, but he needs to think about what he's doing before he ends up as nothing more than a young political hack. Based on what we've seen so far, he looks as phoney as a three dollar bill."

By Randall Denley of the Ottawa Citizen.
I usually find Denley no more than an angry conservative, who reacts for the sake of reacting. So I have to ask, if even the natural allies of the CPC are tired of this kind of low-brow politics, what will the electorate think? Perhaps its time for a new MP in Nepean-Carleton, on that will work for the people, instead of always picking 'fights'....


At 5:30 PM, Blogger DazzlinDino said...

The flipside would be that it is somewhat refreshing to see a politician actually involving his constituants in the process, skewed or not, instead of relying on hearsay and spouting off in the house without actually knowing what they want. Not saying I agree with the guy, but perhaps if all MPs took the time to send out what they think is pertinent to their job to the voters, Canadians might feel more involved in politics, but then that would be a democracy now wouldn't

At 2:14 AM, Blogger John Murney said...

Very interesting.

At 8:45 AM, Blogger Mike said...


I agree that he is doing a good job of being "involved". Of course, he is only "involved" if he can get his picture in one of our local weeklies, so even that is a bit self-serving, as Andy can attest to.

I think he can certainly be involved without lying, exagerating, manufacturing crises and scandal. another incident happened since I wrote this:

Our local City Councillor, Jan Harder (an old PC and small-c conservative, BTW) held a meeting about crime in Barrhaven. We have a big problem with teenagers committing vandalism and with street racing. The kids refer to our community as 'Borehaven' since there is nothing for them to do. Idle hands are the devil's workshop, they say. Anyway, this community meeting included her, the police chief, the mayor and some others from the community who were involved (mostly due to the Jennifer Teague murder). Pierre was not invited, but he showed up anyway, at the end of the metting ans began shaking people's hands like he had organized the meeting.

And as I have stated before, I find that kind of thing unethical.

Frankly, if he were actually doing this properly I would not have a problem with him, no matter what party he represented (indeed I thought former Liberal David Pratt was an excellent example of this, as Randall states above).

This isn't about us, his constituents, its about him and his image and his re-election...very sad.

Andy, why don't you own a pit bull? Suddenly the pit bull ban isn;t looking like a great idea...I hope your dog at least peed on him.

At 12:11 PM, Blogger Mike said...

Oh that's right, Poilievre and Baird exaggerate and lie and just make stuff up, but I'm the one engaged in "dirty mudslinging" when I call them on it. I guess that applies to Randall Denley too, since he is the one who wrote this.


If you or Petey can't take having your statements held up to scrutiny, maybe you guys ought to get out of the game.

I look forward to seeing you continue you idiotic trolling, hyperbole and stupidity over the next few months. It give my day comic relief.

Beyond that, I could care less what you think of anything.

At 4:25 PM, Blogger Politicagrll said...

Here is an example of involved in the community (and their concerns).

People in my school folded 1000 orgami cranes with a wish for peace (There is a Japanese legend that if you fold 1000 cranes your wish will come true and a Japanese girld dying of cancer made it close...of course the cranes are supposed to be folded by one person....but it was the poin and in actually there were probably only 30 or so working on it regularly).

When it was finished they were given to our MP who presented them to parliament as you would a petition.

It barely made the news, certainly not the city paper, although he takled about in one of his quartely bulletins.

And guess what? He was PC MP. Who cared about his consitutents, including the school kids....but didn't go searching for publicity on it.

THAT is a good MP.

At 3:28 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love your insight Mike on Pierre Poilievre. I wrote Jan Harder at one point about my dislike of Pierre's "women belong in the kitchen-type" arguments against the National Day Care programme. Shockingly she agreed with me about Pierre and my impression was she doesn't like him at all.

It is interesting about the "close" relationship between John Baird and him. If you do an internet search there is a common belief John Baird is gay. I always wondered how Pierre, at 25 year old and only a little over a year in the area got the Conservative nomination. Was it because of John Baird's 'support'? Both John and Pierre are now always 'together'.

Won't it be hilarious if Pierre and John were actually lovers, at the same time they were against gay marriage! Now that would be something.

At 3:42 PM, Blogger Mike said...


Jan Harder's opinion of Pierre is quite wll known - she campaigned for David Pratt last time and was none to pleased with his attempt last spring to take credit for getting the $200 million for the O-Train - somthing he opposed just two weeks before the MOU was signed.

As for the rumours he is gay, well I wouldn't be surprised but that would be a non-issue (except for his stand against SSM) for me. CPC supporters in the riding might have something to say about it, but I could really care less. John Baird actually is pro-SSM, as I understand he voted in favour of it in the Ontario legislature.

Ah politics! Got to love it.

At 8:26 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mike. I agree with you. If John and Pierre are gay I do not have a problem with it either. Ottawa's next power couple?

Frankly I think it improves their chances at getting my vote because it counters their image of being rigid dogma-driven Social conservatives.

However since the Conservatives are campaigning as the protector of traditional Christian family values, doesn't that change the playing field? Shouldn't the fundamental Christians know more about who will be championing their causes?

If Pierre got the Conservative nomination in the first place simply because John was physically attracted to him, doesn't it make it hard for a woman to become a Conservative candidate in the future? Of course this stuff happens all the time and I am surprised Politics wasn't listed in the seven deadly sins.

Here is the link discussing whether or not John Baird is gay and why I asked in the first place:

I love the irony that John Baird allied himself with Mr Social Conservative Jim Flaherty.

All that aside, the election still needs to be about the issues, and regulating morality on a Federal level shouldn't be one and if the Conservatives were smart they would just drop it. But don't expect Pierre to take a personal stand. When Pierre wants to express a personal opinion, he has to wait for it to be sent to him from Party headquarters in Calgary.

At 6:33 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Pierre might be a little over the top, but he's bang on when it comes to the Queensway Carleton. A hospital isn't just another "federal leasing opportunity"... As for the fact that the lease isn't up for another few years, I find that refreshing... it's nice to see someone that's thinking ahead.

I have no problems with him showing up at community events. After all, he is a member of the community. If I still lived in Nepean-Carleton, he'd get my vote for sure!

Pierre also has a "partner" who to my knowledge is female. He voted against SSM, so it's unlikely he's gay.

At 7:59 PM, Blogger Mike said...

Well anon, then you'd be voting for a liar. He is using the QCH to try to create a scandal that isn't there, soiley for his political benefit. He tried to do it wuth the O-train and that back fired, he tried to do it with his little "spam the queen' stunt with the GG. The QCH seems to be the one.

His confrontational attitude and his attemp to make this into a scandal ensured that he ostracized enough people that it would never pass. How could anyone not get a cost saving measure for a hospital passed in a minority parlaiment with a government that tries to show itself as a champoin of healthcare? This was a no-brainer, yet his bald-faced attempt to turn it into "Sponsoship-lite" to forward his own career guaranteed it wouldn't pass. He snatched defeat from jaws of victory on this.

He does't show up to community events to participate, he shows up to et his picutre taken then he's gone. He shows up to events he has nothing to do with, then stands around glad-handing as if he ran or sponsored the event. Its blatant media whoring.

If you think the Liberals are dishonest and corrupt, you cannot possibly vote for the person who creates the lies, misleading statements and exaggerations listed above. If you do, you are a hypocrite.

Case in point on QCH - some fool has a large "Mr. Martin, stop taxing our hospital" sign on his farm. Its the same slogan Peirre has on his mailers. of course, there is not taxing involved, its rent. and not Martin directly, but the NCC. And the government is following a regulation put in place by the Mulroney Conse4rvatives. That is misleading and I would say lying.

As for being gay, frankly I don't care.That means nothing to me since I support SSM and could care less if your gay. But just because he has a "partner" (who lived with him until the whole sanctity of marriage thing came up, when suddenly the info disappeared off his web site and he no claims the live apart)and voted against SSM means nothing. J. Edgar Hoover was the most anti-gay bureaucrate around, leading literal witch-hunts to ferret out gays from the military and civil service in the US. Turns out he was a flaming transvestite in his spare time, so you never can tell.

Now, Laurel Gibbons, the NDP candidate could have got that private members bill passed in the House. Not just passed but passed unanimously. she has a track record of bringin together politicians of alll parties to support healthcare related causes and atually was instrumental in getting Bill C-459 into the parliament. It passed first reading. Better than Pierre's.

Poilievre is a crass political opportunist who thinks anything goes as long as it advances his carerr. And he thinks he's still running for student council at U of C.

I find nothing about him respectful.

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At 7:07 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Poilievere is a complete and utter fake- glad handing with farmers in the riding (farmers would care if he was gay, so sshhhh!)His website states he has a background in international relations in univeristy- reality check- he is a university of Calgary drop out!!!He never had any job except for the Reform party- no talent except for getting in front of a camera and taking credit for things he had nothing to do with. SO, you people in Nepean Carleton keep voting for this delinquent - you probably have a work ethic and you think he represents your views--he's a lazy twit who has taken advantage of your stupidity and gullibility to nab a $160,000 a year job with no experience in business, farming, unions, family life (no wife, no children) and bonus..a big pension to boot-- thanks to you chumps in barrhaven and the rural voters who actually think he's a Progressive Conservative WAKE UP!!!!

FedUp in Nepean


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