Friday, July 02, 2010

See, I Said It Was a Coalition, One in Which the Junion Partner Does as It's Told

Just yesterday in my dirge to Canada Day, I wrote of the de facto Conservative-Liberal coalition:

"...In Parliament we discovered that Stephen Harper hasn't been running a minority government after all. It turns out Steve has had a coalition government thanks to a Liberal opposition whose only demonstrated skill this past year has been rolling over. When Mr. Ignatieff wasn't busy steering the LPC to the right in pursuit of the far-right Harper, he was either quite shamelessly backing Harper or simply skipping critical votes. You hand the guy the keys to the party of Laurier, Pearson and Trudeau and this is what you get? Un-believable."

Turns out, I'm not a lone voice on this one. Paul Wells, writing in MacLeans, says that Harper is just fine with his parliamentary toadie, Michael Ignatieff:

"... Harper and his junior coalition partner, Michael Ignatieff, are too smart to be thrown off balance. So, just before he welcomed the world’s leaders and southern Ontario’s riot police to the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, Harper permitted himself to revel in the Conservative-Liberal coalition’s latest accomplishments. “I think in the end we actually got some pretty good results,” Harper told reporters from Reuters. “Particularly in the closing days. As you know, we got the budget implementation bill through.”

One bill? That’s all he has to show for a year’s strife? But this was no ordinary bill. “The budget bill was wide-ranging legislation that had a lot, not just of important budgetary measures, but important measures for the Canadian economy. So I think the passage of the budget bill, in and of itself, made the parliamentary sessions productive.”

He listed other measures the opposition had caved on, like refugee-system reform and a measure making it harder for convicts to get pardons. (The opposition never fails to collapse in the face of each new Conservative tough-on-crime measure. Harper should recognize their contribution by hanging photos of Ignatieff and Jack Layton in every new federal prison.)

But the budget was the main ingredient. “I know we’ve been criticized for how much was in that budget bill,” Harper said. “But putting a lot in that budget bill effectively ensured—passing it ensured a productive parliamentary session.”
This was a slip-up, I believe, for it marked the first time Harper admitted he used the implementation bill to smuggle a bunch of other stuff into law.

And what an impressive list of achievements it was. Bill C-9 enabled all the usual taxing and spending, but it also removed new energy projects from the purview of the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act and gave the job for assessing them to the National Energy Board. To make that move even while the world’s attention was transfixed by the BP spill in the Gulf of Mexico was quite a feat. Harper couldn’t have done it without the Liberal members of his coalition.

Throw in provisions for the sale of Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd. and an end to the Canada Post monopoly on overseas mail. The Canada Post plan was introduced as a separate, stand-alone bill in 2008 and 2009, only to die on the Order Paper when Harper called the 2008 election and prorogued Parliament a year later.

When the 900-page Budget Implementation Act, with amendments to five dozen laws, passed the Commons early in June because not enough Liberals showed up to vote against it, Liberal Sen. Pierrette Ringuette swore it wouldn’t be the same story in the Senate. “The Liberal senators are not rubber-stampers of the leadership,” Ringuette said. “We have a mandate to do sober second review of legislation for Canadians, and we will fulfill our responsibility.” Then the Budget Implementation Act passed the Senate later in June because not enough Liberals showed up to vote against it.

I'm sorry, Liberal faithful, but when you let the schoolyard bully help himself to your lunch money you haven't got much to gripe about when you start getting bitchslapped. Under the rule of this professorial charlatan you're not fit to form a government, you're not even fit to serve the country as our official opposition. You're a goddamned joke.


ck said...

I've said this before; I will say this again. I honestly didn't think you would continue lamenting about the opposition following the G20 police state test of Harper's.

That kind of lamenting will get Steve his totalitarian regime he seeks and the Toronto under armed guard; folks getting arrested simply for disagreeing with their gov't or worse, being in the wrong place at the wrong time will be the norm.

After checking out Angus Reid's last poll, the frog didn't jump out of the water's last temperature hike.

So these are the choices; we support the opposition parties or a Harper majority comes in and it will be the last election ever. After the 2009 by election slogan of "de l'action; pas d'election", I really believe the first electoral reform he will do is scrap elections and keep the job until he tires of it or dies. So, really think about this. Sound crazy?

Everyone though Paul Martin was crazy for putting out that ad in 2004 regarding STeve putting the army in the streets all over Canada too, and G20 Torono was certainly a taste of that.

you want the opposition to be oppositional but we lambasted Iggy for getting oppositional last September when he dropped the gauntlet; remember how Steve was poised to win a majority according to all the polls, had it not been for the NDP?

The opposition did hold up Kenney's refugee bill; but the public accused the Liberals of playiing politics.

They can't win.

So, again, which is it? We either support them so they can be more confident to be oppositinal or they do the best they can to prevent a Harpercon majority which is the most frightening.

Don't know about you, but my husband and I, as well as most Canadians are too old to move overseas and Quebec Sovereignty can take awhile.

Speaking of, don't count on Gilles Duceppe. A Harpercon majority is in his interest as t will be his best bet to a 'yes' result in the next separation referendum.

Sorry to do this, but thes are the options.

Looking for super-heroes and magicians just ain't happening. Let's just try to prevent the worst.

The Mound of Sound said...

Oh I do support an opposition party. I, along with a lot of progressives, are parking our votes with the Greens.

I am not going to whimper in a corner in fear of Harper, even a Harper majority. As Troy Thomas opined on my blog a while back, if a Harper majority is what it takes to force the Libs to grow a pair and start acting like the Official Opposition then it might just be worthwhile.

Actually a Harper majority would force the Libs to jettison the deadwood leadership that's holding them back plus give Canadians a taste of what theocratic rule really means. There's really not a lot he could do in one term that couldn't be undone in a subsequent Liberal majority government.

You've got a bagful of insipid rationalizations for why we ought to support Iggy. None of them, not one, is convincing to me at least.

If the thin gruel that passes of a Liberal Party today is the best they can offer, I don't care if they fall off a cliff because they're doing far more harm than good for the Liberal Party, liberalism in general and especially the progressive heart of the party.

Anonymous said...

I support the BQ if only because they are true Canadian progressives.

There is no difference between Harper or Iggy. I don't understand how Liberals have become such sheeple.
I look at the of the Liblogs and see a level of disconnect akin to the Blogging Tories......

And, if it were not for the BQ, CK, Harper would have had that majority long ago.

Preventing the worst means the Liberals start being the opposition before they become has-beens of political history.