Thursday, March 14, 2019

CBC's Neil Macdonald Deflates Scheer, Charlie Angus and Trudeau's Attackers

It's all "Bullshit Theater." CBC columnist, Neil Macdonald, revives John Turner's term for politics in the public forum in dissecting the antics of Andrew Scheer and the NDP's Charlie Angus over what has now become known as LavScam.

In Scheer's estimation, the prime minister is "disgraced," up to "something sinister," running a coverup, and corrupt in the manner of a Third World despot. Trudeau, Scheer tells us, pressures, harasses, subverts the law and gags elected MPs. And he should be investigated for what are clearly crimes, something Scheer has written to the RCMP demanding
Now, Trudeau might not be a particularly inspiring, or even articulate fellow. His gurgly moralizing is aggravating. But a sinister, disgraced, subversive, corrupt criminal? Because he tried to get his justice minister to change her decision about a prosecution, to persuade her to use a new law the Conservatives supported, then eventually accepted her decision, and then moved her to Veterans Affairs, an assignment she herself, truth-teller that she is, said at the time was not a demotion?
...With Scheer heading the opposition, we are supposed to forget that the government his party formed under Stephen Harper happily imposed its will on Canada's judiciary, using minimum-sentencing legislation to interfere with judicial discretion. 
Or that Harper's Conservatives, having denounced Belinda Stronach for crossing the floor to join the Liberal government in 2005 (a betrayal of her constituents, we were told) happily received Liberal David Emerson, who crossed to join Harper's government in 2006, and then booted Conservative MP Garth Turner from the caucus after he protested (speaking truth to power, really) that Emerson should seek a new mandate from his constituents, the way the party had argued Stronach should have. 
To be clear, Trudeau's mob is no different. They went from screeching that the Mike Duffy affair was proof of utterly corrupt government, and declaring that the Canadian people demand transparency and answers from Harper, to running an administration at least as opaque and secretive, once in power.
...If Scheer ever does achieve power, it's a safe bet he'll exercise the same sort of top down control every other prime minister does. Does anyone believe he won't? That he wouldn't, perhaps, order Tory MPs on the Justice committee to abruptly adjourn rather than take more political damage? I humbly suggest he would.

He goes on to quote University of Ottawa political scientist, David Moscrop, who said, "If you were to put Justin Trudeau, Andrew Scheer, and Jagmeet Singh beside Bob Stanfield, Pierre Trudeau and … Ed Broadbent, I know what team I'd pay attention to."
Only technique has changed, he says. Now, whenever the opposition (or the governing party) has a fit of outrage, they do two things: 
"They immediately send out a fundraising request expressing the outrage and asking for five dollars, and they create a data-mining site." 
Example: LetHerSpeak.Ca, the website set up by the Conservatives (although you have to go right to the end of the page, and examine the shaded fine print, to find out who's behind it, which is sort of a tacit acknowledgement of opposition credibility). 
The nominal purpose of the site is to help The Canadian People demand that Trudeau un-gag Wilson-Raybould, because, you know, she really hasn't had a chance to speak much. Coincidentally, the site gives voters a chance to disclose their names, email addresses and postal codes. If they haven't read the shaded fine print at the bottom, and don't know they're supplying data to Conservative election campaign managers, well, they should buy reading glasses. 
"It's the new frontier of bullshit," says Moscrop. 
And we journalists are all just theatre critics.


the salamander said...

.. Thanks.. had spotted that via Twitter.. found it informative for sure
I found myself musing re the terms you presented in an earlier post..
The 'political grace' .. 'the better angels of our nature'
Not at all reflected in the scenarios and events Macdonald referenced so well

I tend to use the terms 'posturing and preening'
especially while wallowing before Mainstream media
or during contrived 'town halls' or Question Period or 'pressers' ..
as meanwhile, the so called 'sausage making' goes on backstage,
aboard palacial yachts, at country clubs, via private messages
or just via firewalls of lawyers and law firms or hired public servants..

rumleyfips said...

The thing is Thus and Blunder is what we want. Look at TV news, print media and the inertnet. We are all consuming and paying but not complaining enough to make them stop.

Anonymous said...

Scrapping the FPTP would curtail most of those bullshit antics as honest -gasp- politicians could always count on their electoral base.
Pox on that forked tongue lickspittle of the establishment.

rumleyfips said...

That should have been Thud and Blunder.

John B. said...

“Let her speak.”


Why now and what about the rest of the people? I hope when I grow up that I can take some neat lessons on the importance of transparency and hearing it from the horse’s mouth from guys who learned everything they know at the dirty feet of Stephen Harper and this fucking guy:

“Transport Minister John Baird, Natural Resources Minister Christian Paradis and junior science minister Gary Goodyear arrived at the government operations committee in place of staffers who had been called to speak.”

- CTV (2 Jun 10)

“Baird … clashed with opposition MPs on the government operations committee until the testimony of two other witnesses was suspended by a vote call in the House.

“The heated appearance was the latest salvo in the battle between Prime Minister Stephen Harper's government and opposition MPs over the Conservatives' decision last week to bar ministerial staffers from appearing before committees as witnesses.

“On Wednesday, the committee's opposition members had sought to hear from staff members of all three ministers, only for their bosses to show up ready for a fight.”

- CBC (2 Jun 10)

And before that there was the fire alarm prankster. I guess it would have spoiled what little fun we had back then to call something disgraceful when it’s so entertaining. The questions remain unanswered of who decided to send the reporters to Serious School and what CRAP Party did Andrew Scheer join?

Send me money too. I don’t need your name and address.

Anonymous said...

So JWR spoke, but now we have to let her speak again. But the rigged Brexit referendum must stand, despite the campaign finance violations, and we must not let the people speak again. Somehow JWR has more to say a week later, but the British public must remain gagged years and a lot of new understanding later.

Marg said...

Now if we could/can get a full audit of the federal departments which dole out corporate welfare (as per the Fraser Institute report) --( excerpt by CBC News)---
Then Canadians might begin to understand just how lop-sided our politicians are in any dealings with our tax money and how this corrupt treatment has corporations demanding 695 billion in welfare--since the 70's. Which naturally has lead even foreign corporations to act as though all taxpayers are a human equivalent of a ATM source--- to pad their profits...
Rather like the clauses in all global trade agreements ---see bilaterals dot com --for global information and analysis on all trade deals.

Anonymous said...

It must be a new Guinness world record. Both MoS and Simon are grabbing onto Neil MacDonald's opinion piece to justify their respective points-of-view.

Really all it's telling us is that major party politicians are in general merely corrupt two-faced weasels happy to pick up some money on the side, with nary a fleeting moment of regret for how badly the general public is treated. We all knew that already.

And sure, the Conservatives are even more pregnant at the game than Liberals are for what that's worth. All are highly untrustworthy.

What the hell the Public Service's role in keeping things establishment-oriented is not clear, but based on Wernick's general uselessness and self-serving testimony, they seem to like cosy corporate relations just fine, thanks. It guides Canada's BS with regard to Venezuela as well, because mining companies are carping about the way they've been treated there, so a whole fake story has been concocted on that front for our delectation.

Overall, a bigger bunch of losers both corporate and government with regard to concerns of the general public it would be hard to find. Well, there's the US of course - they're off the scale. The neoliberals and neocons hate to have their greed agendas and planet-destroying plans disturbed, hence these supra-national conflict resolution addenda to Free Trade Pacts. Canada loves 'em. Well, of course.

Meanwhile, the CBC reports the PQ AG was approached last November by the corrupting company at the basis of all this past month's bullshit, for a spot of assistance in getting Ottawa to get off the pot and offer a DPA. SNC-L's plea was rejected by the PQ AG, and luckily for anyone with an interest in preventing these corporate dogs from running things 100% their way, their lobbying was also rejected by the Federal AG.

You don't have to be a fan of JWR's pathetic job as Justice Minister these past three and a half years, to otherwise acknowledge that at least as AG she apparently stood firm against corporate interference.

Or is such sublety not allowed to be aired by pundits and bloggers? Or even considered, for that matter?

I mean, let's get a bit more focused, shall we? This particular case of corporate/government bullshit is just part of the same neoliberal coin we have been railing at for some time. It's not a separate issue, it's a component of it.

I'm as cynical about pols and corporate truth revisionists as the next person, but this old dawg "what do you expect anyway" throwing up of hands in the air followed by sessions of pseudo-intellectual shoulder-shrugging is weak sauce.