Canadian Parliament Prorogued again: Part 7

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Debater

Cute video of Bob Rae singing “Stephen Harper: He Prorogues”.  Smile

 

http://www.digitaljournal.com/article/286308

Polunatic2

Rae was acknowledged in the crowd  by the MC in Toronto. I heard (unconfirmed) that he wanted to speak. 

Debater

Yes, apparently the organizers in Toronto decided that they did not want any politicians to speak the way they did at the Ottawa rally.  So it seems that Bob Rae, Martha Hall Findlay and Borys Wrzesnewskyj  attended and cheered on from the sidelines.

 

http://www.thestar.com/news/gta/article/754974--thousands-rally-to-prote...

scott scott's picture

I don't have a problem with politicians speaking. Usually they are pretty good at it. Just try and get them to stay away from "my party this, my party that and poo on the other parties" type of speech.

Debater

Photo of Montreal rally with Duceppe, Mulcair etc.:

 

http://www.montrealgazette.com/news/Canadians+going+prorogue/2478474/sto...

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

I'm pretty sure I heard Iggy say one of the reasons Harper prorogued Parliament was to avoid a confidence vote. That's why I want to see the text of their speeches - to be absolutely certain (I watched Iggy and Layton's speeches on CBC Newsworld, everything was closed-captioned - no chance of mishearing anything).

Scott Piatkowski Scott Piatkowski's picture

I saw a lot of people I knew from my involvement in politics, but I also saw a lot of people who I know who have never expressed any interest in politics. "This is my first rally," is something that I heard from more than a few people. So, if Harper and his minions want to say that this movement is just composed of "acitivists", well... most of them weren't until you made them into activists.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

CTV's QP: will the gov't handling of the Haitian crisis blunt the criticism of the gov't over prorogation? NO 87%  YES 13%

Debater

Sean in Ottawa wrote:

All the opposition representatives gave good speeches including even especially May. Nobody lost support over what they said.

I was a ew feet from Ignatief though when he came out and I put up the NDP sign "stand up to Harper" when he was looking right in my direction. The look on his face was special. There he was, Liberal leader looking out over many orange signs.

There was a noticable difference in the cheering for Layton as Ignatief-- it was clearly an NDP and Green friendly crowd (there was a lot of May supporters there as well).

I wish I knew what he was thinking but the look on his face for a moment was something-- then he brightened up and delivered a good speech that actually was quite well recieved. By the end of his speech he had many of those with Orange signs clearly clapping well for him. But for a moment at the start I wondered if he was questionning if he had made a good move being there. In the end clearly he had.

Personally I find his tone difficult-- I don't enjoy hearing him speak-- he does sound like a snob but at least part of that is not his fault- it is just the way he speaks.

 

I was there yesterday and yes, there were a lot of orange NDP democracy signs.  I also saw Francoise Boivin in the crowd near the flame.

There did seem to be an enthusiastic applause when Jack Layton spoke, although the applause for Ignatieff was about as loud.

I do think Latyon and May are more natural, charismatic speakers.  Ignatieff is more of a cerebral speaker.  He tends to rely more on concepts and ideas than on straight talk and emotion.  He lacks the ability to speak to the average person in the way that Ed Broadbent did, and he does not have the oratorical fire and passion of Pierre Trudeau.

He became more comfortable as the speech went on and hopefully this will allow him to learn how to talk to people more effectively than he has in the past.  He will need to do that in order to beat Stephen Harper.  I also give Elizabeth May credit for giving an impassioned speech.  I know she isn't that popular on this board, but she deserves credit where it is due.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

The G&M has a good page of anti-prorogation links here.

KenS

Elizabeth May is consistently good at presenting herself in person, be it to 2 people of a crowd.

karmapolice

Debater wrote:

Cute video of Bob Rae singing “Stephen Harper: He Prorogues”.  Smile

 

http://www.digitaljournal.com/article/286308

This is rich, coming from a guy who must have really hated democracy when he was Premier of Ontario. He must have forgotten that he prorogued the Legislature 3 time in 5 years.

From Blizzard's article:

Rae’s NDP won power Sept. 6, 1990. On Dec. 19, 1991, Rae prorogued the House. They didn’t come back until April 6, 1992. He then prorogued again, Dec. 10, 1992 — and didn’t come back until April 13, 1993.

By 1994, his government had run out of steam. They were running double-digit deficits and he’d doubled the debt. Some of his experimental policies proved laughable at best and disastrous at worst.

Limping badly, he prorogued for the third time on Dec. 9, 1994. The House did not sit again until the legislature was dissolved April 28, 1995.

http://www.torontosun.com/comment/columnists/christina_blizzard/2010/01/...

Polunatic2

I was part of one early (non-binding) discussion about the Toronto speakers. The rationale for excluding politicians was that we wanted to hear from people and about the issues being adversely impacted by prorogation. The initial concept was only to have a small number of speakers so inviting the parties would have taken up 3 spots (NDP, Lib, Green). 

In the end, Marie Kelly from the OFL spoke and made a very partisan plug for the NDP as part of her "Danny Williams" ABC line. That left a number of Liberals feeling left out of the program - I know because one 84 year old (Liberal) woman started yelling at me as I was helping with the fundraising. I think that some organizers may have also had reservations about all the orange signs but there wasn't much that could have been done since it is people's rights to express themselves freely. 

In retrospect, it may have helped with mobilization to invite party reps to say a few words but once you do, I don't think you can tell them what to say. What might have also been effective would be to have them stand together on stage with a joint message of congratulations to CAPP and all the people who showed up. 

Fidel

karmapolice wrote:

Debater wrote:

Cute video of Bob Rae singing “Stephen Harper: He Prorogues”.  Smile

 

http://www.digitaljournal.com/article/286308

This is rich, coming from a guy who must have really hated democracy when he was Premier of Ontario. He must have forgotten that he prorogued the Legislature 3 time in 5 years.

From Blizzard's article:

Rae’s NDP won power Sept. 6, 1990. On Dec. 19, 1991, Rae prorogued the House. They didn’t come back until April 6, 1992. He then prorogued again, Dec. 10, 1992 — and didn’t come back until April 13, 1993.

By 1994, his government had run out of steam. They were running double-digit deficits and he’d doubled the debt. Some of his experimental policies proved laughable at best and disastrous at worst.

Limping badly, he prorogued for the third time on Dec. 9, 1994. The House did not sit again until the legislature was dissolved April 28, 1995.

http://www.torontosun.com/comment/columnists/christina_blizzard/2010/01/...

Blizzard seems to be longing for the Mike Harris/Eves regime? Ha ha. Those guys left us with a $5 billion dollar annual budget deficit even after several years of economic recovery that was hemispheric in scope and nothing to do with provincial governments or their really limited power to affect national economies. She's a hired mouthpiece for the right. Hasn't got a clue.

Polunatic2

Perhaps if we had more notice about his "We Prorogue" song, Rae could have been invited as a performer and not a speaker. 

karmapolice

Quote:

Blizzard seems to be longing for the Mike Harris/Eves regime? Ha ha. Those guys left us with a $5 billion dollar annual budget deficit even after several years of economic recovery that was hemispheric in scope and nothing to do with provincial governments or their really limited power to affect national economies. She's a hired mouthpiece for the right. Hasn't got a clue.

So, she's mistaken then? Rae didn't prorogue the Legistature way back when only to see the light in 2010? Fact is, prorogation is a red herring issue that the opposition seized on to make political gains. It is a practice of parliamnetary democracy that the government of the day decides when Parliament is in session. Chretien prorogued Parliament, so did Rae (Queen's Park). So, when the Libs and NDP act the same way as the Cons, are they flouting democracy? Or, is it only evil when the Tories do it? Just asking.

 

Five billion deficit? Do you remember SARS, the blackout, which all contributed to that deficit, as well as some crafty accounting by the incoming McGuinty gov't that shifted money around, creating an even bleaker picture then really existed, so he could justify bringing in his first major tax increase, the health tax? Cuz I do.

Debater

Did Rae prorogue in order to avoid a vote of non-confidence?

Did Rae prorogue in order to evade an inquiry into torture allegations?

Did Rae prorogue in order to avoid a Parliamentary vote asking the government to produce documents on Afghanistan?

karmapolice

Debater wrote:

Did Rae prorogue in order to avoid a vote of non-confidence?

Did Rae prorogue in order to evade an inquiry into torture allegations?

Did Rae prorogue in order to avoid a Parliamentary vote asking the government to produce documents on Afghanistan?

What's good for the goose is good for the gander. Who cares why Rae prorogued the legislature--he did it, and now is whining that it shouldn`t be done! Chretien prorogued to avoid the Adscam report. Where was all the protestation? It doesn't matter why the government prorogues the legislature. The opposition, even in a minority gov't situatiion, isn't in control, unless it can form a coalition. And, we all know how the majority of Canadians view that scenario ....

Stockholm

"Chretien prorogued to avoid the Adscam report. Where was all the protestation?"

Stephen Harper was opposition leader at that time and he condemned it using the most vitriolic language imaginable. Of course now that he's PM he regards things like Parliament as a nuisance. Whatever happened to the values of the Reform Party which wanted for direct democracy, more accountability, more freedom for individual MPs etc...the Harper government is so totally the opposite of all that its almost funny.

Debater

karmapolice wrote:

Debater wrote:

Did Rae prorogue in order to avoid a vote of non-confidence?

Did Rae prorogue in order to evade an inquiry into torture allegations?

Did Rae prorogue in order to avoid a Parliamentary vote asking the government to produce documents on Afghanistan?

What's good for the goose is good for the gander. Who cares why Rae prorogued the legislature--he did it, and now is whining that it shouldn`t be done! Chretien prorogued to avoid the Adscam report. Where was all the protestation? It doesn't matter why the government prorogues the legislature. The opposition, even in a minority gov't situatiion, isn't in control, unless it can form a coalition. And, we all know how the majority of Canadians view that scenario ....

The majority of Canadians are not against a coalition. 

Stockholm

"The majority of Canadians are not against a coalition. "

True and maybe someone should tell Ignatieff that.

Fidel

Debater wrote:

Did Rae prorogue in order to avoid a vote of non-confidence?

Did Rae prorogue in order to evade an inquiry into torture allegations?

Did Rae prorogue in order to avoid a Parliamentary vote asking the government to produce documents on Afghanistan?

No to all. The only thing he was guilty of then was having a phony majority. Harper would have an exaggerated minority if the Liberals were a real opposition party. But they're not.

Polunatic2

It's kind of like when feeding your child(ren). If they've almost finished everything on their plate, you can excuse them from dinner. If they've barely started eating, then you must insist that they cannot be excused. 

Frmrsldr

Sean in Ottawa wrote:

I am having some trouble also with the Hitler reference -- but for different reasons. On the one hand there is no comparison to what Hitler did with the power he took and he was far beyond Harper in many ways. The Holocaust itself is clearly not being replicated and Harper would not do anything like that.

But that is not where it stops. The reasons Harper would not do those things is because he does not want to. Where the comparisons start to work are the manipulations to take down a viable democracy, however stressed and flawed. Hitler took down the German democracy piece by piece. The use of outright lying and propaganda, together with a demonization of opponents Hitler raised to extreme but the tactics are being used by Harper. The manipulation of people's "patriotism" to direct people where they might not otherwise go is also being employed. The attack on intellectuals, objective science, is also something Hitler did -- albeit to a much greater extreme.

What troubles me therefore is the loss of credibility in comparing the man Harper to Hitler in part because it undermines far more legitimate comparisons relating to the tactics of assembling power, manipulating the public and undermine democratic institutions. I fear that the personal demonization about Harper by making horrific comparisons to Hitler at one point my blunt and discredit comparisons that need to be made about the attack that is underway against our democracy. So I am torn. At one point those comparisons may need to be made but they are dangerous and should be done carefully. Portraying Harper as Hitler is not helpful in imagery but comparing the track of a loss of democracy to the Weimer republic may be essential.

Anyway, I am torn and find it very difficult to be consistent on this so I can only sum up by saying I am disturbed but in a very inconsistent way.

Ever since Harper assumed office we have witnessed the spectacle of the opposition party leaders (especially Dion) play Neville Chamberlain to Stephen Harper's Adolf Hitler. Look at how effective it's been. What we need is a political leader (I hope Jack Layton) to play Winston Churchill against Harper's Adolf Hitler. When you're dealing with an s.o.b. like Harper, you have to play his game but better. You've got to beat him at his own game if you want to win. I don't mean use the same tactics he does. I mean coming up with some good propaganda of your own. Winning the hearts and minds. The NDP is ideally positioned to accomplish this. Harper is an economic libertarian. The NDP can inform people that it was decades of deregulating Wall Street, Bay Street and the banks, etc., that has caused the Great Depression II. Three cornerstones of the current government policy have been a reduction in taxes, the Afghan war, a commitment to contracts that will cover the next 20 years and cost $490 billion in arms industry purchases and a law and order policy. The only things Harper can do that would be equally or more expensive would be Canadian space and nuclear arms programs. In other words, with his policies, Harper has bankrupted the Canadian treasury thus eliminating funds that could be used for health care, pensions, Employment Insurance, Social Security, homes for the homeless, education and daycare for our young, etc.

As things are now, and as they will become in the near future, if the Conservatives gain more support and/or form a majority government, then Harper will "sell" the program that private industry will be able provide daycare, schools and education, social security/assistance, employment insurance, health care, low cost housing, (private) pensions, etc. These are things the NDP can point out and in turn can offer strong and attractive programs to counter this program of the Conservatives.

Frmrsldr

Stockholm wrote:

Let's leave Hitler out of this. It only leads to the anti-prorogation movement being discredited. The last thing we need is to have the media start to ridicule the movement because of comparisons between Harper and Hitler which are clearly hyperbolic and over the top.

Why don't we call Stevo "Harper Rex" and make comparisons and references to Kings James II and Charles I - two other well known "prorogers" of Parliament in the Anglo world?

Unionist

[url=http://rabble.ca/babble/canadian-politics/canadian-parliament-prorogued-... post[/url], Frmrsldr. Let's hope someone is listening.

 

Michelle

Polunatic2 wrote:

It's kind of like when feeding your child(ren). If they've almost finished everything on their plate, you can excuse them from dinner. If they've barely started eating, then you must insist that they cannot be excused. 

Fabulous analogy! :)

Scott Piatkowski Scott Piatkowski's picture

There's some suggestions by folks in Winnipeg that [url=http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=268315242169]people carrying Harper=Hitler signs were actually Conservative plants designed to discredit the rallies[/url]. Apparently a Conservative operative was seen motioning for them to move so he could get a better picture of them and was later seen leaving the rally with them (they were both wearing balaclavas to disguise their identity).

 

I didn't recognize the person carrying the Steven Hitler sign in Waterloo, but he wasn't disguising their identity. But, he was moving around quite a bit and seemed to be seeking out the news cameras. There was also a very angry man, apparently a Conservative supporter, who loudly heckled both of the Liberal speakers.

 

Any other reports of possible Conservative shenanigans at rallies?

Debater

Globe editorial

 

Silent Parliament, forgotten roots

 

 

Stephen Harper's decision to prorogue Parliament is an abrogation of the principles he and his party arose to defend

 

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/opinions/editorials/silent-parliamen...

thanks

The timely economic critique of Harper and Stockwell Day is not a general label in relation to decades of financial deregulation, but a light shone on the fact that, in the face of a global collapse caused by the blatant abuses of bankers, Harperites have responded with denial, reduced oversight, and expansion of destructive banker power.

The deficit, such as it is, is a direct result of Harper's policies of public-private partnership in finance at all levels including the Bank of Canada, subsuming public finance in the half-quadrillion (no joke) of unaudited, destructive private financial trading that expands with each millisecond.

The timely critique is about the myriad effects of this destructive manipulative financier power over every issue, person, and element of nature we hold dear, of every group, social movement, union, party, or parliament thereof, however weak or strong.

If pundits left or right continue to seek catch phrases for elections instead of naming the beast, we'll not be able to hold any government to account.

Eastwinds

As much as Harper is distasteful and a disappointment to say the least, to call Harper=Hitler is ridiculous. Just as ridiculous to say Iggy has evil eyes, Iggy=Stalin, or Layton=Beaker from the muppets. Politics in this country are lame and achieve very little imo.

Pogo Pogo's picture

Eastwinds wrote:

As much as Harper is distasteful and a disappointment to say the least, to call Harper=Hitler is ridiculous. Just as ridiculous to say Iggy has evil eyes, Iggy=Stalin, or Layton=Beaker from the muppets. Politics in this country are lame and achieve very little imo.

You did see that the sign carriers were likely Conservatives sent to discredit the event.

Eastwinds

Pogo wrote:

Eastwinds wrote:

As much as Harper is distasteful and a disappointment to say the least, to call Harper=Hitler is ridiculous. Just as ridiculous to say Iggy has evil eyes, Iggy=Stalin, or Layton=Beaker from the muppets. Politics in this country are lame and achieve very little imo.

You did see that the sign carriers were likely Conservatives sent to discredit the event.

 

Yes, I read the article. They are just as lame and stupid as the next person.

I was also referring to people I know, meet, who are friends that are not conservative and also have heard say Harper=Hitler. I have also read it on many sites, responses to a news article etc etc..Harper=stupid , but Harper=Hitler is ridiculously dumb.

skdadl

Alert: There's a [URL=http://section15.blogspot.com/2010/01/flash-mob-call-tony-clement-york-u... mob[/URL] at York U. at 3 p.m. to chatter at Tony Clement. Pass it on.

Sean in Ottawa

While the Hitler comparisons may be ill-advised in public and the visuals even a little offensive and I would never bring a Harper-Hitler reference to a demo-- I have argued why they are not completely wrong. Yes they can backfire on the anti-Harper opposition but raising them could also backfire on the Harper supporters. Even as people are offended by them, some may see enough in the comparison to see the point. This is a dangerous weapon for either side to employ and it can damage both sides even at the same time.

I don't see the Cons gaining anything by creating them-- certainly taking pictures of them may be something to do if they were recording the rally but it is a risky strategy for them to try top exploit and I doubt that they would be so stupid. As I argued, the parrallels in the loss of democracy are real and without the horror of where Hitler went there is a lot of grist for such a comparison and it is a natural extreme example to consider. It is not unusual for people to argue the extreme of something to make a point and there is *some* tolerence for that out there. In fact such a comparison may wind up with a neutral effect-- as many offended by the comparison as those who see that as bad as it may be there is some reason to be concerned when our democracy (such as it is) is being attacked.

While the Cons would have taken the pictures I don't think they would have made the effigies or signs. As ill advised as it may have been that would have been our side.

ennir

Sean in Ottawa wrote:

....

While the Cons would have taken the pictures I don't think they would have made the effigies or signs. As ill advised as it may have been that would have been our side.

If you follow the link you will find that a university student reported seeing someone well connected to the Conservative party on the University of Winnipeg campus walk away from the demonstration with the people who had the "Hitler, Harper" sign.  I think this is precisely the kind of behavior we can expect from the Conservatives and don't forget that the other sign had a spelling error so that on Small Dead Animals they are roaring about how stupid the university students are.

I don't think this is going to go away, I think the university campus is probably buzzing today.

Unionist

Caissa wrote:

As dry as it is this book should be madatory reading for Governors-General

Her Excellency only reads memos from the PMO. Between that and trying on fatigues, there's no time for anything else.

 

Caissa

As dry as it is this book should be mandatory reading for Governors-General

The royal power of dissolution in the British Commonwealth. Toronto : Oxford University Press, 1938; reprinted 1968; reprinted with a new introduction by Eugene Forsey in 1990 in "Evatt and Forsey on the Reserve Powers" (ed. by George Winterton).

Caissa

The most interesting aspect of all of this is the fact that Stephen Harper did not prorogue Parliament. He does not have the authority or the power to do so. This level of political illiteracy really hurts in discussing how to move our political system forward.

bonzo

Them university students misspelling something.  Yep, it all ties in with how people with higher education don't support the cons as much as lesser educated people.  Champagne socialists, unlike the cons who are for working people, and don't pander to the elite.  Pretty soon Harpers gonna fix it so we don't have to support you carreer students who don't ever contribute, but always critisize.

 

The world can't run on hot air.

 

 

 

Gary Shaul Gary Shaul's picture

Quote:
Her Excellency only reads memos from the PMO.
It's all done on Twitter now.

Scott Piatkowski Scott Piatkowski's picture

I see the Liberals have copied and pasted another NDP press release.

genstrike

Sean in Ottawa wrote:
I don't see the Cons gaining anything by creating them-- certainly taking pictures of them may be something to do if they were recording the rally but it is a risky strategy for them to try top exploit and I doubt that they would be so stupid.

These are the U of M Campus Conservatives.  Trust me, they are that stupid.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Murray Dobbin nails it: The Movement For Canadian Democracy

 

excerpt:

 

And so, the left -- extra-parliamentary and parliamentary -- is put in the position of leading from behind. A close examination of Canadians' stated values demonstrates that they are far ahead of the organizations that have historically provided them with leadership. That is one of the most amazing aspects of this democracy movement: it has bypassed the moribund progressive organizations and taken the fight straight to the government, tapping directly into Canadian values and anger. This is an unmediated, spontaneous, grassroots movement -- a welling up of outrage at an arrogant, quasi-dictatorship. It's as if, tired of waiting for the traditional organizations to speak for them, Canadians who care deeply for their country are taking matters into their own hands.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Folks on the CAPP Facebook page are talking about another national rally in February to keep the momentum up, probably Feb 11 or 13, nothing final yet.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Folks on the CAPP Facebook page are talking about another national rally in February to keep the momentum up, probably Feb 11 or 13, nothing final yet.

KenS

Murray Dobbin wrote:

 

And so, the left -- extra-parliamentary and parliamentary -- is put in the position of leading from behind. A close examination of Canadians' stated values demonstrates that they are far ahead of the organizations that have historically provided them with leadership.

 

I think this is yet another time Dobbin just takes the facts as props for his hobby horses.

There is no evidence yet as to how deep this has impacted Canadians in general. And if he paid attention to who was doing the bulk of the organizing, he'd see it is heavily weighted with existing activists.

 

 

thanks

Writers at Rabble on the main page seem to be concerned with finding a common thread to bring diverse efforts together.  It's clear that there, in any case, agreement exists around the need for proportional representation. 

Proportional representation was mentioned in several speeches by residents and organizers in both the Northumberland and Peterborough pro-democracy rallies on Saturday, to lots of cheers.

Perhaps the Facebook groups, who, according to the Fair Vote/ Voting Reform thread at babble, are organizing additionally around proportional representation, will be able to translate the elements in popular fashion.

Polunatic2

I saw something on the news last night - don't remember exactly who it was - but they trotted out the coalition argument as a reason to oppose any type of prorogue reform.  "If we take these powers away from the PM, the opposition will form a coalition and illegally seize power as they tried to do last year." In other words, prorogue reform will be demonized as undemocratic. 

I wouldn't be surprised to hear more of this kind of talk because it worked last year. It worked because the opposition parties were cornered and unprepared or unwilling to discuss changing the electoral system.  I'm sure I raised that point at the time. While some have suggested that the NDP unsuccessfully tried to get agreement on this with Dion in the coalition talks, I don't see any record of that in Brian Topp's "memoirs". I see the same pattern this time around. Pot calls kettle black. Kettle retreats until such time that they think they can win a "phony" majority. 

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Yeah, I saw that on CBC Newsworld I think - more of that silly 'Coalition as boogeyman' talk. That came from Harper's executive assistant, Pierre Poliviere. He knows how to raise people's fears.

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