Monday, December 8, 2008
If I hear one more vile Conservative talking point based on a lie and reeking of desperation (eg. the Liberals and NDP are trying to overturn election results, the Bloc would hold the balance of power, Canadians have rejected the coalition because the polls say so, the coalition MPs' deceased family members would be "turning in their graves" blablabla) it might just send me over the edge. How low can these f@#$ers go? Sorry for the expletives but this is out of control. Misleading and scaring Canadians to hold on to power is unacceptable.
This will be an historic time studied by political scientists, historians, and constitutional scholars, but indoctrination enthusiasts should take note as well. The Conservative machine has pulled out all the stops. They are knowingly spreading falsehoods about what is going on (I say knowingly because I am sure that they paid enough attention in high school social studies to know how our parliamentary democracy works). They are doing all sorts of tricky stuff that flies under the radar. Like calling conservative supporters, inciting their anger, and then connecting them with an NDP or Liberal MP.
But what worries me the most is not the Conservative machine. Call me naive, but I have faith in Canadians' ability to eventually wade through the BS and scare tactics and figure out that a coalition government will give them what most of them desperately want right now: a stable government where Harper is not the PM. Conservative supporters will still be angry about losing power, but we all know (especially Harper) that true Conservative supporters are the minority of the electorate.
No, the biggest threat to the coalition is the Liberal Party. I won't put all Liberals in the same boat here- there are obviously some that have realized that Harper can't be trusted to put Canadians before his partisan games. These are the same Liberals who were dissatisfied, and at times embarrassed, with how the Liberal caucus propped up the Harper government for years. The same Liberals who were so stoked when their party grew a pair last week and stood up to Harper, that they organized online and on the ground to build support for the coalition.
I feel pretty terrible for these principled Liberals. First John Manley came along and rained on their parade and now a few MPs, like Ujjal Dosanjh (really, how many times is this a@$hole going to turn on the NDP in his political career) are sowing the seeds of doubt about the future of the coalition.
It must be really demoralizing to be one of the principled Liberals right now. To come so close to taking out Stephen Harper, who has been the worst threat to progressive politics that our country has seen in decades, only to be thwarted by indecision and in-fighting; that would be rough.
The Liberal party is in dangerous territory right now as they decide how to select their leader. They stand to alienate a lot of their members and supporters if they don't let their membership have a say. If they opt for the caucus and national executive deciding on the leader, they will probably get away with it because of the urgency of the situation. But if on top of an undemocratic leadership selection, they decide to prop up Stephen Harper for a few more budgets, they will pay the price (the Liberal brand can only do so much without people to fly the flag). For a party whose membership and leadership contenders are all talking about rebuilding and renewal, this is a very strange direction to be heading.
If the Liberals decide in January to prop up Harper, they will be saying that it's okay to play partisan games instead of dealing with the economy; that it's totally acceptable to risk causing a national unity crisis with highly charged, divisive rhetoric; and that subverting the democracy of our system of responsible government is an effective method of staying in power.
Saturday, December 6, 2008
Here is the latest. A short look at what it was like at the Vancouver rally for the Coalition for Change the other night. Enjoy my patented Shakycam skillz.
The picture quality would have been better but I had some editing and compression issues (iMovie, you and I are through). But you get the idea.
The Tories had their rally in Vancouver today and there were only about half as many people there as we had the other night. You know what that means....half as much fun.
Thursday, December 4, 2008
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
-Jack Layton on Stephen Harper trying to avert democracy
Jack Layton's speech just blew Harper's out of the water.
Am I allowed to wonder aloud why he can't be PM of the new coalition? Oh whatever, I know, I know...we have to compromise to make the coalition work. It's the best thing for Canada right now. But I'm more proud than ever to call Jack Layton my leader.
They made a pitch to the networks that they needed to speak to the country and then Harper just repeated what he has been saying for days. Infuriating.
Especially infuriating because he knows quite well that the the act of the PM making an address to Canadians really ups the anxiety level of the nation(s).
I am continually blown away by the utter disregard for the welfare and stability of this country that Harper and the Conservatives have exhibited this past week. He has figured out that the best way for him to get Canadians to agree with his irrational arguments for staying in power is to scare them into irrationality themselves. Shameful.
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
As a result, Canadians who voted against Harper but are just tuning in now, might be a little confused. They heard the opposition parties, and many constitutional experts who have weighed in, explain that this coalition would be perfectly legitimate in forming government. But then they hear Conservatives liken our system of responsible government to a coup. It must be confusing.
Let's forget what the Conservatives are saying now. They are understandably panicked and saying whatever they think they need to say to stay in power.
Let's instead look at what Conservatives said about these kinds of situations in the past.
On what would happen if a government lost the confidence of the HoC soon after an election:
"If the Liberals win one more seat than us and the Bloc and us defeat the government, it would be obvious what the next step would be," Mr. Reynolds said in an interview yesterday. "It would be irresponsible to hold another election right away."On governments that delay confidence votes:
– then-Conservative House leader John Reynolds, Globe and Mail, 1 June 2004 (during an election campaign)
The whole principle of our democracy is the government is supposed to be able to face the House of Commons any day on a vote. This government now has the deliberate policy of avoiding a vote. This is a violation of the fundamental constitutional principles of our democracy.
-Stephen Harper, May 3, 2005
On working with "socialists and separatists":
September 9, 2004
Her Excellency the Right Honourable Adrienne Clarkson,
C.C., C.M.M., C.O.M., C.D.
1 Sussex Drive
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0A1
As leaders of the opposition parties, we are well aware that, given the Liberal minority government, you could be asked by the Prime Minister to dissolve the 38th Parliament at any time should the House of Commons fail to support some part of the government’s program.
We respectfully point out that the opposition parties, who together constitute a majority in the House, have been in close consultation. We believe that, should a request for dissolution arise this should give you cause, as constitutional practice has determined, to consult the opposition leaders and consider all of your options before exercising
your constitutional authority.
Your attention to this matter is appreciated.
Hon. Stephen Harper, P.C., M.P.
Leader of the Opposition
Leader of the Conservative Party of Canada
Gilles Duceppe, M.P.
Leader of the Bloc Quebecois
Jack Layton, M.P.
Leader of the New Democratic Party
Seems like we all agree. Well, we all did at one point or another. Then desperation grabbed hold of Stephen Harper and now we have to face the full might of the Conservative machine as they try to mislead and confuse Canadians in order to gain public support.
But we have the constitution and 62% of Canadians on our side. So, bring it on.
Monday, December 1, 2008
Liberal blogger Scott Tribe, progressive blogger Kelly John and I, in the spirit of NDP-Liberal cooperation, have put together a badge (that pretty thing over to the right) to show support for the new coalition formally announced today.
We are planning on launching a website too (coalitionbloggers.ca), but we are still working out the details on what the site would do. Maybe a forum for discussion? An aggregator for pro-coalition bloggers? What do you think? We are open to suggestions.
For now, post the badge on your profile so that we can show how widespread the support is for this exciting new coalition government.
Here is the code:
<a href="http://coalitionbloggers.ca"><img src="http://1337hax0r.com/images/coalitionbloggersbutton.png" alt="Coalition Bloggers" title="I'm a Coalition Blogger!" /></a>