Harper’s “Mandate”

Considering that Stephen Harper and the Conservative Party have been running a de facto, if relatively low-key, election campaign all summer long (and, arguably, for a considerably longer period of time before that) by making extravagant promises to voters with their own money, deluging targeted ridings with taxpayer-funded propaganda rubbishing the Liberals, and vigorously stumping in the far corners and remote boroughs of the country (often at taxpayer expense), the PM’s latest efforts to weasel out of his fixed election date promise are more than somewhat laughable.

Having challenged Stéphane Dion to “fish or cut bait” at the end of July, Harper now says he may have no choice but to call an election if he can’t bully the opposition parties (who represent two-thirds of the voters, it should be remembered) into allowing him to move forward with his “mandate” unobstructed by their pesky objections, insufferable stalling and other such bothersome annoyances that some wooly-headed dreamers like to think are just part of how things are actually supposed to work in parliamentary democracy.

All of which makes the notion of so-called “Senate reform” being one of the reasons for calling an election kind of ironic, given that such changes are usually premised on the idea of introducing more “democracy” into the upper house. Well whatever. Everyone knows that any serious reform of the Senate would require opening up the constitution and it’s doubtful that Harper will get an enthusiastic mandate from the electorate to do that given past experiences in this area (although I could be wrong).

Which brings me in a roundabout way to my point: what exactly is the “mandate” that Harper wants the opposition parties to fall into line with in order to avoid a fall election? He was elected in 2006 on a narrowly focused platform built around five key priorities, which in case you’ve forgotten, were: cleaning up government by passing the Federal Accountability Act; cutting the GST; cracking down on crime; increasing financial assistance for parents; and, working with the provinces to establish a wait-times guarantee for patients.

Harper’s supporters claim that all of these promises have been made good on by the government, although critics would obviously choose to differ, but for the sake of our argument here, let’s imagine these are “accomplishments” as some incessantly boast. As such, wouldn’t it then make perfect sense to go to the electorate for a new mandate from the voters? It certainly seems to me that would be the correct thing to do, even if it does require him to break his silly fixed election promise, which was just an absurd fiction in the first place.

14 Replies to “Harper’s “Mandate””

  1. That’s right, if the opposition parties don’t roll over and play dead to Harper’s fascist dictatorship, well then, he’ll just break another so-called “promise.”

    The man is a disgrace to all Canadians.

    Send him into George W’s arms, where he belongs, and wants to be anyway.

  2. Harper is clueless, it seems that he wants to ensure that Canadians don’t fully understand what a twat he is.
    We have the “in and out” scandal, Mulroney affair, the dysfunctional parliament they caused, the economy in the shitter….

  3. That’s right, if the opposition parties don’t roll over and play dead to Harper’s fascist dictatorship, well then, he’ll just break another so-called “promise.”

    Harper the fascist!!!!!!!!!!!!! Harperbushhitler, wot????


  4. Speaking of crazy…Were you ever impressed, Red, at how convincingly Victoria Jackson acted dumb? Well, apparently, she wasn’t acting.

    …sorry for going off topic, but I mean, Harper lying? Snoozers.

  5. We all know that Harper THINKS he’s the smartest guy in the room but could it be that he is under-estimating the Canadian public? Other than senate reform (and I am hoping that is one of his priorities), what the hell else does he have planned to campaign on that would actually appeal to Canadians?

  6. At the end of the day their really is no difference in the parties when they are in power, whoever is in power will use it to their advantage by offering the world to whichever ridings they think they can win. The Liberals always did it the Cons have been doing it, and god help us if one day the NDP has a chance to do it too.

  7. I would like to see parliamentary reform that includes reforms to the House of Commons such as proportional representation and either reform or abolition of the Senate. I will not vote for Harper’s Republican Guard as he and his party have not demonstrated any essence of democracy in the past three years. Harper does not let his Republican Guard MPs think for themselves. He treats his MPs like children as they cannot speak to the media without his permission. He holds the parliamentary committee process in contempt.

    Why would I trust Harper with democratizing the Senate when he has no democratic values other than trying to win? It’s like trusting Putin to get out of Georgia.

  8. I agree with your comments on the Senate but think you let Harper off the hook too easily on the timing of the election (and do you really believe it is being called for a noble reason like: “I need a new mandate” though that would sound-bite better than the current “parliament is not working” crap?)

    After three years of sanctimonious mutterings: “the next election is scheduled for 2009 cause of our outstanding law we passed” … and now to break that law without the smallest mea-culpa: “it was one of our many dumb ideas – sorry we wasted time & money pursuing it”
    they deserve to be skewered on it ….
    along with a long list of broken promises & other things: income trust, assault on our institutions (Election Canada, Wheat Board, Nuclear Safety Watch, Food inspection), muzzling civil service, partisan ads on tax-payer money, in & out (and the last being unresolved going into an election), etc)

  9. Were you ever impressed, Red, at how convincingly Victoria Jackson acted dumb? Well, apparently, she wasn’t acting.

    Victoria Jackson is a distant relative of mine and I have met her a few times at weddings, etc. She’s not dumb, but she is totally totally brainwashed and missing a few screws, sadly. A bit like Kirk Cameron.

  10. She’s not dumb, but she is totally totally brainwashed and missing a few screws, sadly. A bit like Kirk Cameron.

    Potato…potahto. I think it’s ungoldly to be unaware of ones limitations. If Jackson and Cameron want to live their Christian faiths within the confines of their God-given abilities, they should be manning soup kitchens, shopping for the elderly and digging ditches in the 3rd World. Anything but writing or talking. “The Devil makes work for idle hands,” after all, and calling Obama a “Communist” and denying evolution border on the satanic.

  11. She used to be rather normal back in her SNL days. My sister and I attended her first wedding – she married a Jew in an interfaith ceremony attended by several obviously gay couples.

    Somehow she went off the deep end and ended up in some uber-paranoid Pentecostal sect. Pentecostalism fits her personality well. But her TV persona is really a persona – though the squeeky voice is real.

  12. Northern POV — Perhaps, but I’m rarely surprised when politicians break their promises. After all, that’s what they’re for, right? Made to be broken, as they say. I think it’s fair to put the government’s record before the voters and see whether there’s sufficient confidence in these crew to carry us through what promise to be some challenging times ahead. Besides, I can’t stand the thought of another maddening year of Harper pissing around, threatening to call an election (or force one), all the while essentially carrying on a non-stop campaign in stealth mode.

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