Anti-Coalition Demonstration: Calgary

This is getting really ugly and nasty.

Characterizing Layton as some kind of Communist and signs “written in Russian so the Communists can understand”… Are these people serious? Protesters waving signs with suspiciously high production values and masks of Dion — courtesy of the Conservative Party’s well-funded “war room” to be sure.

Anti-coalition protesters wrapping themselves in the flag and singing the national anthem… (something which it should be noted that Conservative MPs did on the Hill in their caucus meeting the other day) Good grief, how ridiculous. Not to mention shameful.

53 Replies to “Anti-Coalition Demonstration: Calgary”

  1. I really don’t like the tone of these protests.

    The notion of playing the “patriot” card seems low and sleazy to me.

    I hate it when they do it in America. I thought we were a little better than that. But no… That’s the HARPER CONSERVATIVES® for you.

  2. You’ve got to admit, RT, that Duiceppe is anything but a Canadian patriot. His stated goal is the break-up of Canada. There’s no disputing that. That Layton and Dion would cozy up to him like they have raises legitimate questions in regards to their own patriotism.

  3. RT,

    Don’t forget the flip side. The CBC says:

    “…Dion also mocked Harper for suspending Parliament two days ago, before legislators could vote on a no-confidence motion scheduled Monday on the Conservatives’ economic update, saying “he ran away from Parliament.”

    “Harper and [Finance Minister Jim] Flaherty have done nothing for the economy. That is why the Conservatives have lost the confidence of the House of Commons,” Dion said.

    NDP Leader Jack Layton addressed the same rally, saying the coalition has a “solid plan that will take us through difficult times.”

    He also said the Harper government would be defeated “at the first opportunity.”…
    __________________
    Great stuff ain’t it. Jack Layton and Stephane Dion mocking Harper for using the same parliamentary tool box they are using in blocking the coalition as being non-democratic. And the stuff being said is well, just crap. Yes, Layton, you go right ahead and vote against Harper at the first opportunity. And yes M. Dion, you go right ahead and call Mr. Harper anti-democratic and also don’t forget to explain to the nation the real reason why you forged the coalition.

    Naked greed is an ugly thing to see from our political leaders. Perhaps they should join Derek Lee and compare Harper to the Nazi’s burning down the Reichstag.

    The LPC still doesn’t get it. Whether they have 100 seats or 75 seats, they just can’t accept it that people just don’t want them.

    If the GG calls an election rather than accept the Coalition after winning a confidence vote, they have already told us that they won’t accept that result.

    What a bunch. They have to show some contrition and build some Canada friendly policies before they can expect forgiveness. Even when Harper does the most outrageous stuff to penalize the LPC, the public are still on his side.

    What will it take for the LPC to realize that they haven’t learned a damn thing?

  4. My sense is that Ha(R)pe(R)’s current actions suggest he doesn’t sees the electoral repudiation of the NeoCons, south of the border, as a rejections of the NeoCon world view, but rather as a function of that agenda poorly implemented, and one he can get ‘right’.

    Hopefully this will be Ha(R)pe(R)’s ‘Palin-Play’ … galvanize the base and toxicify everyone else … That formula of course doesn’t account for Dion’s political tone deafness …

    Snerd

  5. Did they accuse anyone of palling around with terrorists? Honestly, the similarities with the McCain-Palin campaign are unsettling. A sign at the Ottawa campaign read “Canadians for Democracy” with the stylized “C” of the Conservative Party logo. The insinuation is clear: if you aren’t a Conservative supporter, you are not a Canadian and an enemy of the state.

  6. Well, guess all that con influence has really paid off.

    I really didn’t think Canada would follow the US down the same path, but I’ve seen this all before.

    It’s a sad sick movement built around hatred and division.

    I think any logic went out the window when they realized they really don’t control the majority of the votes.

    I actually understand and appreciate the basic argument of whether a coalition should take power without an election. I don’t actually agree with it, but I can understand it.

    But this goes much much deeper than that. I am beginning to think they are scared s*&cless that they could lose if the center and progressive elements of Canada were to work cooperatively against them.

    I am not sure if the coalition will survive, but I don’t know that it will need to in its current form if just the hint of it can drive them to such a xenophobic frenzy. It seems to me they are taking their gloves – and their masks – off.

  7. Oh, and John Tory was at the Toronto rally concern-trolling the Liberals and encouraging them to work in collaboration to help Canadians. First of all, if there’s a party leader in a worse spot than Dion, it’s Tory (MPP of….oh, right). Second of all, given the scathing attacks the Conservatives threw at the Liberals, why would the people arguing that nobody voted for a coalition think that Liberal voters approve of helping the Conservatives govern? The cognitive dissonance of these people is astounding.

  8. Joe: “… I am beginning to think they are scared s*&cless that they could lose if the center and progressive elements of Canada were to work cooperatively against them.”

    SG: Yes, so you’d think they’d be playing to the soft center, to where their majority would have to come from …

    Joe: “… I am not sure if the coalition will survive, but I don’t know that it will need to in its current form if just the hint of it can drive them to such a xenophobic frenzy. It seems to me they are taking their gloves – and their masks – off.”

    SG: Yes … they seem to be playing to the radial elements in their base, and giving credence to the theory that Harper has a hidden radical agenda …

    Snerd

  9. Just to clarify one thought. The reason I have no problem with a coalition is because the MPs do constitute a majority of the House of Commons, and my Canada includes Quebec all the time, not just on certain convenient occasions as Harper does. My Canada also has a Parliamentary system, or at least I thought it did until this past week when I began to have doubts.

    But I can appreciate the argument that the coalition does represent a different governing image than people had in mind when they voted, though I think people have really been deluding themselves if they think that on many issues the Liberals, NDP, and Bloc would not find themselves with more common ground with each other than with Harper. For all intents and purposes, he IS the defacto conservative party at this point, a cult party of one (which opens up other angles of fear in the current environment but I’ll try to stay positive).

    But the vitriol today goes far beyond any rational disagreement. I witnessed some today in Vancouver. It wasn’t pretty at all. Some was ok, but a lot of the rhetoric reminded me of those images you see of that hate church Westboro Baptist down in Kansas who protest soldier funerals among other things. Same bitter faces, which at least allowed me to see that angry as I may get sometime, I don’t have a perpetual snarl and don’t particularly enjoy hanging out with a “gang” of others who snarl even more.

  10. Tomm-Tomm: “… Great stuff ain’t it. Jack Layton and Stephane Dion mocking Harper for using the same parliamentary tool box they are using in blocking the coalition as being non-democratic.”

    SG: Sounds pretty ‘fair and balanced’ there Tomm-Tomm … You’ve out Foxed us again …

    Snerd

  11. Joe: “… But the vitriol today goes far beyond any rational disagreement.”

    SG: Not according to Tomm-Tomm. He equates it with Liberals comments noting that Ha(R)pe(R) is running from Parliament.

    Snerd

  12. Typical fascist behaviour. All we needed was a long shot of Harper’s airplane approaching the rally…

    Tomm,

    To draw a moral equivalence between what Layton and Dion said a the rally in Toronto and the over-the-top lies and smears at the Calgary rally is ridiculous.

    Jesus, its days like this when I really want to give these ignorant fucks the civil war they seem to want.

    Oh and before you go off on the “yeah but you said fascist” rant, I’ll direct you to Umberto Eco’s “Eternal Fascism” and point out the identical behaviour between what Eco describes and what the Conservative Party is doing. If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck…

    Last time I checked no one in the NDP was speaking Russian or talking of collectivizing farms or nationalizing industries. No one in the Liberal Party was talking about letting Quebec separate.

    They are idiots, economic illiterates and boobs to be sure. Their current prescription for our problems will make the economic crisis deeper and longer. I do not support them.

    But the alternative is not the authoritarian, populist proto-fascism and Nanny State Conservatism of Stephen Harper and the Conservative Party. That is far worse than anything the Liberals or NDP would do.

    I’ll simply ignore and ridicule the Libs and NDP. I’ll fight the Conservative.

  13. Mike: “… To draw a moral equivalence between what Layton and Dion said a the rally in Toronto and the over-the-top lies and smears at the Calgary rally is ridiculous.”

    SG: Hey Tomm-Tomm … Someone else not very impressed with your rationalizations either … Mikie don’t like it!

    Snerd

  14. Is anyone else puzzled at the fact that one can hold up a sign that reads “free Alberta” while at the same time singing Oh Canada?

  15. Remember, this is just an amateur clip brought to you by an extremist wingnut.

    The emphasis on Dion remains mystifying, though.

  16. TiG: “… The emphasis on Dion remains mystifying, though.”

    SG: Not at all. The prime directive of all politics, all of the time, of all spin, all of the time, it near having to deal with ‘real’ substance. Creating the pretense of reality, while controlling the sto(R)ies, is the means where by …. I just wish Dion weren’t so cooperative ….

    Snerd

  17. Snerd,

    Has that been 6 weeks?

    I didn’t really expect much support. Just wanted y’all to see the rest of the story.

    Get yourselves into a lather if you want. Just don’t contribute to the LPC. For heaven sakes that would be just beyond the pale.

    Much better that the Citizen’s of Canada pay to prop up the political parties than for people to actually show they care with real contributions.

    THAT’s what the Coalition was ALL about. It wasn’t about saving Canada from the recession. It wasn’t about having some wonderful ideas to contribute to a better tomorrow. It was about naked greed. It was about having their personal ox gored.

    I sure am glad they think we’re dumb enough to believe it was about their wonderful ideas to save our nation from the global recession. It also looks like I am joined by most of Canada in that.

  18. “… it near having to deal with ‘real’ substance. “

    IS NOT having to deal with ‘real’ substance.

    Snerd

  19. Tomm=Tomm: “… Much better that the Citizen’s of Canada pay to prop up the political parties than for people to actually show they care with real contributions.”

    SG: I thought the purpose of public funding was to avoid the AdScam ‘thingy’ …

    Snerd

  20. Snerd,

    Yes, my understanding is that it was an attempt to minimize the power of the elites. The problem, is that it, by its very nature will maintain old power at the expense of new ideas and new power bases. Parties that are already well known will receive votes, they, and only they, can trasnlate that into maintaining their media and public presence so that they can continue to receive votes. A big circle of money results.

    Its the main source of funds for all major parties. Even the CPC gets roughly 40% of their money from the public purse.

    I don’t see your point. Are you saying that it should exist? If so, that’s fine. I don’t understand how you link that back to the Liberal Party of Canada pretending their outrage is over “X” when it is really over “Y”.

    And you call Harper a liar.

  21. Is anyone else puzzled at the fact that one can hold up a sign that reads “free Alberta” while at the same time singing Oh Canada?

    It makes as much sense as a person married to a (former) Alaskan separtist who goes around calling parts of her country the “real” parts of America.

    I don’t get it, but then to paraphrase Stephen Colbet it’s not a head thing, but a gut thing.

  22. Let me apologize for the tone of my last post.

    Having re-read it, I think its clear I’m pretty pissed. I am disgusted that a Canadian political party – the governing party – is giving monetary and moral support to the kind of crackpot partisanship displayed in that video.

    I know most folks in Alberta don’t believe what those cretins do, nor, I hope, most real conservatives.

    I would hope that they are as disgusted by that display of ignorance in their name. By a government party encouraging and supporting it. I would hope that those who are conservative based on principle and respect for democracy and the political diversity that entails.

    I can hope.

  23. Tomm,

    Much better that the Citizen’s of Canada pay to prop up the political parties than for people to actually show they care with real contributions.

    I agree, wholeheartedly. I am curious then why the Conservatives didn’t do away with the tax credit for those political contributions then. I mean up to $400, you get 75% back at tax time – that’s $300.

    So if Tomm donates $100 to the CPC, he gets $75 back at tax time. The CPC gets $100 and it only costs Tomm $25. The Federal Government pays the rest. Yes it is indirect, but it is as much a subsidy and is exactly the same as if the government paid the CPC $75 directly.

    Gee, given that most CPC supporters are grassroots folks who pay less than $400, do think they didn’t do this because it would decimate their own funding? How may people would donate as much if they knew they weren’t getting it back?

    This kind of subsidy costs the government even more that $1.90 per vote. So if its about fiscal responsibility, why not target this.

    Of course you know the answer Tomm. Doing that would hurt the CPC most, while the $1.90 would hurt the opposition most.

    In short a completely partisan move to try to destroy the opposition.

    Rick Mercer is right. This was Stephen Harper deciding that there should be no other party but the CPC and he was going to change this with no debate in the House, and no input from voters – it was NEVER once mentioned during the just completed election campaign (just like the idea of a coalition).

    Can you understand the anger yet Tomm?

    Can you see the comparison to the actions of fascist parties historically both in Canada (Duplessis) and around the world?

  24. Mike,

    I really don’t like mobs. Of any sort.

    When I was in grad school I had the opportunity to be part of a large group demonstration. I was uncomfortable with the realization that my presence and my views were at the mercy of someone else and that I was expected to be part of a larger group identity.

    So, to be frank, I rarely like “group think” activities.

    So, to answer your question many people, wouldn’t like rallies that promote ridicule. That includes conservative minded people.

  25. THAT’s what the Coalition was ALL about. It wasn’t about saving Canada from the recession. It wasn’t about having some wonderful ideas to contribute to a better tomorrow. It was about naked greed. It was about having their personal ox gored.

    Besides the financial pull out from parties (if they’re going to pull the government backing, they should raise limits), there are a number of things to be disturbed by the budget proposed by the Conservatives

    – There are $4.3 billion worth of government cuts. Even with the $2.5 billion in tax cuts, this amounts to taking money from the economy when it’s in a recession. When business and governments do this — not a good thing. With banks not lending money, this could spark a Deflationary spiral.

    -Worse, all of this isn’t there to organize a balanced budget, but to create a surplus. Does engineering a government surplus in an economic downturn make any sense?

    -The numbers are flawed because they’re based on the idea the economy will grow next year. Most forecasters are predicting that the economy will shrink, not grow. The signs are generally not good with some predicting our $15 billion trade surplus will turn into a $10 billion trade deficit next year.

    -Flaherty’s plan also involves the selling of government assests.The government hasn’t provided a list of the assests and there’s the chance they won’t be able to move $2.3 billion in time frame of the budget.

    -Governments who’ve been keeping their books in order are in a good position to stimulate the economy via spending. Canada’s been noted as one nation who fits this mold. What is stopping the Canadian government?

  26. Tomm-Tomm: “… I don’t understand how you link that back to the Liberal Party of Canada pretending their outrage is over “X” when it is really over “Y”. “

    SG: X, Y, Z +

    Ha(R)pe(R) has made a couple of moves with the intent of implementing one pa(R)ty rule, and in so doing showed his true radical Neocon colours.

    The elimination of public funding, at a time when his party is flush with funds and has ready ‘greased’ access to co(R)po(R)ate funds, is about greed … naked greed as you say. It is also anti-democratic. It seems to admire the Cash ‘n Carry structure of the US political system, which under the banner of ‘f(R)ee-dumb’, establishes things like the K Street Project that allow special interests to buy legislation that limit personal freedom.

    Proroguing parliament, when, due to his own hubris, he was about to loose power, too is about naked power and subverts the democratic process … to say nothing of replicating third world tin pot ‘democracies’.

    His willingness to promote divisiveness by demonizing separatism (much to the delight of real Separatists, by goading resentments they have been unsuccessful in rousing) for personal gain, too is about greed, naked power regardless of the cost to the country. “W”rapping himself in the faux patriotism of the Canadian flag, is audaciously cynical and again is about naked greed. I also demonstrates his unworthiness for the office he holds, because he is willing to put Canada at risk for his personal gain.

    Oh and who was it that deepen the 1929 depression with regressive economic policies … speaking of economic issues?

    Opposing this level of naked greed consequently, is more about good governance than you seem capable of grasping.

    Maybe you are ‘right’. Maybe a majority of Canadians will agree with you … If so, we will just be held hostage by Stupid over Principle.

    Maybe we should prorogue their voice … Eh!?

    Snerd

  27. I agree, wholeheartedly. I am curious then why the Conservatives didn’t do away with the tax credit for those political contributions then. I mean up to $400, you get 75% back at tax time – that’s $300.

    That’s sweet compared to the tax credit you get with charitable donations.

  28. Mike,

    Your point on party funding is well made. There should probably be a similar deduction as for other registered charities. Special dispensation for political parties is a little self serving.

    But, at least a person has to make the effort to contribute. The $30 Million is a straight up grant to successful political parties without them having to raise a single finger. When I vote I am only saying one thing. That I am voting for Canadidate “A”.

    I am not also saying that I wish $1.95 of my tax money should go annually to the party allegiance of Candidate “A” until a new election is called.

    I maintain that the second interpretation is cynical, wrong headed, and extremely lazy. Voting should not cheapened to be worth an automatic deduction to a political party.

  29. Snerd,

    That was a long post. My attention span barely attended it all.

    I guess we are just down to partisan bickering then. We clearly agree on the moat in each other’s eye, but can’t see the one in our own.

    Life’s good. What was it Thomas Gray said?…

    “where ignorance is bliss, tis a folly to be wise”

  30. So, as a result of your response to Mike, you agree that the CPC is pretending their outrage is over “X” (public funding), when it is really not interested in eliminating “X”, just in eliminating other parties.

    Great!

    Snerd

  31. Tomm-Tomm, for once I agree with you … we are limited in our discussion by your attention span.

    There’s a sayin’ fir that too … “Fool me once … errrr … “

    Snerd

  32. Snerd,

    You saw right through me.

    What other parties do we need once the CPC is safely ensconced in power?

    Maybe the destruction of the Liberal Party of Alberta (since the 30’s) is the reason that Alberta elects dynasties. Perhaps Harper read the books and saw the effect, and is trying to do the same thing nationally.

    Perhaps Stephen Harper is the national version of Bible Bill Aberhart?

  33. You know Tomm-Tomm, after reading your response, I realize when we both laugh at REd’s post, we aren’t even laughing at the same joke …

    Snerd

  34. Dean,

    Don’t tell Derek Lee that. He has created a whole world for himself and it would be cruel to burst his bubble.

  35. Can you see the comparison to the actions of fascist parties historically both in Canada (Duplessis) and around the world?

    Actually, minus the ‘Fascist’ comparison, but keeping the Duplessis one, this same kind of stuff is going on all the time in Dannystan

  36. Fact of the matter is, the Liberals and the NDP managed to do the impossible and turn the moral high ground following Harper’s antics last week, and turn it into the Grand Canyon.

    The fanatics you see at the rally have only been emboldened by this show of weakness by Dion and Jacko. For better or for worse, these two men have given the potential for a lot of ugly and mean-spirited thugs to gain a lot of power. You got a sample of them in that video.

  37. This whole coalition for the benefit of Rae and Layton is getting stupid.

    I like the idea of coalition IF NECESSARY, but not necessarily a coalition. It’s a good fighting tool – but shouldn’t Canadians come first?

    What is the package by Harper is a good one but they vote him down for their own purposes – meaning more delays.

    I’m starting to get turned off by it.

    Afterall, Harper will wear the recession in the end

  38. I think the argument that the opposition parties no longer “trust” Harper is entirely untenable and most Canadians will reject it as self-serving cynicism. Should Harper present a budget that adequately addresses the economic situation with reasonable “stimulus” measures (and no poison pills), I don’t see how the opposition can vote against it. After all, it’s not like they have a detailed “plan” of their own to hold up as an alternative.

    If things come to a vote, the Libs and NDP will be severely punished.

    They do somehow need to regain the moral high-ground here and attempt to restore some dignity to parliament. It’s clear that most Canadians don’t “get it” and don’t even seem to know how the system is supposed to work — an appalling ignorance that Harper and the Conservatives are more than happy to exploit for their own purposes.

  39. I agree, but only politically, as it were : )

    If the absolutist line against Harper was going to work at all, it required total unanimity of the Liberals and all supporters of the coalition. It’s clear that unanimity is lacking.

    That being the case, both the Libs and the NDP need to start to give themselves some political wiggle-room should Harper come back as leader with a reasonable budget in January.

  40. I have friends who have businesses and they are struggling and they do not want any involvement with the NDP at all.

    They say it’s because the NDP caucus and supporters are mostly former union members and/or union activists who have a DNA of hating corporations and they feel it is dangerous for the country.

    One friend said he believes in a right to strike – but, feels and being sensible has to be part of it – example, in such crucial times the postal workers are on a slow down strike.

    The CAW says they’ve given enought (??? good grief) and will not back down – Peggy Nash, former NDP MP now has an high position in the administrative end of the CAW.

    Business people are frightened of Bob Rae and Layton.

  41. EC — I think Dion already signaled that last week when he spoke of Harper making “monumental changes”… Most people interpreted that as a bit of wavering on Dion’s part. But then, who knows? They’re all saying/doing things that are contradictory and don’t make a whole lot of sense.

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