Mmmm… Proroguey!

If anyone seriously thought that the Dear Leader wouldn’t prorogue parliament for the next couple of months, you really need to give your head a shake. And why not? The fact of the matter — that I’m entirely confident will be affirmed by opinion polls — is that most Canadians don’t and won’t care in the least bit that their elected representatives have been furloughed for the balance of winter.

Going Prorogue Update: Coverage from last night’s The National.

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52 Comments

Filed under STEPHEN HARPER Govrnment of Canada

52 responses to “Mmmm… Proroguey!

  1. TofKW

    …most Canadians don’t and won’t care in the least bit that their elected representatives have been furloughed for the balance of winter.

    And thus accomplishing Harper’s dream of effectively neutering the federal government, and letting the provinces deal with the issues as they individually see fit. What a wonderful non-country we’ve become.

  2. Ti-Guy

    I just ate an hour ago and now I’m starving. Did you have to choose such an appealing shot of some perogies?

  3. jkg

    And thus accomplishing Harper’s dream of effectively neutering the federal government, and letting the provinces deal with the issues as they individually see fit.

    It is a strange situation really; I mean, the big federalist policy move by Harper was to get a national securities regulator, and he couldn’t succeed in doing that. Further, this continentalist love affair continues apace while he continues decentralizing the citizenry. On the whole, this ethos is a continuation of the Reform mentality. The hate on for Ottawa is still an underbelly but since the “West” is now represented by him, people can return to their de-politicized state.

    It is very cynical, even more so when keyboard warrior cheerleaders like the ones found over at Macleans and at Stephen “Government Courtier (to modify a Paul Wells designation)” Taylor’s blog are basically saying “no one cares” about abstract things like democracy, even though such absolutist appeals were abound this time last year.

    As much as it pains me to admit it, you are right, Red, this isn’t going to register much regrettably because it reality, nothing has changed. All that toxic verbiage that came from right wingers about accountability and transparency, all abstractions cushioned in absolutist discourse, is now being shifted to fit a more Realpolitik in which pragmatism and nuance is to be favoured. The problem is, of course, that it has resulted in them being regents of relativism, the very concept about which they used to beat their chests. When caught , they trott out the old favourite “But the Liberals did too!” and then, try to divine the general sentiment of the citizenry to marginalize any dissenting opinion. It is predictably tiresome.

    By March, it will be back to a parliamentary stalemate, the same nonsense about Opposition holding up legislation and being “anti-democratic” will sprout again like a noxious invasive weed I used to study in plant biology.

  4. Dean

    Parliament can choose to ignore this “proroguing” and convene anyway. If not in their normal place, then perhaps in a nearby, say, tennis court. Their committees will still meet and will still discuss issues of the day.

    First up is a resolution which the House of Commons of Canada will send to Elizabeth in London:

    “To Her Majesty the Queen, we, the elected representatives of the people of Canada, comprising the supreme source of power in your loyal realm, wish to inform you that we no longer have confidence in your representative or your cabinet in this land. We therefore request that they be removed from office and for criminal investigations into abuse of power be opened…”

    Hey, it all happens in her name, right?

  5. A. Sirrom

    I made a statement during the middle of November that proroguring was going to happen again and was laughted at. It doesn’t in the least bit make me hungry, it makes me want to be sick. Dean…what a great idea. Everyone concerned about this outrage ought to email the Queen.

  6. Penny

    One of the very dangerous (to democracy) things I’ve been noticing is how the media seem to take each of these castrations-by-a-thousand cuts individually, rather than noting the cumulative effects of ODL’s refusing to accept Supreme Court judgements, parliamentary votes or his own legislation wrt 4 year election dates seriously, scripting every word that comes from the mouths of the stepfordian cabinet, muzzling Colvin and in effect operating under the cover of night.

    The scary part of all this is the silence of the lambs in opposition and the apathy of the electorate who see no reasonable alternative to ODL.

    Personally, I’d vote for Iggy’s representative in my riding if he were roadkill, and even though I think of Iggy as the puppet of some backroom gang – I originally thought it was old guard from Montreal, but now hear they are from the Centre of the Universe. However, it looks as if the so-called alternatives to ODL are more concerned with polls than with principles. They ought no to allow this to happen.

  7. Jim

    I like my potatoe proroguies with some bacon and sour cream!

    Seriously, as a member of the party, I was telephoned and number of issues were discussed. When was the last time you had that kind of input with the Lib party? Sadly, when they call me, they ALWAYS include a hint (or more) at a donation.

    I was against proroguing parliament.

    I can’t help but think this is something bigger from the CPC.

    Look for a budget that is a slap in the face to progressive money drains. Unfathomable to a lefty, yet strangely appealing to common taxpayers.

    There will be no national high speed rail, there will be no national daycare and hopefully bureaucratic spending can be curtailed.

    More autonomy will be given to Provinces and the Federal gov’t will administer core programs such as defense, justice, research funding, immigration and a few others.

    Senate reform will happen rapidly. A dream would be the ability to elect judges as well.

    If somehow we can gain the right through constitutional reform to actually own and enjoy the fruits of our labours, without infringment or threat of loss, I would KNOW tht I was born into the best nation on the face of the Earth.

    Right now I am only 99.9% certain.

    If you don’t like the possibilities, please convince your party to bring down the government over the budget…heck, form a coalition again! Be careful taking too long cuz Jack will trump you and announce that he will not support the budget…without even seeing it, then Gilles will do the same.

    Then all that is left is for the Libs to take the hit and support the government…pathetic really.

    If there is an election, Canadians will decide, and it won’t be pretty. Generally, at least around here, folks are pretty comfortable and have a positive outlook towards our present government.

    Put up or shut up.

  8. jkg

    Speaking of perogies:

    “I really like those with sour cream!”

  9. CWTF

    More autonomy will be given to Provinces
    Then PLEASE stop complaining about the special place Quebec has in the federation….

  10. Ti-Guy

    Shorter Jim: *fart*…*FAAAART*

    …*burp*

  11. Jim

    Thanks for your insight.

    I am sure that most of the readers here are impressed. You are legendary, after all.

    I feel humbled.

  12. Jim

    “Then PLEASE stop complaining about the special place Quebec has in the federation….”

    Please point out where I have ever said such a thing.

    DO NOT put words in my mouth.

    There are penalties on the Interweb, you know?

  13. Ti-Guy

    I feel humbled.

    Too bad you didn’t feel humbled before you barked out that series of proclamations, decrees and directives.

    Are you German?

  14. It took a generation for us to catch up, but Canadians have now joined Americans as a post-political people.

    Red’s quite right: we don’t much care whether the House sits in January, or at all. In fact, the less we’re made to think about politics, the happier we are.

    We’re annoyed when confronted by the need–or even the opportunity–to form opinions about the fundamental reciprocal obligations that undergird our society. We would happily invite a plate of pigs’ feet into the Privy Council and bestow upon it the right to rule indefinitely by decree if it rid us of our already negligible civic duties.

    Harper knows how deep our apathy is. He approves of its depth, and he would do anything to deepen it. The less we care, the better he looks.

  15. Jim

    “Are you German?”

    Why?

    Are you a xenophobe?

    Why should my heritage matter? After all, we are a country of immigrants, right?

    Perhaps it is you and your ideology that are misplaced here?

    Are you intolerant?

    Disgraceful!

  16. Are you a xenophobe?

    I think Ti-Guy was just hoping he could compliment you on the quality of your English, having been given no other legitimate reason to be polite.

  17. Jim

    It seems to me that you arrogant tools need no legitimate reason to be impolite.

    You so called “progressives” add very little to any rational discussion yet you make time to comment on the quality of my english. Please carry on.

    You must be in good spirits, Sir Francis…after all, it is the last Wednesday of the month so that means you received your cheque from the taxpayers.

    Happy New Year everyone.

  18. Ti-Guy

    Disgraceful!

    Uuuh…

    Ich bitte den geehrten Herrn um Verzeihung.

  19. Ti-Guy

    You must be in good spirits, Sir Francis…after all, it is the last Wednesday of the month so that means you received your cheque from the taxpayers.

    Yeah, really civil there, Jim.

    Bitch.

  20. Bob Bruce

    via David Akin blog;

    Jean Chretien prorogued Parliament four times during his time as Prime Minister: February 5, 1996; September 18, 1999; September 16, 2002; and November 12, 2003.

    On each occasion, the Liberals killed their own legislation. Several bills ended up dying over and over again due to Liberals proroguing Parliament or calling early elections.

    September 16, 2002 – After a summer of Liberal in-fighting and Jean Chretien being forced to announce his planned retirement date in August, Chretien prorogued Parliament, killing legislation so that he could unveil his legacy agenda.

    According [to] Eddie Goldenberg, Chretien decided to have a Throne Speech just to test the will of the Martinite forces who were trying to push him out early: Chretien was happy. “I like that. It is exactly what we just discussed. Prepare me a statement. But just one more thing,” said the old fox. “I want a Throne Speech in the fall. The government will stand or fall on it. If they want to vote against me on it, then it is the one case in which I will run again.” (Eddie Goldenberg, The Way it Works, p. 380)

    November 12, 2003 – Jean Chretien announced that Parliament was prorogued on the eve of the Liberal leadership convention (so Chretien and Martin didn’t have to sit together in the House of Commons and face a dispute over who was Prime Minister). Martin did not become Prime Minister until December 12, 2003 and Parliament did not resume until February 2, 2004 – almost four months later

    The current session has lasted as long as many comparable sessions under the Liberals, and longer than several of the sessions under Jean Chretien and Paul Martin.

  21. Bob Bruce

    Pierre Trudeau prorogued Parliament to, but according to Liberals that’s OK, what else did Pierre and his henchmen do?

    Steal from Canadian taxpayers?

    I wonder how many old guard Libs held shares in Petrofina before Petro Canada, under Maurice Strong, with the guidance of Trudeau paid over $100 a share when they were worth less than $20?

    Wouldn’t it be nice to unseal that deal that has been hidden from Canadians as a state secret for so long?

    “Pierre’s father owned a chain of gas stations in Quebec which he sold to Petro Fina prior to WWII. As payment, Pierre’s dad got a lot of shares in Petro Fina. This sale made Pierre Trudeau heir to a sizeable fortune. Pierre’s dad died leaving his fortune to his wife.

    In the 1970’s the Arabs jacked up the price of oil and the Canadian government under Pierre Trudeau decided it needed a national “toy” oil company, i.e. Petro Canada. The boys in Ottawa decided they needed a chain of gas stations in their “toy” oil company. Petro Fina owned a chain of gas stations in eastern Canada. The stock was trading at about 10 bucks. The government began negotiations with Petro Fina and its stock rose and rose and rose. Finally, the government closed the Petro Fina deal, got the chain of gas stations, paid Petro Fina big dollars and our government got more debt.

    Mrs. Trudeau got rich on the shares she held and Pierre was very happy to see his Momma get rich because he was the heir of her estate. A number of years later, Momma died and Pierre got rich too.

    The documents concerning the sale were sealed for fifty years as state secret.

    Pierre Trudeau, our CBC created national hero, was a crook.”

  22. Bob Bruce

    From the Library of Parliament modern prorogation;

    26th Parliament Trudeau 1963/12/21,1965/4/3
    27th Parliament Trudeau 1967/5/8
    28th Parliament Trudeau 1969/10/22,1970/10/7,1972/2/16
    29th Parliament Trudeau 1974/2/26
    30th Parliament Trudeau 1976/10/12,1977/10/17,1978/10/10,1983/11/30

    33rd Parliament Mulroney1986/8/28
    34th Parliament 1989/2/28,1991/5/12

    35th Parliament Chretien1996/2/2
    36th Parliament 1999/9/18
    37th Parliament 2002/9/16,2003/11/12

    39th Parliament Harper 2007/9/14
    40th Parliament 2008/12/4

  23. …it is the last Wednesday of the month so that means you received your cheque from the taxpayers.

    Er, no. I’m not one of the worthless CPC MP’s whose asses you would queue up in the rain to kiss. I work for a living.

  24. How many times did Chrétien prorogue the House twice in twelve months, and how often did he prorogue in order to kill embarrassing committee work?

  25. Ti-Guy

    What’s Billy Bob up there gassing on about now?

  26. jkg

    I feel honoured that my speculative musings have come to fruition with such serendipitous speed :).

  27. Harper has prorogued “3″ times in 16 “months”.

    Each time because of potential scandals.

    Chretien prorogued in November 2003 to hand over power to Martin.

    Chretien also prorogued because of a forthcoming Auditor General report (Adscam) – it was not the right thing to do then and it certainly isn’t the right thing to do now.

  28. From John Ibbitson’s column:

    “The government will prorogue the House so that it will not be held accountable for its shameful record,” Mr. Harper thundered.

    Harper – when Chretien prorogued in 2003.

  29. Gayle

    “Senate reform will happen rapidly. A dream would be the ability to elect judges as well.”

    I had no idea Harper was proroguing so he could bring in a plan to amend our constitution.

  30. Penny

    Fortunately, we last-Wednesday-of-the-month welfare bums (what an intriguing store of knowledge you have to share, Jim! Last Wednesday, eh?) have access to the internet and the opportunity to have the National Post do our thinking for us – viz.

    Stephen Harper is a despot. The decision to “padlock” Parliament is a cover up designed to avoid scrutiny over the Afghan detainee issue. The Conservatives have a very thin legislative agenda and no new ideas to put forward.

    Ralph Goodale, the Liberal House leader, was getting warmer as he groped for explanations for the Prime Minister’s decision to prorogue Parliament until early March.

    While Mr. Harper may harbour aspirations of despotism, he remains, alas for him, the head of a minority government. The second prorogation in little over a year is unusual and, in large measure, unnecessary….

    I’ll take his word for it.

    And There’s no doubt the government could do without the detainee issue blowing up again during the Olympics but this did not drive the decision to prorogue.

    For one, the government was already boycotting special committee hearings into the treatment of detainees; for another, polls suggest that half of Canadians have never heard of the controversy and those that have heard about it, don’t care (a new Nanos poll yesterday had the Conservatives nine points ahead of the Liberals).

    What Ivison seems to be saying is that the Conservative Minority government has already been ignoring the will of Parliament and operates on the basis of what the polls are telling them and what’s good for Harper, rather than on what’s right, or even good for our country.

    Well, that’s news!

    My own major gripe-of-the-day is that all the available political parties seem to be operating out of the same rules of engagement booklet.

    As for bringing up Pierre Trudeau in an attempt to embarrass the bleeding heart lefties who hang out here, why not go right back to Sir John A. Macdonald and dredge up the Pacific Scandal and/or Diefenbaker and the Gerda Munsinger Affair or (a hreef=”http://www.cbc.ca/news/background/cdngovernment/scandals.html”>keep scrolling)Brian Mulroney and one scandal after another: Tunagate, Sinclair Stevens et al…

    There’s plenty of mud to be slung back at you, Jim!

  31. L. emersonia

    How awful things are a sex scandal a la Gerda would be a relief. Besides Jaffer and his trial and tribulation in January, who else in government can provide some comic relief sooner? There must be someone…

  32. The truth you speak is what I think. I am furious! I’m not sure why I am furious, but when I see my brave Xena Warrior Princess Libby Davies rocking her lips of fury, I am placed into a hypnotic trance of moral outrage.

  33. Has anybody made a “delicious pun” crack yet?

    No?

    Sweet! I’m on my way down.

  34. Marx,
    You are cut & pasting this same comment all over the Liberal blogosphere, in almost every post.
    Don’t have an original thought each time?

  35. Barkman

    It is amazing, (and at times disconcerting) how much the Conservatives are able to do what they want while heading a minority government. If, as the Opposition says, democracy is literally being manipulated and threatened by this, then why wouldn’t they try to do whatever it takes legitimatley to stop the Tories, whatever the political price?

  36. TofKW

    Jim wrote:
    Senate reform will happen rapidly. A dream would be the ability to elect judges as well.

    You patsies, think this will lead to an elected senate? For the record I’m all in favour of a triple-E senate, but the only way to do this is to re-open the constitution …which I don’t see sweater-boy doing. Certainly prorogation is not required, and adding 5 more partisan hacks to the upper chamber is definitely not required for meaningful senate reform.

    As for electing the judiciary, that would not be a dream …it is a nightmare. One only needs to look at the US legal system to see that.

  37. CWTF

    As for electing the judiciary, that would not be a dream …it is a nightmare. One only needs to look at the US legal system to see that.
    Since when has reality and facts bothered Conservatives? It’s all about ideology and an imagined reality…

  38. billg

    The talk at the pub last night was how did Chris Pronger make the Olympic Team and how could Mike Fisher be left off? The average voter didnt care when Trudeau/Mulroney/Chretien prorogued Parliament, and, as far as most voters feel, when MP’s are not sitting in the house they cant think up ways to piss our money down the toilet or ways to raise taxes…I’d be surprised if Con support didn’t go up a few ticks in the next few months.
    By the way…the mulled wine was awesome Ti-Guy.

  39. sapphireandsteel

    The talk at the pub Billg? What kind of boring as shit night would it be to muse about Harper at the pub at night? Cripes most Canadians realize that politics is the last thing to bore people with on a boring night. There’s other places to talk politics.

    Why don’t you try conversations you’ve eavesdropped on while filling your car as an example next time?

    Lame.

  40. billg

    The very easily understood point that you missed sapphire is that Canadians for the most part distrust and dislike most MP’s, so, having them not be in parliament for what ever reason is not a big deal, and, considering that Harper has removed the daily monstrosity that is Question Period from newscast’s for the next few months I would imagine some voters would be thankful.
    And by the way, if your a true Conservative and agree with this latest little Harper nugget then your not really a true Conservative. What’s lame is having to re-write a comment so “all” the kids in the class understand.

  41. SF — Harper knows how deep our apathy is. He approves of its depth, and he would do anything to deepen it. The less we care, the better he looks.

    In part, I’m basing my opinion on our experience here in B.C. where only 50 per cent of eligible voters bothered to vote in the last election and the “Liberal” government has canceled two whole sessions of the legislature… apparently without any negative repercussions.

  42. Grammin

    I think the underlying reality of the situation is that no one really cares. Ignatieff is not the man to inspire them either, so perhaps this time-out will allow the Libs to either think of a way for Iggy to exit stage left or develop a platform that people will actually care about. He could opt for continuing on his merry way, talking down to the electorate and providing smug and sarcastic smirks upon making points. It has been ever so successful in resonating with average Canadians.

  43. Ti-Guy

    I think the underlying reality of the situation is that no one really cares.

    How many times do people have to assert this? If it doesn’t matter to *you* personally, say that.

    Having said that, most people probably don’t care…yet. But they should, since by the time they will start caring, it’ll be too late.

    The rest of us should probably figure out a way to get those who didn’t care to bear the full brunt of the consequences when the time comes. However, history shows that’s always the most engaged, conscientious and concerned who end having to clean up the mess

    Ignatieff is not the man to inspire them either, so perhaps this time-out will allow the Libs to either think of a way for Iggy to exit stage left or develop a platform that people will actually care about. He could opt for continuing on his merry way, talking down to the electorate and providing smug and sarcastic smirks upon making points. It has been ever so successful in resonating with average Canadians.

    Oh, I see now. This is what you mean by “people don’t care.”

    Seriously, do you think you’re being clever by making this all about Ignatieff and/or the Liberals All. The. Time?

  44. Grammin

    Clever? No, but it amuses me to no end.
    When the truth is to one’s liking it is difficult to not reiterate it for the ‘benefit’ of those whom it annoys.

  45. Ti-Guy

    When the truth is to one’s liking it is difficult to not reiterate it for the ‘benefit’ of those whom it annoys.

    That’s only true of people who are degenerate. And as far as your pronouncement about “the truth” is concerned, that’s really quite astonishing. In what milieu did you learn this style of obnoxiousness?

  46. Grammin

    In all likelihood, ’twas the same milieu that resurrected the word milieu and inspired one to insert it into sentences instead of just using the word environment.

    All kidding aside, a Happy New Year to all and here’s hoping that all of us at least attempt to elevate the level of respect for those with viewpoints differing from our own in ’10.

  47. Ti-Guy

    In all likelihood, ’twas the same milieu that resurrected the word milieu and inspired one to insert it into sentences instead of just using the word environment.

    Well, I doubt that since, as the first part of my last comment suggests, I’m not familiar with an environment in which a “truth” is confected and then simply asserted to annoy others. I can do that, of course, but it’s not something that comes naturally nor something that I derive much satisfaction from. If it did, I be spending all of my time over at The Blogging Tories.

    Happy New Year to yourself as well.

  48. I’m afraid my Mom is right about this. When I tried to talk to her about my outrage she said, “Oh they all do it. They’re all the same. They’ll do whatever they want to do. And we’ll get mad because they’re not doing what we want them to do. And then the next bunch of assholes will do the same damn thing, but it’ll be to our advantage, so we’ll be quiet about it. No one really cares anymore, because it’s just same shit different asshole.”

  49. TofKW

    A lot has happened over the week since RT first posted this, so thought I’d resurrect the thread.

    The fact of the matter — that I’m entirely confident will be affirmed by opinion polls — is that most Canadians don’t and won’t care in the least bit that their elected representatives have been furloughed for the balance of winter.

    Well I for one was in full agreement with Red on this, but against my general cynicism (and believe me I’m pleasantly surprised) it seems that maybe Canadians are not the sheeple I thought they were.

    Discuss.

  50. @TofKW – yes, I’m inspired by peoples reaction.

  51. Ti-Guy

    Discuss.

    The perils of asserting that you *know* something when you don’t really have any evidence to say one way or the other. All those people who were saying “Canadians don’t care” could not, in a million years, explain how they knew this.

    I still remain skeptical about “Canadians caring,” only because I don’t value the opinion of people who aren’t that informed. What’s worse is that too many pundits in the media were quick off the mark with their own declarations of what Canadians think and feel, despite their ignorance being completely inexcusable. After all, they’re paid to pay attention to this stuff, or so one is expected to believe.

  52. We can carry on this discussion on a newer thread if you like that kind of deals with the prorogation issue…

    I’ll repost the last three comments there.

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