Calling Stephen Harper…

Hinson Calabrese, a witty 25 year-old from Cape Breton Island, has embarked on a fun-filled project rich with comedy potential to call the Prime Minister of Canada on the phone “everyday”…

In his fourth such call, Hinson attempts to thank the PM in person for the super idea of proroguing and elaborates on various ways in which he’s implementing the concept in his own life.

You can show Hinson some love by checking out his blog and/or subscribing to his YouTube channel.



Filed under Activism, Humour, STEPHEN HARPER Govrnment of Canada

15 responses to “Calling Stephen Harper…

  1. Last three comments from the previous thread about prorogation… to get the ball re-rolling on this topic.

    January 8, 2010 at 6:45 am · Edit

    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.

    The Rational Number
    January 8, 2010 at 11:56 am · Edit

    @TofKW – yes, I’m inspired by peoples reaction.
    January 8, 2010 at 1:09 pm · Edit


    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.

  2. Ti-Guy

    I didn’t say anything I haven’t said a million times before with that last comment. I’m just always astonished at how brazen people can be by insisting they know what other Canadian think, when normally, the people one associates with represent such a tiny, insignificant group as to be completely meaningless. I can’t even utter the statement “Canadians are…” or “Canadians believe…” without being riven with fear that what I’m asserting could easily be revealed as unvarnished bullshit if I’m not careful.

    It’s reached an alarming scale when we’re hearing it from our elite (media and political) however, classes of people whose only cachet (quite often entertainment value) is the degree to which they’re out of touch with the masses, sometimes dangerously so.

    When it’s used to flatter a people into wanting and working for better things and to speak to the better angels of their nature, it’s forgivable. When it’s used to cynically justify apathy or selfishness and to distract from something else, it’s not.

  3. I wonder if we can collectively crowdsource some idea of what the Conservative caucus (or every MP for that matter) is doing while parliament is prorogued, similar to chasing the stimulus money.

    If the official line is “we need to focus on our priorities, the economy, etc.”, then they should be tracked and monitored for accountability. Isn’t that what the Conservatives pledged when they were originally elected?

  4. Ti-Guy — Agreed. However, I was basing my opinion on a limited but abiding amount of evidence; primarily, declining voter turnout and a demonstrable track-record of profound voter apathy.

    I believe the latest Ekos poll shows 37% of Canadians didn’t even know that parliament had been prorogued (an “unaware” group that, in the spirit of democracy, Steve V. suggests we just disregard). Of those “those with the even the slightest awareness,” a significant plurality of 69% opposed prorogation, but 31% still supported it.

    So what to make of all that?

    Tempers amongst those who are deeply engaged with politics may have been ignited at the moment, but I don’t think there’s enough fuel to sustain this as a widespread movement over the next couple of months.

  5. CWTF

    I don’t think there’s enough fuel to sustain this as a widespread movement over the next couple of months.
    The problem is that it will take a “populist” issue to ignite that fire…
    A few months is way too long….

  6. Ti-Guy

    However, I was basing my opinion on a limited but abiding amount of evidence; primarily, declining voter turnout and a demonstrable track-record of profound voter apathy.

    I wasn’t even thinking of you or that last post. You’re not among the people who generally speaks for other Canadians to avoid having a more thoughtful or informed opinion about something.

    an “unaware” group that, in the spirit of democracy, Steve V. suggests we just disregard

    I agree with him, as least as far as we nobodies are concerned. There’s nothing *we* can do about them (we can’t lead the horses to water, let alone drink).

    There’s something the media can do about that and curiously, which the latest information coupled with some rather negative opinions with respect to this prorogation being published, it seems they’re at least taking baby steps.

    I still don’t trust them, though. Like John Stewart said once, they behave like children playing soccer…when the ball lands somewhere, they all jump on it.

    Harper’s contempt for Parliamentary process has been obvious for years. They called it “chess” for a long time, but that stupid metaphor has finally run its course.

  7. I’ve been watching the news coverage with some interest and, not to be too cynical, but it seems to me that there’s a vested interest in the media in stoking the anti-prorogation movement because… let’s face it; they’d have little to talk about on the federal political scene otherwise.

    Should be interesting to see where the movement goes next and how it evolves.

  8. Ti-Guy

    let’s face it; they’d have little to talk about on the federal political scene otherwise.

    Well, you have to admit, it’s a pretty important issue.

    Let’s face it as well; the mainstream media never reports about government all that sensibly anyway. When it’s working as it should be, they find it as boring as it is designed to be.

    If we had a class of journalists steeped in the traditions of muck-raking (and I personally don’t care whose muck gets raked), we’d have much more vibrant political journalism that the journalists would enjoy doing and the rest of us would enjoy following. Unfortunately, they traded that away for access to politicians, are too cowed by accusations of bias and no longer see themselves as defenders of democracy, since that as well now appears to be a political position (when in fact, in the absence of democracy, no one needs journalists at all).

  9. Ti-Guy

    I should mention again, that I never watch television news, so I might have a different impression than you. I’m still trying to give Power and Politics a chance, but it’s a real struggle.

  10. P&P is growing on me… It’s certainly light years ahead of CNN’s “Situation Room” or most other offerings on the American news media that today featured mendacious philanderer Rudy Giuliani whoring for his security consulting firm, giggling like a nincompoop while flashing his gleaming white brace of dentures, through which a slimy torrent of fact-free untruths passed… all of which were completely unchallenged by any of the clueless stooges interviewing him.

    This following his stellar lapse of memory two days ago…

    “10 days later, 11 days later, 12 days later…” Yeah, try THREE days after the event (as opposed to SIX by Bush who made a passing mention at the end of a presser following an almost identical incident).

    Poor Rudy… He’s afraid that the administration is “pondering too much” and “thinking too much”… clearly something that would never, ever have been a problem had this cynically unscrupulous, morally depraved, thoroughly execrable douchebag been elected president… {{{{ shudder }}}}

  11. When Harper doesn’t like democracy, he shuts it down.

  12. Ti-Guy

    I did catch it part of it yesterday. They had PeePee Poilièvre seated beside Paul Dewar and Gerard Kennedy, so the little shit’s medacity could be called on immediately.

    I have always been frustrated with television’s absolute necessity of having to keep to a tight schedule, however…made all that much worse by the intrusiveness of commercials. It’s just not something that works without scripts of various kinds. I still much prefer radio for news and current events.

  13. Ti-Guy — Yeah, I caught that segment too. Poilièvre can always be counted on to be a steaming pile of sanctimonious crap.

  14. Dean

    A Downfall remix of Harper’s prorogation:

  15. jkg

    Poilièvre can always be counted on to be a steaming pile of sanctimonious crap.

    Yet, without fail, the constituents of Nepean-Carleton continue to elect him. I suppose that is the fallout from resting on the “politics is like sports” analogy, which allows, as Ti-Guy suggests, people to make all sorts of wonderful sweeping generalizations like divining what “Canadians think,” which you can find in absurd abundance over at the Maclean’s comment boards.

    The sports analogy is extremely reductionist in that the nuance and compromise, which is the hallmark of having a responsible government (and by and large a Westminster) is completely abandoned. That is not to say this is a recent phenomenon; our own parliamentary history is littered with conflict and hostility, but it never undercut the institutional means and processes by which MPs reach consensus to the same extent as it is today (I don’t deny that this has been a gradual process overtime). In other words, elements of Parliament like committees are now treated more so as exclusive extensions of political strategy even by the Executive. When discourse is framed in a sports-like “us versus them” context, it allows for implicit or even manufactured consent for the Executive to subvert the constraints our Parliament imposes. I don’t doubt some voters may appreciate and tolerate some Machiavellian tactics by Prime Ministers, but it becomes a slight of hand when ‘effective leadership’ is now conflated to how well you can challenge the very institutional pillars by which the citizenry,realize their representative. It is almost as if though we have this romantic love for direct democracy, a practice that certainly has not been beneficial to California at times.

    I am glad to see Paul Wells at least calling out the cynical attempts to reduce the debate to simple binary choices, like the tiresome “put up or shut up.” All it does is deflect the fact that all this “chess playing” has been a furthering of the Executive asserting power over Parliament, which was one of the major criticisms Chretien’s detractors made against him. It seems the irony is lost on those who cite the tired “but, but the Liberals!!” to defend what Haper is doing now.

    Out of objective interest, however, is there any case in which proroguing of Parliament was done in a similar or worse fashion? It doesn’t diminish the patented self-interest displayed by Harper here, but with Bob Bruce’s fly by posts, I wonder if reeling out past misdeeds by Prime Ministers 30 years ago is really grasping at straws.

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