Thursday, May 19, 2005

Bizarro Parliament

Heart attack scares, appendicitis scares, incriminating tapes...just when you thought you'd seen it all, this saga keeps getting weirder and weirder. All this leading up to a vote that the Tories can't possibly want to win.

I'm not sure anything would surprise me at this point. The last month and in particular the last ten days have been among the most bizarre times I have ever seen in Canadian politics.

Here are a few random thoughts leading up to vote - I'll update as the wild and wacky adventures in Parliament Hill continue (although, at this point, it's hard to imagine what can possibly be said as Canadian Politics begins to look like a cross between Survivor and the X-Files):

-On the Belinda defection, I still don't think very highly of her, but I'll give Martin credit for this catch. This is without a doubt the crowning achievement of his 18 months as Prime Minister. I'm not sure whether that's an insult or a compliment but it's quite the coup regardless.

-I'm not sure what to make of this Grewal tape. The Volpe connection is very interesting in light of recent events. I suspect that if the government survives today, we'll see a lot more about this is the coming days.

-Harper, Martin, MacKay and Stronach should all be in Question Period today. I suspect that will make for a nice warm up act to the main event later today.

-Belinda took some questions today and it looks like "it's a complex file" will be added to "growing the economy" and "baking a bigger economic pie" on the Belinda talking doll. (Note to Anne McLellan: Just so that I won't be called a misogynist, the doll reference has nothing to do Belinda being female. Rather to the fact that she seems to have a difficult time coming up with complex and varied answers to questions.)

-Given that it is numerically impossible to defeat the government without Bloc support, could someone explain to me if the Conservatives would ever be "allowed" to bring down the government without being accused of being in "alliance with the separatists".

-Since I was asked to elaborate on my "first impressions" of the Grewal tape in the comments section, I'll throw a little more out there. I'd rather listen to the full tape before rushing to judgment. But, yeah, at first glance it sounds very incriminating. Tim Murphy is smart not to explicitly offer anything so I doubt we'll see the kind of criminal prosecution a lot of the Coyne clones are asking for. But regardless of who initiated the conversation, it certainly didn't sound like the "Grewal wouldn't take no for an answer" line the PM is using today. I mean, that sounded like a pretty obvious "you scratch our back, we'll scratch yours" offer. As I hinted above, I think the Volpe reference is by far the most interesting part of the tape. The media doesn't seem to be making a big deal of it now, but it could turn into a big news story next week if there's no election.

-Finally, given an election is unlikely to change anything and would be very costly, I do think it would be best for everyone involved if the budget does go through today. It's certainly the right of the Tories to try and bring down a government they consider to be corrupt but there's a lot in this budget and some important legislation (ie. SSM) that I'd like to see passed. And I think a lot of Conservatives realize now may not be the best time for them to go to the polls too. They really only get one more chance to run on Gomery and wasting it at a time when they're nose diving in Ontario might not be so wise.


-It's official: Kilgour will vote with the Tories. It all comes down to Chuck Cadman.


  • Well, CG, I'm a bit disappointed with you. I support the Conservatives, but have been reading you recently for an alternative. You don't know what to make of the Grewal tape? How about giving us your first impressions? Have the Liberals gone too far? Are they, in fact, a criminal gang? Can you still say you support them? Warren Kinsella has given up on them. Go ahead, drop the faux cynicism.

    By Anonymous MarkC, at 2:52 p.m.  

  • Yes, it does look like we should be seeing agent Fox Mulder today in Question Period, doesn't it?

    I agree that suborning Belinda was PMPM's crowning Prime Ministerial achievement. I don't think Paulie would consider that an insult, but undoubtedly it is one - sort of like acknowledging Neville Chamberlain's greatest accomplishment in negotiating 'Peace in Our Time.' Consider what other PMs can look back on - free trade, the Canada Pension Plan, the St Lawrence Seaway, two World Wars (plus Korea), membership in NATO, a national medical care plan, the Clarity Act. Whether you like or hate these, they are genuine achievements. What does Paulie have to reflect on? - corruption of a political never-was of questionable ability for the cynical purposes of shoring up a desperate government for -perhaps- another six to eight months, according to Paul's informercial committment. Such great (claimed) promise as a PM, and so sadly unrealized...

    On the Grewal tape, I am not sure what else CAN be made of it. Even accepting Ujjal's story completely at face value (which I don't) Tim Murphy was negotiating (albeit via wink-wink nudge-nudge) with a sitting MP to change his vote or abstain from voting in exchange for a political payoff. If Ujjal approached Grewal, he is a pimp. If Grewal approached Ujjal, then Ujjal is at best a John who was 'dickering over price.' Either way, I don't think Ujjal and Tim come out looking very good. Either way, it doesn't seem that Canadians care: as always, I am resigned to getting the government that Ontario deserves. For some people, apparently, that is good enough.



    By Blogger deaner, at 3:27 p.m.  

  • This is no longer a partisan issue. Parliament is hopelessly paralyzed. The only way out at this point is an election. We need to tackle this cancer that's been growing in Ottawa, and therefore need to start from scratch.

    Markc is right: if Kinsella can give up on the Libranos, this should be a strong message to any supporter of this criminal gang (according to Christie Blatchford of the Globe & Mail) that this party is dead.

    Also, note that the Liberal paper Globe & Mail has been calling for an election. So if the Liberal mouthpiece thinks it's time for an election, then by all means, let's head to the polls.

    By Anonymous Calgary Observer, at 3:40 p.m.  

  • I’ll attempt to respond to the being in "alliance with the separatists" statement, because I think it is important.

    The statement (or similar statements) reflect the fact that the Bloc is poised to make significant gains; the PQ may be in soon; and polls suggest that the people of Quebec may be increasingly open to the Sovereignty option. Harper is making his bid for power at a time when the separatist threat is significant and an election will probably increase it.

    Harper is not allied with the separatists. He is playing a risky game with the nation by giving them exactly what they want.

    By Blogger Psychols, at 3:56 p.m.  

  • David Kilgour must be fairly certain Cadmen is going to vote with the Liberals - either that or he's eagerly awaiting his pension - because if the Libs fall he has NO CHANCE of getting extra money for Africa. I'd be willing to bet that he's hoping this stand will allow him to shake down Martin for a better effort on the Sudan issue.

    "if Kinsella can give up on the Libranos..."

    Kinsella gave up on the Liberals the day Chretien's long overdue retirement was finally forced upon him.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:33 p.m.  

  • You know what is making parliament even more bizarro! The Bloc!!!

    I found Trust me, thecontent is even mor funny than the name. Check it out!

    By Anonymous Paul Helm, at 4:56 p.m.  

  • Well, if you wanted to see Mr Martin run an "American style" ten month election campaign (on our nickel, of course), now you have your chance. I agree that an election now could be costly, but I look forward to the cost reduction by holding it in February, 30 days after Gomery reports in January, 2006. It should be so much more convenient, too: snow, ice, freezing rain - perfect campaign conditions. That's of course, if Paulie remembers his infomercial pledge.

    You're right, CG - we are living through Bizarro Parliament.


    By Blogger deaner, at 7:23 p.m.  

  • Yup. When BC politics comes out sane and civil by comparison, we've crossed some kind of national event horizon. All that remains is for PMPM to start using the "Me Am" contruction in sentences like "Me Am Happy Gomery report proves Liberals am criminals! Me hate power and privege of Bizarro-PM Office! In Jail Bizarro finally get respect he deserve!"

    Faux cynicism? If ever a situation called for the real industrial grade 100 proof stuff, this would be it...

    By Anonymous Wrye, at 8:43 p.m.  

  • You hypocrite!

    no why would tories not want to win?? Duh.. cause they want to put down shytes like you that's why..

    Hey how's Barbelinda these days?

    By Blogger Walsh Writes, at 11:01 p.m.  

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