Thursday, May 18, 2006

Guest Blogging - Carolyn Bennett

Liberal Leadership candidate Carolyn Bennett has offered to guest blog on this site and I thought I'd take her up on the offer since it's far too nice outside for me to actually think up and write a post myself. I gave her the topic of democratic reform and how technology is affecting the political process. If any of the other 11 candidates want to tackle either of those topics or something similar, I'll gladly toss their posts up here too. And now, over to you Carolyn:

Prescription for the Democratic Deficit

I remember once in a national caucus meeting complaining how unacceptable it was that for many, their first experience with partisan politics was to sign a box saying that they had paid for their membership themselves - when they hadn't! I remember then saying that when we go and teach democracy in the third world, we don't teach this!

We have to practice what we preach. We have to regain the confidence of Canadians in our democratic institutions - our party, our parliament, and our electoral system.

I was at the breakfast at the National Press Club this a.m. with Rick Anderson and his Fireweed Democracy Project, Fair Vote Canada and Susan Pigott from the Citizens' Assembly on Electoral Reform in Ontario. I was very impressed with the fireweed initiative, particularly the Demokistan Case Study that beautifully asks: "if the fictional ‘Demokistan Charter' is not democratic enough for Demokistan, is it good enough for Canada?"

Last weekend at the LPCO AGM, we hosted a dialogue for those with a thirst for democracy. We served smoothies - drinks with substance!! Had a great turn-out and lots asking for more! There are 4 components....Citizen Engagement, Parliamentary Reform, Party Reform and Electoral Reform. We must move forward on all four.

The prescription for a democratic deficit begins with one thing...a true belief that we will get better policy and be better able to implement great policy if we include the people affected. We must never be seen to be consulting when it is clear that we have already made up our minds - some sort of obligation to public consultation...as occupational therapy. It only stokes the destructive forces of cynicism. There must be what Frank Graves at EKOS has called 'assured listening'. Participants must know that they've been heard even if the decision taken is not what they had asked for. As Stephen Coleman, the guru of e-democracy has said, people don't want to govern they just want to be heard. It must engender 2-way accountability.

Those of you who participate in online dialogues on these blogs are already incredibly engaged citizens. Thank you. Over the next few weeks I will be launching a robust online policy discussion, please stay in touch.

We need to begin a process that will become central to a modern Liberal party that will be connected from sea to sea to sea ... Allowing great public policy to bubble up from the trenches, find consensus and resonate with Canadians.

Allons Y !!!

You can also take a look at the paper I wrote in 2003 during the leadership race -Rx for the Democratic Deficit.


UPDATE: Carolyn jumps into the Lion's Den in the comments section.

101 Comments:

  • You voted against the Afghanistan mission last night for partisan purposes. That puts you on the bottom of my list of people who I think could address the democratic deficit. What about a partisan deficit? Do you support policies for canada, or just policies for the Liberal party?

    By Blogger Riley Hennessey, at 1:34 PM  

  • Riley, Carolyn's disgraceful behaviour on voting like a partisan bonehead started way back with the Hep C issue.
    The Liberal party believes that everything-from local nominations and delegate selection to the federal government and Senate-should be controlled by a small group of powerful behind-the-scenes Liberals. Bennett can't figure out she's in the wrong party.

    By Blogger nuna d. above, at 1:42 PM  

  • Dr. Bennet, a former client of yours wants answers from you. I'll take this mother's word and believe, for a moment, that you at least have been a good doctor. But the days of all the virtues that you were feel so distant now. I know it has become your job to not yield to anything, especially not Conservatives. I just wanted to make a note on how sad it sometimes (often?) is to see politics corrupt people.

    Have a nice career.

    By Blogger Steve, at 1:50 PM  

  • I just can't believe that Dr. Bennett believes so whole heartedly in democratic reform after she strongly supported Paul Martin's "democratic reform" initiatives which were a joke on all Canadians.

    True principled Liberals displayed their support of Canada last night like Ignatieff and dare I even say it, Scott Brison. Bennett showed she is willing to blow whatever way the wind does, whether it was in 2003, or last night.

    By Blogger Riley Hennessey, at 1:53 PM  

  • Steve,

    Just read your link about Dr. Bennett's quote that Harper was "condemning children to a life of crime".
    Wow. Politics of the absurd... that's the way we win elections right?

    If Dr. Bennett reads these comments, I'd love to know how children will be condemned to a life of crime because of a tax credit. For the record, I'd rather have a child-care program than the 1200 bucks, but saying it will lead to crime?? Come on.

    By Blogger Riley Hennessey, at 1:57 PM  

  • Dr. Bennett,

    You were quite critical of Jean Chrétien with respect to number of women in his cabinet (you were not a member of that cabinet). However, when Paul Martin gave you a seat a the cabinet table, one with even fewer women that Mr. Chrétien's cabinets, you said NOTHING. You simply got into your Ministerial Limo and never looked back. SHAME ON YOU.

    P.E.F.

    By Blogger Prairie Eden Forecaster, at 1:59 PM  

  • Riddle me this:

    How can Liberal MPs, who committed the Canadian military to a war a mere six months ago, suddenly decide that the war is a bad idea?

    How can former Liberal Cabinet members?

    Did the Liberals truly believe that the mission in Afghanistan would be over in a year?

    By Blogger godot10, at 2:04 PM  

  • Dr. Bennett:

    Your vote last night was disgraceful for many of the reasons said above. Canadians will not remember that you voted against the mission, but you played with people's lives because you thought it would be good strategically. You have never spoken against the mission before, ever!

    Congrats to every Liberal member that showed principle and conviction before political interests. I have new respect for Micheal Ignatieff and Scott Brison.

    As bad as you were, the most disgraceful act came from Paul Martin, who sent the troops in harms way to begin with, but did not have the courage and respect to vote one way or another. He will easily go down as one of the worst Prime Ministers ever. Dithers indeed!

    By Blogger Jim Burnett, at 2:17 PM  

  • calgary grit:

    Did you warn the good doctor (and lousy criminoligist) that there are exactly two Liberal blogs where Conservative readers are especially vocal?

    If you did, her choice of your blog over Bagdhad Cherniak's shows refined taste.

    In any case, kudos to Bill Graham for (after all the posturing) personally approving the extension of the gov'ts mandate to make deployment decisions with our NATO partners.

    By Blogger anonymous, at 2:22 PM  

  • This is not something that I have consistently witnessed you fighting for passionately in the HoC. Not to mention, it would be very unfortunate, if you played crass politics with such an important issue like the democratic deficit. We all remember how far it got this guy.

    And in the meantime, I hope your intentions are legitimate, because if they're not, I would advise you to please stop now before you do Gordon Gibson, Preston Manning and Rick Anderson anymore of a disservice.

    By Blogger scott, at 2:33 PM  

  • I'd agree with anonymous, Bill Graham deserves a lot of credit for voting with his heart. I don't think people on this blog are necessarily conservative, I know I've voted Liberal all my life til this past election. People are fed up with phonies. They want real people with real ideas. Because of her background I think Bennett could have been a real person, but she chose partisan tactics and rhetoric.

    Ignatieff chose principle, and thats why I am now leaning towards him for leadership. I had initially supported Dion for his very effective support of Afghanistan but he blew that, then Kennedy was my top pic til I met him and he was unfriendly. Ignatieff seems to be the only boat left in the water that isn't driven on partisan fuel.

    By Blogger Riley Hennessey, at 2:34 PM  

  • Riley, I know you're a Liberal party member. It's just that Grit is generally above the fray and funny and get's almost as many Conservative vistors as Cherniak (Cherniak is funny too, but as in 'at' not 'with')

    After Graham made his lousy point (which IMHO boils down to the bizarre notion that Parliament should ratify the results of our negotiations with NATO for 2007-8 rather than giving the gov't that mandate), he at least voted to give the gov't the mandate to carry on with the job he oversaw as Defence Minister. He and 29 Liberal MPs can hold their head high.

    Those that voted against the extension because they actually want the mission to end can also hold their heads high according to their own lights.

    Unfortunately for the Liberals the majority of their caucus should straight out hang their heads in shame this morning.

    By Blogger anonymous, at 2:45 PM  

  • Dr. Bennett,

    Your right, people who blog are well engaged in the process... we also notice when people make statements like "its a good thing their building more prisons, because that's where children are headed, because the Toris don't have a daycare system for them".

    Smart one Dr. Bennett, really smart.

    Other than Calgary Grit, who's a great guy and a very congenial host, you'd best start on your apology speech, because after what you and your cronies did while still in Government, there's not a lot of good will or votes towards you people out here in Oil land.

    Especially with the condesending, arrogant attitude you people constantly allow to creep out on the national stage.

    Good luck on your race... you really need it.

    By Blogger Joe Calgary, at 2:48 PM  

  • Hey Dr. Chickeepoo! Tell me, this democracy binge and purge you're on. Did you ever bring it up with David Herle, Mike Robinson and Tim Murphy when you were begging for a cabinet seat? Did you bring it up after you got to the Privy Council? Or was it just all about you at that point?

    Feel free to reply in these comments, since you are a guest blogger. That's the whole point, ya know. It's sort of like a dialogue, which is quite integral to that democracy thing you've been harping on.

    By Blogger Raymaker, at 2:50 PM  

  • Dr. Bennett, I just want you to know that my parents managed to raise five of us without the benefit of Liberal munificence. Not one of us has gone to jail, or been in trouble with the law.
    Your ignorant diatribe against Harper's policy of actually giving money back to the parents simply shows you do not care about what is right.....only about what is right for your political career. You spent 13 years ignoring child care, and you spent 13 years ignoring aboriginal issues. To start complaining now shows clearly the Liberal Party is not to be believed....no matter how much you plead...and no matter how much you insist on trying to fool Canadians. Your actions last night in the debate show clearly the fools in this case...include you.

    We'll see you disappear after the first ballot in your leadership run, but being a smart politician you already know that.
    I'm sure you'll get a cabinet post though....if your corrupt Party fools enough NDP'ers into voting for you this time.

    By Blogger James Halifax, at 2:53 PM  

  • Unfortunately many of you have confused a vote for not extending the mission as hypocritcal or partisan (I do support the extension). However, this was a rashly (not well detailed) attemp to extend the mission. What will it cost? how many troops will we need? How will it affect our ability militarily in other areas? Mr. Harper provided NO answers. So eventhough I would have voted for the extension I would be doing so with tepidness, and I can understand why some chose not to support it for these reasons amongst many.

    By Blogger CHRIS, at 2:54 PM  

  • Oh, and if you end up talking to Bob Rae between convention ballots do mention that an apology for the Munich remarks would not be a sign of weakness.

    By Blogger anonymous, at 2:54 PM  

  • Dr. Bennett,

    I have always thought quite highly of you and think you have done a lot of good for both the party and the country as a whole, but as Liberal Party member I am going to have to echo a few of the questions that others have posed to you.

    First on your vote against the Afghan mission, I can understand the frustration with the way Harper steamrolled the issue before parliment, but I can not understand how you and other members of Paul Martin's past cabinet that put Canadian forces into this dangerous mission in the Kanahar region of Afganistan can suddenly turn against a mission that you yourself initiated in the last parliment? Could you please explain your thoughts around why you supported the mission when you were in cabinet and why you oppose the same mission being extended now?

    As was already mentioned, I thought you were very brave when you called Mr. Chretien to account for his lack of effort in seeing more woman in the cabinet, but I was very disapointed to see that Mr. Martin was not even able to match the sad record of Mr. Chretien in terms of female cabinet ministers. Why did you not raise this issue publically and chastise Mr. Martin in the same way you did to Chretien? Was it just partisan politics for you, meaning that undermining Chretien was fair game, but Martin deserved a pass?

    Finally, the issue of democratic reform is major concern of mine, both in the Liberal Party and in Parliment and it was a mjor reason I supported Mr. Martin's last leadership bid. But I was very disapointed in the way Mr. Martin did nothing to change the way things work. From still playing the game of "who you know in the PMO" to apointing Liberal hacks like Glen Murray over the wishes of democraticaly elected MP's. What will you really do that is differnt than the futile lip service paid by Martin to democratic reform?

    Thank You.

    -A Liberal Party Member in Winnipeg, Manitoba

    By Blogger polarslam, at 3:05 PM  

  • As expected, the Tory trolls come marching out of the woodwork.

    Tell me folks, are you trying to tell us all that the Liberals who voted against a non-binding motion that Harper and his Tories thru on Parliament with no notice and little debate are any less partisan then the government? Are you going to try and use the George Bush/Republican slur of "not supporting the troops" for having questions about what exactly the mission is supposed to be about?

    This was an obvious ploy to try and bury this issue and mute public criticism - which has come, I might add, without any party other then the NDP being vocal against it.

    By Blogger Scott Tribe, at 3:07 PM  

  • Never mind that comment about kids being raised at home being destined for prison, that vote last night was particularly shameful.

    Dr. Bennett, if you have any genuine objections to the current mission in Afghanistan, why did you remain in the cabinet that initiated it in the first place?

    You have proven once again that you are not even remotely suited to our nation's highest elected office.

    And what is most disgraceful of all is that this guy, the Prime Minister who sent our troops to Kandahar in the first place, didn't even have the moral courage to show up for the vote.

    With last night in mind, I can only hope your party remains in the electoral wilderness forever.

    By Blogger Brandon, at 3:13 PM  

  • Oh, and one other question, if I may.

    These two core principles that are very important to you -- building a healthy democracy within the Liberal Party and making a place for strong, experienced women in politics -- are very admirable.

    So, where were you hiding when Sheila Copps was getting shafted in Stoney Creek in 2004?

    Brave and outspoken, indeed.

    By Blogger Raymaker, at 3:17 PM  

  • My little Rainbow don't give one holler about no democratic deficit - she wants a gun and to help daddy rob banks.

    thanks to my wife whose can barely read, gots no shoes and sticks to her knitten at home, my little Rainbow gets taught how to aim and fire by my little lady.

    will yours early learning teach 'em how to rob banks like I's plannin' to do?

    By Blogger Chuckercanuck, at 3:22 PM  

  • Hey Guys
    Know what.
    This is a great idea of CG's and Dr Bennetts.
    It has the potential to create a discussion.
    The outright hostility to Bennett on this blog is a little sad.
    If I was her I would not bother to answer anything.
    Next thing you know it will all be Gomery, Gomery, Gomery.
    Lets actually discuss what she is talking about in her post.

    By Blogger Aristo, at 3:32 PM  

  • hey aristo,

    go ahead.

    By Blogger Chuckercanuck, at 3:38 PM  

  • Nuthin' but crickets chirpin'

    P.E.F.

    By Blogger Prairie Eden Forecaster, at 3:59 PM  

  • On the topic of the vote, I don't think it's fair to say that those who voted for are unprincipled and those who voted against aren't. Or vice versa.

    The Liberals who voted against extending the mission may have had objections on voting on a motion with no details or plan. Or they may have felt Canadian troops are better served in Darfur than Afghanistan.

    By Blogger calgarygrit, at 4:07 PM  

  • OK, I will repeat what some have asked here already.

    Dr Bennett given the record of failure on the part of the Martin government to deal with any aspects of these issues can you give us one positive concrete step/policy/action that you would put forward to deal with Citizen Engagement?

    2)How do we know that "practice what we preach" is not hollow rhetoric ala Martin but rather you have substantive plans to follow through on these ideas.

    By Blogger Aristo, at 4:09 PM  

  • Last night's vote would be under the good doctor's topic: Parliamentary Reform.

    With regards to approving our forces going into harms ways options include:

    1. Initial deployment without parliamentary approval (Chretien's gov't)

    2. Parliamentary approval for inital deploymemt but not for extensions (Harper's campaign promise)

    3. Parliamentary approval for extensions with negotiations for the with partners left to the gov't. (Harper's new position).

    4. Parliamentary approval for extensions after the gov't has worked out mission details for the new period (i.e. when we're close enough to the new period to leave a hole).

    I can see #2 or #3, but how the Liberals got from #1 to #4 is beyond me.

    Bill Graham made the right call at the end to give the gov't the mandate to sit down with our NATO partners and take a role that may even included leading the overall mission in 2008.

    The rest is politics, FBOW.

    By Blogger anonymous, at 4:14 PM  

  • Grit,

    I'm saying voting for or against the extension because we should or shouldn't be there is principled.

    Liberal members who voted against can sort out for themselves if they were actually against the mission. If they are for the mission being extended, giving the gov't the mandate to negotiate that extension is the principled thing to do in our parliamentary system. If they don't think the gov't should carry out that mandate, but they think we should continue, the principled thing is to vote non-confidence.

    By Blogger anonymous, at 4:20 PM  

  • All,

    I'd really like to see if Bennett would come on here and post some rebuttles. I don't think any of us are being "trolls" I am simply interested in why she voted against the mission, how she supports democratic reform now, but didn't speak up under the Martin government when she was in cabinet.

    As for Scott Tribe, the EASY way out is to throw George Bush's name around like a rag-doll whenever left-wingers want to scare people. "Bush-style" debate and all this garbage. I'm interested in facts not fiction Scotty. George Bush had nothing to do with this debate, or with the vote. Get over it.

    Anywho, very interested to see if Carolyn replies to some of the comments on this blog. It was a great idea for her to guest blog, I'd love to see her stick to it.

    By Blogger Riley Hennessey, at 4:29 PM  

  • sorry, but how can someone talk about democratic deficits and use such hyperbolic language like Dr. Bennett's home-raised children are future criminals?

    In fact, I actually believe she may have some kernel of a thought behind that.

    But, she chose not to engage the debate constructively. She chose to insult the families of nearly 50% of children in Canada. She chose to pursue a divisive discourse.

    How do we shrink the democratic deficit if everytime someone disagrees with the Liberal Party they are cast as evil, non-patriotic, abominations that should be exiled to Hans Island?

    As for last nights vote - don't get me started.

    By Blogger Chuckercanuck, at 4:37 PM  

  • Riley:

    George Bush has everything to do with the debate when Stephen Harper accuses those who voted against the mission or who have questions about what Harper proposed as being "against the troops". This is, as I said, what the Republicans did and still try to do to those who question the Iraq debacle.

    And then folks come on here and have the gall to criticize Bennett and the other Libeals who voted against the motion as being "partisan"

    Talk about pot calling the kettle black.

    By the way Riley, I'm one of those "lefties" who supported sending the troops to Afghanistan, and I've no particular objection to them staying 2 years longer - I'm just taking issue with how the Tories went about doing it trying to use it to their political advantage and simultaneously trying to sweep it under the rug as an issue.

    By Blogger Scott Tribe, at 4:54 PM  

  • This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    By Blogger Cove Blogger, at 4:56 PM  

  • Dr. Bennett-

    I am writing to applaud the well-articulated, well-argued positions outlined in your posting.

    If you are chosen for the job of Liberal Party leader, I am confident that you will help breath life into federal politics as capably as you helped deliver lives into the world.

    Happy trails...

    By Blogger slamdunk, at 4:57 PM  

  • Don't worry about the vote Carolyn, some Canadians are capable of thinking for themselves and appreciate keeping a bush-dog under leash. Harper is barking well to Bush's command and he'll get a fair bit more obedience training from George so it's good to know someone will stand up for Canada.

    By Blogger foottothefire, at 4:57 PM  

  • Did Harpo break any promises today? As of yesterday, he was 2 4 2.

    By Blogger Cove Blogger, at 4:57 PM  

  • You know something Scott, in the United States they speak english too. Are you suggesting that any words Bush uses can't be used by Canadians? The debate and vote were just that; a debate and vote. WHo cares when they were scheduled it's not like the Afghan mission is breaking news. Good politicians vote on principle, the likes of Bennett vote on partisan aspirations. You either support the mission, or you don't. You can't say I support it but not tonight cause we didn't have enough time to discuss. Folks, we deployed there FOUR years ago... not enough time to learn about Afghanistan by now?

    Also, I say this as a proud Chretien Liberal but anybody who starts accusing Harper of breaking promises never read the Liberal Red Book of 1993. I mean seriously folks, who's the pot and who's the kettle here?

    By Blogger Riley Hennessey, at 5:15 PM  

  • Ms. Bennett: the correct spelling is "allons-y" (hyphen!). Back to those French books for you, eh?

    By Blogger Werner Patels, at 5:35 PM  

  • Carolyn Bennett, Stephen Dion, and Ken Dryden are everyday heroes for voting the way they did AGAINST the continued war-involvement in Afghanistan. Typical right wing Chicken Hawks love war, but they would never think of signing up to fight. Harper's continuous lies linking Canada's involvement as freedom fighters, is nothing more than sucking Team America's teat. 30 years ago the Soviets used the SAME language to defend their reasons for invading Afghaanistan. The Soviets said: we're freeing the women... we're bringing education and democracy... blah blah blah lies lies lies" The truth is Canada is riding shotgun as Team America continues its Imperial Crusades. The sooner we vote Harper and his FAT GUT out of office the safer our country will be!

    By Blogger harpersfatgut, at 5:46 PM  

  • Carolyn Bennett, Stephen Dion, and Ken Dryden are everyday heroes for voting the way they did AGAINST the continued war-involvement in Afghanistan. Typical right wing Chicken Hawks love war, but they would never think of signing up to fight. Harper's continuous lies linking Canada's involvement as freedom fighters, is nothing more than sucking Team America's teat. 30 years ago the Soviets used the SAME language to defend their reasons for invading Afghaanistan. The Soviets said: we're freeing the women... we're bringing education and democracy... blah blah blah lies lies lies" The truth is Canada is riding shotgun as Team America continues its Imperial Crusades. The sooner we vote Harper and his FAT GUT out of office the safer our country will be!

    By Blogger harpersfatgut, at 5:47 PM  

  • Hey Carolyn.

    You going to apologize for calling Canadian parents stupid and incompetent, telling them that unless the state raises their children, those kids will end up in prison one day?

    Sean

    By Blogger Sean, at 5:57 PM  

  • She didn't mean all Canadian parents, the reference was to those offsproings of Conservatives. (It must hurt giving birth to a conservative - fat head and all.)

    By Blogger foottothefire, at 6:04 PM  

  • This all makes my head spin...

    By Blogger Lois, at 6:07 PM  

  • "Typical right wing Chicken Hawks love war, but they would never think of signing up to fight."

    Everyone is looking forward to the left wing signing up for the mission in Sudan. We're going to miss Layton and Keith Martin. And you might want to lay off the "Chicken Hawk" phrase condidering Bill Graham's preferences.

    By Blogger nuna d. above, at 6:09 PM  

  • Talk About the Law of Unintended Consequences...
    Carolyn Bennett was a Founder of the Hepatitis C Society of Canada. She promised to work within the government to bring fair treatment to those poisoned by the Red Cross and Health Canada.
    Then she abandoned the victims to vote against a Reform Party motion to compensate these people harmed by the government.
    She begged delegates at the Hep C AGM to not be activists, and then she turned her back and got back in Chretien's pocket.

    By Blogger Brian Lemon, at 6:10 PM  

  • B. Lemon,

    Dr. B. She was whipped hard by the Chrétien Gv't to vote the way she did and tears where streaming donw her face as she stood up to vote.

    This is not a defence, I will concede. The argument that she should have voted her conscience, her principle and with her heart certainly hold sway. However, being on her side of the Whip's heavy hand so early in her career must not have been easy.

    I don't know how I would voted in a similar situation.

    P.E.F.

    By Blogger Prairie Eden Forecaster, at 6:32 PM  

  • Dr. B. She was whipped hard by the Chrétien Gv't to vote the way she did and tears where streaming donw her face as she stood up to vote.

    Does she cry to get out of speeding tickets too?

    At least we have further proof she entirely lacks principles.

    By Blogger Sean, at 6:37 PM  

  • A TV commentator at the time said she looked like she had swallowed a live rat...
    Sounds kinda cannibalistic...
    If ya don't know how you'd vote, then you aren't a person of conviction either. (With all respect).

    By Blogger Brian Lemon, at 6:44 PM  

  • they say we Tory bloggers are bad, but we're aren't talking about how hard people get whipped!

    did she get "whipped hard" last night?

    By Blogger Chuckercanuck, at 7:27 PM  

  • firstly....on my vote...last night's 6 hour debate and vote on something so important...something Holland debated for months....with it's citizens ....is exactly what we mean by democratic deficit.... last night's vote was an abuse of parliament...

    By Blogger Carolyn Bennett, at 7:40 PM  

  • secondly... to answer Aristo's thoughtful comments and questions... I think that the e-consultation that we did on the Disability committee explaioned in the 'thirsty' link is a concrete example of the kind of 'democracy between elections' ... that allows citizens to truly affect public policy

    By Blogger Carolyn Bennett, at 7:42 PM  

  • we will start our dialogues on the www.carolynbennett.ca on the 29th.. with the dialogue on the difference between 'health' - we want more ! and 'health care' we'd rather need less.... the following week we will do the dem ref dialogue....hope the less grumpy of you will come and contribute...

    By Blogger Carolyn Bennett, at 7:48 PM  

  • Carolyn,

    Being a member of the Liberal Party under the Chretien and Martin administrations, you're one to talk about about the democratic deficit. You were the victim of it once, forced to vote against Hep C compensation even though you clearly felt voting against it was wrong.

    Obviously such a deficit isn't important to you, since you demonstrated at least one that you'll set aside your principles in the face of it.

    By Blogger Sean, at 8:11 PM  

  • "firstly....on my vote...last night's 6 hour debate and vote on something so important...something Holland debated for months....with it's citizens ....is exactly what we mean by democratic deficit...."

    Oh. And you did exactly what to address that issue while sitting in PMPM's cabinet, or before when sitting on Da Liddle Guy's back bench? I don't recall any "debate with its citizens" in Canada over Afghanistan until the 'take notice' debate last November.

    How long have we been in Afgahanistan? How long did you ignore the questions you are claiming need to be addressed now?

    By Blogger deaner, at 8:18 PM  

  • I have never voted against my principles !!! I continued fighting for Hep C ... and as soon as I was in cabinet I was able to help change the policy ....I should blog the Hep C story..

    By Blogger Carolyn Bennett, at 8:22 PM  

  • the on-line foreign policy review was a beginning.... but I believe we need a fullsome dialogue re a change from peacekeeping to peacemaking.... within our duty to protect doctrine in our human security agenda.... I blogged about this in the French blog..

    By Blogger Carolyn Bennett, at 8:25 PM  

  • Carolyn,

    You fought for Hep C victims. Then when the time came for those victims you fought for to receive compensation, you voted against that because the party whip told you to.

    If that isn't voting against princplies, I don't know how else to think of it.

    In the meantime, will you apologize for questioning the abilities of Canadian parents? I didn't go to a state-run daycare, and I'm not in prison. You insulted millions of people by implying they're too stupid to raise their own children.

    As an aside, I do appreciate that you are visiting a forum such as this, and responding (in a way) to our comments. While I disagree with pretty much everything you stand for, I will give you respect for giving us this access to you.

    By Blogger Sean, at 8:34 PM  

  • Straight question.

    Parliament voted for the first time last night to give a gov't the mandate to negotiate and finalize a 2 year extension.

    Should Parliament vote after the negotiations for the new period or before them?

    By Blogger anonymous, at 8:40 PM  

  • I have never voted against my principles !!! I continued fighting for Hep C ... and as soon as I was in cabinet I was able to help change the policy ....I should blog the Hep C story..
    You have a bad memory - unless your principles were to betray the Hep C Victims. I was there, Dr. Bennett, and you did nothing in cabinet to change the policy. It was public pressure, and Da Bosses desire to get the story off the front pages."

    By Blogger Brian Lemon, at 8:50 PM  

  • Well let me just say that a bunch of you should be ashamed of yourselves.

    You've taken a post that should have created discussion about the issue at hand - and have once again turned it into a sniping match between Liberals and Conservatives. Or between supporters of one leader over another.

    YOU are the people who give politics a bad name.

    By Blogger Shawn, at 9:14 PM  

  • And I thought we were discussing the democratic deficit.

    By Blogger anonymous, at 9:20 PM  

  • Dr. Bennett,

    I really appreciate you coming on here to retort some of our comments. It shows some gusto I'll give you that and you deserve credit.

    However your comments on the vote are pretty hollow. Afghanistan is nothing new. It's also the first time we had a vote on the issue. It is the THIRD time we have had a debate on the subject however and I fail to see how so many "questions remain".

    Furthermore, since all house leaders of each party AGREED to the vote and debate, how was it an abuse of parliament? Did you not know we were in Afghanistan? Did the Liberals not agree to a debate and vote? Was this the first time we've discussed Afghanistan?

    Finally, since you don't vote against your principles, what are yours on our foreign policy? Do you not support our mission in Afghanistan or were you simply voting AGAINST Harper?

    Again, I really appreciate you taking the time to address these comments. I did not notice you speak during last nights vote but I may have missed it.

    By Blogger Riley Hennessey, at 9:50 PM  

  • In a 6 hour debate we were only allowed 6 speakers... Even ujjal our defence critic didn't get to speak !!
    This is the first time I've tried to respond from my berry !!! You make get stuck with my comments even when I'm not the guest !! Berryable !!!!

    By Blogger Carolyn Bennett, at 10:04 PM  

  • Thanks for taking the time to respond Carolyn,

    By Blogger calgarygrit, at 10:30 PM  

  • Thank Dr. Bennett like I said I do appreciate your comments and it's pretty admirable to say the least that you're commenting from your Blackberry...

    just don't go giving away stock tips to baystreet like Brison.. haha oops! Just so you know, you rank WAYYYY above him and Volpe on my list of leadership candidates. You at least have commupance!

    By Blogger Riley Hennessey, at 10:42 PM  

  • There's just something about Dr. Bennett's comments that make me think of Scott Brison, mere days before the income trust story...

    Anyways, Dr. Bennett, I'd like to bring up a commentary that includes a delectable quote from you a couple weeks ago:

    Human Resources Minister Diane Finley slammed Liberal MP Carolyn Bennett, who had dismissed the government plan to create child-care spaces as inadequate, for implying in a television interview that parents who want to raise their children at home will be “bringing up future criminals.”
    Ms. Bennett, a feisty family doctor who is seeking the leadership of the Liberal party, insisted research shows that for every dollar spent on early learning and childhood, “we will save $7 later in special education and corrections, and you know that.”


    You really said that eh? I was raised at home, I turned out OK and I don't need any special education training. Same with all of my sisters, none of whom have a criminal record either. I'm pretty sure that my cousins who were raised at home aren't mentally deficient or escaped convicts either. Now, we McAdams are a special and exceptional bunch, no doubt about that, but to suggest that a generation of dumbasses and criminals is in the offing because the rest of the young Canadians out there don't get to go to a fancy government-run daycare is not only presumptuous but it is insulting to every parent. Why doesn't you just bring up the "beer and popcorn" line that has served your party so well in the recent past?
    It is this type of "I'm from the government and I'm here to help" attitude that really puts me off. I remarked to a couple of colleagues during the election campaign that it was if Canada woke up one morning and decided to have a national daycare program as an urgent necessity. I don't buy it. Your party has made it a crusade since January 24th to have a "national day care program;" where was all this pomp and circumstance in the 11 years you had a majority government or the two years in which you had a minority government?
    Parents have been experts at raising kids a lot longer than the researchers have been devising ways to raise kids. Don't want to put your kids in state-run daycare? Might as well arrest you now for harbouring a soon-to-be-known criminal. I don't even have a kid yet, but maybe I'll raise him/her at home. Perhaps you'd have the RCMP launch a pre-emptive strike and just put me in jail now and save the trouble? Give me a break!
    The Liberals have this outrage that the Conservative plan for child care only gives parents $1200 a year so that they can make their choice; it's not meant to be a 100% subsidy, that's not how Conservatives (neo-liberal economists) operate, and all those rich parents in Vancouver & Toronto with double incomes and massive houses and luxury cars who are complaining about the high costs of their daycare centre are missing the point entirely. Maybe instead of adding the extra bathroom in the guest house they could focus more on their children's development? I don't have kids, but if I did, I'd be more than happy to receive the Harper kiddie bucks and make my own decisions, say thanks for the extra help, and be on my way to the bank to drop the money into an RESP so that my kid can go to university (which reminds me, thanks for not putting enough money into post-secondary education), than have to be compelled to drop my kid off at some multi-billion dollar government entity. What happened to the days when Liberals didn't feel it was their duty to interfere in the bedrooms of Canadians? Now it's the whole house they want to get involved with.
    Further, given that you are a declared candidate in the Liberal leadership race, you're risking alienating that segment of the Liberal Party who may not believe that just because the government isn't babysitting their kids, the little ones are going to turn into criminals. I was always on the right wing of the party when I was a member, and if I heard a comment like that you can bet you wouldn't be getting my support. Since I'm no longer a member, you don't have it anyways but, along with your vote in Parliament last night you've certainly shot yourself in the foot with some who may have otherwise.
    It is interesting that you bring up the already-cliched line that you had only six hours to debate on extending the Afghanistan mission. If that was and is such a problem for you, why didn't you insist that your caucus colleagues and allies not waste at least an hour of said debate by raising that very point countless times? Every single time somebody made the argument that there were only six hours, they took time away from that six hours to actually debate. Do you not see the inconsistency in dragging out that line?

    Thanks for coming out and making yourself available for the blogging community, I look forward to hearing a response from you.

    By Blogger RGM, at 10:57 PM  

  • must admit, Dr. Bennett appears to enjoy seeing us fumble around. Quite leaderly, if you ask me. (Even if her thoughts on at-home child-rearing are much too hostile for me to stomach).

    By Blogger Chuckercanuck, at 11:03 PM  

  • Thanks all of you... My sunday night msn chats have prepared me for the hopefully therapeutic need for rants !!! I hope that our renewal process will attract lots of activists to become advocates ... We hope all the amazing people fighting for the environment, childcare, better outcomes for our aboriginal people, social justice will join the party and be part of democratizing our party and building a 2-way accountability between citizens and their elected representatives. A bientot !! Thanks to calgarygrit for this opportunity .... And keep up the. Important work ... It's been said that one of the true fundamentals of a democracy is to have public spaces in which to debate ideas ... I think that the new virtual public spaces ... Can make our democracy in this huge country .. Even stronger ... Night night ...
    Bien fait.

    By Blogger Carolyn Bennett, at 11:04 PM  

  • Well glad to see Dr. Bennett take the time to respond and engage in debate here. I certainly don't get a sense of someone who feels superior or owed power and leadership.

    She's not the candidate I'm supporting, but I'm impressed.

    By Blogger Shawn, at 11:56 PM  

  • Please, Ms. Bennett, improve on your French spelling!

    By Blogger Werner Patels, at 12:10 AM  

  • Dr. Bennett -- sometime constituent of yours who volunteered for Peter Kent's campaign during this last go-around.

    I'm impressed by your willingness to face the sometimes-harsh crowd of commenters in the blogosphere. Best of luck in the leadership race.

    [I'm sticking by Harper and the Conservatives. But it's nice to see someone who's willing to put herself out there.]

    By Blogger The Tiger, at 12:54 AM  

  • Carolyn, as usual you've evaded a very important question, given your well-orchestrated anguish about the lack of strong, experienced women in politics.

    Why didn't you speak up for democracy and women when Sheila Copps was getting the shaft from within her own party?

    By Blogger Raymaker, at 1:09 AM  

  • It seems to me as a cranky and amateur pundit that your prescription for addressing the "democratic deficit" is nothing more than the same old thing from the usual suspects.

    It's all fine and good to wax about engaging affected people in developing public policy, but Canadians don't identify with concepts like "policy" - we elect leaders (in theory at least) who appear to have a plan. Period, end of story.

    I am no fan of our current Prime Minister, but he clearly understands the value of setting realistic objectives and implementing them. The Conservatives (like em or hate em) ran an election campaign based on the "5 priorities" - I would aruge that those 5 priorities are easily understood by mainstream voters.

    The reason it's hard for me to accept your ideas on addressing the democratic deficit is because, as a Liberal, you are talking like a Liberal - don't take a stand on anything, run to the mushy middle, let's start a committee and talk the issue to death, conscription if necessary but not necessarily conscription... same old, same old.

    The list of Liberal sins is a mile long and I would argue since the Liberal party has governed Canada the most in our 139 years, then voter apathy, declining voter turnout and a cyncical electorate are the fault of Canada's "natural governing party".

    Don't get me wrong, I would vote Liberal in a heartbeat if it meant keeping the NDP from forming a government, but I am gonna try this Harper guy out for a while - I don't like him, but at least I know what he stands for..

    By Blogger Left Right and Center, at 7:19 AM  

  • Ms. Bennett wrote:
    //firstly....on my vote...last night's 6 hour debate and vote on something so important...something Holland debated for months....with it's citizens ....is exactly what we mean by democratic deficit.... last night's vote was an abuse of parliament...//

    Neither the Chretien or Martin allowed a vote at all.

    Sending troops to war is not a frivolous decision. A few short months ago, you were part of a Cabinet and party that committed Canadian troops to a war. A few short months later with your vote last night, "Oops...we made a mistake".

    How can a person (this applies to several of the candidates) who so frivolously commits troops to war be considered competent to be leader of Canada?

    Yes...Harper was playing games, but he offered Parliament more than the Chretien and Martin governments did, by offering a vote. If the war is such a bad idea, why were you a member of the Martin cabinet?
    Why did you (and Dion, and Volpe) not resign from cabinet when he committed Canada to an expanded military mission in Afghanistan.

    Harper gave a simple leadership test to the Liberal candidates. The Liberals committed Canada to a military role in Afghanistan. The vote last night asked the question, when the Liberals made that commitment, was it a frivolous decision or a serious one.

    By Blogger godot10, at 8:41 AM  

  • 1. Werner: piss off re. the spelling. This, and every, blog is replete with enough errors in English to make Dr. Bennett's French gaffes unremarkable.

    2. Dr. Bennett: very edifying to see you here. Well done.

    3. Afghanistan: voting against extending the mission is a bad way to say you didn't like the time allocated for debate.

    4. Time for debate: I haven't seen any politician besides Ignatieff and the Tories articulate reasons for or against peace-making vs. peace-keeping other than "Bush bad" (which isn't good enough). This issue has been at play for months. Politicians may not have had time to extensively poll the population, but neither, save for the two mentioned above, has there been any leadership of the debate. So while I agree Harper's timing was crass, my sympathies are limited.

    By Blogger matt, at 9:51 AM  

  • Move from peacekeeping to peacemaking? Is that like "hugs not handguns"?

    By Blogger Jim Burnett, at 10:26 AM  

  • Matt's post above is entirely accurate.

    We've been in Afghanistan for a while now this is nothing new. While we've only been in Khandahar for less than a year, it too is not new. Each party agreed to this debate and vote.

    Matt's also right about the "Bush bad" argument. How sad is it that OUR own commitments are derided solely based on being linked to our neighbor. Can we not argue issues based on our own values and opinions without pulling "Bush" into everything as a catch-all defence?

    By Blogger Riley Hennessey, at 10:52 AM  

  • To nuna d. above - and the comments re, Darfur and Chicken Hawks Layton - Martin - and obviously Bill Graham going 'there'. We're talking about Afghanistan - a country that has been at war (due to colonist invaders!) for hundreds of years. HOW WOULD YOU LIKE IT IF TEAM AMERICA INVADED CANADA? That stinking country (run by Chicken Hawks)is at war 24-7 with endless number of countries. They're at war all day everyday, because they're a warring country. USA should change its name to Murder Inc. or Liars Inc. take your pick.

    By Blogger harpersfatgut, at 11:23 AM  

  • To nuna d. above - and the comments re, Darfur and Chicken Hawks Layton - Martin - and obviously Bill Graham going 'there'. We're talking about Afghanistan - a country that has been at war (due to colonist invaders!) for hundreds of years. HOW WOULD YOU LIKE IT IF TEAM AMERICA INVADED CANADA? That stinking country (run by Chicken Hawks)is at war 24-7 with endless number of countries. They're at war all day everyday, because they're a warring country. USA should change its name to Murder Inc. or Liars Inc. take your pick.

    By Blogger harpersfatgut, at 11:24 AM  

  • To nuna d. above - and the comments re, Darfur and Chicken Hawks Layton - Martin - and obviously Bill Graham going 'there'. We're talking about Afghanistan - a country that has been at war (due to colonist invaders!) for hundreds of years. HOW WOULD YOU LIKE IT IF TEAM AMERICA INVADED CANADA? That stinking country (run by Chicken Hawks)is at war 24-7 with endless number of countries. They're at war all day everyday, because they're a warring country. USA should change its name to Murder Inc. or Liars Inc. take your pick.

    By Blogger harpersfatgut, at 11:24 AM  

  • Carolyn, for the third time:

    Where were you when Sheila Copps was getting the shaft in the spring of 2004?

    It's an important question considering the dual issues involved are so integral to your core message.

    C'mon. Don't be a coward.

    By Blogger Raymaker, at 1:05 PM  

  • As if Carolyn Bennett knows how to post a comment. You guys are arguing with one of her staffers.

    PS:
    "..... ..... ........"

    By Blogger Toronto Tory, at 7:58 PM  

  • Carolyn Bennett's lackey posted:

    "firstly....on my vote...last night's 6 hour debate and vote on something so important...something Holland debated for months....with it's citizens ....is exactly what we mean by democratic deficit.... last night's vote was an abuse of parliament... "

    So Carolyn ('s lackey) your all in favour of the Holland-style indecisiveness, but whenever anything American-style pops up....you use it to try and score points. If you had been paying attention for the last 4 years, or if you really gave a shit about the soldiers in Afghanistan, you would have had a ready list of questions. We see right through you and the rest of your immoral brothers and sisters in the LIberal Party.

    As for the daycare policy Carolyn ('s lackey), you are too late. I've already heard from some local Liberals why many in your party wanted to have it. Martin and Chretien never followed through because it is unaffordable, but the true believers had a different agenda. According to BC Liberals, the national child care policy was a good way to get kids out of the homes of young, black, Jamaican mothers, and Indian mothers. According to BC Liberals, black kids brought up in single parent (mother) households would be surrounded by drugs, poverty, poor grammar (!!!) and a life of welfare. Liberals think getting young kids out of black homes for a few hours each day would help the kids to grow up and be productive, and keep them away from drugs. As far as Indian mothers go.....according to these Liberals, getting Indian kids out of the home would help them avoid poverty, alcoholism, rampant sexual assault, and various other forms of abuse.

    So Carolyn ('s Lackey) please tell me again who the bigots are?

    By Blogger James Halifax, at 11:18 PM  

  • By Blogger No Hassle Loans, at 12:40 AM  

  • By Blogger No Hassle Loans, at 1:12 AM  

  • Congratulations Friend for your excellent blog on used car web site!Keep up the good work!
    If you have a moment, please visit my site:
    used car web site
    I send you my warm regards and wish you continued success.
    Have a nice day! :-)

    By Blogger Joe Berenguer, at 3:17 AM  

  • Calgary,

    you are just spreading her crap, the assumption was she would answer questions and I see none of that.

    Sure it was Carolyn making a statement but I'd like to see her truly debate a subject with someone who is living through the crap she gives us...

    this is not worth finishing, I can read Carolyn's crap anyday.

    By Blogger Sara, at 9:39 PM  

  • feeling hungry? order a freshly baked pizza call 020 8341 1115 now!
    pizza

    By Blogger smartbuild, at 12:37 AM  

  • feeling hungry? order a freshly baked pizza call 020 8341 1115 now!
    pizza

    By Blogger smartbuild, at 12:52 AM  

  • feeling hungry? order a freshly baked pizza call 020 8341 1115 now!
    pizza

    By Blogger smartbuild, at 1:20 AM  

  • feeling hungry? order a freshly baked pizza call 020 8341 1115 now!
    pizza

    By Blogger smartbuild, at 1:32 AM  

  • guess what it looks like he is at it again good or what?

    By Blogger maximum blog, at 1:25 AM  

  • Hi Fellow! I was just searching blogs,and I found your site! I like it!
    If you have a moment, please visit my site:
    diet home
    It covers diet home related contents.
    All the best!

    By Blogger Joe Berenguer, at 8:20 PM  

  • England for the world cup and pizza and a bottle of beer and a taxi home afterwards perhaps?

    By Blogger smartbuild, at 2:56 AM  

  • Hello Friend! I just came across your blog and wanted to
    drop you a note telling you how impressed I was with
    the information you have posted here.
    I also have a web site & blog about diet home so I know I'm talking
    about when I say yours is top-notch! Keep up the
    great work, you are providing a great resource on the Internet here!
    If you have a moment, please visit my site diet home
    Best success!

    By Blogger Paul Adams, at 2:58 AM  

  • Hi, you have a great blog here, congratulations.

    I have a whole food market houston blog. It pretty much covers whole food market houston related stuff.

    Please take a look when you have a moment

    By Blogger editor, at 6:26 AM  

  • I just came across your blog and wanted to
    drop you a note telling you, Friend, how impressed I was with it.
    I give you my best wishes for your future endeavors.
    If you have a moment, please visit my site:
    diet home
    It covers diet home related contents.
    All the best!

    By Blogger James Baker, at 10:28 PM  

  • Hi Friend! You have a great blog over here!
    Please accept my compliments and wishes for your happiness and success!
    If you have a moment, please take a look at my site:
    diet home
    It covers diet home related subjects.
    Have a great day!

    By Blogger Paul Adams, at 11:16 PM  

  • Hello Friend! I just came across your blog and wanted to
    drop you a note telling you how impressed I was with
    the information you have posted here.
    I also have a web site & blog about diet home so I know I'm talking
    about when I say yours is top-notch! Keep up the
    great work, you are providing a great resource on the Internet here!
    If you have a moment, please visit my site diet home
    Best success!

    By Blogger James Baker, at 11:46 PM  

  • I just came across your blog and wanted to
    drop you a note telling you, Friend, how impressed I was with it.
    I give you my best wishes for your future endeavors.
    If you have a moment, please visit my site:
    diet home
    It covers diet home related contents.
    All the best!

    By Blogger James Baker, at 10:59 PM  

  • Hi Friend! You have a great blog over here!
    Please accept my compliments and wishes for your happiness and success!
    If you have a moment, please take a look at my used cars sales site.
    Have a great day!

    By Blogger Bill Harrison, at 4:35 AM  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home