Thursday, June 23, 2005

Shapiro, Stronach cited by Liberals as icons of democratic reform

This post will just be a collection of interesting news stories that caught my eye today but no post title could possibly be funnier than this Yahoo news headline so I went with it.

1. The aforementioned Yahoo story is interesting for two reasons. First of all, it calls Belinda Stronach "an icon of democratic reform". Heh. Secondly, there's this quote:
The report also carries a preface by the prime minister, in which Martin states as his No. 1 example of reform the creation of the new post of "independent ethics commissioner."

Fair enough. The creation of an independent ethics commissioner is likely Martin's greatest achievement in the field of democratic reform. It's just that, uhh, it was Jean Chretien who drafted the bill!!! Feel free to read this story about John Manley unveiling Chretien's ethics reform package in October 2002. Don't get me wrong, I keep telling these guys not to run away from the Chretien record but when Paul Martin's greatest achievement in fighting the "democratic deficit" (his number one priority before becoming PM) is something his predecessor did...well...

In other news, Paul Martin announced his greatest legislative accomplishment is marijuana decriminalization, his greatest policy achievement is same sex marriage legislation, his greatest environmental achievement is the signing of the Kyoto Accord and his greatest foreign policy achievement is saying "no" to the Iraq war.

2. I know it's a touchy subject but poll after poll has shown Canadians support it, and we'd likely have some real assisted suicide legislation if it wasn't perceived as being a controversial issue. Hopefully there will, at the very least, be a good debate on this.

3. As you've probably heard by now, Rick Mercer has joined the blogosphere. His "Jason Kenney: Marxist Leninist" post is very funny, even if it's a little unfair to Jason. But it's Jason Kenney, so I don't have a problem with anyone being a little unfair to him.


  • Jason Kenney blows goats.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:00 p.m.  

  • I seem to recall a certain number of Liberals
    Boudria, Copps, Nunziata (sp) and Tobin who were just as annoying as Kenney. What goes around comes around I guess.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:35 p.m.  

  • "Democratic reform" is just Conservative code for reducing the ability of the Federal government to act on behalf of the people of Canada. At the center of "democratic reform" movement is senate reform. The Senate is a useless body and should be abolished. That said, I would much rather it be kept on in its current form than to see it become "effective". Conservatives often laud the "checks and balances" that a second house brings and given the disaster that is Bush, such talk can seem pretty tempting. However, it is good to keep in mind the battle the more democratically minded US founding fathers (e.g. Franklin) had with the less democratically inclined (e.g., Adams) over a second house. Adams wanted the same checks and balances that the British system had, viz., a second house, a la the HOUSE OF LORDS, to serve as a check on the House of Commons. In at modern day Canadian context, Triple E senate would be real boon for various region interests, but the big winners would be, as the States, the lobbyists. After having gone through ad scam, the thought constructing a system that needs plenty of pork in order to work even half way effectively does not exactly make me giddy. Paying the parties a $1.75 per vote is one of the best ideas Chrétien had.

    Free votes in the house is an equally bad idea. Lobbyists have a harder time isolating MPs because they have to vote along party lines most of the time. Something else should be kept in mind. Canada is the reverse of the States. There “moderate” Republicans have tried to slow down the Bush machine. Here idiots like Tom Wappel have slowed down the adoption of progressive house measures.

    That reminds me. I propose that the Liberals trade Tom Wappel, Roger Galloway and, oh, Dan McTeague for Jim Prentice, James Moore and Gerard Keddy? If that would happen entire Conservative party would be 100% social cons; there would be no deviant former PC hippies anywhere.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:45 p.m.  

  • I am right with you on the whole euthanasia debate.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:50 p.m.  

  • We have to hand it to our boy Jason Kenney. Although he does occasionally "blow goats," he managed to handle the joke pretty well.

    When confronted by reporters about Mercer's burn, he humbly admitted that he was fair game. "What's good for the goose" said Kenney. And we certainly agree.

    By Blogger Senator Catalyst, at 7:08 p.m.  

  • I'm with you on the Democratic Reform stuff Koby. I'm generally opposed to a lot of the ideas commonly talked about as "democratic reform" - PR, elected Senate, free votes...etc.

    I loved the campaign finance law though and I wish it would go farther.

    By Blogger calgarygrit, at 7:29 p.m.  

  • Even funnier (and more pathetic) than the Jason Kenney goatblowhard comment ( "Paul Martin's managed the impossible - making Jean Chretien look like a democratic reformer," said Kenney) quoted in a Yahoo story lede at the top of Calgary Grit's latest post is another Yaghoo story filed after midnight re: Peter Mackay and his siamese twin's Harperoid head conniption fit cum meltdown after a classic piece of parliamentary intrigue on a Thursday evening of the Long Knives on the Hill wherein da gLibs kyboshed the Tories in the face of their jejune, empty threats over blocking the budget bill and its NDP amendments--ie. the Tories HAVE NO FRIENDS!!!

    ....Liberals make rare use of rule to spring, win surprise budget vote on Tories

    ALEXANDER PANETTA 12 minutes ago

    OTTAWA (CP) - Paul Martin's Commons corps dusted off a rarely used procedural tactic just before midnight to bamboozle furious Conservatives and pass contentious Liberal-NDP budget amendments Thursday.

    The immediate result was the stifling of any threat of a summer election and an acceleration of the vote on same-sex marriage. That vote could occur as early as Monday. The Conservatives could only sputter and fume after their unofficial partners in the Bloc Quebecois deserted them to join the Liberals and the NDP to cut off debate on the budget and move up a vote on same-sex marriage.

    The realization of what had occurred only dawned on the Tories as they gazed around the shuttle buses that normally ferry MPs back to their offices and realized there wasn't a Liberal in sight.

    Every available Liberal MP was cloistered in the Commons lobby waiting to spring into a vote to cut off debate. The Liberals, the Bloc and New Democrats made extraordinary use of a rule allowing for cutting off debate on the budget if they agreed the Conservatives were being obstructionist.

    Conservative Leader Stephen Harper poured scorn on the alliance.

    "When push comes to shove the Liberals will make any deal with anybody," Harper said after he was forced to rush back for a midnight vote. "And it doesn't matter whether it's with the socialists or with the separatists or any bunch of crooks they can find."

    Though the Bloc stood with the Tories in the midnight budget ballotting, the Liberals still mustered five more votes than the Tory-Bloc alignment. Several Conservative MPs were absent.

    The Liberals were taking a monumental gamble. A loss on the vote would force the prime minister to dissolve Parliament and call a summer election.

    But Liberal strategists were confident they had caught the Conservatives unawares and decided to risk their government for a decisive victory.

    "I hope they can count," Liberal MP Shawn Murphy said of Liberal strategists as MPs milled around before the vote.

    Polls have suggested for almost two months now that an election would see the Liberals returned with a minority mandate. Privately, several Conservative MPs were hoping for an "honourable loss" on the budget vote to avoid an election that could have cost them seats, particularly in their Ontario beachead.

    The Tories, who had boldly predicted they could topple the Liberal government on the budget vote, were suddenly complaining they had members missing.

    A few Conservatives were missing from their seats in an earlier vote Thursday evening. More could been seen racing back up Parliament Hill when news broke of the impending budget showdown.

    They reacted with unfiltered rage.

    Conservative deputy leader Peter MacKay described his foes as a menage a trois between separatists, socialists and power-hungry Liberals.

    Liberals claims of making the minority Parliament work was "all just one big, fat stinking lie" and then went further, comparing the Liberals to one of Hollywood's most heinous homicidal cannibals.

    "We have to start thinking that Hannibal Lecter is running the government and they'll do anything they have to do to win."

    Liberals could barely contain their glee in response.

    "Its not surprising that Hannibal Lecter should spring to mind for Mr. MacKay given the growing number of Conservatives who believe the party should soon eat its own leader," said Scott Reid, the prime minister's spokesman.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:59 a.m.  

  • Deciet.

    Alliances with anyone.




    Are you proud of the people you vote for?

    Welcome to Bananada, the newest Banana Republic.

    PS- Democratic reform would mean better representing the actual wishes of Canadians. Instead, we have a Liberal monarchy ruling without any clear mandate. I can see why Easterners, and Liberals in particular, would be against giving up any power..... they are beyond selfish.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:05 p.m.  

  • Actually, I'm a western Liberal..but I'm not selfish...just have repetative nightmares about Myron Thompson, Minister of Immigration....Jason Kenney, Minister of Agriculture and Minister of Cruxifying Homosexuals upside down along the raildroad tracks.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:56 p.m.  

  • Don't worry, Calgary Grit, about the anonymous person raiing against Eastern Canadians - the Reformers are just sore that the Liberals continue to outmanouvre them in the Commons.

    By Blogger John Murney, at 3:59 p.m.  

  • I'm with ya CG on assisted suicide. I was disappointed in Montreal when the party voted against holding a royal commission to study the topic.

    These issues are coming faster and faster. The least we can do is have a full and frank debate on the topic.

    By Blogger The Hack, at 4:45 p.m.  

  • "alliances with anyone" dont offend me - it's always a nice change to see some cooperation in politics.

    what really irks me is that spelling.


    By Blogger ainge lotusland, at 5:18 p.m.  

  • I think Paul Martin paid to much attention to what the pundits said about SSM and decriminalization of marijuana. They were frequently described as hand grenades. In terms of raw numbers the same sex marriage, for example, is not a winner. The country is evenly spilt on the issue, but likely voters are not. On top of this, his on caucus is divided over the issue. That said, these two issues represented something the country wants, viz., change. (Pundits have sense a desire for change but have misdescribed it as the usual periodic desire for new faces. It is something much more profound and widely based and it is not confined to just Canada. Many of the ideals that came to for in the 60s came into being prematurely. Only, it did not look like that at the time. The sheer number of young people masked this. Those ideals that the anti war movement and the new social movements championed are now politically ripe and are bursting through the reactionary defenses set up in subsequent decades. The recommendations of a 1971 government committee on marijuana were too radical for that time and were easily ignored, but the 2002 senate report on the same will play the elephant in the living room in the upcoming marijuana debate) It energized the Liberals political base and it spoke to younger Canadians.

    The Conservatives are fond of calling Martin Mr. Dithers. This is a poor redo of the flip flop charge against Kerry. Martin is not a dither. The cause of Martin’s indecision lies elsewhere. His political instincts tell him to go one way, on missile defense and further integration with the States possibly on SSM, but forces within the country tell him to go another way. What sets the Liberals apart from the Conservatives is that they sense the coming wave of change. (Martin finds himself in the same situation as most political pundits. They can sense that change is happening, but their instincts are all wrong.) What they do not know is what to do about it is how to respond. So, they have proceeded very cautiously.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6:44 p.m.  

  • Pretty good read re: PM jr. Koby although you might also want to consider that his mom bred him to be PM and he shaped his destiny in order to fulfill his father's failed ambitions.

    Meanwhile, real story of course is that Gov't by Desmarais continues unabated...

    I guess the thing that amazes me most is all the trumped up outrage over $100m missing from the sponsorship slush funding (which everyone connected to gLib power circles knew about from the gitgo--think of the graft that went on uninterrupted/undetected under Trudeau) but that the Gomery sideshow was really craftly engineered and plotted as a diversionary tactic to distract voters, the media and opponents with a Chretien bashing circus and away from the glaring reality overlooked by the entire country--that while Jr. was Finmin CSL hauled in some $130m+ of undisclosed contracts, few of which were tendered...the proceeds banked offshore while CSL companies partnered up with corrupt Chinese state enterprises.

    If that's dithering, then that's a pretty nifty disguise but I'd venture that it's really a Kabuki mask for a quaking, trembling dissembler haunted by the prospects of being discovered and exposed for who he truly is--a Berlusconi-like figure.

    so, maybe the dithering adds up to fear of being discovered and disparaged for who he really is.

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