Tuesday, September 08, 2009

How I spent my summer vacation

It's back to school time across Canada so, for those of you lucky enough to have tuned out politics this summer, here's a quick recap of what's been happening on the federal scene.

Conservatives: Spent the summer making it perfectly clear that the Conservative Party is in no way funding any sort of gay festivals, parades, or events in Canada (not that there's anything wrong with that!). After that, Harper pocketed the body of Christ, was 30 seconds late for a photo op, and misspelled Iqaluit. Sure, none of these scandals seem like big deals, but I'd say there's a 50/50 chance Paul Martin would have called a judicial inquiry into at least one of them, had they happened to him.

While none of those touched him, Harper did get some well deserved flack over his latest string of Senate appointments - even Sports Illustrated took a shot at him. However, Conservatives were quick to reassure everyone that abandoning their principles and flip-flopping on their promises is fine because...wait for it...the Liberals did it too!

Liberals: Rocco Rossi canoed. Michael Ignatieff spent some time thinking thoughts, and the thoughts he thunk made him think that it was time to end the probationary life support he had put the Conservatives on.

NDP: Spent the summer trashing the Liberals for rolling over on 79 non-confidence votes, and bragging about how only the NDP are able to hold the Conservatives to account. Then when the Liberals said they wouldn't roll over, there was, shockingly, a lot of talk about "making parliament work", "results for people" and that sort of stuff.

They also flirted with the idea of changing their name to the "Democrats", but decided to just steal the Democrats slogan instead.

Bloc Quebecois: There was a rumour going around that Gilles Duceppe was on the verge of retiring. Turned out not to be true. Despite dozens of rumours, predictions of impending doom (remember when Paul Martin was going to wipe out the bloc?), and brief flirtations with leaving Ottawa, I think we can all conclude that Gilles Duceppe is the Brett Favre of Canadian politics - he will never retire.

Green Party: Having already lost in two provinces, Elizabeth May has decided to try her luck in Saanich, BC next election. This is part of a new and controversial strategy the Greens have adopted, whereby they will try to actually win seats. Also, "for the first time ever, the Greens have a written campaign plan which is fully detailed" - this might partially explain why the Greens haven't been able to win seats before.


  • What? No mention of the EI Panel which Ignatieff demanded, then decided he didn't want to hear the outcome (of)?

    By Blogger Paul, at 8:11 p.m.  

  • Paul.obeda: Harper appointed Pierre Poilievre to the EI Panel. Honestly, do you really think Harper ever intended to negotiate a compromise with the opposition on EI?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:17 p.m.  

  • Only a Liberal could be a big enough hypocrite to criticize some one else for making a senate appointment.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:09 a.m.  

  • Only a Liberal could be a big enough hypocrite to criticize some one else for making a senate appointment.

    Because the Liberals appointed Senators, right?

    Fair enough.

    But wouldn't that also make someone who criticized Liberal appointments - and then did the same thing - an even bigger hypocrite? Right?

    By Blogger calgarygrit, at 9:45 a.m.  

  • If we can't criticise the Conservatives for the things that Liberals did in the past, then we're going to have a mighty quiet blogosphere.

    By Blogger Robert Vollman, at 10:15 a.m.  

  • Robert Vollman "If we can't criticise the Conservatives for the things that Liberals did in the past, then we're going to have a mighty quiet blogosphere."

    I think there's plenty enough to talk about if we just focus on those things the Conservatives said they wouldn't do and did anyway.

    I think the word is called, er, integrity. No, make that accountability.

    Doesn't everybody remember some version of hearing their mother say "so what if all the other kids eat dirt, does that mean you have to eat dirt too?"

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:58 a.m.  

  • Iggy . . . imitates a wet firecracker and goes pfhuut.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:15 p.m.  

  • @Anonymous: Pierre is a dedicated, hard-working Member of Parliament who represents a diverse riding.

    I would say the same about Mme Jennings, even though there is little on which I would find common ground with her.

    I also know that Pierre Poilievre frequently reminds his fellow MPs that what matters are the people. There is no reason to believe he would do anything other than stand up for Canadians on this or any other panel.

    The key difference in this instance is that the Conservative Government stuck with the process which was agreed, while the Liberal Opposition leader announced he was not even interested in the outcome of a process he demanded.

    As for the Senate appointments, it has been well discussed that Harper's attempts at Senate reform were thwarted by the Liberal Caucus, necessitating a push to reform from within.

    By Blogger Paul, at 6:21 p.m.  

  • Paul.o:
    From everything I have read about the guy, no one doubts that Poilievre is hard working and dedicated (I think I remember a Hill Times article about him winning hardest working Conservative?) But from the interviews I have seen him give (and quotes in papers) he is clearly one of Harper’s “attack dogs.” Every party has them. I have been thinking that sending Poilievre to a meeting on potentially expanding EI would be like sending Shelia Copps to a meeting to disband Status of Women Canada (probably safe to say she would do everything to protect it). But hey, I respect your opinion that nothing should be read into Harper’s choice of envoys.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:00 a.m.  

  • So what does Ignatieff putting Marlene Jennings on the EI panel say? She's every bit as much an "attack dog" as Poilievre.

    By Anonymous The Invisible Hand, at 2:30 a.m.  

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