Friday, January 22, 2010

Stephen Harper: He Prorogues

I was at the Victory Fund fundraiser last night in Toronto. I thought Ignatieff was better than he's been at past events and he tantalizingly teased us that there would be concrete policy coming from the Liberals shortly.

However, the highlight of the night was the Piano Man, Bob Rae, who regaled everyone with "you are my sunshine", "Auld Lang Syne", and his own version of "Let It Be". Here's the video, courtesy of Jeff:

Anonymous Liberal senior strategist strategizers I talked to after the performance generally placed Rae's talent on par with Harper's, although one party insider felt Harper had a better singing voice. Still, most were willing to give Bob the edge on creativity, while conceding Harper chutzpah points for the venue choice.

So let's put it to a vote. After watching both videos, who deserves the title of Political Piano Man?

Who is the Piano Man?
Bob Rae
Stephen Harper free polls

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  • Well, Bob Rae did the piano gig first. If I recall correctly, he played "Oh, we ain't got a barrel of money" at Convocation Hall when Ontario's first NDP cabinet was sworn in, back in 1990.

    By Blogger James Bow, at 9:47 a.m.  

  • Stephen's makeup is better.

    By Anonymous Finnegan, at 12:44 p.m.  

  • I just read your NatPost blog. Good but very wrong on one point, and I think you know it. "I doubt it - this isn't worse than any of the dozen or so other dictactorial moves Harper has made during his 4 years as Prime Minister." Wrong. No Canadian Government has ever defied an order of Parliament. You're in poli sci, you must know this stuff. This is far far worse than anything else. Last prorogue was arguably legitimate (I disagee) as outside arbiter (GG) agreed with PM. This prorogue, on its own, is wrong but not unprecedented. What is unprecedented, what is far worse than anything else Harper or any PM has done, is to deny parliamentary supremacy, placing executive outside legitimate democratic system. You may have felt that phrase was necessary for rhetorical effect, but it was wrong to give any comfort to those who would relativise Con Govt's refusal to obey Parliament. You should find a way to correct mistake, asap.

    By Blogger Eugene Forsey Liberal, at 4:54 p.m.  

  • Harper wins the vote. What Rae did here will not be as widely seen, and its too noisy in the background. He stops, cuts into the beat, and has no backing. Harper is the piano man.

    Now of course, Harper is also the idiot :P but that does not mean I'm going to side with the anti-Harper on this non-partisan issue. Sorry.

    By Blogger Unknown, at 9:37 p.m.  

  • Wrong Eugene! At the end of the day, Jack Layton has made it clear that he is supporting the Harper government. With Layton, Harper has a majority. Parliament, i.e. Conservative and NDP PMs, who have the majority, IS supreme. In spite of his anti-prorogation legislation, Layton has not said that he will vote down the government, which he has the power to do with the next budget vote. As long as Layton is propping up Harper, Harper has the majority of support in Parliament. If this prorogation is not so offensive that it causes Layton to withdraw his support of Harper, a majority of Parliament supports this move. Eugene, think of Layton as a disgruntled Conservative back-bencher. Parliament is supreme and Harper has his vacation, thanks to Layton.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:03 p.m.  

  • Harper did have Yoyo Ma as an accompanist, so I'm not sure a comparison is fair. This does showcase Bob Rae's excellent sense of humour, however. Despite being the smartest (Rhodes scholar) of the Dion, Iggy and Rae trio he doesn't come off as an aristocratic toff.

    By Blogger french wedding cat, at 3:32 a.m.  

  • H2h, I'm not sure how being a Rhodes scholar generally translates into "aristocratic toff". Do you mean to say the cloistered confines of Oxford creates an aristocracy? Maybe more of a meritocracy....Bill Clinton was Rhodes, wasn't he? And I could never seriously attach the sobriquet of "aristocratic" to him!

    Interesting thing to note is that many Rhodes scholars reach their peak at Oxford, and then go on to lead rather unremarkable lives.

    Those who continue to make significant and notable contributions in their fields are actually rather the exception, not the rule. There's no doubt that being a Rhodes scholar has a certain cachet that often translates into increased opportunities and valuable connections, but I would submit that those that go on to acheive "greatness" (however that is defined) do so because of the same inate ability and determination that led them to acheive the Rhodes distinction in the first place.

    In other words, there isn't a causal link between Rhodes scholarship and "success", but there IS one between hard work, ability, determination and "success".

    And those attributes are available to all. Think of all the people who have made significant contributions to society WITHOUT the benefit of Rhodes scholarships! Think of all the people who just missed selection for the Rhodes.

    By Blogger Party of One, at 2:43 p.m.  

  • Did you get a chance to ask NDP Bob why he prorogued the Ontario Parliament?

    3 times.

    For much longer periods than PMSH.

    So the hypocrisy of the Liberals screaming about PMSH proroguing, when Cruton did it four times and the LPC uses Bob "I prorogued three times myself" Rae as the chief whiner, is extreme.

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

  • Wow Fred, is the best you neo-Cons can come up with? Let's assume that circumstances were the same, and Bob did prorogue to avoid a confidence vote and to shut down a Committee that thad him under pressure. Does this justify Harper's moves? I bet you have a hard time, generally, admitting when you are wrong, don't you Fred.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:16 p.m.  

  • Party of One,

    You seem to have interpreted my comment entirely backwards. That Bob Rae was a Rhodes Scholar is a fair argument that he is the smartest of the Iggy-Dion-Rae trio. Despite the notion that voters dislike brainy/elite marked (and yes a degree from Oxford is an elite marking, even if it was earned meritocratically) politicians, he is also clearly the most down to earth of the three. This is why, like Bill Clinton, he is an extremely effective politician.

    Now, on a separate note, true, not everybody who won a Rhodes Scholarship went on to be a success. However, it is probably the best predictor of success (particularly for people from large, urban provinces/states with good universities) one can earn in undergrad.

    By Blogger french wedding cat, at 5:09 p.m.  

  • H2H, the inference you made was that Rhodes scholars are typically "aristocratic toffs", which I think was a rather unfair generalization. That's what I was responding to.

    By Blogger Party of One, at 4:20 p.m.  

  • The "Bob Rae did it too" argument is one of the more entertaining examples of grasping-at-straws that the Cons have put forward lately. Are they hoping to follow in his footsteps as in the 1995 election as well?

    By Blogger JG, at 5:03 p.m.  

  • Even though it's vacation time, if the GG was able to work long enough to grant Harper's request, then you're absolutely right, she should've mentioned it online. Interaction with citizens was her idea, and this is the time when she needs to interact with us the most.

    By Anonymous buy r4ds, at 10:49 a.m.  

  • CG

    Glad to see that life in Liberaldom is tantalizingly teasing.


    By Blogger syncrodox, at 12:36 a.m.  

  • By Blogger Unknown, at 11:39 p.m.  

  • By Blogger love, at 10:50 p.m.  

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