Will Harper Cut Potato Head Loose & Incur the Wrath of Nova Scotians?

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remind remind's picture

One wonders how the proroguing would play out across Canada?

ottawaobserver

Total non-event, I would guess.

Debater

ottawaobserver wrote:

Total non-event, I would guess.

Yes, unfortunately a lot of Canadians are passive by nature and don't tend to react very much.

However, I do think that if Harper prorogued Parliament for a 2nd time, he would begin to lose credibility again.

ottawaobserver

Not if he did it a day before a new Speech from the Throne.  Unless it was viewed as a way to get around the Afghanistan Committee reporting something the government apparently didn't want to hear.

bagkitty bagkitty's picture

Debater wrote:

Potato Head is a bit insulting, I suppose.  I used to prefer it when people said MacKay had a "long face". Wink

 

Until it was used in this thread, I had never heard of him being described in that fashion. The most common description I have heard is "hatchet faced". It is of course preferable to despise him for his actions rather than belittle him for his appearance... he has no control over the latter.

KenS

Maybe I'm dense, but someone needs to explain to me why the Harper government is in so deep that it would consider proroguing again.

Yes, they aren't looking good. But the normal thing in these situations is to wait till people stop caring much about the issue. And yes, they are taking a hit... but I don't see people riled up. Riled up was the Martin government and adscam. Don't see that.

There isn't even a confidence motion possibility for quite a while into the new session I would think. So even if the poulace are riled up in January...

And what on earth is the point of proroguing follwed immediately be a Throne Speech? Anything other than daring the opposition parties  to put up or shut up? Daring them when you are vulnerable ???? So you have good reason to expect the Liberals will duck- maybe they won't, especially for a party and Leader with diminishing options that might look very different this time at the possibled of a governing arrangement.

Anyway- in short, I don't get how it is supposed to work at all.

ottawaobserver

I don't think it's that they fear falling on a confidence vote.  But the Afghanistan Committee is going to keep meeting during the break.  They could vote to approve a report that was critical of the government (or even that it has lost confidence in the government).  If someone moved concurrence in that report when the Commons returned, there's an argument that such a vote would be a matter of confidence.

And just having that general issue hanging over their heads, with all the international attention in the lead up to the Olympics, could be embarrassing.  On the other hand, if you prorogue, the Committee ceases to exist.

The other possible confidence issue stems from the motion the House adopted during the Liberals' last Opposition Day (finally they used it for something worthwhile!) which was to assert the supremacy of Parliament, and call for all unredacted documents to be provided to that committee.  The government is refusing, meaning that there could be a finding of the government being in contempt of Parliament.  That could entail a confidence vote.  Meantime, the dispute could wind up in constitutional litigation between the Parliamentary Legal Counsel on behalf of the Commons vs. the Government.

I haven't been following the legal case closely, although there is a lot written about it across the blogosphere (start with cbc.ca/politics and the blogs at macleans.ca, along with Impolitical and Accidental Deliberations).  It's my sense the Liberals are not in a mood to ramp it up that far, but are certainly looking to make the government understand they mean business regardless.

The current government's fascistic tendencies are showing (and I don't use that word lightly at all, believe me).  I don't see why Harper wouldn't prorogue Parliament to get rid of embarrassing PR problems if he wanted to.

NorthReport

It's about bloody time the majority of MPs ran Parliament, as opposed to the minority. Stand up to these Harper bullies and kick their ass.

MPs push for answers on detainees

MPs probing the transfers of Afghan detainees will be hauled back to work tomorrow for an emergency committee meeting.

Opposition MPs want to hear from National Defence Minister Peter MacKay before Christmas.

 

http://www.lfpress.com/news/canada/2009/12/14/12144071-sun.html

Frmrsldr

The precedent was set a year ago when Harpo asked the Conservative friendly Governor to prorogue Parliament. Should this happen, that clown Iggy would be offered the same prospect of a coalition he faced a year ago. If he were wise, he should have gone for the coalition the first time. Hindsight is 20/20 vision, they say.

KenS

ottawaobserver wrote:
The current government's fascistic tendencies are showing (and I don't use that word lightly at all, believe me).  I don't see why Harper wouldn't prorogue Parliament to get rid of embarrassing PR problems if he wanted to.

I haven't seen anything that tells me the second sentence is a likely prospect. You only prorogue if you are desperate and have no other choice [last year, not the case this year];

OR, if either you are very confident one ot the opposition parties will blink over the Throne Speech confidence vote rather than move to a de facto coalition arrangement. An election will not be the outcome. It is either blink or a new government.

Unless Harper can have an iron clad back pocket deal with the Bloc- which i think is remote, then risking that to avoid a PR debacle looks to me like a certain case of out of the frying pan and into a blazing funeral pyre.

ottawaobserver

I think you're both wrong about the likelihood that another party would be asked by the GG to form a government now. It was widely conceded and agreed last time that the leader of the opposition could only be called on to try and form a new government within 6-9 months of the last election being held.

Prorogation in favour of starting a new Parliamentary session with a new Throne Speech is not any kind of big constitutional deal. Requesting a prorogation to avoid a confidence vote you're going to lose is what the big problem was last time. Lots of PMs have prorogued Parliament in order to try and start over with a clean slate.

I'm just calling Harper out on the rumour, because of course if he were to try it, it would be designed to remove one opposition podium during the lead-up to the Olympics, given that the term "war crimes" has come up in the debate and coverage more than once now.

KenS

ottawaobserver wrote:
It was widely conceded and agreed last time that the leader of the opposition could only be called on to try and form a new government within 6-9 months of the last election being held. Prorogation in favour of starting a new Parliamentary session with a new Throne Speech

You aren't just saying that Proroguation is not a big deal. You are saying that losing the confidence vote of a Throne Speech following would not lead to the GG asking the opposition to form government.

True.

Which for me just pushes back through the causal chain to the reason for the deep unlikelihood of Harper risking an election. I've been saying for a long time that until he is quite confident that a majority will be the result of an election, we will see Harper pull back from the brink of risking an election where losing power is the likely result for not achieving a majority.

Everything he has done in the last year has been consistent with that limit, and if it is operative, then he is even less likely to use proroguing to escape the current PR problem, when a likely result is an election that he is substantially less likely to get a majority out of than he was for the previous year when he has already consistently skated away from actions that had a reasonable chance of precipitating an election.

NorthReport

Well there you have it folks, Harper & MacKay have just delivered a big fuck-you to Parliament.

MacKay won't resign over torture scandal

 

http://www.cbc.ca/canada/nova-scotia/story/2009/12/14/ns-mackay-torture....

Stockholm

was anyone seriously expecting a resignation???

NorthReport

 

This is even worse.

Top general changes story on Taliban suspect
Beaten man had been in Canadian custody

 

http://www.cbc.ca/canada/story/2009/12/09/natynczyk-detainee.html

NorthReport

Yea right they didn't know. Tongue out

 

Hillier, O'Connor should have been aware of beaten Afghan detainee

Federal Court testimony shows former CDS Rick Hillier and former defence minister Gordon O'Connor should have known two years ago.

 

http://www.thehilltimes.ca/page/view/detainee-12-14-2009

Frmrsldr

NorthReport wrote:

This is even worse.

Top general changes story on Taliban suspect
Beaten man had been in Canadian custody

The two heroes in this case thus far, are Richard Colvin and Gen. Walter Natynczyk. It takes a lot of courage to speak truth to power. In the case of Gen. Natynczyk, it takes a lot of courage to admit to oneself and publicly that one is wrong. This is more than can be said about Harper and MacKay.

NorthReport

I suppose if Harper prorogues again, the NDP will have no choice but to vote to defeat the government upon its return.

Quote:
The most critical piece of legislation before the Senate is the bill that enriches the Employment Insurance program. The New Democrats averted an election this fall by allowing it to pass in the House of Commons. The Senate will sit again Tuesday and the bill could pass before senators leave for their own Christmas break

KenS

boo boo removed

V. Jara

I'm still waiting for news of the cabinet shuffle. Given today's poll showing the Liberal-Conservative spread narrowing to 7 points, I think they will wait until the doldrums of early January to avoid giving the Liberals any extra momentum. I also don't think that any shuffle will be that huge. I think Don Martin has it called relatively right. The Tories just want to suit up for the new legislative session.

Get ready for the following words once February hits: *Olympics*Olympics*Olympics* The Tories are planning on conflating themselves with national pride.

G. Muffin

Who is Potato Head and why do we call him that?

What should Stephen Harper do?

What did you kill?  Bungalow Bill.

NorthReport

Shut down Parliament, replace Jean, save Harper - Rumours on the Hill

 

 

 

http://www.examiner.com/examiner/x-22884-Canada-Politics-Examiner~y2009m...

NorthReport
NorthReport

Afghan affair more than 'nitpicking'

 The irritation of members of the Harper government has been palpable in recent weeks as they tap their toes impatiently, wondering when they can return to the serious business of waging war without all these rude interruptions about torture.

http://www.thestar.com/comment/article/738692

Debater

Stockholm wrote:

was anyone seriously expecting a resignation???

I think some people were thinking he might, but I didn't think he would.

It might be good for the opposition that he won't resign.  It gives them more ammunition.

NorthReport

Conservative boycott shuts down
Afghan detainee hearing

 

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/conservative-boycott-shuts-...

madmax

This is great news

madmax

double post.....

Debater

madmax wrote:

This is great news

Great because it portrays the Conservatives badly?

NorthReport

Colvin refutes witnesses' detainee testimony

 

http://www.cbc.ca/politics/story/2009/12/16/colvin-letter.html

NorthReport
NorthReport

UPDATED WITH SUMMARY: From the desk of Richard Colvin's counsel ...

 I am not a whistleblower. Rather, I am a loyal servant of the Crown who did his job in Afghanistan to he best of his abilities, working through internal and authorized channels. [...] I testified in Parliament because I was summoned by the Committee and legally compelled to speak the truth. I feel it is my duty as a public servant, when commanded to appear before the Parliamentary Committee, to give evidence that is full, frank and fair. I feel duty bound to be frank and thorough in responding to the Committee's inquiries

http://www.cbc.ca/politics/insidepolitics/2009/12/from-the-desk-of-richa...

welder welder's picture

I hope Sweatervest Stevie has to go to the Governor General on bended knee again to try to save his bacon.I hope this time she says no...

 

Captain Sweatervest is starting to feel the heat!!!!

ottawaobserver

That letter is just devastating to the generals' testimony and credibility, and to the government's issue management approach.

Someone should nominate Colvin for the Order of Canada.

NorthReport

Hey Potato Head, what's it gonna take for you to resign?

 

The Harper test for calling a commission of inquiry

 

This decision set a bar. If the prime minister strikes commissions of inquiry only when Brian Mulroney requests them, he should say so. If resolving Colvin’s allegations is not in the public interest, the prime minister should explain why not. If the proper response to unproven allegations is no longer to seek proof or disproof, the prime minister should tell us why that is no longer his response. If Richard Colvin, who remains a salaried and trusted public servant, is less credible than Karlheinz Schreiber, who was the subject of concerted extradition efforts by the German government at the time he made his allegations, the prime minister should explain why Colvin’s credibility is so limited, and why he continues to be entrusted with serious responsibilities on behalf of the Canadian federal state.

 

http://www2.macleans.ca/2009/12/16/the-harper-test-for-calling-a-commission-of-inquiry/

David Young

Who here thinks that Peter MacKay would ever be dropped from cabinet?

Who would replace him as a Nova Scotia cabinet minister?

Gerald Keddy?  Not a snowball's chance in Hell!

Greg Kerr?  Possible, given his previous experience as a provincial cabinet minister, but he's in one of the most volitile seats in the country, with no certainty of re-election next time.

Newly elected Scott Armstrong?  See Keddy's chances!

Besides, if Alexis MacDonald finishes her 6-month term in Africa by April, she'll be back in N.S. hopefully to try one more time to beat MacKay.  Given the 2009 provincial results, the third time would definitely be the charm for her I believe.

KenS

Throwing MacKay overboard doesn't necessarily mean he's out of Cabinet.

Debater

I would like to see MacKay go down to Alexis MacDonald, but it's going to be tough for anyone to dislodge him.

Luckily for him he is running in his father's seat and a historically Conservative one.  If he didn't have those advantages I don't think he'd get elected.

ottawaobserver

I don't agree with calling Peter MacKay a potato-head, but I do think Paul Wells hit the nail on the head with that blogpost.

The Prime Minister is not going to get away with not doing something.  He's lost the key opinion leaders that matter to his government (Wells, Spector, Don Martin), and badly so.  The opposition is not letting go.  And the media are competing to outdo one another as the pace of leaks from frustrated public servants is picking up.

Harper really scotched things up.  He may need to throw MacKay overboard to save himself.

bekayne

ottawaobserver wrote:

The Prime Minister is not going to get away with not doing something.  He's lost the key opinion leaders that matter to his government (Wells, Spector, Don Martin), and badly so. 

Hey, he's still got Christie Blatchford & Don Cherry

Frmrsldr

ottawaobserver wrote:

Harper really scotched things up.  He may need to throw MacKay overboard to save himself.

Just like Richard Nixon had to throw his fallguys to the wolves.

KenS

 

its funny to see this old thread.

Potato head lives on.

But even in his own riding, its only the diehards that would care if he was tossed overboard. It isnt because of Nova Scotians that Harper is reluctant to jettison Peter.

madmax

Do you have a link that isn't to facebook?

Link edited by Catchfire

 

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture
Catchfire Catchfire's picture

I've edited Boom Boom's link, at his request, to direct us to the National Post article (although, fyi Boom Boom, the link didn't direct me to your facebook page, so I don't think your privacy was breached. At any rate, it's been changed!)

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Thanks. Was a shock to wake up this morning and see my Facebook page linked to that article.

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