Canadian Parliament Prorogued again: Part 6

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Sean in Ottawa

I placed this on the anti-prorogue facebook page:

This PM has done more than any other to subvert Canadian democratic institutions:

Media: controls who can ask questions-- more than any other Canadian PM in history. Runs more attack ads outside elections.

Governor General: Has completely undermined that office. Someday we may hear the real story behind this.

House of Commons: wrote the book on subverting Parliamentary Committees; ignores parliamentary decisions. Shuts down Parliament without majority approval.

Courts: Ignores Supreme Court decisions taken against his positions. (re Guantanamo child prisoner)

Senate: is planning to allow faster turnover in the Senate so that it will reflect the current PM's wishes (that's what shorter terms means).

Elections: He is proposing finance changes so that only the Conservatives backed by big money could be competitive.

Harper has attacked systematically every check on a PM's power. There is nothing he has not tried to do to make himself more like a dictator.

People need to see how this action fits into an unprecedented pattern of anti-democratic behaviour. We have had some arrogant truly awful PMs in our history but none have gone this far.

ocsi

Scott Piatkowski wrote:

[url=http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=260348091419]200,001 members!!![/url]

 

Amazing! 

Are there political lessons here?

Bookish Agrarian

A lot of Canadians have a computer?  Laughing

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Scott Piatkowski wrote:

[url=http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=260348091419]200,001 members!!![/url]

Onward to a quarter million!

Wilf Day

Bookish Agrarian wrote:
I agree PR is crucial in reforming our system, but to think this is a time to lecture people about PR when they are finally waking up to the way our system actually works against the interest of average people is like giving a grade 2 student a lecture on calculus when they are on the cusp of figuring out how to add and subtract easily.

The first step, as we know from 13 months ago, is to get vast numbers of Canadians to tune out American TV for a moment and understand the parliamentary system.

To serve as prime minister a political leader must respect and defend our system of government.

Quote:
He or she must begin from the premise that to remain in office a government must enjoy the confidence of the majority of the members of the House of Commons. That is the essence of our system.

Stephen Harper was not directly elected by Canadians to serve as prime minister. He is not our president. He and the members of his government are in office solely when they enjoy the confidence of the House.

This is not an academic point. It goes to the very heart of our democracy. It was what Canadians fought for, and some died for, in the 19th century. Before that, the struggle to make parliament supreme went on for centuries in Britain. Stephen Harper poses a threat to our democracy. If he understands it, he doesn’t respect it.

A good line was from the recent issue of The Economist: "The danger in allowing the prime minister to end discussion any time he chooses is that it makes Parliament accountable to him rather than the other way around."

Polunatic2

Quote:
 If in each contest you only have two contestamts there is no issue with First Past the Post.
It would seem so on the surface, but only if you're looking at something like a mayor's race where only one position is being contested. Let's look at it from the point of view of the voters. 

Let's take a simple example.  Say there are 100 ridings and two parties.

Party A received 51% of the vote in every riding. Party A received 100 seats. Party B receives no seats. Supporters of Party B - 49% of the electorate - receive no representation. I would suggest that there is an issue with the "winner take all" approach no matter how many parties are running. 

Wilf Day
Michelle

So, radiorahim and I were flyering Greenwood subway station this morning to let people know about the rally downtown in Toronto on Saturday.  And most people were really receptive, similar to how they were when I was flyering subway stations about MMP.  People do care!

Anyhow, the only negative reaction I got was really over the top.  Some young guy, maybe late teens or early 20's, walked by, and I offered him a flyer like everyone else (we weren't pushing them on people, just saying good morning and offering). 

So this guy walks past me, then turns around, gives me the finger, and says, "Fuck YOU, lady!" 

I just kind of laughed because it was so unexpected.  I joked with radiorahim afterwards that perhaps it was a message from Harper, via a Young Tory. :D  If I'd been more on the ball, I'd have responded to the fellow that this is the same message Harper has delivered to Canada.

Polunatic2

Ignoring him was probably the wiser option. 

Diogenes Diogenes's picture

Here is a list of all the Facebook groups around the world that are planning a rally for Jan 23.

Join your local group and offer your support, even if you can't make the rally.

 

Polunatic2

And here is a list of all the rallies (non-facebook). It's got at least one that the previous list doesn't have (Kamloops). 

Michelle

A bunch of us just went out this afternoon to greet Harper downtown in Toronto when he was coming to a meeting at the C.D. Howe Institute.  I just got back from it.

There were tons of media there, and probably around 50 protesters showed up (they say 35 in this article, but I'd say around 50 at the peak of it).

Harper, of course, was snuck in through a back door, so we didn't see him.  But I'm pretty he (and the rest of that area of downtown) heard the echoes off the highrises and through the streets:

"Get back to work!  Get back to Ottawa!"

"Listen to the nation!  Stop the proroguation!"

It was nice to see some other babblers there, too. :)

Michelle

I think this analysis is a bit out to lunch, though..

She's comparing a small, spur-of-the-moment protest called a few hours beforehand on a weekday afternoon, way downtown, when most people are work or school, to the upcoming cross-country protest on Saturday that people have been organizing for weeks?  And then concluding that FB organizing doesn't work?

There were more than 200 people at the first organizing meeting ALONE in Toronto!  

I think she'll be surprised on Saturday.

Michelle

[Removed question about Delacourt's politics since it was based on a misunderstood reference above...]  Anyhow, looks like she updated her blog posting anyhow in response to our comments below from those of us who were at the protest.  That's respectful.

Yeah, that's an excellent proposal.  It would be great if all the other parties pushed it through - they do have a majority if all of them vote in favour.

Polunatic2

I thought it was a letter to the editor. I don't know Delacourt's politics and should not have labelled her a "Harper supporter". 

Michelle

No, it was a blog posting by Delacourt on the Toronto Star website.  I posted a comment in response and it looks like a number of others did too.

I didn't necessarily consider her post to be taking one side or the other - I felt like she was probably playing the "facebook slactivist" angle that's so popular in the media during the last couple of weeks.

Sean in Ottawa

Delacourt  is the Star's senior political writer in Ottawa.

I have followed her writing for a long time and find her to be a very strong journalist who writes well, is fair and well worth reading. She will call anyone on their BS. She has written very strongly about process and democracy so I would be surprised if she were impressed by prorogation but she is likely looking at the bigger trends than this single decision. She has questioned if the facebook numbers will translate to the real rallies.

Delacourt has spent a lot of time covering the Liberals in years past-- don't know if she actually is a Liberal currently although some claim her to be. She has written negatively about them at times as she has about others. I think she is more interested in the truth as she sees it than party loyalty and likely has a strong centrist political bias.

http://thestar.blogs.com/politics/

You should read her -- she is one of the best in the country at her craft. (I started reading her back in the Meech days 20 years ago-- I think that was when she really got recognized as a must read journalist).

Polunatic2

I repeat. I'm not calling Delacourt a conservative supporter or shill. However, her main point is the same as the talking point used by Harper and his supporters - "Canadians don't care". The rally was planned last night and held in the middle of a work day. 35 or 50 is a good turnout all things considered. So, I agree with Michelle's hopes that Delacourt will be "surprised" on saturday. 

Polunatic2

Harper supporters will not cede an inch. If there had been 500 or 5,000 people there today, they would not have been "impressed". If all 206,000 facebook members show up across the country on Saturday, they will not be "impressed". This is just noise to Harper & co. and they will continue to disparage any opposition because that's the only thing they know how to do. Now if those 200,000 people were to commit to doling out political consequences - i.e. systematically defeating, let's say, 22 weak conservatives in the next election - one for each day of the prorogation - that would get their attention. Then we would see who will be laughing. 

On a small, but important positive note, the NDP is now calling for changes to the prorogation rules in Parliament so that a majority of MPs are required before the PM can prorogue the House.

Quote:
 And so today I am announcing that the New Democrats will bring proposals and legislation to limit the power of prorogation so that the Prime Minister cannot abuse it.

The government should only prorogue Parliament on a vote in the House of Commons.

I've been supporting this position since I read a detailed analysis a couple of weeks ago by Prof. Andrew Heard in BC who floated this idea. It's a good short-term measure but a lot more reform is required if we want a democratic Parliament. 

 

Stockholm

I actually find Susan Delacourt to be as dumb as a post when it comes to political reporting. She was the most gullible of all political reporters when it came to writing 5,000 word puff pieces about Elizabeth May and coming up with some really half baked theories - like speculating that the Tories would tell their supporters to vote NDP in the Toronto Centre federal byelection in order to defeat Bob Rae (yeah right). My impression is that she drinks whatever Koolaid the Liberals serve her.

Polunatic2

Iggy has posted an open letter to members of Canadians against Proroguing Parliament (CAPP) on his facebook page

KenS

Sudden announcement that Harper is going to be in Truro today, as am I.

So I'm thinking of being a lone heckler. Not a lot of that in Nova Scotia, should make a little splash.

I go looking for details on the event and find:

 

Quote:

The announcement, which is by invitation only, will be made at 1:45 p.m. at the Holiday Inn Hotel and Conference Centre. How many people have been invited was not available yesterday.
The prime minister will be joined by Defence Minister Peter MacKay and Armstrong for an economic roundtable later in the afternoon with local business leaders selected by the Prime Minister's Office.

I should have known.

Polunatic2

You mean you weren't selected? Best of luck! Let us know how it goes.

Debater

Polunatic2 wrote:

Iggy has posted an open letter to members of Canadians against Proroguing Parliament (CAPP) on his facebook page

The latest development is that Ignatieff plans to speak at the anti-prorogation rally in Ottawa this Saturday.  This could be a smart move on Ignatieff's part for a change.

ottawaobserver

I don't know about that.  The more often my hubbie hears Iggy on TV, the more he rubs him the wrong way.  I know I'm going to be there on Saturday counting the number of times he says "I", "me" and "my", drops his "g"s and says "stuff".  Yick.

Debater

I'm not sure if you're the most objective source on Ignatieff.  Wink

ottawaobserver

Believe it or not, there are Liberals I like.  Fewer and fewer of them, but there are some.

Debater

ottawaobserver wrote:

Believe it or not, there are Liberals I like.  Fewer and fewer of them, but there are some.

Do you like the left of centre Liberal MP's?

That is the part of the Liberal party I used to like before I left the party in 2004 when Paul Martin took over.

KenS

So Harper came to Truro, Nova Scotia yesterday. Truro is a 'big town' by NS standards. Definitely 'major centre'... but we're talking 20,000 in the immediate area.

As noted above, I saw his even was VERY closed ...and I didn't relish being a lone heckler yelling at the limos as they whizzed past. So I didn't make any room in my schedule for the trip to Truro.

What a surprise: drove by and there were 20 people and signs there! Organized on short notice, and in Truro!

And I wasn't the only one honking my horn.

ocsi

Good email from Jack Layton:

Friends -

Three weeks ago, Stephen Harper locked the doors of Parliament and shut out your elected representatives.

Canadians are sick of the secrecy and arrogance. They're tired of the old politics of Stephen Harper and the Conservatives.

Canadians are turning to a new kind of politics. A grassroots politics on Facebook and in neighbourhoods, at town halls and rallies. The new politics is New Democrat politics.

Join our movement today.

Our solution to prorogation is simple. Prorogation should only happen after a vote in the House of Commons. We'll work to make that the law.

And you can help New Democrats stand up to Harper. This Saturday, join us at one of dozens of anti-prorogation rallies across Canada.

Together we'll send Stephen Harper a clear message - democracy works.

Jack Layton

 

KenS
Sean in Ottawa

For more on the Conservative reaction playbook go here: http://tinyurl.com/3xs4ba

KenS

I almost didnt include that last story- 'people like proroguing'- because its not really part of the channel changing- which taps into concerns shared by Canadians across ideological lines. That last story is just for the benefit of the Conservative core.

Debater

Hopefully the coverage of the prorogation rally at Parliament Hill in Ottawa tomorrow will put Harper's undemocratic actions back in the news.

Frmrsldr

How does a minority government in Canada become a despotic oligarchy?

Show open contempt for and try to bipass Parliament and hope enough people accept this spin/narrative.

The House of Commons, House of Representatives (call it what you like) is the Peoples' House.

In Canada, when a government bipasses the House and rules by decree on its own and attempts to get a 'mandate'(?) to do this 'directly from the people', this is populist fascism.

Canada is taking a new and very frightening direction in politics.

Debater

Information on tomorrow's anti-prorogation rally at Parliament Hill:

 

http://noprorogue.ca/ottawa/

Polunatic2

 

Quote:
Canada is taking a new and very frightening direction in politics.
Even the Globe and Mail agrees. 

Time to stand up for Parliament

Quote:
 The age-old struggle for parliamentary rights against an arbitrary governor was settled long ago...
But a new struggle for parliamentary rights is under way, and this time it is the prime minister who is wielding potentially autocratic powers...
MPs of all parties have a responsibility to resist submission, as Junius said, “to arbitrary measures.” 

 

takeitslowly

some liberals are bashiing the NDP for taking credits of the rallies through sending the JAN 22 EMAIL BLAST RELEASE

 

key words like "join our movement today", the facebook is filled with topic like that calling Jack layton and his wife a tool and a joke, we got to do something

 

http://www.facebook.com/topic.php?topic=13823&post=91535&ui...

NDP EMAIL BLAST

http://www.facebook.com/topic.php?topic=13823&post=91535&ui...

NDP EMAIL BLAST 2

Frmrsldr

Polunatic2 wrote:

Time to stand up for Parliament

 

Quote:
 The age-old struggle for parliamentary rights against an arbitrary governor was settled long ago...
But a new struggle for parliamentary rights is under way, and this time it is the prime minister who is wielding potentially autocratic powers...
MPs of all parties have a responsibility to resist submission, as Junius said, “to arbitrary measures.” 

Absolutely.

The purpose of the prorogue is twofold:

1. To dodge the Torturegate bullet.

2. It is a conflict between extending the powers of the Prime Minister versus maintaining/extending the powers of Parliament.

You want Parliament, or more specifically, the House to maintain/extend its powers because it represents all the people; not the Prime Minister or the ruling party - "government".

Making a direct appeal to the people is an attempt by the Cons to legitimize this move and should be resisted.

ennir

takeitslowly wrote:

some liberals are bashiing the NDP for taking credits of the rallies through sending the JAN 22 EMAIL BLAST RELEASE

 

key words like "join our movement today", the facebook is filled with topic like that calling Jack layton and his wife a tool and a joke, we got to do something

 

http://www.facebook.com/topic.php?topic=13823&post=91535&ui...

NDP EMAIL BLAST

http://www.facebook.com/topic.php?topic=13823&post=91535&ui...

NDP EMAIL BLAST 2

I found the "blast" from the NDP offensive.  I am not surprised that people are seriously upset about Jack's message and I suspect there will be further repercussions. 

I wouldn't be too sure it is only the liberals taking shots, seems like a few NDP folks are very unhappy about this also.

Unionist

Is that email from Layton for real? Sounds like he was framed. In his [url=http://www.ndp.ca/press/new-politics-empowered-parliament]Jan. 20[/url] speech, he said it well:

Quote:
On January 23, New Democrats will join Canadians at rallies across the country to demand an end to prorogation.

But in the alleged email (which I haven't seen on the web except in this Facebook post), someone changed that to read:

Quote:
And you can help New Democrats stand up to Harper. This Saturday, join us at one of dozens of anti-prorogation rallies across Canada.

Does the NDP have Liberal moles trying to subvert its message? That alleged email is really offensive, as ennir said, but it doesn't reflect Layton's original remarks.

 

ennir

ocsi wrote:

Good email from Jack Layton:

Friends -

Three weeks ago, Stephen Harper locked the doors of Parliament and shut out your elected representatives.

Canadians are sick of the secrecy and arrogance. They're tired of the old politics of Stephen Harper and the Conservatives.

Canadians are turning to a new kind of politics. A grassroots politics on Facebook and in neighbourhoods, at town halls and rallies. The new politics is New Democrat politics.

Join our movement today.

Our solution to prorogation is simple. Prorogation should only happen after a vote in the House of Commons. We'll work to make that the law.

And you can help New Democrats stand up to Harper. This Saturday, join us at one of dozens of anti-prorogation rallies across Canada.

Together we'll send Stephen Harper a clear message - democracy works.

Jack Layton

 

I am wondering if you actually received this email or whether you copied it from Facebook?

Unionist I would be happy to know that someone is meddling and that that message did not come from Jack Layton because if it did it would seem the NDP have ignored the non-partisan nature of CAPP and will probably be punished for missing that point.

Doug

I hope the rallies today are going well. I'm stuck at work. Frown

kellis

watch a live feed of the parliament hill protest at http://noprorogue.ca/

KenS

I am not sure I am following all the references about Jack's email. But its clearly intended to go to the lists of members and supporters. Likely it is kicking around elsewhere, but it would not have been written the same.

Everything that goes out to members or identified supporters has a link for joining, etc.

KenS

Kaddy O'Malley liveblogging from Hill demo

 

1:36
 
Hey, it's the Raging Grannies!

1:25
 
Alright, must take another mitten break. Check out the HillCam and see if you agree with my count!

1:23
 
Latest crowd estimate - 3,500, and that's courtesy of the RCMP, and seconded by MediaStyle's Ian Capstick, who is covering the event as well. The crowd is definitely getting more spirited, and - wow, larger. Every time I remember to look up, more of the lawn is covered, and the walk is absoutely packed.

ocsi

I just came back from the Waterloo rally.  There were between 500 and 1,000 protesters.  The NDP was the most visible of all the parties represented. 

ocsi

ennir wrote:

I am wondering if you actually received this email or whether you copied it from Facebook?

 

It was an email.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Jack Layton just spoke in Ottawa, good speech. Iggy is on in a few minutes. Kady O'Malley's live blog from Ottawa is here.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Iggy is speaking, covered on CBC's Newsworld.

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