If the Liberals Blink

115 posts / 0 new
Last post
saga saga's picture

Malcolm wrote:

On the larger issue, the only people seriously arguing that the Senate be retained in its present state as a bulwark against the Harpoer government are a handful of deluded wingnuts on babble.

 AHH! ... Well thanks for enlightening me ... Kiss Yell

 

Sunday Hat

aka Mycroft wrote:

Malcolm, I don't see how eliminating the public subsidy of political parties is progressive. Cynically self-serving, perhaps, but not progressive.

I'm not sure why the public subsidy IS inherently progressive either.

Getting rid of corporate and union donations, and slapping strict limits on other donations, IS inherently progressive because it prohibits a handful of big donors from financing political parties. The public financing was just a political necessity for Chretien because his own party was refusing to support the legislation. When the NDP government in Manitoba banned corporate and union donations they didn't bring in new public subsidies.

hunter s

M. Spector wrote:

I've already indicated earlier in this thread (which you might want to read sometime, actually) that I will gladly support abolition of the Senate if we ever get a progressive government in Ottawa.

So run this by me again. We have never had a progressive government in Ottawa, I agree with you there. But, according to you, these non-progressive Liberals and Conservatives continue to appoint their non-progressive friends to the unelected Senate but these people are going to stand up against non-progressive legislation? Wow, thanks so much M.Spector for pointing this out. I feel so much better now that I know Patrick Brazeau, Pamela Wallin and Mike Duffy are looking out for the best interests of the Canadian "working class." I think we can all sleep better at night knowing that.

M.Spector wrote:

No, I reserve my contempt for petty-bourgeois intellectuals who worship "flawed" democracy at the expense of the well-being of the working class of Canada.

Please define the Canadian "working class" for me.

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

hunter s wrote:

So run this by me again. We have never had a progressive government in Ottawa, I agree with you there. But, according to you, these non-progressive Liberals and Conservatives continue to appoint their non-progressive friends to the unelected Senate but these people are going to stand up against non-progressive legislation?

OK, let me run it by you again. You know that "thought experiment" I described upthread(#91)? Well, it actually happened. The Senate killed Mulroney's anti-abortion legislation on a tie vote.

That's right - the undemocratic Senate, full of non-progressive Liberals and Tories, actually did stand up to Mulroney's "non-progressive" legislation, and saved thousands of Canadian women from being forced to bear children against their will.

Malcolm thinks their action was "utterly immoral" and an "abusive intrusion" because it interfered with the "democratic" decision of the House of Commons. He would have been happier if the Senate had been abolished before it had gotten a chance to stop the Mulroney anti-abortion bill.

I, on the other hand, applaud the Senate's vote on the Mulroney anti-abortion bill, which makes me, in Malcolm's eyes, an enemy of democracy and a co-thinker of George Bush and Dick Cheney.

I trust most babblers will not have a hard time deciding which of us is the bigger moral monster.

 

 

[IMG]http://i38.tinypic.com/1r9lpy.gif[/IMG]

Stuart_Parker

M Spector, I have to ask: if a military coup had defeated the abortion law, would it have legitimated military government?

Brian White

How about  forgetting about senate reform or abolition for the moment? I think it is a daft thing to be worrying about at this time.

Harper wants to "reform" it to be elected by the provinces and to be as powerful as the commons. But he does NOT want the big population provinces to get senate seats in proportion to their population. So instead of the commons ruling us and the Senate ocasionally butting in, He thinks that the senate will have a lot more say and a lot more legitamacy when alberta gets a much bigger share of senate seats "elected" but not on equal vote equal power basis. An alberta vote in senate elections will be worth a lot more than a vote in ontario or quebec. Rather than get your knickers in a twist about senate reform or abolition, why not work to get rid of harper right now? and to explain that his aim for the senate is not going to make anything more democratic.  Malcolms retoric and word mixing does not help get a united front to remove harper. And a phoney arguement about abortion is not helping either.  You are the ones  blinking. 

Stuart_Parker wrote:
M Spector, I have to ask: if a military coup had defeated the abortion law, would it have legitimated military government?

hunter s

M. Spector wrote:

 

The Senate killed Mulroney's anti-abortion legislation on a tie vote.

Okay, fair enough. I am willing to conceed the point that the Senate did do something good here. I tried to find the actual vote online today and could not. Do you know whether or not any New Democrats or Liberals voted in favour of the legislation? Did all Tories vote in favour?

To be honest, when it comes to issues like this, I am in favour of enforced caucus unity as they are hardly individual moral issues. For example, I am very proud that Jack punted Desjarlais over the same sex marriage legislation issue and even though it temporarily cost us the seat, it was nice to see the NDP putting principle ahead of the immediate politics.

In terms of the anti-abortion legislation, it was so long ago that I can hardly remember the exact context. However, I am still surprised that even Mulroney was wiling to put forward such draconian legislation. Incredibly irresponsible by any governing party to do so, regardless of the political stripe.

Policywonk

On any reasonable basis (rep by pop or equality of representation by province), Alberta would not have a disproportionate number of senate seats. The problem with an elected Senate with equal powers is that it would be as legitimate as the House of Commons.

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

Stuart_Parker wrote:
M Spector, I have to ask: if a military coup had defeated the abortion law, would it have legitimated military government?

No, of course not. Nor did the defeat of the Mulroney anti-abortion bill "legitimate" the Senate. The Senate is not a democratic institution. But to the extent that it occasionally serves as a foil to reactionary legislation it can serve a useful role.

The fact is that the Senate is not the source of the evil that emanates from our government. Indeed it sometimes serves to mitigate that evil. So I don't see the flaming urgency of abolishing it at this time. Perhaps someone can enlighten me and point out how the Senate has played a more reactionary role than the House of Commons, and how we'd all rest easier in our beds at night if there were no Senate but just a House of Commons.

So far, in 106 posts, nobody has been able to do that, whereas I have been able to show that, historically, the Senate is either irrelevant, or on rare occasions a useful brake on the right-wing designs of the governing party in the Commons.

  

 

 [IMG]http://i38.tinypic.com/1r9lpy.gif[/IMG]

hunter s

Brian White wrote:

How about forgetting about senate reform or abolition for the moment? I think it is a daft thing to be worrying about at this time.

Harper wants to "reform" it to be elected by the provinces and to be as powerful as the commons. But he does NOT want the big population provinces to get senate seats in proportion to their population. So instead of the commons ruling us and the Senate ocasionally butting in, He thinks that the senate will have a lot more say and a lot more legitamacy when alberta gets a much bigger share of senate seats "elected" but not on equal vote equal power basis. An alberta vote in senate elections will be worth a lot more than a vote in ontario or quebec. Rather than get your knickers in a twist about senate reform or abolition, why not work to get rid of harper right now? and to explain that his aim for the senate is not going to make anything more democratic. Malcolms retoric and word mixing does not help get a united front to remove harper. And a phoney arguement about abortion is not helping either. You are the ones blinking.

Regardless of whether or not the coalition is done, I think both the NDP and Bloc cannot and will not work with Harper - he has crossed too many lines and it is completely clear the Cons do not care about the national interest and must be defeated as soon as possible.

So, in terms of passing the budget, it falls to the Liberals. For Iggy to prop up Harper, he does so at his own peril. I am not saying he will necessarily pay dearly for helping Harper to pass the budget, because perhaps he won't, but I think the Libs will need to defeat Harper at least by the spring.

I also don't think any of the parties should be all that worried about a Cons majority either if another election takes place in the next year. Harper will have trouble holding on to what he has in Quebec, if he holds any seats at all, and he is looking at seat losses in Ontario as well. The best Harper could hope for is a reduced minority and the Libs might actually get a minority. The only way to handle a bully is to stand up to the bully.

Malcolm Malcolm's picture

Hunter, MSpector has to no small measure taken the abortion legislation in question wildly out of context.

 

The Supreme Court had ruled that the existing restrictions were unconstitutional, but had also indicated that their ruling did not mean that any restriction would necessarily be unconstitutional.  As is common in such cases, the court allowed the existing legislation to stand while Parliament passed new (and presumably constitutional) regulations.  Thus the "draconian" bill was actually a move to a less intrusive set of restrictions, not a reimposition of restrictions that had been removed.

 

While most of the formal pro-choice movement were opposed to new restrictions, there was a minority who were concerned that no fedeal legislation would open the door to a patchwork of provincial/ territorial and possibly even local restrictions.  As it turned out, those concerns were not borne out, but they did exist.

 

Thus it was not a case of the government introducing "draconian" restrictions on abortion where none had existed, but rather a case of a government introducing a reduction of restrictions.  While progressives (in general) would believe that the bill didn't go far enough, to frame it as it has been framed here is a trifle disingenuous.

 

And, as much as MSpector may believe otherwise, had the Commons passed substantively the same legislation again, the Senate would have passed it for that is the convention.

 

Your question about a military coup was precisely on point. 

 

I will note again for Brian's benefit that the thread is entitled "If the Liberals blink . . ."  Let me therefore explain that Liberal blinking means that the coalition is dead, the Liberals are propping up the Conservatives and there is no common front to get rid of Harper - if ever there actually was.

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

Malcolm wrote:

Thus it was not a case of the government introducing "draconian" restrictions on abortion where none had existed, but rather a case of a government introducing a reduction of restrictions.  While progressives (in general) would believe that the bill didn't go far enough, to frame it as it has been framed here is a trifle disingenuous.

The fact remains that if the Bill had passed the Senate, or if there had been no Senate at all, we would now have a restrictive abortion law, albeit not as restrictive as the one the Supreme Court struck down, but certainly more restrictive than the situation we have today.

That's the context of this discussion. The Senate occasionally makes a difference in the amount of damage the House of Commons can do to our social fabric. You think that's utterly immoral. But we still don't know why, because you refuse to explain what it is that justifies "means" besides "ends". 

M. Spector wrote:
So far, in 106 posts, nobody has been able to do that, whereas I have been able to show that, historically, the Senate is either irrelevant, or on rare occasions a useful brake on the right-wing designs of the governing party in the Commons.

Make that 112 posts. 

 

 

[IMG]http://i38.tinypic.com/1r9lpy.gif[/IMG]

Fidel

Well thank God for the Canadian Senate. It will break all our hearts when they finally have to get real jobs or sign themselves into private nursing homes someday none too soon.

Happy New Year, Everyone!

Maysie Maysie's picture

Happy new year! Closing for length.

Pages

Topic locked