Monday, May 21, 2007
THE CON'S (NOT-SO) SECRET PLAYBOOK
It's either incredibly laughable or unwholly tear-inducing. As impartial that I'm not, I am amazed at the gall and temerity of Stephen Harpor and his hambones as they weave to defend the 'Conservative Party Committee Playbook.'
As a piece of work, it essentially blows holes through the constant lies trolled out like "The opposition is stalling the wheels of government" and "We can't function when the Opposition and stacked senate are holding our agenda hostage."
Had they read their history, or maybe recalled Martin's one term as PM in a minority, they'd have noticed that Parliament is a greater power than goverment in a minority situation. That is how our system evolved and that is how it works. Without a majority, the balance of power is always in the hands of the collective greater force; Harpor used that to his advantage, working with the other minority party leaders, in late 2005.
But now, the shoe isn't comfortable. So the Blue Men Group, who decided to operate with the bare minimum of ideas lest they get sidetracked from concocting election conditions for their majority, are void of direction. They seem to dread to reveal their true cards; more than half of their 'programs and ideas' to date are replicas or reinventions of Liberal programs they abhorred in their past life.
So, when the cupboard is bare and a timeout is needed, I guess you do what most hockey coaches would do and rag the puck. You ice it, stand up at the blueline and swing wildly. You fall down and look askew at the referee, hoping for that call. Then you flee to Afghanistan, where politicians can make journalists disappear.
But you never, ever let them see your strategy in writing. You've shown up the official and he may be inclined to give you the penalty.
And that's what should happen after the leaked 200 page book got into the hands of columnist Don Martin, he of fairly conservative leanings.
It shows the Cons for being obstructionists, of avoiding accountability and accessibility, of maintaining an 'Opposition mentality' while supposedly expected to lead. The Cons' lies are also being exposed by this leak, since half their mantra has been 'It's the Liberals fault!' Now, here in black and white, is proof that in fact some of that delay and stalling is the act of a impotent, top-light and oxygen deprived government.
Over at the Globe and Mail the comments after Jay Hill's appearance on Question Period weigh heavily against the Cons' tactic. Certainly, there are some repeat stooges playing 'dogpile' and there is no denying that some of the tactics described and recommended in the Tory handbook are being utilized by the opposition parties. But they are the opposition. It is their one power, in a minority gov't, to protest and actually steer the dial of parliament. Good leaders, like Lester Pearson, struggle on and make it workable. Harpor, however, in his heavyhandedness, is demonstrating his contempt for the Canadian system and Parliament, by not only enacting 'defence-first' manoevers, but then crying foul at the opposition for doing just what he's preaching in the back room.
The Globe isn't the right-wing pillar that it once was. It has tilted centre-ward ever since Black brought out his National COMpost wrap. However, I've read a lot of letters in its paper and find that the readership leans fairly heavily to centre-right. Its no Toronto Star, that's for sure. And going through this list of emails related to the following story http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20070521.wcommittees21/BN
I've noticed that those who lambast the CON game to those who defend it were 9-1 before the comments were closed. Here's a sampling of the outrage, along with a piece from one of the defenders.
There is some solace that CON supporters can take from this: On TV, I've seen very little about this story since the original leak. I'd figure this would have had legs like Heidi Klum, that keep on going. It seems some members of the media are outraged, while others are non-plused. And while Harpor is looking more and more like Canada's Richard Nixon, us progressives have to remember that Tricky Dicky won two elections before he was kicked to the curb. Here's hoping Canadians are wiser, and more assertive.
Agathocles ofSyracuse from Canada writes: I'd like to see 'this so-called
book of dirty tricks' for myself to decide if there is anything 'sinister at
play here'. And I'd like to see Canada's New Government man up and stop
blaming everybody else for their problems. Let's see that accountability we
Unshaven One from Moncton, Canada writes: What a disgusting way to run a
'transparent' government. Harper is nothing more than what he was before the
Conservatives got sucked in and backstabbed by Peter McKay, he is still a
far right mini dictator, a la George Bush wannabe. I was ashamed of the
arrogant way that the Cretien cretens handled the country, but now I am more
ashamed and completely gobsmacked at the lying and low down trickery this
bunch of baffoons have shown to be.
Vickky Angstrom from Calgary, Canada writes: Jay Hill is living proof that
the Conservative government is morally bankrupt if he thinks wasting
millions of taxpayer's dollars on slowing down or stopping committee work is
no big deal. His logic seems to be, 'we don't agree with them, so anything
gaetan diotte from ottawa, Canada writes: Are these not the same bunch that
whined, moaned and cried when in opposition that in a minority parliament,
the Gov't of the day MUST listen to the opposition and make adjustments to
legislation based on the input of the opposition?
Vern McPherson from Toronto, Canada writes: What of the rest of the COns
dirty tricks stragety ? What else are they subverting and what else are they
doing to fasly influence public opinion, unduely influencing Canadians with
outright lies, discrediting of any and all opposition, issuing untendered
purchasing of government services and assets, hiding true expenses of
Ministers and the nlying about them, not reporting, lack of transparency,
subverting any modicum of accountibility citizens demand, - you name it.
Gerry Pankhurst from westport ontario, Canada writes: I love it. The
opposition has clearly decided the only way they can slow down the sucesses
of the minority government is to obstruct parliamentry procedure with mostly
stupid and/or meaningless subjects for debate. The goverment has seen
through that strategy and decided to play the same game by way of
obstructing the obstructionists, using what will be seen to be perfectly
Brian Dondo from Winnipeg, Canada writes: There's nothing sinister about
constipation either, or even ethical for that matter but I don't expect a
book on how to do it deliberately is the sort of thing that would turn out
to be a bestseller
dallas mcquarrie from Regina, Canada writes: Mr. Hill is defending a manual
on poor citizenship. Our MPs already have behavioural problems and anger
management issues, as evidenced by their behaviour in Parliament, and to
produce a manual on how to make Parliament even less effective than it
already is shows a delinquent attitude more befitting a petty criminal than
Zando Lee from Vancouver, Canada writes: .... you could spin it any way you
want Stevie, but the bottom line is the advocacy of disruptive and deceptive
perversions of the democratic process...you promised to do government
differently...you are now in the not to believed category...
Hugh Malafry from Victoria, Canada writes: More deceit. Predator pretending
that it's prey...
Cryin Outloud from Canada writes: ...I want my minority government to have
the intellect, the vision, respect and the altruism to work for Canada and
those that elected them. I think he and the rest of the dictators in the
Conservative party must never ever hold a seat in parliament again.
Harold Uhlman from Lunenburg, NS, writes: ... If Liberal policies,
procedures, issues, etc. were bad, how does it make similar CPC policies,
procedures, issues OK because the Liberals did it? I just don't get that.
What's wrong is wrong and what's right is right regardless of political
stripe. The CPC posters use sponsorship as a big eraser to erase or attempt
to erase all the governments present issues with lack of accountibility,
fudging the truth, etc. I think the big eraser is almost worn out. Time to
fly on your own guys. Stop practicing to be the opposition again.