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Canada run by “a bunch of Gerald Fords”

The Economist slams the prorogation of Parliament


 

An editorial in this week’s Economist condemning Stephen Harper for proroguing Parliament is so angry it could have been written by… well, a Canadian. The move “looks like naked self-interest,” it charges, noting the government was facing a grilling over its misleading statements on Afghan detainees and its reluctance to limit carbon emissions. In the process, Harper has made his government look like it’s made up of “a bunch of Gerald Fords,” an insult so arcane it could only come from The Economist. “Like the American president, who could not walk and chew gum at the same time,” it thankfully explains, “they cannot, apparently, cope with Parliament’s deliberations while dealing with the country’s economic troubles and the challenge of hosting the Winter Olympic games.” If, as Harper has intimated, Canadians are supposed to be reassured by the notion our “decent system of government is in good hands” whether Parliament is suspended or not, the prorogation may soon lead them to “conclude that it isn’t,” the magazine warns.

The Economist


 
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Canada run by “a bunch of Gerald Fords”

  1. I really hate Macleans

  2. Whther Macleans likes it ot not The Econmist is right

  3. I really hate olives.

  4. The Economist has about as much credibility as The National Lampoon.

    We are no longer a colony, so what a bunch of pompous British blowhards have to say means little to me.

    Maybe they should turn their attention to their own crime-ridden, racist, in-bred country.

  5. No credibility Fred? none? really? Can I ask why – of course it wouldnt be that they came out against Harpers and his tatics. And, who might I ask has credibility then?

  6. Three-quarters of The Economist's readership are in the USA … our main trading partner.
    When I worked in both government and corporate roles in America, it was pretty much required reading.

  7. Canada is now the laughing stock of the western world.

    • Oh no you don't! Your cousins south of the border are not going to let you collect that one.

      Pelosi. Reid. BIDEN!

  8. Cue the quintessential Canadian hand-wringing. "They're all going to laugh at us!"

  9. This is the same mag that endorsed Harper twice in past elections, I believe. I bet their opinion was a lot better back then eh Fred?

  10. Oh I so ashamed – Maude Barlow, David Miller, Heather Malick, Sylvester The Cat's Son

  11. Gerald Ford was actually a good president. He vetoed something like 278 bills that landed on his desk, cancelling billions in spending. ('Billions' was a big number back in the mid-70s.) Of course his critics complain that any idiot can veto bills. However, that is a major part of a presidents job – a part of the job that they rarely exercise nowadays. Bush Jr. never used his veto power once in his entire first term. (Not sure about his second term, but I believe he may have vetoed the Senate's attempt to continue to block imports of Canadian beef. I could be wrong on that.) Obama, to my knowledge, has not used his veto power either. The Whitehouse used to at least try to blunt some of the more asinine spending impulses of Congress. No longer. Ford stands tall in that regard.

  12. Recall that it was the Economist that hung the "Mr. Dithers" label on Paul Martin. And that one really stuck…

  13. more like a bunch of george bushs' wouldn't you say?

    • Or Barak Obama's

  14. Mallick is probably the worst offender. She can't find work in Canada, so she's been reduced to flinging turds at us in the London press.

  15. Fred, Fred, Fred (head shaking)

    I am a Tory, born and bred, and even in my worst frothing at the mouth partisan frenzies, I would not say that.

  16. Oh and by the way you left wing self serving ninnies,
    Emperor Jean Chrietien prorogued parliament 4 bloody times! YES 4 times!
    Right about now is a good time for the "Swedish Chef" to come in and cook some chicken stew.

  17. Fred, that is simply a lame ass response

  18. You don't like summaries?

  19. It's hard to read through eyelids.

  20. Most Canadians don't care about Afghan detainees. It's about the CPC quashing dissent and attempting to destroy the reputations of legitimate whistle blowers. Canadians do care about that.

  21. Canadians *do* care about our soldiers.

    We especially care if we find out that our gov't left them out there high and dry, trapped between having to disobey orders or commit war crimes.

  22. there's no use, you'll never wrap your head around this complex, complex matter.

  23. Apples and Oranges. The Harper government is a minority of government with confidence of a minority of the the population. They are just pressing the panic button so they will not be brought to task for their incompetence and dictatorial method of government.

  24. why would you hate maceans and then why are you on the site

  25. ulm if there a minority, which they are, doesnt that imply that the opposition can defeat whenever they bloody well please. So maybe the extra 3 weeks the opposition gets to prepare will let them get their act together. They havent to date.

    As Wells says in his other article, I suspect the Cons will be ready for an election. Somehow I suspect there will be some reason for one of the opposition parties to support the government,

  26. Four times in 10 years (including the transition to a new PM) vs twice in 1 year to avoid the will of the House. Chicken stew indeed, only Harper's the chef.

  27. Not a total loss ….. I am a man.

    She's funny. A bit savage ( which allows her to survive the Brit press but not ours ) and,
    like Gwynne Dyer, is gradually being disappeared.
    Now, if MacLeans had hired her instead of CC no end of fun would ensue.
    But she'd probably last as long as the entirely too earnest Ms. McQuaig lasted at
    the NattyPoo.

  28. Finally the opposition has realized that SH is the Pm and can make common sense decisions. The Olympics are an important events to most Canadians. Who cares about Afganistan, nothing will change there in ten years, Enjoy the Olympics and return to work after.

  29. Wow this is really hilarious. In Unison every Canadian special interest "what have you done for me lately" ninny is standing up in chorus to attack Harper over what? A break from power hungry Liberal, Bloc and NDP and their absolutely pointless attacks on Canada and its government. Canadians don't care about Afghan detainees. Its their people, who the heck are we to say what's appropriate. So they slapped a potential terrorist around or two. Good for them. Climate change, oh grow up! Go spend some time in Europe and freeze! Time for a vacation in Florida, oops I have to pack a winter jacket. Yes the conservatives are going to get their Senators in there. Finally the last bits of Emperor Jean Chretien and the Liberal Ninnies are being dismantled. The Economist has strong ties and readership in the US. In case you haven't noticed the equivalent of the NDP is currently running the government in the US. Scariest thing I could ever imagine. Doesn't surprise me the US lefties don't like Harper. Means he is doing his job right!

  30. And how large would the deficits have been had Ford not vetoed all those spending bills? He was essentially a lame duck, coming in as he did after Nixon imploded. Congress wasn't so much hostile to him as they were indifferent. The one real lever of power he had left was his veto, and he used it to full effect. Nowadays a presidential veto would be a major media event.

  31. Wow, I did not think that anyone could be so complacent about human rights. That statement is ignorant and belittles everything our soldiers AND volunteers (including physicians) are trying to accomplish in that war-torn country. People are dying everyday to make this world a better place and you say, "Enjoy the Olympics and return to work after"? I think we all need to put a little more thought into what is happening in Afghanistan and all over the world for that matter. There is corruption in every country but all it takes is one person to stand up to it.

  32. Got that right. Worried about what the Europeans think. Again. Some kind of weird colonial hangover I guess; at some level we still want to make the Euro parents proud. This hand-wringing about our "international reputation" is such a wide-spread psychiatric phenomena it should have a name. How about Post-Colonial Dysmorphic Disorder?

    PCDD is characterized by an obsession with what the international community is thinking, accompanied by an irrational fear of being judged negatively. This fear tends to intensify if the judgement originates from a progressive European country. The patient often feels a compulsion to carry out extreme behaviours he/she believes are necessary to win favour in the international press. Such behaviours (e.g. demanding a shut-down of the oil sands, insistence on carbon taxes, promoting schemes which transfer billions of taxpayer dollars to Third World sink holes) are often directly opposed to the patient's own economic interests.

  33. Ah, but she does it so well …. especially to germinating turd blossoms.

  34. It matters what the Economist thinks about Westminster government.

    • The 'Mr. Dithers' label hurt Paul Martin because his whole personality was tied to his repuation as a globally respected elder statesman and Finance Minister. It defined him. And suddenly an international magazine of some repute outright ridiculed him. His greatest strength became his achilles heel overnight. He never recovered. In reality, he'd been busy eroding his own reputation as an effective leader for awhile. But the Economist cover really kicked him when he was down.

      Harper's never had the reputation as an international star. Quite the opposite in fact; most of his detractors paint him as an international embarrassment. So I doubt a harrangue from the Economist would have the same effect on him. He simply doesn't have any political capital invested in his international reputation. But who knows? Maybe this is Harper's 'Mr. Dithers' moment. These things can take on a life of their own. But somehow 'A Bunch of Gerald Fords' just doesn't sound as catchy.

  35. Just when you think nobody could seriously describe the Economist as a "leftist rag" vel sim., you get an honest-to-God moron saying it's run by "US lefties." O lowest common denominator, we hardly knew ye.

  36. So, "Who the heck are we to say what's appropriate" ? Er, I guess this means you think we shouldn't even be in Afghanistan in the first place with an attitude like that? (For the record I think we should be and even think we should stay on after 2011.)

    One man's "power hungry" opposition is another man's check on a power hungry government. One man's "pointless attacks" is another man's holding to account. We could tit-for-tat like this all day. All I know is Harper consistently gets too clever by half and it bites him in the ass each time.

    • The thought of someone who is power hungry joining the Federal NDP is, however, very amusing. Addicted to the sound of one's own voice, yes. Power hungry, no.

  37. That one made me laugh out loud. Well done, sir.

    Sisyphus, I know you're a man of taste and refinement so I have no idea why you like Ms. Mallick so much.

  38. Heh. That's a pretty accurate description of the phenomenon. That sort of cringing navel-gazing hand-wringing is usually unjustified, and sometimes seems like it must be a uniquely Canadian pathology.

    However, I do think the Economist piece is relatively significant. It's not good news for Harper. I was quite surprised when the prorogation was announced because I never thought he'd actually do it. Didn't he understand how terrible the optics would be? Not to mention all the questions this raises about principles and precedents.

    • Actually, given that Harper is the chess master, the question we need to be asking is what is in those reports the MPCC committee wanted that was so bad he'd rather the optics of the proroguement?

  39. Obama and Bush vetoed less often because for most of their term in office, their party was in power. Ford governed during an era of divided government, so naturally he (and Nixon) used the veto more often than other presidents. Nixon and Ford both had to contend with a hostile congress. One reduced the size of government, while the other saw it expand.

  40. Freddy, don't you see your own racism and hypocrisy in those comments?

    No, people like you seldom do. Only other people can be racists and hypocrites, eh Fred?

  41. The Olympics are a pi$$ poor reason to prorogue. I doubt it will make a difference one way or the other, though it does bother me that the PM can callously shut down Parliament whenever it is convenient for him. Conservatives would be screaming bloody murder if the Liberals did it. I know I would be. In fact I DID scream bloody murder when Paul Martin ignored successive confidence motions until he managed to coax Belinda into crossing the floor. We may think no big deal right now, but some day we'll be watching the Liberals proroguing just because it works for them, and it won't be so funny.

  42. There is still work to do.. Want to take time off? Well then do so without pay. The rest of us would have to!

  43. Yeah, I think it will come back to haunt him too. I never believed it was anything more than G&M/Toronto Star inspired speculation until he actually did it. The Opposition will have a field day making election attack ads about Harper's callous misuse of prorogation. I know the kind of ad I'd be running if I were a Liberal: Prime Minister Stephen Harper wants a holiday. Let's give him a long one. The possibilities are endless. Seems his much-vaunted strategic sense has abandoned him this time.

  44. There are 14 working days between when Parliament was supposed to come back and when the Olympics begin. Even if you think every government MP should personally attend the Olympics, do they really need 19 travel days to get to Vancouver? Are they traveling to the Olympics by horse or something???

    More importantly, there's no need to prorogue Parliament to have MPs attend the Olympics. Let Parliament continue during the Olympics… just don't SIT (like they did in 88 for Calgary). No one's suggesting the House has to sit every single day of the Olympics, but proroguing Parliament is the ultimate reset button. By proroguing Parliament, it's basically as though our elected officials didn't do anything for the past year. Everything just resets to step one. Great.

    Not only are the Olympics a politically tone deaf reason for proroguing our national legislature, it's also an ILLOGICAL reason to prorogue. It doesn't just sound BAD as a rationale, it sounds STUPID.

  45. I think Harper's idea is brilliant! I have just notified my own employer that I am taking the next 3 months off because I need to "re-calibrate" my work schedule and I can't do that with by boss watching me (oh -and I have to stay home to watch the Olympics…)

  46. Unfortunately, that question isn't being asked enough…it's not whether he prorouged or not, but why?

  47. And that should be prorogued, not prorouged. I wasn't referring to his TV makeup predilections

  48. Perhaps "King" Stephen should consider the fate of Charles I after he embarked on the road to personal rule by sending Parliament home!

  49. The Economist magazine is hardly a 'left-wing rag'. If anything, it veers mostly to the right. The Economist is read and also highly respected worldwide. There is nothing in their article that is incorrect.

    I would also love to have a fully paid three month vacation and free tickets to the Olympics. I'm sure most Canadian taxpayers would. Get back to work PM Harper!

  50. There are 14 working days between when Parliament was supposed to come back and when the Olympics begin. Even if you think every government MP should personally attend the Olympics, do they really need 19 travel days to get to Vancouver? Are they traveling to the Olympics by horse or something???

    More importantly, there's no need to prorogue Parliament to have MPs attend the Olympics. Let Parliament continue during the Olympics… just don't SIT (like they did in 88 for Calgary). No one's suggesting the House has to sit every single day of the Olympics, but proroguing Parliament is the ultimate reset button. By proroguing Parliament, it's basically as though our elected officials didn't do anything for the past year. Everything just resets to step one. Great.

    Not only are the Olympics a politically tone deaf reason for proroguing our national legislature, it's also an ILLOGICAL reason to prorogue. It doesn't just sound BAD as a rationale, it sounds STUPID.

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