Taking Charge

Both Canada and the United States have completed general elections this fall, but this is where the similarities end. The Harper government is currently embroiled in a political crisis which could culminate in a new election as early as this winter should the opposition vote against the proposed budget scheduled for January 27. The coalition may appear poised to become the next governement, but don’t bet on it. Should they show a willingness to compromise and adopt a policy of cohabitation with one or more of the opposition parties, the Harper Conservatives may yet survive. The decision by Governor General Michaelle Jean to prorogue the House should allow for cooler heads to prevail. Tories should extend the hand of cooperation and compromise and the Liberals should carefully reassess their current course which is perilous at best. All in all, with an economic crisis in the making, our political leaders have not taken charge—and Canadians are worried and disappointed.

Contrast this with president-elect Barack Obama’s emerging administration. Obama has continued to display the cool and calm temperament that characterized his campaign. He has assembled a group reminiscent of Lincoln’s “Team of Rivals” and Kennedy’s “Best and the Brightest.” In the process, Obama has impressed by his poise and gained much favor with the American people. The choice of Hillary Clinton as secretary of state, the decision to keep Bob Gates as defense secretary, and the naming Bill Richardson as commerce secretary are illustrations of a smooth and seemingly productive change of government. Unlike the Canadian example, Obama’s is a clear model of taking charge.

With the holiday season approaching, the Conservative goverment and the opposition parties will hopefully find their way by January 27, when the Canadian people will need to come first. Our politicians would be well advised to look south. Obama has shown with aplomb and poise what it means to take charge. Makes you envious, doesn’t it?




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Taking Charge

  1. Harper needs a majority so he doesn’t have to deal with the rabble that is the sorry opposition in Canada.

    That Stephane Dion thought he could become Prime Minister and that Jack Layton was prepared to facilitate it is truly frightening. You can see why Gilles Duceppe supported it, he wants Canada to fail.

    If the opposition continues to be irresponsible, an election will clear the air and then Mr. Harper will be able to take charge.

  2. I’m sick to death of pundits who think working together entails the majority in this country bending over, spreading their butt cheeks and allowing Harper to have at them time after time. How many times does Harper need to demonstrate that he’s not willing to work with anyone before it’s acknowledged that Harper is not willing to work with anyone.

  3. Harper needs a majority so he doesn’t have to deal with the rabble that is the sorry opposition in Canada.

    Thank you for reinforcing my point, Jarrid.

  4. The opposition should not trust Harper in any way shape or form. Why would he start telling the truth and keeping his word now?

  5. Robert,

    Jack Layton led Stephane Dion by the nose on this coalition thing. Now Rae wants to continue on the same path. The weakened Liberal Party of Canada is being taken over by the NDP. That’s good for the Conservatives and a disaster for the Liberals.

    Sorry Robert, I called failed putschists, rabble. Canada is a parliamentary democracy and we don’t govern by mob rule. I see by today’s polls that Canadians agree.

  6. Thanks again, Jarrid. I don’t doubt for an instant that you consider that a majority of Parliament setting aside their differences to work together for Canadians is appalling.

  7. A serious challenge here is that all sides need to save face.

    Years of brinksmanship have destroyed Harper’s credibility in the eyes of the opposition party. If they let him retain power, they fully (and credibly) expect another attempted kneecapping in the future.

    Meanwhile, Harper knows he could win another election – but surely he doesn’t want that now. As much as his party could gain from another election, I think he would be stained as badly as the opposition for having caused it.

    At this point, as much as I think Harper needs to be removed form power, I hope to see all sides quietly negotiate away from the brink, with some way to trust that Harper will operate as a minority PM, respecting and consulting the opposition.

    But I continue to underestimate what a Machiavellian snake Harper really is. I’m not holding out hope that he will choose the less-destructive path when he could maybe take the most destructive path and gain from it.

  8. Robert,

    Bolsheviks didn’t beleive in elections, and the ill-fated coalition, hatched by two committed leftists, Layton and Duceppe, and joined by the twice-rejected (by the people and by his party) Dion, also a leftist, dont’s either, apparently.

  9. We’ve had 2 elections in the last 3 years, 3 in the last 4 and 4 in the last 8. Yeah, I really see where you’d think anyone doesn’t believe in elections in this country.

  10. Obama has shown with aplomb and poise what it means to take charge. Makes you envious, doesn’t it?

    This is so condescending, pretentious and vacuous..

    No, it doesn’t make me envious at all. It’s the result of eight (or 30) years of disastrous administrations, which we, for the most part, have avoided. No thanks to our punditry that’s for sure. It’s been up to the rest of us to remind them constantly of what happens from week to week.

    Obviously, some people are not paying attention.

  11. Well the problem is obvious. Harper hasn’t been playing chess–not even Vulcan 3D chess. He’s been playing Survivor! I don’t know why I didn’t see it until I watched the show last night.

    In Survivor, hiding behind a tree to listen to people having a private conversation is a good move. To then go and tell the other players what was said turns it into a brilliant move.

    In Survivor, gaining someone’s loyalty only to later stab them in the back is a critically important thing to do.

    In Survivor, acting one way while saying something completely different is considered a good play. Most of all, misleading, obfuscating and downright lying are the stock in trade.

    In Survivor, an ability to compromise, a good work ethic, and especially a tendency to trust will get you kicked off the island in record time.

    Our country isn’t a game or a TV show. Let’s not give Harper the million bucks.

  12. Dear Jarrid – like master – like dog!
    If I ring a bell for you – will you woof?

  13. Jarrid
    Dec 5, 2008 11:50
    Report Abuse

    Robert,

    Bolsheviks didn’t beleive in elections, and the ill-fated coalition, hatched by two committed leftists, Layton and Duceppe, and joined by the twice-rejected (by the people and by his party) Dion, also a leftist, dont’s either, apparently.

    Heavens – Jarrid is seeing the light!
    His master must be a Bolshevik!
    Let’s see – an election gave Mr. Harper ONLY a MINORITY of the seats in a duly elected Parliament.
    The majority of duly elected members have indicated in Parliament – in public – and in a letter to the GG – that they no longer have confidence in Mr. Harper and his party.
    Mr. Harper has denied the will of parliament to express that in a legal and formal vote of non-confidence.
    sounds Pretty Bolshevik to me!
    Now – let’s talk elections.
    Mr. Harper is rushing towards one – no doubt about it.
    He will come up with a throne speech and a budget that the opposition will vote against – BECAUSE THEY DON’T BELIEVE ANYTHING COMING OUT OF HIS MOUTH OR THE PAPER HE WRITES AND DENIES ALL THE TIME – LIKE HIS PROPOSAL TO THE GG TO FORM A WORKING ARRANGEMENT WITH THE BLOC IN 2004.
    doesn’t matter what’s on the paper – his credibility is DEAD!
    so – he’s is voted out – IF the GG for some strnge reason doesn’t give the coalition the option to govern and instead signs the election writ…
    Mr. Harper will whine and say no fair when the opposition parties use all legal means to defeat him in that election.
    All fairs in politics and war right?

  14. The people of Canada have given a big thumbs dumb to this attempted coup WW. ‘

    In a democracy that means the fat lady has sung.

    Advice to Liberals , when youre in a hole, stop digging.

  15. Media polls don’t govern this country, Jarrid. Now run along. It’s clearly past your nap time.

  16. Jarrid, when did the people of Canada express their will? Surely you’re not suggesting Canada be ruled by polls? And if so, do you think it’d be justified for government decisions be overturned (say, have the GG terminate the executive) if a policy is unpopular?

  17. “He has assembled a group reminiscent of Lincoln’s “Team of Rivals” and Kennedy’s “Best and the Brightest.”

    Lincoln’s cabinet fought like cats in a sack, not really sure why Obama wants to re-create that, and the ‘best and brightest’ gave the Americans the Vietnam War which haunts them to this day.

    “Obama has shown with aplomb and poise what it means to take charge. Makes you envious, doesn’t it?”

    Except Obama’s not in charge and is behaving like a backseat driver. Not difficult to project self assurance and poise when you are standing on the sidelines and someone else is making the decisions. We’ll see in a couple of years if your infatuation with Obama is as strong as it is now after this orgy of spending he’s keen to implement makes the economic situation much worse, which is what’s going to happen.

  18. Let’s all settle back and meditate on the wit and wisdom of Rick Salutin this morning.

    Anybody seen Mr. Selley lately ? Off carrying Mr. Wells’ luggage ?

  19. Anybody seen Mr. Selley lately ?

    Apparently he was the first victim of the cutbacks.

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