Another vacation well earned


It’s been 168 days since the spring session of Canada’s 39th Parliament was adjourned.

In that stretch of over five months, the House of Commons sat for a total of 13 days.

It will now be another 53 days before MPs return.


Another vacation well earned

  1. Sad state of affairs!
    Cynicism to the fore!
    Harper is learning. Didn’t turn out trained seal Poilievre today. Went to Peter “eVan More” Lies.
    Doesn’t really matter.
    while Harper plays his games – 70,000 more out of work!
    The worse job losses since 1982.
    And all Harper and Flaherty can do is play silly games!
    Time to remove them from the Power button.
    They are potentially more toxic for Canada than Sarah Palin would have been for the US – had she become Vice President!

  2. No, come on, that’s a tad unfair to Paul Wells, he works darned — . Oh wait. It’s about parliament . Sorry.

  3. Since I am libertarian, I am quite happy they have gone on vacation once again because I think pols only make things worse when they start to meddle in the economy. I wish we had similar set up as Texas where the pols only meet for a couple months of the year to take care of the State’s business and the rest of the time they are expected to have proper jobs.

  4. So basically Parliament will have accomplished nothing for 7 months. It’s a good thing we’re not in the midst of some type of crisis.

  5. The left-wing posters and commenters are sure in bad mood today in the aftermath of the failed Bolshevik-style coup.

  6. All we can do is look south for leadership, hope, vision, competence, and action. And in Britain and Europe as well.
    Will the emergency rescue efforts around the world spill over in a positive way as paralysis continues in Canada month after dismal month? Or will foreign attacks on the so called meltdown just drive do nothing Canada deeper into recession? The audacity of helplessness.

  7. It’s useful to remember that sitting in the House is actually part of an MP’s job.

    Even if it’s an extended Christmas break, it’s hardly a holiday. MPs still need to deal with correspondence with their constituents, meet with public officials concerning various projects in their riding, bone up on changes to procedure, analyze (and sometimes contribute input) on party policy and upcoming legislation, and prepare (or approve) articles and press releases on their own activities. (And new MPs would also welcome the extra time to get their homes and on-job routines settled in.)

  8. It is sad….but Canadians have hardly punished anyone for this state of affaris. Normally you would see one of the aprties get blamed.

    WW1 trench and attrition warefare. No equivalent of tanks capable of breaking open the field. Sadly forcing them “to work it out” isnt going to work, since all of them continue to wheel and turn, extending the flanks and blunting attacks. They are all good at stopping each other.

    This may actually be a reflection of how things are in the country, so capturing a mood of compromise is hard to do when there is no mood to capture.

  9. The left-wing posters and commenters are sure in bad mood today in the aftermath of the failed Bolshevik-style coup.


    13 days in the middle of the worst economic crisis in generations. In response to which all the Prime Minister of Canada could do was create several other crises.

    Stephen Harper’s failed leadership cannot be more manifest than that.

  10. Uh.. jwl.. have you looked at countries whose governments do not interefere in the economy at all?

    Here’s a hint.. they’re not first world.

  11. Jarrid, Bolsheviks came to power with an armed insurrection. The only mention of arms in this political event was by Conservative MP Garry Breitkreutz who wrote to gun owners to say:

    “I implore you to become immediately involved by letting the coalition parties know that our massive constituency of gun owners in Canada will refuse to recognize this proposed power grab as a bona fide government.”

    That bears repeating: “refuse to recognize … as a bona fide government.”

    Sounds to me like he was planning an armed insurrection if thigns didn’t go his way. The RCMP should keep on eye on that guy and his friends to make sure they aren’t stockpiling weapons to turn Yorkton into Waco North.

  12. ““I implore you to become immediately involved by letting the coalition parties know that our massive constituency of gun owners in Canada will refuse to recognize this proposed power grab as a bona fide government.”

    Did Breitkreutz really write this?

    This is outrageous if true. This is outright sedition.

  13. It’s still on his website check the www’s for yourself TG — garrybreitkreuzDOTcom

  14. Couldn’t that be describes as inciting sedition, which is still a crime in this country?

  15. “Uh.. jwl.. have you looked at countries whose governments do not interefere in the economy at all? Here’s a hint.. they’re not first world.”

    T Thwim

    Which countries are you referring to? Most second/third would countries have some form of totalitarian/ authoritarian government and the jack-boots are never lifted from their people’s necks.

    Well established democratic countries pretty much run themselves. Did you notice a huge difference while Parliament was adjourned for the 168 days Aaron refers to? I didn’t.

  16. We should complain to the RCMP. They have some experience in putting down prairie rebellions.

  17. jwl, he’s thinking of Africa, where multinationals make or break governments.

  18. Aaron,

    Before all of this coaltion-talk started, when was Parliament scheduled to take their Christmas vacation anyway? Is it really going to be that much longer a break than past years?

  19. Well for the average MP that works out to just over $5,500 each day they sat in the HoC over those 5 months…not bad!

  20. jwl probably considers Ayn Rand a political scientist and a philosopher with a genius akin to Einstein’s.

    Rand’s fiction and beliefs were probably influenced by her family’s unfortunate brush with the Bolsheviks in her native Russia. (Her family did not have to suffer the sporadic pogroms unfolding within the Jewish pale, but had to flee their home in St. Petersburg when the Soviets seized the family business following the revolution.)

    There is a clip of the Mike Wallace interview with Rand on YouTube that I find fascinating to watch. Rand doubtless was a high-order thinker. The problem for me is her seeming obsession for a heroic detachment that is unachievable — that evolved from a bitter brush with the Soviet revolutionaries.

    Those who adhere to and extend her beliefs seem to me likewise navigating in a fantasy.

    Just an opinion.

  21. But it was a productive session Aaron!

    Another aspect of this mess that is under reported is the success of scaring the Harper Conservatives into action by the opposition parties.

    With the incentive of near political death a Harper/Flaherty policy of ‘no stimulus til March 2009’ becomes a Jan 27 Budget which will be overflowing with all kinds of help for Canadians.

    Who says scaring Conservatives isn’t a good idea? I hope the Opposition does it often.

  22. Harper prorogued the fall session of Parliament to Oct. 16 2007.

    Parliament was scheduled to resume on Sept. 17 2007, but Harper had chosen to end the First Session of Canada’s 39th Parliament early.Parliament would have begin with a throne speech that would have, in effect, set the stage for a vote of non-confidence. The parties would have voted on the speech within six working days.

    *This is getting ‘habitual’

  23. And your point is?

    Parliament was scheduled to rise anyway a week later and is coming back on the same date. And we now can have the government turn its attention to what matters to Canadians even more than the egos of Dion and Layton, namely addressing the economic problems of the country. Sounds pretty good to me.

  24. TobyornotToby – thanks for the link to Garry’s website. I’ve added the letter to my blog and a few other places.

    A subtle call to arms, should it be needed, to defeat the ‘unholy alliance.’

    I don’t know if I should laugh or cry… a sitting (well, not right now…) Member of Parliament calling on armed citizens to refuse to recognize a democractic and constitutional change in power…

    It’s just… amazing. A new era in Canadian politics indeed.

  25. archangel

    I think Rand is ok but I am much more of a Hayek/Road To Serfdom fan myself.

    We live in mature, democratic country and at the Fed level the country pretty much runs itself as long as the Feds continue to act like the ATM that they are. I think of MPs/Parliament as being part of kabuki theatre for us to watch and be entertained.

    The PM/Cabinet are mostly helpless to change the course of events in Canada, I acknowledge there is some tweaking of policies they can do to help out, but everyone is running around like their hair’s on fire at the moment and it’s not helpful for the economy or society.

    I wish everyone would read about Canute and the lesson he taught to his courtiers.

  26. Unfortunately, the thing about Hayek is that you would pretty much have to believe that the 70,000 Canadians who lost their jobs this month did so because “purchasers” of their labour correctly revalued its value to zero. You also have to believe that any government intervention in the economy is deterministically fated to turn into Stalinism or Naziism.

    My main theoretical complaint with Hayek is that he believes that government is by definition collectivist & coercive & that business isn’t. I suppose you can quit your job while you can’t quit being a citizen, but the government hasn’t ever told me what clothes to wear (other than I have to in public), how to vote or who to be friends with. Employers have. Like most neo-Liberals & Libertarians, Hayek underestimates wage & price stickiness, asymmetric information & market power of corporations, and reduces the psychological aspects of economics to simplistic determinism. Ultimately, though, no democracy has ever successfully implemted his ideas for long. Thatcher, Reagen & Bush Jr. tried. Deregulation of the banking & mortgage industry was the result.

  27. jwl rushing and thrashing through his closet – ” Drats, I actually have to go read the damn stuff now”.

  28. No, JWL’s comment history is pretty consistent with what I know of Hayek’s ideas. He was a pretty popular read among literate Reformers. At the very least, he’s a worst-case-scenario-type warning of what happens if you don’t put the right safeguards & oversights in place to curtail an activist government. Hayek wrote before the rise of multi-national corporations, which sometimes act like nations & governments in their own right. The rise of the military-industrial complex in the US is a good example of what Hayek warned about, if you expand the role of government to the private-sector procurers.

    If anything, I’m the one who should read “The Road to Serfdom” in its entirety, and stop relying on excerpts & a chapter here & there in economic books.

    If anyone calls themselves a conservative & hasn’t read Serfdom, get off your butt to the library. (Yes, I know they’re run on public funding.)

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