247

Can it be?


 

Well, now. The Canadians Against Proroguing Parliament facebook page now has over 108,000 115,000 127,000 146,000 150,000 178,000 190,000 205,000 signatories. An Angus Reid poll shows 53 per cent of Canadians opposed to prorogation, while an Ekos poll shows 58% opposed — 40% “strongly” so. The government’s overall numbers are on the slide, even before the demonstrations planned for across the country later this month.

Conservative supporters, meanwhile, have either gone quiet or are openly attacking the move. (Also a Western Standard writer who wants it known he is not a Conservative supporter.) The Reid poll has 35% of Conservative voters opposed. Even the Liberals show signs of something vaguely resembling backbone.

Could it be that Canadians are not so apathetic as I made out? That somewhere in this nation’s consciousness there lies half-buried a memory of a time when Parliament actually mattered?

Could it be, in other words, that I was, um, you know, what I mean to say is, er … wrong?


 

Can it be?

  1. This is a virtual back-pat for you, AC. It's okay. You couldn't have known.

  2. I feel your pain…but try to look on the bright side. ;)

  3. I hope so. I truly cross my heart and hope to die so.

  4. 109,348 on Facebook. Meanwhile the website maker was just now on local Calgary CBC radio. http://noprorogue.ca/

  5. No, you were probably right the first time, and this'll blow over in a couple more weeks. Concerted media efforts to gin up outrage will prove unsustainable in the long run after every columnist has gotten the Scary Dictatorship rant out of their systems, and by next election, it'll occupy the same top-of-the-agenda mind-space for the average voter as income trusts, Afghan torture, stimulus distribution, the colour of government construction signs, insidious logo design, NGO funding, etc.

    (Go ahead and downvote plain old cynicism straight to the basement if it makes you feel better, folks. Get that righteous Tory-bashing rage out!)

  6. "Could it be that Canadians are not so apathetic as I made out?"

    I'll believe it if the rallies are well attended.

  7. Agreed. Regardless, the turn in public opinion is nice too see, regardless of whether one has a partisan rooting interest IMO.

  8. That said, the virtual absence of the biff/jarrid/conbot noise around these parts has to be indicative of something, I suppose…

  9. It would be one of the best possible times to be wrong. Besides if your not wrong once in a while, being right becomes too boring.

  10. You were so wrong Andrew! I enjoy you on The National's At Issue panel but I was disappointed by the tone of your article earlier this week. I think Harper has bit off more than he can chew with this one!

  11. It's nice to see Canadians simply lobbying for their democracy, I agree.

  12. Maybe.

    Last time Harper said it was to save Canada from the socialists and separatists. That sounded like a more compelling reason to walk off the job than his current 'I want to get some ideas on the economy'.

  13. You're a good looking young man, Andrew Coyne, and smart at that.

    Harper has always reminded me of Pierre Trudeau. Same arrogance. Some strongheaded methods and arguments. My way or the highway.

    Which reminds me of a cold, January morning in the seventies. My bus was delayed half an hour as I stood in that Montreal concoction called 'la sloche'. When I finally got on the bus and had a chance to open my Journal de Montréal I read that Pierre Trudeau had declared that he wasn't worried about (whatever it was) – because Canadians spend January in Florida. Trudeau never recovered from that in my opinion, and in the opinion of a lot of Canadians of my generation. It is always a drop … qui fait déborder la coupe.

  14. SeanStok,

    I don't understand why you need to see well attended rallies to give credence to the growing opposition among Canadians. Are you planning on attending?

  15. I know; the triumphalism around here is pretty tedious, isn't it?

  16. From Andrews link to Mike Brock at the Western Standard…

    "He has lost almost the entirety of his intelligent, thinking base and is left with nothing more than a voting block on which to chop populist issues, and a chorus of uninspiring partisans cheering on from the bleachers."

    Ouch.

  17. 109,487 just now.

  18. "Could it be, in other words, that I was, um, you know, what I mean to say is, er … wrong?"

    God knows you weren't the only one.

  19. Andrew,
    Last night's At Issue Panel was strange, you had Bruce Andreson give commentary on a poll that his company did in December!!! Not one commentator mentioned the EKOS and Angus Reid polls that point to a majority (strong) of canadians that are opposed to parliament being prorogued. In the EKOS poll I think in Ontario opposition is running at nearly 60%. Most of the major pundits have dismissed Canadians as not paying attention, maybe they should listen a litte more before they speak or write. I almost fell out of my chair listenign to mr anderson last night, is he a conservative party spokesman.

    Facebook and other media cannot be dismissed – it is powerful and will only become more powerful. 110,000 people!!!!! That is amazing…

    Now we have almost 110,000 Canadians on facebook who have signed up

  20. I won't be attending a rally (not my style) but that doesn't mean I ain't pissed.

  21. This has been a demoralizing experience for many Conservative supporters.

  22. Fair point. I just don't see Facebook membership as necessarily indicative of meaningful political involvement. I suppose if I can see people willing to go stand outside, I might believe they will also get out and vote, attend candidate meetings, write letters, and that sort of thing.

    I'm not one for public rallies as a rule, but I am strongly considering turning out for this one,

  23. While I don't think prorogation is an election issue, the longer that list you cite gets, the more likely voter fatigue sets in, which outside of something seismic to shift things (sponsorship for instance) is generally what gets voters to turn on the government.

  24. My point exactly. I'm not attending either but you can count on me registering my displeasure at the ballot box.

    I want to know why so many feel that the polls or tools like FB aren't worth a damn if it doesn't translate into thousands of people in the streets.

  25. No, your self-imposed martyrdom bores me, as does the fact that your avatar alone is generally predictive of your words.

  26. How many people did 22-minutes get to sign-up for the petition to change Stockwell Day's name to Doris?

    Let's not start governing based on Facebook groups, please? Apathy, I think, would be better.

    I'll bet you could get 108,000 people to sign-up on Facebook for Stalinism.

    That's why the minimum requirement for voting is you at least have to drag your arse outta the house.

    How do you know all of these 108,000 are actually Canadian? Anyone checking?

    • I don't know about where you live, but where I am we have to be on the list of electors, then present at a designated polling station with ID to exercise my franchise.

      So, yeah, it's important that if we're putting a bunch of stock in people's opinions, expressed on-line, by clicking a box, and – well, that's it – that they should at the least be Canadian, and you know, part of the 'electorate' as it were.

      And no, non-citizen resident's opinions don't matter. Just like on voting day.

      Whether or not you agree that the prorogument is a bad idea (I'm frankly indifferent in that it's kind of skeevy, but cripes, not that big a deal, and certainly not without precedent – see Chretien, 1999) I think that giving too much credibility to a Facebook group is worse that apathy.

      It's clicking a box on a screen. No consequences, no accountability, no thought required or necessary.

      Signing-up for a Facebook group is the definition of the absolute least you can do. I've heard it described as 'slacktivism.'

      Indeed.

      • Right. So from this day forward we will ignore facebook, all online polls, heck even the ones that phone you just ask if you are a voting age citizen. Where's their proof? We will no longer use any of these tools to test the temperature of the Canadian people. Their opinions are of no consequence.

        If we want to know what "Real Canadians" think, we can just ask Harper. He's an honest broker, right?

        • Fercryinoutloud yes! You should absolutely, positively ignore facebook and on-line polls!

          Jeez, do you really even have to be told?

          At least with the phone polls they don't know what the person's answer will be in advance! If you're joining the anti-whatever FB group, you are by definition a partisan of a particular position! It's called self-selection.

          So by your logic, since 109,000 people have signed up for this group and there are 33,000,000 Canadians, therefore Canadians are overwhelmingly pro-prorogation!

          Both of us know that's not the case!

          The proof of phone polls is pretty sketchy anyway, but controls such as sample size calling areas, times, etc. help to control that…anyway they're only right within x% with 90 or 95% confidence…by the way, given the polls, both Al Gore and John Kerry were elected POTUS! Wait, they weren't?

          Yeesh.

          • Ignore the numbers all you want. But it's relevant that 140,000 plus Canadian don't like what the government is doing. How's that pro-prorogation page doing anyways?

  27. "Fair point. I just don't see Facebook membership as necessarily indicative of meaningful political involvement. I suppose if I can see people willing to go stand outside, I might believe they will also get out and vote, attend candidate meetings, write letters, and that sort of thing.

    But SeanStok, you are on Maclean's blog and others day-in day-out. If one is to take your comments as a serious indication of your discontent with Harper's prorogation, why can't the same be said of FB?

  28. parliament is about as relevant to the average canadian as the royal canadian air farce

  29. Only those that have been sleeping for the past couple years.

  30. Not half as tedious as your sour take on politics.

  31. speak for your damn self.

    I'm getting a little tired of those kind of condescending comments. just because YOU don't care certainly doesn't mean that the rest of the population feels the same.

    Harper is about to find out the hard way that he greatly misjudged his constituents.

  32. Any Canadian who reads is not surprised that Harper's true colours are being so clearly seen. What is surprising is the number of people who do not see him for what he is, a demagogue of the vilest sort, always has been, always will be. Perhaps they do not read?

    • Maybe they CAN'T read!

  33. Wait, I was on the radio? Neato!

    (I don't think it was me – probably Chris White, the guy who created the Facebook group.)

  34. Andrew, use this downtime to take a holiday: when you start to doubt your own wisdom it`s time to step back and get some perspective.

    In a perfect theoretical world Parliament and committee work would produce such useful results that we would not tolerate the suspension of these institutions. But, before you go just take a look back at the fall session and see how much time was spent on repetitive opp. queries about a possible incident on a battlefield 4 years ago and hysterical panic questions about a seasonal flu. Now why in heck would we hit the streets to bring back that scenario.

  35. People are clearly upset that their MPs get a longer vacation than they do. How many members do you think you could get on a facebook page demanding lower wages and less generous pensions for politicians?

  36. don't mind avr's perpetual anger. it's a Reformer thing. we wouldn't understand.

  37. Hello AC
    Well put. As others have stated, but I will re-state Christopher White has given you credit (or blames you) for the Facebook group.
    Mr Harper's comments on Radio Canada today indicated that it will all blow over after the weekend. Let's see if it has by the 23rd of January. Then see how many of the 109K people stand on guard. Re: the Trudeau reference earlier, maybe Mr Harper will take a walk in the snow.
    Thanks again

  38. "How many people did 22-minutes get to sign-up for the petition to change Stockwell Day's name to Doris?"

    And look how poor Doris … err … Stockwell ended up.

    "I'll bet you could get 108,000 people to sign-up on Facebook for Stalinism."

    Start a group and prove it. You can't, because you're spouting rubbish.

    "How do you know all of these 108,000 are actually Canadian? Anyone checking?"

    Are those who live in Canada but do not have Canadian citizenship ineligible to express an opinion ? Or is it just because they disagree with with your boss, Guy 'Brainfarttrust' Giorno, that you want to take away their civic rights, pace Jason Kenney ?

  39. YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  40. Small 'c' conservatives have been willing to cut Harper a lot of slack over the years, but there are always limits to one's tolerance. The decision to prorogue seems like a significant misjudgment, and I guess we'll have to wait and see what the consequences will be.

  41. Oh, c'mon guys. I'm gonna pick up a Tim's and go. I'm practicing
    my " Hey, Hey, Ho Ho " already.

  42. "This has been a demoralizing experience for many Conservative supporters."

    Meh, only because Harper's move appears to be backfiring (for now).

  43. I am prouder of those who take action agaisnt Harper's undemocratic agenda, then any Olympic gold medal winner.

  44. Discontent is meaningless without action. I like a lot of the folks around here, I enjoy the mental stimulation, and I waste far too much of my time. But I never mistake my comments as amounting to anything much beyond amusement. Hell, spending as much time as I do here is probably more indicative of an obsessive compulsive disorder than anything else. And I really could and should be doing more for the world than this.

    Look, I do find the Facebook thing a bit heartening. The recent Ekos poll more so. But I'll hold judgment for a while before I'm willing to declare the end of apathy.

  45. Because it is easier to click and join, then come back day after day and provide commentary.

    The FB thing, on its own, is not really anything.

    It could be and seems to be much more though because of how the numbers keep going up, the commentary is constant (and not all of it just of the "Harper is a douchebag" variety), but more importantly it is clearly not the end goal and is being used as a tool for connecting with and quickly organizing a large group of people across the whole country. I'm off in an hour to an organizational meeting, for example, that I only knew about from CAPP on FB. By Monday, the FB group will have surpassed Stephen Taylor's anti-coalition FB group from last year if that is any gauge.

    • Remember when Rick Mercier changed the name of Stockwell Day to Doris Day and put it on the internet and got abut 370,000 votes in about 3 seconds?
      http://www.cbc.ca/news/story/2000/11/16/bc_dorisd

      That's how this facebook thing is going right now.

      I hope Harper gets put pushed back on his ass again like we did last year..

      BTW great call on these things again Andrew. That's 2 for 2 on my score card.

  46. The comments board is for expressing one's opinions on a given subject. Of course he's speaking for his damn self. Comments boards are meant to generate discussion, not to reflect the feelings of the general population.

  47. But not Trudeau's wit or panache. The fascination with Trudeau was always the man…whatever else it is watching Harper's not any fun…ah well we were all young once…

  48. Just this summer we were praising the People of Iran for their march for democracy. I think it's a good example to follow even if our democracy is not as much in danger as theirs was.

  49. I take offensive to being categorized as a Conservative supporter in this post. While I'm not complaining about the link, I am tired of chasing down all the people who quote me and categorize me as a conservative. Nor has the Western Standard been a categorically conservative publication or blog in years. Most of our contributors do not vote Conservative, Liberal or NDP. I believe in the last election, based on a tally we did, most people voted Libertarian.

    Not to mention that I have been one of the mainstay Harper-bashers at the Western Standard for years. Just Google "Mike Brock" and Harper, and you'll be treated to a cornucopia of diatribes I have penned against Harper over the years.

    So this is me asking gently for a correction. :)

  50. You are confusing issues, Andrew. Just because people signed up to a Facebook group or expressed their displeasure to a pollster doesn't mean they are any less apathetic. Even the protests organized around this issue will be relatively mild affairs. It's not as if there will be riots, like there were in the United Kingdom over the poll tax, or a general strike, which happens in France virtually every time the government tries to introduce a social welfare reform. But that doesn't mean that Canadians are going to forget about this, nor will the issue of Harper's authoritarian tendencies go away. For Harper, the rot has started to set in. Canadians are peeved with him and his government. Whatever merits Harper may have will from now on be overshadowed in public sentiment by his going prorogue for the second time without any good reason.

  51. That's a strong defence of the Harper Holiday right there: I'm sure it will go away.

    Worked well as a strategy for the Liberals when the AG report came out about Sponsorship came out.

  52. Oh please, of course they are Canadian.Who else goes out of their way to comment on Canadian politics (with all due respect to the Economist, The Guardian, the NYT…) Personally I think the FB site is great – Conservative Party has been misusing polls to shape issues, manipulating media to get their messages out. It's proving very difficult for them to 'spin' real public opinion. Best democracy we've had in a while!

    I too watched at issue last night and felt like Mr Anderson was a party hack but best to have everyone's opinions represented. We have to remember Harper (and us) pay his bills. I think polls are biased and have outlived their usefulness – except the ones that reflect what I am thinking ha ha. (more like the Conservatives' view on the media)

  53. This is what I love about you Mr. Coyne. Although I'm not on the same bit of the political spectrum as you, I respect and admire anyone who actually looks at the facts before making an opinion and even revises that opinion based on new facts. Too many people are so brainwashed by ideology and partisanship they wouldn't know a fact if it slapped them in the face a gazillion times and readily swallow whatever lie is spoonfed to them by their leaders.

  54. And in fairness the opposition's been mostly awful.

  55. Walking and chewing gum at the same time is a difficult task you know. Well worth throwing out half your legislative agenda and wasting thousands of hours of work and millions and millions of taxpayer dollars over.

  56. "Hey, Hey, Hork, Hork
    All you bums get back to work!"

  57. "But I'll hold judgment for a while before I'm willing to declare the end of apathy."

    Fair enough. I just found it a little strange that you (and countless others) would be dismissive of FB but not of other social mediums such as this blog.

  58. Could it be, in other words, that I was, um, you know, what I mean to say is, er … wrong?

    Where's this mock *shock* coming from? Let's have a review of when Coyne has ever been right first.

    That's not very nice, I know, but really, Coyne seems awfully tone-deaf sometimes.

    • It's not nice, and it's also incorrect.

  59. That's the political consequences.

    I think/guess that CR is referring to the substantive issue of whether proroguing is good or bad, regardless of whether he can get away with it.

  60. I suspect the reason many pundits were dead wrong, is because they were too definitive, prior to actually having any substantive feedback. Many people just scoffed with kneejerk cyncism straight away, which is a bit amateurish when you think about it. Part of the problem, it's a bit of an esoteric world, where all the clever pundits reinforce their cyncism, with no consideration of the real world. This prorogue had problematic all over it, but it seems a certain elite detachment denied any consideration.

    Don't worry Andrew, you are still the only person in Canada who was right about no fall election. That was wizard like, or lucky ;)

  61. "Because it is easier to click and join, than it is to come back day after day and provide commentary. "

    But… They ARE coming back day after day providing commentary.

  62. I've been thinking that maybe it's time to attend a rally and see what it's like.
    You never know, you might make a good friend there – and it may be cold outside, but I'm a damn tough Canadian!

  63. Frankly, I said I wouldn't go but I think that curiosity will get the better of me.

  64. My feeling is that this is a bit of a "last straw" type of moment. It's not prorogation per se that's pissing people off, but the culmination of Harper's anti-democratic moves.

  65. Maybe it's time to revive the Progressive Conservative Party. As I recall, there were some good people in it.

  66. Remember that in the old days of paper petitions, people who didn't like the way opinion was going said that these were too easy, too!!!

    Anyone who says that this is fostered by the media has not been paying attention to the media – "Facebook Frenzy" indeed!

    There is no way to measure the number of letters, emails, phone calls or other communications that this has generated. Hopefully people will come out on the 23rd if Prime Minister Harper and his party do not reverse their decision, but even if they do not come out in great masses, the work has already started!

  67. "People are clearly upset that their MPs get a longer vacation than they do."

    As they should be. There are already non-sitting days and breaks, without proroguing, for MPs to review their priorities and speak to constituents.

    It is likely that Harper wanted to avoid the detainee issue, but one can't be certain of his motivations. What one can be certain of is that he extended the usual Dec&Jan break into a substantially longer break without offering any compelling reason.

  68. And a good number of these marches were organized from FB. Just sayin'…

  69. The beast is waking.

  70. Ok.I'll be the first ignorant one…where does a libertarian park their vote?…with the greens??

  71. "I'll bet you could get 108,000 people to sign-up on Facebook for Stalinism."

    Funny you should say that. Matt Gurney at the National Post or someone made a similar mocking comment and set up a competing website to prove his point. The competing pro-prorogue group now is up to 400 after a week.

    • It was someone in his office that did it, as a joke.I should sign up! its so easy to click

  72. Conservatives don't believe in Democracy.

  73. I'm fairly dismissive of the comments on Maclean's. My own as much as any.

  74. kcm, I couldn't agree more. Iggy's press conference was downright depressing.

  75. Complaining about politicians' vacations seems very different from defending democracy.

  76. Mr. Coyne – I have been – like you – dismissive of this approach – insofar that rallies per se and Facebook protests do not change the status quo one whit!
    But what jarrid and William et al.'s boss haven't figured yet is – as any marketer will tell you – to get people to voluntarily self identify to a cause then binds them and gives you permission to communicate with them on all sorts of other related matters.
    Those lists are worth gold – for any next steps.
    Now – if there NO NEXT STEPS – it will be a crying shame – because the gentleman who has just returned from vacation in Hungary – and his opposite number in the NDP – should be drooling about the possibility that one or both of them could use the lsists and the momentum they have built – to get a whole different message out!
    A certain American – name of Barack Obama – shwed just how powerful a tool lists can be!

  77. That's kinda why I then wrote "It could be and seems to be much more though because of how the numbers keep going up, the commentary is constant (and not all of it just of the "Harper is a douchebag" variety)"

  78. Maybe you can live blogue about it?

  79. Tell you what…

    Why don't we both go to rallies in our respective cities and prove Harper wrong?

  80. Bit early to tell AC.

    I wish someone [ can't imagine anyone better] would write a piece on why this minority parliament has in the main not produced good govt, at least not in any consensual way. Many had some hope for this, i suspect many now wish for a return to majority govt. Who's really to blame Harper for taking everything advantage of weak opposition – or the opposition for being weak. Is there a dood column there AC…you doing anything for the next 3 months?

  81. Ted is correct. I referring to the substantive issue of whether proroguing is good or bad. Certainly, having a PM wield it as a blunt instrument sets a bad precedent.

  82. Or for Star Trek fans: the Continuum vs the Borg.

  83. @Lorraine Lamontange.

    I nearly vomitted a bit when you compared Harper to Trudeau. Trudeau was arrogant, yes, but he was right more times than he was wrong. Staying at the St.Jean Baptiste Day parade with angry seperatists trowing rocks and bottles at you, does take a certain amount of arrogance. I can't see Harper doing that…

  84. To all the Conservatives who slam Andrew Coyne, you should have a longer think about that. Just because he doesn't follow Stephen Harper blindly like 15-20% of the electorate does not mean he is not a Conservative. It is shocking to me how so many of you think it's ok for Harper to muzzle Opposition, even muzzle his own cabinet and caucus. So many of you think you have to fall in line too and you don't. I, for one, am very glad that Andrew Coyne (and Don Martin and a few others) don't feel the need to Hail Harper for all his moves. Even though I'm not a Conservative, I do like hearing a variety of opinions. Those, like Mr. Coyne who feel free to both support and disagree with the government are the Conservatives who are worth listening to because they have maintained their credibility as conservatives who can think for themselves.

  85. Not so. Harperites don't believe in Democracy.

  86. Used to be's don't count any more. They just lie on the floor 'til you sweep them away – Neil Diamond.

  87. I'd like to join in this challenge. I'm in SK, a very Conservative province. Also a very cold province. If I hear of a rally, I"ll go. And I'll tell you and Sean about it here.

    I'll also make a donation to a party other than Cons because we need to put our money where our mouse is…not just click support, but donations, which might be the BEST way (barring an election) to show Cons how we feel.

  88. oops…bit dyslexic today.

  89. Sure makes a handy club, though.

  90. The Doris petition got over 600K signatures in the first week, and ended up with more than a million signatures.

  91. At first and for a very long time I thought of avr as an <a href = "http://redwing.hutman.net/~mreed/warriorshtm/ennui.htm">Ennui because of his unmovable gloomy tone. But then I started to notice a pattern of reflection in his comments, where the issue is always because "we" are the lunatics, so I pegged him more as a <a href = "http://redwing.hutman.net/~mreed/warriorshtm/therapist.htm">Therapist.

    That comment though was a classic <a href = "http://redwing.hutman.net/~mreed/warriorshtm/picador.htm">Picador move.

  92. ah hell

  93. "Staying at the St.Jean Baptiste Day parade with angry seperatists trowing rocks and bottles at you, does take a certain amount of arrogance."

    That's not arrogance, that's pure courage. Trudeau had cojones. Harper would send out his thugs to beat up the bottle throwers. Trudeau sat there and took it like the man he was. No comparison.

  94. I'm down with the rally and perhaps the donation too, as soon as I figure out who to give it to.

  95. I have been waiting for some one to make this observation.

    Anybody know the demographic of facebook users? I would suggest that it is likely younger folk. You know, the cynical ones who don't vote. Even the fact that they are taking a few moments to register their disapproval is noteworthy.

    If this is arousing the slumbering beast of the apathetic younger generation, Conservatives had better beware.

    They, and we, have been complacent in our respect for Parliament and Democracy. If this serves to make people pay attention, even for a moment, there is some hope at some point they will become more interested and involved.

    It is, however, something that would have to be nurtured. Someone needs to make sure this group stay interested.

  96. Judging from previous comments. I'm astonished that so many people with strong political opinions seem to have never actually been to a rally before, and thus even more heartened that they all seem intent on actually attending the Jan 23rd rallies. Some advice: longjohns, hot thermos, throat sweets (shouting does one's voice in), and might I also warn/entice them by observing that the endorphins triggered by rallies often lead to heightened sexual attraction. More than one STD has been contracted as a result, or babies been born nine months after a rally, or simply joyful hooking up, which sometimes leads to long-term relationships, even marriage. Forewarned/fore-enticed is forearmed.

  97. So… Being called a Conservative supporter is considered an insult?

    Well I can't say that I would be happy with that label either.

  98. The Liberals have – behind the scenes – been working on this. but – until Mr. Ignatieff cleaned house – it was pretty much of a skunk works effort.
    However – it would not surprise me if other prominent Liberals – with or without Mr. Ignatieff's blessing – don't start this up as a serious tool very very soon!

  99. Susan Riley wrote a great piece in the Citizen a couple months ago on Progerssive Conservatism, and the need for it in today's politics.

  100. I'm in. It's already written down on my crazy jammed packed mommy calendar, so that means there's no going back.

    Take that Harper.

  101. I assumed it was the same foreigners with whom Canada is always losing prestige and respect because of Harper (or Chretien or Martin). It's amazing how many foreigners Canadians believe care about our country…

  102. For what it's worth I think you were right Andrew. I was pretty miffed about the proroguing but after last night's totally awsome episode of Jersey Shore I'm not so cconcerned anymore.

  103. in general, I agree with Don. A failed institution in a failing land.

  104. LOL!

  105. Who's making money off of the gajilions of dollars the Harper Government is spending on advertising?

  106. Being conservative is something I am very proud of. Being thought of as a Conservative Party supporter though is downright insulting. This collection of bagmen and blowboys ain't anything conservative.

    Same liars and thieves as the last liars and thieves. Only the tie colour changes.

    • Ah, the bitterness.

  107. I think you were right to see Canadians as apathetic, as it did take a while for it to be clear that there was opposition to the prorogation. I commented in a previous post that Canadians didn't seem to care at all. I am thrilled to be wrong about this. Really. Thrilled.

  108. I made my donation yesterday; I wrote a letter to the GG when the prorogue first was announced. I will attend a rally on the 23rd and write to my MP. Gotta put my money and time where my mouth is.

  109. Cows go 'moo', roosters go 'cockadoodledo', Canadians go 'baa-baa-baa'.

  110. Yep you were wrong. Canadians do care, we're not just a bunch of red neck blue collar idiots.

  111. That settles it, I'm going.

  112. You betcha! As taxpayers, we have a right to bash and be angry.

  113. All this for 15days, they were going to quit working for the Olympics anyway. If this were the liberals, it would a great idea to focus on our Olympics.As for face book, I joined to see,They have photos of signs, that say water board Harper and referring to Hitler..very umm juvenile, but heh? its all about proroguing is it? I see iggy the gutless wont bring down the Conservatives as usual, they are mighty mad at him over at CBC.ca, but he just doesn't have the numbers, it isnt about listening to the people, they dont do that in parliament. I do think Harper will rue the day he decided this, and igg y- sill not a leader.

  114. Hey, he took responsibility about his error – like a man. Obama, with all his problems right now, took responsbility for the security issue like a leader and a man.

    Harper, never has.

  115. Well then, clearly the only option is to abandon it I guess.

    • Yeah, that's exactly what Herr Harper wants you to think.

  116. Though he's willing to post under his actual name, so that counts for something.

    • A paycheque, for one…

  117. Hey, the Cons are into demoralization. They try daily to demoralize opponents. Strange way to get your jollies

  118. lol Harper = Trudeau + the machine.

  119. You're right Chuck – the two men have the same arrogance but they are very different. When Jean-Robert Gauthier died recently I watched a TFO documentary on his life. There was a clip, only a few seconds, of Senator Gauthier speaking to citizen Pierre Trudeau who was addressing a Senate committee on Charlottetown. Gauthier, who had voted against the patriation of the Constitution – and that took cojones, I remember him crying in the House while his colleagues were singing O Canada – told Trudeau that they never could agree on constitutional issues. Pierre Trudeau congratulated him for it. Harper would never do that. He would attack and demean anyone who doesn't agree with him. Democracy and the right to hold dissenting opinions is lost on Harper.

  120. All this for being willing to close parliament to prevent documents from reaching the MPCC hands.

    What's in those documents, I wonder, that's so bad that even visitors for the Olympics would have gone away shocked?

    • I dont buy that, neither does the opposition.because rather than facebook( eye roils) they would be calling an election

      • Pray tell how they'd call an election without an opposition day and with parliament in prorogue?

  121. Take a look at the Facebook group and read the angry comments from its members. I don't think this will die out. Mr. Harper has really hit a nerve and the Facebook group is an indication of just how passionate people are feeling about the issue. Will it translate into anything? I think "yes". We'll see at the next election.

  122. So y'all don't believe in the secret ballot, eh?

  123. what settled it? the endorphins or the potential pregnancy?

    lol

    • You left out the STD as the enticing option…

  124. "Harper has always reminded me of Pierre Trudeau. "

    That's odd. Harper's always reminded me of Dubya; i.e. thick as two short planks.

  125. Until voters are asked to….
    choose,

    between Harper and Iggy.

    Or more importantly as we get closer to that choice. All the polls in the last three years have shown a startling consistency.

    The further from an election it gets tight. When it become more concrete and context and intention become a factor that's different.

    Believe prorogue has caused real political damage if you choose.

    I, for one, look forward to an early spring election.

  126. Three months out from the last election call I recall Harper and Dion being "neck and neck".

    • Yes I loved that poll, and the famous dion pout! lol

  127. Stephen Harper states today that the opposition will be mad at him when parliament comes back. Now that the economist U.K. has jumped into the fray some input from the "mother" country which gives us our system of government with the Queen finally doing the honors proroguing our parliament via Michaelle Jean gives them a unusual view of our country (reverting to the feudal system in Europe of the past at least some traits of it in this present prorogue). Vic Towes says today "nonsense" to the people of opposite view to him and the Conservatives are saying Parliament was prorogued many times before – are they trying to beat the Liberals who they condemned.

  128. I have a wide circle of social and business contacts, but I have never heard the proroguing issue brought up in any conversation anywhere. Global warming, yes, terrorism, yes, hundreds of other things, yes. But not one comment, not one, for or against, regarding proroguing of parliament.
    i suppose if asked in a survey most people, who wouldn't know what "proroguing" meant, would think the correct response is to say they don't agree with it. Pressed on "why not?", I'm not sure you would get a clear answer.
    In the meantime Andrew, get a part time job at Macdonald's to keep busy. They like to hire old people.

    • I have a wide circle of social and business contacts, and I have heard the proroguing issue brought up by 3 different people in 3 separate conversations over the course of the past week. One of the three was mostly just annoyed that Harper phoned it in to the GG instead of being courteous enough to visit, but the other two were a) annoyed that Harper gave himself an Olympic vacation and b) sure that the government is scared and has something hide over this Afghan detainee issue.

  129. I know that I'll be attending one of the rallies and I certainly hope those who have expressed much disdain on MacLeans re Harper's progrogation of Parliament will also attend a rally if one is available in their city/town.

  130. Andrew Coyne? Wrong? Sure, why not? It has happened many times before…

  131. If on June 9th of this year, the government requests that Parliament sit an extra 10 days in June* and the opposition nixes that (something that was a formality up until the last two years), will people be up in arms about parliamentarians giving themselves an early summer holiday?

    * Extension of sitting hours in June, Standing Order 27(1) of the House of Commons

  132. Libs forget that captcold,
    and over look how democratic Iffy's installation as leader was… not!

  133. Some Canadians may not pay much attention to archaic constitutional terms such as prorogation of Parliament or even to the fate of Afghan detainees transferred to torture; this IGNORANT despot, seems to think so! How WRONG he is!

    Other Canadians will care greatly about both these issues.

    BUT….. all Canadians must care about a minority government that undermines the fundamental democratic institutions of this country, while also manipulating quasi-judicial tribunals and intimidating the public service from speaking truth to power. This abuse of executive power is tilting toward totalitarian government and away from the foundations of democracy and the rule of law on which this country was founded.

  134. Yah, I think there were 2 left standing!

  135. What people have to understand is that people are only given one vote, and with that vote you have to pass judgment on many things. The main thing people will vote on is whether this gov't has done a decent enough job with the economy, and whether they believe that they know and are comfortable with the general policy direction of this gov't, as opposed to bringing in another gov't whose basic competence and policy vision is untested. This is always the major obstacle for opposition parties to overcome, in convincing the electorate that it is ok, even preferable, to turf out the sitting government. Heck, the Liberals managed to get re-elected in 2004 with the Sponsorship Scandal swirling all around them!

    While I've no doubt that if there was a referendum on the use of prorogation, that a prorogation like the current one wouldn't be endorsed, but the chances to send such a clear message on a singular topic are so far and few between. So overall direction of the country trumps whether or not the PM pushes the envelope with some prerogative powers, and that's how people will vote, with the bigger picture stuff in mind.

    • You raise a good point, but I wouldn't want to be a Conservative running on my government's ability to handle the economy when even the least attention-paying Canadian knows the opposition forced the government to take the action it did. And even at that there are plenty of complaints on how they did it.

  136. Finally, it's likely high time we had a conference to discuss how to "modernize" some of our conventions like the power to prorogue, etc. Obviously, there are times where it might be highly desireable (e.g. in the midst of an existential war), but other times when it's clearly not. We should also look at other Westminster systems, and see what conventions we could adopt from them. I think adopting the more relaxed confidence convention of the UK (maybe a bit more rigid than theirs, but far less rigid than our current model), and also the convention (UK and Australia do this) of allowing opposition politicians access to the civil service in the leadup to elections, so they can familiarize themselves more with the workings of government, so they can have the civil service run data on their policy proposals, and just to effect a smoother transition in the event of a change in government.

  137. Oh puleeeese,
    Chretien prorogued in 2002 and 2003, 13 months apart,
    so as to hang the Adscam albatross around Martin;s neck…..

    Proroguing for the installation of 5 Conservative Senators is worth the grief the media has stirred up.
    Iffy has had to repeat himself 3 times that 'this does not mean I want an election'.

    Facebookies unite!
    Demand the Oppositiiton use their MAJORITY and force an election in this democracy….please.

  138. I could not agree with you more……it was surprising no one challenged Anderson, particularly since the national had a report on the poll results only a few minutes earlier. Do you think the At Issue was taped before the Ekos adn Angus Reid polls were released that day?

  139. Crit Reasoning is into demoralization,
    we ConBots want an election!

    • Wilson, sometimes non-ConBot Conservative supporters get demoralized by decisions that the Prime Minister makes. It doesn't happen very often (if it did, there wouldn't be much of a Conservative Party left) but it still happens.

      • CR, I would like to think most partisans are, from time to time, disappointed by the leadership of whichever party most closely aligns to the partisan's ideology.

        As for me, a small-C conservative, I am less bothered by the prorogue (that's just silly-bugger parliamentary tactics that are within the rules and not much — or less– egregious than some of the other silly-bugger games others have played in prior governments) than by the abomination of the last budget. THAT was demoralizing…

  140. hey, what i'm interested in seeing is a brilliant budget for the possibly tough times ahead. I've never joined any political party and not sure I would. Politicians jockey for media time to look good in the polls, screaming about Canada's role in torture of Afghanis by Afghanis that took place three years ago as a result of the Liberals' decision to go to Afghanistan. Wasn't it the Liberals that devised the handing-over policy that the Conservatives inherited? Haven't the Conservatives since fixed the handing-over policy that the Liberals initiated? Geez, I hope most Canadians see thought this. For once, I think Coyne is on the wrong track, even though he's so smart (although a little bit stuffy).

  141. I hope to meet you at ours, Sean!

  142. Not another country,
    but very possibly unions and all those special interest groups that hate Harper,
    have widely circulated the site.

  143. I'll join your challenge. And I'd love if we all compared notes on our respective rallies. We may need an open thread that day if any Maclean's blogger is listening.

  144. Oh yes, don, it's irrelevance to you is like the old question, "What has parliament ever done for me? If one pays either taxes or an ounce of attention to history one would notice what a deeply ignorant question that is.

  145. We Harper supporters ELECTED him,
    thusly we support him.
    Can you say the same about IffyÉ

  146. Just in case that scared you out of your mind, I'd like to point out that I hadn't read EugeneForseyLiberal's comment when I wrote that. Not to worry!

    • I'll see you there! (And no worries – I'm blessed with looks and personality that no rally can offset).

  147. agreed. I am totally with Sean. The FB group is great (I joined it) but action is required before i believe people really care. but i have committed to going to the rally and tring to get a few like-minded friends to do the same.

    i am also on the same page with Sean in that who to give money to is not an easy decision. first because, it is a more partisan action they the more ecumenical decision of I don't like your decision to prorogue. Second, because even if there was a party i preferred, I am nsot sure any of the alternatives are competent or capable of winning.

    it might actually be that more than just sending money somewhere it is time more people actually joined parties to get them to do what people want them to do. the road ahead may be quite long!

    Sean, if we can reduce straighten out that whole obsessive compulsive disorder thing of yours, can you go rectify a party that we could all then stomach to join?

    • I'm not sure I'd want to belong to any party that would have me as a member.

  148. Shhhhh,
    they think this is an uprising against a constitutionally legal move that could hurt Harper.

    This mood is about unemployment, and over paid politicians, Senators, Bankers, Brokers, Madoffs, taxpayers buyer GM, huge deficit …
    this is the first display of anger ( except for the HST) from Canadians after sitting on pins and needles thru a recession.
    Blowing off some steam.

    • "This mood is about unemployment … "

      Fair enough. Then your boy Stevie is sunk and the rest of this partisan to-ing and fro-ing is nonsense. Nice.

  149. wilson, is Chretien still PM? Did his own party want him? Can you learn?

  150. Uhhh, yeah? You seem to forget that the Liberal Party's rules allowed for such an occurrence, and the Liberal Party supporters voted in those rules. Further, there was almost no bitching about it by Liberal supporters at the time, simply because it needed to be done fast.

    • Yup. Within the rules. Kinda like this two-week extension of the parliamentary break.

  151. Coyne said no election until 2012,
    unless he has recently flip flopped.

  152. Harper says this will have all blow over by the weekend,I ,m not sure If this kind of behavior is Rude,or just plain stupid,to Attack Innocent Canadians ,and go off in a cony Zone, what kind of a person,attacks his Countries People and go get a goodnite sleep,you have to have a Negative Belief or A Bad Influence of Reading a book weird Religion,well I guess some People taste of close minded-ness ,Truly think you can say whatever,when you have the upper-power,this is rather A Act of un-Realiability of Leadership. Shame….. It,s a dis-grace to have The Gov: PM & his staff calling First Nations Terrorist and Attacking Colvin ,denying Genocide on Aboriginals in Canada in the last 150 years. Shopping around in the USA /China/India/ETC TO : sell Dirty Oil from our Natural Resources,on our Land, does not go well in the World Stage,especially when the Tailings of it,s Dirty Oil ,is Killing Our People of Cancer. Governments Benefit ,on First Nations Land. I would like to see more of the Main stream society ,to see and hear this Issue, The Canadian Gov: has been Influencing the Cheifs of this Country,s First Nations TO : Accept self Governance, But In Reality Is Our People Living In Poverty are Constantly been Invited TO : Gatherings, Our Elders ,children, by Indian Affairs Chiefs & their workers,carrying around a Box full Of Trinkets ,Gifts, Plastic wrapped Sandwiches & Tim Hortons Coffee & Donuts,To Accept & welcome "Self Governance, But In Reality most of our Indigenous People" DO NOT " want this for the reason,s the Harper Gov: & the GOV'S: before have not cleared the Issues of "CORRUPTION" in the Canadian gov and the First Nations Indian Affairs Cheifs,how do you Trust the Gov: ,when they put money into a the wrong places,Our People are Living in Poverty,most of us that speak up against this Issue are been black Listed. Peace ~~ on Earth & Goodwill, I hope the New year will shine some Light on the poor,we are not Terrorist. 2010 the Society shall shine the Naked Truth on our Treaty Rights. and the Innocent. my wish the Policticians read this ,and hear it Loud & Clear. Help the Poor,we are Crying for Justice, Not war. Peace~.

    • Interesting, LittleBear. I hadn't heard many First Nations people are against the self-government model currently touted as "the answer". I'd like to learn more, got any links I could follow?

      • No Not really ,But The Majority of aboriginal Canadians ,will agree to; my comment,this corruption is Embedded into Our Bands & The GOV: & the Inac Indian affairs Cheifs and their cling-ons are just their for themselves & their families ,It,s A Common Practice on the Native Community,s sad to Say. It wouldn,t be so bad if it was a Fair & Equal say,when you have Our Leaders having all the say,We only see it as "Corrupt" why? we the people that should benefit fr: Gaming ,Smokes, Etc, most of it is shared by the Cheif and councillors,not the Poor living in poverty,our People have been fighting for Treaty People to be included in talks with the Canadian Gov: & provinces,but each time we are been shut out & left in the dark,look @ the "Marshall fishing agreements" over $100 million $ was put in for training ETC, most of it was Benefitted by the Cheifs,Some as of Today own ,500.000 LBS of Fish Quota, now the Gov: will not look at this Issue as a problem,I describe this as "Bloody fish $$$ "So before we are to accept Self Governance This System has to be cleaned up of it,s "Corruption" Bllod Fish/ Blood diamonds/ Blood oil" ,its all the same and it,s shares go in the wrong hands. signing agreements weaken our Treaty Rights,but when you greed and they will let their own Brother or sister starve and fend for themselfs .True That. Tanx hope this will ,wake up more of the mainstream society of our struggles, in the Media. Peace~

        • I admit that is sometimes how it looks from here (on the outside, looking in). On the other hand, I also see an "inheritance" if you will, being given to 18 year olds, who blow the whole wad before they are 21, with nothing to show for it. So I'm not sure that's the way to go, either. But something is.

  153. Trudeau did not have to face home grown terrorists, planning to decapitate him (that I know of)
    These are different times.

    Trudeau tried and failed to reform the Senate.

    • Stevie didn't have to face them either, the security services took care of that for him. Totally unlike sitting on a public platform and having separatists throw bottles and rocks at you, and refusing to leave, despite the pleas of your advisors, like Trudeau did.

      Trudeau at least tried to reform the Senate. Stevie hasn't even tried – instead he stacked it with Conservative lickspittles, like that fat turd Duffy.

  154. 200 showed up, just for organizing the Toronto protest rally. Something is afoot.

  155. It's been thoroughly debunked that Parliament had to be prorogued to appoint Senators or to reform senate committees. Senators can be appointed at any time, and it only requires agreement by Senate leaders to rebalance committees. Besides, it still doesn't justify why they needed to delay resumption of parliament for two months.

  156. "it is time more people actually joined parties to get them to do what people want them to do. the road ahead may be quite long! "

    This is the route I have chosen. I'm sure it will be tedious and frustrating at times, but I'm trying to take the long view and be patient. But one thing is for sure, they won't listen to me if I'm not talking.

  157. I fully plan on attending the rally here in Toronto. And much to my shock (I've always been leery of it), I actually went and donated $25 to both the LPC and NDP yesterday…figured I'd donate to both of the parties I've ever voted for :)

    I must admit, that even for a political junkie like me, I've never been this motivated. It's kind of a nice feeling.

  158. Andrew Coyne = The Fonz

  159. gone up to 114917 now

  160. …said members of which still vote, so what would it matter?

  161. There were no checks on that website against signing the petition multiple times. I signed it at least twice IIRC. There's very little chance of multiple aliases signing up to a facebook group – I guess it's possible to have two profiles…but why would anyone do that?

    • Because people are strange. You signed a 'Doris Day' petition twice. Why would anyone do that?

      "There's very little chance of multiple aliases signing up to a facebook group" – Citation needed!

  162. EKOS did such a survey. Short answer? You're wrong.

    • No he isn't wrong.I was polled and told Ekos, and others that I was disgusted, of course I am not. I just like to mess with said poll!

  163. Oh, did I get that wrong? Sorry, it was Chris White. And the site seems to be down right now – too much traffic, I bet.

  164. Working now.

  165. It's really not all about you, sweetie, so let it pass…

  166. I'm fairly dismissive of the comments on Maclean's. My own as much as any.

  167. Harpo can act like a tyrant because he knows Canada's antiquated electoral system guarantees he will win as long as the opposition divides votes amongst them. Until we have a united Left Harpo will continue to disrespect democracy!

  168. Harpers early election call was alot worse IMO.

    That is when he was cemented in my mind as a Conservative Chretien. (without the corruption… yet)

    I think this has/and will effect the polls, and I'm somewhat pleased about that.
    People taking an interest on how the Country is run is always a good thing.

    I don't think the "outrage" will have the legs to last thru Feb., much less carry over into a future election.
    From a strictly pragmatic point of view, the prorogue may turn out to be a good move yet.

  169. done and gonna be done

  170. So here we are all wondering whether this means Canadians care or not, and you think there is some fraction of 100,000 people or anyone at all in another country who would bother to sign up for this? Which country do you think they live in that they would even know what prorogue means?

    Is it somewhere repressive like Iraq or Zimbabwe where they pine for democracy so much that it has caused them to organize study groups and cells where they discuss the finer points of Canadian Senate Reform? Or some wondrous place where they have such a dearth of domestic political strife they have to turn to Canada for problems to mull over as democracy do gooders?

    • Sure, but how about a bunch of high-schoolers with like, 1,000 friends who each have a thousand friends, etc. Who post to all of them sign-up and help me get the numbers up!

      The point is not the validity of the message, it's the validity of a Facebook group being used to deliver it!

      There is no control over the composition of the group, or the actual commitment to the message…it is therefore easily batted aside and dismissed as illegitimate…because it is.

      • Please keep believing this, it's good.

  171. actually, it was Cretin who prorogued so the AG couldn't report while he was PM. He wanted smiley Mr. Dithers to eat that ball.

  172. I'm nearly 70 and a technopeasant.
    I joined Facebook this week to sign that petition.

  173. Actually, it's the reverse. When you don't doubt your own wisdom is when it's time to step back and get perspective. This is the problem with most Harper supporters.

  174. Lle for lie…Harper is not beleived anymore…and his trolls everywhere are telling the same
    mantra: lefties are plain idiots….liberals are not all lefties by the way.

    "Socialists-separatits should not take power or they will pack the senate…we need
    a majority…" Harper said in one of his rally on september…
    Last year, he demonized those artists going in gala with nice dresses…
    Last month, he was in such a gala lipsing on with a little help from my friends..

    He will need them soon, because a real mouvement is taking on…and
    the next election will be his farewell to a majority..

    Population is more educated than what reformists proclaim.
    Our country who sustained human rights is in peril under this powertrip man.

  175. So no matter what he does you'll stick by your decision, eh? I have to say, I can't think of a more apt proof of my point. Thanks.

  176. exactly Jenn. I would love to hear about your experiences. Any chance of an anonymous blog that, confidentially, would allow you to share your experiences in your attempt to make have some influence?

  177. To get an idea of deomgraphics you can click on the link that Andrew posted to the site. Most of the group members have their pictures on teh left hand side

  178. Great idea; we can share experiences here from across Canada. I've signed up with the local Regina chapeter of the FB group, and received an invitation to a planning meeting. It sounds very solidaritish, and I recognize a lot of the names in the local branch as active local NDPers — candidates at various government levels and various times, maybe an ex MLA or two, and vocal unioners. One member suggested the rally be held in front of Tom Lukiwski's constituency office.

  179. I guess Harper can't rub his head and pat his belly at the same time either. No co-ordination – ah, like G8 for "ONE" day is going to cost us $50 million because the Harper gang just can plan things out.

  180. sadly as bad as it was, it was an improvement over the press release. although his q and a session was dismissal. here is a hint iggy:

    the media is sometimes wrong, sometimes even dumb (in addition of course to the times they are right!). regardless of where you see them or anything they say on that continuum, don't mock them, esp to their face. esp don't mock them when they are giving you a rough ride. you need these people to carry your message. mocking them is unlikely to help with their characterization of that message. idiot.

  181. She makes me ill.Isn't she from the US as well, does she ever work? she reminds me of a dotty aunty.

  182. the thousands of people who push the button on a facebook page, or the thousands of people who might demonstrate openly against prorogation later this month, would they actually understand that prorogation is a ligitimate option for governments to use? And if they understand this, would those thousands of people understand that in the end it would still be the PM who has the ultimate right to prorogue and that he is held accoutable at the next general election.

    On facebook, one can play the virtual farm game, join the movie club or push a button to join the anit-prorogation club. So simplistic our world is becoming.

  183. Well, I don't know how confidential that would be. In spite of not using my full name, I am Jenn.

  184. Yeah, it actually is a good feeling. It certainly beats the cynicism that's generally par for the course.

    (also, I accidentally pressed thumbs down on your post instead of thumbs up. My humblest apologies :)

    The rally's supposed to be at Dundas Square right?

  185. "I think you were right to see Canadians as apathetic, as it did take a while for it to be clear that there was opposition to the prorogation."

    Only if you paid any mind to the December Decima poll and the pundits who were quick to decide that Canadians wouldn't care.

  186. Well, I'll try to post what I can here, if I can. I haven't been given the confidentiality speech yet, but I expect to have it on Monday.

  187. *thumbs up payback*

    cheers!

  188. Hey, thanks Colin!

  189. Typo alert?

  190. Danby, rallies can be a pile of fun. i have been to my fair share but it has been a bit. more time than not i had a good time either running into, or venturing there with, like-minded friends and being able to moan about the topic at hand, but also socialize with people i like as well. and i have def made a few really good friends randomly at rallies. i'd suggest it is worth a couple hours, even in a busy schedule. i am gonna go and I am a rather wimpy Canadian when it comes to the cold!

  191. And if the Facebook list is used by a political party or a group with any affiliation to a political party,
    to fundraise,
    without express permission…….

  192. Why, thank you!

  193. it is a good feeling isn't richard? there was a moment in the last election where i was just to dismayed with the actions of a particular party that i decided that i was willing to do some work to make sure that they weren't elected in my riding and spent some time working for one of the other parties. it felt great to be doing something about my views and it was quite fun!

  194. MYL, you are right on one thing. Prorogation is definitely within the rules. Can you say that this particular prorogation was done with the spirit of those rules in mind, however? On the other hand, there is a difference between an extension of a parliamentary break and a prorogue, as I think you well know.

    This kind of bugs me, because now we have some Canadians believing the words "Coalition" and "Prorogue" are inherently bad things. And they're not at all. Recent examples have corrupted the democratic principles on which those words were founded, and that is the problem–not the procedures themselves.

  195. The Coalition was within the rules. Didn't happen, ultimately, because folks wised up in time. I don't hear any noises to put a stop to such a possibility in the future.

    Ignatieff's coronation: within the rules. I don't hear any noises to amend the Liberal Party's leadership selection rules to prevent a similar process. Although the make-it-up-as-you-go-along negotiations on leadership selection rules that seem to break out at the time of a leadership contest leaves me bewildered every time. It sometimes seems as if there are no rules until somebody can strong-arm the executive.

    Prorogue: eh. I only wish the country would have gotten far more outraged over the abandonment of its conservative principles by this allegedly Conservative Party over the last year. Whether or not Facebook and Coyne will lead to an overhaul of Canadian Parliamentary Procedures remains to be seen. No breath-holding is underway in this corner.

  196. Other notable FB groups:

    I Dont care How Comfortable Crocs Are, You Look Like A Dumba*s. ->fan FHS (1,456,757 members)

    If you remember this you grew up in the 90's … ->hahagreat.com (1,911,224 members)

    I Want To Punch Slow Walking People In The Back Of The Head (1,281,507 members)

    I Love to party – Let's find 10,000,000 people strong! (1,250,993 members)

    Here's a service that explains how to generate automatically thousands of 'friends' for a given group by using email gathering software:

    http://www.linkroll.com/Link-Popularity-Internet-

    Here's how you can buy 1,000's of 'friends' for marketing purposes…cheap too:

    http://www.internetnews.com/breakingnews/article….

    FB is not a legitimate vehicle for shaping public policy!!!!!!

    • Is that the best you tossers in PMO can come up with ? Really ? Better start sending your resumes out tout de suite

  197. You do buy it frenchie, come on, you do. You and your conbot friends are just trying to convince others "move along, nothing to see here." I hope Harper has the chutzpah to call an election when Parliament resumes because his minority (and I do believe he'll be reelected) will shrink, and then when that new Parl. sits the opposition can GO RIGHT BACK TO demanding documents and testimony on this detainee file. I think Harper has underestimated the willingness of people who want the truth to patiently and persistently work at it.

  198. It will then be just like all the lists the Conservative Party buys from list selling companies like Cornerstone and uses without permission. Because, for political parties, permission is not necessary. It is specifically exempted.

  199. Hey listen, I don't really think they should have shut down Parliament…well, I actually couldn't care less honestly.

    Just saying that before we start running around like it's the end of the world, we should check our history:

    http://thestar.blogs.com/politics/2010/01/showing

    And that putting a lot of stock in a Facebook group is really pretty juvenile, dumb, and dangerous, due to complete lack of any control, and the total lack of effort required to participate – as I've said, at least to vote you have to commit enough to the process to leave the house!

    Last, if I was the PMO, this is exactly the argument I'd use if asked a question about this…no control, unscientific, etc. etc, and whatever legitimate complaint you do have gets lost in the babble over the means of delivery. It's bush-league, lazy-ass protesting, and it leaves your target a very, very easy out.

    Showing-up outside in numbers, in January? That can't be ignored.

  200. 164,000 now, Jan 11, 10:21 PST. I'm glad you admitted you were wrong.

  201. I get a kick at all those who think this Facebook thing is a bunch of teenagers having fun.

    from a boomer looking at 50 who has found more of my own kind here than anywhere else recently, and I, like many, many, many members, I'm finding out, had to learn how to use Facebook first!!

  202. and I haven't missed a chance to exercise my right to vote since I was allowed, 32 years ago. i'm looking forward to doing it again, more than ever.

  203. WE SHOULD CALL FOR A NATIONAL STRIKE IF PARLIAMENT IS NOT BACK BY FEB 1, WHY SHOULD WE HAVE TO WORK AND PAY TAXES WHILE THE POLITICIANS ARE TAKING A VACATION

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