'Does that irk you?' - Macleans.ca

‘Does that irk you?’


From Dawna Friesen’s one-on-one interview with Stephen Harper.

Dawna Friesen: When this is all over, not just the election, but politics—and you’re out of this game—and you look back, you will go down in history as the only Canadian Prime Minister—the only Prime Minister in the Commonwealth—to ever have their government voted in contempt of Parliament. Does that irk you?

Stephen Harper: Not at all, well it irks me in a sense that I think this was this was a completely unjustified act. It was an example of the kind of political games and maneuvering that are taking place in this minority parliament. There was no basis for that … it was a pretext for an election that Canadians did not want.  There’s no case for that. This government—and we don’t say we’re perfect—but this government is focused on Canadians’ concerns and I think we’ve governed competently, our ministers and MP’s have acted with integrity, and we’re proud of that record and you know as I say, I think it’s unfortunate that those kinds of things are being done in a minority parliament but I think it tells you why we must have a majority government and not a minority parliament that focuses on that kind of stuff instead of the economy.


‘Does that irk you?’

  1. Is there any answer that doesn't revert back to the economy?

    • Maybe that's because it's what Canadians want their Parliamentarians to focus on instead of trumped-up "contempt" charges that force our fourth $300 million election in seven years?

      • 52% of Canadians are disappointed that none of the parties are offering policies that are important to them. So this broad, generalized statement of what Canadians want is not only ridiculous but also unfounded.

        If Stephen Harper doesn't want to be held accountable by parliament he's going to be found in contempt of it. It's as simple as that. And I'll pass you down to gottabesaid's explanation a little lower since his explanation was much more eloquent than any one I could muster up.

        • You know, many of you on here say you absolutely care about Canadian democracy, but you don't seem to care two bits about what Canadians actually think. How is that? It's up to Canadians to decide what they think is more important: the economy, or "contempt" charges. Given that the latter has hardly been talked about, even by the same people who passed it In Parliament, my guess is that even they know it's nonsense. It must be what Canadians are telling them at the door, what the polls are saying, and what the ballot box will reflect on May 2.

          The only people who find explanations of these "contempt" charges "eloquent" are those who are out to get Harper. You're not reflecting the will of the people. It's not about democracy for you. You're not fooling anybody.

          • I don't know how you get off saying I don't care about Canadian democracy. All I was referring to in my first comment was that I find it interesting how no matter what question is asked of Harper he manages to revert back to the economy in every answer.

            Where do I ever say that I don't believe Canadians have the right to decide what's important? What makes you think that Canadians can only find one issue important at any given time? Why can't government accountability be an important theme beside the economy? Why can't we ask a question of our Prime-Minister about something, anything other than the economy without him saying, "i'm not interested in that, I'm focusing on the economy". I want meaningful answers from all political leaders. Meaningful answers that focus on the question asked of them! It's a really simple concept.


          • Harper did address the contempt issue in his entire answer that Wherry posted above. He only mentioned the economy at the end because it's his firm believe that this is the major priority of Canadians. He has every right to that opinion. You have every right to yours. We'll see what Canadians have to say on the matter on May 2. Given what the polls are suggesting, you may not like their response. Just saying.

            And my point about democracy is that I don't think these trumped-up "contempt" charges you admire so much have one thing to do with democracy. It was about forcing an election nobody else wanted. To me, that's not democracy at all. That was my point.

          • "It was about forcing an election nobody else wanted. To me, that's not democracy at all."

            You're right, only the Conservatives didn't want an election. And considering they don't hold a majority of seats in the house. They don't get to decide singlehandedly whether one is necessary or not… oh wait, they did, back in 2008. Of course, everyone wanted an election back then and of course, that election was all about democracy.

            Shorter Dennis_F: "elections are only democratic when it suits the conservatives"

            Me? I'll say that elections are probably the base of any democracy. I find it astonishing that you manage to argue that *some* elections in Canada might not be an exercise in democracy.

          • I don't understand what the 2008 election has to do with justifying this one. Canadians rendered their verdict then. They will now render their verdict in this election, won't they? That you're having so much trouble justifying forcing this fourth $300 million election in seven years suggest to me that you won't like their verdict. Again, just saying.

            And, again, it's Canadians who decide the merits of elections. I can offer my opinion, which is that this one has been about nonsense. You can say otherwise, although I haven't seen arguments contradicting me much. And Canadians will have the ultimate say – the way it should be.

          • "That you're having so much trouble justifying forcing this fourth $300 million election in seven years suggest to me that you won't like their verdict."

            I'm not trying to justify any election! We have what we have. Stephen Harper is avoiding questions throughout the campaign trail by revert back to this "fragile economy" talking point and it pisses me off.

            Canadians will get the last say and if we get a Conservative majority. So be it.

            Please explain to me how an election is not democratic? What isn't democratic about this election? Why were the 2008, 2006, 2004 elections more democratic than this one?

          • You certainly admire the "contempt" charges brought down to justify this stupid election, don't you? There's this silly notion being bandied about that frequent elections represent democracy. No, they don't. By that logic, a well-functioning democracy would be well-served by having an election one after another, which is nonsense. Democracies, of course, do need regular elections, which we would have without having to force one every 1.5 years. But democracies are more than just elections. They're more than just about satiating the contempt that the opposition has for a prime minister that dares to stand up to them.

          • I think that if the opposition parties can't do their duty of holding the government to account they should have every right to vote down the government on a confidence motion. As you've said before "Canadians will have the ultimate say."

            Thanks for not answering my questions.

            And thanks for saying that I "admire" the contempt charges. Even though I didn't, because, I don't think there's anything admire-some about them – I think that the government did act in contempt and I also think it was the opposition's choice to try and frame this election on government accountability instead of the economy. Which the opposition has every right to try to do. That's politics.

            But thank you also for insinuating that I believe more elections continuously one after another is what would serve our democracy best. Nowhere have I said that.

          • As an aside, the only reason I keep engaging you in this discussion is because you constantly twist my words and insinuate that I believe in this or admire that.

            I feel the need to re-assert myself every time because what you conjure up is so very often not at all what I write.

          • Did you or did you not describe gottabesaid's defence of the "contempt" charges as "eloquent" and how is that not an expression of admiration? It's not my fault your views can't be justified upon further examination. That's your problem, isn't it?

          • Many torturous dictators and criminals were eloquent speakers… do I admire them or their words? No.

            Also: I by no means am comparing Gottabesaid and Hitler. Just showing how eloquence does not provoke admiration.

            As i mentioned above. There's nothing to admire in contempt charges. I think it's despicable that it had to come to that. But what else can an opposition do if it can't fulfill it's duties to hold the government accountable?

    • Even stranger, how can refusing to provide budget figures NOT be part of the economy?

      • They tabled a budget. The opposition refused to vote on it and, instead, rushed these "contempt" charges to force an election.

        • Wrong. They were found in contempt because they didn't provide the numbers. Good try though.

          • Nothing incorrect with what I wrote. It's just more desperate nonsense from opposition supporters. Conservatives did table a budget. They also tabled documents the opposition wanted on costing of programs. None of it was good enough. They were intent on forcing an election. They got their way. Now Canadians will get theirs.

          • You're confusing the contempt motion with the deal Harper was trying to make to the NDP in order to save his budget. The contempt motion has been in the works since February. It's the result of the Cabinet's refusal to release detailed information about how the Government intended to finance the F35 Jets, the prisons, and the corporate tax cuts when we are running our biggest deficit ever.

          • Actually, the speaker's ruling only came down recently. And, just like with the Afghanistan documents issue, the Harper government then proceeded to provide the documents on the F35 and other issues. But the opposition parties moved the vote on "contempt" to right before the budget vote, refused to accept any more documents that they themselves requested, and forced this election instead. In fact, Harper is reducing the deficit – no thanks to the agitations of the opposition.

          • A: Dennis_F: Trumped up contempt charges

            B: Dennis_F:"the Harper government then proceeded to provide the documents on the F35 and other issues."

            Seems to me, providing the documents was an acknowledgement that they were in contempt. If not, why did they then provide them?

            Which is it, Dennis, A or B? Are the charges 'trumped up", or were they in contempt?

  2. Wow…she might be the single worst interviewer in the whole world.

    • Second single worst: Peter Mansbridge

      Don't forget … She's " HOME !! "

  3. If the contempt motion is just 'typical of the kind of games that are played in this minority parliament', and based on nothing (as PMSH suggests) couldn't the opposition parties have used this tactic far sooner? I mean, Harper's been PM for five years now… if it was just a means by which the opposition could tarnish the good name of the government, you'd think they'd have done it by now, right?

    • What are you talking about? They did try it with the Afghanistan documents issue. But Harper complied with the Speaker's ruling, just like he was doing now. But that wasn't good enough for our brilliant opposition. They had to force this fourth $300 million election in seven years on us with this bogus "contempt" nonsense. It's like the Tories kept saying, the opposition wouldn't take yes for an answer. They had to push for power. And, just like with the coalition, my guess is that Canadians will push back hard. They don't buy this nonsense.

      • no.

  4. Harper creates his own reality. He repeats it until it becomes "true".

    The only way to interview him is to interrupt and bully him into answering the question you asked. She did interrupt, but most Canadian "interviewer journalists" are too concerned with their images – instead of holding politicians to account.

    • It's the same with all the leaders, unfourtantly. They *just* need to get out their talking points and heaven help those who tryto get them to say something new. Or even worse, explain what exactly those talking points mean beyond that they sound catchy.

  5. I'm looking forward to an honest interview with Harper a few years from now when he's done with politics, and seeing what he really thought of all this stuff, instead of just going back to his election talking points.

    "I think we've governed competently, our ministers and MP's have acted with integrity"

    Yep, so how about the AECL nuclear isotope debacle, the related firing of the head of the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission for refusing to restart an unsafe reactor, the Bev Oda "not" scandal, the completely unnecessary census controversy, the breach of NATO security by a minister, the G8 pork-barelling, the refusal to hand over document related to detainees in Afghanistan, and finally, the fact that the Conservatives may well have cheated to get into parliament the first time they formed government (via the in-and-out scandal*, which may see several Conservatives face jail time).

    *did I say "scandal?" I meant "administrative difference of opinion."

    • So Canadians are stupid and you're smart? Why aren't they buying this nonsense?

      • Well, some Canadians are stupid. They believe the contempt issue only involves the latest obstruction over prison costs. But that's just the tip of the iceberg. The Harper government from day 1 has deliberately withheld information from Parliamentarians that was needed for them to make an informed decision. Just a few examples off the top of my head.

        Afghan detainee documents
        Gun registry reports

        I'm sure the posters here can compile a list a mile long and it's the culmination of this list that led to the contempt charges.

        • Yes, this is the first time a government and its opposition have ever had a dispute over the costing of programs. This certainly warranted our fourth $300 million election in seven years. Thank you.

          • See, some Canadians are stupid. This is not a dispute over the costing. It's a dispute over Harper repeatedly withholding information.

          • He complied with the speaker's ruling on the Afghanistan documents. He was complying with the speaker's ruling on the current contempt charges. But I guess that wasn't smart enough for you brilliant opposition types. Yes, this fourth $300 million election in seven years is just one of the smartest acts we Canadians have been exposed to in our history. Why can't more of us stupids just see this amazing wisdom of yours?

          • Cause you're stupid

          • This is why we're having our fourth $300 million election in seven years, is it? To satiate the knee-jerk anger of people like you? My God. Next.

          • $300mil, big deal, in the great scheme of things thats a bargin. How about the BILLONS Blown by Harper and co. You go on about the cost of an election ignoring the why of the election. How much do you think an election should cost. Do you have an issue with the millions spent of 10 percenters and attack ad by the Cons, prior to the election. That was not party money, that's government money. how about Two-Tier tony's pork barreling. Up to 1 Billion now. Should that be investigated? Should we spend any money on that?

            And yeah, he complied and turned over the reports on the Afghan detainees (which they still call the "taliban') but how long did that take and in what condition was the information received and could it be done with any less grace. And why did they try so hard to smear people associated with this subject?

      • When did I say Canadians are stupid?

        And why is it "nonsense"? Together, all of these things point to the main problem with the Harper government: the over-centralization of power in the PMO, and the lack of competent and powerful ministers to provide balance in the executive. I voted for Harper in 2006, but I didn't in 2008, and have no intention of doing so now, and it's mostly because of the above string of poor decision making, and only somewhat due to policy.

        Are Canadian stupid? 61.4% of Canadians won't vote for Harper, some due to the above. A number of Canadians will vote for him despite the incompetence, because Harper offers the greatest promise of fulfilling their agendas. This includes gun-rights types, Christian Reconstructionists and others.

        • Funny how Canadians have moved in the exact opposite direction from you. While they have increase their support for Harper in every election, you've come to voice the left-wing opposition talking points that have not gained traction, especially during this election about nothing.

          • "increased their support"? They received less votes in 2008 than they did in 2008. Harper should thank his lucky stars he's gone up against weak Liberal competition three elections in a row.

          • Shoulda read "less votes in 2008 than in 2006"

          • That's a non-argument. You're basically saying that a large number of people want to vote for Harper, therefore his methods must be correct. This is a logical fallacy:

            And these aren't talking points. I came up with these conclusions on my own – I'm an educated professional who voted for Harper in 2006, but have subsequently been turned off by his anti-intellectual streak and the bumbling of Oda, Bernier, MacKay, and others. If the Conservative government had run a competent, transparent government like they promised in 2006, I'd consider voting for them again.

          • Well it"s too bad . Now you can vote for the I'll promise you everything because I know I will never have to deliver anything NDP. You can also vote for the "transparent Grits", HRDC, Adscam, Shawinigate, and Bob Rae.
            Or maybe you could waste your vote on the Greens.
            If you decide on any of the above I wonder about your education

  6. I think I anm now REALLY disturbed…..at first I thought that Harper is just 'campaigning' sticking to this line. But I think he actually believes it. He either REALLY doesn't get how the system works or he just feels THAT entitled that rules simply don't apply to him.

    Nonetheless, it's getting really creepy and scary listening to him talk like this……..almost as much as it is listening to dimwitted media folks tolerate this garbage without challenge as though…..his warped read of parlimentary procedure and law is simply a matter of opinion.

  7. Stephen Harper then assured all 30 million Canadians they were completely wrong and only he knew what he was doing and would we please stop questioning his Godlike wisdom.

  8. When Paul Martin reported to Parliament that CSL only received $137,000 in gov. subsidy and grants and it was discovered through access to info that it was actually $163,000,000. the heavy majority Liberal gov. accepted his excuse that it was "just a typing error". No committee, no investigation all was 'good'. So, fast forward to today. A committee of Liberal members find contempt, because some info didn't come fast enough. BTW they WERE given everything they ASKED for.

    • Speaker of the House disagrees with you, lying liar.

      • Speaker is a Grit. End of story.

        • This is simply not the case.

        • Elected by the CPC. The story continues.

    • I can somewhat see the point. In a way, I somewhat feel sympathy for the Conservatives and Reformers of the 90's, whose votes split their half of the political spectrum, and watched as every scandal bounced off "Teflon Jean". Who remembers Shawinigate today? Who cares? I doubt even Adscam would have stuck to Chretien, if he had stayed on as PM.

      • I think harper learned a lot from adscam. Even when they did the right thing and called the investigation, he continued with fabrications like "the Gomery inquiry will be killed if the Liberals win a majority". In many ways he has taken the worst aspects of chretien and gone even farther!

        • While doing the "right thing", when are they going to do the "right thing" and return the money.

          • The actual people who did it (who are NOT the Liberal party) don't have it.

  9. Harper gave a bang-on answer. Thanks for posting, Wherry.

  10. I thought about posting something sarcastic to show how silly the Lib-supporters sound as they hang onto this whole contempt foolishness that the public are simply ignoring, but I don`t think it would enlighten anyone, so…..

    Perfect answer to a stupid question.

    • It's sad how some people care more for their party than their country. I guess it's different for me because I don't mind switching my vote amongst parties if I feel they fall below the level of common decency, rather than having to rationalize everything my guys do.

      • Yeah, that must be it Mikey—-you are so sad these days because it is only you that truly cares for his country. All those common folk out there must be lacking in common decency, because they just don`t go along with the Liberal narrative that the sky is always falling.

        If this election does not go the way you would like, I would suggest less anger towards those who disagree with you and more constructive support to those you would agree with.

      • It's even more depresion when you consider the amount of people who care more about the parties then the system they play in. Expecially when the people who care the least are those we vote as our representives. Yeah, Harper sucks, so does Ignatieff, Layton, Duiceppe and expecially that self serving May. So how about we take a look at our canadadets, oh wait these are the people that think the above list of idiots would make good characters. So many people probably started voting Rhino all those years back because at least they, through the gift of sarcasm, took the system seriously. And if that's not depresining than I don't know what is. And it's only going to change if we vote on who is the best MP, even if that means going independent or for the few sane Greens, and then hopefully the party think tanks will cotton after only a few elections. I'm sorry this really stoped relating to yoru post at all, though I will say that was good to get off the digital chest.

  11. Well what did she expect? Harper has already made clear he will be responding to legitimate embarrassing criticisms with utter nonsense devoid of basis in reality. Lowly Canadians aren't worthy of his honesty, or even being given answers with a scintilla of credibility.

  12. Blog Central should be renamed The Aaron Wherry Show. This isn’t a critique of Wherry, but this blog used to be THE place to go for insightful, up to the minute news during a campaign.

    Kady O’Malley, Andrew Coyne, Paul Wells, etc. would constantly fill these pages with insightful stuff.

    Now Kady’s gone, Coyne lightly blogs, Colby Cosh seems to have disappeared, and Paul Wells clearly has lost his enthusiasm as shown on numerous occasions when he shut down commenting.

    Now it’s just Wherry, with Jaime Weinman blogging about television.

    Blog Central is a shell of its former self.

    • Sadly have to agree.

    • If you had a bunch of random people b!tching about the ideological angle and frequency of the free entertainment you were providing them and calling them hacks and sycophants on a near-daily basis, you'd lose your enthusiasm too. Wherry has the patience of a saint as far as I'm concerned.

  13. And oh yea that Speaker guy. Who cares about him? You know how many regiments does the Pope have anyway?
    And by the way do like my black Canada emblazoned jacket with the shiny insignias, and the way people chant Harper Harper? They're almost ready to throw their arms in the air. Remember the way those helmeted well armed police crushed those do gooder G20 protestors? I promise lots more of that if anyone stands in my way. I make ALL the rules after May 2.
    Nobody, not the speaker, not the governor general will be able to stand in my way. Remember I've got John Baird to rally the masses and take to the streets if any there's any opposition to my rule.

  14. Please tell us why in the world this election was necessary? You've had more than three weeks to do it. The "contempt" charges you say are so terribly important have hardly been mentioned. It's just been one nonsense accusation by the opposition and the media after another. It's been this anger you're showing now. You're not respecting the wishes of the Canadian people. You just care about your own political ideology and ambitions, which is why nobody believes your nonsense. Sorry.

    • I invite you to read my last paragraph and reconsider whether or not I "simply care about my own political ideology and ambitions."

      I'm more than fine with Canadians rejecting the arguments I and others have put forward and decide to throw their support behind the Conservatives. It's a democracy. I'm quite cool with the whole thing. But if a government is found in contempt of parliament, an election is going to happen, and should always happen, because our system works in such a way that governments govern when they have the support of the House of Commons. I wholeheartedly reject the notion that this election was 'unnecessary'. It's a talking point and you know damn well it's a talking point. And I'll go back to my original point, if the 2008 election was SO necessary that Harper had to toss out his own election law to go to the polls, why is this election so 'unnecessary?' Again, just a convenient talking point.

      • Then why was the vote on the "contempt" charges moved to the day before the vote on the budget? Precisely because it was used as an excuse to force this fourth $300 million election in seven years. This "contempt" vote would never have passed in a majority government. It was pure politics. Anyone who actually believes otherwise needs to stop drinking the Kool-Aid pronto. If this election was so necessary, why does nobody ever talk about what led to these "contempt" charges? It's because it was nonsense. This election has been about nonsense.

        • You haven't even attempted to answer my question about why the last election was necessary and this one wasn't. Convenient, Dennis.

          Now, I have sipped no Kool-Aid, and I realize this contempt vote wouldn't have seen the light of day in a majority government. The Chretien government did things that were contempt-worthy, and I would have enjoyed GREATLY seeing him get his comeuppance. The numbers weren't there at that time for such behaviour to be punished. The numbers were such in the last session of parliament that such behaviour could go punished. And, quite rightly, it did.

          • A contempt motion requires approval of the Speaker (who is supposed to be above reproach and approved by the House as the final arbitrator), then passed through the Standing Committee on House Procedures (etc..), who interpret the rules to determine whether a breach occurred, and only then for a vote in the House. The Speaker and Committee are part of our democratic safety net. This is not a "political game".

            Tossing a decision made by the Speaker into the trash, as Mr. Harper has done, is a slap in the face for the basic structure on which our parliament operations. This is an offense that, by the Westminster rules, would have him ejected daily from the house. He has shown contempt for more than the House. His respectful response should have been to apologize and to try to make it right, rather than blow off the Speaker, House, Westminster Tradition, rules of order, and the foundations of Canadian democracy. His legitimacy as a parliamentarian is no longer a question. A shame that most Canadians would rather not take the time to understand our political system in favour of a Fox-reality show political system.

          • Yeah the Conservatives should have taken the contempt as a warning call, and perhaps they, quitely, have. But the motion also came along with its very own election and "we'll do better this time!" isn't quite a winning slogan. Its for that same reason that the Liberals don't like to talk too long about parlimentry partices, like the one listed above, except to pave the road for future political manuevering. If they did Canadians might begin to wonder where forcing your caucus not to go to work and vote fits into respecting parliment. Again not cool, but understandble considering this is an election, were the worst kind of politics reign supreme. A bit less understandble, however when one factors in they called this election. They should have prepared for this by walking the walking long before calling the election. Poor behaviour is one thing, its poor politics that I just can't stand. That and all parties treating us like morons so we don't comment on how poorly they run their offices.

          • I think it does take quite an injection of Kool-Aid to believe these kinds of incessant Parliamentary disputes have to result in a fourth $300 million election in seven years. it will be the Canadian people who will mete out the final punishment on all these matters and more. And it's the opposition that might well regret having abused its Parliamentary powers to force this election nobody else wanted.

          • Can we all stop with these Kool-Aid references. One pratically writes "I am a partisan" on their foreheads as soon as they utter some variation of the powdered drink. No, the people disagreeing with you have not just had a cool drink, they just have different opinions. I know, that's got to be hard to swallow, but try not reaching for that common cherry flavoured beverage and just swallow.

          • Instead of complaining about postings you don't like, why don't you leave it to the posters themselves to decide what is and isn't appropriate for any given comment? I don't use the term a lot. And I don't think gottabesaid is a rabid partisan. But I do think on this one issue he's drinking a lot of Kool-Aid, so to speak. Ha! Next.

          • I don't follow your general posts, or really any poster because that might be a bit weird, so I wasn't commiting on you specifically but I have noticed anytime some one doesn't agree with an opinion and doesn't feel like getting at the roots of what is wrong with that opinion they just throw out kool-aid and then repeat their early talking points. Which no offence, you have been doing this entire line of posts. Its "You can spin it…" or "But the vote was pushed up earlier" and then "This election isn't needed, and it costs 300 million." A poster a little further up attempted to engage you in real debate by throwing out a time line of the events in parliment and instead of arguing that it was just more talking points. When you're having a conversation by yourself, and prefacing it with that oh so annoying Kool-aid bit, one does get the impersion of partisanship. By the way on the virtue that I am posting this comment right now, I am a poster and I find the partisanship and the kooll-aid quite annoying. Lets have a real debate, because our politicans aren't doing it for us.

          • Keep dancin' man.. I'm sure nobody will notice you're avoiding the point again..

            ..well.. nobody other than all of us here.

        • Try this Dennis. To get a contempt charge you need a majority vote, meaning a majority of officials elected by Canadians accepted the contempt motion, and the election such a motion would trigger. If the Canadian people really are disagreeing with the motion then they will elect a conservative candidate in this election.

          Knowing that risk, how is this good political tactics for the opposition?

          I think you're just not that well connected with general public to say with much certainty that "No one wants this election", "No one believes the contempt charge", "No one supports the opposition". These are all talking points, not objective views. As I said before, you are drunk on Tory Spin.

          • Knowing that risk, how is this good political tactics for the opposition?

            It's because the opposition has become this week and desperate, and Harper that good and successful. He's run the longest-serving minority Parliament in history. He was about to table yet another popular budget. And the opposition would have none of it. They had to bow to their base, who hate Harper. So they rushed this "contempt" vote to get themselves all excited while the Canadian people yawned and groaned about it all.

            I think you're just not that well connected with general public to say with much certainty that "No one wants this election", "No one believes the contempt charge", "No one supports the opposition". These are all talking points, not objective views. As I said before, you are drunk on Tory Spin.

            Really. Then why hasn't the opposition every talked about those stupid "contempt" charges since the election began? Why are Harper's poll numbers higher than they've ever been? Why are the Liberal numbers lower than they've ever been? Why has this election been about one silly story by the media and the opposition after another?

            I have my opinion on what Canadians think of this election. You call it "Tory spin." You have your opinion on what Canadians think of this election. I call it incessant opposition nonsense. As always, Canadians will render their judgment on election day, won't they.

          • "It's because the opposition has become this week and desperate, and Harper that good and successful."

            With lines like that what's the point in arguing?

          • I don't know, you tell me! lol

      • Election was not required, they could have voted on their non confidence motion, and then approached the GG with their take over plan. You know, the plan they are going to use to form their coalition, if PM Harper gets a minority.
        They blew it because they thought Canadians were buying the "contempt nonsense"
        After spending 300 million. it all blows up in their faces, and now we have the 3 amigos going after each other.

  15. I watched a Poilievre debate a few weeks back, and he brushed off the "contempt of Parliament" charge as an unfortunate biproduct of there being more non-Conservative MPs than Conservative. For a party that ran on accountability, their, "We would have got away with it if it weren't for you meddling kids" stance on the contempt charges is really sad.

  16. You really got to stop with that " sky is falling routine ".
    Have some trust in the optimism of Canadians.

    • I have so little faith in full throated support of vile political tactics.

  17. But the opposition forced a vote on those trumped-up "contempt" charges before a vote on the budget was allowed. So your argument doesn't work, I'm afraid.

    • Not quite – the budget was presented, Flaherty flatly refused to negotiate on it, Layton publicly asked him to reconsider, he didn't…THEN the contempt vote happened.

      So yes, had Harper given the BQ the $2.2B in HST harmonization the budget would have passed, and the BQ likely would not have voted in favour of contempt.

      So my point stands – if the Conservatives didn't want an election, they could have avoided one.

  18. First off, it's not true that "Canadians don't agree with my direction." 61-62% of them, the ones who intend to vote for someone other than Harper, do.

    So it's only some Canadians, less than half, who don't agree with my opinions. And you're not "merely pointing that out", you're implying that my opinion is incorrect because lots of other people disagree with it. That's a fallacious argument. Lame, so lame.

    • Again, support for Harper has been rising, while that of the opposition has been declining. Harper and his party are more popular than all the others. When Chretien won majorities with less than 40% of the vote did that mean Canadians were against him, too?

      I am not arguing that your opinion is incorrect because many people disagree with you. I'm merely stating the latter part as a fact. Make of it what you will.

  19. The opposition took the opportunity to use this to force an election. That's why they moved the vote of "contempt" to just before the vote on the budget. They had nothing else to justify an election, so they picked this. What's so hard to understand about it?

    Some of you get outraged when your antics are exposed by common sense. I know it must be so awful for you.

  20. I wasn't speaking to you, I was speaking about you.

    In other words, you were being cowardly.

    But if you're going to butt in, you could explain how there have been so many minority governments in history, yet this is the only one to be found in contempt.

    That's something the opposition has to explain, and they haven't. It's been three weeks into this election campaign, and nothing. How is that?

    In fact, I believe this point is a black mark on the opposition. For the first time in the history of the British Parliamentary system, our brilliant opposition decided to use nonsense as the basis for contempt charges, and to force this fourth $300 million election in seven years.

    Or perhaps — more likely — you can't. It would certainly explain why you can't stay on-topic.

    lol. I never avoid issues. You're the one who was trying to avoid me in a cowardly fashion. it's not my fault you don't have answers. It's not my fault you supported this nonsense election about nothing, is it?

    • In other words, you were being cowardly.

      Nope. Next.

      That's something the opposition has to explain

      Nope, you're the one endlessly bleating "unnecessary election". Your premise, your evidence. Next.

      I never avoid issues.

      You do little else. Next.

    • Dennis, at this point we are just laughing at you.

      • I'd rather laugh at his failed writing career, in here, I want to learn something other than banging my head against the wall.

  21. There could be a case to be made that Harper wanted his gov't to be defeated by a united Opposition contempt motion. It has them standing together at the beginning of the election and guaranteed at the debates and in their ads that they would all share a few of the same talking points. That kind of unity, even if it's stretched a bit thin, still in its way can be spun to be some sort of "coalition" who will rashly act against any "true" conservative gov't. And to make the motion appear rash all one has to do is convince one's base (the easy part) and the centrist undecided, Liberal and Conservative voters that the contempt issue has no weight and is completely political, which is what Harper has spent every opportunity doing. And if that was the strategy the polls seem to show that to an extent he has succeeded. Just a thought.

  22. What does the timing of the "contempt" motion have to do with the timing of the budget? You seem to link the two, as did the opposition. Why?

  23. Oh, good. So you do believe the charge of contempt is true. You just don't like they were made accountable this time.

  24. I'm totally intrigued by your blog! I will most likely follow it from now on.

    • Thanks! I do hope to add to it more frequently than I have been, and since I thrive on attention I appreciate the nod.

      If I'm feeling especially self-destructive and ephemeral, I might even start writing about politics again a little.

  25. The opposition are wrecking parliamentary customs with stupid games like that one.

    • parliment is wrecking parliamentary customs with stupid games where actual policy used to be made.

      • Yes, that's true.

  26. Or perhaps past governments didn't hold parliament, and the Canadian people, in contempt like this one does.

    • Ever since Trudeau took power from the Clerk of the Privy Council and gave it to his Chief of Staff this nation has had a PMO office that has not only been in contempt of the beuracy but also parliament. If you're suggesting that no other gov't has reached the levels of contempt of the current PMO then you're forgetting, to name but a few, both Chretien and Mulroney. And if you think we can stop this rampant rough riding over parliment by simply changing who gets to sit in the chair, then I'm going to have to disagree with you and suggest you take another gander at four party leaders acting like this is some convulted presedential race.

      • Actually, I'm not.
        No other government has, for instance, put out a manual on how to disrupt parliamentary committees.

        No other government has, for instance, been ruled against by the speaker for refusing to provide information necessary for the government to do its job.

        No other government has, for instance, destroyed the reliability of the Canadian census, while lying about what the Statistics Canada was saying and charging us more for the privilege.

        No other government has, for instance, passed legislation and then within the same election cycle, gone directly against the spirit of the legislation that they themselves were trumpeting as the reason for bringing it forward.

        No other government has claimed other members of the House were attempting a coup when exercising their parliamentary prerogative to choose their own leader.

        Yes, even after a change in the chairs there'd still remain serious problems, no argument there, but saying that this government isn't any worse than those previous is being willfully blind to what this particular government has done.

        So no, I'm not suggesting this government is worse.. the facts are.

  27. Was this a "completely unjustified act" as Harper suggests? That, dear reader, is a question for the VOTER to decide. Like it or not, the voters will be the ones to determine whether the contempt motion was 'valid'. If they give the Harper government a majority, then history will show that the contempt motion wasn't worth the paper it was written on.

    You can't be in 'contempt of parliament' and not be held in contempt by the voters. It would not be intellectually honest to suggest that the government was actually held in contempt if the result of the election that was called as a result sends the government back to the house with a majority mandate. If anything that would be a total rebuke of the contempt motion and a total vindication for the Harper government.

    So the result of this election is about more than just electing a government, it's about 'settling the score' on the issue of contempt.

    Come May 2nd, the public will decide if there was 'really' an issue of contempt, or if it was all partisan games.

    …and the voter is always right.

  28. That last Star article does not say McGuinty was in charger of security. Everybody knows Harper was in charge of everything G20. If he wasn't he was incompetent.