‘Parliamentary business as warfare’


Ned Franks considers the early days of the 41st Parliament.

“I would have thought they would have changed, and stopped their approach to Parliamentary business as warfare by any other means,” Prof. Franks told The Hill Times. “They’re governing by fiat, and they’re forgetting that though they have a majority of seats, they got less than 40 per cent of the vote in May. I’m disappointed. I was expecting better.”

As discussed in the Hill Times piece, among those called by Conservatives to appear before a committee concerning the CBC is a sitting Federal Court judge.


‘Parliamentary business as warfare’

  1. Well I’m disappointed in Professor Franks for his naivety and surprise.  As a political scientist he’s failed utterly.

    Harper is the first PM we’ve ever had who has been so open over the years with his views. He came to national attention by complaining publically about his own leader’s dry-cleaning bills. It was a very open stab-in-the-back…but it got him noticed…and it showed that anyone was fair game in his estimation.

    We’ve had a long list of quotes since then to judge him by…about Canada being a second-rate country, about having no sympathy for the unemployed, about not caring if Canada stays as one country or breaks up into ten countries, about standing with George W Bush on Iraq, about his party being Republican North…the list goes on and on. He isn’t multicultural, he wants a return to the past, he doesn’t like foreign affairs etc.  He’s been quite clear.  The only thing that remained ‘hidden’ was the religion…but it was there for anyone that cared to look.

    He modified his push somewhat when he had minority govts because it was necessary…and he blew the surplus and lowered the GST, creating a structural deficit, in a hunt for votes. He attacked everyone in sight with the most absurd things in order to win.

    And now that he has a majority, Prof Franks thought Harper was going to turn into Mr Nice Guy?

    ‘Fiat’ is Harper’s middle name!  Even cartoonists have drawn him with a crown!

    Where has Prof Franks been??

    • It baffled me when I read that ‘I expected better’ line.

      How on earth could you have been expecting anything else?

  2. Is Franks really surprised by how Harper is governing? 

    Has Franks been unconscious for past 40 years? Canada is fascist state where middle classes act as technocrats, inequalities are constantly increasing and divide between rich/poor getting wider. 

    I realized in summer – during the week of hosannas leading up to Layton’s funeral – that we are now going to have decades of listening to clapped out baby boomers bemoan their failed experiment in fascism that they introduced in 1960s and imposed on future generations. 

    Impromptu interview of Pierre Elliott Trudeau with Tim Ralfe of the CBC and Peter Reilly of CJON-TV on October 13, 1970

    Q: No, I still go back to the choice that you have to make in the kind of society that you live in.

    A: Yes, well there are a lot of bleeding hearts around who just don’t like to see people with helmets and guns. All I can say is, go on and bleed, but it is more important to keep law and order in the society than to be worried about weak-kneed people who don’t like the looks of …

    Q: At any cost? How far would you go with that? How far would you extend that?

    A: Well just watch me.

  3. I continue to be amazed by the nonsense this party gets away with.

    Calling judges to testify concerning their decisions to a parliamentary committee? Ever heard of the separation of the powers folks? I mean holee crap.

    They blew the surplus even before the meltdown and are now set to make things even worse by spending untold billions on mostly unneccesary crime legislation.

    They’re going to destroy decades of crime reduction by following the horribly failed policies of the US, that they themselves are now turning away from.

    They won’t debate the fact because they can’t debate the facts.

    Populist fools.

    • With luck, he’ll show up to the committee, and suggest they blow it out their collective…seats. Seats in the House, that is.

    • “Calling judges to testify concerning their decisions to a parliamentary committee? Ever heard of the separation of the powers folks? I mean holee crap.”

      “Calling” and “compelling” are two different things.  They can call anyone they like, they just can’t compel certain persons to appear.  It is presumed they’ve called Justice Boivin because he is well informed about how CBC handles information requests, having ordered the CBC to provide information to the information commissioner.  It’s up to him to decide whether he wants to participate or not.

      As for “testifying concerning their decisions”, judges decisions are public record and, within certain well established limitations (e.g. not saying anything to prejudice a party’s right of appeal), they talk about them in public all the time.  I have personally heard at least a dozen speak publicly about various decisions.

  4. How does this fit in with keeping our eye on the ball in times of economic uncertainty?

  5. Why on earth do media outlets keep going to this guy as an expert if he doesn’t even understand how majority governments work in this country. Yikes, Harper is governing by fiat! Why almost the same as…every other majority Prime Minister we’ve ever had.

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