Party and power - Macleans.ca
 

Party and power


 

Samara has released its latest report on the life of an MP.

The MPs’ insistence that important work was done only in private raises some serious questions for Canadian democracy and citizens’ ability to engage with it. After all, how are Canadians to observe and understand the work of their elected representatives— to say nothing of their ability to hold them accountable—if all the “real work” is done away from the public gaze? And if the MPs were so embarrassed by the behaviour on display in the House of Commons, why didn’t they do something to change it?

This leads to the second major trend: the consistent observation from the MPs that the greatest frustrations they faced during their political careers came from within their own political party. 


 

Party and power

  1. "why didn't they do something to change it?"

    The 'something' you speak of is the election we are currently in. Much more will get accomplished by a Tory majority then a minority government fettered by an obstructionist opposition.

  2. "why didn%E2%80%99t they do something to change it?"

    The 'something' you speak of is the election we are currently in. Much more will get accomplished by a Tory majority then a minority government fettered by an obstructionist opposition.

  3. "why didn't they do something to change it?"

    The 'something' you speak of is the election we are currently in. Much more will get accomplished by a Tory majority then a minority government fettered by an obstructionist opposition.

    • Yeah, dictatorships deal with obstructionists, eh?

      • An elected Tory government deals with whiney partisan blowhards.

        • Odd idea you have there about democracy. It doesn't usually involve cracking the whip and shutting down other people.

        • "Whiney (sic) partisan blowhards"

          You have no sense of shame, do you?

      • Yeah, dictatorships get told they have to seek a mandate from the people, and they comply, eh?

        • Not with very good grace it seems.

          Elections are now regarded as a pesky interruption we should really eliminate.

    • no.

      • You're getting a lot of good use out of that simple word lately. I should learn a lesson from that when dealing with certain posters in these forums.

  4. Yes, the basic problem in politics is within the parties themselves….starting at the riding level…and the idea we now have about who you'd want to have a beer with.

    This is no way to run a country.

  5. Yes, the basic problem in politics is within the parties themselves….starting at the riding level…and the idea we now have about who you'd want to have a beer with.

    This is no way to run a country.

    • I've always interpeted that beer concept as being less whos fun to get drunk with and more dealing with a representitive who's willing to talk to you frankly and honestly. No condscencion, no sense of entitlment. Not that I'd want to get drunk with any of these leaders and I don't think any of them now how to be anything other than condscending so I guess it doesn't matter how one frames their understanding of the beer concept because our current party leaders would fail either way.

  6. Yeah, dictatorships deal with obstructionists, eh?

  7. An elected Tory government deals with whiney partisan blowhards.

  8. Odd idea you have there about democracy. It doesn't usually involve cracking the whip and shutting down other people.

  9. "…the greatest frustrations they faced during their political careers came from within their own political party."

    The funny thing is that if you ask voters who are involved in political parties they'll often say that this feeling is mutual.

  10. "…the greatest frustrations they faced during their political careers came from within their own political party."

    The funny thing is that if you ask voters who are involved in political parties they'll often say that this feeling is mutual.

  11. Yeah, dictatorships get told they have to seek a mandate from the people, and they comply, eh?

  12. The problem seems to be that the media and the public aren't much interested in policy, they prefer to focus on partisan games in Question Period. Paul Wells takes a stab at writing an informed piece about policy from time to time, but those get relatively few comments. In contrast, a short piece about Ignatieff's new slogan gets nearly 70 comments in a few hours. Look at Aaron's own posts – the bit about the new slogan has 200 comments, the policy alert on health care has 27. If that's what gets the eyeballs, that's where the media's going to go. And if that's where the media's going, wouldn't you expect the parties to focus on stage managing those kinds of stories?

  13. The problem seems to be that the media and the public aren't much interested in policy, they prefer to focus on partisan games in Question Period. Paul Wells takes a stab at writing an informed piece about policy from time to time, but those get relatively few comments. In contrast, a short piece about Ignatieff's new slogan gets nearly 70 comments in a few hours. Look at Aaron's own posts – the bit about the new slogan has 200 comments, the policy alert on health care has 27. If that's what gets the eyeballs, that's where the media's going to go. And if that's where the media's going, wouldn't you expect the parties to focus on stage managing those kinds of stories?

    • Bingo

    • So true; I noticed a couple of weeks ago that Aaron's "Policy Alerts" attract only a handful of comments; it's when we start reading about sleaze (Clement/G*; Guergis; Odanot) that we get excited.

  14. Not with very good grace it seems.

    Elections are now regarded as a pesky interruption we should really eliminate.

  15. "Whiney (sic) partisan blowhards"

    You have no sense of shame, do you?

  16. Bingo

  17. So, once again the media have declared themselves Liberal party members.

    The Liberals run an ad with a Harper quote that he never said. Their source is the Globe and Mail. The Globe and Mail has no source for the ad. So it's a giant fabrication, enabled by the media's Liberal cheerleading.

    http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/canadavotes2011/s

    Not only that, the Liberals have once again shown that they find themselves at home in the gutter. I hope you're proud of your lying party, Wherry.

  18. So, once again the media have declared themselves Liberal party members.

    The Liberals run an ad with a Harper quote that he never said. Their source is the Globe and Mail. The Globe and Mail has no source for the ad. So it's a giant fabrication, enabled by the media's Liberal cheerleading.

    http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/canadavotes2011/s

    Not only that, the Liberals have once again shown that they find themselves at home in the gutter. I hope you're proud of your lying party, Wherry.

    • Wow. You are using a link from THE CBC! That must be confusing for you, huh?

      • Well, let's give them credit where credit is due. On this occasion, they are taking the high road. They've even stopped pupblishing Heather Mallick, she's resorted to the Star these days (although refusing to publish her trash is not really much to be proud of). Even CBC employee and liberal Kady O'Malley is taking the high road, according to the quote from Critical Reasoning, so kudos to her as well.

        Come to think of it, apart from the Vote Compass, I would say the Globe has been far more of a partisan media outlet than the CBC this election campaign, which is a change. Anyway, the Globe has since issued a correction, but the Liberals, or course, have dug themselves deeper into the gutter, according to Wherry.

        Do you remember when we debated the Globe reporting of Harper's dropping leadership index? Well, just after that his leadership index shot up to a record 120. And of course, it was largely unreported. Go figure.

    • You mean like the cons attributing an iPod tax to Ignatieff which is totally wrong?

      Oh wait, that's your boys doing it and therefore flagrant hypocrisy is okay.

  19. to be fair … quote has been out for many years and repeated many times … CPC perhaps should have objected long long ago … they are all still looking for the source …

  20. So true; I noticed a couple of weeks ago that Aaron's "Policy Alerts" attract only a handful of comments; it's when we start reading about sleaze (Clement/G*; Guergis; Odanot) that we get excited.

  21. What baloney. So it's the CPC's fault that both the Liberals and the Globe are lying? You must be joking. Who cares how long it's been around! That's even worse! That means there are numerous occasions when the media should have done their fact-checking, and they failed every single time.

    So here's your logic:
    When the media invents a quote, if nobody notices (or nobody does anything about it) and enough time passes, then it's OK to repeat the lie again. And again. And again.

    The CPC probably did notice, but the media lies all the time these days, so they likely do not have the ability to correct them all. In fact, every time the CPC does complain, like when the election rules were broken at the Guelph polling station, the media decides to skewer the CPC once more, for even daring to question.

    You're not being fair at all. You're just providing partisan excuses for incompetence. They should have been looking for the source before it was published by a national newspaper and before it was put on national TV, not after!

  22. What baloney. So it's the CPC's fault that both the Liberals and the Globe are lying? You must be joking. Who cares how long it's been around! That's even worse! That means there are numerous occasions when the media should have done their fact-checking, and they failed every single time.

    So here's your logic:
    When the media invents a quote, if nobody notices (or nobody does anything about it) and enough time passes, then it's OK to repeat the lie again. And again. And again.

    The CPC probably did notice, but the media lies all the time these days, so they likely do not have the ability to correct them all. In fact, every time the CPC does complain, like when the election rules were broken at the Guelph polling station, the media decides to skewer the CPC once more, for even daring to question.

    You're not being fair at all. You're just providing partisan excuses for incompetence. They should have been looking for the source before it was published by a national newspaper and before it was put on national TV, not after!

    • The media didn't invent the quote, they just misattributed it to Harper instead of properly attributing it to the person that Harper worked for.

    • The CPC probably did notice, but the media lies all the time these days, so they likely do not have the ability to correct them all.

      Or, Harper did believe (and/or possibly continues to believe) that it's past time the feds scrap the CHA, so when he saw himself being quoted as having said that in the ad he just assumed that he had once said that because that's what he once (and possibly continues to) believe. I don't think the CPC missed the misattribution all this time because they're too busy, I think they missed it all this time because they thought the PM actually said it.

  23. Wow. You are using a link from THE CBC! That must be confusing for you, huh?

  24. After fumbling for a few years, Stockwell Day found his footing.

    "After the Conservatives won power in 2006, Day worked at several cabinet posts, starting with Public Safety, then International Trade and ending in Treasury Board. He turned in a steady performance in all those portfolios, helping to erase the shaky impressions from his early days on Parliament Hill.

    In his statement, Day credited Harper for his “outstanding leadership.”

    “His belief (and insistence within his caucus) that every MP must be allowed equal ground to speak up vigorously for their constituents is the foundation of decision making upon which we develop the policies for our nation,” he said."

    I pick up the phone or email my MP anytime there is an issue that has me interested. I never get told it is a secret.

  25. After fumbling for a few years, Stockwell Day found his footing.

    "After the Conservatives won power in 2006, Day worked at several cabinet posts, starting with Public Safety, then International Trade and ending in Treasury Board. He turned in a steady performance in all those portfolios, helping to erase the shaky impressions from his early days on Parliament Hill.

    In his statement, Day credited Harper for his “outstanding leadership.”

    “His belief (and insistence within his caucus) that every MP must be allowed equal ground to speak up vigorously for their constituents is the foundation of decision making upon which we develop the policies for our nation,” he said."

    I pick up the phone or email my MP anytime there is an issue that has me interested. I never get told it is a secret.

  26. I've always interpeted that beer concept as being less whos fun to get drunk with and more dealing with a representitive who's willing to talk to you frankly and honestly. No condscencion, no sense of entitlment. Not that I'd want to get drunk with any of these leaders and I don't think any of them now how to be anything other than condscending so I guess it doesn't matter how one frames their understanding of the beer concept because our current party leaders would fail either way.

  27. Go to any party BBQ, and you can do that.

    It's the same kind of stuff you'd get out of drinking beer with anyone…and I'd really rather have someone smarter than the average beer-drinker running the country.

  28. You're getting a lot of good use out of that simple word lately. I should learn a lesson from that when dealing with certain posters in these forums.

  29. I pick up the phone or email my MP anytime there is an issue that has me interested. I never get told it is a secret.

    Ah, credulity. Is there anything it can't do?

  30. Well, let's give them credit where credit is due. On this occasion, they are taking the high road. They've even stopped pupblishing Heather Mallick, she's resorted to the Star these days (although refusing to publish her trash is not really much to be proud of). Even CBC employee and liberal Kady O'Malley is taking the high road, according to the quote from Critical Reasoning, so kudos to her as well.

    Come to think of it, apart from the Vote Compass, I would say the Globe has been far more of a partisan media outlet than the CBC this election campaign, which is a change. Anyway, the Globe has since issued a correction, but the Liberals, or course, have dug themselves deeper into the gutter, according to Wherry.

    Do you remember when we debated the Globe reporting of Harper's dropping leadership index? Well, just after that his leadership index shot up to a record 120. And of course, it was largely unreported. Go figure.

  31. A minor item, the Conservative government put the phasing out of incandecent light bulbs on hold until they have looked into the environmental impacts of mercury in CFL. That only happened because people called their MPs and the Environment Minister.

  32. A minor item, the Conservative government put the phasing out of incandecent light bulbs on hold until they have looked into the environmental impacts of mercury in CFL. That only happened because people called their MPs and the Environment Minister.

    • A major item, they also destroyed the census, because apparently "one complaint is enough". So I guess you're right after all.

  33. A major item, they also destroyed the census, because apparently "one complaint is enough". So I guess you're right after all.

  34. The media didn't invent the quote, they just misattributed it to Harper instead of properly attributing it to the person that Harper worked for.

  35. The CPC probably did notice, but the media lies all the time these days, so they likely do not have the ability to correct them all.

    Or, Harper did believe (and/or possibly continues to believe) that it's past time the feds scrap the CHA, so when he saw himself being quoted as having said that in the ad he just assumed that he had once said that because that's what he once (and possibly continues to) believe. I don't think the CPC missed the misattribution all this time because they're too busy, I think they missed it all this time because they thought the PM actually said it.

  36. Why believe that a majority Tory government would be more effective than a minority government ? Steve would possibily accept his election as the election of a dictator.

  37. You mean like the cons attributing an iPod tax to Ignatieff which is totally wrong?

    Oh wait, that's your boys doing it and therefore flagrant hypocrisy is okay.

  38. A lot of this problem is caused by the party leader having a veto over every MP by needing to sign their nomination papers before they can run again. It makes it very hard for MPs to do their job correctly or for the leader to be accountable to caucus (which is how it's supposed to be).

    Strip that power from the leadership and we'd see a very different Parliament.

  39. A lot of this problem is caused by the party leader having a veto over every MP by needing to sign their nomination papers before they can run again. It makes it very hard for MPs to do their job correctly or for the leader to be accountable to caucus (which is how it's supposed to be).

    Strip that power from the leadership and we'd see a very different Parliament.