Rod Bruinooge Maverick Watch


Merry  Christmas, Prime Minister. (And a belated happy Hanukkah too.)

Whatever the merits of Mr. Bruinooge’s particular cause, the diminutive and quiet Internet gaming maven and film festival founder would appear to be freely and publicly expressing a personal opinion—a personal opinion that directly contradicts the stated position of the government of which he is a member. Indeed, with a couple interviews and a little op-ed appearing all on the same day, he seems to be making quite the show of it.

The cynical among you might assume the expression of this personal opinion was planned and blessed from above. The even more cynical might imagine that even if it was, Mr. Bruinooge will soon enough be scolded in public and quickly disappeared.

But in the spirit of the holiday season, let us believe that an MP has found it in himself to act like something other than a well-paid parliamentary pawn. Small victory, that. But one must applaud what one can.

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Rod Bruinooge Maverick Watch

  1. In the spirit of the holiday season? What about the Harper government in the last while has been in the spirit of the season? Burke certainly wasn’t in the Hanukkah spirit. Clement going mum on Burke’s behavior wasn’t in any holiday spirit. I’m guessing Harper knew about this latest bombshell. Now which MP will get the task of trying to reinstate the death penalty?


  2. Tacit approval for this by Harper for sure. It it raises a firestorm he can always pretend to censure his MP, but really what he needs is for minor figures like Bruinooge to whip the social conservatives into donation mode (it is year end).

    If a reporter was to ask Bruinooge what he’s going to do about the economy, what’s his take on budget deficits, etc. he’ll either refer you to national headquarters or get in real trouble for answering.

  3. Yeah, year end fundraising. That’s probably it. And what are the Liberals doing to reel in their donors … besides trimming Ignatieff’s eyebrows?

  4. Bravo Rod, in the new year I think I’ll donate some more money to the CPC.
    Just imagine for a moment, the media storm that would have occured around Feb 2006 if this was out there then. The media would have been convulsing with epileptic seizures.
    The CPC are a centre party that have governed effectively with moderation. Right where most Canadians are. Now when these issues are brought up, folks like Aaron applaud.
    Interesting that.

  5. Yah Daryl, don’t bother donating to any kids’ causes who are currently in desperate need. The childish CON party is on constant teet sucking mode of your hard-earned dollars. As they plow all their and supposedly your shared beliefs under the bus for their one-shot majority makeover of Canada…

    • The Conservatives didn’t bring this in, but they did increase the tax refund for charitable donations in their first budget. I am opposed to any tax refund for either, but those are the facts.

  6. Donations to Canadian Political Parties are subsidized more than any other sort of donation, including donations to charities, cultural institutions and religious organizations. It is amazing to me that this wasn’t explained in the fallout from the fall fiscal update. If I donate 400$ to a Political Party, I receive a $300 tax rebate. It’d be interesting to see the numbers for the cost of this type of public subsidization of political parties costs compared to the 29 million the conservatives were looking to cut. I don’t think any mainstream media person has even done this research, or, at least, I never saw these numbers come out, and in all fairness… the coalition drama followed soon after. Still, it sits with me poorly that in effect, the conservatives were the recipients of a freeshot on all opposition parties by not being called on their doubletalk and hypocricy. If I am right in my understanding of this, once we factor in the cost of these tax rebates, the conservatives, relying so heavily on member donations, would be the political party that is MOST heavily subsidized by tax payer money.

    • I agree the 75% rebate is rather high and I don’t understand why it should be higher than to charities. Also, the Conservatives gain the most from this.

      I don’t know why the press didn’t cover this, but they don’t cover much these days, do they? I left some comments here and there when the political funding issue was in the news. I was trying to calm down Conservatives who were so mad that their tax dollars went to a Liberal (in the per vote funding) so I tried to explain we subsidize the CPC the most in the donation rebate. But, basically, everything is so partisan these days (thanks Steve) that no one actually wants to understand anything that doesn’t support their own partisan interests.

      • “I was trying to calm down Conservatives who were so mad that their tax dollars went to a Liberal (in the per vote funding) so I tried to explain we subsidize the CPC the most in the donation rebate.”

        We subsidize them most through direct subsidy too. Can we agree on scrapping both of these? An opposition with a shred of confidence in itself would appreciate the gesture.

        “But, basically, everything is so partisan these days (thanks Steve)” This comment made me laugh. “Things are so damn partisan thanks to my wretched political opponents!”

  7. as for Bruinoogegate, I’d file this under ‘testing the waters’, and perhaps under ‘incrementalism’ (a little test to see if this would be a suitable diversionary and news cycle absorbing wish list item that could draw attention away from other newsthreads less favorable to the government.) I like the ‘funding’ theory too. It is perhaps many of these things. As soon as I say this, though, I have to say it nauseates me a bit to be, even implicitly, refering to such clever and devious political strategizing. Ok, I need a new file. Let’s call this one ‘Spastic Paleoconservative show-boating’. Ok, I feel a bit better, I guess…

  8. I think this will actually (at long last) allow the festering societal wound that is abortion to break open into debate.

    The government’s official hostility to any ‘unhelpful’ controversy just serves to increase the controversy and make any pro-life activities more newsworthy.

    The secret membership will allow mps to develop their pro-life views, and gain confidence that they are not alone, without being crucified by pro-abortion media who want to shut them up, and kill debate.

    All in all, a positive step forward for the pro-life movement, and a potential starter for more mature debate on abortion.

    • There are indeed many politicians who would like to see the government of the day take a strong stand against abortion.

      Most are Liberals eager to return to power.

    • Rock on Rod!

  9. The fundraising idea seems unlikely at best. It’s more likely to send support to the other parties than to generate cash. And why risk the blowback when you have the most $ anyway?

  10. Mike T’s talking out of his hat when he says a majority of those MPs who care to revisit abortion being Liberals. He knows that its the so-con’s soylent green issue; the number of Liberals in past parliaments who were considered socially conservative rank around 20% or less. A number of the more prominent ones — O’Brien and Wappell — were replaced by people who support the current system. However, I see the advantage of CON talkers to cast shadows on their rivals when the real pro-life rank and filers shudder under the cone of Harper silence. It makes for a good cover play, just like Laureen does for Baird and Moore.

    • Remember, Dan in Van, the “government of the day” is Conservative.

  11. I think it’s interesting that he says on his Wiki page that he turned down the INAC Parliamentary Secretary gig (and gave up a 50k raise!)

    Interesting because I never thought anyone turned those things down, and secondly because I didn’t think you supposed to publicly admit to turning down those kinds of things!

    Maybe he turned it down because he wanted 2009 to be the Year of the All-Party Anti-Abortion League.

    It’s a lot easier probably to champion a contentious caucus group like that as a back bencher than it is as a Secretary of State. That’d probably earn you a big smack-down from the PM.

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