The Commons: Seriously, Mr. Flaherty needs your help


Quite seriously Flaherty needs your help

The Scene. The peanut gallery seemed to find the first full day of Canada’s 40th Parliament to be a bit of a bore. Which is to say, they seemed to find the first full day of Canada’s 40th Parliament to be generally lacking in shouted comparisons of various members to barnyard animals or human orifices.

Alas, this new era of co-operation and civility does have its downsides.

“I do not think it serves the leader of the opposition, or anybody else, to fight the last election over again,” the Prime Minister huffed at one point, apparently finding the questions of his counterpart to be too specific in nature.

Granted, the Right Honourable Stephen J. Harper is correct in this regard. It serves absolutely no one to reenact that battle, bloody and messy and vacuous as it was. The people have spoken. Their will has been voiced. Democracy has spoken. Let us move onward and upward and approximately forward.

But then, the Prime Minister won that fight, didn’t he? Indeed, it was from just that spectacle that his present mandate is derived. So why not bask in such triumph? Why so quick to forget?

Surely, nothing to do with this recession the Prime Minister said would never come. Nor this seemingly imminent deficit he vowed never to allow.

“We will take whatever measures are necessary to protect the Canadian economy in difficult times,” the Prime Minsiter vowed this day. “I would ask the leader of the opposition to provide specifically his ideas about what those best measures might be.”

Indeed, said his Finance Minister. “I know there is an economic team over there that is going to get together and talk about this and come up with a theme and some suggestions,” said Gentleman Jim Flaherty, gesturing toward the Liberal benches. “When they do, and I mean this in a cooperative way, I would love to hear their suggestions about the manner in which we can stimulate the economy.”

For sure, Flaherty later added, Canadians expect nothing less. “If any members in the House have any constructive suggestions of ways in which the economy could be stimulated in addition to the tax reductions that we have already made, then I welcome them,” he said. “Quite frankly, I think that is what Canadians expect of us when we come back after an election in a time of serious economic slowdown.”

And let there be no doubt how seriously this government takes this seriously serious bit of seriousness.

“I say to the member opposite this is a serious situation,” Flaherty cautioned.

“It is a serious situation in Canada,” he explained.

“Surely the honourable member knows that we are going through a very serious global economic downturn,” he pleaded.

“The seriousness of this situation is not to be underestimated,” he warned.

Quite unseriously, the Liberal leader took issue with Mr. Harper’s psychic abilities, or at least the abilities of his psychic. “Mr. Speaker, if he saw that coming, why then did he eliminate the contingency reserve?” Stephane Dion begged. “It does not make sense.”

Scott Brison then tried a meteorological approach. “If the Prime Minister could actually foresee storm clouds on the horizon, why did he permit his finance minister to eliminate Canada’s rainy day fund?”

And when that failed to sufficiently shame the government side, the Liberal asked pointedly of Mr. Flaherty’s intimate relations with the national treasury. “When will the Minister of Finance admit that having conceived these bad policies he is responsible for fathering the Conservative deficit and as such he has earned the title of Canada’s new deficit daddy?”

Red-faced, Gentleman Jim demurred. “I am not going to go there, Mr. Speaker.”

The official transcript shows that this was followed by a shout of “Who’s your daddy?”

So there was that.

Otherwise, here was the general order of the day. Neither side having much in the way of answers for our current predicament, each quite sure the fault was not theirs.

But, from a distant corner, a shouted voice of desperation. A simple plea. A humble offer.

“Mr. Speaker, we presented our ideas and the government did not accept them,” Jack Layton whined. “What can I say?”

Not much, Mr. Layton. But, without the hurled invective of yore, that puts everyone just about level.

The Stats. The economy, 31 questions. Arts funding, two questions. The Parliamentary budget officer and the environment, two questions each. Senate reform and equalization, one question each.

Suck-up of the Day. Conservative Mike Lake responds to a question about a job losses in Welland, Ontario. “Mr. Speaker, I would like to respond to this by reading a statement. During question period today we have heard a lot of rhetoric, but it is important to understand that our leader is the envy of the world in terms of the way that he is approaching the economic situation. The London Telegraph in July wrote, concerning the economies of the G-8, ‘Of all the leaders, only [our Prime Minister] is able to point to a popular and successful record in office…the Canadian Tories are a model of how to behave during a downturn.'”


The Commons: Seriously, Mr. Flaherty needs your help

  1. Oh man… It’s back, baby.
    I feel like a heroin addict who’s just had their first hit in months.

  2. I second Sophie’s comment, it’s very gratifying to have an account like this. Thanks, Mr. Wherry!

    Quite the poetic image on Brison’s part, but it’s a shame he didn’t stretch it out a bit, Homerically: “If the Prime Minister could foresee storm clouds, why did he eliminate Canada’s rainy day fund, with the result that that, like children caught without umbrellas who have missed the school bus, Canadians must walk through the drizzling damp with sad hearts, skirting the puddles of the economic downturn?”

    Seriously, though, it looks like the Chaste & Sober Dignity thing is actually in effect, eh? Long may it last!

  3. Aaron, it sounds like our Parliament has been transported to bizarro-world where the Conservatives are asking for fiscal advice from the Liberals after barely a month ago they suggested Liberal tenure would be economically disastrous.

    I like the line ‘Conservative deficit’. If the Liberals are smart that is what they should be hammering on for the next year. This is 100% the baby of the CPC.

    Question is: will they bring themselves to vote for a deficit budget?

  4. Mr. Flaherty needs our help?

    Canadians need help to rid ourselves of Deficit Jim, the worst Finance Minister in recent memory.

    I wish I could take some pleasure in watching Jim talk his way out of this financial mess but the damage he has done has hurt everyone of us.

    And Kevin Page (news story here) only describes half the mess. Flaherty has been messing up for at least 2 1/2 years now, frittering away corporate taxes by making poor decisions based on bad assumptions. The Income Trust fiasco 2 years ago are indicative of a Minister who doesn’t who is seriously over his head.

  5. “Deficit Jim,” that has a nice ring to it.

  6. I like the pic you added of Flaherty. It looks as though he wishes he had no lips.

  7. It looks as though he wishes he had no lips.

    You would too if you had lips like Jim Flahert…full, supple, pouty…*sigh*

    …eh, what was the topic again?

    Deficit Daddy is my new nickname for Dim Jim Flim Flam Flaherty. Or would be, if I thought any of this was remotely amusing. Made-in-Canada deficit, brought to us yet again by this innumerate CON.

  8. Yet despite all the flattery by the opposition parties what will they do when it comes time vote : 43 – 44 – 45 – 46 – add nauseum confidence motions (incidentally) I have spent quite some time checking out the history of various parliamentary systems and the track record of opposition parties voting and not voting on confidence motions. As near as I can determine South Korea is the only place in the world that had a poltical party that has come even close to the LPC and that’s by only half the amount and as near as I can determine that party no longer exists! Hmmmmmmm … I think the LPC are well on their way to a new track record alright an historical mention a footnote if you will …see LPC a once and mighty poltical party in the dominion of canada that offered a unique promise to it’s voters = vote for us and we gaurantee we will only yap, complain and whine but never realy do anything if it comes to a vote = ROFL LMAO (where can I apply for that job)

  9. Wow, that’s quite the handwaving there Wayne. I realize you’d like to distract people from how Flaherty is looking to the Liberals for ideas on how to handle the economy, his own having proven.. well.. just shy of disastrous according to Keven Page, but do try to make at least the appearance of speaking to topic, it makes it less likely that people will realize just how completely partisan and, thus, worthless your points are.

    Here, let me show you how it’s done for a change were I conservative partisan.

    “Look, everybody knows that when you reduce taxes, you get stimulus in the economy. Flaherty reduced taxes. But not only that, he looked ahead and saw how 40 year, no-down mortgages were a bad situation for Canadians to get into, so put the kibosh on that. The problem is this melt-down had been so much larger than anybody anticipated. Kevin Page blames it on Jim’s policies, but lets be realistic, Jim was designing policies for the world before the crash. Nobody expected this. Or if the Liberals did, then they had not one, but TWO budgets to try and stop it. Did they? No.”

    Of course, this has a load of holes in it that the more astute readers will likely be able to spot, but it’d at least be less obvious what was going on.

  10. Wow T : I am very impressed with your obvious ability to discern from my post what my actual intent was. If only I would have known. Though your observation were bordering on trite and to be frank you can do way better I have seen it in the past. I am afraid you are wrong my post is exactly what it was an observation that the LPC are on their way to laying down a track record of incompetence rarely witnessed in the parliamentary system – that’s it – no hidden meaning, no partisan observation just a historical fact of which the only other poltical party anywhere in our kind of system that came close to the LPC is no longer around- now you can spin this anyway you like but the interesting thing about reality is it just is.

  11. I got to the part where he said “South Korea” and stopped reading because South Korea doesn’t have a parliamentary system.

  12. Well you should have told them Tom as they are in the mistaken belief that thier national assembly or parliament is indeed based in part of the parliamentary system as well they have had numerous poltical parties one of which spent a lot of time sitting on it’s hands or at least that is as far as I could drill down for more information I could be mistaken but soemthing was mentioned 20 plus time avoiding confidence motions.

    Parliament of South-Korea

    Also see South Korea Ministes

    1997-ca.99 Member of the Presidium of the National Assembly Kim Jong-sook
    She was also Chairperson of the Committee of the Women’s Affairs. 1995-97 Second Minister of State for Political Affairs

    Ca. 1999- Member of the Presidium of the National Assembly Lee Yun Soon
    She was also Chairperson of the Committee of the Women’s Affairs

    On 12 March 2004, the South Korean National Assembly (Parliament) voted to impeach President Roh Moo-hyun on charges of corruption and political patronage. …

  13. I hope ‘suck up of the day’ will be a regular feature here. As for the photo, he looks like he’s going to hold his breath until somebody helps him.

  14. The ill wind from Oshawa – Mr Flatulence – our finance minister was also the last finance minister to raise income taxes – we traded the Liberal Tax cuts for a 1% GST cut – Mr Baird and Mr Fortier couldn’t find a billion dollars to cut from programs in good times during their stint at Public works and the Treasury board (Less than 1% of the federal spending) – During the last government sessions Mr Harper spent more money than any previous Prime Minister adjusting for inflation of course – John A atleast built a railroad. What did we get – No ice breakers – too expensive – we did get a fully manned automated weatherstation on the East Coast – Now we have a public servant looking out the window to verify it is snowing? We got a gun registry that is free to gun owners – gives amnesty to those who do not register and still costs taxpayers $80million a year – but that is in the RCMP budget that has been bloated since these folks took office. We have some nice foreign built planes on order for our military but the Sea Kings are still flying by Canadian Tire GPS units. Mr Flatulence had the nerve to tell the world that Ontario is a bad place to invest while throwing billions at Quebec. Harper called the Libs tax and spend – sad surpluses were bad – Harper and Mr Flatulence run a tax cut and spend platform – no surplus – seniors are in big trouble and going to be in more trouble come the new year with the RRIF’s – our food manufacturers are the last manufacturers with any hope of survival and they are about to be regulated to extinction while China ships melamine laden chocolates to our kids.
    Mr Flatulence needs our help out of office. Lets vote again – I want a recount!

  15. Wayne is out of whack. The issue is not “will the Liberal Party of Canada vote for a deficit budget?”. They can and should. The question is who eliminated the surplus which would be there to sustain a deficit budget by kissing away 26 billion a year by cutting the GST, and lowering taxes for those who can afford to pay all the while mucking up Canadians’ pensions through incompetant management (income trusts)Answer: the Conservative Party.

    How can Canadians forget that it was the Liberal party of Canada who had no deficit for 11 years? Those who neither study history, follow politics or know anything about economics (too large a proportion of the Canadian public).

  16. Mike Lake should go back to proving Bigfoot exists. He has no credibility as he is a light weight politically and desires to kiss the right people’s appropriate anatomy.

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