The Commons: The joke is on you, Canada

Aaron Wherry on the first day back

by Aaron Wherry

The Scene. John Baird pointed at Thomas Mulcair and laughed.

Conservative MP Andrew Saxton was on his feet a couple rows back, claiming that the leader of the opposition had spent the summer promoting the idea of a tax on carbon. Mr. Baird apparently thought this was funny. Mr. Saxton had been preceded by Shelly Glover. And Mr. Saxton and Ms. Glover would be followed by Conservative MP John Williamson, all rising in the moments before Question Period to recite their assigned talking points.

Peter Van Loan had accused Mr. Mulcair of favouring a carbon tax this morning at a news conference to mark the start of the fall sitting. Two hours later, the Conservative party press office had then issued a “fact check” repeating the claim. Veteran Affairs Minister Steven Blaney posted the talking point to Facebook. Tim Uppal, the minister of state for democratic reform, tweeted it. Minister of International Co-operation Julian Fantino tweeted it too.

Last week it was Conservative MPs Phil McColeman, Susan Truppe, Joe Preston and Ed Holder. The week before that it was Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver. Back in June, the Conservatives launched television attack ads that repeated the claim.

All of this, each and every missive and every single individual willing to put their name to this claim, is part of a remarkable farce.

Let us review the basics.

During the 2008 and 2011 elections, the NDP proposed the introduction of a cap-and-trade system to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. And during his run for the NDP leader, Mr. Mulcair offered his own cap-and-trade proposal.

It is on this basis that the Conservatives now accuse the New Democrats of seeking to impose a carbon tax.

You might remember a carbon tax as what Stephane Dion’s Liberals proposed in 2008. Mr. Harper said Mr. Dion’s proposal would “screw everybody.” Thing is, while the Conservatives were damning a carbon tax, they were proposing to pursue a North American cap-and-trade system. The Conservatives put it in their platform. And the Harper government put it in its Throne Speech. Jim Prentice lobbied the Alberta government to join the Harper government’s initiative. As late as December 2009, the Harper government claimed to be “working in collaboration with the provinces and territories to develop a cap-and-trade system that will ultimately be aligned with the emerging cap-and-trade program in the United States.”

But during the 2011 federal campaign, the Conservatives decided that cap-and-trade and a carbon tax were the same thing. So never mind what they proposed in 2008 and pursued through 2009. And never mind that, whatever they say now, they still won’t rule out pursuing a cap-and-trade system in the future if the United States is prepared to do likewise.

“Canadians and people across the globe know,” Mr. Harper declared this afternoon, challenged by Mr. Mulcair to explain what he was doing to safeguard the economy, “we have a government smart enough to reject dumb ideas like a $20 billion carbon tax.”

The Conservatives stood to applaud.

Awhile later, the NDP’s Linda Duncan asked the Harper government about its spending on advertising. Tony Clement stood and asked that Ms. Duncan apologize for wanting to impose a carbon tax scheme.

The NDP’s Malcolm Allen stood and demanded the Harper government do something for farmers impacted by this summer’s drought. Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz stood and accused the NDP of “fanning” a carbon tax.

Ed Holder was sent up by his own side to ask the Government House leader about the government’s legislative agenda. Mr. Van Loan stood and fumed about a carbon tax.

Conservative MP Blake Richards was sent up by the Conservatives to ask the Trade Minister a question. Ed Fast stood and lamented for a carbon tax.

Maybe the Conservatives think you’re stupid. Maybe, more charitably, they just think they’re smarter than you. Or maybe they assume that you’re cynical enough—or enough of you are cynical—about this stuff that they can safely carry on like this. Or maybe they’re terribly confused themselves.

But sitting at home you probably shouldn’t be joining in the laughter. Because ultimately the joke is on you.

The Commons: The joke is on you, Canada

  1. “The most brilliant propagandist technique will yield no success unless one
    fundamental principle is borne in mind constantly – it must confine
    itself to a few points and repeat them over and over”

    Joseph Goebbels

    • So true Emily … but it is then the job of the media and the people to bust through the propaganda and demand debate or some other form of legitimate communication.

      • No chance of our government….I don’t know…telling the truth? We need a citizen propaganda busting brigade 24/7? As much fun as it may seem, average Canadians should not have to distrust their gov’t by default. Vigilance is one thing, but dealing with a barrage of constant lies and propaganda is something we were supposed to be fighting AGAINST in WWII. Not sure why you think we should just let it be the norm all of the sudden (but my guess is that your riding has some steamy barrels full of pork being passed around)

        Feel free to vote for and support known liars if that’s how you want your country to be run. I’ll assess my choices and vote for the GOOD of the country myself.

        • Man, I don’t know exactly why you are being confrontational, I think those two are probably in agreement with you. Propaganda = bad.

  2. So the NDP are intending to implement a Carbon Tax!?! OMG

  3. Well I can’t speak for the 39% of Canadian voters who, by virtue of an antiquated first past the post electoral system, won a majority government. But speaking for myself and the 61% of us voters who are not stupid, conservative lies are to be expected. We knew it when we last voted and not only has nothing changed with the conservatives proclivity to repeatedly lie, it has now become a joke to them. The laugh when they’re lying knowing that a mere 39% of the voters of Canada are stupid enough to not care or not know when they’re being decieved. You’re right. The joke is on Canada. The whole world is laughing.

    • Are you in the 70% who were so stupid they didn’t vote NDP, the 80% who were so stupid they didn’t vote Liberal. or the 95% who were so stupid they didn’t vote Green? If that’s the way you want to count, the tories still come out on top. Nya nya!

      • How do you feel about these tactics, Mr Coleman?

        • You mean Harper and the Tories? If you want a serious answer, I’d say they are the result of a culture where the opposition uses dishonestly and distortions, the media employs “gotcha” tactics and hates Harper’s guts, and most of the population is watching Jersey Shore instead of seriously discussing or thinking about the important issues of the day. They are the same tactics used by the Canada’s previous successful party and leader, Chretien and the Liberals. Did I hope the Tories would be different? Sure, but I’ve come to realize that, in today’s culture, Harper is doing what he needs to do to get elected. Because I’d rather have Harper in the PM’s office than any of the others, I’ll have to say that I approve of his tactics, because they are apparently the winning tactics. And all the Tory haters here know that their parties would do the same, and they would be defending the very same tactics they decry from Harper.

          • Sorry, I meant willfully ignorant, although stupid is as stupid does.

          • Utter bull. Whatever else they did[ and the chretien libs started this disrespect of parliament alright] they never stooped to sending up grown adults to act like a pack of trained parrots, repeating TPs that aren’t even in the same ball park as the question asked. This isn’t even partisan politics Chretien style, it’s pure unadulterated propaganda. The fact that you think its just what you have to do to win says just how far our political dialogue has fallen. Just where would you draw the line? Just what wouldn’t you tolerate in the name of expediency? This may be your definition of what it takes to succeed in todays political environment, but keep your cynical rationalizations for yourself and your party. I wouldn’t expect any other decent politician or party to follow suit.

          • Cynical rationalizations? Hey, the Tories use these tactics, and they win. That’s not a rationalization, it’s a fact. And I totally agree with your statement: “…its just what you have to do to win says just how far our political dialogue has fallen.”

          • Stop calling Harper a Tory. Get an understand of what is a Tory then juxstapose to Harper, and tell what you’ll come out with?

          • Sorry pal; the ends don’t even come close to justifying these means. It is an insult to every intelligent Canadian. Anyone who values democracy should be deeply ashamed of the increasingly arrogant, insulting behaviour of these clods.

            And any CPC backbenchers with a shred of self-respect should be handing back their memberships and sitting as independents in protest. That would allow them to distance themselves from the crap while still backing the values – and people – they were elected to represent.

          • I believe that is called doublethink.

            I dislike Chretien’s Liberals tactics — Harper’s Conservative tactics are of the same cloth as the Liberals. I agree with the winning tactics.

          • But i still hate the liberals, cuz they did it first.

          • Further to kcms good points below, is there anything the Conservatives could do that would make you not vote for them? You know, the way Liberals didn’t vote for Liberals after the Sponsorship scandal. Your party has wasted millions more than that on Gazebos, partying like the Kardashians during an economic crisis, and advertising these exalted fiscally responsible measures, and you’re fine with it. Do you NEVER feel a responsibility to hold your own party to account? Because, you know, that’s the way its supposed to work. It is running the country, not WINNING at all costs, that you are supposed to be doing here.

          • Another serious answer: Yes, I wrestle with either voting for the Tories, or not voting at all. I could vote for another party if the Tories do something heinous (and I have voted Liberal in the past), but overall, the Tories seem to want to run my life SLIGHTLY LESS than the other parties do. But basically, they are all the same, all employ the same tactics, all treat the public like idiots, all are in it to exercise power over others. Perhaps they think that people who are intelligent and interested in public affairs are all pretty solidly committed, one way or another, so the target audience really is the idiots and people who vote on a whim. Horrifying as it seems, they are probably the “swing vote” that decides elections.

          • Thank you for the serious answer. Do you not have a Libertarian candidate running in your riding? Too bad. Too bad because, if the base doesn’t voice its disapproval to the party–and you guys have spectacularly failed to do so, the party can’t improve. Of course everything is Harper’s fault, except you know what? It isn’t. It’s the fault of Conservative members, such as yourself, who KNOW all the parties are the same, yet you don’t hold your own party to the standards you insist upon from the others.

          • If we didn’t have a FPTP system, people like Dave Coleman would be able to vote for the candidate that truly resonates with him without feeling like he’s wasting his vote. In a FPTP system, all the votes that are cast for the smaller parties are essentially votes for the winners.

          • Preaching to the choir here, dude1234. Somehow I’ve even become a Fair Vote director. But whether the vote for the other candidate would count or not, it is up to the “base” of a party to let them know when they are going in the wrong direction. Conservative supporters aren’t doing that.

          • very good point Jenn. One that is often overlooked by all of us. If only we knew the power we all have if we’d only exercise it. Remember that amazing answer FDR once gave to a disgruntled democrat on the campaign trail?…’Make me!’ Pure genius that guy.

          • @Dave Coleman “… the Tories seem to want to run my life SLIGHTLY LESS..”. I get the impression of the opposite. I’m also getting the impression that I’m losing control over my own life. For instance, the attack on my privacy, to getting rid of fact reporting people and entities, to incarceration for minute things, intentionally hiding information from their peers and the public… to me, it’s like an overbearing parent?

          • Please don’t put your failings on me.

          • What are you smoking dave Coleman?

          • If that’s what you have to do to win, as Canadians, we should seriously take a look at reforming the electoral system we use.

          • so what is your point?

      • nya nya … this is your argument?

        • It’s the best one the Conservatives can come up with – obviously!

      • THANK YOU

    • NDP, Liberals, PQ, all the parties should talk together, create a system of Sharing the Government and run together against the Conservatives. Sadly the bad people are always very well organize even though they are minority. The good people divide themselves into little groups and try to bit each other… sad. The 61% has to learn how to work together and not dream about the day they reach power.

      • More or less the platform Nathan Cullen ran on in the NDP leadership race. Good idea.

      • If we got rid of first past the post, a lot of the problems would be mitigated, I think. It’s really are electoral system that sucks, and that very same system (first past the post) is exactly why the US is in bipartisan hell right now.

      • How sad that we are not yet ready to trust as PM the one Politician that could and would do-the best job for Canada and Canadians Elisabeth May.. is honest very smart cares about what the majority of us care about.. yet no will give her the chance.well not yet anyways.

        • Our whole system is predicated on a PM who operates on the best interests of all Canadians, or MP’s with the same perspective who would do the “right thing” if that person demonstrably wasn’t.
          If that person isn’t, and his MP’s don’t care, we’re screwed.

      • And the PQ?? We don’t negotiate with traitors.. Under any circumstance

      • Oh, another vote for proportional representation and minority governments that are truly democratic. Under the present system the majority of the electorate NEVER vote for a majority goverment. Do the math.

    • The good news is so many Canadians are seeing the truth.

  4. What do you expect from Canada’s very own authoritarian regime

  5. These guys have nothing but contempt for Parliament, and by extension anyone who doesn’t already vote Conservative. You can’t even satirize them anymore. They’re beyond satire. Guess the joke really is on us then.

    • Question Period is a national embarassment as it was with the Liberals before them. The ‘first by the post’ system is a shabby form that is anything but democratic. Liberals and Conservatives share a joint responsibility for preserving this farce. Kid Trudeau has the looks but has shown no spark of his father’s intellect. Also he can’t be trusted in a constitutional showdown with Quebec

      • As they say, that’s why we play the game.We’ll get to see how much of the father is in the man; i think more than some people assume. In any case he has a right to be his own man, doesn’t he?
        Interestingly enough i have a feeling election reform is going to be part of kid Trudeau’s pitch – at least i hope so, if he’s a genuine reformer.

  6. Everyone knows that if the NDP ever got elected, they’d slap a on carbon tax a.s.a.p. Mulcair can deny it, but then he’d turn around and do it. Thank goodness he’ll never get the chance.

    • Obviously you can’t read. The article says the Cons wanted it but now that the NDP want it they decide to call it carbon tax when it really is cap and trade which is what Harper wanted a couple of years ago and will again if the US does it. I’m sure you are intellectually challenged.

    • nya nya … I guess …

    • After reading all your posts, Dave, I’ve come to the conclusion that you really don’t know anything about politics, and less about the Conservative Party and in particular about Harper. Give everybody a break and read Lawrence Martin’s book HARPERLAND –The Politics of Control (Updated version). If you are still a Conservative after reading that, than there’s no hope for you. You are alike the proverbial climate change denier. Someone has to hit you over the head with a hammer to convince you of the truth.

    • No, they wouldn’t slap on a carbon tax. That’s the problem. They’d instead put on cap and trade, just as the CPC was promising to do.

      Except cap and trade is infinitely worse than a simple carbon tax, because it allows the largest emitters to game the system in the same manner that large financial institutions game the stock market.

    • “Everyone knows that if the NDP ever got elected, they’d slap a on carbon tax a.s.a.p.”

      The Conservatives pound their talking points, and their base of reliable idiots proclaim it as gospel.

    • Everyone knew that if the Tories got elected they’d implement cap and trade, because THAT’S WHAT THEY CAMPAIGNED ON!!!

    • dave! where do you get your inside info? you remind me of the song:’went to see the gypsy … .

  7. I’m a dyed in the wool Conservative and I agree with Baird and Harper. Screw the future. We want prosperity now and only true conservatives can guarantee success. Let future generations worry about greenhouse carbon.

    • So not worrying about the future is the sign of a dyed in the wool conservative? I thought conservatives used to be quite concerned about change and such…

      • Not this bunch of fake conservatives. How about the Western Alliance Reform party posing as the progressive conservatives that Harper has convinced his supporters that he really is? Dishing out his propaganda to his hired paid shills. The walking Zombies with not a clue in their wee brains.

    • So what about your children and grandchildren? You want to make then clean up the mess you left? It is time the cons realized no such thing as a free ride on our kids future. Ihf you were a true conservative, you would be willing to pay your own way.

    • Screw the future? wow, what great words of wisdom to pass down to future generations…but what do i expect with a dyed in the wool conservative lol

    • Conservative is a misnomer, and deceitful. Harper isn’t conserving anything – not land, air, water, or tax dollars.

    • You didn’t use the sarcasm font. But come on guys, “only true conservatives can guarantee success” should have given it away, because we determined at LEAST two years ago that the Harper Government was nothing like a Conservative government.

      • Good catch:)

  8. Economists all over the place have suggested that a carbon tax makes way more sense than cap and trade, and needs to be implemented in order to avoid catastrophic climate change and transition to a cleaner economy. Remember back before conservatives decided that economists were scientists too and couldn’t be trusted? Those were the days… I’m not supposed to sound like this, I’m only 33.

  9. And to think, Steven Harper is receiving some Statesman of the Year award for promoting democracy around the world. Is this the way a “Stateman” runs question period in a democratic country? The process of spinning, attacking, evading questions and not engaging in honest debate is neither statesman-like nor democratic.
    I thought it interesting that yesterday during Cross Canada Checkup honouring Peter Lougheed there was much talk of how a great a statesman and what a caring Canadian he was. From what I heard there was not one single person that brought up Steven Harper in this conversation. If I was Harper I would be very hurt that no one thought of me, the leader of the country, in the same way. Trudeau was mentioned often, but not Harper that I heard.
    In fact, there was much lamenting that we are sorely lacking great statesmen and politicians of intellectual ability and integrity. The Government’s behaviour in question period today only confirms those laments. Shame on them!

    • Well, it is after all a “Statesman of the Year” award from a pro-Israel lobby group. If you’re a lobbyist for Israel (well, specifically a lobbyist for Likud and the settlers), Harper is certainly a candidate for “Statesman of the Year”.

      • what is your point? israel, likud, settlers? you mean jews? purplelibraryguy, you are turning blue.

        • Last I checked none of the Jews I know were either settlers in the occupied territories or supporters of Likud. Heck, I’m pretty sure they don’t even live in Israel. That’s quite a lot of straw you’re baling together, but without craftsmanship it doesn’t make much of a strawman.

          • purplelibraryguy, what is your point? so you know some Jews. so what?and you are pretty sure that they don’t live in Israel. so, what is your point? so you read the wizard of oz, but was caught up in a tornado of misinformation! I have a feeling that you are a con who is ashamed of the Harp.
            purplelibraryguy, what is your point? so you know some Jews. so what?and you are pretty sure that they don’t live in Israel. so, what is your point? so you read the wizard of oz, but was caught up in a tornado of misinformation! I have a feeling that you are a con who is ashamed of the Harp.

          • . . . Are you . . . under the impression that’s some sort of argument?

          • what are your colours? are you a chameleon?

  10. I been wondering where all the ‘carbon tax’ nonsense was coming from, and now it makes sense. Shame on the Conservatives for engaging in this systemic deceit. It’s embarassing to be a witness to this manipulation of the Canadian public–where is the integrity?

    • They have no integrity, or morals, or principals, or conscience or brains…

  11. Nothing but a bunch of school yard bullies…. !! Fool children, the lot of em. (CONs) what a great name, cuz that is exactly what they are doing to each and every Canadian, Conning us and we are just bending over for it.

    • I agree Harper and his minions are nothing short of bullies but I disagree that “we” are just bending over. I spend at least an hour or two each day informing myself and helping others to learn about what is going on in Ottawa. I take it as my moral duty to rid Canada of this man called Harper. I used to think Mulroney was the worst PM ever. Harper has that beat by a country mile! His shameful behaviour and treatment of many Canadians and Canada in general is beyond the pale. He needs to be removed at the earliest possible opportunity.

  12. it will cost 20 billions…mmm.. how much will it cost to FIX the problems of Climate Change if nobody does anything and the World starts to tall piece by piece (increase fires, flooding, hurricanes,…) in a rush because thousands of people are dying? Is like New Orleans. They needed a system costing 3 billions. Katrina came. They have to clean everything plus build a system costing 10 billions. Harper might be scientifically blind or doesn’t care.

    • You global warming alarmists STILL on the doom and gloom agenda…increased storms, more severe storms, flooding, forest fires and “waaaa, the sky is falling” dogma.

      I guess you haven’t been paying much attention to the fact that since Katrina, there have been very few severe storms. Hell, even Katrina was a Cat 3 storm…but lets not get facts in the way…

      And forest fires are completely natural events…more fact than fiction, but I guess you have not been paying much attention to that either,

      So far, there hasn’t been significant changes in our coast lines anywhere in the world. In spite of all that arctic ice melt.

      And the increased warmth has seen an increased yield in crops nation wide, but don’t let that fact get in the way of a good alarmist story huh?

      No, what I see is a bunch of people here ramble on, espousing the Suzuki talking point that the science is settled. Funny, that jackass calls himself a scientist and has the gall to say the science is settled? Science is never settled and there are plenty of actual climate scientists who dispute the AGW claim. But hey, don’t let facts get in the way of your doom and gloom rant.

      • Look up Tuvalu. Just to start you figuring out how wrong you are.

      • To Mike Stirton & all climate
        change deniers: I have a suggestion for all of you. If you are so sure there is
        nothing tragic about to happen to this planet because we humans have totally
        screwed it up by our over population, over use of carbon based fuels and basically
        being filthy pigs and polluting every point on earth beyond repair, then I
        suggest that you volunteer to be the ones who jump off the cliff when there is
        little dry, arable land left and not enough clean water or food to feed those
        who are left. If you are so certain that there is no danger to what you are
        doing, or not doing, then this should be an easy offer to accept.

        I will continue to work towards saving
        this planet even if it means saving your sorry asses as well. I’ll even put a
        time period on my offer. If the Greenland ice fields are still on the planet in
        20 years and the oceans haven’t risen so high that most Coastal cities aren’t
        underwater then I’ll just off the cliff. Deal?

        • I’m betting that you aren’t going to get any takers.

          1) Another 20 years won’t produce changes that are indisputably linked to AGW.
          2) Many of us have an amazing/frustrating ability to ignore/explain away even the most obvious evidence.
          3) By the time that AGW really does produce results that causes some of today’s skeptics to recant, most of the rest of the current skeptics will be dead.

      • There are plenty of benefits to a carbon tax and other environmental reforms that even if the climate change WORST CASE SCENARIO doesn’t occur, we’ve still made the world healthier. Is that such a bad thing?

        • Won’t someone think of the PROFITS?! ;)

      • You realize that the scientific community is in virtual agreement that climate change is real and a pressing issue, right? Climate change deniers (scientifically) are in a massive minority, why is it that you choose to believe them? Or do you not understand how the scientific community works (especially peer review, which has a habit of debunking false claims)? No significant coast changes? You realize that many beach properties in the US are starting to become flooded (read up on abandoned beach properties in North Carolina – insurance will not cover the coast rising, and they cannot sell it, so people have been abandoning homes because they are useless to them). Coral reefs are being destroyed. Climate change is happening, but you keep on dreaming . Side with whichever side is more comfortable to you, no matter how wrong they might be. As you said, don’t let facts get in the way…

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scientific_opinion_on_climate_change

        Read it, it’s even cited fairly well, if you are doubting the legitimacy of the article. If more than 90 percent of the scientific community is saying that it is real and we are contributing to it, why would you choose to side with the minority?

      • Interesting argument, Mr Stirton. By the way, have you noticed that there has been a devastating drought in the US this year, which has destroyed much of the corn crop? One result is that the price of feed for hogs and cattle has gone through the roof, causing a record number of barns to close. I suppose according to you the dust bowls of the 1930′s had nothing to do with human activity, nor the giant fires in Madagascar, the 4-day complete melting of the surface of the Greenland ice-shield (never before recorded); oh, and let us not forget the insurance industry, which has estimated that storms severe enough to occur every 50 years will now be occurring every 25 years…which in turn means that all of the infrastructure built to last 30 years will have to be replaced (that’s almost every single water main, oil pipeline, telephone pole, etc in North America). But I suppose it doesn’t really matter, because in 100,000 years the earth will be well on its way to recovery after the great extinction now in progress (oh, did you know about that? Have a look at this article: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/08/120810083716.htm. It’s about how North American freshwater fish stocks are going extinct at a rate 877 times the historical record. New Scientist (not that you would ever pollute your mind with such apostasy) noted in 2011 that current estimates of worldwide extinction rates…that is, between 18 and 35 percent of all species on the planet by 2050…are possibly exaggerated…the rate may only be half of that, in other words only 9 to 17 percent. I don’t think you understand exactly how unprecedented that is in planetary history…last time was the dinosaurs. At that rate, we will be virtually alone on this planet in about 200 years. And you think this is all nonsense, Mr Stirton, because to you and people like you, 200 years is such a long time. Tell us honestly now, Mr Stirton, what do you now think the world will look like in 200 years?

      • There are virtually no climate scientists who dispute that CO2 increases, as a result of the burning of fossil fuels, are responsible for global warming. There are an assortment of malcontents out there being paid by the Heartland Institute to propagate lies and misinformation much the same way Harper is in the House of Commons. And then there are people like you who through just common sense know that since the Arctic ice is disappearing and sea levels are not rising, there can’t possibly be a connection between the two. Well congratulations, you are right. Melting Arctic sea Ice cannot increase sea levels as students of Archimedes have know for centuries. But it is instructive that you believe this represents evidence that human induced climate change does not exist.

  13. Man we need a speaker with some backbone, or at least more independence. How can you permit this stuff after the second or third trained seal gets up to flap his/her gums in reply to a direct question. Let’s not mince words any more; this has deteriorated from Chretien’s arrogance and gamesmanship into pure farce and propaganda!
    We need someone like the speaker in Aussie who told their PM [ and a liberal too. No liberal bias, picking on the poor Conservatives] to sit down and button it.

  14. All the mainstream parties are fundamentally the same. Elections are puppet shows, put on by the mass media, that can dominate 90% of all the “news” the most Canadians ever see, hear or read. Thus, there are the governments’ puppets, and the controlled oppositions’ puppets. None of them is going to mention how 99% of the most important public powers have already been privatized. The government gave away the power to make money out of nothing, as debts, to private banks, AND still, the government, through legal tender laws and taxation, gave sovereign power to that privatized fiat money. Thus, the biggest, perpetual “taxes” are interest on debts and inflation! Canadians were rendered debt slaves to private banks, enabled to make our money supply out of nothing, through endless legalized counterfeiting!

    Around those private banks grew up huge corporations, like the seven or so mass media conglomerates, that overwhelmingly dominate the flow of information to the voters. Those voters were never taught in school any of the important social facts, nor how to think critically. Instead, they have been professionally brainwashed their whole lives … which is why we can have basically ridiculous, taken absurdly out of context, “debates” where it is the people who are being laughed at!

  15. bastardized parliament .. Cons. bully boys reigning..

  16. Problem with the Cons (and it was Paul Wells who said it first that I saw) is that they don’t know how to be in government. They only know how to be in permanent propaganda mode for ever-present campaign readiness. Issues? Policy? What do you mean – all we know is one thing -pull out the nasty.

    I think there should be a law requiring every Canadian to watch Question Period once a week. There would be a lot less bozo-behaviour (and a lot less Baird) if everybody knew the people were watching

  17. ‏@justinpjtrudeau

    Honestly, one day back, and @aaronwherry is already this bleak? It’s gonna be a long fall in Ottawa. http://www2.macleans.ca/2012/09/17/the

    Looks like someone thinks Mondays may not be your day Aaron.Or might it be the bad actors?

  18. the conservative party is way over the edge of legality first potentially lying about other parties and their leaders and then using large corporations and their money to control media coverage in canada.. intentionally keeping news that might be harmful to both the conservatives and be beneficial to the everyday person that they might actually see 2 sides and make an informed decision of their own. in truth only the conservative government is capable of making informed decisions about such issue as the occupy movement (several went on today as they we meant to and yet none televised even the ones with police brutality involved)
    keep living like sheep if you will but i prefer to make my own decisions and think for myself and harper can take his BS elsewhere

  19. Editors need to take their writers to task for this kind of presentation.

    If you are unfamiliar with the names of all of the people in opposition, and unfamiliar as I am with the names of all of the ministers in the Conservative party, the first two paragraphs of this article make little if any sense.

    There is nothing wrong with laying an outline down that explains why, when, where, what and who in order to get readers on board and into the fold. It is not pandering to the lowest common denominator to be clear and concise. However if you wish to appear more intelligent than you are, or wish to appear as an elitist with an exclusionary writing style please carry on, and pay no attention to one incapable of understanding even the most basic English.

  20. It is time Canadian citizens realized that our country has been
    highjacked by criminals intent on restructuring Canada as an oasis of
    crime to suit their hidden agenda.

  21. Except for Coleman, you are a bunch of whiney losers.
    The fact is the NDP will increase taxes considerably if they ever got close to power. Our economy will be screwed. That is a fact—not propoganda.

    • you mis-spelled “rampant speculation”.

  22. The cynical and arrogant approach of the Tories to Parliament is breathtaking. They treat everyone either as unpatriotic traitors or children they can bully. This includes other Members of Parliament, private citizens, scientists or any expert with whom they disagree.

  23. I agree with the comments below that call this what is it: propaganda. Don’t forget loose ideology at the expense of empirical evidence and advice from your experts. Harper has surrounded himself with ‘yes’ men who have neither the intelligence nor integrity to stand up to him. Although while cutting checks and balances and organizations with objective views. Classic example is the Carbon tax that he bangs on about. This tax is purely polluter pays. It can be structured in such a way that is tax neutral, ie by returning the proceeds to the populace or reducing income tax rates. But this of course would impact his fat mates in Big Oil. Case in point – you often hear of the $1.4bn tax breaks awarded oil companies annually. Not as well known is the tax payer portion of tar sand extraction costs – this is currently around another $1.7bn. Then there are the mates rates on development loans etc – these potentially run into the mega-billions but are very difficult to quantify. All at the time that student fees are rising, we’re being told we’ll have to work longer with pension cuts etc etc. This is austerity Harper style – pull your belts in people – oh unless you’re in oil – then the drinks are on the Canadian people!!!

  24. “A fanatic is one who can’t change his mind and won’t change the subject.” Winston Churchill

  25. I think that they call this the Chewbacca defense.

  26. - “Impacted” is not a verb in the sense the author intended, it usually refers to teeth
    - “Ed Fast stood and lamented for a carbon tax” might be technically correct, I’m not sure, but here it makes no sense and sounds extremely awkward.
    We may not be able to do much about this horrifying majority government, but that’s no excuse to neglect copy-editing.

  27. I’m definitely not laughing — don’t enjoy being the butt of the RepubliCon joke –

  28. Harper needs Clint Eastwood. Just as the Republicans ‘see’ an Obama that no one else does, an empty fiction in an empty chair, so the Canadian Conservatives blow hot about Mulcair’s Carbon Tax. There’s nothing there except the Emperor’s Clothes.

  29. Make the lie big, make it simple, keep saying it, and eventually they will believe it.–Adolf Hitler

  30. I can already see the next Tory campaign slogan:

    Please stop demanding better now.

    • Naughty.

  31. What’s really going to be fun is watching the Tories implement a cap and trade system once the Americans get one up and running.

    Remember that “Made in Canada” solution we promised for years? Well, the Americans have finally come up with it for us, and it turns out that it’s the cap and trade system that we campaigned on in 2008, supported until 2009, and then abandoned without explanation after convincing the NDP that it was the right strategy. So, here it is, a North American cap and trade program to put a price on carbon, just like we promised years ago, and then derided, and are now promising again. And no matter what anyone says, don’t let anyone convince you that it’s a tax. We’re back to the 2008-2009 talking points people!!!

    • Yeah, but it won’t really be fun at all, because the talk will be

      “Remember that “Made in Canada” solution we promised for years?
      Well, after incredible amounts of effort, effort that was derided by the Opposition parties, it turns
      out that it’s the cap and trade system that we campaigned on in 2008, and have
      supported ever since. So, here it is, a
      North American cap and trade program, just like
      we promised years ago.
      And no matter what anyone says, don’t let anyone convince you that it’s a
      tax, because obviously it isn’t a tax, and anyone who claims it is a tax doesn’t understand basic economics.”

      • LOL…you know far too much about how these guys operate. In todays climate it’d work too.

  32. Carbon tax carbon tax carbon tax.

  33. Kind of reminds me of bush and his little gang back in the day with the “WMD” speeches

  34. Conservatives are still in deep denial about anthropogenic climate change and this is really scarry. They are ignoring what the majority of scientists are saying about climate change being real. This means they can’t even envision the real solution of Carbon Fee and Dividend–putting a price on carbon and having fees collected distributed equally among all adults.

    Conservatives care not about Canadians and, are so entrenched in fear to keep the status quo, they can’t see past the moment and have tunnel vision when it comes to anything beyond today. Unfortunately, their fear will take us all down a path of destruction. Each one of us must speak up and tell them a price on carbon is needed and now.

    • It’s hard to say for certain that the Conservatives are in deep denial about climate change.

      Prime Minister Harper is on record referring to climate change as the greatest threat currently facing humanity.

      • Are you sure he wasn’t referring to Dion or MI? Hard to keep track of all his doomsday predictions you know.

  35. What a bunch of whining assholes you are. Even the Great White Dope, Trudeau, never got a majority of the popular vote. Didn’t hear you whining then.
    Stay in the wilderness, you are not in touch with the Canadian voter

  36. Dear Prime Minister Stephen Harper: Would you please help the OSC to start an effective communication with the Chinese government regarding the Sino-forest case, so that the unfair Restructuring Plan can be stopped or changed for shareholders? If the current Restructuring Plan is approved, it will be just like the media reported,”Sino-forest’s assets far exceed its liabilities, but shareholders are likely to end up with nothing…”

  37. Cap and trade, carbon tax – it boils down to the same damned thing as far as what consumers will ultimately swallow. I was in the public gallery during Monday’s QP and I can assure you the BS and theatrics came from both sides of the House. That’s what QP has always been; smoke and mirrors. Funny that seems to elude Aaron Wherry’s version of events but I suppose the usual NDP hysteria doesn’t register on his radar. Here’s something else I can tell you – if the NDP Party wants to form the next government, it had better pick up its game because Harper and company manhandled it yesterday.

  38. They were tossed out for contempt of Parliament…which voters ignored and voted them back in with a majority! Careful Canada…as spoken on Newsroom, “The Tea Party is the American Taliban”….and in my words, the Conservative Party is the Canadian Taliban. Frightening.

  39. They think you’re one of the 47%. Except it’s 61% here. What an evil guy.

  40. Struck a nerve right off the bat there AW. Good start to Beyond The Commons. Look forward to more of it.

  41. tl;dr

  42. Harper controls the media, they are Harper’s propaganda machines. Harper also controls, police, judges, courts, and uses very dirty tactics, such as cheating to win. Harper is desperate to quash, the robo-call election cheat investigation.

    Harper gives billions of our tax dollars to charity, such as, corrupt greedy banks, mines, big business and his favorite charity, big oil. He also gives huge tax reductions

  43. Thank you for delineating this so clearly. This is junk, manipulative, cynical, hidden agenda
    driven politics whose end is the destruction of democratic principles and the parliamentary system that put the Conservatives there in the first place. They are sawing of the branch they sit on.

  44. Why didn’t this make the print edition?

  45. How sad, not only is the joke on the citizens of Canada, think of the message it sends to our children. To get ahead in life, you do what the conservative party does..you lie and cheat.

  46. Does anyone here realize that the cap-and-trade system within the NDP party platform is basically a carbon tax on companies that use energy beyond a legislated amount. Okay it may not be as bad as Dion’s carbon tax but it is still a type of carbon tax.
    If Canada were to go ahead and unilaterally institute a cap-and-trade system as Mulcare and the NDP want to do, that would hurt our businesses in comparison to US businesses (because they have no such extra tax). If all of North America were to go this route it would not hurt as much because our biggest trading partner is by far is the US and that is why in the past the Conservatives were willing to go along with it but not unilaterally. A Cap-and-trade system has been instituted in Europe and what happens is that the extra company tax costs are pushed down to the consumers (i.e. us). Let’s talk about the real issues here…I think this article fails to properly inform and the writer should be ashamed.

    • The carbon tax could also act as an incentive for the polluters to reduce their emissions and thereby reduce the tax payable. That way, they can compete favourably with those who have not reduced emissions and have added the cost of the tax to their prices.

  47. If we have voted for the NDP or the Liberals, financially we would be standing with the Americans and the European! You all need to be thankful we have a Prime Minister and a Finance Minister who are ahead of the game and protected each one of us. Of course there will always be “unemployment” but new jobs have been created and government has provided us with training if we have to switch career in the middle of the road. Please people give thanks when you need to. Don’t always point your fingers in contempt.

  48. It isn’t just the cons thinking we’re all stupid. And given the passive reaction we’ve seen to what has been happening with both parties the last 30 years – well, they’ve got a pretty strong argument. They’re going to keep it up until they’re stopped. Democratic revolution, now or never – http://www.rudemacedon.ca/vgi/backgrounders/revolution.html .

  49. Ignorance is bliss when Conservatives laugh at carbon taxes.

  50. How is this effective leadership? How can Canadians accept such bullying, hypocritical behavior? This is a very sad commentary on the state of affairs in our political system. Get over the game, and grow up, Canadians deserve better.

  51. SO… back to the article…where is the Speaker of the House in all of this? Why isn’t that responsibility carried through here? Questions are not being answered. There is much deflection. Where is the control?

  52. the media is, and always was, the blame for all of this

  53. Makes me sad that these are the leaders of our country.

  54. Another vote for proportional representation and minority governments
    that are truly democratic. Under the present system the majority of the
    electorate NEVER vote for a majority goverment. Do the math.

  55. The joke is on those freedom worshiping Canadians. -The Commons (sense).

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