263

The Commons: Your deferential silence is appreciated

To shut the f— up, or not to shut the f— up


 

The Scene. Bob Rae watched the Speaker for his cue and then, when called upon, checked his tie and stood to face the government side.

“Mr. Speaker, I am going to have to try to find the words to ask this question,” he began. “Yesterday, Senator Ruth gave perhaps the pithiest, sharpest description one can imagine of Conservative political policy that we have all heard in a long time.”

This was perhaps not quite a compliment.

“Her advice to groups that are criticizing the government or that have an issue with the government or might want to raise the issue was, I am not going to quote entirely, quite simply,” he continued, turning to the Speaker with a somewhat apologetic look on his face, “Shut the ‘F’ up.”

You can for yourself imagine what the “F” here represents. We at this demure publication do not make a habit of printing the word, so I can only tell you that it begins with an F and that after that come three letters I can only represent with dashes.

“This is what has come to the current government,” Mr. Rae lamented. “This is a culture of intimidation that has now been established by the Conservative Party: If someone has a disagreement with the government, just shut the F up.”

Here then came the polite and proper and restrained Transport Minister John Baird to respond. “Mr. Speaker,” he reported, “obviously that type of language is completely unacceptable.”

Obviously.

The language in this case is Nancy Ruth’s, the Conservative senator who, yesterday, advised those unhappy with the government’s approach to aiding maternal health worldwide that they best “shut the f— up,” lest they inspire further backlash. Here was fear masquerading as friendly advice. Cynicism passed off as political cunning.

Here, most conveniently, were four words to define this time in Ottawa. Never mind translating it into Latin, it seems fitting to leave it in its crudest form. From sea to shining sea, shut the f— up.

This is, as often lamented, the unofficial mantra under which both cabinet ministers and aspiring government backbenchers are believed to be expected to operate. In professional circumstances, “shut the f— up” is known as “communications.” In paper form, “shut the f— up” is known as “redaction.” And as much as the leading pundits moan about all of this, “shut the f— up” is the one piece of advice they shout at the leader of the opposition whenever he emits a word or two that might be considered passably interesting.

So now we learn that shutting the f— up is the best way to cajole this government. Or at least that shutting the f— up is preferable to not shutting the f— up. The optimal Ottawa would thus seem to be one in which no one says anything in more than a deferential whisper, and even then only rarely and when asked.

This is, granted, not quite a revelation.

It is this Prime Minister, mind you, who is on record as the only in the nation’s history to have launched legal proceedings against Her Majesty’s loyal opposition—a libel suit he loudly threatened and officially pursued, then quietly dropped some months later. Less actionable offenses are met simply with the sort of invective that intends to compel silence—or maybe obliterate. Those who have too insistently pressed the issue of this country’s handling of Afghan detainees have been accused of sympathizing with the enemy. Liberal Mark Holland was once deemed an “agent for the Taliban intelligence agency.” In his time, Stephane Dion was accused of both endangering Canadian soldiers and threatening the unity of the country. Later, when the opposition parties rallied together to form an alternative government they were said to wish to “destroy the country” and denounced as “traitors,” while one government MP warned of something approaching “sedition.”

You see, it is not simply that Mr. Harper’s political opponents are advised to shut the f— up, but that to do otherwise may be considered treasonous. And lest you think that this sort of restriction is isolated to the likes of Stéphane Dion, Michael Ignatieff, Gilles Duceppe and Jack Layton, remember that the Defence Minister once mused we should all be mindful of what we say in public, lest we embolden the Taliban.

All of which might be less problematic if Mr. Harper’s side hadn’t in fact so successfully scared the opposition—often with charges far less serious than those noted above—that it has seemed for the last few years only periodically willing to state an identifiable position that might be met with anything less than unanimous praise. (And if the press gallery, for that matter, hadn’t accepted furious scorn or fawning celebration as the only acceptable reactions to events here.)

Back though to the particular matter at hand.

“Let me tell members this,” Mr. Baird continued. “Canadians do not want to drag the abortion debate into the maternal and health discussions.”

You see, it is not simply that concerned individuals might best shut the f— up, but that the entire nation, by Mr. Baird’s estimate, would rather everyone shut the f— up about all of this. He might not be far wrong on this.

“This government and the Prime Minister are focused on how to make a positive difference in the lives of mothers and newborn children in the developing world,” Mr. Baird finished. “We want to find ways that unite Canadians, not divide them.”

An honourable pursuit that. But Mr. Rae was unpersuaded and, pressed again, Mr. Baird was compelled to invoke the “culture war” the Liberals are apparently (if so far ineffectively) waging.

Mr. Rae simplified his complaint, wondering aloud what the government’s “problem” was with “democracy itself.” Then Anita Neville stood and listed the groups and individuals alleged to have faced this government’s wrath, quite selflessly leaving her own party off the roll call.

Mr. Baird moaned of the Liberal plan to cleave Canadians “rural from urban,” “east from west,” and even “big city from small farm.” And when that point was exhausted he accused the opposition of impure fundraising practices.

Alas, our foremost voice of reconciliation was unable to bring peace—or at least fearful silence—with such stuff.

The Stats. Abortion, 10 questions. The oil industry, five questions. Firearms and crime, three questions each. Nuclear energy, the Supreme Court, Helena Guergis, economic development, foreign ownership, Omar Khadr and poverty, two questions each. The navy, ethics, forestry and firefighters, one question each.

John Baird, 15 answers. Vic Toews and Rob Nicholson, four answers each. Denis Lebel, three answers. Dave Anderson, James Moore, Deepak Obhrai, Jim Flaherty and Bev Oda, two answers each. Lynne Yelich, Leona Aglukkaq and Peter MacKay, one answer each.


 

The Commons: Your deferential silence is appreciated

    • Fourteen taxpayer supported whine-grievance-monger organizations (that purport to speak on behalf of tens or hundreds of thousands times more people than their actual, you know, membership) down, hundreds (thousands?) more to go…

      Only it isn't that, either. The fed funds god-knows how many groups and projects, some good, some downright loopy, few that have anything much to do with its constitutional mandate as a federal government. It says sorry-no to a couple dozen. Break out the freakazoid Harper-hates-[special-interest-group-here] crap, for the cameras and microphones beckon.

      • This is the kind of BS that ruins these boards. Is there a way you could tone it down?

        • I think any respectable person would issue with DPT there.

          I am sure Holly wouldn't have used the term had the conservative senator not used it first. She is merely making a point.

          • Thank you Mike T, for being a little more intelligent than most.;

        • Almost time to abandon the good ship macleans? Not quite yet, but….

          • Isn't that the coward's way out? PhilCP, you've made tremendous contributions to rationality and civility here, and I salute you for it. Stay and fight the good fight.

          • Coward….ouch!

            Mostly it is a plea to go along with those of Sean and Danby.

          • It's just not as fun, lately.

          • Seconded; especially after Jack left.

          • As influential as Jack was (is I'm sure, in his new life), there is more to it than that, no? Just a normal lull in the cycle of public discourse? "Bad" set of stories to comment about? Maturing of the ID format? Other? Combination of previous?

          • I wish I knew.

          • Too little fresh content. With the exception of Wherry (and even he tends to be more in the vein of sharing links, outside the QP sketches), most of the bloggers are somewhat sporadic in their offerings (maybe the Olympics burned them out!). It's more hit and miss to log on and find a conversation to join.

            The whole aftermath of the Mitchell thing (I know they claimed it was unrelated), including Well's bizarre rant in response to one anon commenter left me feeling less compelled to visit (I can't properly explain why).

            And I think the loss of Kady is something this site hasn't fully recovered from. When she and Wells were both posting frequently a year ago and beyond, things had more of a community feel (that's not meant to slight the other bloggers, if any are reading!). That's slipped away, a bit.

            And a few regular commenters have become so very bitter and angry, it kind of sucks the fun a bit too.

            I don't know, really. These are just a few things that occur to me.

          • There are aspects of "fighting the good fight" that have been pulling at me.
            I loathe the politics of Stephen Harper and with each new twist in the path, I feel the need/urgency to dislodge him in an election.
            Unfortunately, the more I see of Ignatieff, the more I find that he is a poor alternative. He has no "feel" for politics, no calm certainty in his leadership and he tends to walk into punches with alarming regularity. I'm finding it depressing that despite Harper's vulnerabilities, the opportunities to unravel his spin are being squandered.
            I'm coming to the conclusion that Michael Ignatieff just doesn't have it, and as we travel further down the fork called Harper, I'm beginning to resent the ineptitude of the Liberals.

          • I agree, but probably from the opposite perspective as you.

            I expected much more from a Harper-led Conservative government. 4+ years in I didn't think I'd be looking at Harper presiding over record government spending levels and defending a $50 billion+ deficit as a necessary evil. I didn't think I'd ever see someone like Harper defend the Orwellian "Human Rights" tribunals that mete out kangaroo court justice. I didn't think I'd ever see the day where Chretien has a better record as a tax cutter and spending slasher than Harper. It gets harder to care who is in power when both alternatives basically behave the same.

            Add to that the abusiveness of some posters on here (I'd like to see Holly Stick try this BS on a Wells thread, for no other reason than the eventual end result) and it is certainly not as much fun to post here as it used to be.

          • I still miss Jack and his sometimes mischeviousness.

            Jack, if you're reading this, come back buddy. We need you.

            How's that for appealing to his good nature?

          • Seriously? My comment has been deleted by the administrator? I am curious to know on what grounds?

          • You should reprint it Jenn.

          • Sorry about that Jenn, it was a funny one.

          • "Seriously? My comment has been deleted by the administrator? I am curious to know on what grounds?"

            National Security?

          • Well, I guess I'm okay since yours and Holly's was also deleted. What I really meant to ask was was it reported by a commenter–meaning you, meaning you had zero sense of humour.

            Glad to see you've answered that question! That was pretty funny. But of course that would just cause my comment to be REDACTED not removed.

          • IIRC you used the word "scratch"; I believe the correct terminology is "rearrange".

            If not that, perhaps it was the phrase "boob-tube"?

      • One of the organizations cut, Alberta Network of Immigrant Women – current projects including

        " …increase awareness and opportunities for women, and particularly immigrant/visible minority women, to participate fully in the economic, social and cultural life of Canadian society…"
        http://www.aniw.org/projects.php

        Something any racist would deplore.

        • You got me, Holly, dead to rights. To suggest that such support of community activism has little/nothing to do with a federal government's constitutional responsibilities is unquestionably racist, and thoroughly deserving of your epithet hurl further above.

          I have now gone beyond "had it" with you. It was dumb of me to respond to your post, thinking there might be a coversation to be had. Trust me, it won't happen again.

          • You think calling them "whine-grievance-monger organizations" was an attempt at a conversation? You know absolutely nothing about these organizations, but you smear them like any old bigotted knee-jerker, and then you pretend you want a conversation? Give me a break.

        • Holly, instead of just reading from the web site why don't you find out if any of these so called projects actually provide any value. Let us know. Every crackpot organization has an important sounding mission statement and purports to be providing all sorts of valuable services. I think a good look at all groups using my tax dollars to do studies, provide needed services etc. need to be looked at and judged on a regular basis. If they provide no value, let them find their own funding. The Libs. passed out money to anyone and everyone without much due diligence. Just look at some of the crap studies we hear about on a regular basis. Finally the chickens are coming home to roost. it is about time.

          • Let me guess Holly…….you belong to one of those tax-sucking feminist groups right? you know the kind…..they use about 90% of their "funding" (read hush money) to pay their own salaries, 5% for posters, and another 5% for media attention. Leaving…….0% for any actual help for the disenfranchised.

            That about sum it up?

          • No, I have no connection to any of the groups whose funding was cut in the past two weeks, other than a shared humanity, which you appear to lack.

            Fortunately I have never been in need of a shelter for battered women like the ones the Harper government just cut funding for out of narrow religious bigotry.

          • Holly, I'm going to start playing the post it notes game like Wilson and other Con supporters.

            The Reform view of women:

            "We should try to keep our mothers in the home and that's where the whole Reform platform hangs together."

            – Garry Breitkreuz, Conservative MP for Yorkton-Melville, in the Vancouver Province, October 11, 1993.

          • Ooh, good quote; somebody should use that in the election campaign.

          • Unfortunately Breitkreuz probably will, and successfully.

          • Typical, in both cases Breitkreuz and Senator Ruth, the search for something inflammatory to create an opportunity to criticize or further one's own adjenda, the point is completely being missed. Sadly there are so many people who only see the words and never the message or the context. But that is what keeps these threads alive isn't it.

          • You call that inflammatory? Repeating what he says?

            I would save the term inflammatory for something stronger, say, writing an open letter to rally fellow gun enthusiasts to "save" Canada from an "unconstitutional" coalition.

            Or maybe, as a representative of rural Saskatchewan, sending ten percenters about an increase in violent crime in cities to residents of urban ridings held by Opposition members?

            That would be inflammatory. Pointing out that the MP is a walking wedge, is not inflammatory, that's accountability.

      • A plea for civility, Holly

        • danby, you're a nice guy, and I think you want more civility all around; but think about how it looks when you ask a woman to mind her tongue without also rebuking the men here like madeyoulook and others who lie and smear the women's organizations whose funding has been cut.

          This whole post is about women being told to shut up; and what would happen if we did shut up? Would a few men here speak up for women's rights once in a blue moon and then feel real heroic about themselves? How many men here have even noticed what Harper's government is doing to women? Very few.

          Harper has started a war against women and we will not shut up. He has sown the wind and he is about to reap the whirlwind.

          • Keep posting by all means, but set the example that you want the rest of us to follow. (FWIW)

          • I'm all for you standing up and giving them both barrels, but when we resort to trashy epithets, the thread of real debate gets buried – and the real issues get lost in the invective.
            Guys like Dennis F like to spew dismissive, one sided arguments, followed by "NEXT". People spar with him, but very few actually listen to him – his style buries whatever substance his message may have – to tell you the truth, I just skip over his schtick. Let him have the low road. You are better than that.
            Present your case. Get people involved and try and turn some heads.People who might want to learn more just get dissuaded by rants of "STFUCA"

          • I've presented all sorts of links. I won't waste time trying to educate people who are not willing to learn.

          • God tips danby.

      • But of course throwing money out for 10%-ers, the media blitz for the economic action! plan, dubious grants for EAP projects, pollsters to determine which finger the average conservative sticks up their butt, etc…

        Now that's money well spent~!

        • Nope. It isn't. But thanks for playing.

      • Harper's clearing the decks so that this new funding can go to his favourite faith based groups. This is what Bush did. The idea is to reward the base without losing swing voters who would be turned off changing the domestic policy. But Harper has screwed this up so badly he'll wish he'd never attempted it. The mess looks good on him.

  1. I should say that I agree with you that Kinsella is being a stupid knee-jerker in this matter. I am sick of frat-boy partisan wankers of all political persuasions; but unlike the Conservatives, most parties keep them out of important places like the PMO and Cabinet.

    • how about being sick of knee jerk militant feminists?

      • Un, huh, keep those ladies from fighting for their rights by golly. Suffragettes were really annoying – they got the women the right to vote and even be considered a person. Damn them

    • "unlike the Conservatives, most parties keep them out of important places like the PMO and Cabinet. "

      Huh? Kinsella is a senior strategy advisor to Iggy Himself. The only reason he isn't regularly munching on donuts in the PMO is that his team isn't currently inhabiting it.

      • I was referring most of all to Prime Minister Partisan Frat-Boy Wanker. You have an immature jerk for a leader, then naturally his followers are more likely to be immature jerks.

    • In fairness, it's a lot easier for the other parties to keep their knee-jerkers out of PMO and Cabinet, because they're not the Government.

      • The Liberals at least had people who could speak for themselves and didn't run away from questions like Harper, Oda and the rest do.

  2. You mean when Conservative liars claim you are following the exact same strategy they have been following for years… oh look over there, a shiny thing!

    • You're kidding, right? That party has twisted themselves into a pretzel trying to avoid culture wars. Harper tripped up once with whole 'galas' fiasco, but otherwise they've done everything possible to avoid fanning those flames.

      • Ha ha, what a funny satirist you are. What a nice fairy tale.

      • Oh, yeah he's just quietly working for the 'hard working' Candians. Surely you're not that naiive?

  3. Everything I've read suggest the Cons were/are way more fearful of a Rae-led Liberal party than an Iggy-led one.

    • I believe it.
      Mr. Rae is faaaar more savvy and seasoned than MI – Ignatieff often comes out looking like a punching bag, something you would not see with Rae

    • I believe it.
      Mr. Rae is faaaar more savvy and seasoned than MI – Ignatieff often comes out looking like a punching bag, something you would not see with Rae

      • Yes, bring on Mr. Rae………
        We ALL want Canada to be a COMPLETE basket case like he left Ontario!
        Perhaps then, my Alberta can be a true Republic, shedding the yoke of uslessness that is the ROC!

        • Gary, you sound a lot like Gilles Duceppe

        • And we're forbidden from talking about angry men from Alberta…

    • Is that to say that Ontarians have forgiven or forgotten whatever it is that they believe Rae did to them back in his days as Premier?

      I had just taken it as a given that it was widely accepted that there was no way the Liberals with Rae as leader could overcome that legacy (right or wrong).

      • After 20 years, and compared to Mike Harris? Dude's a saint, man. A saint!

        And my wife had to deal with rae days. Now she thinks he's kinda hot.

        Anyone under 30 just knows him as the liberal guy.

        • LOL – Like your response M_A_N.

          Wouldn't stop the CPC from serious repetative slagging. I can hear them going on forever.

        • Did your wife begin thinking that Rae was hot shortly after he appeared on RMR?

          I believe that this isn't the right video clip, but it does make reference to the original?

        • Did your wife begin thinking that Rae was hot shortly after he appeared on RMR?

          I believe that this isn't the right video clip, but it does make reference to the original?

        • Did your wife begin thinking that Rae was hot shortly after he appeared on RMR?

          I believe that this isn't the right video clip, but it does make reference to the original?

        • Did your wife begin thinking that Rae was hot shortly after he appeared on RMR?

          I believe that this isn't the right video clip, but it does make reference to the original?

          • He was really funny actually!

            I wonder if he is enjoys this mess with the Liberal Party, I mean, I think he knew it wasn't fair that Ignatieff just got the leadership as if he was the heir to the throne and probably more because he knew Ignatieff didn't had it in him more than others as he knew him personally.

            He is a great diplomat, so will never go "I told you so" but he should!

          • I wouldn't be so sure. It was reported that early in Dion's leadership, Rae noted at a caucus meeting that the only reason Dion was leader was that he was neither Ignatieff or Rae.

          • That's absolutely true. And it's just like the fact that the only reason Joe Clark became federal Tory leader in 1976 is the fact that he was neither Mulroney nor Claude Wagner. And the fact that the only reason Ed Stelmach became Alberta PC leader recently is the fact that he was not Jim Dinning.

            "Anybody but ______" campaigns often lead to decidedly sub-optimal results like that.

          • I didn't know that about Rae, and I am surprised because he seems to go out of his way to be polite and reasonable, even when he is in attacking mode in QP.

            Regardless, he is not the next Liberal Leader, never will get in the west.

          • As I: understand it, a lot of the resentment within the LPC towards Rae during that leadership race didn't have anything to do with his personal style or personality or anything like that. It had to do with the fact that he had spent years — really his entire formative years in politics — as a member of the NDP. This meant that, among other things, he didn't have deep roots in the LPC, not a big internal network, etc. And in a partisan political machine with a long history like the LPC, that sort of thing counts for a lot. Then there was also a faction which felt that Rae would be an electoral liability because of the perception that he was/is going to permanently have the Ontario Rae Days era hanging around his neck like an albatross.

          • Happily for me, she thinks smart guys are hot. A good brain makes up for a lot of faults, thank goodness…

          • I actually like them brainy liked Ignatieff : )

    • This is a fact.

    • I completely agree. There's lots of evidence (interviews, articles, memos, etc.) that Rae was considered much more of a threat.

      • No matter what happened in Ontario; I agree with you guys. Ray is more believable, articulate and, most importantly, politically savvy.

        • He's more than savvy – he's ruthless.

          Despite some of the mistakes he made as Premier (and he's always been frank in admitting them), he's one of my favourite politicians. I was one of the lonely few defending him during those years.

          • he's always been frank in admitting them

            One of my favourite characteristics in a leader, public or private enterprise.

          • A characteristic missing in Stephen Harper

          • That was the great thing about King Ralph. You definitely knew he was human, and he was unabashed in the way he lead.

            But then, I guess you have that option when nothing you say will sway votes away from you.

          • While I disagreed with a fair share of Ralph's policies, I did give him credit for his openness, although that openness didn't always translate into admitting mistakes; still, better than many.

            My favourite (well the favourite one that I can recall at this moment) was his quip a year or so into Alberta's restructuring of retail electricity markets that went something like "I don't actually have any idea how it all works".

          • If you want to understand how politics in Alberta work, you just need to look at Mr. Klein's last election. His platform was that he would be retiring in a couple years. And… The Conservative Party was awarded a majority.

            You think that's messed up? Try living here.

          • Try living here.

            Ahhh, but I do, and have for many decades!

  4. Should be easy enough to rebut, if you can muster the evidence. (And you're something more than a ranting, pissy little troll with nothing add but insults and smears.)

    • Well, the gun registry issue was raised by the CPC, was it not? And aren't the CPC trying to use it to pit urban v. rural voters? Haven't the CPC commented about catering to "special interests"? Aren't they the ones who accused anyone of questioning their conduct of the war of being "Taliban synmpathizers"? Aren't they going on about how bad it is to have an education – as though having a degree makes you out of touch with Canadians?

      That really was not that hard.

      • Gun registry is an interesting case. I see what you mean, though I'm not convinced it enjoys enough support accross any particular demographic to count as a bona fide example of culture war (though clearly, it amounted to that when the Libs enacted it). Do you think urban Canadians are passionately, go-to-the-wall, in favour of it? (honest question).

        • This urban Canadian voter is. I prefer the police to have as many tools as legally possible in their crime solving arsenal.

          I don't think you can call it a culture war when it was enacted and pretend it isn't one when someone wants to revoke it.

          • I just don't see its removal as a poke in the eye of urban voters (who, as best I can tell, have been indifferent about it of late – or at least not grumbling loudly). The enactment of the gun registry may not have been intended as an explicit enforcement of urban values onto rural populations, but it certainly was received as such.

            I'm not convinced that taking it way is a divisive act in the same way enacting it was.

          • Then why are conservatives complaining that the LPC's recent decision to whip the vote is divisive politics?

            Urban voters want safe streets. The police support the gun registry. Rather than address this issue squarely, the CPC have resorted to their usual tactic of attacking the messenger. That is because they know with all the facts on the table, urban voters will support retaining the registry.

          • I'm more or less with Sean on this one. I think the reason the gun registry isn't a classic "wedge" cultural issue is that the (mostly rural) people who really, really want to see it scrapped are infinitely more passionate about the issue than the (mostly urban) people who are in favour of it. If you poll rural Canadians, the gun registry will rank way higher on their list of concerns and issues than for urban Canadians.

            That's different from, e.g., abortion, where you have lots of people on both sides of the issue being very passionate about it.

          • Well I am passionate about it. I know a lot of people who think like me.

            We don't count for some reason????

          • You're a woman, Gayle. Orson wants you to shut up.

          • I think the point is the CPC have identified votes they will never get, like mine, so they simply do not care what I think.

            If that is not wedge politics I do not know what is. They do not govern for the good of all Canadians – they govern for the good of the CPC. That may not make them any different from any other political party, but then again, that too is my point.

          • Holly, that is unbelievably off-base and unfair. What is with you?

            And for the record, I support the gun registry.

          • Do the country folks come into town and roam the streets on Saturday night Gayle? And if you didn't notice… The CACP is a political, not a policing entity. It has been funded in part by the corporate suppliers to the bloated, error-ridden Canadian Long Gun Registry, CGI, the computer firm for one. Fact not urban fiction. AND, if the gun registry is accessed 11,500 times per day as the CACP has said, that would be 4,186,000 times a year and in 10 years have accessed it 41,860,000 times.

          • Sigh…

            It has nothing to do with rural "folks" coming into town, and you know it. The registry is a tool used by the police to solve crime. And guess what – people in the city use long guns too. And you know what else? People in the city commit crimes with long guns.

            But I guess you think we city "folk" should just forget about solving crime in our neighbourhoods, because registering your gun is just too hard for you to do. Your "right" not to register your gun trumps my right to speedy investigation of crimes committed in my neighbourhood.

            Anyway…

          • People in the country shoot their wives and themselves with long guns too.

          • Yup, they do. I live in rural Ontario and we, the country folks, often go into Toronto to see theatre, ball games, hockey games and a friend's party, weddings, etc. This is "20l0". No more horse and buggies. We have cars and trains and everything that city folks have.

          • To really get into the long gun debate you need to look into a registration at some of the invasive questions they ask, have you ever thrown something in anger, have you had any relationships end badly recently. It's extremely invasive and is in large part an issue about privacy rights.

          • Holly , I understand your anger, as I'm guilty are the rest sometimes. Perhaps, you should walk away from your computer for a moment before posting.____You do have some good points – but if you show anger you get attacked.

    • Why should I waste any more time on your dishonest attempts to divert attention from the issue of Harper's vindictiveness, particularly toward women?

        • Don't take it personally, Sean. "You're a liar" is the most sophisticated weapon in Holly's debate arsenal.

          • Truth hurts.

          • Truth can be delivered with more decorum, too.

          • Why be polite to liars?

          • You stay classy, San Diego

          • Hahaha, that was funny, I can hear the music in the background now…

  5. One of the groups the Harper minority government just cut funding for:

    "…a provincial coalition primarily of first stage emergency shelters for abused women and their children. Our members also include some second stage housing programs and community based women's service organizations. OAITH is the largest women's shelter association in Canada …"
    http://www.oaith.ca/

    What do the Conservatives have against helping battered women? Are they just supposed to submit to their batterers? Is that what Harper's fundamentalist religion demands?

  6. Remember how Mr. Harper referred to the coalition of Liberal, NDP and Bloc back in 2008? I believe he referred to them as "making a deal with the devil that will destroy Canada" and "making a coalition with the separatists". Rather alarmist, isn't it? I seem to recall thinking that it took a separatist (think Mr. Harper's "firewall letter") to know a separatist.

    This government does not tolerate dissension within its ranks or from the outside. They believe themselves to be omniscient and omnipotent; by that, they imply that the sweaty, proletarian masses simply do not know what is good for themselves. All issues are either black or white, right or wrong – compromise is verbotten.

    http://viableopposition.blogspot.com/

    • "All issues are either black or white, right or wrong"

      Sounds like a lot of posters who frequent these comment boards.

  7. F#*@, what a bunch of tools we have for a government. It would be funny if it wasn't so depressing. Canadians and Canada deserve better than this current batch of hapless, useless Conservatives.

    • I'd argue that.

      They're not Conservatives.

      • Did you mean they're not ALL Conservatives, or that the CPC is not (small c) conservative, or that none of the MPs who are hapless and useless are members of the CPC?

        • or that none of the MPs who are hapless and useless are members of the CPC?

          How about:

          Not all of the MPs, who are hapless and useless, are members of the CPC.

  8. We've come a long way from "fuddle duddle", apparently.

    • Fuddle duddle took waaaaay too much of the nation's energy at the time. Already one senator's intemperate remark appears to have done the same. Although, in retrospect, maybe not. After all, it was just Question Period.

      • LOL, feel better Holly?

        • My dear Wilson, I am always looking forward to your comments and you are right!

          • snort.. wilson is good at parroting Conservative talking points, but she is hardly right.

          • I think you mean she is hardly correct – and I would say she is rarely correct.

      • As you point out, it would be a mistake to think that insignificant QP shenanigans have anything to do with our nation's energy ;-)

  9. "We want to find ways that unite Canadians, not divide them.”

    Yes, but a Stephane Dion only comes along every so often.

    • Lol, so true but I must say that I miss him, he gave some of the best QP performances.

    • Canadians were not THAT united by monsieur Dion; after all, Harper only managed another minority.

      Mr. Dion provided a tremendous gift to Canada when he pointed out, in essay after essay, the colossal absurdity of the indépendantiste movement. He had the separatist leaders breathing fire because of a very simple weapon: the truth. He was very much (and still is) underappreciated for those efforts.

      Sadly, he became over-appreciated quite quickly as leader of the Liberal Party of Canada. I celebrated his winning the leadership, for at that point the two leading parties had serious, smart people in charge. Mr Dion never really hit it off with voters, and the Green Shift was a good idea made disastrous by the socialist wealth-distribution and the pandering exemptions within it. It's a shame, because good, smart people, kind enough to offer themselves up for service, will look at what happened to Stéphane Dion and think twice, maybe more, then retreat.

      • I still have a lot of respect for Dion, he is a good man.

        • I admire him, just to be clear. Though it's worth noting that some of his leadership woes could have been avoided if he'd been a little less stubborn with advisors, caucus, etc. (at least I've read some reasonably convincing things to that effect).

          • Agreed, I think he is a good man and very smart but a lousy politician!

  10. they cut funding for the womens shelter in Alberta because all the newfies went home .

    • What kind of jerks would vote up this offensive comment?

  11. I note a new Con tactic here. It was never the 'Liberal plan.' It's what Frank Graves said the Liberal plan should BE.

    • The Libs could have quickly put it to rest by stating they have no intention to start a culture war. Trial ballons need to be carefully considered before launching.

      • Are the liberals responsible for everything someone says they should do? If that is true, maybe the liberals should start exposing some of the nonsense that appears on Blogging Tory blogs.

        • "Are the liberals responsible for everything someone says they should do?"

          No, but when your name gets attached to a proposed strategy, and you don't come out and disavow it, you can't complain when your opponents proceed to use it as a club to bash you with,

      • The Conservative culture of deceit is also a culture of intimidation.

        • I don't think you understand what I was referring to.

          • So, you're saying Graves' words were the trial that went bad for the Liberals? Explain Sean.

          • I'm not saying Graves was putting it out there as part of a Liberal plan, just to be clear. But if it were my party, I'd have seen two ways to handle it. First, say nothing and see how people respond to it (the trial balloon approach). Second, issue a polite but firm statement explaining that while the Liberals want to win, it's not something they'd do at any cost, and certainly not via means that will serve to entrench and inflame divisions within the country (with some added jab that the Conservatives are the ones who seek to divide, yadda yadda…).

            So, I think they decided to stay silent and see how it flew. They've been fairly successful at distancing Kinsella from the party image (at least the Cons have given up referencing the evil one), and maybe are thinking that Graves is distant enough to prevent the Cons from using him as a club.

            There's always the possibility that they simply didn't think any of this through, missed the chance to clearly state their intentions are to unify, yet risk wearing the culture war label. But they can't be that stupid. Can they?

          • Thanks for the explanation Sean. Good points.

        • Profound, surely not.

  12. Of course the Senator's advice may be well-intended, like people who used to advise battered women not to make the batterer angry. The problem is that it does not work. He will always find an excuse to hit her again and then to blame her for it.

    Harper's government has cut funding to battered womens' shelters. Coincidence?

    • yes, put your silver hat back on

    • Harper's government has actually been increasing funding to battered and homeless women's shelters. What his government has been cutting is all of the other programs designed to help women break the cycle of poverty and/or abuse that traps so many.

      Yesterday Elizabeth May acurately described how the funding for women's rights has shifted saying, "They will fund Band-Aids after the fact but they will not fund root causes, identification or elimination of root causes. That's not their agenda."

      • I'm sure you are correct about thedir filthy actions and their filthier agenda, but even the dimwitted rightwingers here are not so quick to condemn funding for battered women's shelters; and the Ontario Association of Interval and Transition Houses (OAITH) is one of the groups that were cut.

      • People can see band-aids..
        ..people can't see you fixing something that you've prevented.

        This, sadly, seems to be one of the deciding factors for CPC policy. Cure is better than prevention, because cure makes for better politics.

        • Yeah,,, next stop: super-prisons!

  13. Congratulations Senator Ruth for capturing the essence of the Harper party in one brief pithy comment!

    What a stirring campaign slogan it will make!

    "(And if the press gallery, for that matter, hadn't accepted furious scorn or fawning celebration as the only acceptable reactions to events here.)"
    and amen to that.

  14. All I can say is what a bunch of hyprocrits this con govt. is. They have the gall to call the call the Libs divisive/

  15. It's nauseating that the Liberals have sicced their attack dogs on notable feminist Senator Nancy Ruth. Kinsella is baying for her resignation. He also called her a "disgrace". It's a shame to see a longtime advocate for women's rights being attacked by testosterone-fuelled goons because of her frank style and salty language.

    • So you agree that she is warning activists that Harper is a vindictive prick?

      • No Holly, she was warning the aid agencies that there would be a backlash from Canadians if they made this an election issue.

        Canadians recently were polled at 60% think abortion is immoral,
        and 90% did not know that there is no abortion laws in Canada.
        Canadians are rather uneducated in this regard,
        and Ms Ruth just said 'let sleeping dogs lie'.

        • Your statistics are lies.

          • Actually.. that was a Manning Institute-sponsored poll that was refuted later by a Harris Decima Poll.

          • It's also important to remember that while some polls show some Canadians might not object to banning abortions in later months or weeks, currently the Harper policy is no money for programs that provide developing world abortions AT ALL.

          • Conservatives always, always, always lie.

          • Holly, pretty much all politicians lie. Its part of that whole, parliamentary privilege thing. It sucks. But don't start sounding like a 'partisan wanker'.

          • No, I think many politicians may be honourable people, or at least have decent impulses whedn they can. But Harper and his closest followers live lies.

          • Please also note, Wilson, your Manning Institute poll no longer exists on the Manning Institute Website.

            You're citing something we can't refute because we can't see it. Wait, that sounds familiar….something about…documents…Afghanistan…

          • <del>Conservatives</del> Politicians <del>always, always, always</del> lie.

            Fixed that for you. You were starting to sound like a 'partisan wanker'.

          • Just for the record, Scott, I'm about as pro-choice as it's possible to be. Thanks for the clarification. My general impression, though, is that on this issue, it's a classic case of what specific polling question you ask, how you ask it, etc. There are a zillion different ways you can word a question on the abortion issue. A friend of mine worked for Decima back in the Alan Gregg days, and it was interesting hearing him explain how you could run different polls on the same issue and get vastly different results, depending on the question, how the question was set up, where in the sequence of overall questions it came up, etc.

        • I highly doubt that poll. Interesting poll results though that show the majority of women in Canada do not trust Stephen Harper and his Reform/Alliance cabinet. The biggest threat that this country faces on unity issues and true democracy currently resides as the government in this 'minority' parliament where the wishes of the vast majority are expressed by the opposition parties.

    • That's not what is nauseating in this affair.

    • CR: has anyone other than Kinsella come out against Ruth?

      • As far as I know, WK was the only senior Lib to demand her resignation. Anita Neville accused her of threatening and blackmailing:

        “Sending Conservative Senator Nancy Ruth to threaten and blackmail Canada's foreign aid community is the most extreme example yet of how this deceitful and intolerant Prime Minister operates,”
        — Liberal Status of Women Critic Anita Neville.

        • Thank you. It would, minimally, be a squandered opportunity for the Libs to focus on Ruth (I'm not as down on it as you, but that's neither here nor there). That would give the Cons an easier route to hang it all on her.

        • It's disconcerting that the Liberals apparently don't even know what Ruth meant by her remarks.

      • Kory T has branded her as that most dreadful of things, "a Liberal appointee", and "not a Conservative". Pretty damning, I would say.

        • They must be a bit nervous to point out a Liberal appointment that wasn't partisan.

    • Why shoot the messenger? I think the good Senator has done a service to all those who don't get what the Harper government is all about in terms that even those who don't know and don't care can understand.

    • The only thing Ms. Ruth could do to salvage her reputation would be to resign from the Conservative caucus in protest of Harper's policy on maternal health. If she stays she is a traitor to womens rights.

      • Oh please. If we were to do apply the high standards of this litmus test to the Liberal Party Ignatieff would have to expel all the members who voted against his maternal health motion. I think Harper would gladly swap one senator for 3 MPs.

        • Do any of them claim to be long standing feminists?

          • Well, some of the Liberal MPs who watched their own party's motion go down in defeat sure are. Where were their cries for party discipline? Have they betrayed women's rights as well by caucusing with pro-lifers and allowing them to get their way?

  16. And we should add that the press gallery has accepted the role as stenographer for the Tories, simply reporting what they say. Why the press didn't bother to explain that there was nothing illegal at ALL about the coalition (or that Harper had proposed one with the separatists not two years before), and that criticizing the government is not per se treason, is beyond me. The Tories do this stuff because they know the press won't call them on it and will simply present the Tories "X" and the Opposition's "Not X" as equally valid sides of a political dispute.

    Jebus, I'll bet if the Tories tomorrow said "The earth is flat" the press would simply portray it as "another controversy today over the shape of the earth! Tories say that it's flat, and dismiss Liberal contentions that it's in fact round as 'partisan bickering.' Joining us in the studio are MPs . . . let's delve into this new and rancorous controversy," rather than saying "Tories made the easily disprovable claim that the earth is flat. It's not. Moving on . . ."

    • I am not sure if this is funny or sad. I just know it is true.

    • That is good, but I was talking about the liberal party. Maybe they should pull up a BT blog that advocates something like "who cares if brown people are tortured" and start calling it part of the CPC platform.

      Why should conservatives be the only ones permitted to play fast and loose with the truth?

      • "Never wrestle with a pig. You'll both get covered in mud, and the pig likes it."

      • Well, I just objected to frat-boy partisan wankers below, so I would not go along with your frat-boy partisan idea here. How about the Liberals grow up and grow a spine and speak up more often and more loudly for women's rights and equality in Canada and all over the world? That way they can be honest and not lie.

      • I gigle at the visual, but as a Liberal I would be uncomfortable with that strategy. You know, having values and all that. And while I recognize that my thinking is akin to the old adage that nice guys finish last, I believe it would be a disservice to myself and to others who think as I do, to allow the Conservatives to obliterate all the nice guys. Or in other words, why win the battle when you've lost the war?

  17. Thank you Mr Wherry for such a lovely and hilariously insightful article.

  18. Suand Delacourt said backlash would come from the govt,
    NOT Senator Ruth.
    Here is what she acutally said:

    Don't make it an election issue!

    "It's just if you push it, there will be more backlash. This is now a political football. It's not about women's health in this country," she added. "Canada is still a country with free and accessible abortions. Leave it there. Don't make it an election issue."

    but carry on Liberals,
    you lost the abortion vote on your own motion,
    may as well give it a shot nation wide……but just remember,
    Ms Ruth warned you!

    • I don't think she was speaking to a room full of of Liberal party members, but international aid groups. If aid groups run candidates in the next election I'll buy your interpretation. Otherwise your being blinded by your partisanship.

    • To suggest that the problem would be with Canadians is deceit of Levant-ian proportions.

    • Right – because she is so interested in saving the liberals.

      Obviously she is worried that her own party will push back and try to end abortion rights.

  19. And all this heated commentary was prompted by an inane parliamentary rant by old past his sell-by date, what's his name Raybob?

  20. Why Harper would rather Michaelle Jean over Mary Walsh. One isn't afraid to ask questions; the other minds her manners.

  21. Great job Liberals. You got the House to endorse cutting abortion funding from the maternal health package, now you can attack the Conservatives for hating women and democracy.

    • So, if the vote had gonree the other way, the government would have followed the will of the house? What a cool idea.

      • Well.. if there's one thing Harper has demonstrated.. he refuses to follow precedent.

        So given the current precedent.. it might even be possible.

  22. One senses a great deal of anger vented by the blogging Mr. Wherrey. And rightly so. The very suggestion that people (well, female people, aktchewelly) ought to keep their mouths shut and, by implication, their legs closed, lest the powers that be reign down their punitive vileness, is offensive in the extreme.

    Leave aside the fact that Senator Ruth is sympathetic to the cause. Her counsel, sadly, speaks volumes about The Way Things Work within the caucus she nominally sides with.

    • I agree with your second paragraph fribisher; but the 'legs closed" part; I don't think that was the iimplication.

      Are you from Saskatchewan by any chance? (aktchewelly?)

      • No, ma'am. Though I did live in Calgary in the late eighties-early nineties. And, perhaps my comment was a bit over-the-top. However, the invitation to shut the f— up,combined with the willful inability to see that maternal issues in the 'third world' are inextricably linked to reproductive health are irksome. Combine that grim combo with the darkly whispered threat of sanctions from the Senator, the nutty asides from Pastor Abbot, the equivocations of Ms. Oda and the general caucus predilection towards ol' testament vengeance….well…the message to the ladies in da house is pretty much clear.

        • Okay frobisher. You've convinced me. Thanks for explaining. I was teasing you about your spelling of "actually" because for some reason it reminded me of the way Saskatchewan is spelled.

  23. I'm not a raving anti abortionist but I do believe that it is reprehensible that the Liberals have seen fit to drag this subject back into the light of day again. I don't believe abortion should be used as contraception but did believe that, as it was originally proposed, abortion was to be used to save the life of a mother to be who was in danger of losing her life. Now it is used for contraception plain and simple. This is the slippery slope (intention if the truth were told) that the left want the African countries to embrace. Would it not be better to use the money for better prenatal care? Very few Canadian women require abortions to save their lives today because there is better prenatal and post natal care. The not so secret agenda of the left is, they feel, the right to abort fetuses. It has nothing whatsoever to do with African women dying from childbirth and has everything to do with abortion and again nothing to do with saving women. As I wrote earlier….this is just a divisive subject that the LPC has sunk their teeth into heeding the advice of Frank Graves. I hope that the LPC run an election on this subject. I would rather have the Conservatives lose the election than ride into parliament as the governing party who won with abortion as one of their planks.

    • You seem to think a woman is nothing but a disposable container for a fetus. A woman's body belongs to her alone and she alone has the right to decide whether or not to continue a pregnancy. No one else has the right to interfere with a woman's personal sovereignty. Mind your own business and stay out of mine.

      In Africa women and children are often raped or do not have the choice to use contraception. Young girls and small, malnourished women are condemned to death if they are forced to carry a pregnancy to term. In most cases the fetus will die as well, and the woman's orphaned children are more likely to die also. So your discomfort with the moral choice to have an abortion means that you would choose instead to see a whole family die.

      It has everything to do with saving women.

      • You sweetie, can learn to cross your legs or be responsible in other ways. Your pregnancy is my business when I help pay for your abortion.

        Legal abortion was never meant to be used as a contraceptive option. Do some reading.

        And, if you read and understood, the money used on abortions could be used on pre and post natal help as well as those under nourished women. As for the rapes,IIRC, that was another reason for legal abortions. In that circumstance and I can agree. But as has been done in the western world abortion will be used as a contraceptive when someone hops into bed and that person ends up pregnant and goes for an abortion because her husband doesn't have red hair. Again it becomes my business because I'm paying for your mistake.

        • Actually, it is none of your business why someone wants an abortion. The entire point is that it is her body and her choice. What you believe she should do with her body is completely and totally irrelevant, in every sense of the word.

          Unless, of course, we taxpayers get to have a say in everyone's medical procedures. Want to have your appendix out? Sorry – have to run that one by the taxpayers first. Choose to have surgery to save the middle finger of your right hand rather than the cheaper option of amputation? Sorry – have to run that one by the taxpayers first. Have lung cancer because you hung out in too many bars in your youth? Sorry man – your choice. Why should I pay for your chemo?

          The real reason you do not like this issue is because it works to show how backwards Harper and his supporters are when it comes to women's rights. You have demonstrated that right here, because you clearly believe you should have some say on what a woman does with her body, just because of your own moral objections.

        • Hey – what if you go hunting and trip and fall and accidently shoot yourself with your own gun. Your choice to go hunting with a dangerous weapon – why should I pay for your life saving surgery?

          Hmmm. The possibilities are endless…

          • Wrong. Pregnancies are not medical "problems". They are a choice.Remember that word. And if not a choice they are a consequence of carelessness, unless it's an unwanted child of rape.

            So, my appendix is your responsibility because of universal health care in which abortion was not included until the left saw votes dancing before their eyes. (special interest groups you know) The Conservatives/conservatives held to their beliefs and didn't prostitute themselves for that vote.

            As for your body do with it as you please but don't cost me money.

            If I shoot myself with my gun that again is a "medical" emergency and again universal health care kicks in.

            Pregnancy is not a medical emergency here in Canada. Not all pregnancies in Africa are medical emergencies. The rapes are. Malnourished women with necessary funding can live through a pregnancy and delivery. That I believe, is how this whole thing started until Bob "I'm back" Rae intentionally muddied the waters and got all the special interest groups in a tizzy. Harper wanted funding for women and children (remember that from 6 weeks ago?) then the special interest groups (left wingers) saw a chance to sling some mud.

          • Then why should I pay for your prostate operation? If you won't pay for women's health care why shoudl I pay for men's?

            And if you think womaen are a "special interest group" it's not surprising you would have problems in a relationship with any woman with a brain.

          • Do you really want to go into the "you ate too many french fries, so we won't pay for your artificial hip" story? You'd be amazed at what's classified as "non-emergency".

            Cuz if you do, you better start keeping your exercise and food consumption diary, and be ready to present it, and a urine sample, every time you need medical services that aren't immediate life and death.

          • This is a joke, right?

            People CHOOSE to go hunting with guns. Sometimes accidents happen and people get shot.

            People CHOOSE to drive a car in poor visibility conditions. Sometimes accidents happen as a result and people get hurt.

            As I said above, the possibilities are endless. Your opinion here rests on your own moral objections to abortion and your belief that a woman cannot control her own body.

            But thanks for proving my point – again.

        • Under that logic, your smoking, drinking, driving, and eating habits are my business when I have to pay for your healthcare.

          You really want to go that road? Because trust me, you probably won't like what I suggest for a diet.

          • Prefabricated meal pills for everyone!

        • And again – we're not allowed to make cracks about angry men from Alberta – I'm going to bite my tongue right off.

      • Holly states: "You seem to think a woman is nothing but a disposable container for a fetus. A woman's body belongs to her alone and she alone has the right to decide whether or not to continue a pregnancy. No one else has the right to interfere with a woman's personal sovereignty. Mind your own business and stay out of mine. "
        ————————–

        And I will say to Holly: You must have heard of the women who have decided to get pregnant without the male's consent, yet those very same women will run to the male for child support……..

        And I will ask Holly: Do you still think the line " No one else has the right to interfere with a woman's personal sovereignty. Mind your own business and stay out of mine. " applies??????

        (I'm wondering out loud if Holly has the courage to answer that question in public)

    • They are grasping, they need something .Anything.

    • Somebody who thinks abortion should only be used to save the life of the mother IS a raving anti-abortionist, kiddo.

  24. I'm all for accountability. I would like know if these NGOs that lost their funding have achieved any results. Perhaps they should present some to the media in their defense. I'm sure there's ways to present the information in an objective consolidated manner for us to see what the money has been spent on. Although, not everyone understands the challenges of building capacity in oppressed/depressed communities.

    But it is also very important to note any clear patterns in what kinds of organizations are getting cut.

    • Prochoice, I would bet. Pro equality, which the Conservatives also oppose.

    • Perhaps they should present some to the media in their defense. I'm sure there's ways to present the information in an objective consolidated manner for us to see what the money has been spent on.

      Assuming that an analysis was made, it shouldn't be a problem to stick it up on the appropriate ministry site. Mmmm… Smell that transparency.

    • well given the Auditor General's recent remarks, it is clear that the decisions are unlikely to have been made based on any real sense of what does, or does not, work.

      "They don't have all the performance information, so it will be very difficult to make objective decisions when you don't have that kind of base information"
      http://www.ottawacitizen.com/Departments+flying+b

    • well given the Auditor General's recent remarks, it is clear that the decisions are unlikely to have been made based on any real sense of what does, or does not, work.

      "They don't have all the performance information, so it will be very difficult to make objective decisions when you don't have that kind of base information"
      http://www.ottawacitizen.com/Departments+flying+b

    • well given the Auditor General's recent remarks, it is clear that the decisions are unlikely to have been made based on any real sense of what does, or does not, work.

      "They don't have all the performance information, so it will be very difficult to make objective decisions when you don't have that kind of base information"
      http://www.ottawacitizen.com/Departments+flying+b

  25. "Here, most conveniently, were four words to define this time in Ottawa."

    Was this post cathartic for you, Wherry? I hope so. I would have gone postal long ago if I was doing your job and listening to these clowns everyday. I wish pols of all parties took their jobs more seriously – all this talk about how to fix broken political system – and all we need is for MPs to act responsibly and behave themselves.

  26. Hmmm. Last time I checked, half of Canadian voters were women. My guess is that Senator Ruth's outburst and the possibly coincidental funding cuts to women's groups, are not especially likely to win over the hearts and minds of this half of the electorate.

    • The last time I checked , I was still a woman and i'm afraid that I can't name one of these groups , what they do and why I should care . I've never needed them and theree are more important things I'd like to see my and my familys tax dollars spent on than new furniture in an overpriced downtown Vancouver office .

      • So you're ok with cutting funding for battered women's shelters. Let battered women be submissive to their fundamentalist husbands, right?

        • "Let battered women be submissive to their fundamentalist husbands, right?" Nobody said that.

          But if you want to share your special interest group wealth you can help fund an organization for husbands who are battered by their ex wives (who lied their asses off during the divorce) and their lawyers regarding visitation rights with their children.

          • Oh come on Albertaclipper, give me some stats compared to women. And we're talking Africa here, even though you'd also be hard-pressed to make the arguement here in Canada with any significant stats on battered men comparted to battered women

          • I didn't make myself clear. I meant battered in court by the ex and the lawyer. Mental cruelty is also battering. When a guy comes home who thinks he has a happy marriage and finds his ex in bed with the plumber. Then she sweeps his kids out of his life with a left leaning "judge" who grants 4 days a month maybe with the kids??

          • "left leaning judge"…

            You conservatives – always the victim…

          • No more so than you liberals.

            Now I have to impregnate my wife and go hunting, not necessarily in that order. :>D

          • Did the plumber bill you?

          • You know.. if you had a better attitude toward women in the first place.. may not have happened.

          • Come now, are you blaming the guy for his wife cheating on him? Seriously?

            If a person is unhappy, the solution is to leave (or have a conversation about open / alternative marriages), not endanger the other partner by letting them assume that their sexual relationship is exclusive.

          • You sort of prove my point. A guy who is respectful of women is far more likely to find that a woman is willing to have a conversation with him about their unhappiness, and not simply try to take matters into their own (or the plumber's hands).

          • I'm sorry but, in my opinion, there is no justification for cheating. A marriage is a contract (not that anyone actually takes their vows seriously). If, in that contract, it is agreed that you will be exclusive sexual partners, going outside of that means that you are responsible for what happens to your spouse (ala, STIs, etc.).

            Think of it this way: It is entirely possible for a cheating partner to acquire HIV and pass it to their spouse. Are you willing to say that a chauvinistic jerk has earned a death by AIDS?

            Sorry, but I have to go back to my original line. Leave, or have a conversation. Anything else is morally reprehensible.

          • Oh I'm not saying it's justified. I'm just pointing out the realities.

          • Not to downplay domestic violence IN ANY WAY, but…..from the wiki article I learned that the IT people at my workplace who look after our LAN and other such stuff aren't Information Technology professionals, they are Intimate Terrorism professionals.

            Who knew?

          • Silly, Phil. lol

        • "fundamentalist husbands"

          Holly, if you're meaning to suggest that all wife-beaters are religious fundamentalists, or that the only people who beat their spouses are religious fundamentalists, I think you're seriously off-base there.

      • Thanks, Gwen.

    • Such thinking is very sound — if you subscribe to the distasteful notion that all women must think alike. I am very happy I do not live in your world.

  27. You converse with madeyoulook, who tells lies like this: "Fourteen taxpayer supported whine-grievance-monger organizations…"

    You self-righteous hypocrite.

    • Holly, out of curiosity, did you march in the sixties?

      • What difference would that make?

        • None whatsoever; I was just curious. Were you involved back then?

          • I wasn't old enough to march or to know much about it, there wasn't much action where I lived as far as I know, and my family was not inclined to get involved in politics. But I was surrounded by strong, intelligent women, and men who did not feel the need to prove their manhood by being jerks.

          • Thanks for answering. When did you start getting involved in politics?

          • In a way, there were political episodes in school and more in university. I joined various activist groups but never any political parties. I also held some opinions then which have radically changed now.

          • Many thanks, again. Final question: Which federal party do you think has been the most pro-women: Liberals or NDP? And why?

          • How do you define pro-women?

  28. I expect a rather broad brush is being taken in this thread by now.

  29. No matter how right the Liberals are about how the CPC behaves, people don't care about things like this.
    People want to see results and so far the CPC has done pretty good on that front (though they certainly don't deserve all the credit they think they do).

    The Liberals need to realize that to get back into power they need to be very patient and stop jumping at every little thing the Conservatives do. They might only have a minority and not quite behave like it but people don't care about that (hell most people I know who like the CPC love it).
    The CPC promised a whole lot of things when they got into power in 2006, most of them were on the topic of behaviour and most of them haven't been kept, but those promises were the flavour of the day, people don't care about that kind of stuff anymore.
    The detainee issue was a good try but since it also involves the previous government and it isn't going anywhere, let it run it's course and be patient.
    The Liberals also need to raise more money.

    • The detainee issue involves the current government. Why do you think Harper is so desperate to cover it up?

    • "…people don't care about things like this. "

      Are you secretly providing helpful election advice to the Liberal Party of Canada?
      Or are you trying to make this go away by repeating "Nobody cares" so many times that nobody cares anymore?

      Besides, we know people care. You cared enough to post a comment. I cared enough to expose your transparent attempt at damage control? See? That's two people who care already.

      • Definitely giving advice to the LPC, I care a lot about things like these: I'm all about symbolism.
        But I think that the general population doesn't care much for mud slinging, and the more it happens the less they think of the people involved in it. And these days that's all the Liberals have done: jump on everything they could and try to damage the image of the CPC.
        Fact of the matter, as far as we know, it ain't working.

  30. What else does one say to a perpetual whiny ,sniviling, bellyaching group of childish politicians who keep pushing the broken pencil ?
    When the brat kid keeps whining after logic, then stronger messages have to be conveyed in order to get compliance.

  31. Aaron Wherry

    Well said!

    Bully-Baird frothing at the mouth, making “domestic House assault” a looming threat and scaring the heck out of those faint at heart while “condemning” as “inappropriate” Sen. Ruth’s wonderfully insightful and spot-on commentary on the Taliban-on-the-Hill Party of Canada…..what a nightmarish sight to behold!

    Over $22 billion has been spent buying tanks and fighter-bombers fighting the Taliban rather than spend $5 billion on a much-needed by single mothers Child Care plan. It tells you where their priorities are.

    But the question by women voters should be, Why in God’s name are we spending money to fight the Taliban continents away?

    The Taliban are here already. On the Hill!

    What this government needs is:

    a POLITICAL THERAPEUTIC ABORTION! Enough already

    It’s getting lonely and embarrasing on the world stage where they don’t even recognize Canada! The land of Pearson the Nobel Peace Prize Winner, Tommy Douglas the father of Medicare and yes, Joe Clark, that decent, honourable Prime Minister of Canada to whom none of the Reformer Cavemen can hold a candle to!

    Shame we’ve come to this, eh?

  32. No funding to the special interest group period.

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