The more you know

by Aaron Wherry

Speaking with reporters after QP yesterday, Pat Martin explains himself.

Well, you can never go wrong according to Margaret Atwood and she made a presentation in 1987 to a parliamentary committee on the free-trade agreement, where she in fact invoked the legend that a beaver, when threatened, will in fact bite off its own testicles and present them to its tormentor. I now know it isn’t true as I’ve actually trapped beavers in the Yukon territory, helped trappers trap beavers and apparently the story started because beavers are one of the only mammals that carry their genitals – their male genitals within themselves. There’s no exterior presence as it were.




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The more you know

  1. It’s not true?

    Aw, nuts.

    • Nice!!

  2. Seriously? The government just awarded a multi-billion dollar shipbuilding contract, with a surprising twist : By making it as fair, transparent, and as non-partisan as possible.

    This lone act of non-partisanship has suddenly made me more optimistic and hopeful in our political system.

    It also has the added bonus of dividing the NDP caucus (Turmel wanted all the bidders to get a piece of the contract, while Stoffer says it’s a great day for all of Canada), so it’s even got a bit of drama to it.

    But I guess if it doesn’t make the Conservative government look bad, or if it doesn’t fall under Wherry’s ongoing narrative of “government=bitterly partisan” then it’s not worth reporting by Wherry.

    Keep up the good work, Wherry. Continue to let us believe that parliament is filled with discussions on trite nonsense such as beaver balls, and that the place is becoming increasingly undemocratic and bitterly partisan, while ignoring events that prove the opposite.

    • According to reports I’ve heard the decisions were made by the bureaucracy, not the politicians. This doesn’t excuse the bitterly partisan Harper Conservatives from criticism of being bitterly partisan. 

      • According to reports I’ve heard the decisions were made by the bureaucracy, not the politicians.

        Sure, but the decision was made by the bureaucracy because the government deliberately TURNED IT OVER TO THEM in order to avoid partisan unfairness.  Of course, that doesn’t just excuse all other partisanship on the part of the government, but it’s clearly a praiseworthy move by the Tories, imho.

        • Oh, I agree. It seems wise of them to let the bureaucracy do the job they are paid for. But I’m not so young that I’m naive about their motives for doing so. They have been so hands-on before about when MP’s can breathe, and so dismissive of any government bureaucracy making decisions on behalf of the ‘taxpayer’.

          I don’t really care who builds more Canadian warships. That seems fait accompli. But here, the Harper Conservatives win all around: Jobs to the struggling east coast gains support there, and the CPC wins because of wise decision making, but the bureaucrats snub Quebec, and the blame is on the bureaucrats, not the CPC.

          cartoon life dougsamu.wordpress.com

          • I don’t really care who builds more Canadian warships

            I care a bit.  I’m glad we’re building the things ourselves and not getting them from somewhere else (I think it’s different for ships than planes, and we’ll benefit from the ships being built domestically).

            I take your point though.

    • Agree with you 100% Mike.  The non-political awarding of the contracts is/will be historical. 
       
      On a personal note, after watching the results live, I had to run a few errands.  Of the four people I dealt with (teller, vet, 2 cashiers) all four turned out to be from N.S.  When I told them the news they literally had tears in their eyes, so very aware how important this was to their home province.  As a North Vancouverite, it was a very good day!!! 
       
      Now back to potty-mouth Martin quoting Atwood and her beaver balls.

    • I agree Mike514. In fact it would be nice if other, ostensibly non-partisan, changes could be made without political interference. I’m thinking of the forthcoming House of Commons seat redistribution legislation.

      I suspect my hopes will be dashed.

    • I ENTIRELY agree that the Tories’ handling of the shipbuilding contracts was excellent, and entirely deserving of praise.

      However, the cynic in me would like to note that they probably mostly did it the way they did because the Mulroney decision to give all the CF-18 largess to Quebec instead of Winnipeg was a giant clusterf*ck that plagued the Tories for years and had a substantial impact on the emergence of the Reform Party.  Again, completely praiseworthy and excellent work by the Tories, don’t get me wrong, but a HUGE motivating factor for them was likely “let’s not put ourselves in the position of accidentally screwing ourselves like Mulroney did”.

      Also, there are plenty of things to criticize Wherry’s work over, but I don’t think the coverage of the beaver balls story is worthy.  I think you’re taking Wherry’s coverage of “beaver-ball-gate” much more seriously than Wherry is!

      • Your “Scared of Mulroney-style backlash” point could be valid. But I’m tempted to see the glass as half-full and disagree on that one.

        I’m also encouraged that the Tories announced a new Champlain bridge only after the recent election, and not as a carrot to dangle in front of the electorate during the campaign (as the NDP and Liberals did).

        Resisting the urge to throw money around during a campaign, and awarding a contract in a fair and transparent manner… and I start to wonder if maybe the Tories are slowly turning over a new leaf?…

        (And yes, I know the Tories promised a new bridge back in 2008, but considering that they didn’t repeat that mistake in the 2011 campaign, I’m seriously thinking that the Tories have adopted a more sensible form of governing recently.)

  3. How very evolved of them!

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