The QP Clip: Harper pooh-poohs Trudeau’s gambit

The exchange you can’t miss from this afternoon’s Question Period

by Nick Taylor-Vaisey

No one quite knew how to respond to Justin Trudeau’s big idea: rid the Senate of Liberals. Or at least stop calling them Liberal Senators, even if they still call themselves a Liberal Senate caucus.

And then, during this afternoon’s Question Period, when Trudeau asked the Prime Minister if he’d follow the Liberals’ lead and go non-partisan in the Senate, Stephen Harper basically made fun of his Liberal foe. He relished the opportunity to criticize the halved Liberal caucus, and in the process, looked more confident than he has in ages. NDP Leader Tom Mulcair was also pretty happy to talk about taking the partisanship out of the Senate, and he and the PM engaged in a competition to see who could smile more indignantly about their various positions on Senate reform. Their benches joined in the revelry, and smiling faces greeted smiling faces as the leaders exchanged one-liners. The odd man out, after he stole the news cycle this morning, was Trudeau.

Perhaps the Liberal leader is playing a long game, and knows something no one else knows. The morning was all his. The afternoon was not. And still, he has no senators.




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The QP Clip: Harper pooh-poohs Trudeau’s gambit

  1. LOL It doesn’t matter what Harp or Mulcair think…..it matters what the voters think.

    • I agree. There can be no more a pressing issue for voters than unelected Liberal senators, now becoming unelected senators that happen to be Liberal.
      Indeed, every time my family sits down for dinner, we don’t discuss what happened at work, the strength of our financial position, or our family’s health. The conversation always seems to go back to …… the Canadian Senate.
      Getting to the heart of what matters to Canadians. Well played Justin. Well played.

      • My family discusses politics at the table every night. If yours doesn’t you shouldn’t mention it in public.

        • Why of course Trudeau’s Senate posturing should take a back seat to our kids school, their well being, my ability to put food on the table and all of the myriad of issues that affect our lives.
          I should be ashamed that all that doesn’t take a back seat to what Justin Trudeau decides to do with his Senate caucus.
          I have so much perspective to gain from my “progressive” bettors.

          • You shouldn’t discuss personal problems at the table….it’s bad for your digestion.

            Talking politics teaches your kids about their country and you

          • so Harper gets rid of his crooks from caucus, and thats meaningful action, Trudeau does something visionary and allows all senators freedom to vote their conscience, and we are supposed to believe this is a bad thing?

            pull the other one

      • Well you have demonstrated that you have your finger on the pulse of the nation.

        Or, you know, not…

      • is that like the crooks Harper appointed, then kicked out of caucus after trying to bribe them? I mean, was that just a stunt?

        basically, you are speaking out of both sides of your mouth

  2. Yes…unfortuantely, with Trudeau it is all about short term personel gain……he lacks the capacity to consider that what he does actually has an impact beyond the next election.
    That being said……he booted them out because he’s afraid of the AG report.

    • Too bad Harper didn’t boot the Duffster et al when the first bad news was drifting around — he would have looked decisive and in charge. What did he do again? Oh yeah, he DEFENDED them. Oh well, better luck next time.

      • Actually, Harper, and anybody who reads Canadian news, knew before Duffy was appointed that he was under investigation for breaching the code of ethics of his profession. Harper considered this an asset, no doubt.

  3. What a merry caucus Harper leads! And that Rempel is just as cute as a button.

    • She was looking a little glum last year, but someone must have spoken to her about about that, since her seat is where it is for a reason. Now she is looking really perky and enthusiastic once again.

      • A girl’s gotta earn that seat.

        • Ahhh….. you are what you seat…..

    • Not that merry just laughing at the village idiot Trudeau yet again

      • How Parliamentarian of them.

  4. I’m guessing that Senators were being a bit too vocal in caucus and have no loyalty to Trudeau because he didn’t appoint any of them. So to squash the dissent, he simply kicked them all out of caucus.

    Hardly seems to improve our democracy when a party leader can unilaterally kill a whole bunch of voices within his caucus just because they don’t agree with him all of the time.

    • I didn’t know you were a member of the Liberal caucus, whatever-your-name-truly-is.

    • It’s hard to escape the feeling that if Harper had done this, you’d be crowing jubilantly about his boldness, integrity, and strong democratic principles..

      • yeah, what was that about those crooks Harper appointed, Wallin and Duffy – were they not expelled from caucus?

        meaningless I guess these people were saying..right?

    • “I’m guessing”

      We can tell.

  5. Of course they were laughing…Jughead pulled the pin out of a grenade cause he didn’t like the colour of it. What possible benefit does he gain from this? Well, he seems more pirate-like every day LMAO….

    • so when Harper expelled Wallin and Duffy, was that also meaningless?

      just trying to keep all the conservative lies straight..

  6. That clip made me throw up in my mouth. All those trained seals behind Harper, what a farce.

    • That clip made me bust a gut laughing Shiny Pony and his starry-eyed groupies revealed for the fools that they are

      • feel better, now?

        • Truth hurt

    • I know – these incompetent crooks and their lies are too much for a patriot to handle

      Harper and his gang of incompetent cowards are long past their best before date

  7. Why is everyone laughing at what Paul Wells described as a “bold move”?

    • If a cop gives me a speeding ticket, and I punch him in the face…that’s a ‘bold move’ too….doesn’t mean it’s a bright move.

    • The foam from your mouth is covering your glasses

      • Seriously Emily. Those conservatives laughing hysterically at the important change from “unelected Liberal senators” becoming “unelected senators that happen to be Liberal” must surely be some very good acting masking a deep, deep concern for what Paul Wells astutely and dramatically described as a “bold move”.

        • Oh you’ve made the whole country aware you’re upset by this….you think people don’t notice the foam?

        • so basically exactly what Harper did to his crooked appointees Wallin and Duffy? funny – you didnt call it useless then

          such hypocrisy, you must think Canadians are stupid

    • Because if they don’t laugh they are gonna cry…

    • I’m not laughing at our Prime Minister attempting to bribe sitting senators

      these crooks need to be thrown out of office

  8. Harper is laughing now… but I suspect polls will show voters like what JT just did… and will wonder why a PM who has made so many promises about the Senate is still dragging his heels on his promise eight years into being the head of government.

    As for myself: I think this is a fine start to having a properly non-partisan, independent Senate. The promise of a non-partisan, independently selected Senate is exactly the change I’ve been wanting.

    • Harper’s not the only one laughing. The NDP were laughing, even the Liberal Senator’s were laughing at Trudeau. It’s rather funny that Cowan came out immediately after and said “well, I’m still a Liberal, and I’m still a Senator”, essentially telling Trudeau to shove it. Not a good sign for the kid who’s trying to be taken seriously when his own caucus doesn’t care what he has to say.

      • Psst… were you not paying attention? The senators are NOT his caucus any more.

        We should expect the CPC and NDP to react as they did – they’ve been made to look like idiots and are trying hard to deflect. I’ve been a bit leery of JT’s leadership – but I truly like this move. Doesn’t hurt that I’ve been advocating this exact position for years. And I know I’m far from alone in seeing this as the best and most practical solution to the partisan rot in the Senate. Anything else means years of constitutional wrangling.

        Eight years, Rick. Eight years of empty promises. Your party knows the SCC reference is going nowhere slowly; it’s just a way to buy time – and blame failure on the court. JT just changed the game and left the CPC flat-footed. The egg on Harper’s face right now could make a lot of omelettes.

        • ‘Boldness be my friend’, unprecedented for 3rd party to “pass a law”(and Trudeau booted no one out he has the greatest respect for the Lib senators some from his fathers appointments) and the very first move on the Senate after a year plus(of the PMO scandal) and 8 years for the PM. Mulcair as wrangled some Constitutional deals when in Quebec – he thinks he can do it for abolishment. Cowan has shown great poise throughout and with a couple others eschewed Trudeau’s move – these seem to be relieved of belonging to ‘unelected Liberal caucus’ although they can’t be purged of their Liberal thinking.

          • so is that like Wallin and Duffy cannot be purged of their thinking?

        • How have the NDP and CPC been made to look like idiots? How does this do anything about “partisan rot” in the Senate? All of those Senators are still sitting there, and they all still hold Liberal Party of Canada membership cards, and will continue to travel in the same social circles as their counterparts in the HoC.

          So they don’t get to attend the weekly Justin Trudeau fan club meeting. So what? They’ve never had to vote as their leader demanded before, they don’t have to now. How does this “solve” anything?

          • It’s Step 1, Rick. The rest will take a bit longer, as we first have to turf Harper in 2015 and then implement the new selection process for senators as seats become vacant.

            The CPC look like idiots because they have been promising – and failing to deliver – on Senate reform for eight years. JT – from third party status – has already begun a change that is practical and does not require constitutional change.

            The NDP similarly are proposing a near-impossible scheme. JT just showed them a better way.

    • People care about themselves and their families. That largely means their well being: jobs, mortgage rates, taxes. Not too many struggling families sitting around the dinner table discussing the Senate composition.
      Other than Ottawa “elite” media, and political junkies, no one cares about such shenanigans.

      • They why have the Conservatives nee Reformers been beating the drum about Senate refoooooorm for over 20 years?

        • Because Canadians want their money back. Mac Harb will not be the only Liberal senator who claimed false expenses.

          Voters are fed up that we still have unelected people doing the ruling over us. This is not 1867 any longer.

          • Francien, Francien, Francien, You are really trying to earn that money as one of the 1200 plus PMO communication staff. No one on this page or else where take you seriously not before, not now. Keep trolling and those of us who really love this Country, will continue to make sure, Harper and his cohorts answer to us in 2015. You can take that to the bank.

    • Saw a tweet from Dan Arnold ( whoever that is?)that sums that thought up. The leader of the third party has in one move done more for senate reform than Harper has in 8 years.
      I agree the laughter will subside once it occurs to them the public likes this.

      • I believe Dan Arnold is “Calgary Grit.” A Liberal blogger.

        • he is also right

          Harper has done less as majority leader on Senate reform than Trudeau

          all Harper has done is appoint more crooks – hypocrisy at its finest

  9. Maybe Trudeau should go back to avoiding Parliament. If he’s just going to be mocked and openly laughed at, he should probably go back to fundraising and not embarrassing himself on the national stage.

    • Surely his mistake today was to not offer to write a cheque or two for any of his senators.

      • How do you know that the Liberal party fund has not paid for caucus members expenses?

        Just because members of the media won’t ask the Liberals what THEY have paid out of their party fund, does not mean it didn’t happen. It just means that the members of the media did not dare to ask.

        • you crave venom, typical Con!

        • Right, the media shouldn’t ask the actual govt such nosy questions before they’ve asked the third party the same questions. Do you practice at being dense before you come here each day?

    • I don’t support him but he still makes WAY more sense than Stevie EVER HAS!

    • Judging from the way Trudeau’s captured the news cycle and sent the Harper Cons into frantic (and, so far, unsuccessful) efforts to spin the decision more favourably for themselves, you should continue to wish fervently that he would “go back to avoiding Parliament”.

      • Everything does Shiny Pony is dutifully reported by the MSM lapdogs they are becoming a bigger laughing stock than he is

        • Ah! poor thing

        • Drives Cons crazy, don’t it?

    • We will see who will be laughing soon. Sometimes when people laugh like Harper and his supporters are doing after JT’s bold, transparent move, they were caught off guard and the only way they can defend their ineptitude is to pretend all is well with them. Even the most seasoned person did not see this coming, which is sheer brilliance. Finally, someone who does not make empty promises but take actions for the good of the entire Country.

  10. I’ve been watching the Harper Govt and parts of the media downplaying this about it not having any meaning. Harper said in the House today that, “So instead of them being Liberal Senators they are Senators who are Liberal.” Like this decision didn’t have any meaning.

    The only means open to reform the Senate lies with Harper and instituting Constitutional reform, which isn’t going to happen. Since Trudeau isn’t even leading the official opposition he took the only avenue available to him to send a clear message on where he and the Liberal Party stand on the Senate. They want an elected, non-partisan Senate and Trudeau was willing to show that he meant what he said, by this action.

    It also should be noted that if you’re the leader of the official opposition in the Senate you’re paid an additional $30K a year, by doing this Justin just saved us taxpayers a few bucks at the same time. As independents they no longer have a party to claim so they can’t be an official opposition.

    At this point Harper has done nothing, besides pay lip service to senate reform and of course stack that senate with peons and appoint more senators than any PM in our history. Of course the other parties are downplaying this and trying to laugh it off, the only other choice would be to actually DO SOMETHING. This is easier and they get to maintain the same power structures.

    Justin’s decision is important and it is significant. At least in my opinion.

    • They want an elected, non-partisan Senate

      Actually, Trudeau is on record being AGAINST an elected Senate.

      • Essentially he wants a system similar to how people are nominated to receive the Order of Canada. So you’re right, not elected but not appointed by 1 person supporting 1 political agenda.
        I shouldn’t have said they wanted an elected Senate.

        • Pamela Wallin received the Order of Canada. Some standard, eh.

          • Yeah cause the current system is definitely working and if you’ll note I said a similar system not the exact same system

          • And who appointed her to the Senate?
            Who appointed Brazeau?
            Who appointed Duffy?
            Harper makes undeniably poor Senate appointments (c’mon Francien, dispute that) and you think there’s no room for improvement?

          • WHO appointed Wallin, Duffy and Brazeau?

            stop hiding and lying, you conservatives are the biggest hypocrites I have ever met

      • There’s good reason for him to be on record against it. An elected senate is a recipe for bicameral gridlock, American-style.

    • This isn’t entirely accurate: Trudeau has stated that he wants Senate appointments to be an open process based on merit and service, like with judges and Order of Canada recipients, not an elected Senate. If that process stops the appointment of party bagmen and failed candidates, I think it’s a step in the right direction. I still favour abolishing the Senate, but putting in a process that appoints prominent thinkers instead of bagmen is a good first compromise.

  11. Harper’s been pooh-poohing on Canada for 8 years now.

  12. what a juvenile response from Harper’s part, ( to the “P.M.”) , as he sounds like a kindergarten schoolteacher,

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