Uninterrupted sustained silent reading time


The Star dissects the government’s claim that the opposition parties didn’t read the budget before rejecting it.

The Conservative government arranged briefings for each of the opposition parties on budget day, where the leaders, senior MPs and staff spent part of the afternoon reading the documents and reaching their conclusions.


Uninterrupted sustained silent reading time

  1. I'd be interested to know how many of the Tory caucus spent more than two hours reading the budget before they decided to support it?

  2. This is the thing I really really really don't get about Harper.

    It's not that he fudges and misleads and spins. They all do that. Heck, we all do that a little bit in our own lives and his whole life is built upon that kind of thing.

    What I don't get is how brazenly he flat out lies and how constantly he flat out lies and how quick he is to pull out flat out lies to support his fudging, spin and misleadings.

    I will go to my grave knowing that the Conservatives could have easily won a big majority anytime in 2006, 2007 and 2008 if only he had been more interested in governing than in attacking or more interested in being a principled leader than a slimy hateful attack dog.

  3. We have a winner!

  4. Stephen Harper: Flat Out Liar.

  5. That's why we love Star: for its riveting political analysis!

  6. How about a Macleans cover on the lying – and inside, a textual account of the lies, with corrections – plus an easy to read chart.

  7. This is a bit of a Canadian form of debate, no? If you go back and look, there are tons of examples of both Liberals and Conservatives accusing the other parties of not having read the budget.

    Hedy Fry in 1994:

    "Yesterday in a typical knee-jerk reaction to the speech by the Minister of Finance, the Leader of the Opposition and his finance critic stated that the budget was merely another confirmation of status quo federalism. It is clear that the Leader of the Opposition did not read the document, or if he did he did not understand it."

    David Collonette in 1999:

    "Mr. Speaker, I did not intend to speak but after hearing the outrageous comments of my friend from Kings—Hants I felt compelled to do so. Transport is my game but I have a night job, trying to look after some of the interests of the government in Canada's largest city. There are 4.6 million people in the greater Toronto area. We are particularly sensitive to the plight of the homeless in that city and in other cities across the country. I take umbrage at my friend for saying there is nothing in this budget to deal with homelessness. He obviously has not read the budget."

    Roy Cullen in 2000 (this actually seems to be a bit of a speaking tic of his; it would not surprise if he prefaces most of what he says with accusations that the person to whom he's speaking hasn't read the budget):

    "If he actually read the budget, he would discover that the capital gains tax inclusion rate has been reduced from three-quarters to two-thirds.

    If he read the budget, he would understand that it puts close to $2.4 billion into defence.

    I could go on and on but I think the member should read the budget before he comes to the House. Normally he is most informed on these issues. I was surprised today. Has the member read the budget?"

    Does anyone believe Harper when he says that the Liberal, NDP and Bloc haven't read the budget? Like the opposition in the 1990's, it'd be in their interest to do so, if only to find issues on which to criticize the government.

    Pretty lame debunking. I look forward to the Delacourt/Smith piece on whether or not there are ACTUALLY red and blue doors that we will have to choose.

    (I didn't actually put in the Tory examples, but trust me, there are lots of them. I figure this will be taken as a pro-Tory comment so I don't need to show my work as far as criticizing them – they're equal offenders.)

  8. It has always been standard procedure for the Opposition to oppose the budget, even if they end up grudgingly supporting it eventually…and they are always briefed on it first.

    However they are voting on a non-confidence motion over ethics this time.

  9. Yeah, but that's not really my point. My point is that it's also standard procedure to accuse them of not reading it.

  10. Damn them for being so damned accurate.

  11. They read the talking points, which is a chore for most of them.

  12. That's just recent.

    After all, they sit there for an hour listening to it….so of course they know what's in it

  13. The last time I heard the term U.S.S.R. was in grade 1 in Miss Killam's class waaay back when in Lachine Rapids Elementary. We used to have U.S.S.R. at least twice a week. If anyone talked, we got in BIG trouble! Thanks for the chuckle.

    ps- I would love to unleash Miss Killam on Question Period. Wonder where she is these days.

  14. izzat what Paul was singing about? that's it, I give up, I'll never understand the Beatles, bunch of drugged-up hippies. To be honest, they lost me with their off-key caterwauling on the Sullivan Show.

  15. The issue, I think, is that Stephen Harper's first love is politics, not government.

  16. The Harper Government finds that the truth is too complicated for crime-fearing, law-abiding, hard-working, optionally gun-owning Canadians.

    In order to effectively communicate with the aforementioned Canadians, The Harper Government creates it's own, simplified reality. We call it 'Harperfactualism'.

    For example, a recent Harperfactualism was "We don't know anything about anyone named Bruce Carson but we called the RCMP anyway". Note how that simplifies a complex situation and ensures the aforementioned Canadians internalize only what is important about a particular issue.

    We've stockpiled a large inventory of Harperfactualisms for the upcoming completely unnecessary, job-destroying, economy-threatening election campaign. (See what The Harper Government did in that sentence; Harperfactualisms can be used in almost any situation or communication. Try it!)

    So, look for many more Harperfactualisms in the weeks to come.

  17. Wise words there.

  18. Wow, did you ever just give me a flashback. (I didn't catch it from the header, though I see it now.)

  19. There are 3 problems with this:
    1) newsstands would have to be reinforced to manage the weight
    2) the union agreement with Canada postal employees would have to be modified to cover the back ailments
    3) Canadian would have to gain access to higher bandwidth service suppliers.

  20. THG – You used quotes around the statement : ….a recent Harperfactualism was "We don't know anything about anyone named Bruce Carson but we called the RCMP anyway"….

    Is that a real quote or did you just make it up? I'm sure you can spot the irony if you are unable to back it up with a source!

  21. Reality check – Delacourt style:

    she doesn't stop short by including that Jack did not deliver the verdict untill Flaherty was done speaking (courtuous on Jack's part I must add)

    but she forgets to mention (conveniently enough) that the Liberals did NOT wait for Flaherty to finish his delivery of the budget in the House. (so much for respect for the House. Oops, wrong party. The Liberals must at all times be forgiven……no contempt to be found there!.)


    Ms.Delacourt loves to show off her colours.

    And they ain't blue!

  22. And considered within the current set of circumstances, the opposition parties could not have waited one day?

    They could not have given their verdict the day after the budget had been read in the House?

    Are the opposition parties that addicted to getting media attention, that they feel the need to be pressured up to the point of having to make instant decisions?

    Yet, they form committee to oversee spending, to oversee most everything. Those committees sit for weeks, months, years on end, just to go over a "not' or not.

    And here we have a budget presented and the opposition parties know there answers within an hour or two?

    Might as well scrap the committee meetings. What a waste of money they are!

    Be done with commitee meetings, I'd say.

    Vote on the budgets before they have been delivered in the House – new democracy style – Ignatieff style…………..

  23. "Ralph Goodale, finance critic Scott Brison and transport critic John McCallum "

    And what do those well informed men have to say about this:

    Brison's financial insights puts prison cost at 14 billion

    McGuinty's financial insights puts prison cost at 18 billion

    (I do not make this up – see Power&Politics)

    Could the real Liberal finance critic stand up?

    The voter shall not be confused.

  24. Well put, could not have said it better.

  25. Are you suggeting there a lot of them?

  26. They didn't have to read it. They had already been told what they thought of it.

  27. A lame response that mere moments is enough time to read, understand, consider the broad policy implications and reflect on a course of action, regarding the most important government document of the year,



    Carrying water for the water carriers.


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