You’ve changed

The New Democrats sent up backbencher Dan Harris just before Question Period yesterday with the following.

Mr. Speaker, when in opposition the Conservatives were outraged by an arrogant government that hid from the opposition by invoking closure. Now they have done it nine times since the election. The Minister of Public Safety once said: “For the government to bring in closure and time allocation is wrong. It sends out the wrong message to the people of Canada. It tells the people of Canada that the government is afraid.” The Minister of Canadian Heritage decried: “…the arrogance of the government in invoking closure again.” The Minister of Citizenship and Immigration once called it “…yet more unfortunate evidence of the government’s growing arrogance.” One more quote. “The government is simply increasingly embarrassed by the state of the debate and it needs to move on.” That one was from the Prime Minister himself. These out of touch Conservatives came here to change Ottawa. Instead, Ottawa changed them. In six short years they have become everything they used to oppose.

See previously: Like a young Pat Martin, No time for debate and If he were here to see this, Stephen Harper would be so disappointed




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You’ve changed

  1. CHANGE is GOOD!

  2. OK, I think you have exhausted this subject Wherry.

    I can`t be bothered to look up the supposed nine closure circumstances, but I can guess what a few of them are concerning.

    Whether it is a crime bill that will achieve some balance in the justice industry, or a budget that has been debated since last March ( the new annual budget is due in 3 months ), the repeal of the vote subsidy, the elimination of the long gun registry, the changes in the Wheat Board, etc, etc,,etc.
    These things have been talked about on both sides for most of the past 15 years—-stop talking—start doing.

    • Yeah come on, everyone knows that closure is only bad on things Conservatives disagree with and virtuous on things Conservative support. Get it together, lovers of principled consistency!

    • Calvin, do you remember the Nisgaa filibuster?

      Because I do.

    • I don’t have much sympathy for the “this is taking forever” arguments from the party that killed their own crime bill THREE TIMES by proroguing Parliament themselves, and who have routinely blamed the Senate for delaying legislation (like said crime bill) that wasn’t even before the Senate yet.  Also, I’ve seen what is in some of these bills.  If the Tories are really arguing that they’ve been thoroughly vetted, and that this is really what they want to be known for, then that’s pretty pathetic.  The only positive to closure is that when people start seeing the effects of some of this half-baked legislation the Tories will have no choice but to own the consequences 100%.

      The Tories are every bit as responsible for these bills taking so long as the opposition is, and besides, as far as I’m concerned a new Parliament is a NEW PARLIAMENT.  Arguing that previous Parliaments have debated this legislation already is essentially arguing that voters who elected to change their representation in the last election don’t need to be heard from on anything that their previous representative, whom they’ve kicked to the curb, debated about.  We hold elections for a reason.  Arguing that a constituency’s representative doesn’t need to be heard from because their PREVIOUS representative had a chance to be heard from in the old Parliament is not a very convincing case, imho.

      • If the voters had returned the CPC with a reduced minority then I could see some of your points. But after campaigning for pro wheat board, pro gun registry, pro vote subsidy, pro parliament contempt, etc, in the last election the Liberals were reduced to half as many seats and the Conservatives have a comfortable majority. That is the message that was sent to Parliament.

        • No.. they campaigned for economic troubles if we elected teh evul NDP/Liberal coalition party.

          • What’s more the fact the public didn’t like the libs isn’t at all an indication that they rejected all the things on Calvin’s list, or even conversely endorsed all the conservative pov per se. It was not after all a referendum on indvidual items. The public simply had higher prorities than the liberals did; in that sense it was of course a disasterously misjudged strategy for the libs. To accept Calvin’s view one would be forced to conclude Canadiians care nothing for contempt of Parliament. This govt may not know it yet but the public has a long memory, they haven’t forgotten the prorogues or the contempt; they’ve simply elected to kick those cans down the road for a while yet.

    • That is the Con talking point, it hardly needed repeating.

    • That is THE most shameless post I think I’ve ever read at Macleans. Well done sir!

      • Well, if David thinks it`s shameless, then Calvin`s post must be good and truthful.

        Does David think that having Pat Martin continue to voice his socialist opinion on the F`ing Budget might convince the people of the land to see his wisdom ?
        Does he think that having Wayne Easter screaming about the benefits of an outmoded Wheat Board might change some of the gov`t MP`s minds ?
        Does he think Libby Davis might have some interesting insights on the long gun registry ? etc, etc, etc.

        My point is—if these 3 and those around them ever had anything constructive to offer in these debates, then that time has passed. Obstruction tactics did not work before the election. They won`t work now.

        • Wow – that doesn’t sound contemptuous of parliament at all.

          • The voters decided that it was the Liberals who were contemptuous in the last Parliament.

          • No they didn’t. That simply a fallacious argument..

          • No, it was a fallacious argument to label a minority government as being in contempt of Parliament, just because the opposition had the votes to do so.

            One would have thought, from the outrage spewed by Liberal supporters last winter, that the people could not wait to remove this  ” contemptuous “  government. But no the people gave the government a strong majority, therefore the contempt argument must have been fallacious.

          • Calvin:

            That is simply a completely ignorant view of how parliament works – what’s more i’m sure you’re sharp enough to know that. In a minority the opposition have the numbers – that’s democracy. Ditto goes for majority. Eventually the tories will get their way. But there are rules, conventions and process to follow in either events. In the matter of contempt the speaker ruled there were grounds…the rest was up to Parliament. You seem to be making the argument that only elections count, whatever the state of parliament. This is simply not so. 
            The opposition was free to legimately make its case to the public. The fact is the public said that’s not top of mind right now. Given the libs dubious record on process themselves they should have seen this as a possible outcome. The libs were suduced by process; but that didn’t mean they were wrong or the govt innocent of all charges.

          • Patience. the next session of this Parliament should be more civil. It is important to pass these old bills through this year.

            I`m sure the opposition will be constructive when they observe the government following the “  rules, conventions and process ” in the next session.

          • Can’t wait for the bill forbidding the opposition from leaving the country.

        • Your team said things would be different. They would not be just like the Liberals.

          They lied. 

        • You do realize you forgot to put on your sock puppet account for this one?

          • He doesn’t usually refer to himself in the third person….

          • Thwim and Jan:
            Sometimes Calvin does refer to himself in the third person. I wouldn`t worry about it. It`s just my humble way of making my ramblings more readable.

  3. listen, okay; Harper is in for life. Got it? There won’t BE any more elections. Just do as you are told and maybe you won’t find your ass in a prison camp.

  4. “Politicians are like diapers; they need to be changed often and for the same reason.”Mark Twain

    • Come on, October 2015.

    • But Harper was full of shit BEFORE he was elected in 2006!!! If voters paid any attention to politics back then he would never have been elected in the first place…

      And everything that leftists warned everyone about 6 years ago about Harper and his Conservatives have come true… but again most voters seem to keep their heads collectively in the sand until election day!!!

  5. The poor lefty journalists are running around trying to find anything they can about the lack of democracy.  On the other hand they are the first to support the Westminster system of Parliament, giving a majority PM more power than most other democratic leaders in the civilized world.

    How quickly they forget Trudeau, Mulroney and Chretien having done the same thing, only more so.

    • Check the record Mike. Steve is fast becoming the most egregious in usage of instruments to hamstring democracy.

      • Really. Where are your facts lad. See below for some numbers.

        • I think Lord Kitchener hit the nail on the head. Here it is again, in case you didn’t read it the first around,

          “Less so actually.  Shutting down debate nine times in less than 80
          sitting days pretty much DESTROYS Chretien’s personal record of six
          times spread over a period of more than 200 sitting days.

          Plus,
          how could we possibly forget the Chretien Liberals doing the same
          thing???  Stephen Harper ran THREE ENTIRE ELECTION
          CAMPAIGNS almost entirely on the premise that his party was going to do
          things differently.  

          If the Tories didn’t want Canadians to
          demand better of them, then they shouldn’t have used DEMAND BETTER as
          their damned campaign slogan!!!”

    • By “more so”, you mean LESS so, right?

    • How quickly they forget Trudeau, Mulroney and Chretien having done the same thing, only more so.

      Less so actually.  Shutting down debate nine times in less than 80 sitting days pretty much DESTROYS Chretien’s personal record of six times spread over a period of more than 200 sitting days.

      Plus, how could we possibly forget the Chretien Liberals doing the same thing???  Stephen Harper ran THREE ENTIRE ELECTION CAMPAIGNS almost entirely on the premise that his party was going to do things differently.  

      If the Tories didn’t want Canadians to demand better of them, then they shouldn’t have used DEMAND BETTER as their damned campaign slogan!!!

      • “Plus, how could we possibly forget the Chretien Liberals doing the same thing …. ”

        It is interesting because there were plenty of Cons who thought Chretien was a monster – particularly the Reform types – and yet now I don’t recognize many Con MPs because they sound and behave a lot like Libs.

        Nietzsche ~ He who fights with monsters should look to it that he himself does not become a monster. And when you gaze long into an abyss the abyss also gazes into you.

        • You mean ” Con MPs …sound and behave a lot like heartless Libs.”

      • Let’s not forget that Harper’s Conservatives were also the only governing party in British-Commonwealth history to be impeached (“contempt of Parliament”, according to Parliamentary Law, is how to remove elected officials/parties for crimes or acts of corruption, which by definition is “impeachment”)… and was still handed a majority government by a minority of voters… hence the day democracy died in Canada!

        What were they impeached for? Several different acts of corruption from several different MPs (among them Bev Oda and Harper himself, among others)… also for Election Fraud stemming from the 2006 election… and let’s not forget over spending on prep for the G8/G20 summits, much of which was used to renovate a few Conservative MPs constituencies…

        The Liberals have NEVER (in their 144+ year history) committed such crimes or acts of corruption!!! Adscam was ruled, in court, as not having anything to do with the Liberal party, it was an act of personal indiscretion on Creitien’s part alone (also as ruled in court)!!!

        Trudeau was the best Prime Minister in Canadian History! He made the country the greatest nation in the world, he created the Canada Health Act to ensure the peoples’ right to access healthcare

        • Got cut off there…

          Trudeau also brought Canada’s constitution back to our country (from Britian) to make Canada a truly sovereign nation and drafted the Charter of Rights and Freedoms which has protected everyone of us in Canada (even if some don’t want to admit the fact)!!!

          All of this is thanks to Trudeau and the Liberal Party in 1982!!!

          The Liberals have also always paid off, or down, the national debt… the ONLY time a Conservative government could do that was under Sir John A MacDonald!!!

        • Great straw man and revisionist history lesson from a Liberal.  You win my chuckle award of the day.

      • “Shutting down debate nine times in less than 80 sitting days pretty much DESTROYS Chretien’s personal record of six times spread over a period of more than 200 sitting days.”

        Let me offer up the theory that one reason Chretien invoked closure less than Harper is the quality of opposition discourse they respectively face(d).  Put in simpler terms – when in opposition, conservatives know when to shut up.  Lieberals and Dippers, in contrast, will filibuster whether the sun rises in the east.  Any meaningful discussion of Harper’s use of closure must include an analysis of the quality of “debate” closure brings to an end.

        • Let me get this right. When in opposition the libs didn;t have break the rules much cuz cons are such good opposition. But when in govt cons are forced to use heavy brigade tactics cuz opposition are such lousy opposition. Sounds a tad self serving, no?
          Odd that Mulroney’s PCs didn’t feel the need to shut the house down so much. Guess they musta been less good conservatives by using your critera?
          Best stick with good old occam. The cons use the mailed fist cuz they like using the mailed fist. It worked in minority; it is working fine now.

          • “Let me get this right. When in opposition the libs didn;t have break the rules much cuz cons are such good opposition. But when in govt cons are forced to use heavy brigade tactics cuz opposition are such lousy opposition.”

            Close – you left out the Dips and invoking closure isn’t “break(ing) the rules”.  Otherwise, pretty much sums it up.

            “Odd that Mulroney’s PCs didn’t feel the need to shut the house down so much. Guess they musta been less good conservatives by using your critera?”

            The Mulroney PCs were, without a shadow of a doubt, far less good conservatives than Harper’s CPCs.

            “The cons use the mailed fist cuz they like using the mailed fist. It worked in minority; it is working fine now.”

            Whether it’s a mailed fist or not, whatever they used seems to be working, as they have gone from the former to the latter.

          • mmm, so you admit it is a matter of utility then, rather then circumstantial as you previously asserted?

        • The faith of the true-blue Conservative supporter is something to behold isn’t it? The deliberate and dedicated willingness to forgive, deny, excuse or rationalize literally anything puts lesser acolytes to shame. Take this one for instance… now that the excuse of “minority government” has been removed the true believer falls back on the excuse that the failures of the majority government are properly attributed to the opposition for not opposing properly. It’s as if the Toronto Maple Leafs were blaming their horrible playoff record on the poor competition they’ve had to face.

          Vote Conservative. It’s not their fault.

          • “The deliberate and dedicated willingness to forgive, deny, excuse or rationalize literallyanything puts lesser acolytes to shame.”

            Dunno – pepper spraying/choking protestors, drawing up business deals on paper napkins, leaning on senior bank bureacrats to commit public money to business cronies, and directing millions of federal dollars to home province “supporters” on account of sponsorships is nothing to be ashamed about.

            “It’s as if the Toronto Maple Leafs were blaming their horrible playoff record on the poor competition they’ve had to face.”

            Um, the Toronto Maple Leafs don’t have a “playoff record”, at least in recent memory, although a fun bet might be whether they win a Stanley Cup before the Lieberals/Dippers form a government (I’ll take the Leafs).

          • Great Walls said: “Dunno – pepper spraying/choking protestors, drawing up business deals on paper napkins, leaning on senior bank bureacrats to commit public money to business cronies, and directing millions of federal dollars to home province “supporters” on account of sponsorships is nothing to be ashamed about.”

            I beg to differ… it is very much something to be ashamed of. As I recall, the Liberals did feel the wrath of  both Liberal supporters and the general public for that shameful behaviour. They got their asses thrown out, remember? It’s only the Con true believers who are willing and eager to defend their idols even as their idols sh*t all over them…

            Vote Conservative: the political party for the self-loathing supporter.

        • “Put in simpler terms – when in opposition, conservatives know when to shut up”

          Congratulations! You have written the stupidest thing on the Internet.

      • I’m uncertain where you get your facts. There are two types of mechanisms to limit debate. One is closure, used by St. Laurent during a contentious pipeline debate at every stage of the bill in the 50′s, (he was a Liberal),  and Time Allocation.  Chretien used the latter 60 times between 1993-2000 alone – not including closure motions.

        Trudeau used it 39 times

        Mulroney 46 over 9 years.

        In all cases there were cries of democracy was in peril.  How quickly the voters forget. I guess that’s why people like McGuinty get re-elected. Voter’s memories are not overly long and it would appear the left wing media is either not well researched or just ideologically stupid.

        • I think I do understand the difference, though it’s entirely possible that some of the reports I’ve read have used “closure” when they should have said “time allocation” thus I do admit that my comparison might not be apt (no time to double check at the moment).

          That said, when it comes to the Tories, I demand better, if for no other reason than that the TORIES TOLD ME I SHOULD.

          • I find the problem with dealing with party loyalists in this manner is that by the time you’ve double checked your facts your opponent has invented new ones.

    • Damn, I just gave the Shameless Post award to the Calvin guy up top.

      The problem, Mike, is that they were supposed to be different. That’s what they promised us. And you know what? They blew it on Day Freaking One.

      • It sounds as though you actually believe politicians. I give you my naive award of the day.

        • I’m always hopeful Mike. 

          You also get points for playing both sides of the fence too. I salute you.

    • Dam those leftie journalists, if it wasn’t for them we’d have some sort of democratic valhalla right here in little old Canada. If only Sun Media would help us out.

  6. I’ve got to say, I’m HIGHLY impressed.  NINE uses of closure in less than 80 sitting days!  That’s a record that might not ever be broken.

    The best Chretien ever did in a single Parliament was SIX, but that was over a period of more than 200 sitting days, and after he’d had a majority for almost a decade.

    The students have truly become the masters.

    • You clearly don’t understand the difference between Time Allocation and closure. See my post above for the real numbers.

  7. What’s odd is so many of the same citizens who cirticized Chretien for his bad ways and claimed the reform/CPC would be Canada’s restoration still supporting Harper, even though he has fallen below even the low bar Jean set. 

    • It’s a limbo contest.

  8. Kady over at the mother corp has some perspective…right after the interview with Peter Newman, at about the 2/3 to 3/4 mark of this podcast.

    • I missed that one, thx. Kady nailed it. The conservatives are treating majority like minority. You have to wonder whether this sort of behaviour is doing some serious damage to out polity? Even worse is the possibility that the cons may want a polarized climatee – it is to their advantage. The law of unintended consequences is sure to kick in sooner or later. I wonder if Harper ever considers the possibility that the country may change, but not in quite the way he had hoped for?

      • Kady is a wealth of information, and fun to listen to, to boot.

        Serious damage? I doubt it…the country is way stronger than that. OTOH, I don’t understand the ‘need’ for such behavhiours, and ‘behavour’ or ‘style’ does factor into my decision at election time.

        Wrt Harper and changing the country….I suspect that he is somewhat overestimating both the extent to which the country is changing (without his influencing) and the extent to which he is able to influence the country (over the long term).

  9. “The creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again; but already it was impossible to say which was which.”

  10. Amen.

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