A Prime Minister without a Parliament to call his own - Macleans.ca
 

A Prime Minister without a Parliament to call his own


 

Perhaps distressed by the Governor General’s decision to accept his request to prorogue Parliament in Ottawa, the Prime Minister is apparently scheduled to address the legislature in British Columbia.

The B.C. legislature is slightly agog over next week’s pending visit by Prime Minister Stephen Harper. Apparently, he intends to address the chamber Thursday … Even lacking official confirmation, controversy abounds. Apparently, the visit was not by invitation from the provincial government. Rather it was Ottawa’s idea. Nor is there any obvious precedent for a prime minister to speak to the provincial house, though Gov-Gen. Michaelle Jean did address the legislative chamber in March 2006.


 

A Prime Minister without a Parliament to call his own

  1. Dear PMO: I thought when you found yourself in a hole, you were supposed to stop digging.

    • It's all part of his dastardly plan to decentralize the country some more…does he know the house will have a few rowdy NDP members present? Now if i were a member of Capp…hmmm…where's my placard?

      • "But…but…BC POLITICS IS SUPPOSED TO BE RIGHT-OF-CENTRE!!! Where's the undo button on my email?!?"

    • They have not invited him, and he is still going. Part of his massive Olympics photo-op blitz, I'm sure, which is why he had to pull that "cancel March break" stunt this week. Talk about being completely out of touch with common sense and sensibility.

  2. B.C. legislature, just say no.

  3. Wow. I can't help but wonder if our Prime Minister has become somewhat mentally unhinged.

    • I'm starting to think the same about some of the commenters on these boards. They're going to be all outraged out by the time Parliament actually sits again. Harper's wants to address the legislature so he can bask in the Olympic glow and cheer on the home team. It's good politics if they let him do it.

      • Oh, well if it's good for Harper, it's good for All OF CANADA!

        Well done, Beloved Leader!

        • Exhibit A.

          • Exhibit A with respect to what?

          • In terms of keeping your outrage meter set to max during this prorogation break. Not everything Harper does is contemptible and it's just silly to pretend it is. I have no doubt you'll disagree, though.

          • Who says I'm outraged by this stunt? I'm just amused by the obsessive need for some people to explain to everyone else the value to politicians for stunts like this. As if no one knows that already. And worse, as if the needs of a politician and a citizen coincide. As if the rest of us should approve of it because it suits Harper.

            Just cheer him on; it's more honest.

            As for outrage over prorogation, that's legitimate. And I'm hardly alone.

          • Yes those NDP non partisan organizer where spawned from a grassroots outrage. Jack never had a plan or had the Bloc locked up during the 2008 campaign.

            Those 20,000 who showed up were not the regular activists who show up for every anti government protest..

            okey dokey!

          • You haven't a clue…you're just projecting…you wish they were all lefty activists, ergo., they must be. Besides, your TPs are stale now.

          • Did not say 100% were lefties. I said the majority were anti-government voters from 08 who were for the coalition of the three stooges.
            The photographs captured the professional NDP printed signs, union banners, anti-war signs. Who is the national organizer for the Facebook group and what party is she running for?

            Deal with it.

          • Didn't she also quit over such a matter. I'm not a dipper, yet i bet my info is more current than yours.

          • You keep denying things I don't state. Why is that? Are you disputing the NDP were actively promoting and organizing the rallies?
            Are you denying the MSM spent 4 weeks pushing this story in a heavy rotation?

            So again, my point is FB 220k, less than 20k show up and the majority are regular anti government protestors. Unless you have photos to dispute the professional signs, bullhorns, rented rooms at U of T, United Church (were grassroots) based.

            Do you have proof and names of NON partisans in key positions behind the publicity stunt?

          • Quiet honey. Adults talking.

      • It's good politics if they let him do it.

        well, kind of. But, most Canadians think Parliament should be working and this stunt will highlight the fact that he can't address the Parliament in Ottawa because he shut it down.

        Harper said he needed all this time to get his Throne Speech and budget together. Maybe he should just hunker down and work on that – because this other stuff just invites sarcastic comments. Or…. Harper could admit he made a mistake (gasp!) and then everyone would move on. While Harper insists on pretending he made the right choice, everyone is free to (actually, they almost have a responsibility to) poke fun at him or figuratively throw rotten tomatoes at him.

        • Sensible.

      • You're probably right…now will they try and squeeze him into a luge outfit, or is he more of a snowboarder kinda guy?…You have to admit that addressing an Olympic legislature after shutting down the national one does undermine a little the: we didn't do this just to watch the olympics excuse…and it looks a tad opportunistic. Good politics…hmmm, we'll see.

        • Maybe a photo opp of him pushing Olympic gold medallist cum Liberal candidate Ross Rebagliati off a mountain?

      • The media has done a great job on pushing this fake story. Almost 20k showed across Canada. A little less than the pro-coalition forces in 08 but the NDP did not have as much time planning this protest.

        [youtube i6THjLj0XzU&feature=player_embedded http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i6THjLj0XzU&fe… youtube]

        • The CP and bloggers did a great job of pushing the fake coup story.

          • Do you have photos of pre printed signs from those protestors? The coup was not illegal, it was bad form. The MP have a right to defeat the government and vote non-confidence. The PM also has a constitutional tool to ask for prorogue. Iffy failed to back up his threats to lead the coalition, he was busy writing his book.
            [youtube BBxM8dw72Ls http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BBxM8dw72Ls youtube]

          • "The MP (sic) have a right to defeat the government and vote non-confidence."

            They tried to in 2008. But Harper prorogued Parliament to avoid a confidence vote.

          • They talked about it, but our PM provided another teaching moment. Using his power he broke five days before the Christmas break.
            While he was busy with the Premiers getting it done the coalition fell apart. In 2009 Iffy spent his entire year passing the CPC agenda until his one time protest vote. Jack than jumped in to save the CPC agenda.
            Democracy is thriving with both the Liberals and NDP taking turns in supporting the CPC agenda.

      • The media has done a great job on pushing this fake story. Almost 20k showed across Canada. A little less than the pro-coalition forces in 08 but the NDP did not have as much time planning this protest.

        [youtube i6THjLj0XzU&feature=player_embedded http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i6THjLj0XzU&fe… youtube]

    • I'm only being half smart-arse here. His adoption of women and children as an issue from out of nowhere, the bizarre series of reasons given for proroguing, his apparent lack of interest in managing MP's public utterances – it just adds up to an odd pattern.

      • Photographs of the prime minister, particularly in Copenhagen….

      • Maybe the chess master didn't think this all the way through…at least in Ottawa he could keep a lid on his band of merry mps. It has been said, good tactician doesn't equal good strategist, at least not always.

        • Parliament was prorogued, the only merry bans in Ottawa are Libs and Dippers and CBC camera crews.

          • The point being, Mr H can't control his mps anymore, or not as effectively.

  4. Oh yes, this will be good optics for the PM: He will shut down Parliament, and he won't take quetions in Question Period or meet with Canadians to take our questions in an open forum, but he will impose himself on someone else's legislature for an hour.

  5. Well if he's got all that time to spare, maybe he could show up and speak in the House to which he is a member?

    Seriously, this guy is a piece of work. Hope he gets rallied, booed, pied, you name it. Farging icehole.

  6. B.C. still has a sitting legislature?

    How can they be sitting AND preparing for the Olympics AT THE SAME TIME???

  7. Not terribly unexpected, really. Wherry points out why.

    Harper's been trying to undermine and usurp the GG's position for quite a while here. The troops salute, the rather insulting public reminder of Head of State, the latest prorogation via phone call. So to follow her to the BC leg is just another way of pointing out, "Ain't nothin' you can do that I can't"

    My theory is that Harper's pissed because at the previous proroguement she probably held his feet to the fire and made him turn down the party rhetoric. Fortunately for Mme Jean, she's quite popular among Canadians, so any direct moves against her would play out badly for him.

  8. (Pssst. Actualy they are not sitting and they haven't for some time and won't for some time. They just didn't formally prorogue as Harper did.)

    • Yes, they've been adjourned since November. They are coming back for three days and then will be adjourned again until March. There have been no riots in the streets (well no more than usual) over the absence of a daily question period.

      • There have been complaints over Campbell's handing of the leg…his style in this regard is not dissimilar to Harpers.

        • Or any that of any other premier of any party. It is par for the course that opposition parties like to have the legislature in session – it gives them a platform they have a hard time getting otherwise – and they whine when sessions come to an end or, as occasionally happens in BC, are simply cancelled.

          • It's called democracy Mike…fine for you if you like everything Campbell is/has done…not so good if you have a legimate beef. Are you claiming that oppositon mla's get as much access to govt ministers on behalf of their constituents as when the leg is sitting? Whining is an unfortunate but unavoidable consequence of adversarial politcs and democracy.

          • The legislature in BC traditionally has at most two sessions a year, of a few months each. It often only sits for one in the spring, to pass the budget and any essential legislation.

            The purpose of the legislature is not to act as a perpetual platform for the opposition parties. It is to approve budgets and pass legislation. The notion that democracy is challenged if a legislature doesn's sit 52 weeks a years is silly. Even the last NDP governments in BC didn't adopt that standard.

            It is natural for oppositions to want the legislature to sit. It gives them someting to do other than constituency work and it gives them a platform on which to campaign against the government. All opposition parties, of whatever political stripe, want the legislature to sit as often and long as possible. That doesn't make it a good idea, or a necessary one.

          • It also gives the opposition acess to responsible ministers and to hold the govt accountable. the fact that it gives the opposition a platform to campaign is neither here nor there…it's a consequence of adversarial democracy full stop. We just have to hope they're adult about it. There's the rub!

          • I'm not sure it is as effective at holding responsible ministers accountable as you hope. In a perfect world it would work, and certainly I am not in favour of abandoning the principle of ministerial accountability – but much, in fact most, of question period, in BC as well as in Ottawa is concerned with random attacks on the government based on whatever was on the front page of the morning paper. Vaughn Palmer does a better job of holding the government responsible than any opposition member.

            I don't want to exaggerate my position. A functioning opposition and a healthy adversarial debate in the legislature is important. But the notion that democracy is imperilled just because a government decides to prorogue and hold a new session a few weeks later in the year than scheduled seems awfully overblown.

          • "A functioning opposition and a healthy adversarial debate in the legislature is important. But the notion that democracy is imperilled just because a government decides to prorogue and hold a new session a few weeks later in the year than scheduled seems awfully overblown."

            I wholeheartedly agree with you, if that happens. However, in this particular instance, democracy is imperiled because the government was under subpoena at the time; it refused to answer a DEMAND of the House. By doing so, it showed contempt of Parliament. The democratic peril is if they get away with it, thereby causing a convention that all future Prime Minister's can take advantage of when things get hot for them in the House of Commons.

          • If it had prorogued parliament forever, or called an election, or banned the opposition, or poisoned Michael Ignatieff with polonium did something similar, then your argument might make sense. The fact a commons committee has made blatant misuse of its power to demand documents it wants only to attack the government for narrow political purposes may be interesting – but it is irrelevant to the prorogation. The "subpoena" will remain in effect when the Commons returns. The committee can do whatever it chooses at that time – so the whole controversy is entirely overblown by anyone's standards.

    • Too bad I can't still edit my post; otherwise I would prorogue my mis-statement and blame it on a socialist.

    • Wait a minute. You mean Harper is going to address an EMPTY BC legislature?

      I'm with Sean. Is there a doctor in the house?

      • No, there is no doctor in the house, The house has been prorogued, there is nobody in the house.

  9. It should be noted that the B.C. Legislature is open for business right up until the Olympics begin. Unless Harper is coming to apologize for the poor excuse of a pavillion he's had thrown up at the last minute, I see no reason for this appearance,

  10. Mr. Premier, Members of the Assembly, honoured guests…

    everybody out of the pool.

  11. Well, no. It's been adjourned since November. It is coming back for three days and is then adjourning again until March. Perhaps the PM is coming out to congratulate the province on the Olympics?

    • Maybe he's there to start a legislative west-to-east prorogation holiday for all elected officials!

  12. Aww man. This gets funnier by the minute. Talk about desperation, lol!!

  13. However, they probably didnt adjourn leaving a lot of their business to die on the floor, nor in the face of an order from the legislature to produce documents.

    • Nothing in Ottawa has to "die on the floor", if the opposition doesn't want it to. Parliament can vote to reinstate bills to the status they had before prorogation.

      And while the legislature has simply adjourned, not prorogued, it does so routinely, as does every other provincial legislature – usually once a year. Sometimes that leaves bills unpassed. No one sets their hair on fire over it.

      • Yup. They can certainly waste time getting things set up like they were before the whole thing started. That's the model of Harper efficiency for you.

        Tell me, can Parliament reinstated committees to the status they had before prorogation? Even if Harper decides he doesn't want them to?

        • Senate committees change, because prorogation allowed for that,
          in the House..?

      • Well. it is the Conservatives complaining about those crime bills being held up. Mind you, it's now obvious that actually passing them isn't Harper's objective, they're more useful unpassed so he can rail about the Liberals being soft on crime.

      • Can't have it both ways: if they prorogued because they had to recalibrate and set "a new tone", then they can't in the same breath bring dead bills back to life on the grounds that "this is what we should do".

        If it's what they should have done, then they shouldn't have taken time to recalibrate when they did.

        • Very smart.

          • In an illogical fashion. You also can't complain that prorogation (which reduced the sitting of the house by three weeks – and not at all if the opposition agrees to the new parliamentary calendar) was a terrible waste of time – if the bills are brought back to the stage they were at before prorogation.

            Again, prorogation is a normal decision by a government. It happens all the time in both Ottawa and the provincial legislatures. The hysteria over this example appears to be mostly sour grapes by those reliving the trauma of their failed "coalition".

          • Actually, we can argue it was a waste of time, because those bills could have been further along and perhaps a couple even through by now. Justice delayed is justice denied and all that. We can argue it's a waste of time because to put them back to the stage they were before prorogation requires time from the house that could have been spent doing other things.

            We can argue it was a waste of time because the MPCC could have been significantly through it's inquiries by now, and whether parliament sits for an extra three weeks or not, that's not time the committees get back since, aside from proroguement, they don't go on holidays when the house adjourns normally.

            Let me make that crystal clear: The extra three weeks, Harper has asked for adds no more time to the committees, but the proroguement took time away from them.

            Waste of time? Damn right..

          • The MPCC committee is a waste of time? I agree.

          • Cute. Got any substance?

          • No, because this thread has drifted off into a rather sterile debate on the merits of prorogation hasn't it? Is there anything new to be said on that issue? Those who don't like the government continue to be outraged. Those who think the government is doing a generally good job are not. I understand the arguments against the government's use of prorogation. I don't agree with the arguments against prorogation, but I doubt at this point that I will convince you it was a reasonable and ordinary thing to do – although it was.

          • prorogation is reasonable and ordinary. Prorogation under the circumstances Harper did it, and for the length of time he required it, not at all.

          • Well, the reasons for this current prorogation are speculative – since the PM didn't confide in me when he decided to ask the GG for that step. So I don't know if the "circumstances" are so unusual. I don't actually see that they are. Nor is the length of time so unusual – in effect it extended parliament's Christmas break by a month. So what? No, never mind – I get it – it's an unprecedented attack on democracy etc etc etc.

          • His motives don't factor into it. The circumstances were that there was a Parliamentary Order for documents to be produced, and their legislative agenda from the previous throne speech was nowhere near complete — most of it hadn't even gotten past the House, and there were no other pressing issues (such as a leadership convention of the governing party) that would the justify a prorogation of any length.

            The length is unreasonble because, as we see now, there's apparantly a lot of work that needs to be done.. if there's a lot of work that needs to be done, it seems a shorter proroguement would have been a better idea to start with, no?

          • The circumstances are what they are – neither surprising nor scandalous. The parliamentary order for documents, if it hasn't died on the order paper, will, no doubt, be raised again by the opposition – I fail to see how that minor irritant would be a sufficient reason to take this out of the ordinary run of things.
            As for the "delay", well, what's usual? It seems parliament is willing to make up any lost time, so no, a shorter proroguement (is that the word?) would have been neither better nor worse – just different.

          • I notice you conveniently avoid the point about a good chunk of their legislative agenda from the throne speech being dropped before it got past the house. "But they can bring it back again" you say, in which case, why have the prorogation at all?

            This brings us back to what Lynn said originally. You can't have it both ways. Either proroguation was required, or it wasn't. If it wasn't required, why do it? If it was required, for what?

            Senate doesn't fly, because that could happen anyway.
            Budget doesn't fly because many many governments before have managed both budget and having parliament open at the same time.
            Olympics doesn't fly due to pairing and/or standard adjournment.
            Recalibration doesn't even fly when you contend they're going to bring back all that legislation to where it was previously.

            There simply was no legitimate reason to prorogue.

            Your answer seems to be, "Yeah, well.. so what? No harm no foul, right?"

          • The government says it wants to reorder its priorities. That may involve dropping some bills, or presenting a new legislative agenda that emphasizes the economic issues that seem now to be important. Anyway, yes, there is some waste as a result. Any loss of time in passing legislation can be made up pretty easily, of course.

            If you think the committee meeetings are so important and fascinating that their interruption for even a few weeks is significant, well, as I said, I doubt I can convince you otherwise.

            From the opposition's view, of course, the committees, including the mock outrage over Afghan detainees are just a convenient platform on which to base their complaints against the government. Prorogation has actually given them a much more interesting and wider-based issue about which to complain and it appears to have worked for them. So they should be grateful. They probably don't consider the time wasted at all.

          • Mike R, I don't know your position on the "law and order" legislation that was before the legislators, but presuming for the moment that you were in favour of those bills passing, I have a hard time with your dismissal of the waste of time. Let us say someone with more than 5 marijuana plants is arrested next week. You do understand that he will not be facing the stiffer penalties, right? And if it's no problem for that guy, why would you be so hard on the guy that's arrested three months from now?

          • But that's always the case. Legislation is introduced, or should be, for the long haul. Except in the case of emergencies (and none of the "law and order" bills fit that description, a delay of a few weeks in passing them through parliament is irrelevant. The government is reasonable to be concerned when bills are subject to unreasonable delay in the Senate, in the oder of months, not weeks as in the case of Senate reform, or when the Senate clearly refuses to accept the unanimous decisions of the Commons. But a government taking a while to reform legislation? As I've tried to indicate, I can't get worked up over a delay of a few weeks.

          • "Well, the reasons for this current prorogation are speculative . . ."

            Say no more! Nudge, nudge, wink, wink.

          • The polls tell a very different tale this time around. Mr H has to learn a new trick or two.

          • Proorgation is a "normal decision" when it's made above board and without the motive of shutting down uncomfortable inquiries. It's not a normal decision when the government:

            a) Complains bitterly for months that important legislation is being held up by the Opposition and then in one fell swoop shelves all the legislation it was whining about
            b) Announces the prorogation decision while under subpoena to supply documents
            c) Makes the announcement on New Year's Eve like the proverbial Annual board meeting in Alaska
            d) Can't provide a coherent reason, and tries out several excuses ranging from the Olympics to Senate appointments to the economy, and finally settels on a buzz word that explains nothing
            e) Does it all one year after dodging a non-confidence vote by proroguing

            I think that in your world "normal" means wearing a red and white chimney sweep uniform, and floating up to the ceiling when you laugh.

          • Mike R is making a lot of sense today. Thwim is floundering.

          • Coming from you, high praise indeed.

          • Extrapolating the intentions of others into nicely confined straw men.

            You clearly lack credibility since <insert irrelevant ad hominen here> so you are hardly one to talk.

  14. Sounds like a great opportunity for another anti-prorogation protest in Victoria.

    • If there's another Victoria rally, maybe the Times Colonist can get an accurate count this time. The TC really dropped the ball with their estimates for the January 23rd turnout.

      • Running on empty when you're left with quibling over the protest numbers.

      • I'm not aware of the discrepancy.
        Did they overestimate or underestimate

        • Significant overestimate – 3x higher than other reports, and much higher than the organizers' own estimates.

          • In the grand scheme of things where do you rank Flaherty's creative accounting in relation to the Times Colonist's then?

          • It depends what you mean by "creative accounting". If you give me a specific example or a link I'll be happy to provide my two cents.

          • That is truly odd
            I'm assuming it was more than just a poor headcount.

      • Quick BCers! Find a turnstile! Or just a person at each entrance with one of those clicker number-counting things. I would love to know whether the estimates are over or under.

  15. Then I guess you are in agreement that this was necessary for recalibration?

    • Prorogation used to be a routine annual event in Ottawa. I'm not aware that the quality of legislation or governance has improved notably over the last forty years since the notion developed that Parliament has to sit 365 days a year.

      • According to Kady O'Malley

        Extremely short version: Until 1940, prorogation was *the only way to end a session* for longer than a weekend, even to rise for statutory holidays. In 1940, the Standing Orders were amended to allow for designated breaks – Christmas, Easter, that sort of thing – but extended adjournment still required consent. In 1982, the Commons adopted a fixed calendar, which included the winter and summer adjournments. Since then, prorogation has been used far more sparingly.

    • Prorogation WAS necessary so as to recalibrate the comittees in the SENATE.

      • This is patently false. Once the new Senators were appointed (which does not require prorogation), the Senate house leaders can agree at any time to change the composition of committees. There is no reason to believe that this request would have been denied.

  16. Committees can carry on as they wish. The Senate ones will be reorganized to reflec the new balance of membership. the Commons committees will simply start meeting again, with whatever membership the various parties consider appropriate. Why would they not?

    • And that's the key point "whatever membership the various parties consider appropriate" Do you really think Harper's going to put the same members on the MPCC again so that they can pick up right where they left off?

      • The MPCC is the Military Police Complaints Commission, not a Parliamentary committee. It's not affected by prorogation.

        The committee will face the same hurdles as the one investigating sponsorship under Chretien did, but will not need to return to square one. It also seems prorogation does not annul the parliamentary order to produce documents – although I haven't seen that stated in any of the commentary so that might be wrong.

      • He doesn't choose the opposition members. Governments have often changed the membership of committees, for a number of purposes. The last couple of Liberal governments were known to pull members out and replace them in the middle of meetings!

        You place a great deal of store, I gather, in the utility of Commons committees, I'm not sure that is born out by their results. Certainly they give a nice platform for the opposition to moan and wail, but is that a good use of their time?

  17. I can't take credit for this one but someone should ask Harper if having Parliament sit additional time will cause more market instability?

    • Shouldn't we be focussing on the economy during Spring break?

  18. Oo! Good time to brainstorm slogans:

    "Beautiful BC. Beat's working, doesn't it?"

    "Wrong house, mister. Ottawa's that way —->"

    "How can the West get in if you're out here?"

    "Harper's Magical Mystery Tour. It's a Mystery why he's here instead of Ottawa"

    "Our House, Our Rules, get back to work!"

    Hmm.. any others?

    • Welcome to lotus land Prime Minister!

      • The olympic venues are that way ->

        • "Weren't you working on a budget?"

          • The Olympics are here! – must be prorogation time AGAIN!

    • I love just about all of these, Thwim, makes for a hard choice.

  19. God hears that Harper is going to be booed out of the Legislature, and that his staff have been warned that this shouldnt go forward.

    Look for a "scheduling conflict" next week.

    • If you nail this one I'll be hitting you up for 649 numbers……

    • Is god planning a snow storm around that period?

  20. Maybe he's gonna prorogue the leg…although it can hardly sit any less under Gord as it is.

  21. So.. it seems you don't place any store in QP, since you're not concerned about that. You don't place any store in committees.

    I suppose there's really no reason for us to bother with these expensive election things either, after all, we're just putting MPs up there to waste time in committees and QP.

    • No, I don't place a lot of store in Question Period. Do you find it an edifying sight? Has it ever been (at least in living memory?). Stockwell Day said there was a reason it was called "Question Period and not Answer Period", and I don't think the thought was original to him. It is an entertaining spectacle, but the country's government carries on quite well with or without it.

      Parliament is necessary and does useful work, of course. The committees, when they act as actual legislative committees are very useful. When they try and act as mini-royal commissions or copies of the silly inquisitions of the American legislature they are not.

      • Agreed ! 75% of Question Period has been useless repetetive questions from the day before. And Committee work seems to be an attempt to pin dirt on the gov`t.

        • They wouldn't have to repeat questions they asked the day before if the government had answered said questions the day before.

  22. I like this most recent venture of Harpers. He`ll make a connection with the people of B.C. It might be a little unusual to speak in the Prov. Leg. but I`m sure the NDP members there will behave themselves unless they want to feel the wrath of the public gearing up for the Olympics.

    • "I like this most recent venture of Harpers."

      Stop all the presses and modems.

      • Listen to God! Not the common man!

      • ted, you should keep in mind that this time off from Parliament is meant for re-calibration for the Liberal Party as well.

        You know that Thinker`s Conference you`re planning on having in March; Why don`t you move that little gem up to the end of Feb., recalibrate yourselves while there and everybody gets all amped up and roars right into March 3 Parliament.

        All this negativity to the PM ( toss him in jail; boo him in the legislature ) may play well on this blog but the rest of us want to see a proactive Liberal-think outside the box.

        • At least it's made them bring out policies…it's not all bad.

        • Well you won't hear me saying Harper or anyone should be thrown in jail or boo-ed. And I don't think that kind of thing plays well on this blog. I have certainly seen far fewer calls to throw Harper in jail than I saw calls for Chretien or Martin to be thrown in jail, including from the current Prime Minister (under the privileged protection of the House, of course).

          And the Liberals have been taking the time to delve into issues and policy and they've been on a policy-a-day tear for two weeks now.

          The thinkers conference though is something bigger, deeper and more long-term, with speakers travelling to attend and conference rooms and hotels and flights already booked, so it can't and shouldn't be moved or cancelled… again.

    • Right, while avoiding eye contact with anyone who isn't con-card carrying and pre-selected by his dresser/psychic. Perhaps he's coming to 'connect' with all the eastern homeless drifters who won't be going back to work anytime soon either? At least they've got an ethic to move where the warmer weather is…

  23. "It's good politics if they let him do it. "

    See, this is the problem. With Mr. Harper it's all politics all the time. He can't stop playing politics when he should be governing.

    His many sycophants insist he is a master strategist playing a game of chess that is so complicated that no-one can comprehend the end game except for him.

    Hopefully, Canadians are gradually realizing that, damn it, this is not a game of chess; it is not a game. He is supposed to be governing the country.

    And this is what we should be annoyed and angry about.

    • Agree!

      It's like the chess master keeps on getting to check mate and decides to kick the board over…maybe he likes a challenge?

      • More like he can't get to check, let alone check mate, and decides to kick the board over out of frustration.

  24. Yes. Listen to me please.

  25. I'm sure someone else has said it, but the correct step for the BC government is to prorogue ASAP pending important discussions with cabinet on federal infrastructure support.

  26. Oh oh, somebody got it wrong, shud have checked your sources Mr Wherry..
    Harper was invited and has not yet accepted,
    or David Akin is wrong…..

    ''….Dimitri Soudas, Harper's press secretary, said no decision has yet been made whether the prime minister will speak to the B.C. legislature.

    If he does accept the invitation, Harper is expected to make his speech in Victoria next Thursday…'''

    http://www.canada.com/news/national/Campbell+invi

    • Looks like fact checking has become an unecessary burden for some in our media. You would think after the fake wafer story some improvements would have been made.

      • Actually if you hang around here long enough you`ll see that when the media and the facts do cross paths, there is often an editorial spin to the fact.

        Just yesterday that spin resulted in a number of the " plussers " here imagining the PM sharing a cell with Louis Riel.

        • Yah, that was hilarious! Post after post of Harper-haters just plain giddy.
          As if a censure vote would not be a vote of confidence…..

          • Censure will not be a vote of confidence Wilson…it could very well cause a constitutional crisis, and place the GG in an untenable position.

    • I love it when conservatives quote unsourced undocumented editorial comment assumed to be accurate from one mainstream media to prove editorial comment from other mainstream media must be wrong and that therefore it is another example of how all mainstream media is biased against the Conservatives.

      When the point is not really over whether he was invited or not. It is that he is speaking in one legislative building while he has shut down another.

      • ''Apparently, the visit was not by invitation from the provincial government. Rather it was Ottawa's idea. ''

        What's that you say Ted, it's not about not being invited?
        Wrong, you are just out right wrong.
        Read Wherry's post again.

        Well Ted, Mr Wherry just put up a follow-up post,
        it's cleared up a few things.

        • Everybody was labouring under a misapprehension here Wison, except you of course.

        • Harper still deserves to be ridiculed and have verbal rotten tomatoes thrown at him. He still closed down Parliament and is spending his time talking about hockey and visiting another legislative body, rather than doing what he said he needed the time for.

  27. True, but they never do and never have.

  28. Maybe with his being around the house so much during this prorogation period, Laureen is just looking for any excuse to get him out of the house. Would also explain why he is proposing to give up his March break holidays as well.

  29. Another in the continuing series of distraction-by-arithmetic.

    • Counting isn't that hard. Most newspapers across the country did a very respectable job of it. The TC was an anomaly in this sense. It was a journalistic gaffe.

      • I think the point being made was that Counting isn't all that important in this context.

        Ergo, stop deflecting.

  30. I'm not deflecting anything. I was simply criticizing the Victoria Times Colonist for their shoddy reportage.

    • Apropos of….

      • Apropos of the apparent innumeracy of some reporters. If I notice an obvious journalistic error, why shouldn't I point it out?

      • Apropos of the apparent innumeracy of some reporters. If I notice an obvious journalistic error, why shouldn't I point it out?

        • You're the official enumerator this time CR…perhaps there's a grant available :)

    • Which has basically nothing to do with the topic at hand..

      ..so again. Stop deflecting.

      • The topic at hand is Harper's coming visit BC Legislature in Victoria. Dee suggested this was an opportunity for another protest in Victoria. I don't think my comment about the Times Colonist's reportage of the first such protest is so "off-topic", Thwim.

  31. Like the proverbial sports-crowd wave, but in a lame, surly conservative manner.