How democracy in Canada is like Gilbert Arenas -

How democracy in Canada is like Gilbert Arenas


A not-disinterested observer—which is to say, for the record, someone who works for a political party that has some interest in this matter—passes along the January 6th issue of the St. Albert Gazette, which includes an interview with Conservative MP Brent Rathgeber, during which he apparently said the following, a gem that should surely be repeated no matter the source of the tip.

“Democracy and Parliament are not being sidestepped — they are only being suspended.”


How democracy in Canada is like Gilbert Arenas

  1. That's even better than Peter Kent calling the first week back in Parliament in September 2009 "silliness".

  2. Oh my.

  3. 'Suspending democracy.'? By George, he gets it!

  4. So is the PM David Stern or Javaris Crittenton.

  5. You would think Harper and his brain trust would have given better talking points to their caucus because that answer is pathetic. I think I would prefer democracy and parliament being sidestepped, rather than suspended, but I am not certain.

  6. Oh, don't worry, Joylon, they did. Hence why nobody can use the word prorogue.

    Rathgeber will find himself in serious trouble for not reading the Talking Points of the Day, however.

  7. I also enjoy the part where says about closing parliament because the questions about detainees "will not create the kind of reputation that I think we want our international visitors to depart with."

  8. "Hence why nobody can use the word prorogue."

    I have been wondering about this. Why not use the word prorogue – who the hell knows what it means and it sounds official – but most Canadians know what suspend or sidestep mean.

    Canadians politics is a freak show, it really is. No one seems to know how to do it properly anymore – Cons can't read talking points so instead mention they are going to suspend democracy for the time being and Libs/NDP are trying to galvanize electorate with Harper Holidays while their leaders are on hols and Harper is doing interviews from his desk.

  9. Wait, democracy is the Raptors now?

  10. That's because the International Press knows nothing about Canada until they get here – is that the theory the Conservatives are working on?

    • FYI Richard … I'm pretty sure he meant TV, not some elitist magazine with long words in it.

  11. Rathgeber isnt the sharpest knife the drawer.

  12. Does anybody wonder what could be so bad about the detainee issue that even people coming for the Olympics would find it overshadowing?

    No wonder they don't want those documents getting into anybody else's hands.

  13. For those who wish to read the whole article, but don't want to download a 40MB PDF, there's an HTML version here: MP defends prorogation.

  14. A pretend newspaper for a pretend city.

  15. I find it cute how St. Albert is alphabetized, though I think I would have preferred the Dewey Decimal system. Or maybe Library of Congress.

  16. I drove through St. Albert recently. My reaction: "Hey, this place is like an upscale version of Airdrie".

    • Ha!

  17. Mmmm, that's nice!

  18. One half of one Canadian? ;-)

  19. St. Albert, Ontario produces much better cheese.

  20. Brent Rathgeber
    Remember the name now – because in 15 minutes his glory will flame out.
    It may take a few minutes longer for his leader "the Dictator" – but I'm sure the end is nigh…

  21. In effect, a member of this government sees no difference between parliamentary prorogation and martial law.

  22. Nail. Head.

  23. and yet he's not in the cabinet…………

  24. Suspended? Like, with a noose?

  25. Yes, but if was Library of Congressed, it would be just as easy to meet someone at HD103.6 W14, near the corner of HA.

  26. Huh, I thought my hometown of Bramalea was the only place that had alphabetized sections. It usually annoys the everyloving crap outta visitors…especially those who don't bother to write down directions and instead just remember that your street name is "M-something" ;)

  27. Democracy can't dunk and (mostly) can't defend the pick 'n roll.

  28. On the other hand, as a former St. Albertan – the St. Albert Gazette. Ungggh. Anything in there becomes less credible just by virtue of having been soiled by that fishwrap.

  29. they are only being suspended

    Well, that's a relief!

  30. What kind of comment is this? Nothing in it to argue about, or even tweak.

    I am left only to agree with every word.

  31. The Raptors are at .500 now. Another win and their winning percentage will equal the number of Canadians opposed to the suspension of Parliament.

  32. You know… a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, an evil Jedi who wanted to, let's say suspend the Galactic Senate, still had to actually ask the members of that legislature for permission to do so through a democratic vote.

  33. That's actually surprisingly useful. Somebody tells you they live at Walden Park, you can say that it must be in the Ws and have your general bearings without even consulting a map.

    This is my favourite thing about St. Albert.

    Actually, that's probably the only thing I like about St. Albert (see that "former" in my comment up above?)

  34. Stephen Harper is the Tiger Woods of politics. Brilliant at his game when the lights are on, self-destructive when they're off.

  35. The part that got me was this:

    "They are going to be hearing all of these spurious, but very serious accusations about Canadian soldiers being involved in war crimes […]"

    Someone should perhaps tell Mr. Rathgeber that no one, on either side of the Afghan political debate, has accused Canadian soldiers of anything. It's the politicians and the top brass that are taking the deserved blame.

    Mind you, he's probably getting his own comeuppance right about now: one or more PMO staffers, if not Himself himself, is probably tearing a strip or two off of him right now for straying off message and delivering commentary not previously approved by Central Authority.

  36. Sis would also have to add that Democracy can't hustle, block out and rebound too if Democracy was to be the Raptors, WDM.

    • Or defend the preimeter ~ sigh ~

  37. I realize that this is a bit of a tangent, but I took a look at the St. Albert Gazette article referenced, and I’m sad.

    The reporter writing the article only included Rathgeber’s voice in the article. No dissenting voices on an obviously controversial issue. That’s bad journalism.

  38. . . . run by Maple Leaf Foods.

  39. Suspended like a marionette dancing on a little puppet stage. We are fooled and amused by the life-like motion, but we know the puppeteer is really fooling us.

  40. i got talked into going again on Sunday and I just know I am going to walk away frustrated.

  41. Well Scott I guess I am that dissenting voice (at least one of many) that wasn't heard in the Gazette article. My name is Barry Barclay. I am a molecular biologist with a background in cancer research and I am seeking the Liberal nomination to oppose Mr Rathgeber as member of parliament for Edmonton-St Albert in the next federal election. I am appalled that Mr Harper closed down parliament for purely selfish reasons, for his own political aggrandizement and with complete contempt for parliament (and thus for the people of Canada). Unlike my Tory opponent I believe that a healthy democracy should not only tolerate dissent but should embrace honest criticism and open debate. Such dissent breeds excellence. Without dissent a single party can rule beyond public accountability and over time dominate the political landscape with a single ideology- as has been the case in Alberta for many years. However, it is clear that the winds of political change are blowing in Alberta. People have had enough. So have I. I want to be part of that change.