How many government MPs does it take to host the Olympics? - Macleans.ca
 

How many government MPs does it take to host the Olympics?


 

Conservative MP Colin Mayes explains why it was necessary to prorogue Parliament.

Mayes says there is also a practical reason for suspending Parliament given that the Conservatives don’t have a majority of the seats.

“The Olympics are a great celebration and it would be a real conflict for MPs to be there in a minority situation,” he said, adding that could lead to the opposition having more MPs present in Ottawa.


 

How many government MPs does it take to host the Olympics?

  1. Seats at the Olympics – a perk, no doubt, hidden in the fine print

  2. I don't even understand what that means.

  3. Not only does the oposition hate our troops, they also hate our athletes… the basterds.

    • It seems we are not allowed to be proud of anything according to the left.I have always found lefties to be grumpy, even hateful at times.

  4. Er, Colin does realize that Opposition MP's already outnumber government MP;s in Ottawa, doesn't he?

    • This also implies that no opposition MPs would be interested in the Olympics, only Conservative ones…

  5. So the Olympics are a Conservative campaigning tool?

    Explains the logo.

  6. I admit these are pretty stupid comments from the Conservatives about the Olympics.

    But if the opposition is going to try and make political hay out of them, I'd hope I wouldn't see a single opposition MP enjoying the Olympics in person. And if they do, I hope that the press will call them on it.

  7. This was all foreshadowed here and here and a few other places too. Some things are just more important than governing the country.

  8. I don't see why Opp MPs would receive any blame. It's not like they had any say in the matter.

  9. SH will be buying a large roll of duct tape today

  10. I'm beginning to think Harper should get busy and figure out something else for his MPs to mouth on. Maybe a plate of perogies?

  11. Anyone from Okanagan-Shuswap out there?

    Re: Proroguing
    Colin Mayes tells us “Most of them (locals) don't even know about it,” and “People don't pay attention to the national media. They pay attention more to what's written locally.”

    Is that really true?

  12. Let's give him the benefit of the doubt and assume his constituents are a bunch of parochial hicks (as he believes).

    It's a pity he didn't pause for a moment to consider his words were going on record in *local* paper.

  13. what?

    On a side note, like most human beings, Canadians do not enjoy being TOLD what they care about or don't care about. What a terrible strategy.

  14. exactly there is nothing inconsistent between saying we should not shut down parliament or two months, part of which overlaps with the olympics and attending said olympics in whole or in part.

  15. There are 14 working days between when Parliament was supposed to come back and when the Olympics begin. Even if you think every government MP should personally attend the Olympics, do they really need 19 travel days to get to Vancouver? Are they traveling to the Olympics by horse or something???

    More importantly, there's no need to prorogue Parliament to have MPs attend the Olympics. Let Parliament continue during the Olympics… just don't SIT (like they did in 88 for Calgary). No one's suggesting the House has to sit every single day of the Olympics, but proroguing Parliament is the ultimate reset button. By proroguing Parliament, it's basically as though our elected officials didn't do anything for the past year. Everything just resets to step one. Great.

    Not only are the Olympics a politically tone deaf reason for proroguing Parliament, it's also an ILLOGICAL reason to prorogue. It doesn't just sound BAD as a rationale, it sounds STUPID.

  16. So, neither did the Conservative MPs. Why should they get any blame?

  17. "arrogant and ignorant"…. sounds like a certain Liberal leader to me.

  18. Because they are defending the move, and saying it is necessary so they can go to the Olympics.

    Oh, and it is their party and government.

  19. Call them on the hypocrisy of making hay out of Conservative MPs statements that proroguing will allow them to be in Vancouver watching the games, while they themselves are…using the opportunity to be in Vancouver watching the games.

  20. And Liberal MPs are saying that they need to be at work, and in fact I believe Iggy said they'd be in Ottawa. So if any of them shows up in Whistler, that'd be quite hypocritical.

    • He said he would work until the Olympics, not while they were on.

  21. who elects these people? oh wait… I have Shelly Glover. ugh.

  22. Perhaps he was referring to committee work.

  23. And you think that the Government of Canada stops governing during a prorogation?
    John Baird had to handle the Xmas Bomb in the Pants situation, while govt is prorogued.
    PMSH is meeting with econo big wigs, while govt is prorogued.
    McKay attended repatriation ceremonies, while govt is prorogued.
    AECL is getting back on line, while govt is prorogued…etc
    Ministers are on the job, 24/7, as required, with or without prorogation.

    Yes, the Opposition is on holidays, but never the government.
    Yes, the 45 minutes of immunity allowed the Opps to call the govt liars and war criminals, is on holidays.

  24. That's code for: "my constituents are too stupid to even notice that Parliament is shut down."

  25. your logic is misguided John.

  26. It sounds stupid because that is NOT the reason why Harper prorogued.

    I think it says a whole lot about the contempt this Prime Minister holds for this country if he actually believed that we the people would be dumb enough buy this explanation.

  27. Without prorogation the 5 new Conservative Senators can't go right to work in restructured committees, they have to sit on the sidelines.
    Speech from the Throne and new Budget,
    the Opps can vote non-confidence, show the will of the House.
    Those enraged Facebookies expect nothing less!!!

  28. It'd be a real shame if they couldn't treat it as such and really tuck in and enjoy it, without having to worry about shenanigans and whatnot back in Ottawa.

  29. You mean this is a sitting MP who has never heard of pairing, ie., an arrangement between two MPs of opposing parties that allows them to miss occasional votes?

    Small wonder these Conservatives think that literacy and art are lost on the people they represent.

  30. I agree with you in the general sense that anyone who takes part in the political haymaking and then appears in the bleachers is taking a real political risk.

  31. You know, the Conservatives can keep poking Canadians in the eye with the whole 'vote us down or shut up' schitck, but I think there's a growing realization amongst the citizens that democracy and represention has a lot to do with what happens in between elections and confidence votes.

  32. adding that could lead to the opposition having more MPs present in Ottawa

    What ever happened to paired votes?

  33. He sent Demitri Soudas to Giant Tiger this morning.

  34. Good thing the logo and torch relay route were totally non-partisan. Otherwise I'd be inclined to think the answer is yes.

  35. Tories did it! Tories did it!

  36. Sound?

  37. And one more thing: I don't put too much stock in on-line protests, but I'm willing to bet a lot of money you would have been among those trumpeting the anti-Coalition facebook group as some sort of proof not too long ago, and not writing them off as enraged Facebookies.

  38. Oh, there are indeed better (or at least more logical) explanations for why Parliament "needs" to be prorogued. If Mayes had said "we need to prorogue so we can appoint a bunch of people to the Senate and restructure the Parliamentary Committees to get the opposition off our backs" I'd respond to that line of reasoning. WRT Olympics though there's no reason whatsoever, not even a flimsy rationalization, for proroguing Parliament.

    As for myself, I'm one of those 106,000 "Facebookies" and I don't EXPECT the opposition to vote non-Confidence in the government over this prorogation, however I do agree that that is the appropriate response to the Prime Minister's actions here. I think we've reached a point with prorogation that if the House is willing to stand for this example that's it. The gloves are off the government. They can basically just shutter Parliament whenever they please if a precedent like this one is just let slide. But what are you going to do? Politicians of all stripes are more interested in getting elected than what's best for the country, so I don't think the opposition will bring down the government over even this. As Coyne has suggested though, once we follow this path to the point that it's beyond the pale we'll have been accepting little indignity after little indignity for so long that we won't even recognize that we've lost anything anymore. Look how quickly even the vaunted Conservatives started accepting behaviour from themselves that they used to be APOPLECTIC about when it came from the Liberals. How many times this week have you seen Jean Chretien held up as the yard stick by which Prime Minister Harper should be judged? Chretien Liberals became as bad as Mulroney Tories in less than 10 years. Harper's rapidly catching up after only four (some would argue that in many ways he's already surpassed Chretien). I predict that our next government will be mired in investigations, giving the finger to Parliament and going back on everything they ever said within two years of their first election. It's a never ending race to the absolute bottom, and the racers keep getting more and more athletic every year.

    • 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.

  39. Then I suspect the souring has reached grey matter while leaving the hypocrisy lobe well in tact.

  40. Stephen Taylor keeps trumpeting how his anti-coalition FB group got 127 000 people… so that means when CAPP gets to 127 000 (and it's only 21 000 short of that #), he's going to concede that the group now is legit in his eyes as a form of grassroots protest against Harper's prorogue.. right?

  41. Do you believe that Parliament has a role to play in governing Canada?

  42. Thank you craigola, that was the exact point I was trying to make. Seems to have gone over the head of a few people.

  43. You know, if I didn't know better, I'd think he was talking down to them, almost like they're children.

  44. Excuse me there but parliament in session does not stop our wonderful athletes from performing.

    You fell for this everyone hates the troops but you guys? Boy are you gullible.

    You know what – I think we should give our troops to time off (they sure could use it) to attend the Olympics.

  45. Excuse me, but Ignatieff said they'd be working right up until the Olympics

  46. Let's just hope those who were dismissive of the anti-coalition group don't try a similar about-face.

  47. Hmmm….most local small town media are no owned by CanWest and the Sun. I guess he gets the coverage he wants.

  48. Whoops – meant to say "NOW owned"…..

    sorry

  49. That's the thing; I've already asked at my blog how many of those in the media and other observer who are dismissive of this years CAPP group as being indicative of grassroots outrage were just as dismissive at Taylor's group last year was of the coalition ; I've yet to have been given a suitable answer, and in my scanning of that event, I've yet to find any pundits or editorial boards openly dismissing his group.

    I could have missed them of course, but I'd sure like people to point them out to me,

  50. Shouldn't take that long when the use the PM jet at our expense

  51. If attending the Olympics is so important for MPs (all MPs even, not necessarily just Cabinet members or Conservatives) why aren't they all taking a break for the Paralympic Games from March 12-21?

  52. Con MPs will ALWAYS be outnumbered at committees if they do not even show up, Wilson.

  53. I actually don't have a problem with leaders tinkering with the candidate nomination process. If anything, tinkering with the nomination process helps parties clear out the dead wood and bring in fresh talent. Otherwise, you get stuck with mediocrities locked into safe seats.

  54. None come to my mind (but like you, I'm always open to correction).

    It's going to be interesting to see if this translates into rallies across the country with any meaningful numbers. As much as I dislike the "get back to work" idiiocy (though it's not as bad as the 'coup' idiocy that accompanied the anti-coalition narrative), it would be heartening to see Canadians finally draw a line that transcends partisan nonsense.

  55. Mr. Ignatieff said his MPs and Liberal senators will be at their desks in Ottawa throughout the prorogation period. The Liberals, he said, will be doing pre-budget consultations on jobs as well as environmental questions, the government's handling of the Afghan detainee file, veterans' issues, and governance.

    We will be working, in other words, right through the Olympics, which is what we think Canadians want to see,” he said.

    http://bit.ly/4XFM9w

  56. Maybe you should put more work into making your substantive points more clearly. The first thing I understood was that you were warning the Opposition MP's that they should ALL being doing other things during the Olympics, while the Conservative MP's are swanning around Vancouver having fun.

    Which, of course, you weren't saying at all…

  57. I dunno, the nature of the platform means that the chances of false names being added are limited and repeat signatories is virtually nil. I suppose somebody could have two separate profiles, but why? So in that regard this group is certainly a better indicator of something than say, Mercer's Doris Day website (which I think I signed at least twice ;).

    And while there is most certainly a large section of the membership who have clicked "join" and not thought much more about it. One quick perusal of it will tell you that there is also a slew of people who are using it as an open forum to voice their displeasure with the situation. People are sharing, arguing, organizing. It's not just us old timers either, there seems to be a large number of active members who are younger – and anything that gets the youth involved, no matter how fleeting, has to be a good thing.

    I guess the real litmus test will be on January 23rd when the cross country protests are planned.

    So you're probably correct to not put too much stock in it, but it also shouldn't be so sneeringly dismissed as many have done.

  58. You shouldn't talk about Peter like that. Not nice.

  59. I was at the park in '88. The only conflict I recall was between the "Less Filling !" and
    " Taste's Great " adherents sitting on opposite sides of the ski jump. It was inspiring.

  60. You're welcome. Please be forewarned, however, that I do reserve the right to be told at some point in the future that Canadians don't care about political risks.

  61. Do you believe there's a difference between cabinet ministers and other parliamentarians?

  62. Anyone have the email address for letters to his local papers?

  63. There is a website now, as well as the growing Facebook group which is at 108,505 now. http://noprorogue.ca/

  64. Well, it appears they are going to put up. Sounds like Ignatieff's cracking the whip and keeping them all in Ottawa through the Olympics.

    So I guess if any Liberal wants to make hay of the idiotic statement by the Conservative MP tying the Olympics to proroguation, assuming they heed their leader they've earned it.

    But it's a shame that it was done this way, and I agree that they should have just taken a recess from Parliament rather than proroguing through it. I really don't have a problem with every single MP from every party (including the BQ) being there. It's not often Canada gets to host the world on a scale this large. The Liberals were in power when the games were awarded and the Conservatives were in power for much of the implementation and setup, so both have reasonable grounds to be there.

  65. Don't put it out there, now they might prorogue for another month.

  66. The more that we hear Tory MPs speaking, the more we can see why PMO doesn't want them to do so. The talking points were supposed to be about the economic agenda, routine business in the house, etc.

    They really shouldn't pass it off as a way to go to the Olympics without missing work.

  67. Well put!

  68. It seems that opp. MP`s believe that the role of Parliament is a venue where they can lunge from hysterical scandal to monotonous queries.

    There may be useful opp. MP`s in the House but all we can recall is Body-Bag-Bennett and Door-Knob-Easter.

  69. Unfortunately they don't take returns.

    • You bastard! I had a root canal this afternoon and didn't need the jaw exercise

      Still… it was worth it

  70. Well, if Iffy said it, it must be true. We know Iffy has never flip-flopped on anything.

    NOT

  71. Well if No-Work Harper said it, it's a lie. The flip-flop is automatic.

    • Did you mean to say 'autocratic'?

  72. I was thinking the exact same thing. Why is Harper ignoring the Paralympics?

  73. john g only cares about accountability for the other guys. Nice world you live in. Enjoy your Harper holiday, make sure to change the tinfoil and duct tape regularly.

  74. I never agreed with it, but stuff like this makes me understand why leaders are tempted to tinker with the candidate nomination process.

  75. I think that unwittingly, these comments do tell us something about the motivations for the break from Parliament. The life of a government backbencher in a minority parliament is pretty underwhelming. They don't get the media attention of the opposition backbenchers, have to occupy their Commons seats all the time for fear of the government losing a vote accidentally, get handed their talking points, and have very little input into the direction of the government being set by cabinet. Very few of them in safe seats will ever make it to the cabinet, given their geographic concentration.

    The *one* bonus they get is low-cost Olympic tickets. Except, owing to House duty, they can't use them. Unless the House is not sitting.

    I admit this doesn't explain why Parliament needed to be prorogued now, rather than just adjourned for a longer time, or prorogued a day or so before the next Throne Speech. And boy, is the government every going to feel dumb if some kind of strike pops up around the Olympics and they can't recall the House to pass back to work legislation.

  76. I'll take that as a 'no,' Parliament does not have a role to play in governing Canada.

  77. Those of you who think that Facebookers have any intention of hitting the streets in a mid-winter protest against the suspension of bickering groups of politicans in Ottawa will be very disappointed.

    A real protest movement has to have the grassroot support of people who sincerely believe they have been wronged. An example would be the anger people felt when they found out the Liberal Party sent public funds to themselves in the Sponsorship Scandal or when 3 opp. parties attempted to overthrow a democratically elected government with a dubious coalition.

  78. I'm all for accountability. I just prefer that it not come with the usual heaping dollop of hypocrisy.

  79. You just cost me one perfectly good coffee.. and possibly a keyboard here, but I think I managed to get it clean.

    Still.. it was worth it.

  80. "'The Olympics are a great celebration and it would be a real conflict for MPs to be there in a minority situation,' he said, adding that could lead to the opposition having more MPs present in Ottawa."

    Erm. A minority, Colin, means that the opposition has more MPs present in Ottawa even if none of you go to the Olympics.

  81. Oh, I suspect that was the "Keiths !" and "Olands !" crowd freezin' in the dark.

  82. Call them on what?

    It is not the attending that is at issue here.

    It is the decision to prorogue so they can attend.

    In fact, Parliament was in session but simply did not sit during the days of the Calgary Olympics. Conservatives didn't need a two month Harper Holiday. Maybe they were made of sterner stuff back then.

  83. Wonderful. Locals – the constituents who elected him – don't pay attention to national issues when electing an MP. Am I spinning that maliciously enough?

  84. I admit these are pretty stupid comments from the Conservatives about the Olympics.

    Actually, these are pretty stupid comments from Conservatives about Parliament. I couldn't care less what they understand about the Olympics, but, more importantly, they don't seem to have any understanding of what their jobs actually are. They sound arrogant and ignorant.

  85. Parliament will only work when the opp. realize it is not a venue for their silly scandal antics.

  86. Hmmm … how many politicians does it take to show enough PC face at the olympics … Answer … ALLLLLL!!!!

  87. Parliament was working, which is why so many bills died when it was prorogued.

    Even the committees were kind of working, despite the government's best efforts.

  88. all we need at the olimpicks,is the little weasel from bc,he is small and nobody will see him at all,they say he will not win relection,so it dont matter,by the way why does everbody talk about john c.thats past history .same as mac .king,lets talk about how we are getting shafted today ,and will get shafted tomorrow by adolf and the boys,,

  89. The latter generated 127,000 Facebook signups.

    Which is about where the anti-proroguing group will be this time tomorrow.

  90. So we have evolved into a society that is willing to have our experienced opinions (see Andrew Coyne) influenced by a bunch of pajama-wearing double-clickers.

  91. It could take 19 days to prop Harper up on skis long enough for the photo op.

  92. Would you tell Richard S Argent that you are back.

  93. Perhaps the Pope is no longer Catholic.

  94. It was Liberal MP Joyce Murray who sent out an email saying that the Liberals “must capitalize on the positive publicity excitement and feelgood attitude surrounding the Vancouver Olympics” and “We want our Liberal leader to be there and be seen cheering on our nation with everyone else…”

    So if you want to talk about politicizing the Olympics you better ask Ms. Murray to stop doing so..

    • oh oh, Iggy will be mad at her.

  95. I guess it's hard to complain about liberal media bis then

  96. Was it the "Less Filling !" or " Taste's Great ! " crowd that were doing donuts in the parking lot, projecting gravel onto the bobsleigh track?

  97. First 99 days of 2009 – 40 sitting days – 59 recess days – just prioritize your schedules guys .

    Easter Recess 2009.04.04 – 2009.04.19 – 16 days
    Sitting 2009.03.23 – 2009.04.03 – 10
    Spring Recess 2009.03.14 – 2009.03.22 – 9
    Sitting 2009.02.23 – 2009.03.13 – 15
    Spring Recess 2009.02.14 – 2009.02.22 – 9
    Start of Session 2009.01.26 – 2009.02.13 – 15

  98. If polls are used to compare the level of outrage…

    Latest polls show a Cosnervative drop from about 37 to 33 (although it would be nice to see another poll to confirm this).
    During the anti-coalition period, polls showed a rise in Con support from about 38 to 45.

    So, 4% vs 7%.

  99. It will be interesting to see how the poll numbers play out – the prorogation still has quite a ways to go.
    Mounting anger or yesterdays news?

  100. Gotta say, the Liberals deserved to be turfed, though the free lunches for the Conservatives over Adscam have to come to an end.SH has held the reins since 2006…… but, If Harper had been PM (as opposed to Chretien) , would we be in both Iraq and Afghanistan right now?