67

Oh well, whatever, never mind


 

Steven Fletcher, minister of state for democratic reform, Monday. “On the issue of the ten percenters, I do not know what the party opposite has against freedom of speech. I do not know what the party opposite has against the rights of Canadians for a public discourse. Canadians have the good sense to know what information they can find valuable. They do not need the Liberal Party of Canada to censor what they see. Canadians can judge for themselves what is relevant to their lives, to tell what information is valuable to them, and also it is an opportunity to see what other parties stand for. Everyone has equal privileges to these ten percenters. It is a way of ensuring that Canadians are informed. It improves public discourse and it is a way to improve our democracy. We live in the best country in the world and the best time in human history to be alive. The Conservative Party is the party that will ensure that Canada remains glorious and free.”

The Prime Minister’s Office, tonight. “We support getting rid of out-of-riding 10 percenters so long as the restriction applies to all parties.”


 

Oh well, whatever, never mind

  1. So what happened to the MasterStrategist's plan to tie it to the party funding?

  2. Poor Steven Fletcher. I guess the rule is once you get your TPs you have to use them, before they self destruct. Por Steven, he chose to accept the mission and the freakin pmo went boom on him while he was speaking his lines….it was such a good little speech too, quite brought a tear to my glass eye…" We live in the best country in the world…[sniff] and the best time in human history to be alive…[sniff] The Conservative Party is the party that will ensure that Canada remains glorious and free"…waaahhh!!

  3. Just today I got a flyer from Steven Fletcher in the mail. Funny, didn't seem very informative to me. Nowhere did it identify the CPC, only had Mr. Fletcher's name, no mention of party.
    Oh yeah and some old tired Justin Trudeau quotes from 2006.

    • Because these mailers are paid for out of the Speaker's budget, they are not allowed to have any political party affiliation on them.
      They were originally designed so that opposition members could use them to get their message to non-held ridings.
      They can be a good thing, but there is no question of abuse these days.
      Interestingly enough, the day the Liberal motion was being voted on in Parliament, what should appear in my mailbox but a TP from Michael Ignatieff.
      Seems to me to be a bit of the pot calling the kettle black.

      • oooh you got one 10 percenter from Ignatieff Donna. How evil of him! Hey maybe you could lend me a box for the pile of ten percenters Ive received from the Conservatives.

        It's not hypocrisy until the box of opposition 10 percenters gets even a fraction of the garbage mailed out by this hypocritical government.

  4. Just today I got a flyer from Steven Fletcher in the mail. Funny, didn't seem very informative to me. Nowhere did it identify the CPC, only had Mr. Fletcher's name, no mention of party.

  5. I cannot believe the CPC tried to defend this, particularly using the "free speech" argument. No one is stopping people from mailing these leaflets if they so choose, but do it on your own dime rather than at the taxpayer's expense.

    "Conservatives" my ass.

    • Question: are the ten percenters protected under libel/slander law or house immunity? Or is this not an issue when speaking of another political party, rather than an individual. I'm torn on the free speech issue. One the one hand people can make up their mind about an issue ; on the other all parties have abused the process and the lies and smears seem to be getting worse. My vervant hope is that aversion to egregious lies and smears kicks in at some point, and truly despicable slanders backfire on the guilty party – but so often it fails to ; i'm thinking just how successful Rove was. Wonder if this sort of dilemma has been adequately researched?

      • Protection is only in the House.

        There is no free speech issue. That is a ruse. No one is preventing Harper from continuing with his lies. He can even continue lying to his own constituents. We are just saying don't lie anymore using taxpayer dollars to other ridings.

        I think Canada, democracy, glory and freedom will survive not having 10%ers. Whether we will survive the Harper government, is another question.

        • I certainly didn't fall for the free speech crap [ see mocking of SF above]. Under the circumstances a ban outside of your own riding is regrettable, but necessary.

  6. Why is the government infringing on my freedom of speech? They don't even pay for postage and printing costs for my angry rants about the price of cheese to be mailed to the residents of Portage La Prairie. Oh the humanity? How will I be able to disseminate my point of view without the government of Canada paying full freight?

  7. Can we get rid of the 10 percenters that are sent from the MP to his own constituents while we're at it? I don't mean the booklet type things where they actually tell you what they've been doing–those have value. I just mean the one page flyers that ask you to tell them they are on the right track, or that you disapprove of what the government is doing on any particular issue. One couldn't make an informed opinion from one of those, no matter what the subject. I don't ever remember receiving one of those before this Parliament (this MP?) And I'd just as soon not get another one.

    • Why do you hate the troops, Jenn?

    • Why do you hate Dot's budgie?

  8. See how important TPs are to the #CPC once they have to use their own & not tax$$ to fund them! #extinct

  9. What will become of my budgie's cage bottom? He's become quite accurate.

  10. You whine that the PMO controls the message and that MPs cannot express their own opinion. Then you mock MPs when they do. Make up your mind.

    • When they say stuff like this, I don't blame the PMO for muzzling them.

    • We whine when the PMO controls the message because it denies us our right to mock the MP's opinions, it is well expressed in the Freedom to Mock provisions of the Charter.

    • Was that the MP's own opinion, or just the previous set of talking points?

      And will he be passionately arguing the opposite viewpoint tomorrow, now that the PMO has changed the official party line?

      • They were for glory and freedom before they were against it.

    • I don't know who the "you" is who may be whining, but there's an important difference here: Fletcher's a (jr.) Cabinet Minister, not just an MP, so when he's speaking about his portfolio, he is not expressing his own opinion as an MP, he is expressing Government Policy.

      • Um yeah, ok…. if that's the argument you want to make, go for it…

    • You make a reasonable point, scf. The problem is, at least for me, that I have become so accustomed to Harper managing the message that it doesn't even occur to me (honestly, it didn't) that an MP can be expressing his own personally held opinion, rather than talking points from PMO.

      Have you got anything that would indicate this wasn't a talking point from PMO? Don't say the fact that PMO doesn't feel that way, because the O Canada lyrics show us things can change.

      • I have no evidence it's not a talking point. I have no evidence it wasn't a message from Mars, written by martians. In fact, I have no evidence to deny that it was written by God. Unfortunately, I'm not a mind reader, so I cannot tell why people say the things they say.

  11. ARRRRGGhHHH… i can't stand it anymore! can't PMO communications just go away for awhile?!?!? the world would instantly become a better place.

  12. this is the party of we have no shame/we think the masses are idiotic.

    • I tend to think of them as the party that is congratulating itself for having successfully gamed the system. Quite forgetting that the system wasn't intended to be gamed in this way.

      One of the legacies of this Conservative government is that a stronger system of rules will need to be put in place seplling out exactly what the governing party is allowed to do or not do.

  13. So where did the PM or any Con MP say they would not send pamphlets into other ridings,
    on their own dime?

    • Not if they can send it on my and your dime… Remember the time when you and your brethren moaned and whined about 'entitled to entitlements'? Suddenly its your team's entitlements that are up for examination. Quite being obstructively obtuse.

    • Interesting point. Nothing would stop the parties from sending these things out on their own dime if they thought it was effective messaging for the cost. And that would mean 2 things:

      1) There would be no 10% cap. They could send to every household in the country if they wanted.
      2) The CPC is the only party flush enough with cash to take advantage of this.

      Are you sure this is what you guys want?

      • sure. because my taxes aren't going to pay for it. Really John G your stupidity is astounding from this comment. Your mock threats are rather childish and dumb John G. Spend your cash on junk mail. Good luck with those libel suits from your private enterprise there…

  14. And about that Parliament is supreme thing,
    Goodale just may have that wrong:

    On June 26, 1990, Bill C-79, An Act to amend the Parliament of Canada Act, was introduced, [304] which closely followed the draft provisions of the Fourth Report. Bill C-79 was designed to give
    the Board of Internal Economy exclusive authority
    to determine whether any past, present or proposed use of funds, goods, services or premises available to Members had been, was or would be improper. The Bill received Royal Assent on April 11, 1991. [305]

    The Parliament of Canada Act empowers the Board to make by-laws governing the use by Members of funds, goods, services and premises made available to them to carry out their parliamentary functions. [306]
    The Board determines the terms and conditions of managing and accounting for such funds by the Members
    and has exclusive authority
    to determine whether such use is or was proper. [307] Members may request from the Board an opinion with respect to such use. [308]

    • What could the contents of an Act of PARLIAMENT possibly have to do with the concept of the constitutional supremacy of Parliament in matters of Parliamentary privilege? Are you trying to suggest that Parliament passed a law limiting their own supremacy in matters of privilege? Because, first, they can't actually do that (not in a way that would be constitutional), but second, even if they could, they're still supreme, they'd just need to PASS ANOTHER LAW obviating the first (actually, they wouldn't really need to, as the first would be unconstitutional, but they could just to avoid making the Supreme Court RULE it unconstitutional).

      I can't believe Tory supporters are moving the goal posts from "Parliament's supremacy doesn't matter" to "Parliament isn't actually supreme at all". What's next? We don't need the House of Commons anymore, let's just stop electing MPs and trust the government?

      • I'm not entirely sure Wilson isn't just babbling. I think your response gives him far more than his due.

  15. "We support getting rid of out-of-riding 10 percenters so long as the restriction applies to all parties.”

    Is there some reason to believe the restriction would NOT apply to all parties?

    What a curious thing to say.

    • It's like the government's constant insistence that any investigation into Afghanistan include the time during which the Liberal government was in charge, conveniently ignoring that the opposition is demanding an investigation which includes the time during which the Liberal government was in charge, or the way they insist on implying that the Senate is delaying all sorts of legislation that's never even made it to the Senate yet.

      • Oceania has always been at war with eastasia.

      • Yeah. The Edmonton Journal pointed out the CPC at first opposed, and then appeared to try to take credit for the idea.

        If you are not fooling the Journal, you are not fooling anyone.

    • Rahim Jaffer, meanwhile, thinks every member of the Liberal party arrested with narcotics should stand up and take responsibility for thier careless driving.

  16. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1.

    I would like the government of Canada to actually govern instead of spending all their time trying to make themselves look good.

    • Amen. AMEN! Well worth repeating:

      "I would like the government of Canada to actually govern instead of spending all their time trying to make themselves look good."

  17. …that should be "spelling out ", not "seplling out". :-)

  18. Think of the savings…
    Breaking it down on a "per MP" basis, Conservative MPs $49,680 annually
    NDP MPs averaged $33,825
    Liberals $18,500.

    How do they do it? Volume!

  19. If they're looking to cut back expenses, the PMO would be a great place to start.

    • Ironically, the PMO is the one department that DOESN'T have to freeze spending in the new budget.

      Funny that.

      • Who knew bad advise was so expensive?

  20. Oh, and by the way, thank you for the Nirvana reference, Aaron. It certainly does smell like something.

  21. Counterpoint – allowing only sitting MPs to send free mailing into their own riding creates yet another horrible advantage in favour of incumbents, no?

    • Mark, while a good point, I am not sure that is a counterpoint to the present action per se. it does lend support to the end of leaflets to MPs own ridings tho.

      • The unfortunate thing is that either by way of rules, or convention, or decent civil behaviour, ten perceners never used to be a problem. Suddenyl they have become excessively partisan, not to mention wasteful.

        When I worked on the Hill, I remember one MP who went through great effort to send thoughtful one pagers to other ridings using this privelege – survey questions on policy matters of the day. I like the idea of all of our MPs making an effort to gain or to promote some sense of national perspective.

        It really is too bad that the children who currently occupy the commons aren't able to self regulate their behviour in this regard. I fear that a ban is an easy was of throwing the baby out with the bath water. My guess is that a fair number of MPs will agree with this motion on the simple basis that it eliminates the possibility of opponents sending stuff into their fiefdoms.

        • a valuable and interesting addition to the discussion! thanks Mark!

  22. Boy are all your faces going to be red when 20 years from the Cabinet documents are released and we see Steven Fletcher's ardent appeal, on these same freedom of speech grounds, to allow George Galloway into Canada.

  23. Nirvana quotes in Canadian News = excellent

  24. I'm surprised Fletcher could hear the Liberals, with his fingers stuck so far in his ears. Glad his little tirade got stuffed by another communique three days later.

  25. Seems the Minister of State for Democratic Reform has just been censored by his King Stephen. Hey, Steven, such passion for Democracy should not go wasted: why not join the majority as they fight for democracy here:

    http://www.cbc.ca/politics/insidepolitics/2010/03

  26. I've said it before, and I'll try to make this the last, but isn't it about time that a reporter or two called up Minister Fletcher and asked how this whole democractic reform thing is going? Other than appointing an advisory panel a year ago, and issuing a few news releases of very little substance http://tinyurl.com/y9lqzez there doesn't seem to be whole lot going on in his portfolio.

  27. Wherry, you've inspired me:

    Load up on all that baby seal
    It's fun to eat and to reveal
    We're wholly right and self-assured
    Oh no, we're not full of dirty words

    (Chorus)
    Hello, hello, hello, how low? (x3)
    Hello, hello, hello

    With House lights out, it's less dangerous
    Can't get called on, diff'cult issues
    You attack us, so self-righteous
    But we know that, you started it!
    /
    On Afghanistan, On In-n-Out
    On the wafer, now the paper
    Yeah, hey, yay

    You're worse at what we do best
    Obfuscating every test
    We make it seem like you're no friend
    Of anything Canadian
    (…continued)

  28. (…from above)
    [Chorus]
    CNSC, listeriosis
    sexy issues, lost briefs
    Yeah, hey, yay

    And we forget just why you're here
    Since now we rule, the need's not clear
    We find it hard just to resist…
    Attacking till you're gone from this…

    [Chorus]
    Leaving binders, racy photos
    tweets in Camera, cheques with logos

    A denial, we deny all
    A denial, we deny all
    A denial, we deny all
    A denial, we deny all
    A denial

  29. In the Old Country, if a Minister found himself in such obvious disagreement with the Prime Minister on an issue of principle, he would do the honorable thing, and resign.

    Since Fletcher was clearly passionate about defending freedom, I hope he's considering his options carefully with that tradition in mind. ;-)

  30. I think getting rid of the 10%'ers is a fine idea. After all, the CPC can still afford to send off this type of inexpensive mailing and still have plenty left over. Frankly, it's a good way to use the surplus funds available and STILL have an impact before any election limits are imposed.

    If the CPC has an extra 10 or 15 Million laying around…..hell, use it. The other parties cannot afford to do the same, and NOW they no longer have the means to compete.

    Mail away boys…..

    (on your own dime)

  31. Permit me to suggest that Maclean's give wilson his own blog column. He can share space with Feschuk in a new "Comedy" category.

    • ahem…her not him ; ahemer…Wilson not Feschuk.

      • My bad. Apologies all 'round, esp. to Wilson.

  32. What are the odds in the next election this story will be how the Tory's saved Canadian's tax dollars by switching to user pay ten per centers, and why did it take the opposition so long to to follow suit

    Oceania has always been at war…

  33. Very well said KCM. Nice comment.

    Poor Steven Fletcher. I guess the rule is once you get your TPs you have to use them, before they self destruct. Por Steven, he chose to accept the mission and the freakin pmo went boom on him while he was speaking his lines….it was such a good little speech too, quite brought a tear to my glass eye…" We live in the best country in the world…[sniff] and the best time in human history to be alive…[sniff] The Conservative Party is the party that will ensure that Canada remains glorious and free"…waaahhh!!

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