Snow days


Rick Mercer unleashes a Merceresque rant of his own.

It is ironic that while our parliament has been suspended we are a nation at war. On New Year’s Eve we greeted the news that five Canadians were killed in a single day with sadness but not surprise. We are at war because ostensibly we are helping bring democracy to Afghanistan. How the mission is progressing is open for debate but this much is certain – at present there is a parliament in Afghanistan that it is very much open for business. Canada has no such institution.

In Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai’s government faces fierce opposition at every turn; many of his cabinet choices have been rejected in a secret ballot by the more than 200 parliamentarians that sit in the legislature. Simply closing parliament down and operating without their consent is not an option for Hamid Karzai; to do so would be blatantly undemocratic or at the very least downright Canadian. If Hamid Karzai suspended parliament on a whim we might be forced to ask why Canadians are dying to bring democracy to that country.

Stephen Harper doesn’t have that problem. The Parliament of Canada has been suspended for no other reason than the prime minister simply can’t be bothered with the relentless checks and balances that democracy affords us.


Snow days

  1. Didn't the news of of the 5 canadians' death in Afghanistan come about on the same day of Harper's prorogation?

  2. Ouch. If Harper paid any attention to the Canadian media, that would really smart.

  3. Well, yes. You'd almost suspect if burying-the-story was part of the plan, since Harper must have been notified first thing in the morning given the time difference. He must have called the GG after receiving the call.

  4. Let's hope Canadians pay attention to Canadian media.

  5. How'd that work out for Permanent Torture Outrage?

  6. The only time Afghanistan is ever mentioned is during intellectually dishonest diatribes pertaining to something that makes some member of the Canadian government look bad. It would be nice to hear Canadians discuss Afghanistan without resorting to some contrived comparison or criticism about our own country. So long as we're all blathering on about the futility and waste of government, there's a multi-billion dollar waste of money going on in Vancouver shortly that I'm sure everybody will happily jump on board for.

  7. Unfortunately, it's not being covered in the US so how could he know?

  8. Wow an unfunny Rick Mercer lecture.

    Where was Rick's sermonizing when Jean Chretien was proroguing Parliament.

    Rick Mercer, part of the selectively outraged left/lib set.

    When they get on their moral high horse, these guys sure are smugly self-righteous.

  9. smugly self-righteous…

  10. Some of us despair that Canadians don't seem to care. Others exploit it.

  11. While Iggy uses this precious "working time" to….

    vacation in leisurely, European, decadent style – at the "villa".

    The perfect icing on a cake baked with two parts fake outrage, one part liberal hypocricy, and three parts desperate hyperpartisanship.

    Thick, delicious, rich icing.

  12. Wow an unfunny Rick Mercer lecture.

    Not everything he writes is intended to be "funny."

    Where was Rick's sermonizing when Jean Chretien was proroguing Parliament.

    He was on 22 Minutes. Being outraged at Chretien. Actually, for much of the 90's he was quite critical of the Liberals. But then along came Stockwell, and, well, let's face it… it was a LOT easier to make fun of him!

  13. Some of us realize that when you cry wolf on every micro-scandal, outrage fatigue sets in.

    • You're such an ennui that outrage fatigue sets in when your alarm clock rings after its first snooze.

  14. Do liberals really need to get their talking points from a comedian? Seems funny to me.

  15. He didn't criticize the Liberals for proroguing Parliament.

    None of Canada's left/lib dominated media did.

    That's what I mean by selective outrage.

    Everyone knows Rick Mercer's a left/libber. But he's not funny when he goes all political on us. We see right through him. And what we see is just another self-righteous left-winger. They're anything but funny.

    • Ahhhhhh – the traditional Con smoke and mirrors child like response!

      BUT Moooooooom!!!!! Timmy did the same thing…..

      Grow up, and stop looking at others……..

    • "We" – Unimatrix 2, conservative 3rd of 9, designation jarrid

    • Jarrid,

      How many times does it need to be pointed out to you that proroguing Parliament in and of itself is not the issue. Every Parliament in the history of Canada has been prorogued 2-7 times. This is because it is an administrative function of running Parliament.

      What matters is the context and resons for which Parliament is being Prorogued. In this case it is because the Prime Ministers wants to avoid questions and accountability from elected MPs.

      Also, it is your memory that is selective about Mercer's criticism. Mercer regularly made of fun of and criticized Chretien, Martin and the Liberals for all kinds of things when he was on 22 Minutes in the '90s. If you payed any attention, you would also see him criticizing Ignatief fairly regularly also – but not for abuses of power, because, really, Iggy doesn't have any right now.

      It is actually you who only chooses to point out instances of criticism against Conservatives, which actually makes you the one with the biggest selection bias.

  16. Genius may have its limitations, but stupidity is not thus handicapped.

    Give it up you blowhard

  17. Talking about selective outrage:

    Stephen Harper, 2003: "The government will prorogue the House so that it will not be held accountable for its shameful record."

    Stephen Harper, 2005: "We must clean up corruption and lift up the veils of secrecy that have allowed it to flourish…[we want to] replace the culture of entitlement with a culture of accountability."

    Kory Teneycke, 2008: "Ministers are available in Question Period to answer questions of the elected opposition, that is the system that we have…If media have additional questions from time to time the primary way by which ministers are held to account is via an elected opposition through the House of Commons.”
    Stephen Harper, 2009: Hints at making suspencison of Parliament an annual action.

  18. I mean, the post after post, article after article

    decrying the horror that parliament needs to "GET BACK TO WORK"

    the dedicated liberal foot soldiers slogging through to get a petition signed, creating every appearance of new Liberal work ethic that would make the early century protestants blush,

    and during all of this, Iggy's VACTIONING in his villa in Europe.

  19. Stephen Harper prorogues Parliament on December 30th, 2009.

    Less than a week later Iggy's on the French Riviera, hobnobbing with the wealthy of the world.

    He heads for sunnier climes as soon as he gets the chance.

    Does that look like a guy who's mad as hell? Sounds like he was on his blackberry to his travel agent before you could say prorogue.

  20. You mean, he took a vacation! One that was scheduled during a parliamentary break? One that was probably planned long before Harper decided to prorogue?

    The nerve. The bloody nerve. Doesn't he know he has no right to his own personal time?

    Because, of course, the issue here is Ignatieff's vacation, and NOT Harper running away from accountability.

  21. On the one hand, I think the Liberals look ridiculous with their hysterical outrage on everything the government does, and I agree with the notion that they need to find a strong hand and stick to it.

    On the other hand, I'm reminded of Ken Dryden's description of the Broad Street Bullies (and which I think applied to the Leafs as well right about the time Ken was president!): cynically playing beyond-dirty hockey in the belief that the refs would only call so many penalties, but the Flyers would go so far beyond that, that on the whole, the advantage was theirs.

    • Dave this is bother accurate and brilliant analogy

  22. On a dime,

    turns and vociferously defends the importance of….

    Liberals vacationing during the all important "personal time".

  23. You don't think it's even a little bit cute, how he tries so hard to be just like jarrid?

    • Not really. I suspect they are one in the same. If not, they probably share a cube on Lancaster.

  24. I think the issue there is Ignatieff's tin ear, actually. And as long as he has that issue, he's going to have a hard time making his case on any other issue he has, right or wrong, with Harper.
    Honestly, Iggy gets slammed for hiding, but every time he tries to make a Grand Pronouncement to show how Not Hiding he is, I find him more annoying. Hiding is probably good for him, in the long haul. Build an image as the strong silent type. Slip a few rumours to favoured journalists "Did you know Iggy fought off a grizzly while wilderness camping in Sarnia?" and let the good times roll.

  25. Gee, a man steps away from the keyboard for a week and suddenly it's 1685. Anybody got this guy's email?

  26. I actually kind of agree, but maybe on a different basis.

    It does not matter who the leader of the liberals is, that person gets media attention, and in the past few years that attention has only been negative.

    When the leader lies low, the attention turns to Harper, and his true self starts to be exposed.

    It has long been my view the LPC leader should simply lie low and let Harper be under the microscope for a while. Once the cracks start to show (and they are), then the LPC needs to get ready to demonstrate they are a government in waiting.

  27. I imagined "thick, delicious, rich icing" in Bill Paxton's "porkchop in a dirty ashtray" voice from Weird Science, and that was pretty enjoyable.

  28. Heh. Welcome back, Jack, and Happy New Year!

  29. Personally, I've been hoping for a revival of the Wat ..


    Although I'll have to admit that, aside from the butchery on the Boyne, Willy's adventure
    had a better outcome than Wat's inglorious end. But the myth lives on.

  30. Happy New Year to you, CR! May 2010 and indeed this whole new ten-year period bring us all the enlightenment and generally better polity and economy we eminently deserve.

    Have spent the last few days getting my files & archives in order — no small challenge, as my backup system for the past 10 years has been reprehensible. One of the things I thought I'd do was save my ID comments; emailing the ID guy in charge, I found there is actually no way to display all one's comments on a single webpage, requiring me to save each batch of 10. I figured out a quick & relatively painless way to do this, btw, at least on a Mac; if you're curious, let me know. Meanwhile, the guy in charge of ID has promised to mention the issue to his developers.

  31. Glad to hear that you've already fulfilled a New Year's resolution!

    With regards to your archiving challenge, my suggestion would have been to download free software that can archive whole websites onto your hard drive. You could type "intensedebate.com/people/Jack_Mitchell" into the URL field and it would automatically download all subpages, and therefore your entire ID archive, in one fell swoop. What Mac trick did you come up with?

  32. Classic Rick Mercer. There's a reason he continually gets solid ratings for his CBC show.

    The question is now: will Canadians show their outrage over Harper's proroguing of Parliament by doing more than joining a Facebook group?

  33. Um, now I feel extremely foolish. It was, uh, not as good as that.

  34. By the way, Jack, the Liberal war room staffers who read these blogs have been using your ideas! As you advised five days ago: "In the midst of a tough, cold winter, NOW is the time for the Liberals to attack the CPC from the Caribean angle."

    Sure enough: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/blogs/bureau-blog/

  35. Hmm, well, it's creative enough, but I was thinking of a national TV ad blitz. I guess they don't have the money for that. Still, nice to think our user-generated Think Tank is useful to somebody — though you are still the only proven case of a comment influencing the powers that be.

  36. Except that Harper is emulating Chrétien. He isn't setting a precedent, he's following one.

  37. Point one — any prorogation by Chretien followed having completed his work as set out by the preceding throne speech. Point two — when Harper went crying to the WSJ about Chretien's decision to stay out of Iraq which side of the fence were you on jarhead?

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