The government's attention is required at the luge track -

The government’s attention is required at the luge track


Stockwell Day explains why it was necessary to prorogue Parliament.

“Prorogation is a relatively customary process, now with the Olympics and re-organizing our fiscal plan we felt we needed the time,” says Day.


The government’s attention is required at the luge track

  1. So, Stock, you're basically saying that you and your pals can't walk and chew gum at the same time? Way to inspire confidence in your governance of this country.

    This country still requires a government from February 12-28. Get to work, and leave those comp'd Olympic tickets to the people who've been on the waiting lists for years.

    • The walk and chew gum meme is getting old.

      • Hey, Cons supporters are still repeating Adscam — is that meme not older?

      • You're right, it is. So is this "we can't face the opposition because we have to watch the Olympics" excuse.

        I welcome suggestions as to other cliches we could use. Such as:
        Pat your head and rub your tummy at the same time
        Type and talk at the same time

        • I can't think of anything better, that is as harmless or easy to remember.

          My latest incarnation, was, having to do with Conservatives being caught with thumbs up their asses, but shutting the door rather, than pulling them out.

          It's pretty tasteless, and not very witty.

  2. Nice to see Stock can still come up with doozy statements. I thiught the government would have figured out by now that this excuse is the one that garnered the most anger with people when they tried to use it.

  3. I think people will pay big money to see Stock Day in a luge suit.

    And even bigger money to see him and, say, John Baird in a two-man luge slide-down.

    • With what I pay in taxes, I think Stock and John-boy should ride down the luge for free.

    • Thank you for that truly horrible visual in your second line.

    • Arrrrrrrghhghhhhg!

      Which is better for cleaning your brain out, bleach or ammonia?

    • As long as there's no spooning…

      • only if there's plenty of spooning and Baird's on top…

  4. I doubt it, we already saw him in a wetsuit for free.

  5. “Prorogation is a relatively customary process, now with the Olympics and re-organizing our fiscal plan we felt we needed the time,” says Day.

    Any evidence that this isn't a direct quote from Day, a person no less entrusted with attacking our deficit, that suggests yet again that Harper and his ministers cannot walk and chew gum at the same time?

  6. Notice how he mentions the Olympics first and then the fiscal plan.

    Will watching athletes slide down hills
    Inspire our pols to fix fiscal ills.

    Me thinketh not. And when they're done
    there'll be no dollar pot for anyone
    but them.

    • Inductive order, Diane.

      Though nice try with the poem.

      • Order, schmorder. It was meant to be silly, like Day's supposed reasoning.

  7. I'm personally wondering how many consecutive days Wherry can go on making at least one post on the oh-so-emergency topic of prorogue. I mean, when you want to imagine Stockwell Day in a luge suit, you know it's got to be a matter of pressing national interest, right? You know every single substantive angle of this earth-shattering story is being covered inside and out – almost literally.

    • Dennis, please tell us what you do for a living (being a Con-Bot surely doesn't pay well) so we can tell you how to do your job, too.

      • Dennis is a con cabinet minister hard at work for Canadians…

        • and you're obviously not a comedian. lol. Next.

      • Oh, so these boards are only for the sole purpose of telling Wherry just what a wonderful leftist journalist he is, and how wonderful he is to always attack Conservatives, and how terrible it is for anyone to dare criticize him, his biases, or precious admirers like you?

        And here I thought the whole point of criticizing prorogue was that it was undemocratic. Silly me.

        • Rather than criticizing the topic, why not focus on the content of what Wherry writes?

          There are things in this world that we can control – how we respond to opinions we don't like, being one – and things that we can't (such as what Aaron Wherry and his colleagues are tasked to write about).

          As stunning as it may be to you and your anti-populist friends, prorogation is a sexy issue right now, and it's bound to get continuing coverage as long as bright bulbs like Stock suggest that the government can't govern AND watch the Olympics at the same time.

          But I don't need to tell you – you know all about what makes issues "sexy" don't you?

          • So, in other words, according to you, no one is allowed to think that Wherry and others are spending WAY too much time on a 5-week prorogue. No, we HAVE to be obsessed about it so much that we conjure up images of Stockwell Day at the luge track. Fascinating logic some of you have. Then you have the gall to say you care about democracy. No, you only care about attacking people who disagree with your agenda. That's what this is all about.

          • Criticizing what Wherry writes about doesn't contribute to the conversation. Wherry didn't suggest Stockwell would be in a luge suit, commenters did.

            And what, pray tell, is my agenda? Do you assume because I disagree with you that I'm some leftist commie pinko? You've got another thing coming.

            We have to be obsessed about our democratic institutions because they are integral to the functioning of our democracy. A functioning which, I am obligated to point out, the current government put on hold – AND, what's more, is now offering the Olympics, of all things, as a reason why it had to do so.

            And as far as I can tell, you're suggesting that the only logic that exists is the logic that agrees with your position. Pray tell, Dennis – what's YOUR agenda?

        • I hate biased journalists and their damned direct quotes too.

          • Yeah, and maybe we should ask for quotes about prorogue every minute of every day. But my guess is that some of you still wouldn't be satisfied.

          • New quotes are provided daily that contribute to the hypocrisy and idea that this government is losing it's iron grip on governance-as-communications-counter-spin.

            Ohh for the 'democracy suspended' days…

        • Apparently Dennis; you believe the Conservatives should not only be accountable to Parliament, but that they shouldn't be accountable to the media either for their actions/words.

          • This is so ridiculous. Harper will be back in Parliament, at which point he'll be yelled and screamed at by the opposition.

            Obsessing about Stockwell Day and luge might be your version of what being held accountable is. What else? the colour of his suits.

            That's the thing about some of you. You think that nobody is allowed to disagree with your ideological viewpoint. And, if they do, you get mad.

            Never mind. I guess we can't go to sleep at night without thinking about the horrors that a 5-week prorogue will do to the planet. Run for cover!

          • Dennis, I'm not sure you're the right man to go around accusing others of obsessing about a particular topic. You've written how many comments on this post alone? 15? 20?

    • As long as they keep talking, Wherry'll keep posting.

      • Yeah, I mean, there's a whole new angle on every single utterance that anyone has to say on this endless story with oh so many wonderful intricacies and avenues to explore. We just had to put Day and luge together in one sentence, because it's such a substantive addition to the emergency otherwise known as 5-week prorogue. Why the heck not? Is there a Canadian Pulitzer prize out there somewhere with the name "Prorogue Category" stamped on it in capitals letters?

        • Dennis, To elaborate on Sigh above, during the prorogation, Wherry has been seconded to the Conservative press core. His mission is to help the Conservative MP's get their message out nationally, now that they are not in Ottawa. As you are well aware, virtually all of the national press are against the Harper Conservatives, so Wherry is playing a very important role here in Canadian democracy.

          • Yes, like there's no shortage of leftist media types obsessing about prorogue, as though somebody got shot. lol. But I guess it gives many of you leftists on here your daily fix of Harper hatred.

        • I see your point here Dennis. And you are being consistent.

          I mean, if the Conservative government should be allowed to pick and choose when it will be accountable to Canadians and on what topics, it seems entirely consistent for you to expect that Conservative supporters should be allowed to pick and choose when and how journalists will cover the Conservative government and on what topics.

          • Yes. What would Canada be if the left didn't obsess about prorogue 24/7? It's almost impossible to imagine, isn't it.

          • Golly. Not only are 50% of Canadians "elitist" and mere "chattering classes" who "don't care" about Parliament being shut down, but they are all also "left". Next you'll be telling us that we're only concerned about our democracy because we've had too much beer and popcorn.

          • Canadians might care. But are they obsessed 24/7? For people like you, I don't think it's about democracy. I think it's about attacking political opponents who pose a risk to your agenda. Plain and simple.

    • Perhaps if the Commons, Aaron Wherry (of Beyond the Commons) would have something to cover that is more to your liking.

      • Well, that seems a bit unlikely, don't you think?

        • Maybe not to his liking, but he'd certainly have something to cover.

          • Indeed.

            And now with Day in a more prominent role there should be even more opportunities for Wherry to share some of Stockwell's witicisms.

          • Seconded. I'm doubly interested on how the "law and order agenda" will play out in terms of TB's sign-off on financing the overtime for major terrorism, drug, weapons, and human trafficking investigations.

          • Well, I see that he's covering the Rights and Democracy controversy. Correction. He's posting articles about it from left-wing columnists, but not those that might put the issue in a different light.

      • No, obsessing with prorogue 24/7 is perfect. We need to have our hourly fixes, don't we?

    • I'm personally wondering how many consecutive days the Conservatives can go on making at least one different excuse on the oh-so-arrogant act of prorogue. I mean, when you want to imagine the Conservatives need time off to watch the Olympics even though , you surprising that the Conservatives didn't think Canadians would care about their Parliament and that it would be a matter of pressing national interest, right? You know every single substantive imaginable excuse for this earth-shattering story is being tried inside and out – almost literally.

      • Exactly. It's not like these reasons have been given over and over again every day for the last few weeks. No, you leftists need to post a new one on the wall every day and get who knows what kind of rush, right?

        • Hmmmm. Well, I guess that is one way to look at it.

          Or…. you could say that it is clear that, from top to bottom, the Conservatives don't really know why they are doing it other than because they were sinking in the polls and they thought they could get away with it, and they are getting a lot of blowback at the local level from their constituents so they feel that they have to come up with their own reasons since the PMO talking points are so clearly BS and no one is believing them.

          How could we see which is closer to the truth? I dunno. Any recent polling out there on what Canadians think about shutting down Parliament?

          • Sure. So make a post every minute on it. Go ahead. Next.

    • Depends … how many days can Conservative cabinet ministers keep the quote factory rolling?

    • Dennis-F! translated: "Why don't you point out the flaws of other parliamentarians and leave my government alone?! Sob!

      • You're right! Prorogue posts every hour on the hour from now on. Woo hoo! It's not like the entire country knows about every single issue related to a 5-week prorogue yet!

        • Wow. In just a few minutes it's gone from 24/7 coverage to new posts every hour on the hour.

          Wherry, just how do you do it?

          And why do you keep deleting all these posts Dennis F says you are posting? Cause I just see one or two a day and those are just quoting news/quotes from Conservatives on that day? So maybe therefore it is the Conservatives who are commenting on this 24/7 and every hour on the hour?

          Conservative talking points can get so confusing.

          • But why stop at one or two a day? Why now scour the entire country and Web to find even more? Come on. What's the matter with some of you?

            And since when do I represent "Conservative" talking points. What, others are following my lead on this? Wow. Thanks!

    • It's simple, Dennis: a) Most Canadians dislike the current government, and b) This prorogation is similarly popular.

      As a result of b), category a) smells blood in the water. Plus the succesive litany of lame excuses offered up in support of b) are darkly comical. So people 'chatter', as they say.

      Plus, everyone loves a good, dark laugh, no? And the smell of blood in the water.

      Join the fun.

    • "I'm personally wondering how many consecutive days Wherry can go on making at least one post on the oh-so-emergency topic of prorogue. I mean, when you want to imagine Stockwell Day in a luge suit, you know it's got to be a matter of pressing national interest, right? You know every single substantive angle of this earth-shattering story is being covered inside and out – almost literally."

      I think this is a little lazy of you, Dennis_F because I'm fairly convinced that you can count and find your way around the internet (you certainly talk a good game), but you may be interested to know that he didn't post anything about it over the weekend, so the counter is currently set at one. But I want to help more than that, so I'm going to keep going back and counting. Do you want me to count weekends, or do we want to just count consecutive weekdays of such posts?

    • It is only natural that the Conservatives and their supporters want journalists such as Mr. Wherry to stop writing about prorogation already. Their fervent wish is for everybody to change the channel and stop worrying about such minor trivialities as, say, the suspension of democracy in Canada. After all, who needs democracy when we have bright shiny baubles such as the Olympics? Go Canada Go!

      However, for every Conservative supporter who wishes the whole thing would just go away, there is an equal or greater number of people who prefer that Canada should remain a democratic country, with its leaders accountable to Parliament and to the people. For such people, prorogation-related news is still of general interest.

  8. After reading the article in the Merritt News, I could not find any reference to the luge track. Does this mean Mr. Wherry will again be posting a correction ?

    • Mr Wherry's post does not mention luge. I read it.

    • I think most would recognize the title contains an allegorical reference to the fiscal action plan…

    • Luge is an Olympic sport.

      Vancouver, a city in Canada, is hosting the 2010 Winter Olympics (along with the Whistler area of British Columbia).

      The Olympics have been a prominent reason given for proroguement.

      The Economist, a prominent internationally respected news magazine, said "He [Harper] may be right that most Canadians care more about the luge than the legislature, but that is surely true only while their decent system of government is in good hands." –

      … any of the dots starting to connect yet, or is further explanation really necessary?

      • I`m starting to connect but I`m having trouble with the obsession of the commenters here with the luge.

        • It all rolls downhill man.

        • The luge features one man grimly trying to hang on and desperately steer while his vehicle plunges down a steep and treacherous slope.

          If this isn't a suitable metaphor for the current Conservative government, I don't know what is.

  9. The reason that this issue gets so much play is that many Canadians who only follow politics casually do not understand how government works. There seems to be a sense out there that the governemnt has somehow been shut down. Sorry folks, but everyone in the government and the opposition, including Wherry, are still busy at work.The only thing shut down is QP and a few days of parliamentary debate.

    In my view this was the biggest miscalculation on the part of the PM. He failed to provide any plausible justification for acting why he did. It's why every time a minister opens his/her mouth to explain the move, it only makes things worse. It would be better if ministers say nothing than try to use the Olympics as an excuse.

    And if opposition parties truly are offended by what has happened they have a duty to vote non confidence in the government. Failure to do so makes the whole circus atmosphere a farce.

    That's just my two cents.

    • Yes that's right, we've already had it explained by a Conservative MP that it's only democracy that's being shut down, not government. ~ phew ~

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    • G&M reports that 220 Canadians are out of work on Parliament Hill due to the prorogation. That likely hurts their saving accounts, what do you think?

      • While I am sorry for the individuals involved, it is good to see government spending less on salaries as the first step in reducing the deficit. Surely Liberals and NDPers support efforts to reduce government spending as part of deficit reduction? Don't they?

        We will never emerge from the recession if all we do is to rely on government jobs paid for by a dwindling taxpayer base.

        that's my 1.7 yen.

        • Is this you new debt reduction plan…oppositon paties can take turns clocking off work. Hey the new con excuse fo prorogation could be…sorry, we got to get the debt down – democracy is a luxury we can't afford right now!

    • "Failure to do so makes the whole circus atmosphere a farce."

      Er, given that a circus is a sort of farce, anyhow, wouldn't failure to do so just reinforce the idea that Federal Politics is a circus?

      The Conservatives are experiencing that which their strategists have told them to avoid at all costs – letting someone else define the issue before you do. As such, the PM's opportunity for a plausible explanation passed long ago, so all we're left with now is the contention that he has to put democracy on hold to watch the Olympics.

      Which, if you read it a certain way, says something about the Olympics as much as it does our government, but I've digressed. The more the Tories shoot their mouths off about prorogation now, the more it just seems to result in their getting the stuffing beat out of them by ad-hoc commenters. What to do? Work. And watch the Olympics, I guess.

      • Actually, Lynn, I agree with you. One of the Conservatives biggest mistakes has been to let the Libs and others define this issue. Since the government doesn't appear to have a plausible explanation that it is willing to share with the voters it is best to accept this one as a missed opportunity and change the subject rather than try to defend it. Unfortunately for the government this issue won't go away until parliament resumes since the storyline has become "parliament is shut down" rather than "parliamentarians are still working, they are just not having debates".

        The success of the Liberal/opposition spin is that they are successfuly showing themselves to be "hard at work" while at the same time complaining that parlaiment is shut down.

        • Nonsense. It's more like the Conservative attempt to define the issue has been a transparently epic fail.

          Whoever used the word 'recalibrate' before this debacle, anyway? Besides hydraulic engineers and what not.

  10. Did anyone else catch the Clara Hughes/Gary Lunn press conference last Friday?

    The one where Lunn declared that a cabinet minister will present a Canadian flag on air to all Canadian medal winners?

    Also, best part — when during the photo opp in front of the Canadian flag when a photographer yelled out to ask Lunn if they would be allowed to photograph Hughes without him in the shot?

    • I'd be interested to see in prior host countries how many government ministers decided to do that little stunt for their athletes winning a medal.

    • "The one where Lunn declared that a cabinet minister will present a Canadian flag on air to all Canadian medal winners?"

      Oh so THAT's why they can't be in Ottawa for question period. It makes total sense! They're not just watching the Olympics, they have to be in the stadium for the Victory Ceremonies/Concerts to hand out flags!

      • …and standing within a camera lens of the victors…

  11. When I attend the Sapporo Olympics in Japan, a Japanese minister was present for all medal ceremonies won by the host country.

    • They don't need to prorogue to have ministers present at the Olympics – they could pair – they could recess and still have a minister present for all medal ceremonies won by Canada.

      • I agree with you. Prorogation is not necessary for ministers to attend the Olympics. I was just aswering a question about whether ministers in other countries attend medal ceremonies.

        Frankly, if the Olympics ever were a part of the PM's thinking in deciding to prorogue (and I can't read his mind so I don't know what he was really thinking) I suspect that he was more concerned with visions of the daily playground we call QP being featured on national newscasts while overseas media gather in Vancouver rather than whether individual ministers have time to atend events. As the Minister responsible for the Olympics, I personally believe it is entirely appropriate for Gary Lunn to attend. It's not as if he'd be getting a lot of questions in QP that someone else could not respond to on his behalf.

        • I do agree with your point in the second paragraph. Here we are one of the most well-respected, civilized countries in the world and with the world watching us at the Olympics you would have the likes of Dewar and Dosanjh insinuating that we are involved in war criminal activity. And I`m sure they would recklessly play to the cameras and to hell with the repercussions on our international reputation.

          • So, does that amount to: We must put democracy on hold, lest our opposition say something that could make the world hate us?

            That's an interesting thought if I ever heard one.

          • The actions off the opp. in the Fall Parliament showed they were far more interested in attempting to score cheap political points then in democracy.

          • That was precisely my point. QP had gotten completely out of hand before Christmas with all of the false war criminal accusations. We have seen real war criminals in Nazi Germany, Serbia and Rwanda and no matter what one thinks of the government's handling or mishandling of the detainee issue (and I personally think it could have been handled better), it does not rise to the level of war crimes and it only embarrasses Canada for opposition MPs to hyperventilate the way they did..

            This is not an issue of putting democracy on hold, but of helping save Parliamentarians from embarrassing themselves in front of company. Dosanjh is probably secretly thanking the PM for helping him not make a fool of himself before international media.

  12. “Our plan is to bring back much of the legislation that was previously tabled and when we do I hope that the other parties do not dilute the legislation with amendments like they have in the past,” says Stockwell Day, MP for Okanagan-Coquihalla'.

    Has anyone told Stock it is a minoity parliament?

    • I suspect the public will be watching the upcoming Parliament very closely for any stunts by the opp. that will prevent the passing of popular legislation.

      • Popular? Hell, I'm still waiting to hear of any legislation I'd consider good.

  13. "Prorogation is a relatively customary process, now with the Olympics and re-organizing our fiscal plan we felt we needed the time,” says Day."

    “If they want this time to consult with Canadians they should resume Parliament on schedule and consult with the MP's who are elected and paid to make representation on behalf of their constituents to the government,” stated Alex Atamenko, an NDP MP for BC Southern Interior"

    Two different views on consultation…one assumes only it [ the gov't] gets to choose whom to consult with. The other points out that you can consult with Canadians through opposition MPs…they'e Canadians too.

    • Indeed.

      Example: The committee responsible for budget consultations was up and running prior to prorogation, hearing from a variety of organizations and individuals on "what to do about the budget" or somesuch.

      Post-Prorogation, the consultations that will be recorded for input are being held only by the governing party.

      Something's wrong with that picture.

  14. ADHD?