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The mocked Parliament


 

As to the question of whether Parliament should carry on without the government side, the NDP’s Bruce Hyer suggests a “Parliament of the willing,” Michael Ignatieff’s office says no to “mock Parliaments” and 16,537 (as of this writing) members of Facebook say “get back to work.”


 

The mocked Parliament

  1. I like how the FB page's justification for returning MPs to the house is based on something that happened in England in 1640. I also wonder how many of those 16,660 (as of my reading) are under 30 (and less likely to vote Conservative, or at all…)

    Much though I disagree with this prorogation, a mock Parliament would just make things worse.

    • The FB group has grown to about 25,000 over night. I myself have received three different online petitions on this subject through FB, Twitter and LinkedIn.

      I frankly can't help but chuckle when seeing all of the pundits doing their best to dismiss this because it doesn't quite fit with their condescending view of the average Canadian voter. These greying old farts are, apparently, still unable to grasp the power of online grassroots organizing through social networks.

      Though Harper (and others) slipped this one in just before New Year's to ensure that the MSM wouldn't give it as much coverage, they can't silence the internet.

      There are still almost two months before the Olympics which is plenty of time for this matter to catch fire with Canadians, if it hasn't already.

      Most Canadians might not understand the constitutional intricacies involved in a prorogation but they sure do understand that their taxes are paying the salaries of politicians who have been told to stay home and take an extra two months vacation.

      • Rightly or wrongly, the average Canadian voter still isn't paying enough attention for this to change votes. If this is still the big story in a week, that can change. Remember: the more we talk about this, the more mind-share that this gets. The more mind-share prorogation gets, the less the detainee issue gets. The less the environmental bungle that was Copenhagen gets.

        25,000 people on facebook have joined a "petition": yes, it's grassroots organization, and I hope they're able to get enough signatures such that a de-facto quorum of the people can take it to government and say, look, this is wrong, fix it. Here's the thing: Facebook is still dominated by younger audiences. Younger audiences are significantly less likely to vote than those stodgy old farts you refer to. So in the end, is a facebook group devoted to changing politics actually going to change politics? Who knows.

        And a prorogued Parliament sends MPs back to their constituencies – where, hopefully, MPs are actually out talking to voters, rather than sitting on their laurels.

  2. Well, democracy has spoken, 16537 of the snappiest communicators that Facebbok has to offer says get back to work.

    Our finest opposition Mp`s have important questions to ask this evil government.

    The good commenters on this blog have referred to Harper as a dictator, a fascist, Castro , Mao and even the evil H word.

    These people say Harper must be stopped.

    Meanwhile, the other 97% of Canadians just go on living their lives.

    • Here’s a number for you: 25% of Conservative supporters are displeased with the prorogation, according to a recent poll. That makes something like 8-10% of the general population, not counting any opposition supporters.

    • "Our finest opposition Mp`s have important questions to ask this evil government."

      We are at war / recovering from recession / walking while chewing gum so this is hardly the time to be questioning or opposing the government.

  3. "The good commenters on this blog have referred to Harper as…Castro , Mao and even the evil H word."

    Care to back up that accusation?

    • And while you're at it, "common man", perhaps you'd let us know how you'd have felt if Chretien had prorogued Parliament once to avoid losing a confidence vote and again to interfere with an investigation into its actions.

      I'm sure you'd have been just fine with the Liberals doing this, no?

    • You can review the last week`s posts from your friendly commenters and you will see numerous mentions of dictator and fascist. I think it was Sir Francis who mentioned Castro and the Mao and H references were from a couple of your fringe contributors.

      The anger on the left is quickly turning people away from them.

  4. Just curious.

    If a coalition, representing a majority of MPs, suggests to the GG that they are able to form a government, she has the authority to ask them to do so.

    Does anyone have any idea what her authority would be if a majority of MPs asked the GG to reconvene Parliament in January?

    • A gaggle of MPs wouldn't have much standing without a formal coalition document or petition (signed by enough MPs to make Parliament functional).

      • I was thinking more majority than gaggle. Such a request would have to be presented formally, possible in the form of a signed petition.

        My question is, would the GG have the authority to act on such a request, or does her authority only extend to the request to form a government? Could she order Parliament reconvened without the formation of a new government?

    • From our Constitution:

      Application of Provisions referring to Governor General in Council

      13. The Provisions of this Act referring to the Governor General in Council shall be construed as referring to the Governor General acting by and with the Advice of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada.

      Since a prorogation is issued by the GG, it seems to me she does so on the advice of her Privy Council, and no others.

      • There are a few overarching principles in our constitution dictated by convention and tradition, that are not necessarily codified therein: responsible government is one, order is another.

        The PCO leadership is effectively chosen by the PM, and as such, they're not likely to contradict the PM unless (and I do put this rather softly) extraordinary circumstances apply.

        A petition signed by ten million Canadians would probably qualify as "extraordinary".

  5. Iggy will say no, won't he? Parliament is not a good venue for him. Bob Rae constantly outshines him there. He is probably better off in one-on-ones and townhalls.

    Besides, what would they do in a mock parliament anyway?

    • Probably discuss how much greater the Olympics would be than governing.

  6. Mock

  7. Allow me to repeat: care to back up these accusations?

    • I can vouch for this having read all the comments last week.

      I get what you're playing at – either get a chuckle out of wasting somebody's time by making them search through old entries or else suggest that his inability to provide said statements renders them false.

      Is it really so shocking to believe that negative, anti-Harper comments appeared on this board last week ? REALLY ?

      You sir, are acting in extreme bad faith.

      • You remember the Castro reference so I have no doubt you've read the post. But since you're misquoting Sir Francis then I won't trying to correct your set in stone misconceptions.

  8. With the undeserved good fortune of having majority governments Chretien`s biggest problems were those standing behind him, not in front, and as for the investigations into his actions, i don`t recall the Public Inquiry into Shawinigate.

    • You didn't answer my question.

      Surprise, surprise.

      • No, but he told your self-righteous self of something you needed to hear.

    • So not having the majority support of canadians means Harper HAS to go through every passe droite to stay in power.

  9. “It wouldn't surprise me one bit if they decided to prorogue Parliament… I'm sorry if I sound a little cynical. This is a government (for which) the rules of engagement don't apply. They'll move the goal post, change the boundaries and bribe the referee.”

    – Deputy Conservative Leader Peter MacKay, on unfounded rumours that the Liberal government planned to prorogue in 2005 (Nanaimo Daily News, July 18, 2005)

  10. Ignatieff says he doesn't believe in a mock Parliament. That's an excuse to do nothing as he has basically done since the beginning of his tenure. Instead of doing something positive about the budget, he put the CPC on "probation." How silly and meaningless was that? He canceled trips to China and India so Harper could go first. Where was he when the Afghan Detainee Issue blew up? Oh yes, traveling. Where was he at the time of prorogation? Oh yes, on holidays – real holidays. Now he'll go on "Harper Holidays" because it's easy.

    I want some responsible backbone from Michael Ignatieff. He's the only person right now that can save us from the Harperservatives and, so far, he's not doing it. It's almost as if he's there "for" the Harper Party instead of the Liberal Party. ?? Nah .. can't be. Right?

    • The Libservative Party of Canada in action.

  11. I'd like to see more vertebrate action come from Ignatieff's camp too. Nonetheless, it's not up to the opposition to govern the country. That's for the…gasp…governing party to do.

    As it is, MI and the LPC have some serious platform construction to do. There's no use opposing your government when you haven't got a policy or articulated belief of your own to stand on.

  12. Yawn….Wherry and his facebook friends don't like Harper! News Alert!

    Cue the Harper=Hitler rant lefties…

    • This is interesting. So far on this thread, there have been no connections made between Stephen Harper and Hitler, Mao or Castro by a *ahem* lefty, but by *ahem* Conbots, there have been two. I wonder what it is about Stephen Harper that makes the right reflexively think of such despots.

      • Sorry, I made the Mao comparison. I'm not really a lefty, but if the shoe fits, throw it.

          • Lord, I'd love the chance. Right when they're fresh from the field, with the whiff of explosive residue from burying their bombs still on their hands. Then I'd hand them over to their own people for a real going over.

          • Who or what is stopping you? Not me. Go and do your thing. Just remember though, if you wind up injured and/or arrested and/or tortured, the only questions that'll be get asked on your behalf from your compatriots here in Canada will be, "What was he doing in a war zone halfway around the world? What is he, a terrorist?"

        • The last flying shoe that I saw was headed directly at GWB….the poor soul.

    • Maybe they're referring to this:

      http://www.absoluteastronomy.com/topics/Saskatche

      The Saskatchewan Party under Elwyn Hermanson had accidentally leaked a compiled of registered Sask NDP party members and their relatives who worked for the provincial government. Speculation was it was a "to-fire" list. An acquaintance of mine who shall remain nameless drew a cartoon of Mr. Hermanson loading these people onto boxcars and sent it to a few friends, who sent it to a few friends, etc, etc, etc.

      This is the last major Consrvatives = Nazis "scandal". I recall, but no Party Chairman Harper involvement. Besides, we Loony Twoney Lefties usually compare Harper to Chairman Mao, not Hitler. Do you have a blue armband?

    • Conservative talking points, good that you keep us in the loop

      • So Libs don't have talking points?

  13. It's interesting that alleged public apathy is becoming such a major talking point for Harper's supporters. It's like the world is being divided into two camps: the bad people who care what happens in Parliament, and the good people who don't.

    People really ought to be asking serious questions about a government that seemingly sees public apathy as a key to its success.

    • The thing is, you only "care" about prorogation because a party you don't support did it. If the party you do support did it, you would not "care." That's politics. And human nature. And etc.

      • That's politics. That's partisanship. But that's not necessarily human nature.

  14. Well, actually one could argue that Ignatieff will never get the profile he needs from Canadians if he continues to react to the things Harper does….. There is nothing the opposition can do to pressure Harper to get back to work….so why beat a dead horse? let him live with the mess he made…….and make him eat it (because you know Harper is going to call an election in the spring so we don't hear what Sheila Fraser has to say about the stimulus and to cut-off the Afghanistan thing)

    I think if Ignatieff is going to break through with Canadians, he needs to stick to his plan for the University tour culminating in the 'thinkers' conference….it is a chance for him to do what he does best in environments he is most comfortable in……AND it will look a heck of a lot more progressive when compared against the ridiculous Olympic photo ops and piano ditties you KNOW we are going to be subject to.

    • You had a cognizant argument going on there, right up until you said Iggy was going to break through with Canadians.

  15. What a rich fantasy life you must live.

  16. Well, actually one could argue that Ignatieff will never get the profile he needs from Canadians if he continues to react to the things Harper does….. There is nothing the opposition can do to pressure Harper to get back to work….so why beat a dead horse? let him live with the mess he made…….and make him eat it (because you know Harper is going to call an election in the spring so we don't hear what Sheila Fraser has to say about the stimulus and to cut-off the Afghanistan thing)

    I think if Ignatieff is going to make any impact and change any minds, he needs to stick with his plan for a University Tour culminating in the 'thinkers' conference in March. This type of event suits him and puts him in an environment he is most comfortable in…..it will be impactful and look even MORE progressive than even intended compared against the shenanigans of Harper and inevitable photo ops and piano ditties at the Olympics you KNOW Harper is going to subject us to.

    • too late he is already waffling on the date of the conference

  17. Right, you lefties would never toss around a Hitler comparison, I forgot, you're far to mature for that.

    How long till the next loony tune leftie proves me right?

  18. As usual you're bang on Dakota. I mean, for proof one needs to look no further than Goldberg's "Liberal Fascism"…

    Oh wait, nevermind…

  19. Ignatieff may never get to said profile by running around Universities talking about high-felutin ideas, either, but that's a risk the LPC seems to be willing to take.

    One of the markers of success in politics is if people look at a candidate and can think "he stands for what I stand for" or "he believes in the same things as do people like me". At the same time, there seems to be this idea that "down home" beliefs and "family values" run in opposition to "Academia" and "elite worldliness".

    As long as Iggy paints himself as the Smart Guy in the room (whom we should all listen to, because he's smart) he will be on the losing side of both of those debates.

  20. I can vouch for having read last week that you admitted to sodomizing sheep.

    Do I need to provide proof for this statement? If you are going to attribute extreme statements to somebody, you better be able to back it up.

    (and I said nothing about not believing anti-Harper comments – you're moving those goal posts. I asked for proof that Harper has been equated with Mao, Castro and Hitler.)

    • Now you're confusing two different things.

      Let me clarify – I cannot vouch for a specific statement by a specific individual.

      What I can attest to is that various commentators made the usual Harper = fascist, dictator nonsense.

      Its actually a really common occurence on the board, comparing Harper to various evil ideologies or historical figures.

      Of course, YOU KNOW THAT. This isn't your first rodeo.

      So my initial complaint stands. Your rudeness only adds to my impression that you are acting in bad faith.

      • I'm not confusing two different things, you are. After reading a specific allegation from "common man" – that those he disagrees with on this board have likened Harper to Mao, Castro and Hitler – I asked for corroborating proof. You'll note that I did not ask for him to provide similar proof for the more generic terms of "fascist" or "dictator" – mostly because last week there was a whole post by Colby Cosh discussing the use of the term "benevolent dictator" and the comments section would almost assuredly use those terms fairly freely.

        Again let me reiterate, if you are going to make specific allegations against those you disagree with, you should be able to back it up. Am I to take it on your word that "leftists" (i.e. people with whom you and "common man" disagree) have made these comparisons? See, what "common man" and you are trying to do is convince everyone that those you disagree with are unhinged. I've been following things around here fairly closely over the Christmas break and I don't recall ever reading anything approaching "Harper is as bad as Hitler!"

        And finally, you're right, this isn't my first "rodeo". Which is why I'm not letting you get away with this kind of nonsense.

  21. I can't believe Ignatieff is opposing a mock parliament…. how does he manage to consistently alienate his base support!??!?!!

    • Would you say the same thing about Layton who is as well?

    • Because he knows a mock parliament is likely to alienate even more of the people whose votes he needs and doesn't already have.

      • Bingo. Ignatieff is actually being shrewd by opposing a mock parliament.

      • MI may have figured out that silly stunts leads to a drop in LPC polling numbers. The backroom boys brought MI in because he is supposed to be a Thinker but attempts to outmaneuver PMSH has repeatedly left MI looking foolish. Focusing on curing the serious questions plaguing the LPC (how to expand its political base, creating coherent policies, and a vote-winning platform) is the better choice.

        • I gotta disagree with you guys…this is another missed opportunity – maybe? Not sure if Iggie's the man for it though?
          Opposition MPs turning up enmase with the inevitable media circus would indeed send a message…to the GG if no one else. There's no need to overdo it..".ALL" the opposition MPs should turnup on the hill where presumeably they'll be locked out…that would not look good on the box at supertime. It's merely symbolic of course…but to quietly accept this is frankly pathetic…fight for god's sake, it's what we sent you to Ottawa for…alot of ordinary Canadians are not happy with this stunt…no matter what the conbots regurgitate…including a good many true Conservatives.

          • I kinda hope that MI changes his mind (nahhh…that never happens). I am sure a brand-new stunt with the 'socialists and separatists' will go over as well as the original coalition did. They should make sure to get some great pictures of the three opposition leaders working together again. Ones that will be sure to leave a strong impression in voters heads right before a possible election.

          • Exactly. If they showed up to hold a mock parliament, the smartest thing Harper could do would be to just let them; let them hang around the House holding a "coalition policy conference" if they like.

          • When did you become a constitutional expert…your opinion carries no more weight here than mine. Please refer to any acknowledged expert who holds your view.

            Coalitions are not illegal in our parliamentary system no matter how much you spin it. Personally i'm convinced a great deal of the anger was directed at Dion assuming the PM's job…a man who had been decisvely rejected…why on earth the dimwits ever thought that would would fly is beyond me.
            In any case a symbolic meeting of parliament has bugger all to do with a coalition…it would merely be the what it is…parliament stating its preference to reconvene. In fact, if the tables were turned it's probably what Haper himself would attempt.

          • The opposition parties paraded every constitutional expert and liberal friendly journalist in Canada across the TV screens to lecture voters about the how the coalition was legal and proper. It didn't change the perception that the backroom was improper.

            A mock parliament would again show the opposition parties as a single unit. The LPC and MI would be making a huge gamble that Canadians would not link the two events and be suspicious of a hidden agenda by a LPC/NDP/BLOC coalition-in-waiting after the next election.

            As a CPC voter, I think MI should throw caution to the wind and make that bet.

          • I said nothing in regards to constitutionality, only that last winter's debacle showed coalition government is not particularly appealing to the electorate. Doing what you want would be easily spun by the PMO as a return to the exact kind of extraparliamentary deal-brokering that proved to be politically radioactive for the opposition last time around.

          • Heh! Can i spin too? It''s toxic and extraparliamentary[ bs straight off] to have a coalition govt. and if they have a mock parliament that somehow is a coalition. No coalitions allowed…no mock parliaments allowed cuz that would forming a coalition…you guys can't possibly believe this crap. i refuse to concede that a coalition is outside the rules merely because a demagogic PM says it is ; and i refuse to concede that holding a symbolic parliament has to mean anything more than that. what's more i'm willing to bet the public will think likewise. Dion is gone…Harper's bluff wont work again…although i'll concede he's a better bluffer than the opposition.

  22. Stephen Harper – putting the 'rogue' in 'prorogue' …

    • Regurgitated Liberal talking point. See, both parties can play that game.

      • Really ? Please show me where that was in any Liberal's talking point.

        • Do your own research, you lazy socialist. Sheesh, can't you be bothered to get on their mailing list?

  23. ever get the impression that the geeks that are all worked up about this issue were probably the kids that roll-played in "mock parliaments" or "mock UN's"?

    get a life.

    he's shutting it down for a couple weeks over the olympics, for god's sake, and he'll be back with a budget. don't like it? vote it down.

    you'd think he just launched a blitzkrieg.

    • So bill – if Chretien had prorogued Parliament, once to dodge a vote of non-confidence and a second time to interfere with an ongoing investigation into Liberal policies, what would you have said about that?

    • Funny Mulroney could manage to have an Olympics going on AND run parliament at the same time…..You Harper supporters seriously want us to think that Harper can't do both at once? you seriously want us to think that the federal government plays any sort of role in the execution of the games? Is John Baird going to sell hot dogs?

      The rationale of we are shutting down work so we can get work done is beyond me…..

      • John Baird selling hotdogs!!!
        Now that is quite a visual.

        • Baird does seem to have some of the main attributes of a hot-dog vendor, striding up and down the aisles, shouting at the spectators…."HOT DOGS, get your spittle flecked HOT DOGS!!"

  24. The Liberals are being deliberately obtuse when they call it a "mock parliament" which equates what could be a serious discussion about the state of our democrartic representation by elected officials with grade school exercises. Essentially they are co-conspirators with the Conservatives to maintain this winner takes the spoils version of parliament because they want to be free of accountability and limits the next time they "win."

    I can't explain why the NDP would oppose this, though.

    How much of the palaver that goes on in parliament even influences legislation any more? Seems to me that committees, debates, question period, the Senate, quasi-judicial boards, commissions, the courts and now votes in the House of Commons are being ignored by the government, so what praytell is the difference between a formal sitting of the house and an opposition inspired sitting?

    • so what praytell is the difference between a formal sitting of the house and an opposition inspired sitting?

      Legitimacy.

      Remember how, despite every constitutional expert in the land assuring us that the proposed coalition was perfectly proper, the electorate largely viewed it as a ridiculous trick for Dion & Co. to connive their way into power without benefit of winning an election? Same thing, more or less.

      • Optics.
        The PM used his tarring brush and painted it as "illegal" and a "separatist coalition" etc
        It was a bold gambit and it worked.

      • My point, dear avr, is that while "the perception of legitimacy" may or may not be on the wane, actual legitimacy has taken quite a knock during Canada's 40th Parliament. Anyone want to do something about that? Or are you content to maintain the status quo until Canadians finally toss the current crop of power mongers out and installs the other crop of power mongers who will then thumb their nose at electors too?

  25. Which people? The bad people who care, or the good people who don't?

    Or all people?

  26. Everyone freaking out here about prorogation, remember this: Harper has the full confidence of the House of Commons.

    The opposition parties could have voted for an election before prorogation, and didn't. They could vote for an election immediately upon return from prorogation, but they won't.

    Everything Harper is doing – in a diffcult, fractured MINORITY Parliament, no less – has the blessing of the leaders of the socialists who are wailing here.

    So ….

    … 'Nuff said.

    • "Harper has the full confidence of the House of Commons."

      I see the ConBots are already getting desperate in their attempts to justify the Harper Dictatorship.

      • No response to the fact of the statement, I see; just more mud thrown to see what sticks.

        • Creeger, have you forgotten?

          "It would be irresponsible to interrupt our important work on the economy with an unnecessary election."
          – Transport Minister John Baird

          • Blues
            Somehow you have made a connection between having an unnecessary election and a two weeks delay in the return of Parliament.

            Would you care to connect the dots?

  27. Context

    Point 1: I "disapprove" of my wife putting my socks in the underwear drawer.

    It doesn't mean it will force me to leave her. Polls showing "disapproval" of this is meaningless.

    Point 2: And as stated above, the opposition has been chirping about this or that for the last year, but, like my sock drawer issue, never seems to rise to the level of actually voting them out of power.

    Why? See point 1. Or more particularly the opposition's awareness of point 1.

    The opposition prefers the court of leftist media opinion, but are staying safely away from the voters.

    • Why am I not surprised that biff doesn't put his own socks away?

  28. Mock parliament , I really want to look at it see it how to run. It may be a big joke, I just enjoy what the new game of Harper, our PM deserve a New Year First Politics Winner.

  29. Personally, I'm quite happy Harper has prorogued.

    Our economy works better the further away from it he is.

    • Harper's prorogued because it's expedient for him to do so.

      When Parliament returns, assuming he appoints the new senators that all indications have said he would, he'll have a majority in the Senate, which means the Senate Committees may be reconstituted in order to reflect the new "reality" in the upper chamber. Which means – you guessed it – easier passage of legislation, and bye-bye detainee inquiry. Oh, and 20-year Conservative legacy.

      Three birds, one stone.

  30. "You haven't thought about these optics, because you imagine such a mock parliament would be interpreted positively for the Liberals and negatively for the government;"

    No, not entirely anyway. I'm thinking it would be positive for Parliament itself in this country.

  31. If you can show me where even an extraordinary petition such as you describe can override the advice of the Prime Minister, I'm all ears. We aren't in an instant-response system. There are mechanisms for punishing or correcting political decisions, if that is what is desired, but they are accomplished over time – weeks, months, yers. Votes of censure, non-confidence votes, and general elections are the usual vehicles. As I observed in another string, last year's decision by the PM was, in a way, validated by public opinion, the opposiiton believed in that strongly enough that they backed off the coalition and dumped Dion, and the Conservatives went to new highs in public opinion polling.

    The principles and conventions you cite are, indeed, powerful forces within our constitution. One of the most important is that political decisions are left to politicians, who are accountable for them. For the GG to attempt to divine the will of the people and take an unprecedented action would, I think, be beyond her bounds. If you believe political decisions are wrong, challenge them in political arenas and leave the GG out of it, in my opinion.

  32. "Facebook is still dominated by younger audiences. Younger audiences are significantly less likely to vote than those stodgy old farts you refer to. So in the end, is a facebook group devoted to changing politics actually going to change politics? Who knows."

    You misunderstand how these FB groups – or any other social networking tool – work. For starters, the FB page in question doesn't have a petition from what I saw. The petitions I received were started by other groups with no ties to the Calgary U student behind the FB page.

    This isn't just about signing a petition, it is about communication and raising the level of awareness in ways that Harper et al. desperately were trying to avoid. It seems to me that Harper was banking on the MSM news cycle to fizzle out quickly. That's not going to happen. Not with the multiple social network sites picking up the issue.

  33. And Lynn, those "younger audiences" on FB and other places are the reason why a black man is now President of the United States. The reality is that they outnumber the old farts and it would be a mistake to underestimate that group.

    It is a hard group to mobilize indeed but let the record show that social networks manned by "younger audiences" have had a serious impact on politics in countries like the US and Iran to name but a few.

  34. It's encouraging a letter-writing campaign to MPs, petitioning them to go to parliament EVEN THOUGH THEY'LL HAVE NOBODY TO HOLD ACCOUNTABLE. It provides the text of the letter in the group description. This particular group is about inciting change, and don't mistake it for simple awareness-raising.

  35. You're right. But then, those younger audiences had someone to rally behind in the US.

    Who are they going to rally behind now? If they do show up to vote in numbers larger than their historically 25-per-cent-attendance, who will they vote for? There isn't a single party leader who's yet come forward to support a reversal of the GG's decision. Are you imagining a youth revolt of some sort, a march on Ottawa, if you will?

    You point out that it is a hard group to mobilize; I agree. Here's the thing: joining a facebook group is not mobilization, and I'd bet the farm that lots of those 25K in the group don't understand that simply clicking "join group" or "accept invitation" is not enough to incite change. Heck, some of them are still wondering if there's been any incidences of prorogation since King James.

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