Time travel


Susan Delacourt points to Scott Feschuk’s mocking of the opposition’s response to the government’s decision to prorogue Parliament… in 1999.


Time travel

  1. I'm first struck by an implausible and Terry Gilliam-like situation — Feschuk worked for the NaPo? And not under a pseudomym and in drag? (of course, the last may require photographic evidence)… shocking!

  2. I don`t even recall this incident.
    I don`t remember Delacourt or Feschuk or even Coyne writing elaborate essays about the suspension of our freedoms.
    I don`t remember seeing front page editorials in the Globe about the evils of proroguation.
    And I don`t remember seeing opp. partisans dredging up names of history`s most evil dictators and fascists to describe the Prime Minister of the time.
    Why is that: Could be different times now or could be the opp. partisans were more realistic and civilized back then.

  3. It certainly does. Reading Feschuk's colourful account, it seems like the media reaction to Chretien's 1999 prorogation consisted mostly of yawning and sneering at Preston Manning. Granted, the circumstances were different, but still…

  4. It would help if you rolled around on your back on the grass sniveling.

  5. Yes, reading one column from a humour columnist does give me that impression of the entire nation's media…

  6. the circumstances were significantly different. and, manning's attempt to convince the reporters o his perspective, was uhmm, dumb.

  7. Gotta say it, I sure have missed your posts Jack.

  8. I get all my impressions from Feschuk.

    Obviously it's just one account, but it certainly jives with my general perception that there wasn't much media interest when previous prime ministers prorogued Parliament over the objections of the Opposition. I'm not claiming that the present situation is comparable; I'm simply pointing out that there was no broad outrage over the PM's powers to prorogue before Harper, as a minority PM, started using it as a blunt instrument.

  9. This isn't just Scott Feschuk, this is his description of the Parliamentary Press Gallery. They don't seem too exercised about a 3 week prorogation of Parliament at all.

    What is the opposition whining about is the gist of it. And remember folks, this is when the Liberals were in their second majority mandate.

    It's apparently a huge deal now.

    The media double standard, and particularly the Parliamentary Press Gallery's double standard press coverage of the Liberal and Conservative administrations is truly a disgrace. I'd be embarrassed if I were member of the PPG. It's so transparent.

  10. Another hilarious disconnect here.

    Susan Delacourt describes Feschuk's article as hiliarious.

    Remember that the article shows the PPG wondering why Manning is making such a big deal about the Libs proroguing Parliament for 3 weeks.

    Guess who's made more than one blog post a day about the Conservatives proroguing Parliament on December 30th? Why it's Susan Delacourt – she's made 8 blog posts on it including this comment on December 30th:

    "It's Canadians — including you folks out there reading this — who have to decide whether Harper has a legitimate reason to suspend the work of Parliament. Personally, I haven't heard one good reason yet."

    When Liberals do it, it's what's the big deal already? When the Conservatives do it, it's what's happening to democracy? When the media is this inconsistent, they have no credibility. At. All.

  11. It's beyond inconsistency,

    the media appear to be taking the diametrically opposite position.

    OPPOSING prorogue (against the Libs) is worthy of outright mockery.

    SUPPORTING prorogue (with the CPC) is worthy of outright condemnation.


    Truly remarkable.

  12. Chrétien was invariably in contempt of Parliament.

  13. It certainly seems to support John G's impression of the media in this country.

  14. I have no memory of writing that piece or attending that event. Perhaps I was partying as though it were 1999 – which, in fact, it was. (I'm one who parties with tremendous chronological accuracy.) Or perhaps those memories of Preston Manning were lost when I underwent therapy to expunge all mental images of Preston's wife grabbing his ass, which she did habitually (and aggressively).

  15. "I have no memory of writing that piece or attending that event."

    I have no doubt that you speak the truth Scott. Why would you remember writing about such a routine matter as the Prime Minister proroguing Parliament for a few weeks. It's pretty routine fare. Hardly unusual, even with the opposition's amusing antics which you ably reported.

  16. Despite the attempt at humour, I'm not laughing. Frankly, I am not the least impressed by the precedent set by Harper defying the explicit will of Parliament. Every ounce of Harper's legitimacy flows from Parliament, and to flout the will of Parliament in his position is reprehensible.

  17. To get a much more relevant comparison you would be better off to wait to see how the media treats Ignatieff if he actually shows up on Jan 25 or 26. Assuming that Ignatieff does show, I will be very surprised if the media don't treat him in a manner very similar to what happened to Manning.

  18. In that case, it was just Preston M applying the torture with every Reeeefoooorrrmmmm-ative.
    But first point to me where Chretien ended a session without completing his stated mission — all the while complaining that the opposition was blocking said items from being completed! — all the while spending like a drunken socialist.
    When you find that, get me your pre-blog comments on how 'undemocratic it is of the government to prorogue'. It seems your consistency is not the only thing lacking Jarrid-biph.

  19. Really, I think from what we've seen so far, it will be just the opposite. The media narrative here is this is a big deal, even though, when Chretien did it in '99, they thought it was no big deal.

  20. You're just being a partisan Andrew not PorC. Chretien did the same thing, twice as often as Harper.

    • "All this was inspired by the principle–which is quite true in itself–that in the big lie there is always a certain force of credibility; because the broad masses of a nation are always more easily corrupted in the deeper strata of their emotional nature than consciously or voluntarily; and thus in the primitive simplicity of their minds they more readily fall victims to the big lie than the small lie"

      Work it, baby, work it.

  21. When did Chretien defy an order by Parliament to produce documents? The answer is never. If you didn't notice, the comment to which you replied did not mention prorogation.

    And believe it or not, I had a strong distaste for the unchecked power of the PM when it was Chretien that wielded it. Prorogations ought to be something approved by the House. It is not logical that the executive can merely dismiss the legislative branch whenever it is convenient.

  22. You're just Costello to Feschuk's Abbot aren't you? Classic comic repartee there, golden!

  23. CR used the phrase sneering at Preston Manning, which rings true as a characterization of the way that the PPG, in general terms, treated Manning. Since Ignatieff ascended to the Liberal throne about a year ago I would hardly call the media treatment of Ignatieff as fawning; I will say that sneering would be much closer, and I don't see any reason for that to change in the next 3 weeks.

    I'm not really arguing the point that the media is treating the prorogations differently, just that Ignatieff, for his own good, needs to think long and hard before showing up for some stupid mock parliament towards the end of the month. If he does, one of us might be shown to be a better prognosticator than the other.

  24. Well I'm curious….care to elaborate? Was there a specific committee that had subpoenaed documents that Chretien was dodging, or something similar? Not saying there wasn't, I just can't recall one way or the other.

  25. Sorry I'm failing to keep you entertained Big Dave S, I'll try harder next time.

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