Hey 62% Majority

by matttbastard

See you next year.

Go read Alison.  Now.

(image courtesy Impolitical)

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Quote of the Day: Nixonland North

by matttbastard

Like Richard Nixon, Harper seems obsessed not merely with defeating his opponents, but with destroying them. The fact that he could not restrain himself, even in a minority position, bespeaks a kind of sickness better explained by pathology than politics. It is poetic justice that after Harper’s repeatedly goading, taunting and humiliating his opponents, they finally sucked up their guts and kicked him in the privates.

– William Neville, Harper finally gets his comeuppance

h/t EmpressNorton via tweet

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What’s At Stake

by matttbastard

While Ottawa smolders with inflamed partisanship, CP reports that Canada shed 70,600 jobs in November, the highest monthly job loss figures since 1982, when the country was mired in a deep recession (as opposed to a ‘technical’ recession *cough*). Guess which province (and sector) overwhelmingly bore the brunt of the bleeding?

Yep:

Ontario shed 66,000 jobs last month, leading the country to the largest decline since the deep recession of 1982.

The province’s losses pushed the unemployment rate to 7.1 per cent from 6.5 per cent the previous month. Overall, 70,600 jobs were chopped across the country.

The battered manufacturing sector was mostly responsible for the job bleeding in Ontario with a decline of 42,000. That took the factory sector’s share of employment in the province to 13 per cent – down from 18.2 per cent six years ago.

Gee, too bad our prime minister concluded the most prudent step to address the economy was to lock the doors of parliament, at a time when stability and leadership is absolutely vital if we are to maintain public confidence in an increasingly unstable economic landscape. All because Stephen Harper apparently values his own job security over that of the nation. Oh, and I hope you all will excuse me for being a little skeptical of Tony Clement’s MacGyver-like creativity in the midst of a crisis in the auto industry.

Enjoy your fire alarm vacation, Steve. We’ll see you on the 26th. Of January.

Related: Is changing the government without an election “undemocratic”, as Harper and Co. have repeatedly claimed? Of course not. So maybe someone should pass the message along to Bob Fife.

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Dear Liberal Party of Canada: Now Is Not the Time To Shift Focus

by matttbastard

Seriously, swalllow your goddamn pride and shut the fuck up.

Now that Stephen Harper has pulled a McCain and successfully suspended parliament, a question seems to be on the lips of many both inside and outside the Liberal Party of Canada: is it time for Stephane Dion to step aside? As noted by The Economist, “the parliamentary hiatus might allow the Liberals to bring forward their leadership vote and replace the lacklustre Mr Dion.” Chrystal Ocean believes such a maneuver is imperative if the coalition is to succeed, because “when voters talk about the Liberal Party, in the end – after discussion of Martinites vs. Chretianites, sponsorship, party disorganization, lack of grassroots – it always comes down to Dion. And his leadership”:

The LPC needs, crucially, someone who can recapture the imaginations of the Canadian public, someone who can solidly portray competence. Dion can’t do that. Nor, do I think, can Iggy (who gives most lefties the creeps) or Rae or LeBlanc.

There must be a LPC emergency measure which could i) have the duration of the leadership race shortened, ii) allow all LPC members to vote for the leader (one member, one vote), rather than insisting on running a costly convention at which only people backed by money can attend and vote, iii) or find some other way to put a new leader in place quickly.

Look, even though I’m not exactly enamoured with Dion’s tenure as Liberal leader, at this point I honestly don’t give a toss. Regardless who helms the Liberal Party of Canada, it’s pretty much a given the Harpercons are going to use their deep party warchest to escalate the PR assault on Layton and Duceppe, the socialist/separatist toxic twins of the coalition troika. All parties involved need to maintain focus on the primary objective: replacing Stephen Harper with the Coalition for Change. And if that means sucking it up and (temporarily) giving the keys to 24 Sussex to Stephane Dion, so be it.

Anything else is simply an unnecessary distraction that plays right into the Tories’ brazen divide-and-conquer strategy–which, according to the National Post (grain of salt alert), may already be having an impact within Liberal ranks.

Update: Plz to be stuffing a sweat sock in Jim Karygiannis mouth. Kthnxbai. (Will update once footage of Karygiannis’ tirade is posted.)

Update 2: As promised, Jim Karygiannis, talking fast and loose to Rosemary Thompson of CTV News.  Some of the things he has to say (eg, regarding Stephen harper) are dead on, but most of his comments are unnecessarily inflammatory and should not have been aired out in public.

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12.04.08: The Day Stephen Harper Officially Flipped the Bird to Canadian Parliamentary Democracy.

by matttbastard

So, as you probably heard, Uncle Steve managed to stave off the inevitable till mid-January:

Gov. Gen. Michaëlle Jean has granted a request from Stephen Harper to suspend Parliament until late next month, the prime minister announced on Thursday, a move that avoids a confidence vote set for Monday that could have toppled his minority government.

“Following my advice, the Governor General has agreed to prorogue Parliament,” Harper said outside Rideau Hall after a 2½-hour meeting with Jean.

“When Parliament resumes Jan. 26, the first order of business will be the presentation of a federal budget.”

[…]

Monday’s no-confidence vote could have precipitated the rise of a proposed Liberal-NDP coalition, supported by the Bloc Québécois or it could have resulted in another election, depending on the Governor General’s response.

But the decision to suspend Parliament — made after Jean cut short a two-week trip to Europe — only gives the Tories a reprieve until Jan. 26, when they plan to table a budget, which would be a confidence vote, as all money bills are.

In the interim, the Tories will continue to wage a public relations blitz against the Liberal-NDP coalition.

Alison nails it:

Steve pulls the fire alarm and walks into the exam he knows he’s going to fail.
GG says it’s ok and grants him an eight week extension on his separatists and socialists topic.

Man, it’s like election time all over again–only now people actually give a shit about the outcome (too bad we can’t cast a vote on the matter.)

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Shocking Development No One Could Have Predicted!!11one

by matttbastard

Government House Leader Jay Hill just confirmed during a Newsworld interview that Uncle Steve will ask the Governor General to suspend Parliament to save his ass for the good of the nation.

Gee, what a surprise.

And to think that up until late last week most of the nation likely thought “proroguing” was a special Albertan method of cooking perogies.

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Shorter Stephane Dion

by matttbastard

blue-sweater-vest

“Chill the fuck out, guys — I (finally) got the hang of this leadership thing.”

Update: If there were any lingering doubts that CTV is nothing but a a propaganda organ for the Conservative Party of Canada…

Update 2: With all that said, I gotta agree with pogge and Steve V.: the inexplicable delay and unbelievably bad production values of the Dion response was unforgivably amateur hour and undermined Dion’s substantive victory. Thanks to the fashionable tardiness of the tape, a good part of the country didn’t even have the opportunity to see Dion plead his case. The more things change…

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Shorter Stephen Harper

by matttbastard

Saving Canada from devilish deals since 2008

“Ok, so my sweater-vest was in the wash, and I didn’t have anything new to say–but hopefully my soothing Polka-Dot Door voice was enough to distract the Canadian people away from the fact that the historical record isn’t exactly on my side.”

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Apparently We’re All Supposed To Be Shocked and Outraged Now (OH NOES–SEPARATISTS! SOCIALISTS!)

by matttbastard

Shorter Stephen Harpercons:

“How dare those undemocratic Opposition leaders (SEPARATISTS! SOCIALISTS!) actually take their parliamentary duties seriously!”

Regarding the high dudgeon and great consternation from the Serious Set (farts in Bob Fife’s general direction) at the notion of the Bloc and the NDP (SEPARATISTS! SOCIALISTS!) doing the unthinkable and actually *gasp* talking with each other, what Impolitical said:

…and? It’s news that the NDP and Bloc have been speaking? In a minority parliament? How scandalous. The other parties outnumber the Conservatives and if the Conservatives aren’t acting in a manner that the other parties agree with…then such discussions are entirely appropriate. It’s appropriate to explore at any moment and lay the groundwork for alternatives in an inherently fragile parliament, which, contrary to Conservative spinning, it is.

Uncle Steve appears to have become quite enamoured with governing like he had a majority last session (thanks in large part to perpetual Liberal acquiescence) and seemed fully prepared to continue the trend in the current session. Alas, in actuality, the Conservatives only hold a minority of seats in Parliament and minority governments have to maintain the confidence of the House. If the government loses the confidence of the House, the government falls.

Maybe if Mr. Harper weren’t so hostile to the concept of Canadian parliamentary democracy he might, y’know, have a better understanding of how it works [link corrected — mb].

Regardless, methinks Fife (SEPARATISTS! SOCIALISTS!) should perhaps pay more attention to the real scandal here: Members of our government are apparently so terrified their little empire may be in decline and on the brink of collapse that they believe it’s entirely appropriate (justified, even) to employ what some might call Nixonian ratfucking tactics, specifically, “invade other party telephone calls, tape them and distribute [them] to the media”, as Impolitical put it. Or are such piddling matters simply not newsworthy inside the Queensway cocktail circuit? Oh, wait, I forgot — Guy Giorno already sent out the script, and you’re not allowed to make any rewrites mid-production.

Gotcha.

Related: Chet takes a closer look at the the ongoing meltdown in Toryland (update: more here), while fern muses about drafting a list of demands now that our not-so-New (perhaps soon-to-be-former) Canadian Government is in such a giving mood. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to pour a glass of schadenfreude shiraz to sip on while I observe the all-too-amusing exhibit of wingnut splutter and flail.

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More on Bill Ayers and Guilt by Association

by matttbastard

Gail Collins FTW:

The McCain folks have been obsessed with William Ayers, a neighbor of Obama’s who is a professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Back in the 1960s, Ayers and his wife, Bernardine Dohrn, were leaders of the Weather Underground, an antiwar group whose penchant for violence was exceeded only by its haplessness. Ayers has since become an education expert and was named Chicago’s Citizen of the Year in 1997. He gave Obama a house party when Obama was running for the State Senate.

In my experience, most State Senate hopefuls are so thrilled at any sign of interest that they would happily attend a reception given by a homeless couple in their cardboard box. But even though Obama was 8 years old at the time the Weathermen were in the news, that house party puts all their misdeeds on his platter. Sarah Palin has been telling her increasingly scary rallies that he is somebody “who sees America as imperfect enough to pal around with terrorists.”

[…]

Before we go any further, I have a confession to make. When I was a college student, I believe I attended a party with Bernardine Dohrn. This was pre-Weather, when Dohrn was a leader of the Students for a Democratic Society, better known as S.D.S. Some of my friends wanted to meet her because they were interested in establishing an S.D.S. chapter at our campus. I was opposed, under the presumption that S.D.S. meant Students for Decent Styles, a group that had been active in fighting spaghetti-strap dresses at my high school.

Still, under the new rules, I believe I may now be held partly responsible for all of Dohrn’s misdeeds, including aggravated battery, bail jumping, the Days of Rage and unreadable political tracts.

McCain’s favorite supporter, Senator Joseph Lieberman, recently called the Obama-Ayers connection “fair game.” This reminded me that Lieberman once came to a party at my house. It was years ago, when he was still a Connecticut state senator, and we have already established that state senators will go to anything. Still, I can’t help but feel that I am not only a potential victim of the new guilt-by-association standard, I am also somewhat complicit in establishing it.

As they say, read the whole damn thing.

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