Saturday, June 29, 2013

He's Losing His Grip

Lawrence Martin writes that the cracks are spreading at Fortress Harper. First it was those ornery backbenchers who refused to shut up. Then one of them, Brent Rathgeber, resigned. And, last week, sixteen Conservative senators joined with their Liberal colleagues to gut a Harper supported private member's bill which would  have crippled unions.  Martin writes:

While sending the union bill back to the Commons with amendments prompted PMO anger, these Conservatives have done themselves and their party proud by voting according to what they thought was right. With the exception of Conservative hardliners, the legislation — a private member’s bill — was widely viewed in the party as a spiteful piece of labour-bashing. Its aim was to compel unions to disclose all payments made by them to outside groups or individuals worth $5,000 or more and to reveal the names and salaries of union employees paid more than $100,000.

The senator who spearheaded the drive was Hugh Segal, who used to work for Bill Davis -- before Mike Harris, Jim Flaherty, Tony Clement and John Baird rode into Queens Park. Segal owes the prime minister nothing. He was appointed by Paul Martin. But that was back in the days when Senate appointments could be made on the basis on merit, not blind loyalty.

Unfortunately, Tory youth appear to follow Mr.Harper like lemmings:

One group he appears to have marching in lockstep with him is the Tory youth. The work of his senators stood in marked contrast to another piece of news that made headlines for the party this week: the party planting interns to disrupt a Justin Trudeau rally on Parliament Hill. The paid interns, apparently acting with the approval of the PMO, waved placards spouting lines the Conservatives used in their grossly distorted attack ads on the Liberal leader.

It was another indication of the degree to which the level of morality in the party has sunk. This is a tactic something straight out of the Nixon White House’s book of dirty tricks.

The question is, where is the Conservative soul?  Is it in Segal's hands -- or Stephen Harper's?


Kirby Evans said...

It is nice to see this gradual decline in the Fuhrer's grip. I always thought that the very thing that made him strong would also be the thing that brought him down. I guess what continues to amaze me is the gall of a political cabal that attempts to turn everything into ideology but is angry when people attempt to fight back. It sort of reminds me of the way that the Americans invade foreign countries but are angry and shocked when people fight back.

Owen Gray said...

My hunch is that dictators begin to believe their own propaganda, Kirby.

If modern dictators were wise, they would look at the last photographs we have of Mussolini.

thwap said...

So what? We wait for the piece of shit to implode on his own?

None of this means anything.

He'll steal the next election and cow all his opponents back into silence.

Owen Gray said...

I certainly wouldn't put it past him, thwap. A lot depends on the kind of vision -- and enthusiasm -- the opposition parties can mount.

Lorne said...

While I was pleased to see a little independent thinking on the part of some Conservative senators, Owen, my understanding is that the bill will be reintroduced as a government bill in the fall, at whioh time it is expected that the militant seantors will fall back into line. Apparently, the first attempt as a private member's bill doesn't carry the same expectation of blind senate support as a government bill does.

So much for sober second thought.

Owen Gray said...

I read, Lorne, that Harper expects the senators to fall into line. I also read that Andrew Coyne considers what the senators did an "abomination."

There will be pressure on them to change their votes. We will see what kind of courage these senators possess.

It's also interesting to note that Harper used the Senate to kill a bill on the environment -- a bill that had been passed by the House.

Seems to me that the pot is calling the kettle black.

The Mound of Sound said...

Yes it will be back in the fall. This is an opportunity for the Libs and NDP to show their true colours. Will they rally to the defence of Canadian organized labour - and all working Canadians - this summer or will they wait haplessly to get steamrollered once the bill gets back in the Commons in a few months hence?

They'll either stand for Canadians or they'll betray them, again.

Owen Gray said...

I agree, Mound. This is the time for the Libs and the Dippers to stand up and be counted.

If they don't understand that, they don't deserve our support.