Sunday, February 09, 2014

Struck Dumb Or Plain Dumb?

As the Harperites have abandoned veterans, cut postal service to seniors and insisted that everyone must bow in awe of the deficit, the silence of the Tory backbench has been remarkable. Michael Harris writes:

Why don’t these ordinary Conservative MPs speak out against the injustice of the so-called “universality of service” rule that declares injured soldiers unfit for duty and therefore unfit to serve? Retired general Romeo Dallaire has.

And why don’t they say something about the built-in disincentives for injured soldiers who are afraid to come forward for help — especially those suffering from mental distress? Soldiers know that 90 per cent of those who go to military support units for treatment end up getting the boot.

The truth is that, politically, there is an advantage to be had by speaking up for veterans:

What makes the Silence of the Cons so remarkable is that they have absolutely nothing to lose by standing up for veterans. In fact, they have a great deal to gain — and to give.

Think about it. Say you’re a backbencher who is never going anywhere on the ladder of blind ambition — not to cabinet, not to a parliamentary secretary’s job (with an extra fifteen grand), not even to a committee chairmanship. The only place you’re going is back home to face your constituents. And they all just saw you vote down an NDP motion to keep the veteran centres open. They’ll remember that — they can count, and numbers are bullshit-proof.

But they have sat -- or stood -- like department store manikins, forgetting the people who sent them to Ottawa. They owe the prime minister nothing:

When will it sink in (as it did with Brent Rathgeber) that Stephen Harper has no goodies for these backbenchers, no respect, no coattails to ride — and compromised conservative credentials? The prime minister is a dictatorial cult figure who has adopted the same goals and the worst instincts of the people he once insisted were undermining democracy. At a social level, he is deconstructing Canada while delivering the nation’s treasure to corporations.

Either Stephen Harper has struck them dumb -- or they are just plain dumb.


Anonymous said...

They sold their souls to the Harper devil when they ran for the Conservative Party, assuming they had souls in the first place. They haven't resigned or crossed the floor, so it is clear they are lost causes. Loyalty to Harper is treason against Canada.

Lorne said...

Ironic, isn't it, Owen, that none of these rogues has likely ever seen military service, yet are such 'good soldiers' in the Harper cause?

Owen Gray said...

One has to wonder, Anon, if they can sleep at night -- or if they can look at themselves in the mirror the next morning when they get up.

Owen Gray said...

It's always been the case, Lorne, that those who declare wars don't fight them.

Anonymous said...

Harper is a dictator and has cowed, his entire team. They are useless, spineless, gutless wonders. Anyone who supports a monster such as Harper has no, self-respect, decency, honor, ethics nor morals, what-so-ever.

Owen Gray said...

They would certainly appear to have no self respect, Anon.

The Mound of Sound said...

The Tory backbench lives in mortal fear of not just Harper but his inner cadre. They are 'whipped' in every sense of the word not that Conservatives were ever particularly known for integrity and courage, the late Chuck Cadman aside.

The Tory Senate is no better. Look at how easily they allowed their ranks to be intimidated and put into harness by Harper/Wright over the Duffy affair. They even allowed themselves to be made to launder the audit report. They went along complacently, desperately hoping it would all pass, unnoticed.

Later they again went on bended knee when Harper instructed that they toss Duffy, Wallin and Brazeau before the Tory convention.

We have one man rule in Canada. Look at the calibre of individuals Harper appointed to the Senate. Not the best and brightest by any means but the most obedient in every case.

Owen Gray said...

Obedience is the prime qualification for an appointment in the Harper Party, Mound. A dictator can only function with the help of loyal stooges.

John B. said...

There are at least a couple of former armed forces members in Harper’s organization. Recall that when he was tied up at the other meeting, the Minister Fantino sent the former Lieutenant-Colonel Laurie Hawn, Captain Erin O'Toole, Lieutenant-Commander Jacques Fauteux and some supernumerary MP named Parm Gill to soften up the malingerers prior to his own appearance.

Owen Gray said...

And those former soldiers illustrate the price of admission to the Harper Party, John. Like the leader himself, they must be prepared to betray any former colleague who stands in their -- or his -- way.

e.a.f. said...

they aren't fighting Harper because they don't want to be set up by his thugs in the PMO. They may simply be afraid of being bullied by other members of the caucus. They also don't want to not be nominated for their position when there is another election. they are afraid if they speak out against harper he will nix their changes of running for the party. Remember they are cons, they aren't that bright and they aren't that brave.

Of course none of them seem to realize they could face challenges anyhow for their positions and loose their positions, especially if an ethnic group where to get organized. It happened in B.c. Of course the M.P. was well like and so ran as an independant and won. Chuck Cadman did the right thing, but hey, most of them won't.

Owen Gray said...

They appear to have been beaten into submission, e.a.f. Cadman was not the typical Harper MP.

That's the tragedy.

the salamander said...

.. In general, do a majority of Canadian voters in federal ridings, believe the elected MP effectively & actively represents and safeguards their needs, wishes, values and beliefs.. in Parliament ?

That question needs a No.. or Yes .. answer
Is the public servant .. ie your elected MP
getting the job done ??

So.. its a worthy question to ask.. in this particular case, whether average Canadian electorate agree with the actions of their elected public servant, whether back bencher, ministerial secretary, junior minister, minister or the senior elected public servant himself, Stephen J. Harper .. in regard to retired or injured Armed Forces & closure of Veteran's Offices ??

(Or the actions of the Speaker, or Governor General.. or the PMO, misc lawyers, media wanks, strategists, live & robo callers, bagmen, senators, and The Conservative Harper Party & its lawyers... and The Harper Government.. Armed Forces, CSEC spies, RCMP .. for that matter..?)

If the answer to my question.. is NO ..
and elected Conservative MP's .. backbenchers or otherwise, did not consult or represent the specific wishes of their respective ridings, then we have a serious problem in Canada .. whereby the only reason to vote in 2015 would be to help The Conservative Harper Party .. to help themselves to doing exactly whatever they or their stakeholders want to do..

That's a failed, broken and corrupted system, flailing & run amok..
Self absorbed.. self serving..
A Private Political Service ...
pretending to be Public Service

A critical other question is well overdue in Canada
for the backbench Conservative MP's of The Harper Government ..
What would be an example of a situation or action or event
whereby a majority of them would remove themselves from the caucus?
What would it take? Or is there no line in the sand for backbenchers,
no specific situation or cumulative situation or failure that could cause them to cross the floor. In which case, Canada has elected a cadre of cowards.

I think we have laws in this country.. do we not ?
This lack of representation would appear more fraudulent,
than our last election ..
The two combined.. therefore, are likely criminal

Our Courts ? Law Societies ? Media ? Respected Canadians ?
Ourselves, Our leaders ? Our Glowing Hearts ?
We need to be millions of voices.. and one voice
and this runaway government and its related partisan organization
need to step away .. and step down ..

Owen Gray said...

The Harperites are counting on there not be millions in opposition to them, salamander. The so called Fair Elections Act is intended to ensure that those millions will not rise in opposition.

Unless -- and until -- the millions take to the streets.