Monday, January 04, 2016

That's Just Funny


It was never going to be easy reforming our electoral system. Rona Ambrose and her party are determined to make sure it won't be easy -- because, she says, they stand four square for democracy. Michael Harris writes that Ambrose's claim should be greeted with a chorus of guffaws:

Ambrose says she is ready to use the CPC’s majority of hacks, bagmen and shills in the Senate to block legislation. (Hmmm, sound familiar, Michael Chong?) Yes, the Leader of the Opposition is prepared to scupper legislation using the unelected and now ethically compromised Senate — even though it will have been passed by a majority in the elected House of Commons.

That’s how deep her commitment to democracy. 

It is instructive to re-consider recent Conservative history:

Remember the risibly named Fair Elections Act? You know, the one that made voting harder and cheating easier. The one that gelded Elections Canada, first by severing its investigative arm from the main institution, and then by denying powers of subpoena to EC investigators.

Where was Ambrose’s vehement commitment to democracy when Pierre Poilievre was giving his pathetically partisan response to the Robocalls scandal? Only sad little “Skippy” could confuse doubling down on skullduggery with reform. Still Ambrose didn’t seem to mind rigging the electoral system without a referendum when it was her team that was doing the rigging.

Where was Ambrose the Democrat when her leader was shutting down the House of Commons for partisan reasons, violating the parliamentary privilege of committees by withholding documents, and ultimately being found in contempt of parliament? Oddly, there’s no sign of her standing up for the people on any of those occasions.

I wonder does Ambrose remember those days not so long ago when Conservative MPs could not even open their mouths without submitting “Message Event Proposals” to the prime minister’s own department, the Privy Council Office. Was it democratic for the PCO to put the exact words that could be used into the mouths of otherwise functioning human beings? There were even critics to be found who claimed that such a system was a better fit in North Korea than Canada.

Whether or not there is a referendum on what the Liberals propose, the Conservatives can't claim they're on the side of democracy.

That's just funny.


the salamander said...

.. I believe.the Navajo are known to say 'Walk in Beauty'
How they might describe the actions of Rona Ambrose et al
might not be very charitable ..

Owen Gray said...

Unfortunately, salamander, beauty and critical thinking sometimes form an oxymoron.

The Mound of Sound said...

I've got the solution, Owen. If Duffy is convicted on the "hand in the petty cash box" charges, simply charge most of the senators with the very same offences. Reliable sources contend that a huge segment of our stalwart senators took liberties at the same trough as Duffy. When they voted to turf Duffy they weren't particularly cognizant of all the charges although they are now. Charge'em, boot'em and put them on trial - end of problem. Sure some Liberal senators would go down with that ship but that's just more 'independents' JT can appoint.

Owen Gray said...

Duffy didn't get away with what lots of other senators did on a regular basis, Mound. A house cleaning would be good for democracy.

Pamela Mac Neil said...

Amazing Owen that Ambrose says she will use the CON majority in the Senate to stop Trudeaus reform bill as if that is what the Con senators are there for, to follow what Ambrose wants. She actually says it out loud, as she is in charge of how the Con senators vote. Do you think she is aware of what she is really revealing? I think she is so out of it, that she is not aware of what she is revealing. It would be interesting to see if any of the Con senators spoke out, after all she has just said they are just sheep who will do what she tells them.

Owen Gray said...

Michael Kinsley defined a gaffe as "when a politician unwittingly tells the truth," Pam. The truth is that the Conservatives have learned nothing from their defeat.

The Mound of Sound said...

Pamela, any notion of Tory senatorial independence was surely shattered irrevocably in the course of the Duffy scandal. Tory senators - Gerstein, Tkachuk, Stewart-Olsen, LeBreton, the whole gang - got their marching orders from Harper's PMO, even down to laundering Duffy's audit report. They turfed Duffy and Wallin hastily at Shifty Steve's insistence. He was fuming. They got the message that he was fuming. Harper wanted Duffy out of the Senate and they dutifully complied. To expect them to be less compliant to the Bunker just because Harper has been toppled is unrealistic. Rona has the switchboard now and they'll pick up whenever she calls.

e.a.f. said...

the cons on the side of democracy. yes that is a very good laugh. weren't they the party which passed 8 bills which were in violation of the Constitution and kept appeal court judgements because the courts disagreed with the cons. Wasn't it the cons who set up 2 classes of citizenship, with their "citizenship act" and weren't they the louts who passed something called Bill C-51 not to mention that bill which forced First nations to post their financial business, something no other business in the country was required to do?

Democracy and the Cons are not to be used in the same sentence because if anything the Cons almost turned this country into a fascist state. rona needs to get her brain examined.

Owen Gray said...

Rona is unashamed of her party's record, e.a.f. Until she admits the mistakes she and the rest of her caucus made, no one will believe that the Conservatives stand for democracy.