Monday, September 01, 2008

Harper demands blank cheque

Well, after having witnessed both Mr. Dion's statement coming out of 24 Sussex and then spokesthingy Kory Teneycke, we have confirmation yet again that the Prime Minister doesn't understand what a minority government is and is bristling at its restrictions. So he's going to seek a blank cheque from the voters because Mr. Dion won't give him one. So the question will be whether Mr. Harper deserves that blank cheque when there are lots of issues suggesting he doesn't deserve it, one being front and center which is readily understandable:

Mr. Dion says Mr. Harper's decision to ignore his own law touches on the issue of trust and he intends to make it an issue in the coming campaign.

“It's unacceptable for a prime minister not to respect the rule of law,” Mr. Dion said.

What should properly happen now, under our parliamentary system and according to the Prime Minister's fixed election date law, if Mr. Harper's law means anything, is that the parties should return to parliament. Legislation will be supported or defeated, depending on the legislation proposed by the government.

The argument trotted out by Teneycke again today that the fixed election date law was never meant to deal with the present situation continues to fly in the face of their having passed the law in the first place. It's a very interesting dilemma a nation faces when a Prime Minister passes a law, his party unanimously speaks in favour of its restrictions, yet then turns to walk away from it. Why pass it in the first place if it is so clearly unconstitutional? If it is only meant to apply in situations articulated by the Prime Minister on the fly? It's a law of political expediency and complete arbitrariness, it's turned out. Providing evidence to others to point out their unsuitability to be the party that gets to make the laws.

Other somewhat trivial but pressing political notes....Mike Duffy has unfortunately returned. When, during coverage of the 24 Sussex goings on, he was asked what the issues were likely to be during an election, he seemed to be reciting Conservative talking points. Naming issues like Senate reform and some kind of criminal justice issues pertaining to the personal safety of women, the latter being unheard of in the "campaign" to date. I suppose it is too much to ask for Duffy to even mention, say, the arts cuts, the environment, the economy or say...the national food safety issues that have been on the front burner for the past month. You know, instead of trotting out the issues that the Conservatives would like to be the issues. He is kept well-fed with Conservative talking points. Other parties are going to have to pay attention to this and ensure that Duffy's blackberry is not missing other perspectives as well. Duffy occupies a lot of air wave time and his duty to some semblance of objectivity is not looking so hot out of the gate.