Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Calling Conservative party elders

A sample of Conservative propaganda being disseminated. Aren't you proud of what the Conservative party has become? Speak up and save us from this man bringing us all down with him:
Stephen Harper, despite all those standing ovations at his Christmas party on Monday night, has been mortally damaged as Prime Minister, will go down in history as the author of a tragically needless crisis and may well quit if the grassroots grumbling gets much louder.
Please, grumble away. Take some of that worry and anger you're exposing to journalists and act. To put this charitably, Prime Ministers who say things like this are living in the wrong country:
He called the coalition “undemocratic, un-Canadian,” and said “we will not tolerate it,” prompting Conservatives to give him another standing ovation.
Conservative party members are giving ovations to statements like that? Wow.

A confidence vote will occur, one way or another, before April 14, 2009, six months after October 14, 2008, the ballpark period within which it is deemed acceptable for a Governor General to turn to the opposition to form a government, without having an election. Even if Mr. Harper succeeds in getting the House of Commons prorogued, and that's not an assured outcome, he would be delaying his verdict not avoiding it:
Louis Massicotte convient qu'aucun gouvernement sur le point de perdre la confiance de la Chambre n'a utilisé la prorogation pour s'en sortir, ce qui fausse les données historiques. «La gouverneure générale pourrait juger qu'il ne sert à rien de prolonger l'agonie jusqu'en janvier, et donc l'instabilité, en acceptant de proroger», dit-il.

Louis Massicotte souligne qu'il est loin d'être certain que les esprits seraient plus calmes en janvier, à la reprise des travaux parlementaires. «L'opposition pourrait encore vouloir défaire le gouvernement et on se retrouverait à la case départ», dit Louis Massicotte.

C'est aussi l'avis de Peter Russell, qui rappelle qu'une loi non écrite veut que moins de six mois après une élection, la gouverneure générale se tourne vers l'opposition pour former le gouvernement. Dans le contexte actuel, dit-il, même si Stephen Harper obtient une prorogation, un vote de confiance serait susceptible de survenir avant le 14 avril. (emphasis added)
If the Conservative party is banking on bringing in a budget in January and enhancing its case for an election to be called then due to the increased amount of time between October and January, it is mistaken on that front. Conservatives might also wish to factor in the untenable position Mr. Harper is putting the Governor General in by making the request to shut down Parliament solely for the purpose of him avoiding defeat. Are they content to be the bully party, pushing our constitutional limits over the fortunes of one man?

Conservatives might also be concerned about the rhetoric coming from the PM about the Bloc and the impact it is having on national unity:
This time, Mr. Trudeau argued, the Bloc has agreed to set aside its separatist agenda to focus on the economic crisis. “What we got in this case was an assurance by Gilles Duceppe that he was going to keep all national-unity measures, confidence measures, off the table until June, 2010. That’s a better deal than anybody has gotten in years of working with the Bloc Québécois in the House.”

He said the biggest threat to national unity at the moment is the Conservatives attempt to turn the rest of Canada against the duly elected members of the Bloc.

“We have a provincial election going on in Quebec and separatism is not one of the issues ... The fact that the Conservatives are spending so much time talking about national unity and bringing up all those old divisions, it’s just out of their playbook of divide, divide, divide.”
Stirring up divisions in national unity for Mr. Harper's own personal political salvation is really not something the nation should be put through.

To sum up, the PM is permitting irresponsible propaganda, inciting people to believe the coalition is undemocratic, attacking the patriotism of his political opponents, ducking a confidence vote and inflaming national unity. Are there any adults in the Conservative party who are uncomfortable with any of this? Now would be the time to make your move.