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Hyper-centralised control freaks…

… rule the PMO and the CPC caucus… Including the Chief Freak with the initials “SH”.

Two cases in point:

There is the recent decision by the Minister for nEnvironment Canada (aka, like all Ministers, lackeys for the 20-something’s in the PMO), to demand that The National Roundtable on the Environment and the Economy (NRTEE), due to shut its doors this week, not to upload any more information on its site and indeed, turn over all information, papers, etc., to the environment department to be *ahem* disposed as it sees fit.

Yes, it is true that NRTEE, although it was an arms-length body, was still a public body using public funds and is thus accountable to the government of the day. No doubt. But the PMO could have gone about this quietly and simply revoked access to all things that have a public face at the soon to be former Agency.

But no, in the supercharged partisan environment at the PMO, there must be zero risk that some rogue group – and certainly some bitter folks – cast any negativity on the government messaging. It is the reason why NRTEE was nuked in the first place; too many facts were published that called into doubt specific government stances on issues like global warming and the tar sands.

Case in point number two.

And this one might have long term consequences for the Harperites…

Backbench CPC MPs are becoming vocal about the lack of independence and interference by PMO staffers in the content of their S.O. 30 speaking time.
It seems like some of these pols with decades of political and life experience don’t like to be overlorded by a nerdy 23 yr old who happens to be the kid of some large party donor.

Go figger.

It has come to a head with a certain backbencher wanting to introduce a non binding Motion to condemn the use of sex specific abortion… just a Motion.
But, in order to stay on the message that the Cons are having naught to do with the abortion debate, the MP was told, 15 minutes before his speaking time, that he wouldn’t be allowed to speak.

This is reportedly happening elsewhere in the CPC caucus and some are not taking lying down, claiming that “gee, isn’t it our job to represent and communicate on behalf of their constituents, and not so much to simply keep the PMO happy”?

Go figger. Again.

Yeah, of course the other parties whip their MPs on votes etc., and that is a part of the party system. But taking the control to the extreme as has the CPC goes further than that and works against the principles of the Westminster parliamentary system.

It doesn’t matter whether or not one supports the intents of these motion s or member’s statements. But they do have the right to exercise what little influence they have.

Nevertheless, some of these bad boys will be read a certain “act”, im

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Trashy goes to Parliament!

For a political junkie like me, last night was one of those “special” times of my life.

Courtesy of an invite by an ex-NDP MP through a colleague of my spouse, I had the distinct privilege of dining in the Parliamentary restaurant and having a pretty damned cool private tour afterward.

I would love to post pics, but our host asked us to promise to NOT post any pics in the social media world – lest he lose his privileges as an ex-Parliamentarian… and I respect that…

So here is a non-pictorial summary:

  • Dined in the restaurant… wasn’t allowed to take any photos at all here. The setting was awesome but the food was, well, not so much. We were told that the restaurant is kicking into summertime shutdown mode because as soon as the House rises, the restaurant closes up shop.
  • Stood at the podium in the Press Gallery. Ranted for a sec, à la John Baird…
  • Went to the restored Library – that place always blows me away.
  • Hung around the House for a while. Sat in The Robots seat (the Universe is somewhat out of kilter this morning because of that), the Speaker’s chair, Bob Rae’s seat, Jack Layton’s chair… and the Bloc… they are but a wee piece of the floor space after May 2!
  • Stood on the floor of the Senate.
  • Toured the old PCO office – where the Constitution was kept and guarded when it was repatriated.
  • Saw John A’s old office… strange vibes there
  • Went through the infamous tunnels from Centre Block to East Block

Quite a night, indeed. And thanks to all who arranged it!

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Why I am NOT being hypocritical about this proroguing business…

I thought I would post a short note about why I keep going on about this whole proroguing shitstorm. I have received some comments, both here and on Facebook (from the Resident Love Goddess no less!) that I’m getting my knickers all in a twist about something that is constitutional and that the Grits had no compunctions about when they were in power.

  1. I am essentially a non-partisan political creature. But I AM a bit of a lefty and am most assuredly anti Harper and anti ReformCon. I will – because of my nature – bitch a bit louder about them than the other parties.
  2. if I had had a soapbox like a blog back when the Grits were the Government, I would have yelled at them equally as ferociously for proroguing Parliament for no real reason other than to avoid the world. Although it is a legal practice, it is an abuse of power like no other. How can we expect wanna-be democracies like Afghanistan (OK – I’m stretching it) to take us seriously if our own PM shuts down the doors of democracy whenever he needs to hide from something?
  3. We can and should strive to do better. Past poor actions are no excuse for repeating them.  Just because it was done before does not make it right to do it again. Lawrence Martin puts it well in his article today in the G&M:

“Another line of defence (for those who don’t think that prorogation is such a big deal) is that Mr. Harper isn’t the only proroguer. Liberal PM Jean Chrétien did it too, although none of his closings could match the desperation of Mr. Harper’s prorogation of December, 2008. So what’s the big deal? This is a common Conservative defence refrain. As in, the Liberal record on global warming was terrible too. So what’s the big deal? As in, the Liberals sent disproportionate amounts of stimulus monies to their own ridings too. So what’s the big deal?

One big deal is that we’re supposed to be making progress, moving down the field, not staying on the 30-yard line.

Another is that we have a Prime Minister who thinks he can get away with anything, but who may well find out otherwise.”

And based on the latest polling numbers, maybe Canadians are starting to call him out on this.

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Dear Leader to shut down democracy – again!

I’m not too surprised to see that the Harperites are once again thumbing their noses at the democratic process!

What gall! What an affront to our system of government! And considering how much work is going to be wasted, what a waste of money!

The House of Commons and the Senate will come back in March, after the Vancouver Olympics, for a Speech from the Throne and a budget. The move will have the effect of stalling all bills currently in Parliament, including crime bills that the government had said were being delayed by the opposition.

Well, so much for the ReformCons using “soft on crime” ads against the Libs in the next election!

A post-Olympic return would also shut down government committees, which would stop MPs from pursuing the Afghan detainee controversy until Parliament returned.

… which, of course, is the REAL reason behind this.

I am almost physically SICK to my stomach over this! How can anyone, ANYONE consider voting for these dictators????

Stevo, during his visit with his mentor, Kim Jong Il

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