12.04.2008

ms. jean, we implore you to stand up for democracy

We listened to Harper's speech at last night's meeting, that lying hypocrite using his sweater voice as he bashed Canadians from Quebec, then not even having the guts to use the same language in French.

Later, at home, we were thrilled to hear Peter Mansbridge introduce The National by saying, truthfully, that Harper "made false claims" about the coalition and the accord.

I am hoping, as we all are, that Her Excellency Michaƫlle Jean will not allow her august office to be used for political purposes, and to avoid democracy. A minority government that has lost the confidence of the House of Commons must face a confidence vote. And that is all.

As it appears that many Canadians do not understand that this is a legitimate part of the Parliamentary process, her office can help educate them. She must not cater to their ignorance. And she certainly must not be used to help one man from Alberta prop up the shreds of his political career.

The Governor General is a brilliant woman who deeply values and respects democracy. I am counting on her to do the right thing.

57 comments:

penlan said...

"The Governor General is a brilliant woman who deeply values and respects democracy. I am counting on her to do the right thing."

She understands it thoroughly, having immigrated here from Haiti which has been a political mess with lack of true democracy for many decades. I doubt she will have forgotten. :)

L-girl said...

She understands it thoroughly, having immigrated here from Haiti which has been a political mess with lack of true democracy for many decades. I doubt she will have forgotten.

Yes indeed. The pundits on last night's The National discounted the possibility that the GG will refuse the PM's request to prorogue. But I don't.

There is no tradition to allow a suspension of Parliament to avoid a confidence vote!

redsock said...

Lawrence Martin, G&M:

"She must also consider the danger of setting an unacceptable precedent. Granting prorogation in dire circumstances for a government is tantamount to saying it should be granted at any time – that the governor-general should be a rubber stamp in the process. That means any time a minority Parliament is in trouble, facing a confidence vote, the prime minister could simply prorogue to head off the crisis. ... To grant prorogation could make her look complicit in the Prime Minister's political power play."

And the only crisis at the moment is Harper's political career.

**Does anyone know when her answer will be announced?**

impudent strumpet said...

More on this later once I've looked at the French-language media, but in an ordinary translation where the ultimate goal is PR, it would be within the range of acceptable translation decisions to use souverainiste for separatist. In a PR text (as opposed to a contract or something) getting the desired reaction from the audience is more important than to be word for word literal. Separatist vs. souverainiste is like saying in one language "Everyone gets a cookie" and in the other "Everyone gets a treat." It's not like he said in one language "Everyone gets a cookie" and in the other "Everyone gets a tarantula."

That said, they would have known this speech would be zaprudered and they clearly had some intention with the word choice. I have no insight yet onto how this is meaningful but I'm hoping to figure it out.

redsock said...

Jeffry Simpson is doing a live Q&A chat at the G&M site at 2 PM.

Maybe it will be around then?

...

...

Harper: (knock knock)
Jean: Feck Off!

L-girl said...

Separatist vs. souverainiste is like saying in one language "Everyone gets a cookie" and in the other "Everyone gets a treat." It's not like he said in one language "Everyone gets a cookie" and in the other "Everyone gets a tarantula."

Hm, interesting. On The National last night, and in today's G&M, much is made of the difference in word choice. They said it was the same text with the difference of this one word.

The word choice has to be seen in the present context of Bloc-bashing, of course.

I'll look forward to hearing what you have to say after you see both texts.

L-girl said...

Harper: (knock knock)
Jean: Feck Off!


Be a good chap and fuck off, eh?

redsock said...

Someone on the National likened it to calling the New Democrats "New Democrats" and then referring to them as "socialists".

One is what they are called. The other term is being used as a code word.

redsock said...

Canadians Fail Democratic Literacy Test

"Sit down, order a double-double decaf, swallow a Valium if you must, and think of this current political unpleasantness as a learning experience. Even as it lurches from partisan miscalculation to constitutional crisis, the power struggle still unfolding on Parliament Hill is teaching the country things about itself it badly needs to know. ...

Of those, the most sobering is that our democratic literacy is so weak that suddenly concerned citizens are struggling and often failing to understand events in their capital. That makes them vulnerable to the spin, misinformation and remanufactured truth now inflaming passions and pushing tempers into the red zone.

Whatever its limitations, the proposed Liberal-NDP coalition is not, no matter how many times Conservatives call it a coup, undemocratic, un-Canadian or a threat to national unity. It's the unusual yet legitimate result of the elected majority imposing its will on a minority that recklessly squandered House of Commons confidence."

***

L-girl said...

One is what they are called. The other term is being used as a code word.

Right. Chantal Hebert said one is what they choose to be called - how they wish to be identified - and one is seen as a pejorative.

L-girl said...

Nice bit from The Star.

West End Bob said...

"Hear, hear!", L-girl!

I'm watching John Baird attempt to make the con case to Don Newman on CBC right now. Oh, how I hope Ms. Jean sends harperco home without their cookie . . . .

penlan said...

OMG - was listening to baird with Don Newman (CBC) he said :

"We will go over the heads of the opposition AND the GG & take it to the people to decide".

Which means they will resign en masse forcing an election.

GG is also meeting with the opposition later, too.

L-girl said...

I'm watching it too - but unfortunately I can't do a game thread for this one b/c our new furnace is being installed at the same time!

GG is also meeting with the opposition later, too.

They've requested a meeting but according to CBC she hasn't granted it yet.

L-girl said...

"We will go over the heads of the opposition AND the GG & take it to the people to decide".

And then they act like calls and emails from Conservative supporters is the same thing as an election!

penlan said...

I find that comment by Baird terrifying. It means they will do ANYTHING to stay in power. Which could possibly mean martial law.

penlan said...

Most of those protesters are Hill Staff workers.

L-girl said...

To CBC's credit, they are repeating that a lot. Also there's only like 15 of them.

L-girl said...

I don't think there's a serious threat of martial law. Baird is full of shit.

L-girl said...

CBC is making a big deal out of the fact that the GG hasn't yet granted a meeting w/ the Opposition leaders.

L-girl said...

Damn, that door is still open, tell us already!!!

L-girl said...

This meeting is taking a long time. I want to think that's a good sign. If he just asked to prorogue and got it, it would be over by now. Maybe.

penlan said...

I agree with you L-girl. But it's sooo nailbiting.

Looks like Harper may have run into even more "opposition".

It's also possible that he has her answer & is meeting with his staff to figure out strategies & what to say to the media.

L-girl said...

Penlan, I've been thinking the same thing! Maybe the delay is about face-saving. Oh please please please...

L-girl said...

This reminds me of waiting for the Supreme Court decision after the 2000 US stolen election. NOT that I expect a parallel between the outcomes! Just the nail-biting waiting for a political fate.

L-girl said...

Here we go, the podium is being set up!

L-girl said...

They're saying there will be proroguation, but we don't know if there are conditions attached.

L-girl said...

This is disappointing.

penlan said...

Yes. And as you said, there may be conditions.

Anyway, there will always be a vote eventually & if the coalition lasts they can bring him down.

L-girl said...

Right. If they take him down at the end of January, that works too. But we have to keep all the resisters here until then. This Monday would have been A LOT better in that respect.

penlan said...

Agreed.

It's official. Prorogue.

We have a dictator for a PM. Makes me sick to my stomach.

Del Mastro had a rally in Peterbourough (his riding) either on Mon. or Tues. & this is what he said:

"The Conservative party is now Canada's only party!" Del Mastro said, to rousing cheers."

You can't get more obvious than that.

L-girl said...

So he's running the country by email now. He asked Cdns to comment, they spoke, and the govt is prorogued.

Bastard.

penlan said...

I honestly think that he threatened her that if she didn't prorogue he, & all his MP's, would resign - which FORCES an election. And that, too, would be a nightmare.

L-girl said...

Why would she allow her office to be threatened that way?

L-girl said...

It's so disgusting to hear him say over and over "we have to work together" while he's subverting democracy by avoiding a confidence vote.

L-girl said...

"Canadians are expecting us to get on with the business of government."

And they're doing this by shutting down Parliament.

penlan said...

Because he CAN do that. He & his thugs can all resign & it's perfectly legal. So he probably told her that's what they would do.

I don't mean he stood over her & threatened her. But made that particular stand. Quietly.

He will still not admit he did anything wrong.

"It's so disgusting to hear him say over and over "we have to work together".

And he is saying the opposition wouldn't work with HIM. What that means is you can't say NO to Steve. And they DID offer plans for the budget & he ignored every single one of them.

He has no intention - ever - of working with the opposition.

penlan said...

Is the furnace completely installed yet?

L-girl said...

Thank you for asking :)

Apparently it's a 5-6 hour job, taking out the old one and installing the new one. They started around 10, so it will be a few more hours.

I look forward to being warm! We have space heaters by our desk, but it's still cold. And I love the cold and always keep the house cool. But this is a bit much.

redsock said...

Letter I sent to Globe & Mail:

"In his statement after meeting with the Governor-General, Stephen Harper said "Canadians expect us to get on with preparing the federal budget." So why did Mr. Harper then request that Parliament be shut down for six weeks? The only Canadian crisis Mr. Harper is concerned about is his own political career."

***

Not part of the email:
P.S. Harper is such a fucking colossal asshole shithead!

L-girl said...

Don Newman just said, "Harper said we have to get to the business of the House, so we're shutting down the House for 2 months."

* * * *

My letter to the G&M:

This is a dark day for Canada. I am deeply disappointed (but not surprised) that Stephen Harper would rather pull the plug on the House of Commons than face a no-confidence vote.

He has lost the confidence of the House of Commons, and parliamentary
democracy demands he lose the privilege of governing. Instead, he
demonizes one party, questions the patriotism of all the opposition
parties, and hides behind a parliamentary sleight of hand. He is an embarrassment to Canada and an enemy of democracy. The sooner we are rid of him the better.

Matt said...

I don't see how mass resignation would work to the Conservatives' advantage.

If their MPs all resign, that just creates 143 open seats in the House of Commons. By-elections would have to be called, but they couldn't win any more than the seats that they gave up. And in the mean time, without any Conservatives in the House, the Liberals would be able to govern relying solely on the NDP for support. It'd be a huge mess, but not at all a slam-dunk for the Conservatives.

As frustrating as it is to have Harper as PM for another month and a half, it is well within the GG's discretion and hopefully lets things cool down a bit. Whatever the final outcome, it isn't in the country's long-term interest to have any large group of people convinced that the government is illegitimate.

penlan said...

L-girl,

I don't envy you. It's getting colder where I live, near Stratford, & my heat is kicking on more often than it was the last couple of days.

Bundle up & it will get done today & then you can warm up. You could always go out for a coffee or something in some nice, warm restaurant in the meantime. :)

L-girl said...

Thank you Penlan - that's a good idea! We're also sticking around so the dogs will be less stressed, shut in a room while the workers are here. But perhaps I could slip out for an hour while Allan watches them for a bit!

L-girl said...

I like how Layton said Harper is more concerned with protecting his own job than the jobs of ordinary Cdns.

M@ said...

Sad day for democracy. And what a precedent to establish -- facing a confidence vote that you're going to lose? No problem! Stop parliament and use your governmental resources to campaign for a few weeks!

What's to stop Harper from proroguing parliament again in January, and again and again thereafter, until the political winds shift his way?

It may sound outlandish, but let's not forget that this is the guy who broke his own law to call an election when the time suited him.

L-girl said...

M@ is right. It sets a terrible precedence, that only careful action by GGs could avoid.

Harper to country: "We must work together! We must get to work right away!"

*exits for six weeks, then triggers an election, government resumes work in March*

impudent strumpet said...

I know it's off-topic now, but I don't want to be on record with a flawed analogy. After doing some research, I'm restating my analogy as follows:

souverainiste = "potato chips"
separatist = "junk food"

I'm blogging a proper analysis either later tonight or early tomorrow.

L-girl said...

Oo, very good. Potato chips vs junk food = huge difference in implication. I'll look forward to your post.

I'm way behind on blog reading (what's new). It better be a slow weekend at work or I'm in trouble.

penlan said...

L-girl,

Are you all warm & cosy now? And have the dogs calmed down?

L-girl said...

Penlan, thank you for thinking of us. :)

It is indeed warm and cozy in here again, and the dogs are happy.

This was one day when it was great to be a renter, not an owner. Furnace breaks - make phone call - new furnace appears. Without a major hit to my budget.

[Actually, for me, every day is great to be a renter, this was just an extreme example.]

penlan said...

"Furnace breaks - make phone call - new furnace appears."

Wow! That sounds like magic...lol...have anymore rabbit hats lying around your place that I could borrow? ;)

Glad to hear it!

Cornelia said...

The guy is catastrophic. Do I understand this aright that Harper has bullied and intimidated Ms. Jean into sending Parliament on vacation?
Jack Layton is right. Of course the guy is most concerned with losing his job, though he wouldn't end up in distress. It might have been way harder for many of the people who lost their jobs and got into trouble by the mistaken policy he made!

Cornelia said...

I wonder whether Harper has taken lessons from Bush on "Bullying - theory and practice"??? Particularly specializing on the practice part, I mean, if he turned out to be himself a considerable bully, too!

Cornelia said...

This was one day when it was great to be a renter, not an owner. Furnace breaks - make phone call - new furnace appears. Without a major hit to my budget.

[Actually, for me, every day is great to be a renter, this was just an extreme example.]

I also prefer it much on rent!!!

Cornelia said...

This infuriated me. Women should do whatever they want! They don't have to submit their choices to some feminist-approval board first. And whatever they choose to do, women must have equal opportunity, equal pay, and a safe workplace, free of fear, harassment or assault. We don't have to like every woman's choices. But they have to be treated as fully human and equal citizens.

It doesn't matter how we feel about a person who is the target of bigotry. The bigotry is still wrong.

Great!!! I couldn't agree more, Laura (though it's about a job I wouldn't choose myself, haha, no worries!)

Re: Palin: Of course, it would never be a good idea for anybody to oppose her because she's a woman - that would be sexist indeed - but we can and need to oppose her because of her anti-woman, anti-feminist, reactionary, conservative Republican orientation. A person with such views would always be a horrible choice in high office, regardless whether it's a sexist male idiot or a female collaborator of patriarchy! That doesn't mean she needs to stay home and do household stuff and as David said, we need way more women in high positions and the job a lot of male politicians have been doing is horrid enough, so we needn't be over-picky, just we need to keep her from a place she can cause a huge amount of trouble. I always say that people like her are my first best candidates for violence protection act restraining order!

It makes sense that Palin is not subjected to sexism from bloggers on the scale Hillary Clinton is/was, because the criticism of Palin comes from liberals and progressives, who mostly try not to be sexist.

Criticism of Clinton by right-wingers bloggers was extremely sexist.

I couldn't agree more, Laura. These idiots are extremely sexist and nasty in general! When I heard about them for the first time when I was still at school, it freaked me out because I got to hear such on a regular basis from all my bullies and offenders back then!!! That was long ere the glorious days of violence protection act for me...

Fortunately, the incumbent in that riding (NDP's Irene Mathyssen) is not only a real feminist, she also attends every War Resisters event she is in town for. So it looks like I will be crossing the city to help out her campaign...

That's great, David. Thanks so much and keep up the good work. Really cool!

James said...
They want to abolish the twentieth century...

Juan Cole has some good observations on Palin (you have to sit through an ad to see the article):

But the values of [McCain's] handpicked running mate, Sarah Palin, more resemble those of Muslim fundamentalists than they do those of the Founding Fathers. On censorship, the teaching of creationism in schools, reproductive rights, attributing government policy to God's will and climate change, Palin agrees with Hamas and Saudi Arabia rather than supporting tolerance and democratic precepts. What is the difference between Palin and a Muslim fundamentalist? Lipstick.

Yep, that's the common points of offender's strategy thing once again. Thanks, James.

I know how disgusting these people really are, but I hope it did not really get literally that sickening for anybody to the point of really throwing up. I much hope that was only meant in a figurative way! Otherwise of course the pail or bag would be preferable to the keyboard (no cleaning up) and the keyboard to the computer (no implications on warranty, haha, just kidding, but I worked in the warranty department and a customer wanted the courier to pick up the faulty monitor at a bar and I warned him that if some drunks throw up on the screen, that would do away with the warranty. He could actually reassure me that the owner of the bar is a friend of his and will store the monitor for collection in a room nearby, not right at the bar where all the binge-drinkers are!) But for the nowadays fortunately very advanced medical possibilities of prevention, I am proud to announce (haha, mark the wording) that to my knowledge, not only dramamine but also phenergan is available over the counter in Canada! No offense meant to anybody, and I really hope nobody is angry. Hope it's okay that I write that. Just wanted to make the point in case it could be considered helpful! It was just a very concerned reaction on my part.
And while I do take advantage of the great invention of dramamine also when there is kind of an emotionally caused stomach problem as well right away and normally in good time, I still need to tell myself this in
order not to freak out moodwise: "I won't let them do me in! If I allow them to spoil my mood and fun that much, they would be happy if they knew!" But alas, I am still not very successful in keeping them from spoiling me a lot of fun. They still have a considerably (and when it's cold and there's other trouble extremely) bad influence on my mood way too often, sometimes to the point of triggercity once again! Dramamine works great for me on stomach upsets (any kind) but the mood-related repercussions are way harder for me to sort out, haha!

Cornelia said...

Sorry last post was intended on:
Feminism: Sexism is sexism is sexism
Maybe I could repost it there? Sorry!