Wednesday, March 24, 2010

The reviews are in - Non-Lib Edition

Last night I pointed out the angry reaction from some Lib supporters to the fact that their own party's MPs torpedoed a motion supporting family planning. But just in case anybody thought the concern was only an internal Lib issue of caucus solidarity, let's see what other commentators have had to say about the train wreck.

Dr. Dawg:
Liberal nonentities John McKay, Paul Szabo and Dan McTeague don't care if Third World women die. Some don't give a damn one way or the other. And Liberal "leader" Michael Ignatieff couldn't do a thing about it.
Talk about the gang that couldn't shoot straight. What a toxic mixture of malevolence and incompetence.
Greg uses the incident to add to Canada's political vocabulary:

Definition: Noun. A very dull fellow. A loser. Usage: "That fellow over there just lost a vote on his own party's motion because he couldn't even deliver his own caucus. What an Iggy."
And then adds this followup:
Harper is sharpening his teeth, getting ready to feast on more Liberal lamb. If you think I am being too harsh, take a look at this headline. When they start making jokes, comparing you to your failed, hopeless predecessor, you are in big, big, trouble.
Fern Hill:
Just when I was developing a smidge of respect for the Liberals...

Just when I was not quite so despairing of Opposition cooperation...

Well. That shows me, I guess. Women's rights, here as in the Excited States, are always negotiable. At least for Liberals.
You look like absolute, complete idiots, Liberals. You couldn't organize a piss-up in a brewery. And the Cons are crapping their pants laughing at you.
Devin Johnston:
Whatever the reason, the lesson learned today is that the Liberal Party of Canada remains fertile ground for socially conservative politicians. To the extent that the Liberal Party brands itself as socially progressive, its social conservative caucus will be a constant public relations nightmare.
And via Twitter, Kady O'Malley:
(M)ust agree with other observers: that was a stunning example of utter Liberal disorganization in the House.

More Kady:
Happy Weekly Caucus Day, everyone! Well, unless you happen to be a Liberal, of course, in which case today's outing will likely do little to boost your respective or collective morale. Let the festival of bitterness, recrimination, and inevitable leaking of the high- and low lights of today's meeting begin!

You also might want to take note of the scheduled vote after Question Period; as some of your MPs have apparently forgotten exactly how the seemingly uncomplicated process of standing up at the right time actually works, you might want to do a few practice runs to avoid future embarrassment.
And Alison:
Blue Dog Liberals: Banner day, assholes
1) You voted against stopping a $¼-million government subsidy to an asbestos lobby group.

2) You dogwhistled about abortion in your maternal health initiative for developing countries "wedge" motion but were too afraid to actually include the word.

3) You used the "wedge" motion - intended to smoke out the Cons - to give your own party a very public wedgie, losing the final vote: 144-138.
Update II:

It should have been a simple thing: present a motion to force the Cons to take a formal stand on supporting maternal health initiatives (ie. contraception) in advance of the upcoming G8 meeting - a reaffirmation of Canada's foreign policy stance for the past 25 years.

But the Liberals, who introduced the motion, managed to defeat their own motion.

This, after catching the Cons in their own roller coaster of confusion over the policy last week and on the heels of Bev Oda laughingly calling the policy "anti-American". (Apparently, being against former and regressive Bush administration policies equals anti-Americanism to the spectacularly dull and ineffective Ms Oda).

And the Cons also believed that even talking about contraception was some sort of slippery slope to re-opening the debate about abortion - which wasn't even on the table.

Yet, the Liberals still managed to embarass themselves.
David Akin, featuring an unnamed Lib MP:
The motion was defeated 144-138. Had the absent Liberals showed up to vote in favour, it would have easily passed. Remarkably, there was, after the vote, much confusion about whether or not it was a whipped vote. Some said, yes, they'd been whipped. Others, like B.C. MP Keith Martin - he was there and voted in favour of the motion -- did not know it was a whipped vote until told it was by reporters this morning.

And so the Liberals ended up with some tremendous egg on their face.
Privately, Liberal MPs said that the 90-minute caucus meeting was not a happy place with MPs directing their frustration at Ignatieff, his staff, and party whip Rodger Cuzner. It would have been Cuzner's job to make sure all of his MPs knew it was a whipped vote and to make sure they were all in their seats and ready to vote "Aye". Ignatieff would not say what punishment would be in store for the Liberal MPs who did not vote the way they were supposed to, saying only that Cuzner would decide on that.

"We look like fools," one Liberal MP said privately.

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