Friday, November 19, 2010

Friday Afternoon Links

This and that to end your week...

- While the Cons may have received more well-deserved attention for abusing unelected positions to overturn the will of the House of Commons, Susan Delacourt notes that's far from the only reason for concern with their political games this week based on their continued restatement of a story that's been proven to be false:
Once upon a time, the Commons was regarded as equivalent to a legal forum; people didn't deliberately tell mistruths in there. Contempt for political foes is one thing -- contempt for the institution is breath-taking.

And just to put the icing on the cake, Glover also used a government announcement yesterday to accuse Ignatieff of advocating marijuana use for young people, again, exploiting a cynical twist on partial quotes. Your taxpayer dollars paid for that news conference; you should be demanding that the Conservative party foot part of the bill.

I don't particularly care who wins the by-elections, but as a long-time observer of politics, I can tell you that this isn't business as usual. If this is the kind of campaigning that is allowed to stand, if we just shrug, Canada will get the base, cynical politics it deserves.
- Meanwhile, Tim Powers has the gall to try to pretend that the Cons' shredding of C-311 somehow reflects poorly on the party which shepherded it through the House of Commons as a failure to get things done, rather than serving as yet another outrageous affront to democracy by a government which seems eager to produce them at every opportunity.

- I wouldn't necessarily see the Canadian Health Coalition's social media efforts as anything new in Canadian politics: see e.g. the NDP's Twitter-based campaigns or the letter-writing campaign on copyright issues. But Bob Hepburn's column on the group's work is nonetheless worth a read.

- Finally, Chantal Hebert points out how his own party's supporters. And it's worth asking whether some of the nominal Lib voters already dissatisfied with Ignatieff really want to be putting their votes behind a party that's going to be under his thumb:
It is now clear that the decision to promote a three-year extension of Canada's military presence in the war-torn country was a top-down one, with caucus very loosely (if at all) in the loop.

The Liberal party is no stranger to a top-down approach but controversial stances dictated from on high have more usually been a feature of the life of the party when it was in power and rarely on a front as traditionally sensitive for the party as this one.

Even as prime minister, Ignatieff would have faced an uphill battle to bring his caucus and the party on side with the post-2011 military presence he has inspired the Conservatives to maintain.

Like his past support for the American-led Iraq war or Paul Martin's initial intent to sign on to the US missile defence shield, the move goes against the grain of a significant number of Liberal activists.

The adamancy with which Ignatieff and Rae have defended the government's decision to forego a vote on the new Canadian terms of engagement in Afghanistan is also awkward.

This is an official opposition that started off the year accusing Harper of contempt of democracy for proroguing Parliament for the winter. Now it is arguing that MPs need not vote on the country's signature foreign and defence policy.

At the very least, the events of the past week suggest that Canadians should no more count on the current Liberal leadership to restore and enhance the relevance of Parliament than on the ruling Conservatives.

No comments:

Post a Comment