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It’s time (to go to the people).

Chantal Hebert asks the question today in the Toronto Star whether the opposition will force an election over the environmental issue, now that Baird and the Tories have come up with their new version of the Green stall plan.

The title of my article reflects my answer – its definitely time.

I was very angry last night, and I’m still angry today. I am angry at this green sham that Baird and the Conservatives have brought forth, and the lying about Afghanistan, and the disregard in general this bunch in power has for international treaties (not just with Kyoto, but now apparently with the Geneva Conventions) , and for the utter lack of decorum and class that Harper and his ministers have displayed in the House. All questions over the Afghanistan affair apparently means everyone other then the Conservatives are anti-military or pro-Taliban, or both. It is a disgusting display to watch as Canada’s “tarnished and definitely no longer new” government desperately flails away (though I admit to some amusement and hope people see the irony as minister after minister got up yesterday and demanded apologies from the opposition parties).

I’ve about had it with this government and how they are governing (if what they’re doing can be called that).

I am calling for the opposition to bring this bloody government down. I don’t even care which opposition party does it, either. In the Liberals case, I know the polls aren’t exactly in our favour, but they weren’t for Harper either a year ago when he brought Martin’s government down, and we all know what happened. My view is the longer Harper and his cronies in power, the more damage is wrought to this country and its international reputation.

I’ve got a little quote from a Liberal supporter who visits my site – she left this:

“I think we all understand that the current government is not about governing, it’s about winning a majority. That’s it, that’s all. This week (I hope) will be their ending chapter. If Canada does not wake up now, at this moment in time, I don’t know what it will take.”

Its time to take that case to the Canadian people. The dual issues of the environment and Afghanistan this past week show this government has no credibility in either its domestic policies or living up to international agreements. It’s time to bring the government down.

39 comments to It’s time (to go to the people).

  • lrC

    International law is no different from domestic law in being subject to interpretations, including interpretations at the extremes. Criticize if you wish, but it’s not a matter over which to hold an election. However, I would be pleased to adopt the zealous line of reasoning being put forth by Byers et al and all supporters such as yourself because it will save big bucks and Canadian lives – provided I were reasonably certain all Canada (or at least the influential majority) would stick to the track in future and not find excuses to conduct military campaigns against sovereign governments against their will. It would negate any possibility of implementing responsibility-to-protect or any other protective humanitarian doctrine because it would be nearly impossible to justify a war and nearly impossible to conduct one with effect while colouring only inside the lines. We can stay clean, but mostly only by not being involved.

  • LrC,

    The essence of what you are saying seems to be saying that we shouldn ‘t criticize the Conservatives now on Afghanistan because other atrocities have happened and continue to happen.

    I profundly disagree. As a non-partisan human rights activist, I am very concerned about Darfur, and what happened in Kosovo and so on and so forth, but that does not make criticisms of the Harper government’s handling of the Afghan detainee file any less legitimate.

  • lrC

    You’re right, but change the identities to match the current conflict rather than the previous one and the point remains the same. Kill A to protect B.

  • LrC, you don’t even know what your talking about. The atrocities in Darfur are not about religion.

  • lrC

    Then it’s just a matter of asking the representatives of your favoured political party which countries and peoples they’d be willing to war against with the excuse of improving the situation of other parties. Maybe they’d be willing to kill Muslim Sudanese to protect non-Muslim Sudanese.

  • LrC, you’re making an assumption. Many of us are not Liberals.

  • lrC

    While you’re all rallying around the Canadian heroes and angered by the fact that combatants in Afghanistan are handed over to the government with jurisdiction in Afghanistan, spare a moment to reflect on how angry you are at the Liberal party for supporting a strategic bombing campaign* against Serbia. It will be interesting to see if you can choose – and vote for – the lesser evil. Which is it – handing over combatants who frequently attack non-military targets and conduct a campaign of terror against the populace in order to assert their own selection of human rights, with the attendant risk that some of the combatants might be tortured or killed; or bombing civilians and the transportation, communications, and energy infrastructure on which they rely?

    *Includes attacks against civil infrastructure and causes collateral civilian deaths.

  • As a non-partisan progressive, I share Scott’s anger. Particularly with respect to detainee issue and Baird’s plan, the Harper government’s behaviour in recent days has been nothing short of despicable. I’m becoming really embarassed to be a Canadian under the current government. This is not what I want my country to stand for.

    The Canadian hero Suzuki has spoken out. It is time to go.

  • lrC

    Unfortunately there’s no guarantee that when the Liberals are elected and fail to do anything useful, you will all walk onto the Hill and lynch them to a person. You’ll swallow anything you have to for the bottom line. Whinge away.

  • My only worry here is if we bring the government down and Harper wins another minority, we are stuck with him for 2 years as people will just get angrier for having four elections in such a short period. I think we are better to go in the Fall since after a long hot summer, more deaths in Afghanistan and no big spending announcements on the horizon their numbers will be weaker. My view is we have a better chance at winning a Fall election than a spring election as spring is before things get rough in Afghanistan and close to the budget.

  • Ann D,

    to answer your rhetorical question. Those are the ones who have yet to grow up mature in to fully developed adults. Scary to think that some of them are leading our country at this time.

  • And, to be fair, I should say SOME members of the Conservative blogosphere choose to use the same modus operandi, etc. It’s not fair to make sweeping statements, so I should correct that.

  • Excuse my typo in Stephen Harper’s name.

  • As it turns out, I joined the Liberal Party in December because I was impressed by Stephane Dion and decidedly unimpressed by Stephan Harper. I also wanted to work on the campaign of a local candidate for the Federal nomination in Peterborough Riding, and that necessitated formally joining the Liberal Party. (Up until four months ago, I’d never been a member of any political party.) I’ve always had very strong principles of social justice, however, and seeing Canada take a decidedly wrong turn in 2006 forced me to become politically active. I’m also encouraging everyone I know — including life-long political couch potatoes — to do likewise. There’s too much at stake for anyone to sit on the sidelines, given the current state of political affairs.

    It’s interesting that Conservative members of the blogosphere choose to use the same modus operandi as Conservative Members of Parliament — over-the-top rhetoric and drive-by bully attacks. What’s that about?

  • Thanks for clarifying, you always seemed level-headed to me, which is why I found your comment confusing. Maybe you should flesh that idea out in a post 🙂

  • mushroom

    Scott and Steve V,

    When I say neo-Marxist, I am NOT saying it in a negative way. I am using the term “neo-marxism” generically to describe supporting a post-materialist framework that seeks to challenge the present global regime of accumulation. So, I do not define neo-Marxism like Kursk and expect progressives to be reading Das Kapital.

    A post-materialist framework is supporting an alternative economic system to the neoliberal ideal. How far should the Liberal party support this framework is something we need to sort out before we go to the polls soon. It may be the crux of the argument in defeating Harper’s government.

  • Sassy

    “liberal inaction”?? where do you think the $$ that the current gov. is briding the voters with came from.?

  • [quote comment=”3722″]kursk – unless you know Ann D from somewhere else, you should not be assuming she is a liberal. People can disagree with the conservatives and still not be liberal supporters.[/quote]

    Quite agree, Gayle. I’ve also been ‘attacked’ here and elsewhere in the same manner (I’m not a ‘Liberal’). But what they really mean to say isn’t ‘Liberal’ but ‘librul’ as it said on the other side of the 49th. Catch my drift?

    The Conservative BorgBots have learned their lessons well from Frank Luntz and McLaughlin & Associates.

    Yes, I know it’s hard for Conservative Party supporters to reconcile this in their minds but a person can be critical of their ‘Dear Leader’ and party without necessarily having to be a ‘Liberal’ or a ‘Dipper’ or a ‘Green’.

    They assume far too much because they really don’t know much. ‘Assuming’ is their forte.

  • Scott

    Can I get my copy of Das Kapital back?

  • What are you talking about Mushroom? Neo-marxist, what an assinine comment.

  • Gayle

    kursk – unless you know Ann D from somewhere else, you should not be assuming she is a liberal. People can disagree with the conservatives and still not be liberal supporters.

  • Jason Townsend

    I am in visceral emotional agreement, Scott – watching the Tories play the “they deserved it” card on the detainee issue was a case of “They didn’t just say that, holy fucking shit” horror of the same sort I’m used to feeling when watching the brazen announcements of the Bush administration.

    But who wants an election right now? Does the BQ? I doubt the NDP, neck in neck with the Greens, want one. And calculators in LPC headquarters may be wondering if the current Tory woes are enough to avoid an electoral failure that might release the intra-party wolves on Dion.

    We need them out of office, and I don’t know if an election would do one. I can’t stand them -in- office, but if we can’t take them out, what would an election do other than express our disgust in a very expensive way that might put the party in parlous economic and leadership straits?

    For all that the Tories are in political hell, I don’t think it’s a very happy week for anyone.

  • I think certainly the Afghanistan thing is worth bringing the government down over. Also the environment should be considered, but I think if we are going to chaticize the Tories for not meeting Kyoto, we better have a fully costed plan to meet it. Breaking our international obligations is never good, but when they are unrealistic (at least at this point) you do your best to meet them and make up in the next round if you fall short.

  • Mushroom:

    You sure you haven’t been eating too many (magic) mushrooms? Steve and I are now “neo-marxists”?

    With all due respect, you’re crazier then Kursk.. or Aaron.. and that’s saying something.

  • mushroom

    Kursk,

    This is the Liberal party after the demise of Paul Martin. Scott Tribe and Far and Wide spewing their neo-Marxist rhetoric on the blog, hoping that the leadership will listen to them.

    It is easy playing Friday afternoon political quarterback in blogosphere. How much influence these two or I have on the blog is another story. On this day, I am praying hard that my political influence on the Liberal Party is lesser than what it should be.

  • kursk

    Perhaps what has shocked you, Ann d.,is that things got done, just not things that were very high on your agenda.I do find it amusing however that you issue this statement..

    “How can Canadians have confidence in a government that doesn’t appear to stand for anything but principles of self-interest and getting re-elected?”

    If you have followed your own party, you would have seen that his is how liberals govern, long on promise, short on delivery..Stephen Harper believes in what he says, I find that a liberal will believe whatever is popular to believe to get elected..your history has proved me right, again and again..

    If only we had more time..if only the dreaded NDP had not forced our hand..we were just on the verge of “_________” )insert policy announcement here…

    Yes, Kyto sounds good, if you don’t have to pay for it, if you never plan on implementing it (and make no mistake, the liberals had no intention.. )

    Kelowna sounded good..till people found out how much it cost, again with liberals never really having a structured deal…time after time liberals promised what they needed to get elected.How many elections was it that the liberals promised Toronto waterfront plans… four, five? You promise what sounds good, because you are so good at lying by now that many people believe you..and they give you majority govts.

    Ann, is this not the gold standard you apply to the conservatives in your quote? Are you really not talking about your party?

    I agree..lets get it on! I want safer streets.I want a cleaner environment that will not cost jobs, I want a stable Afghanistan with Canada leading the way.I want fixed election dates.I want an accountable senate, with fixed terms..

    But most of all, I want to see the death of the far left in this country.They serve no purpose, other than being minor fringe players with agendas that you folk as Liberals would best be wary of…i suggest you take the time to read the platform of Miss.May and her merry band of wingnuts, it will be quite enlightening i assure you.

    Perhaps you can stomach the liberal party becoming Neo-Marxists.I cannot and will do my best to ensure you don’t see power, if only by casting my single ballot.

    See you on the hustings!

  • mushroom

    Then the Liberals should vote “yes” on the non-confidence motion that the NDP will put forth on Afghanistan.

    What will this do to the resolution that the CPC and the NDP ganged up to defeat the Liberals on?

    How much is Dion willing to offer Layton for defeating Harper? It may take more than proportional representation. There may be the possibility of offering something more drastic but pleasing for you: cabinet posts, withdrawal from Afghanistan by June 30, 2007 etc.

  • Maybe you should wait for a few more Mark Holland covert actions. Then the Liberal Party should be all ready for an election. If Dion campaigns as well as he’s run his party thus far, then Gilles Duceppe has a term as the official opposition leader to look forward to.

  • What has shocked me since I really started paying attention to the actions of this government (about six months ago) are

    – the way it refuses to answer legitimate questions that are posed in a direct and civilized manner (usually by answering a totally unrelated question or by attacking the record of the previous government);
    – how it treats other members of the House of Commons and members of the media with such disrespect — like it is above any standard of accountability;
    – how little of substance it has achieved during its time in office — and how little legitimate concern or interest it has shown for some of the most pressing issues of our time: aboriginal issues, children’s issues, healthcare, youth issues, social justice in all its forms, and the environment;
    – how it doesn’t seem to care about anything else but achieving the all-might majority — which makes one wonder what it wants to do with that majority after it gets it;
    – how it is willing to do u-turns on the facts and what it allegedly stands for on a daily — if not hourly — basis. How can Canadians have confidence in a government that doesn’t appear to stand for anything but principles of self-interest and getting re-elected?

    The spin-doctoring has been impressive, which means there is a greater need for media literacy and political literacy education at the grassroots levels — teaching people how changing the subject when you don’t want to answer a particular question, providing a partial truth, and other tools have allowed the Harper government to misuse the privilege of power and waste Parliament’s time — time that could otherwise have been used accomplishing something of substance.

  • Militant Liberal

    Right on, bring on the election. Let’s fight it on our terms (enviroment, Afghanistan) and not theirs (the opposition wont support my crime bills)

  • wilson61

    So it is the Cons Eco Plan vs. the Opposition’s new and revised Clean Air Act.

    Do you see now, why ‘the Cons did NOT put forward a single ammendment to the CAA’??

    There is no Liberal enviro plan…there’s the new CAA totally supported by all 3 opposition parties.
    There is no NDP enviro plan…there’s the new CAA.
    There is no Bloc enviro plan…there’s the new CAA
    Oh, and Lizzy May, in supporting Dion for PM, supports the new and improved Oppositions CAA.

    Therefore, on the election trail, the opposition parties (and Greens)can not claim they have the better enviro plan, because they all support ONE plan, the Opposition revised new Clean Air Act.

  • Dionosaur

    “Canajuns know that Kyoto wasn’t ratified by Canada until 2003 and that Dion was EnviroMinister for a shorter period of time than the current Conservative tenure.”

    I could have sworn that you’re a Green, not a Lib JimBob. Are you saying that the Liberals weren’t aware that they were planning to ratify Kyoto? Was it a last minute roll of the dice in 2003? Why have previous Liberal environment ministers mentioned that Dion was not helping in advancing environmental agreements with the provinces as intergovernmental affairs minister.

  • “13 years of Liberal inaction…”

    As soon as I see that phrase, I discount the credibility of the commenter. Hackneyed CPoC campaign jargon! Get with it! Canajuns know that Kyoto wasn’t ratified by Canada until 2003 and that Dion was EnviroMinister for a shorter period of time than the current Conservative tenure.

    I ain’t a Liberal an’ I think the Grits did drop the ball but not for 13 years. The first few years of Liberal rule were dedicated to eliminating the deficit run up by previous gummints. Despite the constant refrain of “13 years of inaction, blah, blah, blah”, real economic progress was made an’ big business’s buddyBoy Paul Fartin’ Martin was the Finance Minister who killed the deficit.

    The latest BS so-called green plan is gettin’ panned by environmentalists an’ accepted by industry as “tough but fair.” What’s that say?

    When tar sands production is a top emitter of GHG’s and tar sands production is slated to triple in size soon an’ new tar sands development gets a free pass for 3 years, what’s that say?

    When Harper an’ MacKay an’ O’Connor can’t get their lies straight enough not to look like complete morons, what’s that say?

    When the Cons vote along with the BQ to adopt Kyoto an’ then come out with a plan that doesn’t even attempt to do so, what’s that say?

    Yeah, I reckon it’s time to give these war-mongerin’, anti-Earther, human rights abusin’, lyin’, denyin’ dictatorial Bushmen the heave-ho. Sooner the better, sez I.

    JimBobby

  • I agree Scott. Good post.

  • Bud

    I am really amused at all you Liberals. This reminds me of a a son born to parents who couldn’t care less about him. He is continually ignored. And because of that, he gets into drugs and gangs. Then when he is 13, another family takes care of him and tries to turn his life around. But the boys original parents do nothing but critisize the new family for the way they are taking care of their boy.

    13 years of Liberal inaction (and if you can point me to a single news article that tells me that any Liberal actions resulted in any kind of reduction I would appreciate it) have left us so far behind that trying to catch up is going to be slow and tedious.

    Why were the Liberals given a free ride by the media for 13 years and now that a Conservative government is in place, the media will have us believe that the world is going to end very soon. The next thing we’re going to see is Dion carrying a sign that says “The World Will End Tomorrow”.

  • Lord Kitchener's Own

    I’t amazing how quickly the worm turns eh?

    Seems like just last week the Tories were foaming at the mouth at the idea of an election. (In fact, I think it WAS last week!).

    Now, everywhere I turn another progressive is calling for an election.

    Interesting times!

  • I think now is definately the time:
    talk of war crimes, recent deaths in combat, admission that they are going to break our legal commitment to Kyoto, the right wing anti PR think tank given the electoral reform issue, internal disent amough Tories over the “Liberalish” budget, and attacks(albeit meagre) on the energy sector.

    The longer we give them to cloud the climate issue with fake data and scare mongering the more lingering doubt voters will develop over Kyoto.

    I fear however that the population is not educated enought to make the right choices if this article is anything to go by.
    http://greenassassinbrigade.blogspot.com/2007/04/most-americans-dont-know-plastic-is.html

    Hopefully we are more enlightened than our Cracker neighbours.

  • I’m convinced that it will only get worse for them. It started to happen last summer, but things got delayed because we had to pick a new leader and change styles. Come October or maybe February, I think Canadians will be legitimately warming to Dion. That is when we will be ready for an election.

    If we strike too soon, then not enough people will be convinced and Harper will probably keep his minority. The last thing I would want to do is give him another year or two of breathing room.

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