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Doing what you're supposed to (Haiti) vs not doing the job (prorogue); apples & oranges

I’ve seen a few news polls and stories asking people/wondering if the Conservative government’s reaction and response to the Haitian crisis would blunt the anger that has been directed at it because of Harper’s decision to prorogue Parliament. I would argue that it shouldn’t.

The Canadian government is reacting exactly how people expect it to react when a humanitarian crisis of this magnitude occurs in a country. I’m not sure you’re going to get a lot of upside tick for humanitarian aid everyone expects it to undertake (though this government is trying hard to get that – there’s been a few complaints the past week about the photo-ops they’ve been doing with this disaster), and I’m not convinced that means everyone will suddenly think proroguing the House wasn’t so bad. Quite frankly, the House being in recess but still technically sitting meant it could have done a few useful and urgent things if it were in a position for its committees to be recalled for emergency meetings, but that’s not possible under the prorogation.

The CAPP rallies also haven’t happened yet – they happen in another week, meaning there will be time for that anger at the unnecessary prorogation of Parliament to be put back front and centre. Most people can walk and chew gum at the same time, and I think most people can keep the 2 events in separate containers of their brains. You can care about what’s going on in Haiti, but still be ticked we’re without a sitting Parliament for an extra month and a bit, because Harper wanted extra time to try and not be accountable on the Afghan detainees question.

UPDATE @ 7:46 pm: The CAPP Facebook group reaches 200 000 members this evening

12 comments to Doing what you’re supposed to (Haiti) vs not doing the job (prorogue); apples & oranges

  • @Jeff: the Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART) is largely comprised of engineers – particularly the type with skill sets conduicive to operating in austere environments – ie electrical generation technicians, water purification experts, construction engineers and so on. The DART is what Canada sent first (about 200) along with pallet loads of aid and a helicopter, on board the first C17 flight.

    There is a limited capacity (throughput) for aid to pass through the airport at Port au Prince, with the seaport/harbour facility largely being destroyed.

  • MississaugaPeter

    Scott, I sincerely believe the CAPP 200,000+ is impressive (they are not anemic).

    The rallies will be anemic. Anemic is when MSM/pundits/Conservatives start stating that Facebook is overrated, and they use the numbers at the rallies as their proof.

    I will be at the Toronto event, but I expect the numbers a lot smaller than the last rally I was at…the Toronto “Coalition” Rally last December.

    http://www.thestar.com/article/549571

    I hope I am wrong and that the Liberals and NDP get the folks out. But with those NDP idiots deciding to run Peggy Nash again, I doubt that they will do their part.

  • Jeff

    Uh, “Prairie Kid”, Obama & the USA were too busy getting the rescue going to rush out to a photo opp or hand-picked press conference. Dude, France was there before us. Regardless, the world reaction was swift, but we should have sent military engineers ahead of the aid. All those people who are still buried.. Very sad. Very Sad.

    Also, almost everyone who showed up at Michael Ignatieff’s town hall in Mississauga were not in any Party.

  • Prairie Kid

    Where was the Liberal outrage when the Taliban were taking innocent women into soccer fields and shooting them in the head just for talking to males on the street?

    But the same Taliban who did those awful things MIGHT have been tortured, (not by Canadian soldiers but by Afghanis themselves) Liberals have their shorts in a knot thinking somehow that Canadians really care about those people. Not to mention the fact when the Liberals were in power they came up with the system that you are now protesting against. Please please bring on an inquiry.

    • marie

      Prarie Kid, Isn’t it time you grew up a little to face reality. Harper is taking advantage of the earthquake to the fullest. Tell me Kid, If the house had been in session the entire 308 Mp’s would have been in on making the important decisions like spending the necessary monies which BTW is how Parliament is suppose to work. Ideas on how to speed up responses and this Bud would have given your phot op Prime Minister and his goons a lot more clot to the entire nation. Do you thing for a minute with all the gaffs your Reform Con has done in the past, paper and voice trail as well, people are going to forget all about that? I don’t think so. Harper is bleeding votes from Canadians who have finally woken up as well as some of his own past supporters. Nice try kid but take your shovel and plastic pail and go play in your own back yard if you can find it without directions.

    • @Prairie Kid, Where was the Liberal outrage?

      Gee, PK, as we’re constantly being reminded, it was the Liberals who sent our troops into Afghanistan in the first place. You can’t have it both ways, Kid.

      BTW, Canadians do care about human rights, whether it’s the Taliban torturing or our warlord/opium dealer allies torturing. Torture is wrong, no matter who perpetrates it.

      Turning a blind eye to torture is the crime. Prorogation is the getaway car.

  • A good point Scott.

    Just because an authoritarian thug or a mob boss sometimes helps out other folks in an emergency, it doesn’t make him any less an authoritarian thug or mob boss.

    Harper is a proto-fascist whether his government helps out Haiti in an emergency or whether he is a good piano player. He also has shut down Parliament and locked out the opposition in an effort to cover up his government’s involvement in torture, to avoid embarrassing questions about the real deficit and the economy.

    He is, ironically, acting like Papa Doc or Baby Doc Duvallier. And just as they needed to go from Haiti, Harper and his Reformers need to go from Canada.

    No amount of helping Haiti changes Harper’s anti-democratic actions.

    And Prairie Kid, maybe if Harper hadn’t shut down Parliament, he could have passed a resolution with the support of all parties and announced his plans. Instead, we don’t know what has been done, when or if the DART team is going, nor why the Vancouver Urban Rescue unit was not sent (as it was during Katrina).

    Out of his own actions of shutting down Parliament, Harper has given the opposition not other venue to question the government than the press. If you don’t like it, too bad. The Con’s made their bed, they need to lay in it.

    Nice of you Cons to try to use an earthquake to stifle debate and legitimate questioning of government action.

    Cowards who cannot face questions and try to hide behind pearl-clutching indignation deserve ridicule and derision. And you people are getting it.

  • Prairie Kid

    Unlike the Ujjal Dosanjh and theLiberals, I have yet to hear a negative word from the Republicans in the U.S. about the slow reaction of the Obama administration. Canada reacted immediately, even sooner than the U.S. This just shows how desperate the Liberals are to regain power again . . . using the earthquake for partisan gain.

  • MississaugaPeter

    CAPP rallies are going to be anemic.

    Haiti has made it the no. 5 issue after Haiti, Haiti, Haiti and Haiti.

    The issue has been pushed as far as it can be – very, very well for us Liberals. Any attempt at trying to make it the No. 1 issue again will have the opposite desired effect. It’s time to frame the next issue. Or for the Liberals to come out with a Policy Statement of some type.

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