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Silly NDP Budget Antics

As some know, I’m not one who normally goes out of my way to go after the NDP on a lot of things, as they have positions closer to me then the Conservatives do by a longshot, but if this is Thomas Mulcair’s new strategy, it doesn’t exactly bode well for opposition party cooperation or opposition party supporter’s wooing:

..the New Democrats have still not let the Liberals respond to last week’s budget in the House of Commons and are going against tradition to use all of the response time themselves. When asked about the strategy after Question Period, Opposition Leader Thomas Mulcair said the NDP plans to use every opportunity the parliamentary rule book presented to demonstrate what is wrong with the budget.

On the one hand, it could be argued no one outside of party faithful and press gallery members care who says what in the opposition’s response to the Budget – particularly when it’s stretched over four days. On the other hand, it is antics like this that get your left-of-center Liberals (including me) who normally would be sympathetic to some NDP positions and willing to give them an ear on some of this rather ticked off; not exactly a way to woo those voters, if this is the tactics you’re using. Nathan Cullen and his view of cooperation appears to have been given short shrift here in the Mulcair led party.

If the NDP can point to example of when they were the 3rd party (or lower), where the Official Opposition, be they the Liberals, or the Conservatives, or the Alliance, or the Reform Party, or even the BQ, did the same kind of stunt that they can point to for precedence on this – that this isn’t breaking all traditions, as the reporter said – then feel free to point it out.

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12 comments to Silly NDP Budget Antics

  • Irene

    Exactly Scotian. I agree with you and it is a sad time in Canada to have two power hungry leaders in this country in Canada’s history at the same time.

    I had hoped Mulcalir would have been a good leader and one that could help us get rid of the control freak Harper but sadly I was mistaken.

    However, What we did get was two big mouth liars trying to control each other and In my view, it is just a matter of time before Canadians see Mulcair and Harper for the worst kind of politicians representing us Canadians.

  • You know I used to blog about the importance of process issues and why they reflect the true nature of a political leader when it was Harper going out of his way to ignore precedent for his own advantage to show just how far outside the mainstream of Canadian political culture and context he was. To now see the NDP’s new leader sanctioning the same in his first week out, and in such a petty vindictive manner at that appears to show his true nature despite all of his attempts to not appear such in his speeches to the public. Personally I’m not all that surprised, since Layton came to town the NDP have changed in many fundamental ways from the honest party it once was that actually cared at least as much about process and policy issues as opposed to the politics of expediency for power, and this latest shift just continues to show that whatever else the NDP is now it is no better than the image of the Liberals as power hungry a**holes that would do anything to gain/hold power the NDP loved to paint over the years. Essentially the NDP is choosing to replace the Liberals by becoming the Liberals, except they lack something the Liberals still have, that is a strong legacy/history of good governance and shaping this country into the progressive nation for most of its history it had been until Harper started his wholesale dismantling of it (with NDP connivance since for Jack stopping the Libs mattered more than stopping Harper, a point I spent over a half decade pointing the evidence out again and again).

    I used to be like Scott here, not someone that was inclined to give the NDP a hard time because on the issues they tended to be closer to me on a lot, especially on the social justice side if not as much on the economic side, which was why they used to be one of my options to vote for. It is the actions of the NDP in enabling the rise of Prime Minister Harper let alone majority Prime Minister Harper that caused me to go so hostile (and cost them my wife’s vote, and she unlike me had been a hardcore NDP partisan/supporter) to them. It would seem that Mulcair wishes to continue that legacy of transformation for the sake of power (and here I will give Layton this much, I do think he wanted power at any cost to help the socially/societally disadvantaged he saw in the world, the fact that I deplored his methods does not mean I think he had no noble end in mind to use his ill gained power with, Mulcair though…) and in his case I only see power-lust in action not true noble ends forcing the use of bad means that I saw in Layton.

    This may seem a lot to hang on Mulcair given his just becoming leader, but that is actually part of the point. He is twisting Parliamentary precedent to suit his partisan needs instead of honouring it, which if anything makes him more like a Harper CPC type than either a Lib or traditional NDPer in actual actions as opposed to his words. I learned a long time back to always judge actions with more weight than words, especially in the case of politicians, and I have to say this action just goes to prove that a wise policy indeed. Mulcair has proven yet another thing, he is no Jack Layton in the positive sense, yet he may be even worse than him in the negative sense. Not a promising beginning.

  • G.J.W.

    Anyone who will kick Harper in the @$$, is fine with me.

    Harper is no Conservative. He is a Neo-Nazi Reformer, of his Northern Foundation Party, of 1989. They said, the skinheads organized Harper’s party.

    The election fraud and the robo-calls, all go right straight to Harper and his so called Conservatives. The records posted, proved exactly that. They even paid the bills. This far from the first time, Harper has used dirty tactics and dirty politics.

    Henchman Gordon Campbell, ex Liberal premier of BC, works for Herr Harper the so called Conservative. Henchman Conservative Boessenkoll works for Harper and lobbies for Enbridge. He now works for the supposed BC Liberals. Van Dongen a supposed BC Liberal, crossed the floor to work for the supposed BC Conservatives.

    Well I think the entire ruddy lot of them are, of Harper’s Reformer dictatorship government. Harper is spreading his poison around, by lies, deceit, infiltration and corruption.

  • catherine

    whoops, that should read “sure is going to turn off”. Edit didn’t seem to work for me.

  • catherine

    This might play well to some of their base which are sending in tweets to read, but it sure is not going to turn off voters who voted Green or Liberal and are hoping to hear from a Green or Liberal representative. I would expect even some who voted NDP and hated the tactics Harper used to silence the opposition MPs will feel uncomfortable seeing the NDP doing the same.

    • sharonapple88

      It irritates Liberal, Green, and Bloc supporters…

      And the media’s not really covering it.

      And more important, the Conservatives are completely indifferent to the spectacle for very good reasons.

      It’s funny reading the hansard and seeing the NDP members slapping Julian on the back for this (especially Robert Chisholm). Other than making the base happy (wow, they’re enjoying the little power they have as official opposition against a majority government), they’re accomplishing little with this.

    • Irene

      Exactly my thoughts Catherine. It appears that we now have two Con Parties, Harper and Mulcair. Two peas in a pod and just as corrupted and blinded by power.

      Its a sad time to be a Canadian and living in Canada. One may as well move too a third world country when we see the politics practiced this week in Parliament and by our corrupted politicians.

      I will never vote NDP; Federal or provincial nor Conservatives with the likes of those two Amigo’s we currently see in Parliament. I do not think I am the only one who feels that way.

  • sharonapple88

    It hasn’t been a total waste, but there has been some filler added into this monster speech.

    We’ve heard about the fact that Peter Julian once wore bell-bottom pants and about how big SNL was at one time:

    “Back in 1976, I was still in high school. I am not sure where you were, Mr. Speaker. You are older than your years. You may even have been a child prodigy, I do not know. However, back in 1976, I was wearing bell-bottom trousers and Saturday Night Live was big.”

    He’s taken attendance:

    “Two wonderful members from Scarborough have taken their places in Parliament. I cannot comment that one of them might be in the House now, and the other not.”

    We’ve heard the exciting news on whom the new NDP leader is:

    “I thank my colleagues for their enthusiastic reception. One would not think that all of them had just gone through a very busy and intense leadership convention over the course of the last weekend, when we elected the member for Outremont as our new leader and the leader of the official opposition.”

    And he’s read a few twitter comments.

    “I believe the hon. member for Dartmouth—Cole Harbour will be passing me his BlackBerry in just a moment.”

    At some point, it looks like Megan Leslie has tried to get Julian to stop to no success.

    Anyway, shine on you crazy diamond.

  • rww

    And exactly how does the NDP get to restrict the Liberal’s QP time, which is allocated according to House membership. Yes the Liberals have fewer questions now because they have fewer MPs. The voters decided that, not the NDP.

    • sharonapple88

      It’s not question period. It’s the time allocated to debate the budget.

      (7) No Member, except the Minister of Finance, the Member speaking first on behalf of the Opposition, the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition, shall speak for more than twenty minutes at a time in the Budget Debate.

      Julian’s first up, so he gets to rattle away for as long as he likes. Since there are four days to debate the budget, it looks like he’s going to try and take all four days.

  • SteveV

    It really reeks of a certain insecurity, which betrays the bluster and seat count reality. Perhaps people will begin to give the NDP their Off Opp due, when they confidently act like it.

  • catherine

    I’d be very interested too in knowing if another party has done this. It seems like something Harper would do, but I don’t recall him doing it in Opposition. I’m really not impressed and wonder why Mulcair wants to debut as a leader in this fashion. To me it brings up memories of the NDP working to keep Elizabeth May out of the debates (although they did reverse their position on that). It is the same thing of not respecting Canadians who support other parties.

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