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So asking questions about the detainees is an insult to the Cdn troops?

That’s apparently Stephen Harper’s view from his Google Youtube “interview”.

Normally, I’d be outraged, and post a long-winded rant about what a misleading and idiotic a statement that is, except Harper and his government (see Peter MacKay) have been saying that schtick for awhile (and a large portion of the Canadian electorate/public aren’t buying it) so it doesn’t surprise me he’d repeat it in a scripted tightly controlled “interview”.

Good response here though from a commentator at Susan Delacourt’s blog, that bears repeating:

Our troops didn’t commit torture, they reported it. Ottawa ignored, neglected and denied that those reports did exist, and, tried to destroy the reputation of the person […]

The rebuttal to Conservatives who protest that proroguing of Parliament is ‘routine’

I posted this yesterday as one of the contributors at the No Prorogue website in its blog section as an opinion piece; I reproduce it for everyone who reads my blog here .


The best rebuttal I’ve seen to that attempted argument comes from Michael Den Tandt, in his op-ed in the Owen Sound Sun Times decrying Harper’s 2nd prorogue in 2 years:

…there’s another issue, overriding all the others: That is, very simply, cowardice. Prime Minister Harper prorogued Parliament last winter to get himself out of a serious political jam of his own making. Now he’s done the same thing again, and for the same reason. It’s actually […]

Hmm, Harper claims he needs almost 3 months to figure out how to govern.

I almost hate to use this comparison, but Harper seems to be borrowing in so many words Stephane Dion’s line of “You think it’s easy to make priorities?” in using this excuse/justification for proroguing Parliament. As Aaron Wherry states, combine the Christmas/New Years break and the prorogue, and Parliament will be off for 83 days, and Harper is claiming he needs every single one of those days without Parliament sitting to plan something.

Apparently Harper and his Conservative government can’t chew gum and walk at the same time, or more accurately, can’t plan any economic priorities while being grilled in Question Period, or having pesky committees hold hearings that are […]

If no one cares about detainee issue, Mr Harper, then release the uncensored documents

Harper came out on his CBC interview with Peter Mansbridge tonight claiming that the Canadian public “don’t care” about the issue.

Well, Mr Harper, if people don’t care, then there should be no reason for you to not hand over the documents to Parliament and by proxy the Afghanistan Committee – as voted on and ordered by Parliament (as you’re eventually going to have to anyhow, I predict).

Concurrently, there should also be no reason if people don’t care why you can’t and haven’t been handing those same documents over to the Military Police Commission, which is authorized to read potential secret documents and refrain from releasing them if […]

‘Harper prorogues because..’ badge, courtesy of Impolitical

Very nicely done:

I’ve added that to my sidebar. The original article of hers on the badge’s creation is here. If you need instructions on how to add this to your blog/website, I’m sure she’d be willing to help you out. If she can’t, I can tell you the necessary code.

Opinions on prorogation of Parliament

I have just a minor quibble with an otherwise excellent Andrew Coyne column at Macleans where he condemns Harper’s contempt of Parliament. I noted this part of his column, which seems a tad resigned or cynical at the reaction of “some folks”:

Each time Parliament allows one of these abuses to pass, its power is reduced a little more. Indeed, so diminished has it become that it is hard for some observers to muster much indignation at this latest assault: it’s only Parliament, after all. It’s exactly this sort of whittling away by degrees that has allowed closure, for example, to be invoked more or less routinely to cut of […]

Even a stopped clock is right twice in a day

Stephen Harper’s decision to do a 2nd prorogue in just over a year even got Connie Fournier of the ultra-rightwing site Free Dominion upset enough to say this:

I don’t care what anyone says, repeated prorogation of Parliament, as a political strategy, is an affront to democracy.

This guy is mad with power!

That’s more objective and critical of Harper then I’d bet 99.9% of the Blogging Tory aggregate, which Free Dominion isn’t even a member of. I don’t know if Connie just pulled a radical conversion (as Little Green Footballs in the US recently did) or if this is just a 1 day thing, but credit where it’s due.


Do the Conservatives have ADHD (Afghanistan Deficit Hyperactivity-Disorder)?

This is a very curious story over at Macleans on the sequence of events so far. Twenty eight countries have appointed officials to work with Richard Holbrooke on Afghanstan – the U.S. Special Represetative for Afghanistan and Pakistan, who was personally picked by President Obama, and who reports directly to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Six months ago, Holbrooke personally requested the Canadian government for a representative from our country, and we still haven’t done anything, and apparently aren’t anywhere close to picking someone:

When Barack Obama appointed him at the beginning of 2009.. several countries immediately named Afghanistan-Pakistan envoys who would serve as direct interlocutors for Holbrooke. The Brits, […]

The Conservatives impact around the world due to the Kairos cuts.

The impact is all very negative, as you would expect. “Canada’s back?”. More like Canada’s disappearing under Harper.

Programs to 6 different countries will be specifically affected by this bit of petty vindictiveness by Harper, Jason Kenney, Bev Oda, and the rest of this disgraceful lot. Specifically, key partners of KAIROS in Columbia, Sudan, The Congo, Indonesia (which, by the way, has a picture of Deepak Obhrai, the Parliamentary Secretary to Foreign Affairs, attending the opening of and being the guest speaker of the first ever human rights school there in July 2009, funded with KAIROS/CIDA money), and Mexico. You can read for yourself the different specifics of the programs; […]

Well, Harper’s being consistent here anyhow

Harper decided not to bother speaking at the Copenhagen Environmental Summit; he decided to send Environment Minister Jim Prentice instead to make Canada’s speech:

Gordon Brown, Nicolas Sarkozy, Angela Merkel, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad – and Jim Prentice? While other world leaders have taken to the podium this week to address delegates at the Copenhagen climate talks, Prime Minister Stephen Harper is sending his environment minister in his place.

Harper has other plans – he will join other leaders at a dinner hosted by the Queen of Denmark

Nice to see Harper is trying to groom Jim Prentice to the world stage.

One thing you can say though – Harper is […]

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