Skip

Going Prorogue
December 30, 2009 4:35 PM   Subscribe

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper wants to prorogue Parliament. AGAIN.

Last year Stephen Harper convinced Governor General Michaëlle Jean to have Canada's House of Parliament prorogued, i.e. suspended for a five-week period. Facing a coalition of Liberals, NDP and Bloc Quebecois MPs prepared to vote out his minority Conservative Party (spurred in part by a Conservative bill that would take away the public funds parties receive for election purposes), Harper was able to stave off a vote of non-confidence, though not without some ducking and weaving. While some commentators stated that the proroguement set a bad precedent, the suspension of operations in the House of Commons went as planned, and the opposition coalition fell apart.

Now at the tail-end of 2009, Harper wants to prorogue Parliament until March 2010, so that he and other government leaders can work on the next phase of its economic action plan (and patriotic Canucks can support their athletes in the 2010 Winter Olympics). Others have suggested it is a brazen move to avoid questioning over the ongoing calls for investigations into the torture of Afghan detainees. Representatives of the minority government insist that the accusations are false.

Other commentaries:
The Olympics, Prorogue and the Moral Vacuity of the Conservative Party
Harper's holiday to-do list
Prorogue? Sure, why not?
posted by spoobnooble (115 comments total) 14 users marked this as a favorite

 
Finally, a PM who understands just how tiring parliamentary democracy is. Seriously though, how are Canadians expected to focus on national politics with the Winter Olympics in Van -- this is obviously a more 'sustainable' Conservative Party.
posted by derekpaco at 4:44 PM on December 30, 2009


Well there is a more reasonable explanation of why he is proroguing it. Reforms to committees passed under the Liberal government (I think of Martin, but I'm not sure) meant that they can't really be changed by the prime minister without a proroguing. By proroguing, Harper can add about 5 Conservative Senators and thereby take control of a number of committees.

I don't like the proroguing - I think a lot of it is in fact about the Afgan torture stuff. However, proroguing means that the government bills on the table are now not.

And this means that the "tough of crime" bill doesn't pass. Which is a damn good thing.
posted by Lemurrhea at 4:45 PM on December 30, 2009


I got somethin' Harper can frikken prorogue ... if you catch my drift?
posted by PareidoliaticBoy at 4:45 PM on December 30, 2009 [1 favorite]


What strikes me as incredible, as a USA-ian, is that the Governor General is appointed by the Queen of England! How bizarre.

(OK, no more bizarre than having a single senator from a tiny state hold up the whole country and his party on health care reform.)
posted by Mid at 4:51 PM on December 30, 2009 [2 favorites]


Parliament will no longer be of any concern to us. I have just received word that the Prime Minister has dissolved it permanently. The last remnants of the Old Dominion have been swept away.
posted by bowline at 4:52 PM on December 30, 2009 [14 favorites]


Approximately 61% of Canadians wouldn't believe Harper if he said the sky is blue, so logically if he wants to increase his approval rating he should call a press conference and claim that he's a Reform Party troll selling Canada by the pound to various corporate interests.
posted by Stonewall Jackson at 4:55 PM on December 30, 2009


Fear will keep the provinces in line.
posted by Avenger at 4:56 PM on December 30, 2009 [8 favorites]


Mid -- the GG is not really appointed by the Queen -- he or she is selected by the Prime Minister of the day. Technically the appointment is then made by the monarch, but she always goes with the PM's choice.
posted by bowline at 4:56 PM on December 30, 2009


Parliament will no longer be of any concern to us.

George Clinton could not be reached for comment.
posted by ZenMasterThis at 4:57 PM on December 30, 2009 [9 favorites]


Something I am not clear on: is prorogation (a word I only learned late last year) in some way different from any other dissolution of parliament? I am no Harper fan but this seems like something that happens on a fairly regular basis.
posted by bowline at 4:59 PM on December 30, 2009


What strikes me as incredible, as a USA-ian, is that the Governor General is appointed by the Queen of England!

She is also the Queen of Canada (check the image on our currency).
posted by binturong at 5:02 PM on December 30, 2009


What strikes me as incredible, as a USA-ian, is that the Governor General is appointed by the Queen of England! How bizarre.

They are not. They're appointed by the Queen of Canada, or rather the Queen in right of Canada - the Queen acting on behalf of the people of Canada.
Appointed on the advice of the Governor-in-Council, which really is just a formality and the "advice" is in modern times not refused.

That was at issue in the earlier proroguing, but most agree that the refusal by the G-G would be a more serious problem than the cowardly proroguing itself.

is a nice little intro to the government institutions.
posted by Lemurrhea at 5:02 PM on December 30, 2009 [2 favorites]


Americans get death panels, Hitler mustaches, and Yosemite Sams waving guns at town hall meetings, while we Canadians are now fully conversant in the ins and outs of "proroguing" Parliament. No wonder everyone thinks we're a bunch of boring, smiling snowshoers.

Harper is proroguing (ugh, again that weird word that I somehow, by virtue of being a Canadian, somehow know all about) Parliament because it is within his rights as prime minister to do so.

In short, blame the system that gives the Canadian prime minister such uniquely concentrated executive powers, not the man - if you don't mind what he actually does with his powers, Harper is admirable to watch in action, and is certainly more adept than Iggy, or other more charismatic politicians:

While the PM flirts with a majority government, Barack Obama's approval ratings plunge.

And why single out Harper for charges of moral bankruptcy? Duceppe and Layton are as adept as Harper at ignoring their own principles to support this minority parliament.

Canada's problems are much deeper than Stephen Harper's effective manipulation of the PMO.

There is an inability or unwillingness to debate seriously, let alone try to tackle, major social and economic challenges.
posted by KokuRyu at 5:03 PM on December 30, 2009 [3 favorites]


As a citizen of what I'm pretty sure is the oldest, and I am absolutely confident is the most fucked up, republican nation in the world, I'm hesitant to criticize a saner nation... But seriously, "Soudas said the prime minister spoke with Gov. Gen Michaëlle Jean over the phone earlier Wednesday"?!? Is that really how it works? Could she have said "no"? Is this a purely ceremonial office - had a Liberal PM asked her for the same thing, would she have agreed with him? (An agreement mumbled though a mouthful of baby seal heart, as I understand it...)
posted by bonecrusher at 5:04 PM on December 30, 2009


The tough on crime bill was basically amended away by the Senate, which is the best thing the Senate has pretty much ever done (other than demand the legalization of marijuana). Bill C-51, the "tough on crime" bill, was folded into Bill C-6, which is a weird "protect the consumer" bill, probably to help it pass. But it is probably illegal because it tries to circumvent the need for a warrant to enter private property... and the Senate has been beating it up further and it is hopefully quite dead now.
posted by mek at 5:04 PM on December 30, 2009


Bowline, you can think of a prorogation as a reset button on parliament. One of the main functions of it, historically, has been to start the new session with a new Throne Speech, and thus a new budget.
It's distinguished from a recess in that the bills die, there's a new throne speech, committees can be adjusted (see my first comment), etc.
It's different from a dissolution in that there's no new election.
posted by Lemurrhea at 5:05 PM on December 30, 2009


Can we abolish the GG yet? Please?

And oust Harper? Please?
posted by Schlimmbesserung at 5:13 PM on December 30, 2009 [1 favorite]


Could she have said "no"? Is this a purely ceremonial office - had a Liberal PM asked her for the same thing

The GG could very well say "no", but it would provoke a constitutional crisis, and no GG wants to be remembered for that (unless Harper were proroguing parliament to pave the way for a Nazi Martian invasion or something).
posted by KokuRyu at 5:13 PM on December 30, 2009 [1 favorite]


The Governer General is technically the head of state, and can do whatever he/she likes.

In NZ at least, they are typically non-partisan, and pretty much just rubberstamp all bills passed and attend ceremonies (think the US president if they wanted to just leave it to the congress and senate). They can refuse to sign bills or dissolve parliament, but I can't think of any time this has happened here (Australia had its Prime minister removed in 1975, causing all sorts of trouble)
posted by scodger at 5:17 PM on December 30, 2009


KokoRyu, you say that as if it's unlikely.
posted by klanawa at 5:17 PM on December 30, 2009 [1 favorite]


I got somethin' Harper can frikken prorogue ... if you catch my drift?

Taters?
posted by StickyCarpet at 5:18 PM on December 30, 2009 [5 favorites]


Can we work out some kind of a deal with the governments who are still stuck with monarchy but have modern health care systems, while we in the US have ditched the people with fancy pimp hats but are still stuck with early 20th century health care? We'll help you with your revolution, you help us with ours, everybody wins.
posted by mullingitover at 5:20 PM on December 30, 2009 [1 favorite]


Actually it's not a bad idea to have the chief executive (PM) and the head of state (Liz the Queen) as separate actors. The head of state could be a dog (I've argued for this in the past) and the effect would be the same, namely that the PM is not the boss of everything and remains answerable to someone.
posted by unSane at 5:28 PM on December 30, 2009


Harper is proroguing (ugh, again that weird word that I somehow, by virtue of being a Canadian, somehow know all about) Parliament because it is within his rights as prime minister to do so.

It is not within Harper's right as PM to do so, which is why he didn't do so. It's with the Governor General's right to do so and she is the one who has done it. She could absolutely have said no, and it would have brought on no constitutional crisis at all, it just would have resulted in Parliament returning to session as originally scheduled. That she acquiesced again just shows her to be a coward incapable of doing her job, which is to safeguard democracy when the government of the day gets it into its head that it's somehow above the democratic process.
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 5:29 PM on December 30, 2009 [11 favorites]


Can we work out some kind of a deal with the governments who are still stuck with monarchy but have modern health care systems, while we in the US have ditched the people with fancy pimp hats but are still stuck with early 20th century health care? We'll help you with your revolution, you help us with ours, everybody wins.

The 1975 Australian crisis was partly based on the introduction of medibank (a public insurance option), that later turned into medicare, the national health care system. If it wasn't for the governer general calling a joint sitting (house and senate vote together, as it passed the house but not senate) it would not have been passed. There are some benefits to a non-partisan head of state, even if we in NZ are trying our best to do away with ours.
posted by scodger at 5:30 PM on December 30, 2009 [1 favorite]


The GG could very well say "no", but it would provoke a constitutional crisis, and no GG wants to be remembered for that (unless Harper were proroguing parliament to pave the way for a Nazi Martian invasion or something).

I expect to see this exact scenario in Doctor Who next season.
posted by spinifex23 at 5:34 PM on December 30, 2009 [3 favorites]


It is not within Harper's right as PM to do so, which is why he didn't do so. It's with the Governor General's right to do so and she is the one who has done it. She could absolutely have said no, and it would have brought on no constitutional crisis at all, it just would have resulted in Parliament returning to session as originally scheduled. That she acquiesced again just shows her to be a coward incapable of doing her job, which is to safeguard democracy when the government of the day gets it into its head that it's somehow above the democratic process.

Not to put too fine a point on it, but the GG is a tool or a figurehead, and refusing to prorogue Parliament at the request of the PM would most definitely provoke a constitutional crisis.

By convention, it is not within the GG's job description to interfere in the practical governance of the country.

So please do not abuse the GG.
posted by KokuRyu at 5:39 PM on December 30, 2009 [1 favorite]


That she acquiesced again just shows her to be a coward incapable of doing her job, which is to safeguard democracy when the government of the day gets it into its head that it's somehow above the democratic process.

Although I'm a proud supporter of our monarchy, her job is to sign bills and do what the government wants. Safeguarding democracy really depends on the appointed representative of the queen accepting what the elected officials of the people choose to do. Otherwise you're just asking for a benevolent tyranny.
posted by Lemurrhea at 5:40 PM on December 30, 2009 [3 favorites]


Just saw Bob Rae on CBC denouncing the government, and doing a damn fine job of it... instead of Iggy. Heh.
posted by KokuRyu at 5:44 PM on December 30, 2009


By convention, it is not within the GG's job description to interfere in the practical governance of the country.

So, uh, SHUTTING DOWN PARLIAMENT in no way contravenes this "convention"...? Fucking hell.
posted by Sys Rq at 5:45 PM on December 30, 2009


Kokuryu, the very wikipedia article you cite links to "reserve powers" which states that it is the GG's right, not answerable to any other branch of government, to proroque parliament (or not). Signing bills is only one of the GG's jobs.

The other is to prevent parliament to dissolving into tyranny (i.e. to uphold democratic principles): "The Crown today primarily functions as a guarantor of continuous and stable governance and a nonpartisan safeguard against the abuse of power, the sovereign acting as a custodian of the Crown's democratic powers and a representation of the "power of the people above government and political parties."

I'm arguing that this is an instance in which the GG was called upon to guard the people against an abuse of power. It was her job to do so and she refused. Disgusting. And yes, I would be saying that even if the government were Liberal or NDP.

Oh, and to the USian wondering about the use of a GG (I'm not exactly pro-monarchy or pro-gg, but while we have one it should function as its supposed to), but an added benefit is that ceremonial duties become de-politicized and don't take up the PM's time. For example, know that address to school children broo-ha-ha you all had down there where some people said Obama was indoctrinating kids with a completely bland pro-education message? Well in Canada, that bland pro-education message would have been delivered by the GG who is a non-political figure.
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 5:57 PM on December 30, 2009 [3 favorites]


If only I had a penguin, how exactly is proroguing Parliament an "abuse of powers"? If you accept Harper's reason regarding Senate committees in its face (which, since it's at least a rational explanation, the G-G would be required to do), it's a pretty normal proroguing.

Or are you saying that any and all proroguing is unconstitutional? When is it acceptable, and when isn't it?
posted by Lemurrhea at 6:05 PM on December 30, 2009


My point was that the last time a GG interfered in the Canadian electoral process, it became a constitutional crisis. By convention, the GG is a figurehead, nothing more.

Look, I'm not arguing here from any ideological point of view, but rather from my training as a social studies teacher where I had transmit this stuff to bored 16 year olds...

If you think that Harper is abusing his power or that Canada is dissolving into tyranny, well, I'm not sure if we have much to talk about. If you want to see abuse of power and tyranny, check out Iran, China, Newfoundland...

Ultimately, Harper answers to the electorate. We still have elections in Canada, and the Opposition still has the power to bring down the government.

The Canadian system sucks, in many ways. Non-elected Senate, the impossibility of affecting constitutional reform, supreme powers of the PMO, unsuitability of our electoral system for minority parliaments...
posted by KokuRyu at 6:10 PM on December 30, 2009


And the apparent intellectual abilities Michaëlle Jean do not exactly inspire confidence.
posted by KokuRyu at 6:12 PM on December 30, 2009


If you want to see abuse of power and tyranny, check out Iran, China, Newfoundland...

Newfoundland?!
posted by Monday, stony Monday at 6:14 PM on December 30, 2009 [1 favorite]


Hey! Hey Canada! You guys used to be cool. What the fuck happened to you man?
posted by Effigy2000 at 6:14 PM on December 30, 2009 [2 favorites]


Spoken as a newfie, Newfoundland. Yeah.
posted by Lemurrhea at 6:18 PM on December 30, 2009


Also Newfoundland mainly because we elect a single party to overwhelming power over and over. So it's democratically tyrannical.
posted by Lemurrhea at 6:19 PM on December 30, 2009


Canadian politics has always been fantastically corrupt and dirty. The flipside is that, with some exceptions, elections have no effect whatsoever. The country stumbles from slightly left of left of centre, to slightly right of left of centre. It is not a terrible state of affairs. The actual politics is just for entertainment.
posted by unSane at 6:27 PM on December 30, 2009 [3 favorites]


I think we need a full explaination so we can, when necessary, make fun of Newfoundland.
posted by Tomorrowful at 6:27 PM on December 30, 2009 [2 favorites]


Or are you saying that any and all proroguing is unconstitutional? When is it acceptable, and when isn't it?

I'm arguing that proroguing parliament every time you want to avoid a tough situation in parliament is an abuse of power. Not on the scale of the others same have cited, but an abuse nonetheless. If this is not an abuse of power, what if he asked for 3 months, is it an abuse then? What about 6 months? What about let's come back in a year or so and see if we feel like having parliament then? If twice in a year is ok, then how about 3 times in a year? is 10 ok? How many times a year can a PM request that parliament be prorogued before

Elections are only one aspect of a parliamentary democracy. That we will still have elections doesn't change the fact that other aspects of democracy including the part where the government is called to task by the opposition, are being undermined.

I'm not saying proroguing is unconstiutional. Obviously it isn't. But neither is it unconstitutional for the GG to refuse to prorogue parliament. Proroguing should happen under extreme circumstances. Having confidence motions, having the opposition call for inquiries, and having Senate committees not to the government's liking are routine parts of the parliamentary system and don't call for measures that should be rarely used. Harper is running to mommy for a sick note every time there's a test, and yes, that's an abuse of his power to run to Mommy.

And yeah, the GG should just be a figurehead, but it's the PM who is constantly going to her asking her to exercise her real powers (like deciding whether or not to progue parliament). I'd be much happier if he left her to her ribbon cutting duties, but he hasn't and so it's she had no choice but to exercise her non-figurehead duties. In this case she's chosen to exercise the non-figurehead power to prorogue parliament. She should have chosen the non-figurehead power to refuse to prorogue parliament. She's exercise real power either way, but I think it was her duty to do the latter.
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 6:32 PM on December 30, 2009 [8 favorites]


So when will Harper enact fixed date proroguing like he promised in the election?
posted by furtive at 6:32 PM on December 30, 2009 [4 favorites]


Stephen Harper is an unelected official who, with the help of another unelected "figurehead", has just ignored the wishes of the elected Parliament. Fucking fucker fuck.
posted by five fresh fish at 6:32 PM on December 30, 2009


Kokuryu wrote:
In short, blame the system that gives the Canadian prime minister such uniquely concentrated executive powers, not the man

Harper doesn't get off that easily.  The number of steps he's taken towards wielding unchecked power are unprecedented, and he has to take the responsibility for the carnage in his wake.

Harper's government has shown time and again how little respect he has for the rules; putting logos that look very much like the Conservative Party's onto cheques for government programs, removing any civil servant who in any way suggests their policies are wrong (Atomic Energy, Richard Colvin at the Torture investigation, and others) or the most recent incident where Harper used the PMO's Info Alert to lay down a partisan attack on Ignatieff.  Clearly there is a pattern of not his office not just saying 'my way or the highway,' but bellowing 'my way, regardless if it's an unprecedended partisan usage of what is supposed to be for all of Parliament.'

Harper ... is certainly more adept than Iggy, or other more charismatic politicians

Duceppe and Layton are as adept as Harper at ignoring their own principles to support this minority parliament.

Canada's problems are much deeper than Stephen Harper's effective manipulation of the PMO.

Yes, yes, and yes. If only age and treachery really could overcome youth and skill. I'd prefer any devious old Liberal in there now if he'd only have the brains to realize how much Canada's suffering on the international stage, and know how much harm the policies in Afghanistan are doing to that country, and our troops. This torture handover denialism and obfuscation isn't making them any safer.
posted by Hardcore Poser at 6:32 PM on December 30, 2009 [4 favorites]


Run away! Run away!
AGAIN.
Fuck Harper.
posted by chococat at 6:38 PM on December 30, 2009


"Clearly there is a pattern of not his office not just saying..."
Note: The first 'not' is not supposed to be noted.
posted by Hardcore Poser at 6:38 PM on December 30, 2009


Here's some data on how long a sessions of Parliament generally last. Interesting stuff in there, notably the 21st Parliament which had 7 sittings.
posted by Lemurrhea at 7:00 PM on December 30, 2009


Nelson Wiseman, a polisci prof, on the CBC, discussing it.
posted by Lemurrhea at 7:09 PM on December 30, 2009 [3 favorites]


The only duty of the Governor-General should be to help wreck barns.
posted by infinitewindow at 7:37 PM on December 30, 2009 [1 favorite]


Goddamnit.

The next step is for the S.H.¹ to stuff the Senate.

He is hoping to do what the Liberals did: have a majority, so that he can pass regressive bills. Wants to increase the number of people going to prison for victimless crimes. Wants to privatize shit. Ultimately wants to ban abortion.

Stephen Harper wants, in short, the tiresome, failed policies of American conservatives. And the fucker will get away with it, because people are still reacting to the "Liebrals" business hijinks. Completely docile about the steps backward we're about to take.

It's not that we don't love our healthcare system: we do. It's that we think he won't really do anything bad to it. But S.H. will. It's not that we don't want gays to get married. It's that most of us don't care. But S.H. does.

The liberal party needs to show they have fundamentally changed. Maybe they should merge with the NDP, and allow the Greens to become the third option. I dunno. It's just looking like bad choices all around, with S.H. standing out as the worst choice if we want to remain "Canadian."

¹Stephen Shit Head Harper.
posted by five fresh fish at 7:44 PM on December 30, 2009 [3 favorites]


Harper thinks of this all as a big chess game, and he's the better chess player. The rest of us see "Personality Disorder".
posted by sporb at 8:00 PM on December 30, 2009 [1 favorite]


A Harper majority is a terrifying prospect, but luckily we'll be saved by the dysfunctionality of the Canadian political system; no single party in Canada will be able to pull off a majority government in Canada. It just won't happen. The Liberals are too weak outside of Ontario, the Conservatives are just unable to gain enough seats in Quebec, and the NDP... well, the NDP aren't interested in gaining power anyway.

As long as the Liberals continue to choose (or tolerate) weak leaders (Martin, Dion, Iggy), the Conservatives will continue to occupy 24 Sussex Drive.

The wild cards are: reaction to Ontario restraint measures the Liberal government will be forced to perform (this will help the federal Tories); reaction to the restraint measures the Conservatives will be forced to perform (this will erode Conservative support); HST backlash in Ont and BC (erode Conservative support); return of $150/barrel oil (this will help Fed conservatives).

And if you think that Harper abuses his power as PM, well, it's all been said before about Chretien.
posted by KokuRyu at 8:06 PM on December 30, 2009


Iggy has been such a mammoth disappointment. He was always a boring fuck when he was in England (he tutored my then g/f at Cambridge) but the whole coming-to-Canada thing seemed to show a bit of spunk. The interesting thing about Canada is that despite its political profile on the world stage, it likes leaders who are fuckers. Trudeau was the model, Chretien right out of the mold, Harper is just following. Until the libs find someone who is prepared to rock and roll, it's the wilderness.
posted by unSane at 8:14 PM on December 30, 2009 [1 favorite]


They are all asses.

We need to elect better people at a local level. People who aren't going to eat shit sandwiches out of fear of being whipped by their so-called "leader." People who aren't sold-out.

The only people who elected this Shit.Head. were the constituents of his riding. Not a single person in BC elected that Shit.Head. who wants to take us into the social stone ages: fighting about gay marriage, fighting about abortion, his fucking science minister is a creationist can you fucking believe it?!?!111 Who wants to fuck up a health care system that's mostly working. Who is going to sell out our investment in nuclear technology WTFBBQ?!

Sweet jesus fuck, we need someone who is going to make it so that the Prime Minister has no real powers. The Governor General must bow to the will of the Parliament, which represents ALL OF US or the Constitution is for shit.
posted by five fresh fish at 8:28 PM on December 30, 2009 [1 favorite]


KokuRyu, I'm not sure that oil prices being high will help the Conservatives. It'll help them in regards to Alberta, naturally, because the environmental issues will get swamped by MPs talking about how we need to drill so families can heat their homes.

But by the same token, we'll have MPs talking about how families, living under Harper's regime, can't even heat their home. The economy is always tied to the government, good or bad. And although expensive oil is admittedly good for our economy, it doesn't look like it.

[Plus expensive oil also means a stronger Newfoundland, which means Danny Williams gets more goodwill, which has so far translated into bad things for the federal Conservatives]
posted by Lemurrhea at 8:30 PM on December 30, 2009


Lemurrhea: Also Newfoundland mainly because we elect a single party to overwhelming power over and over. So it's democratically tyrannical.

Alberta shakes its head ashamedly at its far-eastern cousin's lack of governmental diversity.

Spoken as a(nother) diasporadic Newfoundlander.
posted by hangashore at 8:33 PM on December 30, 2009 [1 favorite]


Since I enjoy reading about the rules of cricket without ever playing it, this is fascinating procedural stuff. I also like the total dickfor comments like the following:

"hyassin- are you on glue man- Prove to us that any thing he has done is illegal. The Government is playing politics, at least not at the cost of the Country. Remember the Opposition with their retarded Coalition. Canadians being Barbaric. Do us a favour and get the F out of this country. Ill give you $137 dollars so you can move to China. $ 1 for every dead Soldier that left Canadian Blood in Afghanistan so you can call them Barbaric. I dare you to visit a Canadian Army base with your stupid comments and talk about reality with real Canadians that wear the flag on their Shoulder instead of a luggage bag in Europe. Gad your a loser"

I mean, the Canada—Love it or Leave it stuff, the rambling military panegyric, seeing "favour" juxtaposed with a lack of functional punctuation, y'all ain't so different than us! Hell, I bet "Ca-Na-Dah! Ca-Na-Dah!" would make a great three-syllable chant.
posted by klangklangston at 8:38 PM on December 30, 2009


his fucking science minister is a creationist can you fucking believe it?!?

He's actually a university dropout, chiropractor, creationist.
posted by Midnight Rambler at 8:46 PM on December 30, 2009


That is funny. I live right next to a Canadian Forces base and know a lot of the guys there. Not exactly a hotbed of right wing reaction, trust me.
posted by unSane at 8:47 PM on December 30, 2009


check out Iran, China, Newfoundland...

That's awesome. I just had this mental image of hordes of Newfies wielding bottles of screech and overrunning the American Embassy.
posted by mannequito at 8:51 PM on December 30, 2009


I've always been pro-Rogue.
posted by w0mbat at 8:56 PM on December 30, 2009


hordes of Newfies wielding bottles of screech and overrunning the American Embassy

... shouting our immortal battle cry: "ANY MUMMERS 'LLOWED IN?"

'Tis the season.
posted by hangashore at 8:58 PM on December 30, 2009 [1 favorite]


Iggy has been such a mammoth disappointment.
Here, I think, we come to the nub of Ignatieff’s troubles. If a political leader isn’t exceptionally clear and courageous about what he wants to accomplish in the face of the demands and wrath of the elites, he has to have a transcending connection to the people. Ignatieff has demonstrated neither. Not only does he exhibit all the mannerisms of a Toronto sophisticate, his background on both sides and his own record suggest he is more a courtier than a counterweight to the powers that be. ... French Canadians grow up on the fable of the dark, handsome stranger who comes from the faraway city and woos the innocent farm girl with his honeyed words. Beware, goes the moral, for he is the loup-garou.
posted by Johnny Assay at 9:00 PM on December 30, 2009 [3 favorites]


KokuRyu: There is an inability or unwillingness to debate seriously, let alone try to tackle, major social and economic challenges.

Oh, hogwash. The Canadian people have show again and again in the last couple of decades that they don't want major social and economic changes. Given any politician who promises big change, they minority him at best. Canadians have voted loudly and clearly over and over again for the status quo, and only a minority of reformers-without-a-cause (note small r) seem to get all worked up about it.
posted by Bovine Love at 9:03 PM on December 30, 2009 [1 favorite]


It is time to push for a Long Parliment. The majority should meet with or without Stephen Harper and his whipped syncophants. Perhaps we could let the opposing Conservatives distribute the value of the vacationing votes amongst themselves and finally get some fucking work done.
posted by five fresh fish at 9:08 PM on December 30, 2009 [1 favorite]


Sweet jesus fuck, we need someone who is going to make it so that the Prime Minister has no real powers.

Come to think of it, I suppose by continuously throwing out a year's worth of work so that nothing ever gets done, this Prime Minister S.H. has, indeed, made it so that he has no real powers.

Gods forbid he get a majority. That'll be a sharp, harsh lesson for non-voting slackers.
posted by five fresh fish at 9:10 PM on December 30, 2009


If a political leader isn’t exceptionally clear and courageous about what he wants to accomplish in the face of the demands and wrath of the elites, he has to have a transcending connection to the people.

Er, what? Jean Chrétien.
posted by Monday, stony Monday at 9:19 PM on December 30, 2009


Midnight Rambler: "his fucking science minister is a creationist can you fucking believe it?!?

He's actually a university dropout, chiropractor, creationist.
"

But boy, can he Jet-Ski...
posted by Hardcore Poser at 9:26 PM on December 30, 2009


Interesting that he did this the same day Team Canada announced its Olympic roster for men's hockey, which has been dominating headlines for months now.
posted by mannequito at 9:29 PM on December 30, 2009


Oh, meh. Call me when the Olympics are over and Jacques Rogge and the other petty IOC despots have fucked off back to Monaco or wherever those reptiles spend time sunning themselves.
posted by KokuRyu at 9:37 PM on December 30, 2009 [1 favorite]


Can we work out some kind of a deal with the governments who are still stuck with monarchy but have modern health care systems, while we in the US have ditched the people with fancy pimp hats but are still stuck with early 20th century health care?

I used to be a republican (small R - I'm Australian) until I worked out that (a) the more farcical the arrangements at the very tippy-top of the ruling hierarchy, the less likely it is that abuse of those arrangements will actually cause trouble (b) any kind of reform would likely make those arrangements less farcical (c) outsourcing your monarch to some obscure little island offshore means getting the job done hella cheap, as long as you can keep them from visiting too often (d) nobody wears a silly hat quite as convincingly as somebody who truly believes they've been bred for just that job. Now I'm an ardent constitutional monarchist.

So you're welcome to copy our health care arrangements for free. You can copy our electoral system too if you like.
posted by flabdablet at 9:57 PM on December 30, 2009 [5 favorites]


Comparisons of this prorogation to the last are somewhat facile. The last prorogation was an attempt to avoid a vote of confidence by the House of Commons. That's not unprecedented - see King-Byng Affair - but a Governor General's acceding to the request certainly is. The fundamental role of the House in a system of responsible government is to vote confidence or non-confidence in a government. It's the most important mechanism separating our system of government from an elected dictatorship. To use the mechanics of a Parliamentary democracy to prevent the House from fulfilling its core duty - to deny it the chance to express its lack of confidence in the government - was entirely improper. In fact, I would say that it was unconstitutional (we're in the realm of constitutional convention here, not the written constitution, but precedent is no less important), and I think that the ultimate proof that the post of Governor General ought to be filled by someone of substance and character and not some token ethnic-minority journalist with a touching life story (contrast current GG with former GG, also an ethnic-minority journalist with a touching life story, but no tokenism there) is that when the chips are down, Michaelle Jean didn't have the confidence, fortitude or judgment to say no to the Prime Minister.

In contrast, while you might disagree with this prorogation, there is no real constitutional issue at stake. The Parliamentary committee looking into the Afghan torture question can resume their work in due course, and objections to this prorogation almost exclusively fall into the category of partisan preference (no surprise which side most Mefites come down on). There is no basis on which a Governor General could deny the request for a prorogation. In fact, given that the Liberal-majority Senate has been departing from its proper role as a rubber stamp and actually modifying legislation that received unanimous support in the House, I'd say there's a good argument for proroguing so that the Conservatives can appoint some Senators, the Senate committees can be adjusted, and the Senate can be removed as an obstacle to the expression of the people's will.
posted by Dasein at 9:58 PM on December 30, 2009 [6 favorites]


his fucking science minister is a creationist can you fucking believe it?!?

Wow. I mean, granted, the US is pretty fucked up, but that's your science minister. What is going on with you guys?
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 9:58 PM on December 30, 2009


I think we need a full explaination so we can, when necessary, make fun of Newfoundland.

Since when do we need new reasons to make fun of Newfoundland?
posted by dnesan at 9:59 PM on December 30, 2009


I [heart] Canada. But I especially [heart] Quebec. But I [heart] Canada.

Just not Stephen Harper.
posted by humannaire at 10:04 PM on December 30, 2009


Wait a minute, let me get this straight. The government has said that they're going to put parliament on hold until March, so we can all focus on enjoying the Olympics and they can get down to serious work on the economy? That's the official excuse? Is democracy just too darn inconvenient at the moment? Is the process of government supposed to more efficient without that darn parliament getting in the way?

This is beyond a joke. It's pure cynicism and gamesmanship. One year ago Harper was forced to play the prorogation card because it was the only way he could save his neck, and the Governor General let him get away with it. Now he knows that she won't stop him, so he's free to play our democracy like it's a trombone, manipulating the system for partisan gain, and screw the people. Our elected representatives just get in the way, it seems.

Harper and his party have to go. Right now, before he does any more damage to the nation. Just tell him No, Michaëlle Jean. For the good of us all.
posted by Kevin Street at 10:06 PM on December 30, 2009 [5 favorites]


Wow. I mean, granted, the US is pretty fucked up, but that's your science minister. What is going on with you guys?

That's nothing. I was at an industry gala dinner a couple of years ago when the Agriculture Minister (Listeria = "death by a thousand cold cuts") announced that he was firing half the staff in his department, and in the next breath announced that the PM had just called a general election. Icy silence in the room. "Just joking," he said, and continued speaking.

What a bunch of goofs.

On the other hand, Stockwell Day is an amazingly funny and witty speaker, and I find myself referring him as "Stock." Likable guy.
posted by KokuRyu at 10:13 PM on December 30, 2009


+-------------------------------+
|      _                        |
|     |_|          prorogue     |
|     | |                       |
|  _ _|=|_         T H I S      |
| | | | | |\                    |
| |- - - -| |      Harper!      |
| \         |                   |
|  \_______/                    |
+-------------------------------+

posted by mazola at 10:15 PM on December 30, 2009


Day is nothing. Is his prime, Chrétien was the shit.
posted by Monday, stony Monday at 10:16 PM on December 30, 2009


Day is nothing. Is his prime, Chrétien was the shit.

I'm using Chrome... How do you get that NFB video to play?
posted by KokuRyu at 10:22 PM on December 30, 2009


There is no basis for the GG to deny this prorogation, agreed, but it is a despicable evasion of serious issues in favour of an Olympic vacation. Yet I'm not even sure it will backfire.
posted by mek at 10:26 PM on December 30, 2009


Reading through this thread, I find it striking that most Canadians don't seem to consider this concept of "proroguing" bad in and of itself, just this specific instance where a lot of you see it as an abuse of power.

Frankly, I would be more than a little concerned if the President had the power to shut down Congress any time he felt like it.

I realize the two situations aren't exactly identical, but seriously, how can this even be considered under any circumstance that isn't a nationwide emergency (like, say, being invaded by Greenland)?
posted by Target Practice at 10:41 PM on December 30, 2009


God, I wish it would backfire. The Jeffrey Simpson article that KokuRyu linked to is right on the money - we have been snoozing through history right now, just letting the least objectionable guy take the country on autopilot while the rest of us live our lives without worrying about Ottawa. But the least objectionable guy isn`t really on autopilot. He`s been steering us from the beginning. Just little taps to the wheel at first, but now the direction is pretty clear. He`s taking us way over to the right, to a place that most us have already said (in what feels like a dozen elections since 2000) that we don`t want to go. Maybe a constitutional crisis is what we need. At least then we could wake the heck up and take note of what`s been going on.

But Harper will probably get his way. He`s got precedent on his side now, and most importantly there`s nobody in charge of the other parties who could actually be Prime Minister. As far as the voting public is concerned, they`re all worse than Harper, and he knows that.
posted by Kevin Street at 10:43 PM on December 30, 2009 [1 favorite]


"Reading through this thread, I find it striking that most Canadians don't seem to consider this concept of "proroguing" bad in and of itself, just this specific instance where a lot of you see it as an abuse of power.

Frankly, I would be more than a little concerned if the President had the power to shut down Congress any time he felt like it."


The proroguing isn't inherently a shutting down of parliament, though in this case it's being used that way. It's more of a reset than a shutting down. So you know all that stuff you do after an election: set an agenda (with a big speach), put people on committees, figure out who sits where, etc.? Well you can do all that stuff after proroguing cause it's like starting a new session. In theory you could prorogue parliament today and start the new session tomorrow if you everyone were going to be ready. It's more like: ok, let's start this parliament thing over. Let's throw out all the bills we're debating (which are all his own bills, because that's how it works in a parliamentary system) say we're done for this session and start all over, introduce new bills, a new budget and go on from there.

Of course, Harper doesn't want to start up again tomorrow or ASAP because he's using it to shut things down and come back in a few months when hopefully people will have forgotten we sent people off to be tortured.
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 10:51 PM on December 30, 2009


They can refuse to sign bills or dissolve parliament, but I can't think of any time this has happened here

Correct me if I'm wrong, but even in these cases, arent their powers limited? At least in India, the President can't refuse to sign a bill per se; she can send it back to the Parliament for a review, but if the Parliament makes no amendments whatsoever, she is duty-bound to sign the unchanged bill into law. Additionally, the President can't dissolve the Parliament on her own accord; she can do it only when the Lower House loses confidence in the current Cabinet, or if the Prime Minister recommends that she does so.

Would be interesting if it was different (especially the second bit) in NZ/ Canada. In India, such powers to the President would be considered undemocratic, because the President isn't directly elected; she's elected only by the Electoral College.
posted by the cydonian at 10:57 PM on December 30, 2009


Mid -- the GG is not really appointed by the Queen -- he or she is selected by the Prime Minister of the day. Technically the appointment is then made by the monarch, but she always goes with the PM's choice.

bowline, one of the two of us doesn't do logic very well.
posted by IAmBroom at 11:18 PM on December 30, 2009


Argh! Words fail me. Who can lead our stupid country?

Gerard Kennedy?

Elizabeth May?

Kennedy/May? Now that sounds like an interesting coalition.
posted by ovvl at 11:50 PM on December 30, 2009


If only she'd seen the PSA's.

"Psst! Wanna prorogue parliament?"
posted by bicyclefish at 12:41 AM on December 31, 2009




She is also the Queen of Canada (check the image on our currency).

House: I assume "minimal at best" is your stiff upper lip British way of saying "no chance in hell"?

Dr. Chase: I'm Australian.

House: You put the Queen on your money. You're British.
posted by bwg at 1:53 AM on December 31, 2009


Dr. Chase: I'm so gonna get you prorogued for that.
posted by flabdablet at 3:07 AM on December 31, 2009


UPDATE: Parliament is now officially prorogued until March 3, 2010.
posted by spoobnooble at 5:17 AM on December 31, 2009


In NZ at least, they are typically non-partisan, and pretty much just rubberstamp all bills passed and attend ceremonies (think the US president if they wanted to just leave it to the congress and senate). They can refuse to sign bills or dissolve parliament, but I can't think of any time this has happened here.

Officially, they are always non--partisan. If you look at the historical selection of GG's, some clearly had links to one party or another (Tizard and Holyoake recently).

They do indeed just rubberstamp legislation (as well as appointments of Ministers, opening and closing of Parliament, and so on). They've never refused assent to a Bill (although there have been grassroots campaigns to get them to do so, e.g. the Foreshore and Seabed Bill). The most interesting element of the role is the appointment of a Prime Minister, especially when we have coalition governments, and it's not certain on election night who has won (e.g., maybe NZ First and United would support National or maybe they support Labour). But even then, the GG is bound by incredibly tight constitutional conventions - s/he can't just appoint someone as PM because they claim to have the support of the House; there has to be some level of proof. [Notwithstanding this, at the 2005 election a number of excitable conservative bloggers started panicking, believing that National were literally in a race to the GG's house with Labour, and whoever got there first would be able to convince her to let them form a government].

[And herewith my late entry for NNWM]
posted by Infinite Jest at 5:26 AM on December 31, 2009


Harper really sees Parliament as a game, and it's one he's more adept at playing than anyone else right now. He's aiming for a majority, goading the opposition into an increasing level of hysteria over issues the general public doesn't understand (nor does it want to). Eventually they'll break down and force an election, and he'll be ready. The opposition will all be crying about abuse of Parliament and proroguing and unanswered questions on Afghanistan detainees (when frankly the majority of the public just wants us out of the country and have everyone shut up about it already), and Harper will be bringing out the attack ads and blaming the opposition for not letting him get anything done and coalition coalition coalition anti-Canadian. It'll be Nerf Dart Guns versus Katyusha rockets. Alberta and most of the west will go blue as it always does, Quebec will be mostly Bloc, and the east will do its typically stupid thing, and enough of Ontario will look at Harper's record so far, see that he really hasn't done anything bad or evil or ultraconservative right-wing, and figure, hey, he can't be that bad. We've had him as PM for a couple years and he hasn't touched health care or social stuff (ignoring the fact that as a minority PM he'd never get any of that stuff past the House). And so we'll have a Harper majority.

And boy oh boy will we be screwed then. Hopefully he goes full bore and drives his real agenda as much as possible, the public gets a good look behind the mask, and we'll go back to the natural order of things... a series of Liberal government for most of the century.

My prediction? When Parliament resumes in March, Harper does something typically annoying (like threaten funding for political parties) that provokes a spring election. With the weather improving, the economic recovery on the upswing, and everything bad being the opposition's fault, he'll have his seats.
posted by GhostintheMachine at 5:34 AM on December 31, 2009


I'm looking forward to the day when Harpo hands back the keys to 24 Sussex Drive, but I doubt it'll be in 2010.

Election or no election, majority or minority, he has the powers to stay in control and is more than willing to use them. Unless there is a massive scandal that actually turns off Conservative voters, I don't see any challengers taking over.

On the upside, I think the National Post won't live to see Canada Day, but that's small consolation.
posted by Paid In Full at 6:49 AM on December 31, 2009


Frankly, I would be more than a little concerned if the President had the power to shut down Congress any time he felt like it.

You can't just cherry-pick comparisons between systems like that - you have to look at the system as a whole. Sure, that in itself would be disturbing, because Congress has no mechanism to easily remove the entire administration and force an election. In Canada, the Parliament does - a non-confidence vote. You can't compare on aspect of a system of representative government (in the U.S.) with one aspect of a system of responsible government (Canada) and decide that one or the other is wrong because it would seem wrong set in the context of the other system. Well, you can, but you're not going to learn anything. You're also misstating the ability of the PM to prorogue - he can't do it any time he feels like it. If he were proroguing to avoid a vote of confidence, it would be appropriate to refuse the request. Which is what pisses me off so much about Jean's acceptance last year, because that's exactly what she was doing. In general, a PM who had the House suspended too much would be judged harshly by the electorate, and his party would probably not allow him to continue as leader. Not all checks and balances need to be written down, you know.
posted by Dasein at 7:10 AM on December 31, 2009 [1 favorite]


(unless Harper were proroguing parliament to pave the way for a Nazi Martian invasion or something).

Really, there's very little he could do that wouldn't suprise me at this point.
posted by Kurichina at 8:38 AM on December 31, 2009


Argh! Words fail me. Who can lead our stupid country?

The bastard Harper should have been thrown to the alligators a long time ago. Problem is the Liberals and Conservatives have always just been different factions of a ruling clique composed of a few groups in Toronto and Montreal and the population and economic growth of the West as well as the seperatist parties messed up that dynamic. The idea upthread that elections don't change the country much is true - that ruling clique in Toronto and Montreal tends to control both parties. That said, Canada has a few more spheres of power now, and that Toronto-Montreal axis isn't nearly as strong - you can't expect to form government just by being popular in those two cities.

I really don't care much about that, I do care that we have a country that votes for centre-left parties to the tune of about 65% but is ruled by the 35% right wing fringe.

The Liberals are in a bad spot right now, especially if some left-leaning BQ voters start voting NDP - which seems to happening in a few places. A relatively small swing there, makes the NDP the second party in parliament and alternative to the Conservatives - just look at the UK, it swings between Labour and Conservative (the Whigs/Liberals disappeared a long time ago). Remember the recent by-election results? There were byelections in Quebec, British Columbia and Nova... the Liberals never finished any higher than third in any of them. A Liberal destruction scenario isn't far-fetched and tends to run counter the thinking that the NDP are a party that don't care about power - they are a couple of lucky breaks from being the official opposition.

That said, I tend to think that when you are trying to predict the next 20 years, its fairly useful to assume they will be like the previous 20 - so a Liberal re-build is probably more likely. I'm just saying if left-wing Bloc voters drift to the NDP, the Liberals are sunk. It could happen.

But for the Liberals to rebuild they need a big purge - get rid of anyone tied to sponsorship, and anyone who was involved in the treachery and backstabbing that deposed Chretien and Dionne - those guys aren't team players, and resist the urge to make someone like Justin Trudeau leader because he is an idiot (though in the short term, he probably gets the Liberals a popularity boost, by people who worship the Trudeau). The leader of the Liberals needs to be someone with the experience, competence and reasonably clean hands - Bob Rae is too old and has too much baggage but he's a good attack dog. Ken Dryden and Ralph Goodale are good choices as leader (Goodale doesn't speak French well so he's probably not in the running) and then position the party on the tried-and-true-liberal-strategy of a reasonably moderate "run left, govern right" basis, which is probably enough to keep the left flank of the party from deserting to the NDP (full disclosure: I think the left wing in the Liberal Party has tremendous powers of denial). A rebuilt Liberal Party would also have to be willing to distance itself from its own record especially the sponsorship scandal, gun control, and support for the Afghan War - think of how Al Gore and Barack Obama often distanced themselves from Bill Clinton - its okay to disagree with your parties' record and it may even be necessary.

Some leadership for this country may appear there, its really the only short term hope we have to get rid of the Conservatives. I like the Greens, but they aren't going anywhere in the short term - Elizabeth May is too connected to Mulroney, and that party has terrible ground game... their policies are interesting enough to attract attention though and may be worth watching in the future. Layton has done a lot for the NDP but people tend to either love him or hate him (his detractors tend to be more vocal, but he's a popular politician).

I can't see any of the major party leaders being around in 10 years, except for maybe Harper (hopefully in opposition).
posted by Deep Dish at 8:56 AM on December 31, 2009 [2 favorites]


As long as the Liberals continue to choose (or tolerate) weak leaders (Martin, Dion, Iggy), the Conservatives will continue to occupy 24 Sussex Drive.

This. sorry

It's not just the Liberal leaders in Parliament - the back-room guys have just checked out that this continues without some sort of Liberal leadership crisis. Ignatief and Dion need to get the boot and the Liberals need fresh faces in the front benches. It's a perfect storm of the most acceptable Conservative leader in decades with the worst Liberal leader.
posted by GuyZero at 9:37 AM on December 31, 2009


The Liberals are in a bad spot right now, especially if some left-leaning BQ voters start voting NDP - which seems to happening in a few places. A relatively small swing there, makes the NDP the second party in parliament and alternative to the Conservatives

Nah, my flippant Nazi Martian invasion hypothesis seems more likely than the NDP swinging Quebec. The Federal NDP is a protest vote, a joke, with a perennial self-preference for the Opposition benches.

We're looking at a Fall 2010 election and the outcome will be another Harper minority.
posted by KokuRyu at 10:29 AM on December 31, 2009


*splutters* Fuck you, Harper. But you already knew I hated you anyway, living in Libby Davies' riding and all, so I know you don't care.

You know what's worse? Seeing the fucking Olympics bearing down on us like a goddamn trade-marked money grubbing tidal wave. Pray for us.
posted by jokeefe at 11:03 AM on December 31, 2009


We need to identify the absent voter demographic and get them out to the polls.
posted by five fresh fish at 12:14 PM on December 31, 2009


The Conservatives already basically outlawed non-resident Canadian citizens from voting. Grrr.
posted by GuyZero at 12:41 PM on December 31, 2009


I am happy to join in with a hearty 'Fuck you, Little Stevie'.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 5:43 PM on December 31, 2009


Canadian politics has saddened me often, and greatly, over the past 10 years (that's roughly how long I've been paying attention).

The main thing I dislike about Harper and his government is the extent to which he's lowered the tone of Canadian political discussion. It used to be, at least in my circle, that conversations about politics could be reasonable disagreements, unlike the terrible knock-down drag-out fights I saw south of the 49th parallel. Nowadays, it feels like political opponents think the other side isn't just wrong but rather actively working for the destruction of all that's good and right in the world. Re-moderating the discussion is going to take a politician of extraordinary skill and poise and presence, and there aren't any on the horizon right now.

=(
posted by Fraxas at 6:56 PM on December 31, 2009


So basically, can we please stop it with the 3-minute hates and get back to talking productively about what it's going to take to make our country a safe, stable, well-governed place? It's tiring to be so full of anger all the time, and it's taking away from the helping.
posted by Fraxas at 6:58 PM on December 31, 2009 [1 favorite]


I'd like to first establish whether or not "our country a safe, stable, well-governed place?". It seems to me that Canada is a pretty great place. What are all these huge problems?
posted by Bovine Love at 8:08 PM on December 31, 2009 [1 favorite]


Bovine Love, you win the thread.
posted by unSane at 8:44 PM on December 31, 2009


Nowadays, it feels like political opponents think the other side isn't just wrong but rather actively working for the destruction of all that's good and right in the world.

This is not new. Remember Pierre Elliot Trudeau Rips Off Canada, NEP, bilingualism and the Trudeau salute? People in the West (to say nothing of Quebec) thought Trudeau was out to destroy the country.

How about GST, Free Trade, Meech Lake, and Charlottetown? Once again people in the West thought the prime minister was the incarnation of evil.

Now that we have Stephen Harper, just remember that the lineups at Tim Horton's are two or three times as long as the lineups at Starbucks. Most Canadians in the west (Tim Hortons basically defines this country) are satisfied with him and his government.
posted by KokuRyu at 9:11 PM on December 31, 2009


Not all of us.
posted by Kevin Street at 9:27 PM on December 31, 2009


Wait until the HST hits the West. Oh yeah.
posted by GuyZero at 9:29 PM on December 31, 2009


I believe this article nails it.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 10:22 AM on January 2, 2010


Rick Mercer rants about it.
posted by five fresh fish at 1:42 AM on January 21, 2010


Thanks, five fresh fish! That was fun. And it's good to hear that the PCs are down in the polls. Maybe people are mad about this after all.
posted by Kevin Street at 9:15 AM on January 21, 2010


Stephen Harper: Wanted for Crimes Against Democracy. Crimes is overstating it, of course, but the emotion is on the right track. Frigging douchebag.
posted by five fresh fish at 10:16 AM on January 23, 2010


« Older You Can't Tase Me, Bro -- I live in the 9th...   |   creative dissatisfaction, that... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments



Post