Sunday, December 21, 2008

Harper's CTV Christmas Special

I tuned in ten minutes late for Steve's hour long CTV Christmas Special and over the course of five minutes he said :
"There's no justification for trying to suggest that Canadians would put into power a coalition where the Bloc Quebecois would have a veto over the affairs of the country."
"Having the Bloc Quebecois have a veto over the decisions of a national government would be very dangerous for the long run interests of the country."
"Government cannot function if it is always looking over its shoulder to see if the Bloc Quebecois will veto."
"Canadians did not vote for the Bloc to have a veto over the government."

Dear Steve
Allow me to quote from the Coalition's Accord, signed by the three opposition party leaders including Gilles Duceppe on Dec 1:
"The [Coalition] Government will not request a dissolution of Parliament during the term of this agreement, except following defeat on an explicitly-framed motion of nonconfidence presented by the Opposition...[that would be you, Steve]... or any vote pertaining to the speech from the throne; or on a budget vote at on any stage in the House; or on any bill to implement a budget at any stage in the House; or on any motion in the House to concur in, restore or reinstate any Estimates; or on any supply bill at any stage in the House.
The Bloc Québécois will neither move nor will it support any motions of nonconfidence in the Government during the term of its support for this agreement, and will vote in favour of the Government’s position with respect to all matters referred to in the immediately preceding paragraph."

Could that be any clearer? The agreement actually binds the Bloc to vote with the coalition on all matters of confidence and to support all budgets, throne speeches and money bills.

Steve knows this of course, but he went on Corporate Television Vehicle and bullshitted the Canadian public about it four distinct times anyway, because presumably he hopes to unite the country behind him in a little redneck frog bashing. Fucking appalling. And neither host, Lloyd Robertson nor Robert Fife, called him on it.

16 comments:

CathiefromCanada said...

Thanks for this post -- I couldn't actually watch it myself...

Anonymous said...

But does this not mean that they would not put forth a bill that the bloc has not already put their conditions on? Whether it happens in the house or behind closed doors, needing the blocs support means that they have veto power without having to veto it.

stageleft said...

We are dealing with politics here Alison, and reality has little to do with partisan rhetoric -- Harper is depending on

[a] the unblinking support of the party faithful, and for them to repeat everything he says as often as possible; and,

[b] general Canadian ignorance of both the national electoral and parliamentary systems

It's a pretty safe bet on both counts.

ml johnstone said...

Not much in the way of a challenge from the interviewers,hey?

West End Bob said...

Robert Fife earlier in the interview did try to call harper on a few of his erroneous statements. stevie talked over him to the tune of "clearly the Canadian people"; "clearly we understand"; "clearly our goal is", blah, blah, blah.

The only thing that's "clear" is his BS and the public is buying into it.

Excellent post, Alison . . . .

ml johnstone said...

yes, i started counting, afterawhile, the # of times he said,"let me be CLEAR here." Then I wondered, who have I heard say that alot, because I don't recall Stephen talking likethat before. And then I remembered> OBAMA.

Holly Stick said...

Try saying "Let me make this perfectly clear" and making "V" signs with your fingers. Is Harper feeling alittle paranoid? Next he'll be making tapes and fiddling with them... oh yeah, right, he already has.

Jeff said...

Not only that, but the Harper governments have always had to depend on the Bloc NOT to veto their shit - without any such agreement in place! This coalition is the first time that the majority of the house has gotten together to exercise this power!

Alison said...

Anonymous : Do you realize that is the way our parliamentary system already works with or without a coalition? When the Libs voted 43 times with the Cons last session, did you think of it as a "veto power" then? The Bloc only have 49 out of 308 seats - they are not a magic bullet.

900 ft Jesus said...

Good post, Allison. I noticed a few things as I watched the performance - harper’s hands were shaking on and off and he’d cup them to still them; toward the end of the interview when the questions kept coming about the coalition, he was actually fidgeting; you could see when he shifted from sort of relaxed (he’s never really relaxed in front of the press) to really ticked off and uptight - when talk left economics and shifted to the coalition issue.

Noticed three semi-gaffs: when asked about banning public service strikes, he started to say that it didn’t matter be cause that mess...(whopps, he corrects himself) that issue was resolved; states his government’s position has a lot in common with Obama’s stance and metions Obama wanting to pull out of Iraq and send more troops to Afghanistan - aren’t we supposed to be withdrawing from Afghanistan?; and the biggie, where Fife tried to get more detail but Harper cut him off, dismissed the topic, and shifted to something else - Fife was saying the GG could grant a coalition if there’s another non-confidence vote on the January budget. Harper looked really annoyed and said “well, that’s a matter of opinion.”

So there’s that bit about going over the GG’s and Parliament’s heads again, like Baird said a few weeks ago.

Same old Harper, trying to place the blame on others, misrepresenting the political and economic environment, pompously telling us his version of what most Canadians want, attacking any opposition...

Not quite as confident as he was a year ago, though!

Anonymous said...

Alison, you are missing the point. They have the 49 seats that the "coalition" needs to push through their agenda. It's not about how many seats they have in respect to the whole. Of course you already know this and are just playing dumb to pick at Harper. Or if you don't really know then I suggest you sit down with a piece of paper and do some math and try and figure out what he means. It's really quite simple.

Anonymous said...

Hey Anonymous perhaps you missed Alison's answer to your previous bit of ignorance so I'll turn it up for ya - that is the way our parliamentary system already works with or without a coalition.

Steve has a tell - when he's bullshitting he says "Let me be very clear".
Hey, it works with Anonymous.


Ian

Anonymous said...

Thanks for turning it up Ian. I guess if you yell it makes your point better.
If the coalition forms a government then the pressures to keep that coalition in power mean it is quite different than one party trying to change the agenda from the opposition benches.
You're a fool if you don't think this give the Bloc more power than it would have under "normal" circumstances.
The libs and dips, if they formed a gov't, would do almost anything to maintain that power. They would be destroyed if their coalition failed and they were forced to go back to the electorate.

Gazetteer said...

Well,

At least Mr. Harper has not yet taken to saying....."Let me finish.".

Although if he ever found himself in the uncomfortable position of being subjected to real questions, with real follow-ups, from a real reporter who doesn't give a rat's ass about maintaining his or her 'access of evil' (paging David Akin) Mr. Harper just might be forced to do so.....

OK?

.

Anonymous said...

So it's the media's fault now? It's always something isn't it.

West End Bob said...

'access of evil'

Love it, Ross . . . .

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