Thursday, August 14, 2008

Go for it, Steve, you arrogant ass.

After three days of flop sweats and hiding in their rooms from summonses, the Cons have finally settled on a strategy of staging public tantrums to avoid the ethics committee.
Obviously shitting bricks at the prospect of any more of Team Clown Con appearing in public, Steve comes up with a desperate plan.

"Prime Minister Stephen Harper hinted strongly Thursday that he may do something to trigger an election because Parliament is not functioning anymore.

Harper added that the committee system is "increasingly in chaos," an apparent reference to bickering taking place at an ethics committee probe into Tory election ad spending."

That's rich. This from the leader of the party that had dirty tricks manuals printed on how to scuttle committees.

The only "increasingly in chaos" committee Steve cares about at the moment is the Ethics Committee which is holding hearings on how the Cons exceeded their 2006 election spending limit by $1.1 mil­lion : they transferred money into the campaign bank ac­counts of 67 selected candidates and then quickly transferred the money back out. Many Cons say they had no idea they were being used this way, and the ad agency in question expressed concerns to the Cons about the legality of the In and Out scheme.

Now about Steve's "increasingly in chaos" ethics committee...

G&M :
"A panel of 11 senior Conservatives skipped yesterday's hearing of the Commons ethics committee looking into a controversial election-finance scheme, with two failing to respond to a summons, and some others eluding bailiffs' efforts to serve them.

On Tuesday, Douglas Lowry, an official agent for a Toronto Conservative in the last election, testified that the party's Toronto organizer, Karma McGregor, had told witnesses not to attend.
Yesterday afternoon, the witness table was unoccupied when every member of a high-level list of Conservative witnesses failed to appear.

"I don't know the reasons. ... What if somebody's on vacation? What if somebody had a heart attack? What if somebody needs a kidney replacement? Or dialysis?" said Tory MP Gary Goodyear."

in an obvious bid to make clear his contempt for making committees work.

Yesterday a witness showed up a couple of days early demanding to be heard right then, and had to be escorted from the committee room by security when he refused to leave. Today another showed up a couple of days late, also demanding to be heard right then, and even though he was told he could appear after the scheduled witnesses, he nonetheless left the room, according to Kady, actually screaming.

Kady live-blogs the whole appalling scene.

Meanwhile the Cons and the Libs are neck-and-neck in the polls and the Libs are broke and our first-past-the-post electoral system has landed us with a government who garnered less than 30% support in the polls and who may be fond of power but who definitely hate government. Small wonder they act so nuts : after two years in government they still think they're the opposition. They're right.


Jennifer Smith said...

I can't wait to get my hands on a copy of 'The Wrecking Crew'. Not that I don't know exactly where all this is going - I just want to see someone put it in writing.

Even so, I've been trying to envision a scenario in which the Conservatives could possibly get a majority, and frankly I can't see it. Even with the centre/left fracturing as badly as it has, there just aren't any more far right votes to be had.

Jut from talking to people, it seems that Harper's lost a chunk of the gains he made last time with the PCs and right-wing Liberals just by being such a total dick. Hell, my FATHER won't even vote for him anymore - and he and his forbearers have voted Conservative since the Jurassic Period.

I cannot tell you how huge this is - and he's not the only die-hard PC conservative I've heard this from. My dad won't vote Liberal of course (he'd sooner gnaw his left arm off), but he won't vote Conservative either, which makes me suspect that a lot of Harper's soft support will just stay home. Harper rode in on a white horse promising accountability, fiscal restraint and a squeaky clean house, and he's failed miserably on all counts.

His base won't care, but his recent converts won't forget.

Anonymous said...

These guys look like even bigger asshats on television broadcasts of their silly shenanigans than when they're described in print. Harper and the boys are seriously out of touch with reality and the voters now. Do they REALLY think that most Canadians can't judge that behaviour for exactly what it is and reach the right conclusions? It all just reminds me so much of the behaviour of certain Americans when faced with requests and subpoenas to testify before House subcommittees. Are they all drinking from the same pitcher Kool-Aid?

Alison said...

Yeah, well I'm still worried.
What percentage of the population have any interest at all in the dismantling of a functioning Canada?
I think most probably don't think there's anything to choose among any of the politicians they see on the tube and just turn off completely. Whether that will ultimately help us get rid of Steve....I dunno. Do you ever read the comments under news items at CBC or G&M? Worrying.

Jennifer Smith said...

I try to avoid reading the comments on the news sites - they tend to be populated by the worst loudmouthed assholes, while most of the sensible types stay away.

I swear, the best barometer I've found of the political mood of the country is the community choir I'm in. They know I'm politically active, so we frequently get into political discussions at the pub after rehearsal. They represent a fairly broad swath socially and economically, some rural and small town, but a number originally from bigger cities, and the riding itself is a swing riding.

I haven't spoken to most of them since we broke for the summer, so it will be interesting to find out what their take is on recent events and which way they might be swinging this time around.

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