Friday, June 09, 2006

Another Red(man)-Faced Moment

Yesterday I received another householder from my MP, Opposition Whip Karen Redman. Since it was the size of a newspaper, I decided to have a look at what Canadian taxpayers are working so hard to subsidize.

The first item that caught my eye was: "Conservative Budget Fails Canadians" in big bold letters on the front page. She goes to list all the ways in which the budget is seriously flawed and inadequate. Then she states:

This federal budget, presented on May 2, fails to provide a sound economic vision for the future and also brings Canada dangerously close to deficit. I find the budget to be irresponsible and short-sighted and I will not support it in the House of Commons.

But of course, we all know what happened. Someone was asleep at the switch, and the budget was passed Tuesday without even a whimper from the opposition.

I was musing to myself that she probably wishes she could claw back all those householders and rewrite her front page story. Then I checked out her website and found the same text with nothing changed!!!

(May I remind you that we are talking about the party whip here - The one who is supposed to be on top of everything...)

As Gilles Duceppe said in Allan Wood's National Post piece on June 7 ("Tory Budget Passes - Accidentally"),

...Duceppe, the Bloc Quebecois leader, suggested it was either an error, as the parties opposed to the budget bill say, which shows that they are "incompetent," or it was not an error and they are "liars."

"Whether it's one or the other, they are not the required qualities for doing politics," Mr. Duceppe said.

It's not often that I agree with a separatist.

* * * * * *

IMPORTANT UPDATE: Check out the June 12 Toronto Sun for an amusing little editorial, "The Gang that Couldn't Vote Straight".


john said...

we need more like Gilles. He's one of the few politicians in this country who truly calls a spade a spade.

Up till this last election, I was wishing he'd run a candidate in Halton (Ontario). But now we've got Garth.

Dirk said...
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Dirk said...

As for Joanne's post, it's abundantly clear what happened with the budget: it was allowed to pass, because if the Liberals were to vote it down in the house, an election would have to be called.

This is a fairly centrist budget, overall, as well, so the Liberals really didn't have a choice but not to vote on it. Here are the choices:
a) vote against a budget that's popular with mainstream Canadians.
b) vote for a budget, and communicate support for Harper.
c) don't vote, and avoid an election call.

Seems obvious to me.

Riley Hennessey said...

Great post!!

Parties really were asleep at the switch and my own party needs to get its ACT together. Holy crike it's like the control room is empty and everybody's out on a coffee break!

I got news for people, the country still runs even when you're in a leadership race!!!

Anonymous said...

Very true the Liberals had no choice BUT you'd think they'd come up with something better than "We forgot to oppose it". It's probably worse to have done this than to vote against the budget. I just hope they keep up their stupidity and we get our majority.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

lol!!!! John, that is SO funny, and SO timely!

So you see Garth as a person of integrity who speaks his mind, or a traitor?

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Riley, thanks. Your honesty and non-partisan attitude truly is an asset to your party.

Dave said...

Ouch ! You've got to hand it to Gilles, he is good at his job.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Dave, yeah, Gilles tells it like it is. Just like Christy Blatchford. You gotta love that.

liberal supporter said...

The official story is that nobody from the government rose to debate the budget, so the opposition never got their cue to come in to speak.

The liberal whip was assuming things would be as when they were in power, when they would debate their own budget. I would have thought the whip is required to have someone in the benches whenever the Speaker is in the chair.

I suppose "heads should roll" for this one, but not literally. That's the other thing, everyone was glued to the terrorists court appearance on TV on Tuesday. The massive security on the courthouse would indicate concern there are more members of this ring out there, who might attack the courthouse, or possibly continue the original plan for the parliament buildings.

It was certainly not a typical day on the hill.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

"It was certainly not a typical day on the hill."

Boy, that's for sure. I don't think a minority budget was ever unanimously passed through third reading before!

But I know what you're saying. Likely everyone's mind was on other things. Yet as you say, it is surprising that not one person said Nay when the Speaker asked for those opposed to speak out.

Who was minding the chicken coop?

Joanne (True Blue) said...
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liberal supporter said...

Yes, Jim Flaherty was commenting on that first as well "it was more popular than we expected". He of course was not there either when it passed (since he didn't really need to be and they weren't exactly ready for a vote, but had the people there).

It should be like in hockey where you have a player who's always on when the other team's star is on. When the Speaker is in the chair, two from your party have to be there, no exceptions. One to run out and get help when something unexpected happens, and one to hold the fort and say Nay as should have happened here.

I am not clear on the procedural rules here. Don't they ring bells to call for a vote? They changed that to buzzers after the "bell ringing" boycott years ago, but why was there no call to vote?

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Well, I think that they have a verbal vote first, and usually if not always there is some disagreement from the opposition, and then the Speaker calls for a formal vote with the bells. But if all he hears is "Ayes" and no "Nays", then I guess it's a done deal.

RGM said...

I could be wrong here, so feel free to correct me, but I believe the reason this little mishap occurred was because of a procedural error. The Conservative MP who was supposed to speak and introduce debate on the budget just wasn't there (was on his way or was in the bathroom, something like that), and because of that the people who were to speak after him, by virtue of the speaker's list, never got a chance. I guess if the person slotted to introduce the motion for debate isn't there to introduce it, there can't be a debate eh? Because of that, the procedure goes that if there's no debate it is assumed that all are in favour. A colleague of mine back home knows this parliamentary order/Robert's Rules stuff much better than I do, if I can get in touch with him I'll provide whatever clarification is necessary.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

RGM, that would be great if you can get some clarification on this. I just find it astounding that it never happened before, if such a tiny thing like someone not being there can cause a whole budget to be approved automatically. Rather incredible really.

liberal supporter said...

You mean the liberals were in power all that time, and they never figured out that all you have to do is *not* introduce a debate, and all your motions carry unanimously?

They must really be idiots...

Joanne (True Blue) said...

L.S. - lol!!!!

O.K. Now we MUST get access to that parliamentary procedure! RGM, we're counting on you.

john. said...

I first met Garth when he walked up my driveway to shake my hand back in August.
I think he has a high degree of integrity, deep down his heart is certainly in it.
I also think he could learn a little about being part of a team.
And sometimes, I think he lets himself forget that many of his votes were as much (if not more)for the party and Steven Harper as for himself.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

John - "I also think he could learn a little about being part of a team."

Exactly my thoughts.

RGM said...

Still awaiting word from my friend back home, but it does sound right and make sense, doesn't it? I blame procedural technicalities and the inability for MPs to simply raise their hand when they wish to speak to the class.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

RGM - It's all so sad.

Dirk said...

"I also think he could learn a little about being part of a team."

By being part of a team, do you mean turning off your brain and blindly following the PMO?

Blake said...

"By being part of a team, do you mean turning off your brain and blindly following the PMO?"

Yes, exactly!

Christian Conservative
Dark Blue Tory
Stephen Taylor
Adam Daifallah
Greg Staples
Small Dead Animals
etc. ad nauseum, ad inifinitum

Steph said...

"Who was minding the chicken coop?"

Definitely not the Opposition Whip, the Honourable Ms. Redman. Wait, isn't that her job?

Joanne (True Blue) said...

lol! That's what she wants her riding constituents to believe, anyway!