Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Are you getting your money's worth from YOUR MP?

Two thoughts here on the Harper Government's announcement of an Oct. 16 Throne speech, and all the incendiary swill surrounding it.

#1. Jack Layton obviously feels that at least NDP MP's need do no work other than when sitting in Parliament.

NDP Leader Jack Layton called the decision to prorogue the session a waste of time. "Students have gone back to class. Working families are back from vacation. Why is Stephen Harper locking MPs out?" he asked in a statement.

And:
NDP Leader Jack Layton criticized Harper for "locking out" MPs when they should be hard at work.
(Star)

#2. It's probably a good idea that Dion is demanding that the Throne Speech contain a clear message that "Canada will notify its allies in NATO that it is putting an end to the combat mission in Kandahar Afghanistan, in February 2009".

Because our allies likely don't pay attention.

Good move, Stephane.


35 comments:

Roy Eappen said...

Its better to have these guys not in session. At least they won't be able to spend taxpayers money on wasteful projects. Even the Tories have been wasteful!

Gabby in QC said...

The extra time "off" can be put to good use.
Better to give more time to the pundits and commentators to write up new scenarios and conspiracy theories to attack the government with, because some of them are running out of ideas.

Layton's song and dance about his party's wanting to work is growing tiresome. If he and his minions were so eager to get things done, they wouldn't be playing their obstruction tactics, as they usually do.

Dave Hodson said...

Joanne,

My MP is Belinda Stronach, so I'm not getting my money's worth from her whether parliament is sitting or not!

Anonymous said...

The Laurel & Hardy of federal politics never cease to amuse...

it would be great if they would wear funny hats!

Gayle said...

"If he and his minions were so eager to get things done, they wouldn't be playing their obstruction tactics, as they usually do."

Yes - silly, silly man - representing his constituents (you know, the people who do not agree with Harper) by raising issues and objections to the things that his constituents object to.

Or maybe you think the role of opposition parties is to ignore the people who voted for them and simply rubber stamp everything the government does - in which case the conservatives have a lot of explaining to do about their time in opposition.

It may have escaped some of you, but by proroguing parliament, Harper is basically cancelling a great deal of work that was done over 18 months. Any bill that has not yet passed will now "die on the table". If it is reintroduced all the committee work that was done will have to start again.

Layton is absolutely right to bring this to our attention. Certainly MP's have to meet and work with their constituents when parliament is not sitting, but the reason we elect them is because they are supposed to work for us IN PARLIAMENT.

Maybe one of you can tell us how the country benefits from this move by Harper.

Red Tory said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Red Tory said...

Joanne — Dion made that demand last week BEFORE MacKay made his announcement on CTV's "Question Period" and even so, MacKay still left the matter in a somewhat ambiguous state because of the wording he used, so you might want to stop misrepresenting what the actual situation is here.

liberal supporter said...

With the MPs off, will we still be able to work with our "liason" to the federal government, such as Sharon Smith in Skeena-Bulkley?

If so, then why recall the MPs at all? There are more "liasons" (CPC candidates for the next election) than CPC MPs anyway, and apparently they will "get things done" more easily than the MAJORITY of MPs which are not CPC MPs.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Red, he's been yapping his little puff-face off non-stop about this.

Red Tory said...

I realize that he has, and the government has been determined in their "shilly-shallying" trying to evade the issue.

liberal supporter said...

The yapping is about the government "signaling" which means "did not send formal notice".

But you're right Joanne. Why is he demanding they send formal notice? I mean, we have a "signaled", and signed, and ratified international treaty informally called the Kyoto Protocol, which the government is fecklessly ignoring. Why would Dion expect them to actually do anything differently about Afghanistan, even if they did send formal notice?

He's falling into that old liberal trap of assuming people in power here will be up front, forthright and will honour commitments when given the chance. He shouldn't make that assumption with the New Government.

Richard said...

Are you getting your money's worth from your MP?

No, but I'm used to it, I live in Halton.

Anonymous said...

LS: "He's falling into that old liberal trap of assuming people in power here will be up front, forthright and will honour commitments when given the chance."

and he's right to assume that's what he'd get from a non-LPC.

liberal supporter said...

Are you getting your money's worth from your MP?

No, but I'm used to it, I live in Halton.


Hey that reminds me, I didn't get to the CNE this year. I always love the side shows.

liberal supporter said...

and he's right to assume that's what he'd get from a non-LPC.

He's right to assume that's what he'd get from Liberals.


Gee it's fun taking someone else's comment out of context!

Gabby in QC said...

Pssst!
Gayle, I don't know why you have your hackles up over the government's proroguing Parliament.

When Mr. Chretien was in power, he prorogued Parliament FOUR times, and he had solid majorities to work with. The Liberals in effect killed their own legislation at that time, and there was nary a protest over the Liberals' prorogations.
http://tinyurl.com/2hewb2
"Jean Chretien prorogued Parliament four times during his time as Prime Minister: February 5, 1996; September 18, 1999; September 16, 2002; and November 12, 2003.

On each occasion, the Liberals killed their own legislation. Several bills ended up dying over and over again due to Liberals proroguing Parliament or calling early elections."

So why all the fuss now?
Oh, oh! Teacher! Teacher! I know! (me with my hand up). It's because the Conservatives are in power now, so anything they do MUST be a sinister move.

Also, the pundits and your esteemed representatives have been bleating that the Conservatives have run out of steam, that the five priorities they had set were too short a list, that they needed to reassess their policies, that they needed to get back to the drawing board, blah blah blah.
So, the Conservatives listened, and are going to present a new throne speech.

And if your esteemed reps do not approve, they can table amendments to the proposed legislation, and Mr. Layton can go back to rushing to the nearest microphone to disagree with it, and everything will return to normal in the hallowed halls of Parliament.

Gayle said...

Why Gabby - you seem to have made the mistake of many of your counterparts. You see, one is not a liberal simply because one dislikes Harper.

Now, calling an early election is not what we are talking about here, so you can stop lumping that in with proroguing parliament.

As for the rest, ANY waste of my tax dollars makes me angry, no matter who the leader/party.

Next you are going to tell me it is OK for Harper to steal our money for the conservative party just because of Adscam.

Remember when this government campaigned that it was going to be accountable? Remember when they said they would not be like the liberals?

liberal supporter said...

Proroguing Parliament with a majority is different. Bills that die on the order paper are either allowed to disappear, or are reintroduced as they were.

In a minority, the bills in progress are more likely to be a result of negotiation with the other parties. The government might not want to re-introduce them with opposition amendments already built in.

They couldn't even do it during the same session. Recall that there was agreement on amendments to the ATA, then the government decided to introduce an extension without the agreed upon amendments.

Still, if they are not ready to come back in fighting form, I say let them take more time off.

Anonymous said...

Am I getting my money's worth from my MP?

Nope. He's retiring and coasting all the way to his pension.
(Huron-Bruce)

Joanne (True Blue) said...

He's retiring and coasting all the way to his pension.

Ah, Mr. Steckle, right? Good man.

PGP said...

Rod Bruinooge?


The jury's still out ..... but if things to date are any indication I'll be doing some tree shaking at the constituency level.

PGP said...

Off Topic .... John Tory has apparently decided to come out of the closet ..... as a complete ass.
Promoting the teaching of Non-Science and Non-Religion in the form of Intelligent Design!
Pure buffoonery and Tory just let the world know that he is NO leader.

Too Bad for the people of Ontario ... really! It's a shame.

Gabby in QC said...

Gayle,
Quite a storm of accusations, there.

1. " ... one is not a liberal simply because one dislikes Harper."
True, one could be an NDPer, a Blociste, an Independent, even a disgruntled Conservative. I didn't state "you are a liberal" - and if I had, what? Has it become an insult to call someone "a liberal"?

2. "... calling an early election is not what we are talking about here"
Again, you are reading things into my comment that are not there.
Did I mention "early election" anywhere in my comment? No.
Did I mention election at all? Again, no.
Perhaps you've been listening to Don Newman - yes, he's baaack! He's the one who's been talking about a throne speech perhaps triggering the government's fall. But then, he and his colleagues were saying the same thing last winter & early spring, how PM Harper was planning his government's demise to have an election

3. " ... ANY waste of my tax dollars makes me angry ..."
I share your anger, but yours may be misplaced.
Not possessing a prodigious memory, I had to google "Liberal boondoggles" to come up with a factual list. Thanks to the two blogs (linked below - first time I visited these two sites), here's a list of all those dollars wasted:

http://tinyurl.com/2tx4te
"a.. 1993: CHOPPERS
$500 million in cancellation penalties.
a.. 1995: GUN REGISTRY
(1995-2005) Originally forecast to cost $2 million in 1995, actual costs escalated to $1
billion by 2004-05, the costs perhaps ballooning to $2 billion.
a.. 1997: PEARSON
$60 million for cancelling the privatization of Terminals 1 and 2.
a.. 2000: FUEL REBATE
A botched $1.4-billion heating fuel rebate program doled out cash to
the wrong Canadians. As little as 18% made its way to low-income Canadians. Some
rebates went to dead people, prisoners and students who were living at home
and didn't pay heating bills.
a.. 2000: HRDC
$1 billion was mismanaged in job-creation grants handled by Human Resources Development Canada, under minister Jane Stewart.
a.. 2002: CHALLENGER JETS
$101 million on luxury Challenger jets deemed unnecessary by officials at the Department of National Defence.

And from this source:
http://tinyurl.com/2pwp2o
HEALTH CARE:
Martin's $25 billion cuts to health care funding in the early 1990s led to the crises in the health care system today.
2003 RADWANSKI AFFAIR:
Inadequate oversight and spending controls allowed former privacy commissioner George Radwanski to rack up thousands of tax dollars in lavish lunches and luxury travel. The auditor general also found that Radwanski and executive staff were improperly cashing out vacation, overbidding for expenses and creating a hostile work environment.
"MEDICAL MARIJUANA BUST":
Ottawa's $5.5 million contract with Prairie Plant Systems to produce "medical marijuana" for registered users was a bust. The active ingredient was so low that the "weak" pot had few therapeutic benefits and little monetary value, yet cost tax payers over $15,000 per ounce to produce.

And let's not forget David Dingwall's "entitled to my entitlements." THAT was priceless.

4. "Next you are going to tell me it is OK for Harper to steal our money ..."
Geez, Gayle, not only do you read stuff into my comments which is NOT there, now you claim to be able to read my mind. Are you one of those ladies reading cards on late-night TV?
Have a good night.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Promoting the teaching of Non-Science and Non-Religion in the form of Intelligent Design!

PGP - I assume that Catholics are being taught this already.

I haven't heard if he's proposing to have this part of religious studies or science, have you?

liberal supporter said...

Time to go. I now intend to go and sin as, um, liberally as possible tonight. No longer need I fear the afterlife, because PGP AND I AGREED ON SOMETHING! Yes, it looks like the "other place" has frozen over. And I look forward to the Leafs winning the Stanley Cup!

PGP - I assume that Catholics are being taught this already.

I haven't heard if he's proposing to have this part of religious studies or science, have you?


Roman Catholicism and Evolution

One quote from the wiki article:
“Intelligent design isn't science even though it pretends to be. If you want to teach it in schools, intelligent design should be taught when religion or cultural history is taught, not science. ”

—Fr. George Coyne, Vatican's chief astronomer between 1978 and 2006.

Anonymous said...

Well pgp, the Non-Science has been taught in schools for many years. The theory of evolution is just that ...a theory.No evidence.
I'm really surprised that Tory is stepping in to this territory.
Jo Anne...don't assume:the theory of evolution is taught in Catholic schools.

liberal supporter said...

The theory of evolution is just that ...a theory.No evidence.
Yes, it is just a theory. My car will start when I get in it, but that is just based on theory too.

There is plenty of evidence for evolution.

Anonymous said...

Promoting the teaching of Non-Science and Non-Religion in the form of Intelligent Design!
Pure buffoonery and Tory just let the world know that he is NO leader.

One of the very few times we agree.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Looks like Tory just lost another one.

Gayle said...

Gabby

1. If you do not think I am a liberal, then why do you attempt to justify all the conservative missteps by pointing out the liberals did worse? Why should I care - and why should that possibly justify what the conservatives are doing?

2. Here is a quote from your post:

"Several bills ended up dying over and over again due to Liberals proroguing Parliament or calling early elections."

3. Finally - the last comment you object to was meant for effect (see point one above), and not meant to be taken literally.

Gabby in QC said...

Gayle, you wrote:
"If you do not think I am a liberal, then why do you attempt to justify all the conservative missteps by pointing out the liberals did worse? ..."
Geez, Gayle, it's not as if being called a liberal is akin to being branded, à la "Scarlet Letter." Time to get over it, don't you think?
In any event, I. did. not. call. you. the. L. word. I merely brought up the previous Lib - oops! there goes that forbidden word - government to compare their actions with those of the present government. It's called a comparison, not an accusation.

Please, go visit a nice L blog like Cherniak's, he'll make you feel good about yourself and about being one of the L people.

Sorry I can't recommend a nice NDP blog; I don't know any.
Actually, I know of a couple, but I'm afraid they have no redeeming values :-)

Have a nice evening.

Gabby in QC said...

Aw, shucks!

My smiley face was left lipless.
I truly do mean :-)

Gayle said...

That is fine Gabby - you are not saying I am a liberal. Fair enough.

Now can you address the real issue:

"why do you attempt to justify all the conservative missteps by pointing out the liberals did worse? Why should I care - and why should that possibly justify what the conservatives are doing?"

Thanks

Gabby in QC said...

Gayle,
""... why do you attempt to justify all the conservative missteps by pointing out the liberals did worse? Why should I care - and why should that possibly justify what the conservatives are doing?""

My citing the actions of previous governments was simply to reenforce my contention that this - proroguing Parliament - has become an issue ONLY because the Conservatives are in power. When it - prorogation - was done by the Liberals, it was simply accepted as a decision the government could make.

BTW, I do not agree with your calling the Conservatives' proroguing Parliament "a missstep." But everyone's entitled to an opinion.

If you want to believe that it was a "tit-for-tat" argument, go ahead. Let this be one more of the series of things you misunderstood from my posts.

Perhaps you want to continue this "discussion" but I've said all I need to say on this matter. My posts may be wordy, but I would hate for them to be redundant as well.

Gayle said...

Gabby - you became redundant with your second post. A little late to be worried about that now...

:)