Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Liberals respond to prorogation with the same old partisanship

The Ignatieff Liberals have once again poisoned the well of cooperation among opposition parties by putting their tired partisanship first.

The Conservatives never counted on a reaction like this. Weeks after Harper turned off the lights on the House of Commons, not only has the outcry and criticism continued – but it now appears to be snowballing. From Tim Hortons to call-in shows, Canadians – particularly small c-conservatives - are venting their disbelief with how indifferent Harper has become towards our national institutions. Today, a group of academics are weighing in with 200 of them slamming Harper’s heavy handed decision to silence parliament.

Now it’s the opposition’s turn. For their part, the Liberals have decided not to work with the New Democrats and Bloc, but instead have planned to gather in Ottawa to hold hearings with “experts” this month on what House Leader Ralph Goodale calls “an agenda that would guide a future Liberal government”.

It’s so typical that it barely needs mentioning, but yet another national crisis is upon us, and the Liberals have defaulted to deciding that this about them and their nostalgia for government - not the broader public interest. Why on earth would New Democrat or Bloc MPs want to participate in hearings to "guide a future Liberal government”?

But Liberals don't care about that. On their chess board, their entitlement beats every other piece. Just like they did in the coalition period a year ago, Ignatieff has seen the opportunity to work with other opposition parties, but is rejecting that to instead focus on himself and tinkering with his broken political machine.

They are missing the point that it's precisely this hyper-partisanship that has been killing our federal politics. It is this this hyper-partisanship that has gotten us to where we are. It was Harper's own partisanship that resulted in the Conservatives shuttering parliament in the first place. How does Ignatieff responding with even more partisanship help?

It doesn't, which is why more and more, the Liberals aren't the answer to Stephen Harper.


Jeff Jedras said...

If you want to spend your time attacking the Liberals instead of attacking the Conservatives that wouldn't be a change for the NDP, but let's be honest, here.

The Liberals announced some time ago they'd be coming back to work on January 25th, and asked the NDP and BQ to explore ways of taking part, ie. joint hearings on the detainee issue.

The NDP has decided to decline the Liberal invitation to work with them on this, but has instead decided to do their own thing. That's perfectly alright, I wish them luck. I don't intend on making partisan hay out of that, my focus is on the Harper Conservatives.

But as even the article you linked to says, it is the NDP that has declined to work with the Liberals on this, and not the other way around as you wrote.

Do you not see the irony of accusing the Liberals of "hyper-partisanship" in a post attacking the Liberals when the NDP declined to work with them?

I look forward to hearing the NDP's ideas and strategies for highlighting the prorogation issue. Perhaps when they have some to share with us, they can invite the Liberals to participate.

In the mean time, I'll keep my focus on the Conservatives, and leave the "hyper-partisanship" to others.

penlan said...

What Jeff said!

Jimmie said...


If only the LPC had any credibility on the progation front...Iggy clearly needs a refresher on the Liberal record because his absence from Canada has handicapped him to the level of a first year poli-sci student.

To recap:

Chretien prorogued in 2003 for 85 days to ward off the impending shitstorm of Sheila Fraser's AG report into the Sponsorship fiasco.

Ditto for the Somalia inquiry which Chretien killed when it threaten to engulf the 1997 election campaign.

And as for the LPC being an opposition to Harper, that would be laudable if Iggy wasn't busy agreeing with Harper on every single policy issue of significance--from reigning in the tar sands to bringing our troops home from Afghanistan.

Oh the irony that Michael Ignatieff has taken to commiting to a bunch of bogus pressers in front of the Commons to "make Parliament work"...The last chump who did that was Preston Manning.

Oppo said...

The Liberals and Conservatives have become two sides of the same wodden nickel.

Both are addicted to putting partisanship ahead of the country. Ignatieff's disasterous "Mr Harper your time is up" moment in the fall is the same as Harper's frequent prorogations. Neither party wants to make minority politics work.

That's one of the reasons Canadians trust Jack Layton ... he's actually shown the bottom line for him is the country, not just the NDP.