22 February 2007

Shame on Harper

It's not every day the PM gets shouted down by opposition backbenchers. Then again, it's not every day he deserves it. For anyone who somehow doesn't know, that's what happened in question period earlier this week when Harper tried to read from an article in the Vancouver Sun.

The question he was asked had to do with the stacking of judicial committees with Conservative partisans and other parties sharing Harper's narrow ideological view of law-and-order. The answer had nothing to do with judicial selection, but rather was a totally unrelated smear of a Liberal MP. The suggestion was that Liberals wanted to vote down the continuance of special anti-terror legislation passed 5 years ago because the MP's father-in-law is on the list of potential witnesses the RCMP would like to investigate. After the outrage, Harper's press secretary denied that they were making that link.

Let us consider the ways in which this is obviously inappropriate:

1) The answer had nothing to do with the question asked or issue raised, which is a serious issue of importance to all Canadians. It deserves an answer.
2) The father-in-law is wanted as a witness, not a suspect.
3) The sins of the father(-in-law) should not be revisited on the son, who was only 7 years old at the time of the bombing.
4) The accusation is completely spurious as all parties except the conservatives support ending the special measures. Surely not every party has an MP with a relative on the list?
5) There is no indication that the anti-terror measures are needed or effective. They have not been used a single time in the last five years.
6) There is no indication that the witness cannot be interviewed under the normal legislation. There is no explanation as to why he was not interviewed earlier, or now, if his evidence is so important and only available under the anti-terror provisions.
7) The witness lists produced under the legislation are supposed to be secret, but the identity of this witness was conveniently leaked. This highlights one of the problems with this sort of invasive legislation and also underscores a pattern of law enforcement collusion with the governing party (NOT the government) in their efforts to discredit the opposition.

So, the comments are obviously personally insulting to the MP, unnecessarily embarrassing to his family, and clearly made to imply that the Liberals make policy decisions based on a desire to cover up and protect relatives and friends of party members, which is disgusting. Obviously our PM is not above using parlilamentary privilege as a cover for making completely baseless personal accusations. But "decisive" and "visionary" Harper had his press secretary backtrack when there was an uproar. Those denials are obvious lies:

PMSH "I am not surprised, given what I'm reading [about MP Bains and his father]... when I realize this is how the Liberals make decisions."

Soudas: "the Prime Minister was not suggesting the Liberals' decision to oppose the measures was linked to Mr. Bains's father-in-law."

Try reconciling those comments. And to Mr. Harper: Having your press secretary speak the words does not mean you are not a liar, sir. And for greater clarity, let me state that I think you are in fact a liar and an embarrassment, Mr. Harper.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Which party was it that smeared former Prime Minister, Brian Mulroney by sending letters to foreign governments accusing him of taking part in the Airbus Scandal and ended up having to pay him $2 million dollars for deformation of character?

Not the Conservatives, but the Liberals

February 22, 2007  
Blogger Eddie said...

Wow, thanks for clearing that up anonymous! I've had it all wrong; two wrongs DO make a right!

- Eddie

February 23, 2007  
Blogger Penny said...

What a great argument, Annie Mouse!!

The classic CON response to any criticism of Canada's Rspidly Aging Government - the people who promised to do politics better: "But the other guys did it, too!!"

Try that with your Mom and see how she responds!!

Now, your argument, such as it is, needs a bit of detail. The RCMP and the Justice Department on their advice, not "the government", signed off on one letter sent - to their Swiss counterpart - in an attempt to - Gavin can correct my terminology - subpoena the banking records for a numbered account Mulroney held there.

In it, the RCMP claimed they had "reasonable grounds" to believe that some members of the government had received secret commissions in exchange for then-crown corporation Air Canada's purchase of a large order of Airbus jets.

You can refresh your memory here, and elsewhere by googling.

Mulroney then sued the RCMP and the Canadian Government for $50 million for - ah - defamation (not deformation!!) of character, but settled out of court - for $2 million and an apology, instead.

There are plenty of questions that could be asked about how that story played out, but nobody came out of it looking good.

However, returning to the present, Il Duce knew that he could say anything he bloody well felt like in the House of Commons, thanks to parliamentary immunity.

The story he began to read was in response to Dr. Dion's question about putting police on judicial committees. Clearly Il Duce had decided to use the Bains/Saini story before the end of the day, and as time was running out, he tried to make a link between terrorism and, not just Mr. Bains and his family, but also Stephane Dion.

It was despicable.

February 23, 2007  
Blogger Gavin Magrath said...

Hahahaha that was great. Thanks, I have nothing else to say,


February 23, 2007  

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