Saturday, April 26, 2014

The Incredible Humiliation of Stephen Harper and Pierre Poilievre

Golly. I don't know who looked more more beaten or more pathetic today, Stephen Harper or Pierre Poilievre. It was too close to call.

But what is certain is that both were humiliated beyond belief.

Harper slapped in the face by the Supreme Court, and sent crashing to the canvas.

Stephen Harper threw in the towel on Senate reform Friday after the Supreme Court slammed the door on his hopes of a quick fix for the scandal-plagued upper house

His hapless stooge Poilievre forced to walk like a burro backwards on his Unfair Elections Act.

The Conservatives are backing down on some of the more contentious aspects of their proposed electoral reform bill after months of blistering criticism that said Bill C-23 is undemocratic and could disenfranchise thousands.

Forced to bend like a willow in the wind, or whatever...

And all I can say is ding dong, like Poilievre,  the wicked bill has been neutered. 

Ding-dong, the Fair Elections Act is dead. Or at least amended beyond recognition. After months of mounting opposition, with experts lining up to take shots, opposition parties salivating at the prospect of running against the bill, and some Conservative members begging their leaders to step back from the ledge, the Harper government has finally relented.

After all that sound and fury, after vowing to eliminate vouching, after all those fraudulent claims of massive voter fraud...

All that was left was a pathetic attempt to save face:

The government is still committed to getting rid of vouching, but it’s now promising to replace it with the similar sounding “oath of residence.” If you cannot prove your address, you can sign an oath and another qualified voter can co-sign, vouching – sorry, attesting – to your place of residence. This sounds like a fair compromise, though admittedly designed more for saving the government’s face than improving the electoral system.

Of course nothing conceived by Cons is perfect. The bill still doesn't give the Chief Electoral Officer the power he has requested to compel real fraudsters to testify. Like the Cons who tried to steal the last election and might try to steal the next one. 

And it would still prevent the Chief Electoral Officer from promoting democracy:

One area where Mr. Poilievre still won’t budge is on his plan to prevent Elections Canada from engaging in democracy promotion. He is, however, promising amendments that will allow the agency “to support programs that explain voting to primary and secondary school students,” which is also something the Senate recently called for. Elections Canada’s outreach program for kids would be permitted to continue, but outreach to actual voters would be forbidden.

Because if they can't suppress the vote, they WILL try to discourage it.

But we can use the first problem to remind Canadians how weak the Cons are when it comes to fighting crime. When the robocall trial starts in June, and it can do them real damage.

And as I've been saying for a while,  together with the progressive parties we can launch the biggest and most powerful campaign this country has ever seen to get out the vote in the next election.

But in the meantime, and since is the weekend, we should just enjoy Pierre Poilievre's burro act. And Stephen Harper's humiliation. 

On some days, politics is marble; on others, it’s mud. On Thursday, life for the Prime Minister was cool and smooth, as the Commissioner of Elections cleared the government of the charge that it rigged the 2011 election in the robocalls affair.

But by Friday, it turned sticky and unpleasant, as Stephen Harper saw his ambition to reform the Senate blocked by the Supreme Court and his democratic reform minister was forced into an embarrassing climbdown on his elections bill reforms, after weeks of damaging criticism.

Because for a control freak like Great Ugly Leader it must have been DEVASTATING...

The combined effect of the Supreme Court decision and the U-turn on the bill that Mr. Poilievre had previously described as “perfect” is a reminder that even prime ministers with a majority mandate are not omnipotent.

Lordy. I feel I should almost be sorry for him. But just like he can't feel the pain of others, I can't feel the pain of Cons.

Not when I'm laughing so hard I'm almost hurting myself eh? 

And the best news? The Cons wouldn't have been forced into such a humiliating retreat on the Unfair Elections Act, if Canadians hadn't risen up in such numbers.

Some for the first time in their lives.

And told that wretched cult that enough was ENOUGH...

And if we did it once, we can do it again, and again, and again.

For it is only by fighting them so publicly and so loudly that we can prepare for the next election.

Yup, Once were were the quiet Canadians, and they walked all over us.

But not any longer. Now we are angry. Now we are ready for them.

Bring on the Con Klowns....

For there never was a worse Canadian government.

And it's time they got the HOOK...

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Anonymous said...

I'm Pierre and I'm shrinking!

Anonymous said...

Sigh, this is my nightmare, the nightmare of con logic.
1) propose a reform bill that stacks elections in our favour.
2) throw out a red herring to focus public discussion on eliminating vouching (though bad, one of the less worrisome aspects of the bill).
3) back down on eliminating vouching and look like good faith negotiators.
4) push the rest of the bill through to emasculate elections Canada, reform campaign spending and fund raising, get partisan election oversight and get access to voter information.
5) flog our record of compromise on the public.

So much of the conversation about the bill has centred around the vouching issue and disenfranchising voters. That alone is evil but the rest of the bill contains worse evils that are not in the public discourse, or only peripherally so. The bill must be scrapped, not amended.
The great compromise will be the conversation now, and that deceit is evil too.

Anonymous said...

And the dynamic Harper-Pollievre duo caved even though CTV had reported a poll by Angus Reid on Thursday that showed that the large majority of Canadians either had not followed what was happening with the Unfair Elections Act, and, further, that they supported the doing away with vouching. Additionally, Angus Reid had claimed that Canadians just did not see the Act as unjust or unfair.

Really? If that were true, why did Harper cave in after months of sending his sock puppet, Pollievre, to resist any changes to the Act? If Harper had believed the poll, he would have held fast since the large majority of Canadians were supposedly onside with them according to Angus Reid. Therefore, it is clear it seems that we are not the only ones who appeared to disbelieve these pollsters: Harper too appeared to disbelieve them.

And, to make it better, Angus Reid, in the same poll, now claimed that the Cons are ahead in voting intentions after being second to the Liberals for almost 2 years. Another "really" moment, eh? Of course, the poll was done with an online panel: yup, another group made up of pre-selected individuals who somehow are representative of the way Canadians in general would vote.

What I'd like to know is who had paid for the Angus Reid poll: the Conservative Party or their friends?

deb said...

yeah the polls are becoming more suspect all the time, they are almost useless because the folks who employ the pollsters want guaranteed favourable results. Predetermining the outcome by asking the right questions to the right people only allows the idiots to remain in their bubble.
Harper is smart enough to know this, or perhaps its just his crazy paranoia that makes him distrust everyone and everything.

Anonymous said...

The worst is? We are still forced to contend with the evil corrupt, Harper dictatorship regime. If we don't get rid of Harper like yesterday, we will lose this country.

Harper works with, the bottomless pits of greed corporations. Harper has been sneakily working on the TPP which is, another corporate give-a-way. Harper also brings over foreigners, for the corporations to exploit.

Harper is bringing over thousands of Chinese, to take resource jobs. BC citizens, want the Chinese removed. Every time a mill shuts down in BC, another mill goes up in China. Another mill shut down because, of a shortage of timber. BC's raw logs are given to China. So are the mines and mine jobs as well.

There is no possible way to shame people such as Harper and Poilievre nor any of Harper's team. There is something seriously wrong with the people, who support Harper's corrupt regime.

John Turner said...

This is absolutely true! These are very dangerous times. The Bill must be scrapped all together.

John Turner said...

You are absolutely spot on!

Simon said...

hi anon...thanks, I thought it was only fitting. In fact I'm sorry to report that Polly may be morphing into a rat. I hope I'm wrong but I fear the worst... ;)

Simon said...

hi may be right about the Cons adding disposable elements to the bill so they could jettison them later and look half reasonable. But if that was their plan it has backfired, because the reaction has been far more negative than they anticipated and it has damaged their brand further. And while it's true that the bill is still seriously flawed, what remains will not prevent us from mobilizing the vote which is of course our greatest challenge. As I said in my post, the failure to provide the CEO with the powers he requested will come back to haunt them when the robocall trial starts, and more Canadians are paying attention. And the rest really is up to us....

Simon said...

hi anon 11:38...As I said above, I haven't the slightest doubt that the Cons underestimated the negative reaction, particularly in the MSM. It's said that Harper was the one who finally cracked and order Poilievre to water down the bill. And you must remember the Big Picture. This is a government that is under siege on a number of fronts, and there is more bad news to come, As for that latest poll if you study the results they are not as bad as they may appear. You can read Eric Grenier's excellent analysis here:

And remember even if the Cons have gained some points if an election was held now the Liberals and the NDP would have a far greater number of seats combined than the Cons, and the pressure to form a coalition government would overwhelming. Also remember that the poll was taken after a very sunny period for Harper, free from scandals, with the House closed, and many foreign trips. As the robocall and Senate scandals return his standings can only fall. So cheer up and start doing what you can to get out the vote...

Simon said...

hi that poll analysis by Eric Grenier, and I guarantee it will make you feel more optimistic. It could very well be an outlier, and as I said it came after a very good period for Harper. I should also say that it comes after a period when Justin Trudeau has been far from stellar, and out of the news. So the Liberals and the NDP definitely do have to pull up their socks, and we have to do more as well. But we must take time to celebrate our small victories, or we shall end up in a state of depression which could make people give up, and would be an even more devastating kind of voter suppression....

Simon said...

hi anonymous....there is no doubt that we need to get rid of the Cons as soon as humanly possible, but the election could come much sooner than many imagine. So we will get our chance, and we should be preparing for that election, for it will be our last chance to get rid of the Cons. Now is the time to channel our anger, and do all we can to spread our message and mobilize the vote...

Simon said...

hi's unrealistic to expect that the Cons will scrap the bill, although we should keep demanding that they do that, if only to remind Canadians of its flaws. But it is watered down, it will not suppress the vote to the extent they had hoped, and we can still use it against them. As I keep repeating, this is a war of attrition, the Cons have been taking a pounding, and sooner or later the Con Castle will crumble...

Glen said...

There is no doubt in my mind the standard procedure is to go far past the intended result on the surface, only to draw back on some peripheral item of contrived importance, while staying mum on the true intent of another Orwellian bill.
The majority of Canadians simply do not pay attention, do not care and do not vote. Partly from being under pressure constantly to keep a roof over their heads and food on the table. Misdirection is a favorite way to blind the populace. But more overtly because they simply don't think there is any point in voicing their displeasure.
This is wrong, in sentiment and fact. Governments are in the hands of the money crowd. But the facade can only continue by manufacturing consent, be it visible or by having little opposition.
Much has been said of this Government's fetish for data and opinion forecasting. Bait and switch is a staple tactic. Orwellian talking points sedate the public. Corporate media continue to shill for what helps their masters.
So, Canadians, take to social media and bitch and complain. Take to the streets to demonstrate. Take to the radio waves and letter pages to spread the word of this sham of a Government.
Nothing will encourage the house of cards to fall quicker than that.

Unknown said...

The Unfair Elections Act bill being pushed back for severe revisions will only prove to Harper that public debate is bad for business. He'll just bury everything that didn't get approved in a couple of omnibus bills, which are proven methods of passing legislation the government doesn't want people to know about.

This battle may have been won, but the war rages on victory can only be declared when Harper and his thugs are booted out of office.

e.a.f. said...

there maybe changes to the bill, but not so that harper can't achieve his goals. harper and his ilk need to be voted out of office

we can only hope the other parties join forces in speaking out against the bill and pledge to repeal it should they be voted into office. Then they ought to keep repeating it until after the next federal election, at which time they repeal it and the rest of the odious legislation Harper has had parliament pass.