Thursday, December 10, 2015
The Day Rona Ambrose Stared Into The Abyss
It was only Rona Ambrose's third Question Period as Leader of the Opposition.
And there she was yesterday, trying to look like she's really in control of her shattered party, that she knows what she's doing.
And that she's the steady hand on the wheel of the Con shipwreck.
Only to suddenly seem to lose it, and let out a primal scream.
And who can blame her? For she must have stared into The Abyss, and finally realized that electoral reform will KILL the Cons.
And now she's desperate.
During question period Wednesday, interim Conservative Leader Rona Ambrose warned Trudeau to be "very careful" in assuming his election victory gives him a mandate to make significant democratic changes. She demanded Trudeau hold a referendum before making "fundamental change" to Canada's voting system.
"When you change the rules of democracy, everyone gets a say," she said.
I mean can you believe that? Rona Ambrose having the nerve to lecture Justin Trudeau on democracy, after having belonged to the most anti-democratic regime in Canadian history.
And even though the idea of a referendum was first floated by Pierre Poilievre, who never bothered to consult with any Canadians when he changed the election rules with his infamous Unfair Elections Act.
And tried to poison our democracy.
So the Liberals don't owe the Cons ANYTHING.
And besides, as Skippy Poilievre had to be instructed at the time, in our democratic system referendums don't have the force of law.
A government may choose to have a referendum (which isn’t really part of our parliamentary system or culture), but it cannot make the results binding on itself or future governments. For that to happen, it would have to be part of our Constitution, which it is not and never has been.
Poilievre has to know that he cannot enshrine referendums in the law. Parliament cannot give away its power and duty to govern to referendums. Future elected governments cannot have their hands tied by requiring referendums to govern or change laws.
You can’t pass a law – as Skippy suggests – to give away any of Parliament’s power to “the will of the people” through a referendum on voting, abortion, the death penalty or electing a dog catcher.
So Justin Trudeau doesn't have to hold a referendum. He can hold one if he wants.
But whatever the result, he can still ram electoral reform through Parliament with the force of his mandate and his glorious majority.
And screw the Cons beyond recognition, and for all time.
Or bulldozer them into oblivion...
Which is what history has called upon him to do.
But since the Cons are clearly going to put up a lot of resistance, and make frightful screeching and moaning sounds, as they literally fight for their lives.
And since they will have the support of the Con media who will also be blasting bullshit out of every orifice.
Trudeau should bring up his big gun.
No, not the one he waved in the faces of the Cons.
And be prepared to show the Cons no mercy.
Pulverize them. Take no prisoners.
Fate has given him the chance to destroy them.
And he should seize it with both hands...
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I know Simon, it does seem quite rich coming from the Harper ex-government.
Oh Rona. I think the Trudeau family motto is pretty much the only reply.
"Just watch me."
Justin is a better man than I. I would have taken all those non stop attacks personally and found a way to strike back and then twist the knife. It's one thing to attack folks on policy, execution or mis-steps (that's the opposition's job), but when you get personal that's when things get messy. If I were in his place then I would be enjoying unleashing electoral reform waaaay too much. Rona's squealing would sustain me a long time.
Did Rona really think that there wouldn't be any consequences for her party's actions when in government?
If Trudeau does just that one act, Simon, then I will believe that Canada has a real Prime Minister again and not just another psychopathic/sociopathic corporate lapdog.
I'm waiting for Raw-nah to ask Trudeau what changes he's going to make to C-51..I fear I'll will be waiting a long time since it was harper's brainchild,and maybe even longer for his (Trudeau's) answer.
As Andrew Mitrovica points out in his column at IPolitics today..
And the strongest indication yet that C-51 is going to emerge relatively unscathed from Trudeau’s first year in power is his cockeyed decision to keep on ex-CSIS director Richard Fadden as his national security adviser.
You may recall that Fadden was Harper’s national security adviser not so long ago.
It's reassuring to hear that Trudeau plans to keep us “safe” while “protecting” the rights and freedoms that an overwhelming number of civil libertarians, academics and lawyers believe this police-state law pulverizes into extinction?
I know it's early in the game but shouldn't Trudeau,who sounds too much like harper,tell us when he plans to do this and what he's going to do.Election promises are one thing.The proof is in fulfilling them.
"When you change the rules of democracy, everyone gets a say," she said. Unless Harper's doing it right Rona? The hypocrisy of it all is astounding. If JT's electoral reform keeps these idiots from power for eons then that's the best thing he can do for democracy.
You are beginning to sound like a Harperite. True that JT isn't bound by a referendum but, unless you want him to lose the respect of Canadians, on this issue he should hold one and be bound by it. If Meech was implortant enough and Quebec separation was enough, so is our electoral process. Though I would lo=ve to see Preferential Balloting win any referendum.
Trudeau can undermine the agenda of the COns by holding an either/or referendum but making sure that FPTP is not one of the options. THe problem, of course, is that I assume that the Liberals will attempt to champion some form of ranked ballot which will (if polls are correct) massively favour the LPC. (A ranked ballot almost always favours he perceived party of the centre in a 3-way race) As other bloggers have said, the Cons would be actually be smart to come out now in favour of PR because then both opposition parties would be advocating the same program, making ranked balloting a harder sell for the Liberals. But then we won't hold our breath waiting for the Cons to agree with any other party for strategic (or any other reasons) .
Indeed. Trudeau has expressed some support for Ranked Ballot (also known as "Alternative Vote") elections which are really no better than FPTP in that they are just as easily gamed and manipulated, if not even easier.
Mixed Member Proportional Representation is the best way to go in order to create a government more representative of the democratic will of the electorate. Unfortunately that requires parties to be willing to work together and cooperate for the best interests of the nation rather than their own ideologies and agendas, or those of the lobbyists.
RB/AV requires people to be even more knowledgeable about the process than FPTP, and given the political disengagement of the people, I'm not at all confident it's a method that will work well.
If this election had been held under RB/AV, the Liberals would have even more of a majority. And while I'm totally in favour of keeping the Cons as far from the PMO as possible for the rest of time, rigging the system to accomplish that is no better than anything Skippy and the Harperite thugs would have done.
hi Dan...it really is something hearing the Cons claim that they are the great defenders of democracy, after having muzzled it for almost a decade. Or demanding more transparency. Every time I hear that one I roar with laughter. Or turn red and have to be restrained from throwing something at the TV. ;)
But yes, because of the way they behaved in power, they have only made electoral reform even more popular and necessary...
hi anon...yes electoral reform would change this country significantly, and keep an extreme right wing party like the Cons out of power for a long long time. To avoid that fate the Cons would have to become more moderate and more Canadian, so either way we can't lose...
hi anon...yes it's true, the Liberals do need to radically reform or bury Bill C-51. But Trudeau has promised to do that, he does have a lot on his plate, and since he has only been in power for a few weeks I think everybody should cool their jets and give him a chance. The main danger of Bill C-51 was that Harper could use it to go after his enemies. That's not going to happen now, so it's not quite as pressing as it once was...
hi JD...yes, if there was a thermometer that could measure hypocrisy, it would have blown its top by now, and the mercury would be all over the roof. The Con cult seems to live in a parallel universe, and they just don't get it...
hi anon...I'm sorry you believe that I'm sounding like a Harperite, I assure you I am still the same personI have always been. I would like to see a good debate on electoral reform, so Canadians across the country can have their say. But as for a referendum I see it as just a waste of time and money. And I should add as something that could be used by the Cons to make electoral reform never happens....
hi Kirby...yes it's true, a ranked ballot would favour the Liberal Party. But if the consultation process is extensive and open enough that could be pointed out and Trudeau would have to take that into account. I myself prefer proportional representation because I think it would reflect our country better, and by forcing the progressive parties to work together, would finally re-engage our genius for compromise. Which let's never forget is how this country was built, and what made us such good peacekeepers. But then, you know me, as long as the Cons are kept out of power forever, I won't be too fussy... ;)
What's to stop the cons from infiltrating the liberal party as new members and then switching sides? then carrying on their destruction of our country, proportional rep. is the better of the 2 alternatives to kill this scenario..
I don't want Trudeau to pulverize the Cons. They may not be our choice and they may not be a nice group of people, but they do hold 100 seats in parliament and represent a fair number of Canadians. the name of the game is democracy. If Trudeau were to pulverize the Cons, he would be no better than the Cons. the Cons can be side lined to the dust bin of history by just sticking to the game rules, using democracy and good manners, repealing their laws, and administering the country in a fair and equitable manner. Once citizens get used to it, they may want to stay with it.
its always best to be nice to people on your way up, you may meet them on your way down.
Ambrose was asked by a journalist about Harper's absence from Question Period (he's 4 for 4)
She said on Scrums (Dec. 10)
that Harper plans to return to the House of Commons for important votes. (read: don't expect him to show up on a daily basis)
Harper did show up for a vote last week and a vote this week, but he continues to enter and leave by back doors. Sick.
Heckling (mostly by the Cons, but not exclusively) continues during Question Period.
I am writing the new Speaker of the House (Geoff Regan) and Trudeau to suggest more TV cameras be put up in the House of Commons. Whenever someone heckles another member, these extra cameraman will have the task to "zoom in" on the heckler (with their name put underneath) and place a small image of the heckler in the bottom right corner of the main screen, just as one sees a person performing sign language during some speeches.
Up to 4 hecklers could be put on the main TV screen--one in each corner of the screen.
What do people think?
Emailed Dec. 10 to firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
Mr. Geoff Regan (Speaker of the House):
Heckling continues during the 42nd Canadian Parliament [Question Period]
I would like to suggest to the government that more TV cameras be placed inside the House of Commons.
All MPs should be required to wear a special remote microphone during Question Period. Whenever someone's voice reaches "heckling" level, the voice-activated microphone will cause one of the extra TV cameras to "zoom in" on the heckler (with their name put underneath their image). Simultaneously, a small image of the heckler would appear in a corner of the main screen--just as one sees an interpreter performing sign language during a speech.
The special remote microphone would automatically switch to the OFF position when an MP is recognized by the Speaker. The microphone would automatically switch to the ON position when the MP sat down.
Up to 4 hecklers could be put on the main TV screen--one in each corner of the screen. (The image of the heckler would be removed as soon as the person stopped heckling.)
If these additional cameras and microphones were put in place, I don't think on-going heckling would last more than a day or two.
What do you think?
PS For variety, how about a TV camera that could be used occasionally to do sweeping shots, like you see used during televised music concerts.
I LIKE it!!!
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