Standing Up for Us

Alright, up until now I generally stay away from discussing politics on this blog (despite being an elected official for my second job).  Other than the odd post on the latest budget commentary or complaint on the government not passing some kind of greenhouse gas regulations.  Today’s post is going to different, so if you feel uncomfortable stop reading and regular posting will be back Monday.  I just had to get this off my chest.

I’m currently very upset with the Prime Minister’s decision to prorogue parliament on Dec 30, 2009.  Why? Well in summary it’s all about the numbers.

I get that Stephen Harper is a control freak and it’s just his personality.  I’m ok with that, but I do have a problem with him shutting down parliament just to avoid talking about the issues of the day for two months.  Hello, Steve, recall who is paying all those MP salaries?  It’s us.  I don’t get a two month break from my day job when things get rough, so why can you do it?  I understand that the government will still being doing some work while being prorogued, but I pay you do more than that.  I understand you want to watch our hockey teams wins gold at the Olympics but do you need to avoid Question Period or any committee work to do that?  Correct me if I’m wrong, but don’t government pass laws like the 3o or so bills you sent to the trash can when you prorogued parliament.

Then when a group gets formed on Facebook in opposition to the move, Minister Tony Clement referrers to it as a bunch of elites and not significant.  Could someone please explain to me how a group of 209,000+ members organizing rally’s across Canada is not significant?  After all I’m fairly certain that the 225,000 people that lost their jobs from Oct 2008 until Oct 2009 are significant in most people’s mind.  Does that last 16,000 really boost it so much?

Or is the government hiding from Mr. Page’s report which shows that the government is a dream world about not raising taxes or cutting programs to avoid a structure deficit of $19 billion or so by 2013/2014?  Hello, Steve, it’s as basic as it gets.  You are spending more than you earn.  You either raise what you earn (taxes) or cut spending to solve the problem.  I know lots of blogs you can read to help you learn the concept in case you forgot.

So despite the fact I’ve never been to a rally in my life I’m attending one on this Saturday to show my displeasure with the decision to prorogue parliament.  I’m standing up to prove I’m more than a SIN number or just a vote to my government.  I’m your boss and it’s time to get back to work.

If your interested in attending a rally yourself please check out either this site or here if you are on Facebook.  Thanks for letting me rant.

11 thoughts on “Standing Up for Us”

  1. It is an interesting tactic when you don’t want to talk about something – I wonder if it would work with my spouse, to “prorogue” a “discussion” (fight) for a couple of months – hoping that she would forget. I don’t think it would work there, not sure why Harper thinks it would work for him.

    I think in general most politicians live in a dream world, there seems to be a detachment between the money spent and where it comes from – the people (or currently the people and loans).

    I find it frustrating that I can understand basic finances, but time and time again a politician’s response to a recesssion or any kind of economic downturn is to spend their way out of it – at a household level this doesn’t make sense, it’s like getting laid off from your job and deciding you need to refurnish your house on your credit cards, it just doesn’t make sense to me.

  2. Dave, I love the prorogue an argument idea!

    You can probably guess what I think of prorogation generally and Harper specifically so I’ll just say that I really, really, really detest that “elites” argument/dismissiveness. It was something they used in the US all the time when I was there and I’m sad to see the same garbage being used up here too.

    Enjoy the rally, Tim!

  3. First of all I enjoy your site and visit it daily.
    The prorogation of parliment has occured may times over the past couple of decades. It was no more right then, than now. Funny how the people of Canada never gave it a second though when the Liberals were in power. As far as the federal deficit goes, IT STINKS!!!!!! I am disappointed that the government caved in to the opposition and announced such a huge stimulus package.
    I am however, more concerned about our 25 billion dollars of over spending here in Ontario. Oddly enough, there are few complaints, groups or rallies being held about this.
    As for the PM being a control freak….
    All bosses at all levels could be called control freaks. They’re the boss. They make the rules. True, they work for us, but when was the last time that actually mattered to anyone except for the couple of months running up to an election?
    Besides do you remember Cretien? That guy ruled with an iron fist. No voting your conscience when he was in power. Period.
    Everyone should question the actions of their “leaders”. In fact it would be far better if Canadians paid more attention and did go to more rallies or join more groups. Canadians should call/email their representatives at all levels of gov’t more often letting them know that as Canadians we care what goes on between elections too.
    I wish I could attend the rally but I’ll be working. I guess I’ll settle for sending more emails.

  4. The Prorogue Score

    Compared to a few Liberal PM’s, Stephen Harper is a proroguing amateur.

    Chretien 4, Harper 2.

    35th Parliament Chretien 1996/2/2
    36th Parliament 1999/9/18
    37th Parliament 2002/9/16,2003/11/12 ( the last one was done to avoid the auditor generals release of the report on Adscam)

    And if you really want a lopsided score how about this one:

    Trudeau 11, Harper 2.

    26th Parliament Trudeau 1963/12/21,1965/4/3
    27th Parliament Trudeau 1967/5/8
    28th Parliament Trudeau 1969/10/22,1970/10/7,1972/2/16
    29th Parliament Trudeau 1974/2/26
    30th Parliament Trudeau 1976/10/12,1977/10/17,1978/10/10,1983/11/30

    Now, where was all of the outrage on these 15 prorogation’s, and more importantly why are these numbers not front and center in the multitude of MSM stories on the topic?

    Faux media led outrage at its best..

    BTW Parliament is not prorogued until January 25th and will only last for 22 sitting days so when ever you hear such things as it lasting “3months” or statements implying that it is already prorogued, or that is unconstitutional etc, feel free to call BS on whomever said it and let them know we are on to their lies.

    In our 143 years of existence as Canada, Parliament has been prorogued 105 times.

    That is an average of about once every 1.4 years that this, very legal and constitutionally granted power, has been used.

  5. Proroguing parliament is the standard way to close a completed session in the British parliamentary system. Historically sessions have lasted about a year. This has grown a bit longer as traveling times have decreased for MPs (planes, trains and so forth). So we expect an average session of a little over a year. Generally the agenda set forth by the previous Speech from the Throne sets the tone for a session.

    Proroguing parliament in the middle of an ongoing session is what is unusual. It is disingenuous to claim this prorogation is just like all the others. It is the current unusual circumstances that are under discussion not the act of prorogation itself.

    For the record, yes, the Liberals have a long history of abusing our system as well.

  6. Chretien, Trudeau and others utilizing proroguing more then Harper doesn’t mean that what he’s doing is right, or what they did was right either. I’m generally fine with whatever government does, but to me it seems there is a mix of an extended winter vacation crossed with running away from a problem going on now.

    I don’t know about everyone else, but I could use an extra 22 days off this year.

  7. I always find it funny when people actually think they live in a democracy and have a say. Laughable really.

    The most important right we have is actually a tool by which the gov’t can be a masked dictatorship.

    Right to peaceful assembly.

    What this ensures is that we can all get together and shout into the wind until we get tired and hungry and head home feeling as though we did something so things are somehow *better*.

    We will keep shouting into the wind, until we finally realize that the only way to really make change in this country is to *actually* cause a violent disturbance, we will continue to shout into the wind and wonder why we have no say.

    Why do you think that real meaningful change in other parts of the world generally come about due to an assassination or a massive riot causing an overthrow of leadership.

  8. I don’t feel strongly enough either way, but I would like to make a couple of comments. Like you said, you realize that’s they’re still working. I’m not sure why people see it as a vacation. Focusing on the Olympics and the budget seem like a reasonable alternative to bickering in the house like they normally do. I haven’t followed the news too closely though so it’s possible the timing is an attempt to avoid a more serious discussion.

    Having just read this chapter in Economics, I’d have to disagree that spending during a recession is a bad idea. Due to an economic multiplier, putting more money into the economy increases the GDP by the amount invested multiplied by the economic multiplier. Increasing taxes would have a negative effect on the economy right now.

    Increased GDP when the economy is not at full employment means more jobs, increased income, increased income tax, and increased sales tax. Reducing the total cost on the government. Whether this factors out to 0 is unknown. Likely taxes or cuts will have to take place at some point, but probably not to the degree many are worried about.

    Keep in mind, I’m just a humble student and not an economist.

  9. Well the rally was actually a fairly enjoyable. My wife and the boys came as well. I enjoyed the speeches for the most part and my boys loved all the clapping and yelling.

    I won’t get into a lot of responses to comments here today (I’ve got to try and dig myself out for work ~ 20 cm of drifting snow in two days). Yet a few broad comments.

    I know proroguing is completely legal. No problems with that or how often anyone does it. I have more of the problem of why they did it. I just want my government to mostly be working rather than hiding behind a prorogation during the Olympics. By the way I’m not a Liberal supporter so go ahead and bash the Liberals for their past actions.


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