Friday, March 19, 2010

Tequila and Tantrums ... the Travelling Conservatives !!

It's appropriate and somehow apt, that as I write this about 14 blocks away, Mr Harper is wow'ing the local Conservative Constiuency (the white, middle class vote) with his presence in the Wheat City ... he's the first sitting PM to visit since 1997, when Jean Chretien made an appearance.

Thus far voices that would criticize, or critique Mr Harper and his visit have largely been silenced and quelled ... can't have Mr Tweed's grip on the riding questioned, can we??

I like Merv, our current MP, and I think he does a good job for this riding - but - his leader, our PM is someone who needs to remember that criticism and critique is part of the Canadian political landscape. There is a reason why we have Her Majesty's LOYAL Opposition - you can be loyal and opposed simultaneously. Democracy, particularly in the Parliamentary tradition demands the full and vigorous debate of issues from two (or more) sides - not just the blind adherence to the Party line, regardless of where that party falls.

So, to honour Mr Harper's visit to our fair city today ... I would offer the latest installment of the Conservative Watch feature I've implemented here ... This go round presents some absolutely fascinating and amusing examples of the Conservative Party and their utter failure to live by the principles they claim to promote:

I have yet to tire of Ms. Guergis and the soap operatic happenings in her life ... first her hubby gets caught for a variety of offenses while driving one night north of Toronto, then in a single week he gets a slap on the wrist by pleading to lesser charges while the BIG charges are quietly dropped, AND Ms Guergis herself reportedly has a infantile melt-down in the airport in Charlottetown ... but the story isn't yet finished ... I really like Rick Mercer's take on this from his latest rant (click here to read Rick's take on this) - but the cherry on the sundae in this is the little news item that slipped by largely unnoticed this week that announced that the benevolent Ms. Guergis has elected NOT to sue the airline, the employees or any one else for defamation and a violation of her privacy for leaking details of her tantrum. My only reaction is - WTF ??? This only strengthens the contention that Ms Guergis needs to resign her post as Cabinet Minister and spend sometime getting her life in order ... (click here to see CBC's story - Guergis Won't Sue Airline Over Tantrum Details)

Then, not to be outdone, Minister Blackburn - the Veterans Affairs Minister for the Conservative Government tries to circumvent the security screening AND argues with the security personell at the Ottawa airport while travelling last month ... the goal Mr Blackburn seeks?? The exemption of his bottle of tequila from the confiscation we ALL face should we violate the rules. CBC's report on this is amusing and unbelievable ... it would appear that he actually wanted them to let him carry the bottle on board in violation of the rules, THEN he asks them to hold the bottle for him when he returns, and when is unreasonable requests are refused, he then becomes combatant ... personally, I can't help but wonder if an encounter with a tazer might teach some of these MP's a touch of much needed humility ... Obviously though, Conservative MP's are showing the perils of travelling ... (click here to see the CBC story - Blackburn sorry for airport tequila incident)

And finally, on the "denying democracy" front, we have two interesting stories that are floating around out there that cast into doubt the willingness of the Conservative Government to face the people and run a democratic AND transparent process ... First is the 'oops' story of the Police in Saskatoon congratulating themselves at keeping Mr. Harper safe from nasty protestors on a recent visit. Rather then letting protesters exercise their DEMOCRATIC rights of free speech within earshot of the PM, the police kept them out of the way lest, Mr Harper be EMBARASSED. Nice job Officers - you spared Mr. Harper embarassment in the moment, but managed to embarass the hell outta him across the nation - GOOD CHOICE !!

And then, the Afghan detainee issue still won't go away ... this week the Opposition parties asked for a Parliamentary ruling on the request for documents that the Government keeps stonewalling on ... this week no less then three cabinet ministers invoked the phrase - "relevant documents" when addressing the issue in the House of Commons. I might have read far too much Brecht in the past, but moments like this cause me pause and make me wonder what back room pep-rallying has been done to maintain the party line??

Moreover, citing 'national security' concerns when it comes to the House of Commons is complete and UTTER crap. At the end of the day, the House of Commons is the sole entity responsible for National Security - the Prime Minister and his Cabinet answer to the HOUSE.

Looking back over this week, I can't help but wonder if Mr. Harper sees how bad his government is looking with each passing week ... Maybe he should crack open the beer he just got from President Obama, and spend a 'good ole Canadian style weekend' watching hockey, debating politics and getting back in touch with reality, because right now the Conservatives are showing themselves amazingly out of touch ...

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