Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Jay Hill's spin score: B-

When news broke last week of the Conservative Party's super-secret, 200 page manual on how to disrupt committee meetings, the normally available, straight-shooting Con whip Jay Hill ducked the media and went to ground.

Having huddled with the PMO communications team, he came up for air on CTV’s Question Period program on Sunday to try and spin the affair. It was a decidedly mixed performance.

First, the good spin:

“…this so-called book of dirty tricks is nothing more than the parliamentary tools that are available to all committee chairs. And 90 per cent, probably, of the information that's contained in that manual is simply the standing orders that all committee chairs should apprise themselves of.”
This line of argument works well. Make it seem like it’s no big deal, business as usual, and add in a little it’s just politics and people tune out.

Leave it there and I’d give his spin an A, but that’s not all Jay had to say (didn’t intend for that to rhyme):
"It's no big secret that this is a minority Parliament. We're outnumbered both in the chamber, dramatically outnumbered of course in the Senate by the Liberal majority over there, and outnumbered in every single standing committee."

So it's important, he said, to ensure that the committee chairs have the tools they need "to push back when we see the opposition parties basically getting together and trying to put together a coalition government between the three of them."
Now that just makes Jay sound like a child that can’t get his way. It undoes the earlier good spin, it plays directly against the desire of Canadians to see Parliamentarians attempt to work together, and it’s a slap in the face for the majority of Canadians that didn’t vote Conservative. It speaks to a lack of understanding, or just lack of caring, for how our political system works.

So, overall, Jay gets a B-. He can do much better, and I’ll look for improved performance in the next semester.

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Steve V said...

I guess the next question, which committee chair uses the "my dog ate my manual" excuse?

JimBobby said...

I'm bettin' that all chairs'll have their original copies. The leaked copy could have been xeroxed and returned to the danged democrat in disguise.

I've heard the we're outnumbered excuse a coupla times now. All's that sez to me is the HarpoonTossers are shameless in their undemocratic tactics to thwart the will of MP's who represent a clear majority of Canajuns. They're outnumbered because a majority of Canajuns voted fer the other guys.

This whole dirty tricks book oughta be gettin' more attention, sez I. Why ain't it? Akin's sittin'in fer Duffy. I seen him last night an' he mentioned but brushed over the book.

I figger whenever any MP's see the Conmen doin' something right outta the book, they oughta read that part in the House o' Comments an' ask if that's the tactic bein' used. Now that they got the playbook, they can call 'em on what play they're makin'.


Demosthenes said...

Is that thing floating around online anywhere? I'd love to read it. Sounds like a great resource.