Thursday, March 05, 2009

Conservatives opposed Liberal accountability motion BEFORE they read it!

I was genuinely surprised yesterday when, after the Liberals announced a motion that would require some very reasonable accountability measures around the government’s suddenly-created $3 billion slush fund, the Conservatives immediately announced their opposition.

How can one oppose basic reporting mechanisms on the spending of $3 billion of taxpayer dollars? Here’s Conservative spokesperson Kory Teneycke:

But a spokesman for Prime Minister Stephen Harper says the Liberals are simply playing politics with the economic crisis.

Kory Teneycke says the Tory government has no problem detailing after the fact how the money is spent but it does not intend to produce an itemized list in advance.
Sounds pretty ridiculous, no? Here’s what the motion called for in advance, what the Conservatives are supposedly objecting to:
the government shall, before approval of those Estimates, table in the House of Commons a comprehensive list of all the departments and programs which will have access to this extraordinary authority
We woke up to headlines of election showdowns because the Conservatives don’t want to give us a list of what government departments can draw on a $3 billion infrastructure fund? Seems like madness. Bizarro world or something.

Actually, while there is definitely madness in Conservative-land, La Presse sheds some more light on this:
Le gouvernement n'a pas fait connaître ses intentions. Hier midi, le porte-parole du premier ministre Harper, Kory Teneycke, a indiqué qu'il ne se plierait pas aux conditions de la motion, mais il a admis en soirée qu'il n'avait pas alors pris connaissance du document.

To translate and summarize, Teneycke admitted the Conservatives didn’t even read the Liberal motion before they decided to oppose it!

Apparently, the Harper government has learned nothing from the calamitous events of the economic update. Apparently all this talk about wanting to make parliament work, about wanting to work with parliamentarians to bring the needed help to Canadians during this economic crisis, was nonsense.

Opposing entirely reasonable opposition motions, opposing basic accountability, without even reading the motion? It’s ridiculous. But then what else should we expect from a Conservative Party that sends out partisan attack press releases at taxpayer expense, that uses member statements to attack political opponents, and that is preparing a barrage of negative advertising to demonize its opponents, all during a time of major economic crisis?

It's clear where their priorities lay.

The hyper-partisanship of the Harper Conservatives is making increasingly clear just how how of touch with the mood of Canadians this government really is.

Recommend this Post on Progressive Bloggers


Ted Betts said...


To: Kory Teneycke

From: Rt.Hon. Stephen Harper

Re: Project Distraction


Excellent work today on Project Distraction.

As you know, the party has been desperately trying to distract Canadians and the media from the issues our polling tells us Canadians actually care about. We still have not figured out any outline of a plan for Canadians yet despite repeated requests to President Obama and to Michael Ignatieff to get them to tell us what we should do.

Our other efforts on Project Distraction are not working out as planned. The Seal Hunt initiative is backfiring and making us look incompetent and anti-democratic. Again. We have had to put our massive negative ad campaign roll-out on hold (for the time being; rest assured it will come; every last dollar we have will be spent on trying to eradicate Earth of all Liberals, especially those who campaigned for Trudeau!). No one in Canada seemed to care that I was on CNN and Fox until they read the transcript on that "we are fu**ed" comment I made about the insurgency, but now all that investment in the US is wasted. Not only does Ignatieff has the focus and concentration to keep asking real questions in QP without getting flustered or distracted by our member questions (which, dammit, puts even more spotlight on my non-answers; is the "loose" electrical wire in his mic set up yet; c'mon I'm getting killed in there, hurry it up), but they are even starting to notice it in the media. Even the Obama coatails are not long enough for us.

But you and your creative effort to change the channel are BRILLIANT with your deliberate screwing up and making the story about our hyper-partisanship and incompetence on communications instead of our incompetence on the economy.

Well, I am off for another round of photo opportunities that you lined up for me. Another day of reading children's books, putting on hardhats (thanks for the tip by the way on which side of the hammer to use for nails), and showing up at hockey-related anything.

Yours forever without question or disobedience,

Prime Minister Forever

Tiny Perfect Blog said...

More sound and fury designed to mask the fact the Liberals are keeping these guys in power with their support.

If Ignatieff doesn't like the $3 billion slush fund, he should vote against the budget.

Mike said...

So just put them out of their misery already: They aren't capable of governing and they won't win an election so Canadians will thank us later.

I mean weren't these guys supposed to be on probation?

I would say they've pretty clearly violated their terms of parole.

The first of the accountability updates from the budget is due at the end of the month - sure an election won't taste good for Canadians but it seems more and more it's what we need and I don't think Liberals have any reason to fear it any longer - Canadians won't re-elect these guys.

Steve V said...

"More sound and fury designed to mask the fact the Liberals are keeping these guys in power with their support."

136 days since the last election. This is madness! In actuality, people who sing this line ad nauseum, really tell us more about their complete lack of reason, than any insight. I mean, sure last year, this angle actually had some merit, but the FURY we hear now is quite silly. It's like people are just in their little worlds of purity, with no sense of the public mood, or simple MATH. Off to the polls, once a season, I say.

It's all just such a intellectually lazy, about as deep as a bird bath, kneejerk talking point, not to mention detached from reality.

Anyways, carry on.

Mike said...

Steve you want an election in JUNE don't you?

Do you really think Canadians would see a qualatative difference between March and June? I sure don't, they won't want an election either time so why not go at the end of this month? These guys are failing at every step and proving completely incompetent at managing this economic crisis.

Why give Harper 3 months to recover from what has been a string of PR disasters of late?

Canadians aren't going to want an election anymore in June as they would in March so if you still prefer the June option I think that's pretty clear.

So given that we know that, why is June so much better than end of March Steve? (or Jeff if you agree with Steve's pov).

Jeff said...

Mike, in short, I want the Conservatives gone, but Canadians don't want an election. They want us to try to make this thing work, and at least get some stimulus flowing. So that's what we're trying to do, get it flowing with some basic accountability measures added in.

If we forced an election now, Canadians would be pretty pissed. Obviously, at some point we'll need to pull the plug, whether public opinion has strongly shifted towards an election or not. But we need to make an honest effort first.

I don't want to go right away, but if the Conservatives are going to burn the house down over basic accountability measures then so be it, let's go to the polls, I think they'll wear the blame for that with Canadians.

I would rather, however, attach these checks and balances and get this money flowing to Canadians to stimulate the economy, and then we'll see how their probation goes.

Jeff said...

Also, it would be nice to get past the "leadership" convention first, if we can.

Steve V said...


If Harper is stupid enough to force an election right now, over accountability, then let's go, because he'll wear it.

When I think June, it's because it's really the first opportunity to review this budget and pass a judgment. March, it's not even out the door, people won't swallow that. I mean it's nice to have the policy arguments, but you need justification- particularly when we just had an election, we got our asses kicked and that's the sober reality. It's almost like people think the opposition deserves an instant redo, until we get the result we wanted. We all hate Harper, but you don't go to the polls everytime there's something you disagree with, doesn't work that way, never has... June, you might have enough distinctions to say we have to get rid of these guys now, but really that's the first signs of a window and others will surely argue the fall, at the earliest.

All I know, people, not necessarily you, that criticize these decisions, at this point. I don't want them within 10000 nautical miles of any party war room that I support. These is the reality of REAL opposition, not never neverland, where you can do what you want, with no consequence.

penlan said...

Saying "they hadn't read the motion yet" before threatening an election is a great way to back down, & off, of what they said.

Their way of getting out of another threatening gaffe.