I will admit that I’m a bit surprised how much the public anger over prorogation has taken hold. At a bus stop today, I saw these flyers posted there, not only poking fun at prorogation, but also quoting Harper during his opposition days about how governments that did things like this lost their moral authority. Hmm. Who’d have thought?
Meanwhile, Finance Minister Jim Flaherty gave Power & Politics this nonsense about how they can do “better” pre-budget consultations outside of Parliament. So, Parliament is a nuisance to governing then? Harper also gave an interview to BNN where he disingenuously said that minority Parliaments make markets “unstable.” Which is, of course, nonsense that I’m pretty sure has been disproved many times before.
(Incidentally, the Toronto Star also called out Harper’s misrepresenting the facts when he said that the average length of a Parliamentary session is just 109 days. Apparently he’s going back to 1867 – you know, before they had air travel for MPs to shuttle back and forth to Ottawa from their ridings, when it was a more arduous trek. Taken into context of the modern era, that number is actually more like 182 days – which really does make the 128 sitting days of the last session short.)
Harper and company also staged a rather pathetic photo-op – complete with silent video – to make themselves look busy. But considering how wooden they appear (even in comparison to Harper!), and how bad of an actor that Rob Nicholson is, it just comes across very, very poorly.
Also coming off poorly? The way that Tony Clement dismissed the signatures of nearly 200 political science professors as more “elites” complaining, but not “ordinary Canadians.” Um, except the what – 150,000+ Canadians who signed onto the Facebook group (as much as I’m loathe to really count those as meaningful action)? They’re all elites too? Of course, this pandering to an anti-intellectual, low-brow lowest-common-denominator demographic smacks as yet another page out of the Republican playbook, but I’m sure that’s just an awful coincidence.
Elsewhere, Michael Ignatieff kicked off his campus tour at Nova Scotia Community College and Dalhousie University. By all accounts, he looked relaxed, and was full of good cheer and self-deprecating humour, and mostly refused the easy partisan shots – and good for him for trying to rise above. Also, he said that he wouldn’t rule out using prorogation if he were Prime Minister (which, if you have any basic understanding of Parliamentary procedure, makes this a really stupid question) – he would just make sure not to abuse it. Which is just as well.
And the NDP? Have said that they’re not going to join the Liberals during their roundtable discussions when they “get back to work” in Ottawa on the 25th. The Bloc also hasn’t decided what to do. On the one hand, you’d think the opposition would want to maybe have a united front – but then again, it would simply lead to a re-hash of the old “coalition” bashings of last year, so perhaps it is for the best.