Looks like the “new” Conservative federal government up here is getting old awful fast. They’re a minority, but they bully like they’re the only game in town, and a Globe & Mail editorial calls them on it:
Last year, the governing Conservatives prepared a secret handbook on how to disrupt parliamentary committees and create chaos. No mere pamphlet, the book ran to 200 pages.
It instructed committee chairmen to select blatantly biased witnesses and tutor them in advance. It gave the chairmen pointers on how to obstruct parliamentary business, to storm out of meetings if necessary.
Team Harper never expected its opus to be made public. But the media got hold and the headlines poured forth – “Tories blasted for handbook on paralyzing Parliament” and the like.
Liberal Ralph Goodale noted how it was rather peculiar to see the government getting its knickers in a knot over a dysfunctional, chaotic Parliament when, in fact, “the government’s deliberate plan is to cause a dysfunctional, chaotic Parliament.”
We thought the Grits were bad, chimed in the New Democrat, Libby Davies. But these guys, she said, were taking the gutter stuff to a new level. “They’ve codified it.”
Not only have they codified it, they’ve also been putting it to detestable use:
In committee, Conservative campaign director Doug Finley showed his version of contempt for the process, demanding that he, and only he, would dictate when he would testify. He finally had to be forcibly removed from the hearing room. For their part, Conservative MPs ignored summonses to testify.
Then the Prime Minister came forward in Newfoundland to say he might have to force an election because opposition-induced obstructionism was plaguing his governance. The Commons, the aggrieved PM declined to mention, was so full of barricades throughout the spring and early summer that it passed almost every piece of legislation that the Conservatives proffered.
Contempt of court (or the parliamentary equivalent) apparently carries no penalties if you’re a Tory. These freaks should all be impeached. Not least, for their contempt of the people who put their useless butts into Parliament:
The Conservatives may be correct in saying the Liberals have also shifted campaign moneys around to their advantage. But, as Tories have admitted, they did more of it. And their deeds were being done in the middle of the 2006 campaign – a campaign in which they were repeatedly promising to clean up on the Liberal act.
Facing a slumping economy that is threatening to worsen, Stephen Harper appears to want an election badly – so badly that he’ll dip into the hypocrisy pool on another count. The government has made a commitment – a good one – to having fixed election dates. It has repeatedly denounced a system under which a prime minister can set the date willy-nilly, at his own choosing. But now Mr. Harper seems set on doing that very thing.
At this rate, “Conservative” will become synonymous with “party of hypocrites and chutzpah”–assuming, of course, that it hasn’t been for a long time already.
Bring on the election, bitches.