If you happen to look at Question Period, or even read summaries provided by the news sources, if you are not an ultra partisan Conservative, you become aware of one thing: Conservative replies seldom answer the question. In Fact, they are giving a good lesson on why it is called Question Period and not Question and Answer Period. Meanwhile, Stephen Harper shows contempt for examination of his government, letting John Baird answer more than double the questions than the PM addressed. Who has ever seen a Transport Minister so cognizant on every single issue. Actually, never mind, evasive and obstructive are more apt descriptors.
Here are some gems of virtually irrelevant answers from today's session alone:
Question: “When,” Mr. McGuinty wondered, “are the Conservatives going to clean up this ethical mess?”
Answer (Stephen Harper): “Mr. Speaker, this is a time of global economic recession,” he said, “but Canada’s performance exceeds that of many other countries and the measures of government are well-supported by Canadians and even the vast majority of provincial governments.” Continued with ‘When you throw mud, you lose ground.’
Question: David McGuinty: “Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives have spent 12 times more on meaningless sloganeering than on real information on H1N1. At 12 times more, that is $100 million,” he reviewed. “The Prime Minister may think that it is his money, but it is not. Taxpayers should know that $100 million buys a year’s salary for 1,700 public health nurses. It buys 10,000 ventilators, or it buys 35,000 days of ICU beds. Why does the Prime Minister insist on wasting borrowed money on partisan advertising while Canadians struggle to deal with this pandemic?”
Answer (John Baird): “Mr. Speaker, I say to the member for Ottawa South that this government has an important responsibility to communicate our actions through Canada’s economic action plan,” the Transport Minister instructed. “We are focused on jobs. We are focused on fighting H1N1. We are focused on building industry and we are focused on supporting the unemployed. All we have is the sloganeering from the Liberal member opposite and that is too bad.”
As the Macleans commented on this response: Indeed, it is to their eternal detriment that politicians insist persistently in behaving like politicians.
Question: “Infrastructure money is dispersed like points in a Conservative rewards program,” Mr. McGuinty continued. “There are over 60 investigations before the ethics commissioner. There is a minister under investigation for improper ties with lobbyists and federal agencies. There is a Conservative senator linked to key players in an emerging scandal. Is this what Joe Clark meant when he said that these Conservatives were ‘a private-interest party in a public-interest country?’”
Answer: “Mr. Speaker, in September, all the Liberal Party had to offer Canadians was an unnecessary and opportunistic election,” Mr. Baird sighed. “In October, while this government focuses on jobs, the economy, the health of Canadians with H1N1 and the needs of the unemployed, all the Liberal Party can do is muckrake.”
Question: To do with Conservative senator
Answer: “Mr. Speaker, the outrageous comments made by the member opposite do not serve her or her constituents well,” he gasped. “They do not serve the Liberal Party well.”
The good news is that this outrageous behaviour on the Conservative side is unending. More entertainment sure to follow. That is, until we realize that the government is avoiding accountability to its people. Who knows what they're actually doing?
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