Saturday, March 26, 2011

Rex Murphy You Are Wrong: This Election is About Democracy!

Rex Murphy wrote an article in today's National Post purporting to show that the Liberal claim that this election is about democracy is erroneous. However, he does not succeed.

He starts the article by showing how, according to him, the Liberals have undermined democracy in this country. That's all well and good. There are two things he misses though. Firstly, none of the actions he describes were on the same scale as those undertaken by Stephen Harper. At no time was a Liberal government found in contempt. To my knowledge, there hasn't even ever been a motion suggesting that they are. So, although neutering individual MPs might undermine democracy (and that could be debated), it is not contempt of Parliament. Therefore, the scale to which Stephen Harper has undermined the power of Parliament and our democracy is much greater. So the Liberals do have credibility on the issue, and they can claim that our government has behaved undemocratically, in contempt of Parliament and Canadians.

Secondly, Rex Murphy claims that this concern with democracy is a diversion from the central issue, the economy. While the economy is always an important issue, I would suggest that democracy will supercede it every time in importance. Why? Democracy is about the rights of all of us. These rights are more important even than the economy. Of course, that is not to say we should not have a debate around the economy during this campaign. We should. But when our democratic rights have been flouted, I am inclined to think that that issue takes precedence. It is no diversion.

This election is about democracy. That was why it was triggered: the government was found in contempt of Parliament and Canadians. Any claim to the contrary that I have seen does not stand up under scrutiny.
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  1. The Liberals are sooo out of touch on this one. But you'll see come election day.

  2. So you think lying to Parliament is alright? Gad, how low can conservatives sink?

  3. It seems Conservatives do think lying to Parliament is not a very big crime.

  4. On a personal level, Count Iggy has the worst attendance of ALL MPs. Actions speak louder than words and he's showing no respect by not attending.

  5. I think the action of blatantly lying and falsifying documents is about as dis-respectful as it gets ridenrain.

  6. I didn't know that ridenrain. That is very interesting. However, Harper is second. But you're right, Liberals are the MPs with the least attendance.

    Be that as it may, Stephen Harper and his government are in contempt of Parliament. One interesting explanation for Liberals being absent the most is that, due to the disadvantage opposition parties are at in getting their message out, they have to be on the road more often than the government party.

    However I definitely agree that Liberal MPs should be attending a lot more votes.

  7. that was a beautiful post and one of the reasons why i like Liberal bloggers whilst hating the Liberal Party.

    Ignatieff's attendance record might have been hurt by the 70 or so crucial votes he and the rest of his party skipped out on to avoid an election earlier.

    but the main point is that harperism is far worse, far more dangerous than Liberal Party-ism. harper is demonstrating Rovian levels of cynicism and contempt for our democratic heritage, and this act of aggression WILL NOT STAND!!!

  8. the motion was brought by a committee dominated by opposition parties
    this is bully tactics
    did you meet any bullies at school?
    Dion stated he would not form a coalition
    after the 2008 election he formed a coalition
    I find it difficult to trust the Liberals

  9. Liberals need to connect with voters about real issues. That sad thing is that they truly, truly believe this is a real issue that voters will connect with. That simply isn't true. It'll be an underlying issue for sure, and it will cause some apprehension from voters. But the fact that Liberals cannot understand this is not something that will truly connect with voters shows how completely out of touch they are with ordinary Canadians. I don't like Harper, but the Liberals still have not shown they are ready to return to power. Give Harper a minority, dump Ignatieff and then due some real rebuilding. Then maybe, just maybe, you'll have a shot at the next election. Until then, you guys are going to lose this for sure.

  10. At no time was a Liberal government found in contempt. To my knowledge, there hasn't even ever been a motion suggesting that they are.

    In 2002 the Speaker suggested that the issue of whether Lib Defence Minister Art Eggleton lied to the H of C regarding Afghan detainees - in other words he was accused of breaching the privileges of MPs, a la Bev Oda. I can't link to it 'cos I'm on a mobile device but you can check out Hansard on-line for Feb 1, 2002.

    Eggleton wasn't found in contempt b/c at that time the Libs had a majority government and had the votes to ensure no breach of privilege/contempt motion could succeed. Which is my problem w/ the recent claims of contempt. This was hardly an impartial jury making a finding of contempt; this was just everyone voting along party lines.

  11. Anonymous,

    "Which is my problem w/ the recent claims of contempt. This was hardly an impartial jury making a finding of contempt; this was just everyone voting along party lines."

    What an empty-headed statement.

    Let me see if I follow you: Because another act of contempt wasn't recognized as such because the perps had a majority, your party's act of contempt should likewise get a pass, just because.

    In fact, what the Bev Oda and the witholding of documents shows is that you harpercons can't be trusted to govern in a minority situation. You're too stupid to realize that blatantly giving Parliament the finger will result in your downfall.

    All parties are on notice after your hero, stephen harper, so befouled our democratic institutions. We must all work to restore respect to our institutions and improve them, not drag them down into the muck and mire like you un-Canadian bullies and closet-cases did.

  12. This kangaroo court verdict just shows how desperate the opposition has become to get back in power.

  13. Other Anonymous,

    Your petulant whining shows that you have no real defence for your hero's undemocratic behaviour.


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