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Dec 13 2011

…and sometimes it’s not

Well THAT didn’t last long. My good mood from this morning has officially worn off. How could this have happened so quickly, you ask? Easy: because the people in charge are still unethical, scheming morons who legislate like cavemen and behave like schoolyard bullies.

Lethbridge MP makes shootout gesture during vote

A Conservative MP who made gunshot gestures as he voted to kill the long-gun registry last month says he meant no offence. A clip of Jim Hillyer miming a two-gun shoot-out as he voted was posted on YouTube on Tuesday, which was the anniversary of the Montreal massacre. Hillyer says if people were offended they should blame whoever posted the six-week-old video on the anniversary.

(snip)

“No offence was intended. No one who sincerely looks at the video and the timing of the video would think for a second that I intended offence towards victims of violence. “The people who caused the association, the offence, are the people who connected the video at the wrong day. That is terrible.”

“It’s not my fault for dressing in blackface, you see… it’s all those people who took offense to it! Clearly I didn’t mean any disrespect to black people! I love black people! My doctor’s receptionist is black, and I trust her with my sensitive medical information!”

The point of the video was likely to illustrate that the gun registry was the legislative legacy of the horrible Ecole Polytechnique shootings of 22 years ago, and that by voting to abolish it (and destroy the data so that nobody could use it) the Republican North Party had essentially refused to learn from the mistakes of history. They did this with gusto and ghoulish glee, as evinced by Mister Hillyer’s crass and childish gesture.

But it doesn’t stop there, dear readers.

Conservative robocalls spread rumours about Liberal MP

The Conservatives have confirmed they are behind a rash of phone calls to Liberal MP Irwin Cotler’s Montreal-riding over the past couple of weeks in which constituents allegedly were told of Cotler’s resignation and a pending byelection. But while the party says it was not breaking any rules, political scientists feel the tactic crosses a line and will harm not only voters’ trust in the system, but perhaps even the Conservatives themselves.

(snip)

Conservative House Leader Peter Van Loan added that rumours of Cotler’s pending resignation have been circulating since the Liberal was first elected in 1999. As a result, he said, saying there were rumours of a byelection was a perfectly legitimate thing to tell constituents.

I wonder what Mr. Van Loan’s reaction would be if someone began spreading vicious rumours about his wife’s well-known marital infidelity and vicious drug habit. It must be true, because I heard it from some guy. Maybe I’ll call a bunch of people in his riding and ask if they’ve heard of these rumours. If they hadn’t before, they sure as hell will once I tell them.

The most galling aspect of this story is that they’re trying to couch this as an issue of free speech, saying that if they are disciplined for lying to the electorate in a thinly-veiled attempt to spread misinformation as a means of winning a contested riding, that somehow this is a breach of the RNP’s right to free expression. While lies in the service of a political cause may in fact be protected speech, this kind of dishonest electioneering is openly contemptuous of not only Parliament, but of the Canadian people by extension.

But guess what… it doesn’t end there either.

Conservatives support crime bill despite Canadians’ feelings about crime

The vast majority of Canadians aren’t worried about crime, a new study suggests, as the Conservative government prepares to send its omnibus tough-on-crime bill to the Senate for approval. The government says the bill, which includes new mandatory minimum sentences and limits pardons, responds to Canadians who want to see Ottawa take crime more seriously.

But with MPs poised to debate the bill for the last time on Friday, the Conservatives continue to be dogged by evidence that Canadians feel safe and that most police-reported crimes in the country are on the decline.

I don’t have enough negative things to say about the crime bill. Even if I was worried about repeating myself, I have a thick file of critiques of the multitude of ways in which this bill is a travesty that is being leveled against the Canadian people in defiance of conservative ideology, fiscal policy, sound legislation, the will of the electorate, and the practice of Parliament (to name a few among many more). At some point I can no longer hop up and down about this thing anymore and take myself seriously.

But there was a line in this story that really grabbed my attention:

But Justice Minister Rob Nicholson said on Thursday those numbers aren’t relevant to his government’s legislation. “We don’t govern on the basis of statistics,” he said. “If we see a need to better protect children or send a message to drug dealers, that’s the basis upon which we’re proceeding.”

This is who we’re dealing with: people who disdain statistics because, as everyone knows, statistics are deep in the pockets of Big Fact. I have a hard time wrapping my head around the idea that not only does this government abjure its responsibility to enact policy for the benefit of Canadians based on the best available evidence, but that it does so openly and notoriously.

It is really not my intention to be partisan in this post. I wish that I could showcase examples of Republican North Party members doing honourable things. Sadly, that seems not to be in the cards, so to speak. Our government is held hostage by c bunch of numbskulls and crooked, conniving ideologues who feel no sense of civic duty or the weight of the office they have sworn to serve. This isn’t happening in the back alleys where only innuendo and whispered implication can be brought to bear – it’s happening right in front of our eyes.

So yeah… it has stopped being a good day.

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4 comments

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  1. 1
    Beauzeaux

    “as everyone knows, statistics are deep in the pockets of Big Fact”

    Brilliant.

    We watch The National every evening and all the parliamentary activity can be summed up in “We have a majority. We don’t care what you think. Fuck you very much.”

  2. 2
    kraut

    They behave exactly as one has come to expect from the “conservatives” of the harper/ex alliance party/ex reform party goons.
    My wake up call as to the real “morality” and the quest for absolute power by those semi fundamentalist goons of the religious canadian right came when harper dismissed the pilot of the government’s airplane after being asked and forced to abandon a cell phone call during take off.
    He behaved exactly like an absolute monarch who really resented being told to abide by the rules everyone was expected to abide by.
    It was a “small” incident only, forgotten by most, but at the time an indication for me as what was to come and what was to be expected.

    It was a similar kind of turning point when I knew the US had no chance of success ever in Iraq after they permitted unrestrained looting of not only shops but of hospitals after the invasion.

  3. 3
    Riptide

    And yet most Canadians don’t really seem to care that the thugs governing in their name are spiking the political drink with the aim of taking the country to bed, whether we want it or not. There’s a kind of obdurateness borne of complacence; people just don’t think we have hard-core, American-style fundamentalist Christians at the national tiller, steering our course for the next half-decade or so. That sort of denial will not serve any of us well.

  4. 4
    Mike Haubrich

    You beat me to it. This line: “as everyone knows,statistics are deep in the pocket of Big Fact” has got to be the best phrase coined for the internet in 2011.

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