It’s been a while since I’ve posted anything to this blog, and the reason for that is simple: Unlike many social activists, I actually work for a living. Most conservatives do; which is why you always see public rallies and demonstrations by left wingnuts and not conservatives (usually).
The Liberals and their supporters, in a shameful and desperate (yet futile, if you look at the polls) attempt to deceive Canadians into believing that Stephen Harper is the Antichrist, are spreading a number of lies. Let’s examine some of them:
Lie #1: Jean Chretien had a mandate from the people. Stephen Harper does not.
By some twisted logic, the person telling this first lie wants us to believe that because Jean Chretien controlled a majority in the House of Commons, he, somehow, had a mandate from the people to govern, and, as such, because Harper does not control a majority, he does not.
It’s rubbish, of course. No Prime Minister receives a mandate from the people. 308 Members of Parliament receive a mandate from the people of 308 individual ridings to represent them in Parliament. Nothing more, nothing less.
The Prime Minister is appointed by the Governor-General, acting in the name of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, and is selected as the person most likely to be able to hold the confidence of the House of Commons. As long as the Queen (represented by the Governor-General here in Canada) wants Harper to remain Prime Minister, and as long as Harper maintains the confidence of the House of Commons, he is Prime Minister. Harper can lose the confidence of the House through having the budget defeated, or by a direct, concise motion of non-confidence. At which point, he must resign, or ask the Queen (again, through the Governor-General) for an election.
Lie #2: The Canadian Public Elects the Prime Minister
As I pointed out in Lie #1, the Queen appoints the Prime Minister, and, in fact, the government as a whole. The government is Cabinet, not the House of Commons, and, in fact, the Prime Minister is only mentioned once – and even then in passing – and nowhere in the British North America Act, nor anywhere in the constitution of the United Kingdom, is the Prime Minister even mentioned! The Position of the Prime Minister does not officially exist.
In practical terms, the Prime Minister is a role of convenience for the Monarch. Our democracy is based upon laws and governance by individuals delegated by the public, and summoned to Parliament by the Monarch. (Which is why the Queen opens Parliament, and Prorogues it.) An election isn’t to choose the Prime Minister, but to advise the Queen on who the people of each constituency want to represent them. When the Queen opens Parliament, she calls 308 individuals to the House of Commons to form Parliament, and asks someone – and not necessarily a Member of Parliament either – to become Prime Minister. The convenience for her in this case is the Prime Minister can then advise her on who to appoint to Cabinet and run the various departments of government in her name.
In our democratic system, obviously, by convention, the Queen will appoint a party leader to become Prime Minister, and the Prime Minister will then advise her to appoint members of the Prime Minister’s own party’s caucus to form Cabinet, but in both cases, nothing says that must be the case.
Lie #3: Stephen Harper has Attacked Democracy
This is one of the most hyperbolic and ridiculous lies the Liberals are telling us. Their “evidence” is because Harper “prorogued Parliament” twice in a year. First of all, as I showed in #2, Harper can’t prorogue Parliament. The Queen prorogues and summons Parliament. Second, the Prime Minister isn’t elected by the people, but appointed by the Queen. The people advise the Queen – through an election – on who they want her to call to Parliament to represent them. That there – the election of Parliament – is our democracy, and last time I checked, our democratic institution of electing our MPs has not been endangered in any way, shape or form.
Lie #4: Stephen Harper is a Bully
Besides being an infantile insult, it is untrue. Harper does not have absolute power in the House of Commons, simply because he does not have a majority, and even if he did have a majority, he is accountable to Parliament, not the other way around. If things get bad enough, even a majority Parliament could pass a non confidence motion against him.
The real issue here is Harper is acting like a leader. He is making decisions, submitting an agenda to Parliament for approval, and getting it approved. If Parliament doesn’t like his agenda, or any particular component of it, Parliament can vote against it. That’s the way things work.
These four of the big lies the Liberals keep telling us. Hopefully it’s helped you see the truth through the myth. Remember, the real story – and no Liberal will ever admit to it – is Liberals believe they have a divine right to govern Canada – they call themselves “Canada’s Natural Governing Party” after all, and also have a very low opinion of the intelligence of the Canadian population. (Remember the Beer and Popcorn comment by a Liberal during the 2005/2006 election campaign?) They simply can’t understand the fact that Canadians have decided to go down a road different than the road the Liberals would take us down, and it frustrates them.
Of course, when one holds an incorrect ideology like the Liberals, once can see how it would frustrate and annoy them.
The Antichrist is supposed to have charisma which Harper completely lacks. So he doesn’t qualify.
It would be very interesting to post links to instances where liberals promoted these lies
Lie #1: http://twitter.com/#!/MarkCRobins/status/49922015473311744
Lie #2: Same as above. This is more of a myth that is fostered by the attitudes and overall behaviour of Liberals, and, really, politicans in general. It’s fair to say that Canadians vote, by and large, for the Prime Minister rather than their local MP, and it’s also fair to say that our conventions, as in the actions of the Queen after an election, are very predictable in that regard. Nevertheless, my statement and analysis of constitution practices and convention is still accurate.
Lie #3: http://www.canadians.org/democracy/
Lie #4: http://www.garth.ca/weblog/2007/10/03/bully/
There you go!
My responses then:
Lie #1 – Well put and accurate.
Lie #2 – Oddly this was a common argument from the Conservatives during the coalition crisis, that the people had elected Harper. I would hope that the author, Steven Britton, will agree that the Conservatives were wrong in using that statement?
Lie #3 – Come on, that’s just hiding behind Parliamentary procedure. It is well known that except under absurdly rare extraordinary circumstances the Governor-General will always act as the Prime-Minister has advised. The Prime-Minister cannot legally prorogue Parliament but as sure as water is wet there will never be a time when Parliament is prorogued without the advice of the Prime-Minister.
Lie #4 – Is nothing more than a matter of opinion. You see a strong leader, I see a juvenile, hyper-controlling “bully”. Surely no political leader can be shown to not have the full support of his/her party publicly. But from what we hear through the media Harper won’t even abide dissent behind closed doors. This is not the leader of a party in a democracy; this is the behaviour of a monarch.
Interestingly the article begins with the argument that Parliament decides everything. Steven even goes so far as to suggest that if a Prime-Minister were well and truly out of control that a majority Parliament would have the ability to censure him/her. This of course is legally true, although I’m finding it challenging to envision any scenario where a party with a majority in Parliament would choose to take this path. Airing a party’s dirty laundry does not play well with the voters. Leaders that have lost the confidence of their party will be quietly asked to resign (see Dion and Klein for recent examples). But then you argue that Canadians have decided to go down a road different from the one the Liberals would prefer. This simply cannot be. Steven needs to choose his position instead of conveniently wavering between them and hoping no one notices: If the people are deciding the direction then Harper and the Conservatives are charting the wrong path as a majority of Canadians did not support the Conservative vision in either of the last two elections. If the Conservatives are steering the ship then the upper 67% of the article is null as Steven doesn’t believe that Parliament actually has any control, rather placing that power squarely with the Government as the be all end all of Canada’s democracy.
Indicating that it is the Liberals that have a low opinion of the intelligence of the Canadian people is also interesting. Clearly it is the Conservative Government that has spent the last 5+ years doing whatever it could to ensure it remained in power, only stopping any gray-area practices after it was caught. This from a party and a Government that came to power on promises to do things differently and to be accountable. Insert snort of derision here.
Steven’s concluding comment that the Liberal ideology is incorrect betrays everything. It’s a special group of people that have the clarity of vision to define others based solely on their political ties or on labels that can be conveniently applied. It must be very comforting for Steven to be able to move through the world knowing that all “Liberals” are incorrect.
Responding to Brad Lazuruk here, I’ll say that the bulk of his response is actually quite well-put and thoughtful. I was impressed, because while I truly do believe that the ideology of Liberalism (and socialism in general) is proven to be incorrect – in that when put into practice, it more harmful than beneficial (NEP, Nisga’a, Hep-C screw-over, and so on) he did, at least, unlike many other Liberals, actually take the time to present thoughtful points and counter-arguments to my initial assertions.
Addressing his individual responses to my points, we don’t need to spend time on Lie #1, because, much to my amazement, he agreed with me. So we move on to Lie #2.
As I pointed out in a response to another comment, while in technical and legal terms my exposition is correct, the public at large does indeed have a tendency to vote for the party, and the Prime Minister, rather than the local candidate. I personally did not raise the argument that the attempted formation of an Association of Separatists and Socialists was illegal or anti-Parliamentary, but it was an attempt to subvert the democratic process as perceived by Canadians based on the actual way most Canadians cast their vote. While this may seem contradictory, it isn’t. The way the system works by constitution and convention does not have to reflect the voting intention or motivation of the person casting their ballot. By convention, the Queen will appoint the leader of the largest caucus in Parliament as Prime Minister first, and she will appoint the individuals the Prime Minister recommends to her as her Cabinet ministers. The voters understand that by electing a local candidate to Parliament, they are adding one seat to that party’s caucus, and thus indirectly electing the Prime Minister. The distinction is subtle, but accurate.
During the time of the constitutional crisis of 2008, there was another factor at play as well – that the Association of Separatists and Socialists was attempting to seize power without going to an election. Constitutionally, this was unprecedented. Some raise an argument of precedent citing the minority Ontario government of 2005 under David Peterson, who supported by then-Ontario NDP Leader, Bob Rae, toppled the PCs under Frank Miller, in the debate on the Throne Speech. The fact that the government fell on the Throne Speech is key to the point, because the Throne Speech is what sets the overall agenda for the government and thus the formation of the government itself. If the Throne Speech does not pass, the government, and its agenda are not approved by Parliament, and therefore cannot form, which opens the door for the Monarch to ask another individual to attempt to form a government and hold the confidence of Parliament.
The differences, when you examine them, are clear. The Throne Speech and thus the government of Stephen Harper were already ratified by the time the 2008 constitutional crisis happened, and therefore, what the Association of Socialists and Separatists was trying to do was completely unconstitutional. Had the government fallen at that time, the Governor-General, acting as the Queen’s representative, would have had no real constitutional choice but to call an election, which, ultimately, would not likely have resulted in a different Parliamentary configuration anyway (arguably, it could – and possibly would – have resulted in a Conservative majority, but we will never know.)
All that said, the point, ultimately is that the Opposition is entitled – as we are seeing today with the 2011 budget about to be defeated in Parliament, and thus being forced into an election – to bring down a government whenever they have an opportunity to do so, however the attempt to seize power from a government duly elected based on convention and voter intent, as well as a government ratified by the House of Commons, was completely anti-democratic.
In Lie #3, Mr. Lazuruk has missed the point I was trying to make. By convention, he’s right, the Queen will always call an election, or prorogue or summon Parliament based on the Prime Minister’s recommendation. However, that’s the way our system currently works, and while advocating changes to it is perfectly fair game – and reform in that area is something I personally do indeed support – it’s very disingenous to suggest that because Stephen Harper has acted completely within his legal and constitutional authority to request proroguation, he is attacking democracy.
In actual fact, a prorogued Parliament means the Prime Minister can do less than when Parliament is in session – because to do anything new, outside the bounds of legislation as it currently stands, such as spend new money on a budget initiative, the House needs to pass legislation. Without Parliament in session, the Prime Minister’s hands are tied.
So either way, democracy, and the institution that holds the government in check (especially in a minority Parliament) is preserved.
As for Lie #4, at worst, Harper is no worse than Jean Chretien was when he was Prime Minister; and at best, Harper is, as I have suggested, a strong leader. The media sources Mr. Lazuruk is citing usually quote “government” or “Conservative insiders” and “unnamed sources.” Well, Liberal insiders and unnamed sources tell me that Michael Ignatieff has a secret shrine to Maralyn Munroe in his office, and plans to change the name of the position of Prime Minister to “Czar” if he is elected.
Clearly I made those last two statements up, but it’s very easy to quote “unnamed sources” and embellish what they say to suit any purpose the writer wants. It’s possible that, for example, someone opposed Harper, and was possibly quite rude, or condescending about it. I know from personal experience that when someone is rude or condescending to me, I get rather angry, and I expect Harper’s similar. So, if that — and I’m not saying it is, but IF — that’s the case, and then the target of his anger spoke to a reporter on condition of anonymity, one can see how the story can be grown.
Like everyone else, Harper is human, and like everyone else, has faults and failings, but a good, strong leader never surrounds himself with sycophantic yes-men; a good, strong leader surrounds himself with people who will offer counter opinions and point out possible mistakes; and I expect Stephen Harper is smart enough to know this. I expect that if one were to approach him reasonably and politely with a concern or disagreement, while he may not go in the direction the person suggests, he’ll listen to them and take their concern under advisement. The decision and ultimately the responsibility rests with Stephen Harper, not the person with the concern. Thus, Harper has to be confident of the decision he’s made.
Mr. Lazuruk makes a few other comments in conclusion, which I want to address as well:
A party voting against its own cabinet in a majority Parliament is indeed unprecedent in Canada, but it has happened in other countries. In Japan in 1993, 39 LDP party members voted against their own Prime Minister in a confidence motion toppling the government.
Secondly, as I mentioned a number of times in my responce to Mr. Lazuruk, the electorate in 143 ridings supported, by plurality, the Conservatives. Yes, that means that the Conservatives did not receive a true majority of the popular vote, and it also means that the Conservatives do not hold a majority in the House of Commons, but it does mean that enough Canadians voted Conservative to ensure that the Queen gave Harper the job of Prime Minister. Given that, as I established above, Canadians by and large vote for a Prime Minister rather than a local candidate, I think it is quite a reasonable statement for me to make while not contradicting my arguments based on the actual constitutional conventions under which we operate.
Just like in the USA, where the President is not selected by popular vote, but by a system which ensures the President has enough popular support over a sufficient geographic area to govern, our current Prime Minister also has sufficient popular support over a sufficient geographic area to ensure that the Queen asks him to attempt to form a government first, and, once ratified by the House on the Throne Speech, he is able to govern with the confidence of the House, meaning, that it is indeed the direction that Canadians – well, enough Canadians anyway – have decided to go.
I will also need to insert a snort of derision at Mr. Lazuruk’s comment regarding the Conservatives have stopped grey-area practices after it was caught – not because I’m agreeing with his position – because I’m not – but the exact opposite. Mr. Lazuruk is clearly referring to the “In and Out” pseudo-scandal. I say it’s a pseudo-scandal because a civil court has already sided with the Conservatives, and, while two Conservatives are facing criminal charges, I think it is highly unlikely they can be convicted based on Mens Reus. Once the election rules were clarified and changed slightly, the Conservatives – rightly – discontinued the practice; which is a far cry from “stopping only when they got caught” as Mr. Lazuruk contends. Conversely, in an interview on live TV in 2005, Liberal spokesperson, Scott Reid, said, “Don’t give people 25 bucks a week to blow on beer and popcorn. Give them child-care spaces that work. Stephen Harper’s plan has nothing to do with child care.” It showed the Liberal Party’s opinion of Canadians ability to make their own decisions with money very plainly. There are numerous cases where Liberal Party advocacy has been strongly in favour of large, sweeping, centralized government social programs rather than leaving the decisions (and money) in the hands of individuals. Advocating strong centralization is an indicator of a belief that government – not individuals – knows best, and reflects an opinion on the base intelligence of the average Canadian.
There are some necessary government programs. We need a basic social safety net to catch those who sometimes do fall through the cracks and need a legitimate hand up to get back on their feet. We need a safety net to ensure that those who cannot look after themselves have their basic needs met. We need an organization to defend our sovereignty as a nation. We need an organization to enforce and protect our basic human rights by arresting and detaining criminals when crimes happen, and we need the various organizations to incarcerate, punish, and, where possible, rehabilitate the criminals. That is a far cry from implementing, for example, a sweeping national daycare program and the resultant beaurocracy it would need to administer it. The Conservative principle is clear: don’t tax; don’t spend. On the spending front, no, the current government is no angel, but they’re severely hampered by a Parliament that is demanding they spend money, as we saw back in the constitutional crisis of 2008. Today, things have finally come to a head and the government is digging in their heels. They’ve presented a reaonsable budget with decent spending initiatives, yet the opposition is not going to support it, arguing that it doesn’t go far enough on the spending, while, at the same time, critisizing the Conservatives for “spending like drunken sailors.” Clearly, the opposition wants it both ways, and clearly, that just can’t happen.
My response went on and on … it’s on my blog.
It is refreshing to hear someone speak the truth for a change, something you’d never get out of a liberal.
Jason, if you want “links” to support that these lies exist, I doubt you follow Canadian politics enough to vote confidently. I’ll help you out, start by googling “liberals lie” and see what comes up. They’ve been lying, scamming, and throwing our money away since their formation, lol. Next, follow this election closely & read/watch the news. Really, it’s that simple.
If you find this information interesting, you may want to research the NDP next. They too, have sent you down the river without a paddle.
Liberal supporters really need to educate themselves well enough to think INDEPENDENTLY and make decisions for themselves. Not because their parents or college professors told them so, not because they are newly emigrated and mistake “liberal” to mean “liberation” (think freedom) and not because they think it is the only option toward human rights, equality, fairness and democracy.
If the Liberal party suddenly became THE PARTY BEST ABLE TO SERVE WHAT BENEFITS THE MAJORITY OF THE CANADIAN PEOPLE and THE PARTY WHOSE BELIEFS, VALUES, & GOALS ARE CLOSEST TO MINE then I’d be voting Liberal. They are not so I will not.
Stephen Harper is currently the best and only leader capable of leading this nation out of the troubles the liberals created while they reigned. Stephen Harper is the only politician available at this time capable of doing the job of Prime Minister. It helps that he has never left this country and he’s never voted in 2 places at once.
I have no faith in anyone who can’t even decide on one country to claim as his own. It is shameful to see someone spend several years out of the country, voting around the globe, landing back here, and taking a seat with our government. To see Canadian citizens support him is gross.
I’m eager to share this blog with others so I will be recommending it. I find it amusing to read your rules on commenting. You approve both agreement & disagreement provided they are civil. Every time I read an article or blog written by a writer with a strong liberal view, comments are closed.
Great Blog. I twittered the lies and the link @TheUglytruthca for more people to read. I enjoyed the response from the liberal individual as it was thoughtful and well written but wrought with errors as well. I was once upon a time a liberal, then I got my own mind and individualism. Love your blog, well written and well researched with links.
Thanks for the feedback! Im responding to Mr. Lazaruk’s latest reply as well, but it is taking longer than expected. There’s lots of stuff I want to cover.
I must say that reading your material has put a smile on my face. I have not laughed so hard in years and I thank you for that. If I ever find the cave you and your fellow dinosaurs the conservatives live in I will put a tent up nearby so I can take advantage of your antics. And thank you for proving once and for all that dinosaurs still do roam the earth. And 24% of anything is not a majority by the way. Those of us who oppose the conservatives out-number you and your soon to be defunct allie’s 3 to 1 as we will prove at the next federal election. That is of course if we are not at war or Mr. Harper doesn’t declare marshall law to escape the vote.
First, Lonnie, thank you for commenting! I do appreciate you visiting the blog.
Your comment says nothing in a very large amount of space (kind of like a T-Rex), but you do have one small nugget of detail within: the “24%” number.
There are lies, damn lies, and statistics.
Your 24% is calculated by dividing the number of Conservative votes across Canada by the number of eligible voters, rather than the number of people who actually voted. This is a prime example of how to lie with statistics.
In doing so, you’re assuming that every non-vote is a vote against Stephen Harper. As I pointed out in the main entry, first, the only place in which people actually voted for Stephen Harper was in Calgary Southwest, and even there, they weren’t voting for their Prime Minister, but they were voting to elect their MP. Secondly, and more directly towards your argument, a non-vote is neither a vote for, nor a vote against. It is simply a refusal to vote. We have no way of knowing what was going through the non-voter’s mind, nor do we have any way of knowing their motivation — or lack of — to show up at the polling booth and cast a ballot.
Thanks for trying, though. As I said, I do appreciate the comment.