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parnel

4 years of the bully and dictator coming up

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PM gains best chance to settle old scores with election of a new Speaker, candidate more to his liking

Six Conservative MPs are campaigning for the job, at this writing. They number fierce partisans, collegial backslappers and frustrated backbenchers, and one Tory I know who privately grumbles over Harper's leadership.

By TOM KORSKI

Published May 30, 2011 View story Email Comments To the Editor

The tone of Parliament's new term will be set in mere minutes.

If Stephen Harper leans to ruthless advantage-seeking—a "sweaterless hardballer," The Edmonton Journal once called him—it will show in the selection of a new Speaker of the House of Commons.

A formality in the distant past, the June 2 vote by MPs is now the subject of keen public importance. Mastery of rules and refereeing is half the game. By electing a Harper-friendly umpire, Conservatives will remove one of the few irritants that embarrassed the government and cost it prestige and power.

"The Speaker rules; you win some, you lose some," Harper shrugged after being cited for Parliamentary misconduct last March. The coolness impressed no one. Harper privately is known to engage in chair-kicking rages. Publicly he is suspected of "anti-democratic impulses," (Winnipeg Free Press) and "anti-democratic instincts and behaviour," (Ottawa Citizen).

No one caused the Prime Minister more trouble than Peter Milliken, the veteran Liberal Speaker who retired to Kingston this spring. "Milliken brought the House down—literally," as The Canadian Press put it.

In a string of rulings Milliken cuffed the government for doctoring documents, evading scrutiny, withholding information and trampling Commons privileges. Harper, he warned, would "jeopardize the very separation of powers that is purported to lie at the heart of our Parliamentary system." His judgments set Conservative MPs fuming in committees. It was Milliken's rebuke of government tactics that led to a citation for contempt and the election, itself.

Few of Milliken's predecessors left such a mark. Most speakers were blandly efficient. A few were disastrous.

MP George Black, a Klondike prospector appointed Speaker in 1930, was so unstable he liked to shoot rabbits from his Centre Block office. He later resigned to undergo psychiatric treatment. MP Pierre-Francois Casgrain, appointed in 1936, was so partisan he divvied up 127 staff jobs to cronies before taking the oath of office. MP Louis-René Beaudoin, named Speaker in 1953, was so incompetent he over-ruled himself in debate and ended his days as a bartender in Tempe, Arizona.

Milliken himself was unexcitable and fearless. He had the persona of a traffic court judge. Witness this May 14 exchange with interviewer Kathleen Petty on CBC Radio's The House:

PETTY: "So, what was the experience like for you?..."

MILLIKEN: "Well, it was interesting..."

PETTY: "And did you find the experience difficult ever?..."

MILLIKEN: "No, not particularly."

With the election of a new Speaker, the Prime Minister gains his best chance to settle old scores and find a candidate more to his liking. Six Conservative MPs are campaigning for the job, at this writing. They number fierce partisans, collegial backslappers and frustrated backbenchers, and one Tory I know who privately grumbles over Harper's leadership.

The hardballer will be watching closely.

Globe and Mail columnist Lawrence Martin has diagnosed the Prime Minister as a practitioner of the "angry-man syndrome": "He filled the Commons with below-the-belt accusations, outfitted his committee chairmen with a dirty tricks handbook, disciplined anyone in his caucus who declined to exhibit trained-seal subservience."

The Edmonton Journal published a letter from one reader who cast Harper as a thug: "[it's] what I call the wife beater's defence: 'Oh, he didn't mean to; next time he'll be different.' But they never are. All Canadians have watched Stephen Harper and his anti-democratic, bullying tactics."

Executives of the National Union of Public and General Employees last year profiled the Prime Minister as emotionally immature and prickly: "The conventional wisdom is that Stephen Harper, by moving closer to the centre on some public policy issues, has managed to show Canadians that he doesn't have a scary hidden agenda. The problem with this view is that it ignores the larger role that Harper's political temperament and lack of respect for democracy have played in reinforcing the hidden agenda theme. Harper's authoritarian tendencies and vindictive streak shatter any notion of moderation. Some people say these characteristics are simply a reflex he hasn't learned to control. A reflex? Probably. But we think there's more to it. Indulging the reflex is part of Harper's long-held motivation and strategy to delegitimize the very idea that government itself is valuable and beneficial" (see NUPGE, "Stephen Harper's Record Of Denying Democracy," Feb. 24, 2010).

The Hill will carefully watch Thursday's election of a Speaker.

If Harper is determined to make the Commons run, er, more smoothly, it will start there.

news@hilltimes.com

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Hey, Dorothy, putting aside for a moment the fact that YOU LOST, what kind of a speaker do you think would have gotten elected if the Liberals won a majority? An impartial one? GIve me a break, you bleeding heart. :roll::roll::roll: This is the system we have, this is how we get a new speaker. Come up with a better one and stop your incessant pinko whining.

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Globe and Mail columnist Lawrence Martin has diagnosed the Prime Minister as a practitioner of the "angry-man syndrome": "He filled the Commons with below-the-belt accusations, outfitted his committee chairmen with a dirty tricks handbook, disciplined anyone in his caucus who declined to exhibit trained-seal subservience."
Dorothy, that's like me diagnosing you with a Colonel Klink syndrome. It does not really mean anything. Stop wasting pixels on the screen bolding stuff so feeble as this. Sheesh...
The Edmonton Journal published a letter from one reader who cast Harper as a thug: "[it's] what I call the wife beater's defence: 'Oh, he didn't mean to; next time he'll be different.' But they never are. All Canadians have watched Stephen Harper and his anti-democratic, bullying tactics."
"a letter sent from one reader". So?!?!. Are you bolding this stuff for us in the hopes that we are all so stupid that your feeble typeface antics will detract us from the irrelevance of your quotes? Sheesh x 2
Executives of the National Union of Public and General Employees last year profiled the Prime Minister as emotionally immature and prickly: "The conventional wisdom is that Stephen Harper, by moving closer to the centre on some public policy issues, has managed to show Canadians that he doesn't have a scary hidden agenda. The problem with this view is that it ignores the larger role that Harper's political temperament and lack of respect for democracy have played in reinforcing the hidden agenda theme. Harper's authoritarian tendencies and vindictive streak shatter any notion of moderation. Some people say these characteristics are simply a reflex he hasn't learned to control. A reflex? Probably. But we think there's more to it. Indulging the reflex is part of Harper's long-held motivation and strategy to delegitimize the very idea that government itself is valuable and beneficial" (see NUPGE, "Stephen Harper's Record Of Denying Democracy," Feb. 24, 2010).
Dorothy quoting union leaders as authoritative... You know, I see this as a positive step for you. In your grief for the Liberal loss you are no longer stuck in the anger stage. You are now clearly moving into acceptance, not the least the acceptance of Bob Rae as your new leader and the inevitable takeover of the left-leaning Liberal leftovers by NDP. Any day now you will make Karachi and Negotiator look like "angry white males". :lol::lol::lol:

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Four more years of Liberals whinning is worth it to have them stuck out in the political wilderness.

I think the real betting line is "Will the Liberals ever come back from the wilderness".

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Four more years of Liberals whinning is worth it to have them stuck out in the political wilderness.

I think the real betting line is "Will the Liberals ever come back from the wilderness".

Remember the conservatives and the 2 seats they were left with after the 1993 election?

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I think the real betting line is "Will the Liberals ever come back from the wilderness".
My guess: The blue ones will simply integrate themselves into the Conservative party. The pink ones will significantly bolster NDP, but will end up taking NDP more to the center; a name change for NDP will be in the cards. Dorothy will never fully recover, spending her days in a rocking chair on the lawn in front of her house with the old Liberal flag overhead, a neither empty nor full bottle of scotch in her lap and a BB gun. After she takes too many potshots at random blue cars passing by, they will haul her away.

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Tim Harper: Harper’s bullying causes labour pains

In the ideological world of Stephen Harper, where unions are not to disrupt business and their collective bargaining rights are to be ignored, labour disputes will be met with the biggest, most blunt instrument that a majority government has in its arsenal.

http://www.thestar.com/article/1010238- ... bour-pains

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Tim Harper: Harper’s bullying causes labour pains

In the ideological world of Stephen Harper, where unions are not to disrupt business and their collective bargaining rights are to be ignored, labour disputes will be met with the biggest, most blunt instrument that a majority government has in its arsenal.

http://www.thestar.com/article/1010238- ... bour-pains

You know, Dorothy, out of all the issues I would have expected you agreeing with the Conservatives on this one. I can bet you that past posts can be found on this forum, and perhaps on FT, expressing your opinions not unlike the Conservatives'. Which specific part of hard-line against the unions does not sit well with you?

Oh, and lest I forget... BFD!

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