Metro of Future Passing
This is a post I wrote about on November 18th, before Stephen Harper's hubris left Canada facing, without leadership, a financial crisis, a parliamentary crisis, and possibly a national unity crisis simultaneously. I spiked it, because I thought the Conservatives might not be dumb enough to start a scrap of this magnitude with the opposition parties. More fool me.
Please bear in mind that it's a rough copy, and a little stronger than the general tone I prefer to try (and often fail) to maintain.
Bipartisanship Blows Dead Bears
In the US today, the Democratic Party senators who control the place are giving a reward to Joe Lieberman. A man who deserves, even more than Ralph Nader, Hunter Thompson's epithet: "A worthless Judas goat with no moral compass.
Why? It's in the spirit of working together and bipartisanship.
Let's recall that the Democratic-controlled organs of the US state took impeachment off the table--Having fought Bush by ... well, actually having rolled over and enabled Bush for six years, they got power to impeach him, and they threw it away and instead spent the next two years appeasing.
Now, having won an overwhelming victory, having heard the voice of the people crying "SIC 'EM", they've decided to lie down and nap on the porch.
This should be "sweeping clean with a new broom" time. Karl Rove should be booking a flight to somehwere without an extradition treaty. Dick Cheney should be entering the Witness Protection Program, and that lousy traitor Scooter Libby should be stuffing cartons of smokes up his collective to use as trade goods in prison.
But noooooo. It's "bipartisanship" time. That's right, the same "bipartisanship" that allowed Bush to run roughshod over the Constitution without so much as a murmur.
The only consolation is that the Republicans would have been worse, far worse.
But that's not an excuse.
I'd be so mad I could puke, if I wasn't even madder at the $#17heads we failed to return to power in Ottawa (for some unaccountable reason).
Headlines in the national press today:
"Parliament Opens With Conciliatory Tone"
"Layton Seeks Peace in Parliament"
"Share the House, Spare the Voter"
"Making Parliament Work, This Time"
"Tough Times Require More Civil Discussion"
Um ... What to say here except:
"FOR &^%$'s SAKES NO!"
Last minority parliament, just a few weeks ago, our Prime Minister displayed precisely the Conservative view of bipartisanship: "You scratch my back. What? What are you looking at me like that for? Hey--you better cut that out--the voters don't want another election, y'know! Okay--you asked for it ..."
I don't care if I go to the polls three times between now and Christmas, I want my Loyal Opposition to loyally bloody well OPPOSE.
Co-operation is fine when you get the right things out of it. The economic "stimulus package" (they'll call it that to avoid the term "corporate bailout") will be an okay thing, probably*.
But last time the Tories beat the Liberals bloody with "bipartisanship".
They screwed over anyone who wants to immigrate to Canada for starters, in a disgraceful move worthy of the Head tax supporters from whom the modern Conservative Party is descended. They created terror laws that were unnecessary. And only vocal public protest kept them from screwing us over with a US-style Digital Copyright Act.
The "Opposition" either ran away (abstained) or voted with the Conservatives. The Bloc Quebecois naturally voted with anyone who'd give the nod to the silly notion that Quebec is some sort of separate country--which Harper passionately did. Oh--and of course they enjoyed voting against immigration ('cause they're suspicious of people who speak weird foreign languages, eh?).
The NDP voted like a barnyard full of wet hens, with much the same significance.
If we want co-operation in Parliament, it's useless to look for it from the Conservatives. Harper missed the episode of Sesame Street where co-operation was discussed.
Co-operation must come from the opposition parties. Probably from the Liberals and NDP working together to thwart the Conservatives and render the Bloc irrelevant. Unfortunately, the two of 'em together don't have the votes. But imagine if they got a few Bloc moderates onside (or Conservative moderates--but lately that term's an oxymoron).
Bipartisanship is fine, as long as both parties get something they want, US Conservatives and their Canadian allies have amply demonstrated over the past few years that they're incapable of it.
So let's have more acrimony and bickering. Until both parties either get what they want, or pitch us into another election.
I'd be okay with that.
*From the hindsight is 20/20 department: The budget the Conservatives brought down didn't mention stimulus, and included no measures for it.