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An apparent disadvantage of proroguing has emerged for Harper – his MPs are loose cannons

Let’s face it, before Harper got to be PM, the Canadian Alliance Party’s MP’s were sure to say something unscripted and rather extremist sounding. Harper has managed to impose authoritarian discipline on that habit, and his MP’s are pretty well trained seals, able to parrot back Conservative talking points almost mechanically. However, its becoming clear that when those same Conservative MP’s aren’t all in one briefing room every day in Ottawa, and they’re getting challenged on controversial issues where they have to think for themselves, they’re going off-script, and the PMO and Harper aren’t able to tell them to shut up and/or to just parrot what the PMO folks tell them to.

Example 1 was Conservative MP Brent Rathgeber earlier today making the eye-popping comment that Parliament and democracy were not being sidestepped, but suspended, and now we have example 2 in the form of Conservative MP Gary Schellenberger, who believes the fact the Olympics are coming here was a great reason to prorogue – so he and other Conservative MP’s could go watch the games:

Mr. Schellenberger admitted he may try to take two or three weeks off during the Winter Olympic Games and may try to get to Vancouver if he can find accommodation. The Olympics in Canada were another good reason to prorogue Parliament, he added. ”If we are sitting, how do MPs get to those events,” he said of the Olympic games. “It makes sense that we are not sitting.”

Hmm, so why didn’t Harper ask the G-G to declare a 2 month holiday for everyone else in Canada? Heck, at the very least why not a 2 week prorogue so every Canadian could at least watch the Olympics at home? Why should those MP’s be the only folks to get to those events, or to see them?

One phrase for you, Mr Schellenberger:

Canadians didn’t elect you or the Conservative Party with the understanding you’d take time off on the taxpayer’s dime for 2 months and catch the Olympics in the VIP seats.

UPDATE: It looks like our example #1 MP of issuing a boneheaded statement, Brent Rathgeber, got called by the PMO and told to issue a “clarification” on his “parliament and democracy not getting sidestepped, but suspended” statement. Now it’s only Parliament who got suspended; but democracy is still strong in Canada!! I feel better already.

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3 comments to An apparent disadvantage of proroguing has emerged for Harper – his MPs are loose cannons

  • Rathgeber’s clarification:

    must clarify—Parliament is being suspended–democracy is much larger and much broader and of course continues everyday in Canada.

    It won’t be for very long under the tenor of stephen harper.

  • Perhaps we’ll host these Conservative MPs in our BC homes “for rent during the Olympics). Since the Connies are going to take a tax-payer paid vacation, then fly out here on tax-payer funds, the LEAST we BCers can do is take in a little bit of that “free-flowing” public giant paycheck money and charge them $30000 for the month for a place to stay… lol…

    While we have the Conservative MP sleeping under our back deck (with our pet dog and associated CCRAP poop), we can routinely ask neighbors to come over and film/photograph what their tax dollars are paying for…

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