Monday, March 1, 2010

The Conservatives Planned This Prorogation a Year Ago

I came across an article yesterday, that was actually linked from another posting I had.

It's from April of 2009, entitled Tories court Bloc and NDP in bid to hold onto power.

Tory insiders say the party is hatching a survival plan to keep the surging Liberals at bay and delay any potential election long enough to enjoy the international limelight at the 2010 Winter Games in Vancouver.

A major plank of the plan would see the Tories delay next year's budget and deliver it in late March -- two months later than when the budget was handed down in 2009.

That would deprive the Grits of an important confidence vote before the Olympic flame arrives in Vancouver next February, at which point the Conservatives hope the economy will have turned around.

Quite interesting. Prorogation gave them some breathing room from the Afghan Detainee issue and the brewing scandals, but the two and half month vacation was pre-mediated. Of course it meant a deal with separatists, so don't tell Rodney Weston. He might just get off the couch.

So Now What?

There was an article in the Star today Stephen Harper got 'bad advice,' professor says

Peter Russell sees a silver lining in Parliament's prorogation – the public outrage. For the University of Toronto professor emeritus ... it's evidence that despite worries of public apathy, Canadians do care whether their democratic institutions are alive and working.

... Russell says Harper got "bad advice" that he could unilaterally prorogue Parliament, delaying its return from Jan. 25 to March 3, with no fallout. "That's where they went wrong and Canadians should get a gold medal because they did care," Russell said.

Another piece in the Globe and Mail asked: Prorogation 'lit the fuse,' but is furor fizzling?

Stephen Harper's Olympic bounce so far cannot compete with his prorogation slide. Now the question is whether prorogation was a minor misstep from which he can quickly recover, or a too-clever tactic that exposed a flaw his opponents can exploit.

The Conservatives will no doubt enjoy a rise in the polls, but I don't take polls at this stage too seriously. However, this is not only something the opposition 'can exploit', but a much broader issue.

But pollster Frank Graves says he thinks prorogation planted the seed for a bigger problem for Mr. Harper: His personal approval ratings plummeted, and now most voters outside his base of Tory supporters disapprove of his performance.

Prorogation, he says, "was more of a trigger than the actual ammunition." ... "It lit the fuse that consolidated a whole series of anxieties and concerns that a certain portion of the electorate were having about Mr. Harper's management style."

If the Conservatives can keep their numbers up, it will hold off an election, but I don't think the Conservatives can win another election under his leadership. Too many of us now remember why we were afraid to vote for him in the first place. The secrecy, the shady deals, the mean and bitter side of his nature.

Mr. Graves, however, suspects the partisanship, symbolized by prorogation, has had a lasting impact on Mr. Harper's reputation: Outside of a Conservative base who love him, nearly all disapprove.

So while the single issue of prorogation may fizzle, the grassroots movement will continue.

Canadians Against Proroguing Parliament is regrouping and we've branched into a group committed to removing this government and taking our country back.

We are looking to alternative Media sources for more exposure of what this government has been up to, as well as compiling the best of the more than 30,000 links that flowed into the Facebook group. We have also set up our own CAPP Parliament.

We have another website that has branched off from this, called Catch 22 Harper Conservatives, where we will be targeting the most vulnerable Reform-Conservative ridings and hitting them hard. The Facebook Group is here and the website currently under construction is here.

Another branch of this is Canadians Rallying to Unseat Stephen Harper (CRUSH). We are raising funds and plan to run newspaper ads across the country.

The original Facebook group that started this all is here.

It was developed and grew out of anger. But we are now channelling that anger into action and will be working between now and the next election, at taking our country back, one vote at a time.

So enjoy your little gold medal bounce Mr. Harper. Your next bounce will be out of office.

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